the law

Allison Mack Provided Audio of Keith Raniere Planning NXIVM Branding Ceremony, Prosecutors Say

Allison Mack Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Smallville actress Allison Mack gave the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office “substantial assistance” in its case against NXIVM sex-cult leader Keith Raniere, including an incriminating recording, federal prosecutors said, in arguing that she should receive a lesser sentence. Mack is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30.

On October 27, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in federal prison. He was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire-fraud conspiracy, forced-labor conspiracy, sex-trafficking conspiracy, and two counts of sex trafficking on June 19, 2019, after a six-week trial.

“Mack provided significant, detailed, and highly corroborated information which assisted the government in its prosecution,” federal prosecutors said in court papers filed on Monday. Although Mack didn’t take the stand against him, she met with prosecutors “numerous times … and was available to testify at Raniere’s trial if requested to do so,” they said.

Prosecutors said that NXIVM, an Albany-area group that offered expensive self-help classes, had a secretive inner circle called DOS that “operated with levels of women ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters.’” Mack was arrested on April 20, 2018, for her role in NXIVM.

Federal prosecutors previously said that Mack worked as a “master” under Raniere, luring “slaves” and “directly or implicitly required her slaves … to engage in sexual activity with Raniere.” Prosecutors explained that “as directed by Raniere, Mack and other first-line DOS ‘masters’ required their ‘slaves’ to be branded with a symbol that, unknown to the ‘slaves,’ represented Raniere’s own initials.”

Mack pleaded guilty on April 8, 2019, to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of racketeering for her role in NXIVM. “I’m very sorry for the victims of this case,” she said during her plea proceeding. “I’m very sorry for who I’ve hurt through my misguided adherence to Keith Raniere’s teachings.”

While Mack faces up to 20 years in lockup on each count, her “guidelines” sentence — basically, federal probation officials suggest sentences reflecting not just the crime but things such as whether a person committed prior offenses — is 14 to 17 and a half years (168 to 210 months).

In explaining why Mack deserves a less-than-guidelines punishment, prosecutors explained that “perhaps most significantly, Mack provided the government with a recording that, at trial, served as crucial evidence of Raniere’s role in devising the branding ceremony.”

“Do you think the person who’s being branded should be completely nude and sort of held to the table like a sort of almost like a sacrifice? I don’t know if that, that’s a feeling of submission, you know,” Raniere said in that recording. He also discussed how these women should be positioned in order to video-record the ceremony, such as “laying on the back, legs slightly, or legs spread straight like, like feet, feet being held to the side of the table, hands probably above the head being held, almost like being tied down, like sacrificial, whatever.”

Asked for comment on the prosecutors’ recommendation, one of the lawyers on Mack’s case, Susan G. Kellman, said in an email, “Why not ask one of her branded slaves? Or ask the government why they posted their letter regarding Allison’s cooperation on the public docket?”

“That’s all I’ve got,” Kellman’s email ended.

Allison Mack Provided Tape of Keith Raniere NXIVM Brand Plan