Allison Mack Enlists the Scientology Defense in NXIVM Sex Trafficking Case

So, now we have even more bizarre news regarding the s**t show that is the Allison Mack/Keith Raniere/NXIVM trial. Earlier this week, Allison Mack’s defense team tried to argue that NXIVM is actually a humanitarian organization, not a “cult.” Because obviously, blackmail, sex slavery, and burning symbols into the flesh were for the women’s own good! Now, Mack’s latest defense is that everything they did should be totally cool because Scientology did it first.

For back-up, Mack’s lawyers are citing a 2009 case where a couple unsuccessfully tried to sue the Church of Scientology. The couple lost the case because they failed to prove that the Church of Scientology was threatening them with harm if they didn’t stay in the church. The only real punishment was excommunication, and current members were forbidden to associate with them. Here is what the court documents from Mack’s lawyers said:

“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.”

Basically, Mack’s lawyers are trying to argue that threatening to reveal members’ nude photographs and reputation-damaging information, or malicious statements about their families to extract sex and labor does not amount to “serious harm.”

Clearly, Mack’s defense team is scraping at the bottom of the barrel to obtain some kind of legitimate defense. Using  Scientology as a fall-back is pretty shaky since the two don’t compare that well. Yes, we can all say that Scientology is creepy, weird, and cult-like, but NXIVM is way too blatantly a cult (and a violent) to be ignored.

Scientology might intimidate their members with expulsion and shunning, but NXIVM held incriminating photos and personal information over members’ heads to extract labor and sex (specifically for Raniere). That personal information that Mack and Raniere obtained from members was to keep them in line and in the group otherwise, they would threaten to ruin them or their families (or both).

It’s a pretty pathetic argument, but I don’t think Mack’s lawyers have much to go on, so they’re trying to cement a case together with whatever they can scrounge up. Because it’s a far cry to argue that branding someone as a dissenter is the same as branding someone with a hot iron.

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4 years ago

Hilariously appropriate considering Mack was living a close approximation to Tom Cruise’s 1999 Eyes Wide Shut