#NXIVM: Defending an Abusive Lover

Time and again, I’ve observed people who defend what seems indefensible about a significant other.

Blaming physical or verbal abuse on a boyfriend’s troubles is a popular one, or saying that a medicine caused a behavior so we should cut the person we’re blaming slack.

If you’ve watched any of the videos of Allison Mack talking with NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, you can see she was smitten. I don’t even mean this in a romantic or sexual way at all, but you observe how she is in love with the brilliance she feels that he exudes, entranced by his nonsensical babbling…peppered by somewhat fancy vernacular for good measure.

When speaking with Vanessa Grigoriadis for the New York Times Magazine piece that ran last week, Allison takes credit for the idea of branding the women. She even puts a positive spin on it, equating it to other sororities and female empowerment groups that get tattoos. But the idea of branding is way more painful and torturous than a tattoo. It conjures up an image of cattle. It’s been hard for many to believe that sweet, slight, blonde Allison Mack from Smallville was the one to devise the idea, as well as that of the DOS division (of NXIVM) for sexual slavery.

On the other hand, as they say: Looks can be deceiving. I’m not quite sure what to think, but I do bear in mind that Keith was infamous for his hypnosis and mind-control prowess. Just ask Toni Natalie, his former girlfriend and business partner, who I’ve interviewed in the past. Former NXIVM members add that no major decisions were made within the group without first consulting Keith Raniere, leader and “Vanguard” of the group.

I asked NXIVM expert Frank Parlato for his thoughts and he responded:

“She is taking the fall for Raniere, or rather, trying to take the fall. In my opinion this is well crafted by Raniere. But too late.”

In abusive relationships, men have been known to successfully convince their female partners that they provoked the punch, the slap or the screaming and they deserve to be the target. Allison Mack was under a similar spell, according to the cult’s defectors. I have to wonder where Allison is now mentally: Does she think of Keith Raniere as the almighty Vanguard, or as a highly regrettable ex who got her into the worst predicament of her life?

(Photo Source:


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