Top NYC criminal defense lawyer: Allison Mack may win at trial – use ‘brainwashing’ defense; Lauren Salzman likely ‘dagger’ witness against her

Super lawyer David M. Swartz says Allison Mack could win at trial.

Hollywood Life has a story on Allison Mack and presents observations from noted NYC criminal defense lawyer, David M. Schwartz.

He told HollywoodLife that Lauren Salzman’s guilty plea might be a “dagger” for Allison Mack. But she could still win her case at trial.

Schwartz, a regular guest legal commentator for Fox News, NBC Today Show, MSNBC, and Court TV, is also a Commissioner on the Commission on Judicial Nomination, a Trustee of the Brooklyn Bar Association, was Assistant District Attorney in Kings County prior to going into private practice and is listed on  He practices in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Swartz told HollywoodLife, “If Allison’s lawyers can show that Keith Raniere has been brainwashing her, that is a good defense, and that may be very defensible in trial, and she may even win. They may believe she did not have the requisite mens rea to commit the crime, meaning the intent. If you don’t have the intent to commit a crime, because you were brainwashed, than that is knocking out a particular element of the crime, and that becomes a trial issue. Not everybody pleads, people go to trial, that’s what trials are all about. If you have a defense, you don’t plead guilty, and you go to trial.”

Swartz also told Hollywood Life that’s it’s likely that Lauren Salzman made a deal to turn on Allison as well as Keith Raniere.

Swartz said, “It is pretty clear to me that the reason why they would have Lauren plead guilty at this point would be to have her testify at the trial and cooperate. They sealed her court documents [which suggests] that Lauren is cooperating. What appears to be happening is that Lauren has made a deal to testify. And as long as everything that she testifies to can be corroborated through independent evidence, then yes I would say it is a dagger against all the defendants, including Allison Mack.”

As far as Allison making a plea deal, Swartz said, “The trial is scheduled for this month so she has a very short window to plead guilty and get a plea deal. You can always plead guilty at any point in the trial, but as far as cooperation goes, you want to be the first one in. Now that Lauren Salzman has plead guilty, and most likely made a deal, the train may have left the station for Allison getting a deal because they may have enough to get Keith Raniere already, and they may not need Allison anymore.”

Swartz said that if Allison does go to trial and is found guilty of the charges against her, she faces 20 years in prison and may have to register as a sex offender.

“These are very serious charges,” he said.

HollywoodLife also linked to Frank Report and names me in the story, writing, “Parlato was the first to blow the whistle on the alleged branding of women going on within DOS…  He tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY why it will be especially bad for Allison if her co-conspirator Lauren has indeed made an agreement to cooperate with the feds. Parlato claims that ‘Lauren was one of the leaders of the secret society called DOS. Even though Allison Mack was the so-called leader, they were both front-line slave masters and they worked hand-in-hand. What Lauren brings to the table is that she can testify to inside information and a be a direct witness to the original plans to sex-traffic these women.’

“According to Frank, it is also likely that India Oxenberg — who was famously rescued from NXIVM by her Dynasty star mom Catherine Oxenberg — will be testifying against Allison in the NXIVM trial.

“’Allison was India’s slave master. India will probably be called as a witness and a victim and she will be testifying against Allison,” Frank revealed to us.

“It should be noted that one of the defendants standing trial alongside Allison Mack and Keith Raniere is billionaire liquor heiress Claire Bronfman and in 2011, she sued Frank Parlato, whom she had hired as a consultant, alleging he had defrauded her and her sister of $1 million. That charge has since been dropped. In spite of the lawsuit, Frank never wavered in his efforts to see NXIVM and its leaders brought to justice.”

“…. Frank Parlato…  believes strongly that Allison will land behind bars. ‘The last time Allison was outside of court she was crying,’ he told us. ‘February 28, was the last time she was in court, and she was crying outside. The happy girl that put on a happy face at all the previous hearings finally realized that she wasn’t going to get a deal without prison time.'”



