Smallville actress Allison Mack, who is believed to be second-in-command of the notorious alleged sex slave cult NXIVM, is claiming that leaking members’ nudes and enforcing labor in the group doesn’t count as ‘serious harm’.
Mack, 36, and cult founder Keith Raniere, 58, face charges of sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, and forced labor for running the cult that pulled members from Hollywood.
Members submitted naked photos and made disparaging statements about their family members to the group’s leaders which were allegedly used as blackmail if members refused to comply with the cult’s demands of forced labor and sex with Raniere.
Mack’s accused of threatening to release those incriminating pictures and statements, but her lawyers argued the threat wasn’t of ‘serious harm’ on Saturday in papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, according to Fox.
Allison Mack’s lawyers defended her threat to leak NXIVM members’ nude photographs saying it would result in embarrassment but not ‘serious harm’
Mack pictured heading to Brooklyn Federal Court with her lawyers on October 4
‘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,’ the court papers filed Saturday said.
‘Courts have found, however, that such an outcome, albeit embarrassing, does not amount to serious harm under the statute,’ the filing added.
The documents referred to a 2009 case where a couple unsuccessfully sued the Church of Scientology for forced labor.
‘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,”‘ Mack’s lawyers said.
‘The threat of reputational damage and isolation from loved ones therefore did not qualify as serious harm,’ they added.
Her lawyers argued that blackmailing members to keep them in the group isn’t a crime if the Church of Scientology does the same thing.
They also said that if the Church of Scientology wasn’t found guilty of forced labor in the past, then NXIVM isn’t guilty of it either
Mack is currently out on $5million bond after she was arrested in the spring for sex trafficking along with Raniere. If convicted, both Mack and Raniere face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison
Raniere and Mack are accused to leading NXIVM, which posed as a women empowerment group, but actually reportedly starved, beat, and branded their recruited members
Mack is currently out on $5million bond after she was arrested in the spring for sex trafficking along with Raniere.
If convicted, both Mack and Raniere face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Raniere and Mack are accused to leading NXIVM, which posed as a women empowerment group based in Albany New York, but actually reportedly starved, beat, and branded their recruited members.
Mack pictured above on the show Smallville, from where she rose to fame
According to court filings 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’.
Within the cult there was a elite and secret inner circle called DOS which stands for a Latin phrase that translates to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions’ or ‘The Vow.’
In DOS women were branded and were expected to recruit other slaves of their own, according to the Justice Department.
‘Raniere stood alone at 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 immediately below Raniere,’ the Department said.