Because 2018 has been a never-ending parade of dumpster fires with virtually no end in sight even on this, its final day, it’s breathtakingly easy to forget that Allison Mack — better known as Chloe from Smallville — was arrested in April for allegedly being the second-in-command of NXIVM, a Hollywood sex cult that’s accused of trafficking women and grooming them for the on-demand use of cult founder Keith Raniere. As the group’s Number Two, Mack was allegedly responsible for recruitment, which she may have attacked with a little too much gusto.
[email protected] I'm a fellow actress like yourself & involved in an amazing women's movement I think you'd dig. I'd love to chat if you're open.— Allison Mack (@allisonmack) January 24, 2016
Surprisingly, Hermoine did not become a card-holding member of Scientology But With Weird Sex Stuff Instead of Aliens. However, Mack was able to recruit her fellow Smallville castmate Kristin Kreuk, whose tenure and involvement with the cult is still up in the air. (For the record, Kreuk denies accusations that she was part of the “inner circle” and recruited for the cult, according to Elle.) As for Mack, well, she took her love for NXIVM to the hole — almost literally — by allegedly coming up with the practice of branding members’ vaginas to prove their loyalty. It doesn’t get more 2018 than that.
Which brings us to Mack’s latest appearance in court where her lawyers went ahead and leaned into the similarities between NXIVM and Scientology by essentially arguing, “Hey, you let those weird space guys blackmail people. Why not us?”
“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 filing said. “Courts have found, however, that such an outcome, albeit embarrassing, does not amount to serious harm under the statute.”
The argument cites a 2009 case in which 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.”
Much like Scientology, NXIVM allegedly holds onto embarrassing photos and “disparaging statements” by its members so it can force them to do things like bang its leader at will after getting burned in the vagina. Except NXIVM is essentially admitting that, oh yeah, it totally blackmailed people, but is it really blackmail if Tom Cruise’s religion was allowed to do it?
That said, NXIVM’s collateral sounds a hell of a lot like revenge porn, which probably won’t hold up in court, but who the hell knows anymore? Whereas Scientology seems to practice a more quaint form of blackmail where you admit that you really can’t levitate or shoot mind beams out of your eyes, and the only thing that gets you off is making people watch you hang onto the side of a plane. Just as a random example that I totally made up.
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