The short clip is a fascinating bit of accidental prophecy by Vanguard.
The video was made around 2015-2016, about the time they were starting DOS and branding women as slaves.
Raniere is speaking with Allison Mack and, at 5:50 into the video, Raniere predicts Mack’s public humiliation and ruination – even naming the media – the New York Times – that will destroy her.
Of course, he is jesting to make some point.
The context of his discourse is her acting and being authentic; and genius [his] and insecurity [hers] and how to optimize [her insecurity] and fortify her acting technology [so she never works again] that he taught her for the good of humanity [i.e. his sexual appetite] and her own human potential [i.e. her slavery to him] – and other word salad, psycho-babble and bogus deep – meant to deceive, obfuscate and swindle a person out of their wits and their future.
So, at 5:50 in the video, after he describes some kind of acting performance, he says the following to Allison Mack:
“Finally someone comes out with just a hook and pulls you off the stage and the next day the picture in the front of the New York Times, full thing, is you on stage — with a hook pulling you off the stage, and they say, ‘Biggest flop ever. Do not ever listen to Allison Mack again. She’s a bad actress, a bad person, terrible, terrible, terrible, and then just your name and the words, “terrible, terrible, terrible written.”
It came to pass. Allison Mack is now known as terrible. Worldwide, she is considered a bad person, a sex trafficker, a woman who used other women to enslave them, blackmail them, brand them.
And while no one is saying she’s a bad actress, few doubt she is a bad actor.
She has pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy – and faces a sentence that will almost certainly include prison time.
So who is to blame for her being such a colossal flop?
How about the man who is sitting across from her – Keith Alan Raniere?
One has to admit Raniere has a rare talent for taking talented, successful people and making them into terrible people and ungodly flops.
And his finest student, his best example is Allison Mack.
Allison had a modicum of fame, some talent, good looks, a wholesome image and a devoted fan following before Raniere worked his dark magic on her.
Now, she has worldwide notoriety. Her name is 10 times – 100 times better known today than it was in June 2017 when I first reported the branding scheme in Branded Slaves and Master Raniere.
What makes this little creepy 30 second clip of Raniere so ironic is that it was an October 2017 front-page New York Times story, Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded, that led the DOJ to investigating Raniere which led to his arrest, as well as the arrests of Mack, Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman and the hapless Kathy Russell.
After the New York Times reported the story, an avalanche of media followed and, because Allison was the most famous, she got by far the most attention.
The story to most people who know it casually is “Allison Mack and the sex cult that branded women.” Most people don’t even know Raniere’s name.
Today, almost one year after Allison was arrested, she is, of course, not speaking to the media – or appearing in acting roles. She did appear before Judge Nicholas Garaufis where she allocuted in connection to her guilty plea, saying in part, “I believed that Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people and that my adherence to his system of beliefs would help empower others and help them. I was wrong…..
“My misguided beliefs and dedication of what I believed were the principles underlying NXIVM, Keith Raniere’s teachings, resulted in my agreeing to support the criminal enterprise….
“They are good people who I have hurt through my misguided adherence to Keith Raniere’s teachings.”
So she made a 100 percent turnabout in less than a year. It was on March 26, 2018, that she was in Mexico with Raniere in a $10,000 per week villa with other Raniere sex slaves, Lauren Salzman, Loreta Garza, and Nicki Clyne – when he was arrested. Mack and the others actually chased the Mexican police car, following Raniere in a fruitless effort to try to undo his arrest.
Allison herself was arrested less than a month later, spent four days in jail before making $5 million bail and becoming subject to home confinement at her parent’s home in Los Alamitos, California.
Away from Raniere and facing decades in prison, Allison chose to plead guilty to two felonies – racketeering and racketeering conspiracy – and avoided the sex trafficking charges she was originally charged with, which would have come with much longer prison sentences had she been convicted.
One curious thing in the 30-second clip may not be prophetic. It is where Keith Raniere, joking with Allison [I think it was a joke], says the New York Times on their “full page” story says, “Do not ever listen to Allison Mack again.”
He may hope it’s true. It’s unlikely. If this goes to trial – and that seems quite likely – the trial is set to start on May 7, some 20 days from now – Allison is going to be a star witness. While Raniere may hope no one will ever listen to Allison again, they will. They’ll be listening intently. The jury particularly.
Allison Mack will have one more bright, shining day before the world – when she testifies against Raniere. After that, she may disappear into obscurity. But on that day, the media will be there in droves and what she says will be reported worldwide, including in the New York Times – quite possibly on its front page.