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  • I think the brainwashing argument is a good one. Let’s not forget Tony Natalie’s account of the first time she met Keith Raniere in a session to quit smoking. She went into a room with Raniere while her then husband waited for her outside. She came out after what she thought was 20 minutes. Her husband said what took so long? You were in there for 2 hours!
    Or maybe it was even longer.. 4..? Whatever. She ended up quitting cigarettes and leaving that husband for Keith after this event. I’d say there was some serious mind control happening. What the hell happened in that room? Of course he brainwashed people! Why else would these women be even slightly interested in that troll?

  • That’s a very interesting perspective, from the legal field.

    It still seems to me that Mack’s role as Raniere’s DOS henchwoman, which she evidently took to so readily that she claimed public credit for the idea of branding, makes her a perpetrator more than a victim. I suspect that Swartz may not have looked closely enough at the case, to take that into consideration.

    I’ve been hoping that the case would lead to better understanding of issues of undue influence, or “brainwashing” (technically, a discredited concept), which I don’t really think has advanced much since the Patty Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army case. That case introduced Stockholm syndrome to the general public – even though it wasn’t a successful criminal defense – and I think also help lay the ground for recognition of battered woman syndrome in the following decade.

    • Because you, of course, have a real knowledge of the case…
      She didn’t took readily the role to the point to claim it was her idea…First, it’s implied she meant it (while it is not true, we know it was not her idea).
      Second, The interviewer said herself that Allison was FORCED to give the interview. She was reluctant and Raniere and Salzman(or was it Bronfman) pushed her (in what look like the use of threat with on of her collateral…)

      And you’re right, it’s obvious that this guy who is a nobody (oh, wait, he got quite the pedigree) is definately less able to analyse this case than a biased person like you…
      Another case of “I know everything yet i know Nothing”

      • Another case of “I know everything yet i know Nothing”

        Pretty much sums up the knownothings like Scooter Shadow, Flowers and the diarrhea of comment boy, nice guy.

  • It worked for Party Hearst. Could it work for Allie Whack?

    Let’s see how she dresses for trial. Will her attorneys tell her to clean up? Or keep the Grunge rocker gf look.

    Would be quite ironic if she dresses like a smart Chloe Sullivan instead of Salvation Army chic.

  • If brainwashing really worked, then the thousands who came through the door of NXIVM would still be there.

    Clare Bear would still be standing by her “boyfriend” Keith gross Raniere and funding his commissary account and legal fees.

    None of the Jane Does would be testifying against him; nor would have one needed to be locked away for two years for refusing to sleep with the short smell man.

    Nancy and Lauren Salzman, who were there years longer than Allison Mack and Clare Bear Bronfman, would have never taken a plea deal. They would have stood by their Van-man.

    Barbara Bouchey would have never left NXIVM. She’d still be banging the NXIVM drum from the highest mountains (Wait, isn’t she kind of doing that now)?

    • The “brainwashing” wasn’t done at each level…the closest to the inner circle were subject to this…

      Also, remember that to maintain the control, they needed to reduce the capacity of the victims…
      Like asking them to become vegan AND make them follow an absurd and dangerous diet…Or making sure they would not sleep enough for their brain to work properly.

      A long period away from those and the control was lost after some time.

      We know that not everyone was Following the diet and “Schedule”.

      The Salzmans are the ones who were practicing that manipulation so it wouldn’t affect them.

      The victims(Jane Doe) weren’t long enough for the effect of the manipulation to start.

  • In the history of criminal trials Allison Mack, if she chooses to do so, would be one of the most capable people to take the stand in her own defense.

    Todd Bridges of the television show Different Strokes beat a murder rap.

    Allison Mack is twice the actor, plus she is an attractive white woman with a girl next door type of appeal.

    I think she can pull off the performance of a lifetime.

    • Agreed. Re-bleach the hair, foundation to even out skintone. Mascara, eye liner, lipstick.

      Could this beautiful person be a sex slaver?

      Ummm… Hello. . FK YEAH

        • Scott,
          The public puts that emphasis not me.

