Allison Mack Turned Over Audio Recording of Keith Raniere Detailing ‘Branding’ Ritual

Variety/June 21, 2021

By Gene Maddaus

Allison Mack provided federal prosecutors with an audio tape that helped convict sex cult leader Keith Raniere in which Raniere and Mack have a chilling discussion about how to brand his “slaves,” prosecutors said in a memo on Monday.

Mack, the former “Smallville” star, is due to be sentenced on June 30 for her role in the case of NXIVM, the management and leadership training program that proved to be a front for much more nefarious activities by Raniere and his followers. Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in April 2019 and faces 14- to 17 1/2 years behind bars.

But in the sentencing memo, federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to give her a reduced sentence, citing the substantial cooperation she provided in prosecuting Raniere. Raniere was convicted last year and sentenced to 120 years in prison. Mack did not testify at Raniere’s trial, and her cooperation was not publicly announced.

Most notably, Mack provided the tape in which Raniere discussed a branding ritual, in which his “slaves” were to be tattooed with his initials. Raniere had denied involvement in such a ritual. The tape was repeatedly referenced by prosecutors during his trial.

“Although Mack could have provided even more substantial assistance had she made the decision to cooperate earlier, Mack provided significant, detailed and highly corroborated information which assisted the government in its prosecution,” prosecutors said in the memo.

Mack agreed to plead guilty about a month before the trial was to begin. She told the government about how Raniere would ask for nude pictures from women she had recruited into the group. She also gave information about crimes committed by others in the group, according to the memo, and provided emails and other documents.

On the tape, Raniere could be heard talking about specific elements of the branding ceremony with Mack.

“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?” he said at one point.

He also suggested video-taping the ritual, which could be used as “collateral” to keep the person from leaving the group.

“And the person should ask to be branded,” he said on the tape. “Should say, please brand me it would be an honor, or something like that. An honor I want to wear for the rest of my life, I don’t know… And they should probably say that before they’re held down, so it doesn’t seem like they are being coerced.”

The memo also details Mack’s conduct as a “master” in the cult, stating that she recruited several women into the group, and encouraged them to provide nude photos and to have sex with Raniere.

“The government recognizes the seriousness of the offense conduct in this case which… caused extraordinary harm and pain to the victims in this case,” prosecutors said in the memo.

Mack’s lawyers are due to file their own sentencing memo by Friday.

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