The Come Back of Cults: THE SMALLVILLE EDTION

An Interview With Award Winning Indie Author: Sarah Monzon
April 11, 2018
The Christian Who Cried Wolf
May 10, 2018

 

The Come Back of Cults:

THE SMALLVILLE EDITION

 By Vinnie MacIsaac

Allison Mack is alleged be to a cult victim turned leader who lured women into the sex cult NXIVM and aided in branding them and trafficking them.

Like many in 2001, I tuned in and watched the WB’s Superhero teen drama, Smallville, and instantly fell in love with the show.[i] It was loosely based on an alternate[ii] fictional upbringing of Superman’s alter-ego, Clark Kent. Among the cast of Smallville was Lana Lang, played by Canadian starlet Kristin Kreuk and Chloe Sullivan, played by the adorable Allison Mack. Both young women, Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack, were every teen guy’s secret crush and every teen girl’s fairy-tale future self between the years of 2001 and 2011. So how did both these accomplished, heart-throb actresses end up in a modern day, diabolically evil, cult?[iii] It reads like a bad script from an episode of the show. Allison Mack was arrested, and charged for using her star power to lure women into the NXIVM cult to be trafficked as human sex slaves. If only this bad plot was fiction, but alas, it is sadly real life; even if nearly beyond belief.[iv]

Kristin Kreuk was the co-star with Allison Mack on Smallville and was originally also a member of the NXIVM cult but thankfully found her way out reportedly in 2013.

The details for the NXIVM cult and Allison Mack’s involvement in it are almost too shocking to grasp, and literally, could have been a seasonal plotline for the show. NXIVM began as a multilevel marketing program in 1998 that somehow founder and ringleader, Keith Raniere, morphed into adopting a false persona of a woman’s self-help support organization. [v] Star power, like Allison Mack, was used to lure women in and to turn them into unequivocal and willing slaves for the group leaders. These women willingly took the name of slave, called cult leaders Master, and allowed cult leaders to “brand them” by literally burning the leaders initials into their pelvic flesh as a pledge[vi] of servitude and then they were trafficked into forced sex, as property of their owners.

Scars of the women who were “branded” by the burning symbols into their pelvic flesh. The Sun reports that the group’s former publicist claims the brands include Keith Raniere and Allison Mack’s initials. (SOURCE THE SUN)

Cults are nothing new in America, even if this one is shockingly ominous and downright sinister. We have had our share of cults from Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, to modern day Scientology, to the Manson family, to David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, to Heaven’s Gate; cults slip into the lives of unsuspecting people on every level of life.

All cults have several key ingredients that work to create an evil synergy of psychological and spiritual control over their victims. Consider the following:

They Lure The Broken

They lure broken, lonely, or psychologically and spiritually lacking people into a collective that promises to meet needs, which often their victims did not even know that they had. They capitalize off of and amplify the brokenness that is the human experience. By amping up and exploiting emptiness they create a vacuum the victim needs to fill.

 They Sperate You From Your Tribe

Keith Raniere is the founder and leader of the Nxivm ‘sex cult’ that started claiming to be about self-improvement. Keith Raniere is the central figure of authority and the cult focused his personhood. He made women refer to him as Master and themselves as slaves of his purpose. He called himself The Vanguard and spoke of his students as “prey”.

Cult leaders don’t want you to have “belonging” in any other place than with the Cult and its leader. They seek to separate you from family, friends, and support systems by suggesting they don’t understand your brokenness, nor can they aid you in personal fulfillment.

 They Focus On The Authority Of Single Person

The authority in true cults is not given to a broad base of leaders, but is almost always centered on a central, hierarchical figure who rules, reinterprets truth, and hands out lavish rewards to the “Faithful” and harsh rebuke and punishment of dissenting and independent thinkers.

 They Are Devoid Of The Gospel

The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came to set the captives of sin free! Cults hate freedom. They swim in lies, manipulation, degradation, and devaluation of others. Jesus restores value, gives us back our stolen self-worth, empowers us to make our own choices, hates force, loves us to have independence of will, and refuses any style of love or worship which is coerced. The gospel speaks of love like this, “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, Love does not boast, love is not proud. Love does not dishonor others, Love is not self-seeking, Love is not easily angered, love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”[vii] By contrast to the Gospel and Biblical love, NXIVM, under the leadership of Keith Raniere and Allison Mack, stole dignity, enslaved women, broke worth, sexually abused and trafficked women, and literally burned their initials into the flesh of women as a horrifically, arrogantly prideful sign of ownership and mastery over the weak.

Kristin Kreuk’s official Twitter statement on her involvement and exit from the NXIVM cult. Kreuk expresses deep remorse for those it has hurt.