          What about Tod Bridges? He beat a murder rap and after the trial jury members shook his hand and said they loved Willis.

          Willis was Bridge’s character.

      • Noisy Mouse,

        I want Mack to be prosecuted but let us be honest it’s not up to us…’s up to 12 people that ended up on the jury at random.

        Going to trial is always a crapshoot because it’s subjective in nature and not objective it’s up to 12 people not a computer.

        no way they waive the right to a jury trial and go with the judge so I don’t even bring that stupid idea up.

          • NiceGirl,


            Your pretty funny for a man with a female alias. Maybe you are more left than you realize?


    • The amount of evidence in these cases aren’t even remotely similar: Bridges was charged with attempted murder, testified in his first trial that he was too intoxicated to recall if he shot the guy 8 times and didn’t even testify in the second trial. You are still star-struck with these celebrities, most of whom are clueless. How does one compare the talent level between two minor celebrities? The evidence will win, not Mack.

      • Scott everybody makes mistakes

        …if I gott a dollar for every mistake you made I could upgrade my airline tickets for free and not gave to use my AMEX card to do so.

        BTW :

        Debit cards are not actually credit cards

    • You are amazing in your ability to pull off another more ignorant comment with your history of ignorance. No wonder Parlato protects you.

  • Also, what young, successful, fresh faced, actress with a girl-next-door image to uphold in her right mind poses spread eagle for a smelly midget? India, the other victims’ testimony would support Allison’s mens rea plea on the child sexploitation.

    • Heidi&everyone,

      We of the Frankreport have a very different perspective than MR & MRS average American.

      The OJ trial and the Zimmerman or the British Nanny trial in Boston trial highlight how different perspectives can be.


    That’s funny, I had the link cued up to send you, Frank. This IS an interesting analysis from David Schwartz who agrees Ally Mack got plea deal backstabbed by her BFF, Lauren Salzman, and holds hope for Allison to win at trial on a mens rea plea due to the brainwashing and lack of mal intent on her part. She’s got the fat Miami trial shark and doesn’t want to see a day of prison…maybe.

    (If I ever disappear after defending Ally it’s Scott pretending to be Shadow pretending to be Sultan…being paid by Dennis Burke.)

  • Brainwashing is a meme invented by the journalist Edward Hunter of the Miami Daily News.
    Hunter also did PR work for the CIA.

    The True Story of Brainwashing and How It Shaped America
    Read more:

    Journalist Edward Hunter was the first to sound the alarm. “Brain-washing Tactics Force Chinese Into Ranks of Communist Party,” blared his headline in the Miami Daily News in September 1950. In the article, and later in a book, Hunter described how Mao Zedong’s Red Army used terrifying ancient techniques to turn the Chinese people into mindless, Communist automatons. He called this hypnotic process “brainwashing,” a word-for-word translation from xi-nao, the Mandarin words for wash (xi) and brain (nao), and warned about the dangerous applications it could have. The process was meant to “change a mind radically so that its owner becomes a living puppet—a human robot—without the atrocity being visible from the outside.”

    It might be fair to argue that India Oxenberg was brainwashed by Allison Mack.
    The worst Allison Mack suffered from was love bombing and peer pressure.

    • Talking about double standard…You are definately pathetic and especially on the last sentence.

      India could be brainwashed but Allison…NO,NO,NO.

      There are tons of things that prove that she was brainwashed (even Professional (psychiatrist/psychologist) recognize the pattern).

      You know Nothing about who she used to be. Just like India, Allison changed quickly (her boyfriend explained that in an interview and those who knew her say the same).
      Just like india, Allison gained Nothing with those crimes (and Don’t come with your usual fake statement (Bmw and others))
      Just like India , Allison gave collateral and just like her ,she was Following the order.

      I remind you that the attempt to sex trafficking was listing 2 CC and we know who she was.

      I have no doubt that India has been mentally abused by Raniere and the crazy Salzman’s duo (Allison wasn’t doing the EM nor she had knowledge on the NLP subject)

      You ,once again, prove how much of an obsessed idiot you can be.

