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‘Smallville’ star Allison Mack cites Scientology as a defense in sex trafficking case

Allison Mack in court on sex trafficking charges in May 2018

Lawyers of suspect Nxivm sex-slave cult leader, and former “Smallville” star Allison Mack with the argument that they are not guilty of inducing forced labour if the Church of Scientology is not guilty of the same charge.

In court papers filed yesterday in Brooklyn Federal Court, Mack’s lawyers argued that Mack’s threat to release nude photos and derogatory statements made by cult members against their family members does not add to the threat of “serious damage” required to prove that someone is involved in forced labor.

Mack and Nxivm leader Keith Raniere be accused of the use of the photos and instructions for free to work and to force sex with Raniere.

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“The government argues that Ms. Mack obtained forced labor by means of the threat of serious damage” serious damage is the embarrassment that is the result of the exposure of the collateral,”the court said. “Courts have found, however, that such an outcome, although painful, no serious damage under the law.”

The argument cites a case from 2009 where a couple unsuccessfully sued the Church of Scientology for forced labor.

“The court did not find that plaintiffs were forced to remain in the organization, though, if they chose to leave, they would be ‘excommunicated’ from their friends and family, and labeled a ‘dissenter’, the Mack’s lawyers said. “The threat of reputational damage and isolation from loved ones therefore should not be considered as serious damage.”

Mack is on a $5 million bond since her spring arrest on charges of prostitution, trafficking, conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. She was charged, along with Keith Raniere, the alleged leader of a self-help program. Both face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life in prison, if convicted. (Read the ruling here.)

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Here are the details of the wild case, as drawn up by the Ministry of Justice:

“According to the court filings, during the past 20 years, Raniere set in a series of alleged self-help programs within the umbrella-organization Nxivm’ (pronounced NEX-I-um). Nxivm is located in Albany, New York and has operated centers in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and South America. Nxivm maintains the characteristics of a pyramid scheme, such as the courses cost thousands of dollars per piece, and participants (‘Nxians’) will be encouraged to pay for additional lessons and to recruit others to take classes to rise up in the ranks of Nxivm. A number of Nxians were the residents of the Eastern District of New York, when they were recruited, and Nxivm has held promotional and recruiting events in Brooklyn. Mack is credited in the publicly available materials with the co-creation of a Nxivm program, called The Source, who recruited actors.

“As described in the court filings, in 2015, Raniere created a secret society within Nxivm ‘DOS’, an acronym that stands for a Latin phrase which translates to ‘Lord/Master of the Female Companions to be Obedient’ or ‘The Vow.’ DOS operated with the levels of women ‘slaves’ under the guidance of ‘master.’ Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (and therefore masters), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters, but also masters above them in the DOS-pyramid. Raniere stood alone on the top of the pyramid. Other than Raniere, all members of DOS were women. Mack is one of the women in the first level of the pyramid directly under Raniere.

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“Mack and other DOS-masters attracted DOS slaves by telling them that they join a women-only organization that would allow them and eradicate perceived weaknesses that the Nxivm curriculum taught were common in women. Mack and other DOS-masters hidden Raniere the status at the top of the pyramid of new recruits.

“As a prior condition for accession to DOS, and women were required to provide collateral,” contained very damaging information to friends and family members, nude photos and/or rights to the acquisition of the assets. DOS slaves were told that their collateral may be released, for a number of reasons, including the someone to tell you about DOS’s exist or leaving DOS. Most DOS-slaves were branded on their abdominal areas with use of a cauterizing pen with a symbol, unbeknownst to them, incorporated Raniere initials. During the branding ceremonies, slaves were needed to completely naked, and a master would to a slave to film the surf, while the others held the slave to be branded.

“According to the court filings, Mack is directly or implicitly required her slaves, including Jane Does 1 and 2, as indicated in the Indictment, sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange for this, Mack received financial and other benefits of Raniere. Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 believed that if they did not participate in these activities with Raniere, their security would be released.”

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