I believe that the comeback of cults will soon be on the rise again. I doubt NXIVM is a fluke. The comeback of cults is a continuing saga of human de-evolution that is taking place as mankind distances himself more and more from the image of his Creator. Man is a spiritual animal. You can claim to believe, or not believe, in anything you want; but you will worship. All humanity engages in the spiritual world of worship of either God or part of God’s creation.[viii] Einstein warned us, “’We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”[ix] As we drift from God we get anchored to emptiness. The truth is, “You’ve got to stand for something Or you’re gonna fall for anything,”[x] Einstein’s point was that values tether us to sound use of reason. Values, are the crossover of the heart and the mind and are directly linked to what we end up worshiping. He put it this way, “The Dance about the Golden Calf was not merely a legendary episode in the history of our forefathers—an episode that seems to me, in its simplicity, more innocent than that total adherence to material and selfish goals … But we should also always be aware of the fact that these spiritual values are, and always have been, the common goal of all mankind.”[xi][xii]

Both Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack are beautiful women with millions of adoring fans and yet somehow fame, money, and success was not enough. Cult leader Keith Raniere found interpersonal weaknesses to exploit. Kristin Kreuk said that she got involved with NXIVM to find the confidence to overcome shyness. It is reported that many other semi-high profile actresses and celebrities also were swept up by this cult and the promises to aid them in professional and spiritual success.

Try as this world might, you can’t escape the universal human condition of the need to give yourself to something in worship. Hence, if you are not allied to the Divinity, you are, in fact, effortless pillage for the power of cults like NXIVM. Don’t fool yourself. Allison Mack was adorable, beautiful, and beloved by millions. She was bright, with an even brighter future before her. She was fresh, positive, and even full of noble ideals. In 2010 she said in a TV interview, “I just wanna honor my character (from the show) and honor what my character has done for women.” [xiii] And yet, Allison Mack, allegedly, recruited women, not to feminism or liberty, but to forced labor, blackmailed slavery, forced sex, trafficking, and seared her own initials, alongside her cult leader’s initials, into their pelvic flesh as the ultimate stamp of ownership. This is not who Allison Mack set out to become. It is, however, whom Keith Raniere broke her down to becoming; exploiting her spiritual emptiness, until he, alone, was her object of worship, and she, herself, was made into to his image, rather than the image of her Creator. The cult of NXIVM was her religion. Keith Raniere, a mere, dark demon of a man– a creature, not the creator, became her god, separating her from her tribe who loved her. By exploiting her brokenness, and changing her focus, she became a monster, made in his own image and devoid of the Gospel. May, God have mercy on her soul, and break her from the bondage of sin, and put a redemptive heart in her.  

This is a forever dark moment in the history of a famous symbol of hope.

Know what you believe! Secure your hope. Face your fears. Connect to your tribe and find belonging. Because Jesus warned, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”[xiv] But he also advised, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”[xv] Don’t settle for the oppression of the lying creatures of this world, for the Creator calls out you, and says, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[xvi]


Video Appendix 

Given what we know now these clips are deeply troubling and show the power of cults and cult leaders.

  




Endnotes:

[i] At least for Season 1

[ii] Alternate from the various DC comics cannons of Superman’s history.

[iii] Köhler, Nicholas (September 13, 2010). “How to Lose $100 Million”. November 2017

[iv] https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/20/entertainment/allison-mack-arrested/index.html

[v] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXIVM

[vi] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/nyregion/nxivm-women-branded-albany.html?pagewanted=all

[vii] A phrase of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

[viii] See Romans 1

[ix] Albert Einstein: Rebel Lives Pg 64 https://goo.gl/7EkCVS

[x] This quote has been attributed to many. My favorite use of it is from John Cougar Mellencamp’s Scarecrow album.

[xi] Albert Einstein: Rebel Lives Pg 63-64 https://goo.gl/7EkCVS

[xii] I am not meaning to infer that Einstein was a Christian or a practicing Jew rather his views were likely more of a pantheistic version of Baruch Spinoza. My point simply is even his great intellect realized the search for Spiritual meaning is more than in the mind and is a condition of all humanity but as we know it now, it’s path originated from the Abrahamic faith traditions and spread forward.

[xiii] WPIX TV Interview in 2010

[xiv] Matthew 24:24

[xv] John 10:27-28

[xvi] John14:6

 

2 Comments

  1. robertsang says:

    It is a shame that Allison Mack was caught up in this. As you rightly say, it was not who she set out to become. But she was vulnerable and searching, as all people are, whether they realise it or not. She was able to be swayed by someone who could seemingly meet that need in her, at least temporarily. I hope she is able to break free from that bondage.

    It is important to know what you believe, but also for Christians to be aware of others who are searching and can put their faith in other things.

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