      Oh and since you love to ‘quote’ India’s mother, remember the crisis she had at night? It’s actually a known side effect of mental abuse/form of brainwashing.

      Stay in your little world where the only person responsible of all the worst in Nxivm is Allison while those who have a brain can clearly see that she was Nothing but a pawn (Raniere himself called her a simple tool).

      • Keep defending Allison Mack but the truth is that the US DOJ out of the EDNY has clearly stated that Mack along with Bronfman and Russell were in a conspiracy to facilitate the sexual exploitation of children.

        Allison Mack, of her own free will, joined a sex trafficking racket that included the sexual exploitation of children.

        Direct quotes from the EDNY memo:

        In contrast, here, the evidence relating to child exploitation and child
        pornography is direct evidence of the RICO conspiracy as against every defendant charged in
        the conspiracy, including Bronfman, Russell and Mack.

        the evidence related to DOS and to child exploitation is equally admissible against all defendants

        Bronfman, Mack and Russell are each charged in an overarching RICO conspiracy involving
        predicate acts of human trafficking, sex trafficking, and child exploitation, and the evidence
        regarding these offenses is admissible against them as proof of the enterprise and the pattern
        of racketeering charged in S-2

        • How can you be that dumb? Where did you see me talking about this?

          You are really absurdly stupid. I’m at a point where i wonder if you are for real or just a troll.

          As for those child allegation, If there was a real case, Shadowboy, the superseeding would include leveled charges about it…
          There is (as of now) NO PROOF (the case hasn’t been prosecuted, superseeding Don’t include any charge about it and if they ‘intend’ , it means that they are trying to get the grand jury to accept those “proof”
          Also, she exploited who (child) ? i haven’t seen on official victim linked to her case being Under 25…

          The 2 (severed) child case pre-date her arrival.

          As for free will, if we go this way, everybody joined it (even India and we know she didn’t).

          You understand Nothing about brainwashing. Well, you do if it’s not about Allison being brainwashed.

          You know Nothing about Allison and blow fake accusation until somebody put you against the wall.
          At which point you stupidly repeat what you read in a memo that you clearly don’t understand.

          Like it or not, IT’S a FACT that Allison was brainwashed (like a lot of the inner circle)

          The only person not affected are those who practiced the manipulation on the victims…and that would be the Salzmans.

          Oh and like everytime, Once you are cornered in your own stupidity, you avoid to reply.

          You are proving , once again, your obsession ,refusing to see the fact and using the allégations as YOUR facts.
          Please proceed living in your fantasy world were Allison is your arch nemesis and MUST die so you can be happy.

          The reality is you know (and understand) nothing about the whole case and just blow your frustration for some unknown Rreason (yeap, you never addressed the reason for your hatred either)

          BTW , i’m not trying to change your mind (you’re a lost cause for this world), I’m just showing that you have no reason to be here talking about something that is going WAY over your head.

      • You need to remember that shadowboy is every bit as obsessed as the Sultan. These dudes imagine their dull reality as being actually involved with the celebrity that they basically worship. Many a day shadowboy envisioned himself as Tom Welling and working closely with Mack, Kreuk, Durant….etc.

        • Keep defending the dunce Allison Mack.
          Mack came into NXIVM and threw in her lot with the deplorable Cruella Bronfman, a wicked woman of infinite ambition.
          When the stuff hit the fan the Feds saw that the Bronfmans had seized control of NXIVM and the Salzmans were relegated to the side.
          And Allison Pimp Mack was the Bronfmans’ Girl.
          The Feds, operating on the old rule of divide and conquer, flipped the disaffected Salzmans to destroy the Bronfman Machine.
          And now Lauren Salzman is sharpening up her dagger to stick it into Mack’s back and twist it around to watch Mack dance.
          Enjoy the show.

          • You are the dunce here…

            The feds saw nothing, you blow your usual BS based on the assumption of your sick brain.

