Here's one for the books. Smallville star Allison Mack, who is accused of being a Nxivm sex-slave cult leader, is claiming she can't be held accountable for charges of slave labor in Federal Court. Her defense is that Scientology does the exact same thing, and they aren't being held responsible. So why should she?
Mack's lawyers are arguing that the actress isn't guilty of inducing forced labor, because the Church of Scientology hasn't been brought up on the same charges. Mack is accused of threatening to release numerous naked photos of cult members, while also issuing disparaging statements in return for free labor and sex. In the papers filed earlier this weekend, Mack's defense team do not believe she is threatening serious harm, which needs to be proven to find her guilty of induced forced labor.
Both Mack and known Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere have allegedly used a select number of naked photos to push their followers into doing unwanted tasks for free, some of which included forced sex with Raniere. The court filings stated this.
"The government argues that Ms. Mack obtained forced labor through 'threats of serious harm,' with serious harm being the embarrassment that would result from the exposure of one's collateral. Courts have found, however, that such an outcome, albeit embarrassing, does not amount to serious harm under the statute."
Mack's lawyers go onto bring up a case stemming from 2009, where a couple failed to successfully sue the Church of Scientology for forced labor. The filing continues by stating this.
"The court did not find that plaintiffs were compelled to remain in the organization even though, if they chose to leave, they would be 'excommunicated' from their friends and family and labeled a 'dissenter'. The threat of reputational damage and isolation from loved ones therefore did not qualify as serious harm."
Allison Mack was arrested this past spring for charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. She has since been out on a $5 million bond. The actress, who played Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, was indicted alongside Raniere. Both are facing mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years in prison if found guilty. The Justice Department wrote this about the case.
"According to court filings, during the past 20 years, Raniere established a series of purported self-help programs within his umbrella organization "Nxivm" (pronounced NEX-i-um). Nxivm is based in Albany, New York and has operated centers in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South America. Nxivm maintains features of a pyramid scheme, as its courses cost thousands of dollars each and participants ("Nxians") are encouraged to pay for additional classes and to recruit others to take classes in order to rise within the ranks of Nxivm. A number of Nxians were residents of the Eastern District of New York when they were recruited, and Nxivm has held promotional recruiting events in Brooklyn. Mack is credited in publicly available materials with co-creating a Nxivm program, called The Source, which recruited actors."
That is just the set up for one wild story that sounds quite unbelievable. It goes onto state the following.
"Raniere created a secret society within Nxivm called "DOS," an acronym that stands for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to "Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions," or "The Vow." DOS operated with levels of women "slaves" headed by "masters." Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid."
Other than Raniere, all members of DOS were women. Mack is one of the women in the first level of the pyramid immediately below Raniere. The statement goes onto say this.
"Mack directly or implicitly required her slaves, including Jane Does 1 and 2, as identified in the Indictment, to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange for this, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere. Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 believed that if they did not participate in those activities with Raniere, their collateral would be released."
It isn't certain how this whole thing will turn out. But there will be more to come as this story continues to break. This news comes from Deadline.