If you plan to attend the trial that day or days [Allison may be on the witness stand for several days – and I expect sometime in late May], I advise you to get there early. The courtroom will be packed.
On the witness stand, Allison can finally prove she is not a terrible actress as she weeps and details all the terrible things Keith did to her. Her performance may go a long way in influencing what kind of sentence Judge Garaufis hands out to her. It will almost certainly influence how hard the prosecution argues for a downward departure on the federal sentencing guidelines for her offenses.
Her testimony against Keith Raniere should be the performance of her life.
I have previously said I expect she will cry at least a dozen times, but Joe O’Hara, in suggesting a pari-mutuel bet open to readers – where each can bet on how many incidents and the total duration of crying Allison performs on the witness stand – says he is betting on only one incident of crying.
“I’m betting she will cry just once – continuously,” O’Hara said.
Sometime after her testimony, the trial will conclude and the jury will render a verdict which is almost certainly going to be a guilty one for Keith, which will mean he will go to prison for a very long time.
The media reports about Raniere’s conviction will almost certainly contain Allison’s name – perhaps as prominently as Raniere’s.
And, again, a few months later, Allison will have another moment in the spotlight. On September 11, 2019, she is scheduled to be sentenced – likely to prison and soon after that – possibly around the first of the year 2020, – she will go to what is likely to be a low-security prison for 3-to-5 years.
There is a chance, of course, that she might be sentenced to home confinement – which means, practically speaking, that she can leave her home by day to work, shop etc. and must be home at night. She will continue to wear the ankle monitor she presently wears as a condition of her release on bail.
Maybe that is fair in the end.
Despite all I’ve written about Allison, during the long interval when she stupidly stuck by Raniere – before she came to the place where she is today – – admitting that he is a monster – Allison is certainly, in part, a victim.
She is not pure evil. She turned predator, no doubt, but the litmus test – my litmus test, the truest, best test for me – is a question: “What if Allison had never met Keith Raniere – would she have branded and enslaved women? Would she have preyed on them as she has done and admitted to doing?”
Would she have been a criminal but for Raniere?
I think she would not have become a criminal but for him.
His talent seems to be to bring out latent criminal propensities and fanning that flame that let Allison Mack cross the lines of common sense and common decency.
He made her believe she wasn’t a criminal when she was doing criminal acts. That somehow she was helping women she extorted, enslaved and cruelly branded.
It’s a grey line. And what makes it so grey is that Allison Mack followed a monster and did cruel and illegal things – and likely enjoyed it, enjoyed the power. Enjoyed enslaving others – while she was deceiving herself it was for their own good – that Raniere was great and good, maybe a god – and this was for the women’s good.
Like the prison electrocutioner who argues it is for society’s well-being that he pulls the switch and kills the dangerous criminal – but admits he enjoys it.
“Wouldn’t anyone?” he says.
Allison enjoyed it. She loved leading the slaves. Controlling them. Being the topmost slave among tiers of slaves – for Keith. Her faith in him led her to commit crimes she didn’t intend to commit. She intended to be good and he turned it into crime.
But – still – and this is the dirty little secret – she enjoyed it. That is the secret of this whole horrid affair and why people think she is a terrible person. She did not hate it – she loved it.
But, again, militating to her defense: Raniere persuaded her that a super-low-calorie, low protein diet – a near starvation – nourishment-deprived diet, combined with sleep deprivation – deliberately conceived and implemented by Raniere – was for her spiritual welfare. He taught her that a spiritually integrated person does not need to eat more than 800 calories per day and sleep no more than four hours.
It could not have but helped to cloud her mind. He did that to her. She was not seeking not to sleep, not to eat. But she did. For years she fought to eat less and less and she actually became bulimic.
So, in part, she was in a daze. While committing criminal acts, Allison Mack was also in a daze from sleep and food deprivation. This needs to be considered.
I am sure, as she grows older, and looks back at the time – the 12 years she spent in thrall to Keith Raniere – she will wonder how he could have gained such power over her and got her to act against her self-interest.
It is unclear when Allison returns from prison – perhaps 2023 or 2024 — if she will understand it fully. It is also unclear if anyone will ever listen to her explain what happened to her or want to watch her as an actress or even as a lecturer.
She may write a book. Or make a documentary.
But will there be anyone who will want to hire her for any kind of important acting role?
She gave the best years of her life to Keith Raniere and may spend years into her future atoning for that terrible, terrible, terrible mistake.