            The Salzmans were both living in expansive houses, they were the executives (like Bronfman) and were paid as such…Lauren wasn’t a Slave to Allison, That the feds have cleared!

            She was a “first line”.

            And oooh, so because the Salzman were put aside (which was proved to be untrue), Allison deserve to be punished…That’s why you hate her so much? !

            Make sense.

          • Nobody is defending your Princess Mack numbnut. We are just sick of your jerkoff obsession with this chick. Grow up pal. Allison Mack is not going to ever be part of your mundane life. She can spend the rest of her life in prison for all I care. I just get tired of people like you and Sultan and niceboy who spend their whole worthless lives in fantasy about worthless Hollywood bitches. Too much soy in your diet little fella.

          • ” so because the Salzman were put aside (which was proved to be untrue), Allison deserve to be punished”

            The Feds identified two factions in NXIVM.
            The Old Line Salzmans and the Young Turk Bronfmans.
            Allison Mack was the Golden Girl of the Bronfman faction working for both Clare and Sara.
            When Pam Cafritz died Allison Mack replaced her, not Lauren Salzman who had more seniority.
            Nancy Salzman lost control of the NXIVM finances to Clare Bronfman who financed the cult and all of Raniere’s frivolous lawsuits.

            Who did Raniere say was the reincarnation of Hitler?
            Not Clare Bronfman but Nancy Salzman.

            The Feds are using the Salzman faction to destroy the Bronfman faction.
            Call it Divide and Destroy.

            And when Allison Mack took over the slave harem she inherited an ongoing conspiracy to traffic women for Raniere and also procure children for Raniere.
            Jane Doe #2 who was molested by Raniere back in 2006 was one of the toptier slaves working under Allison Mack.
            Mack was indicted for her involvement in an overarching indictment for involvement in a long term criminal organization.

            Allison Mack is a dunce and a sucker.

      • Anonymous,

        shadow state feels that way because India is way hotter than Allison Mack and her cankels. Get off your high horse Anonymous.

        Shadowstate is actually part of an alt-right cankle-hating, hate group.

    • Brainwashing is indeed a term that was proven inaccurate in the context in which it was originally used. Use of the term is fraught in part because apologists can readily find sources demonstrating that the original concept has been disproven.

      Undue influence is a term that seems to be more widely used among experts these days, and which has related connotations in law, along with and thought reform.

      Here are a couple of interesting resources on the subject; the first along is a fairly good overview, including general explanation of the concepts involved and how they apply to cults:

      Terminology: Brainwashing, Mind Control, or Undue Influence?

      What is a Cult? The Meaning of Undue Influence

      An interview with Margaret Singer on Undue Influence

      A Response to Academics Who Say There Is No Undue Influence in Destructive Cults

  • If Mack were looking to claim brainwashing, wouldn’t that be known by now? There would be pro and anti-brainwash experts being hired by both sides months ago, but not a peep has come out on the brainwashing issue.

  • I totally agree. A ‘brainwashing’ defense could work here.

    After all, that same legal defense worked quite well for Patty Heart, right?

    Oh wait.

    …That bitch was kidnapped against her will —- yet that defense still didn’t work. LOL.

    Allison was a TV star who jumped into Keith’s open arms and wasn’t kidnapped.

    I’m just not sure a jury will believe she couldn’t decide right from wrong.

    Plus, it would require Allison to admit in open court that Keith is a fucking lunatic. If she goes to trial it’ll be to show her loyalty to Keith, not to turn against him.

    If she turns against Keith she’ll be cutting a plea deal, not going to trial.

    There’s just no realistic chance of a ‘brainwashing’ defense since she’d be stuck serving 20 years in prison when the jury rejects it. No sane attorney would advise her to use that defense. The chances of success are too low.

    I’m guessing Claviger would advise that type of defense — since we all know that most of his clients reside in the slammer. 🙂

  • Mack, at least from my viewpoint, will have an impossible amount of barriers if she and her legal representative(s) try to claim “brainwashing” made her incapable of being responsible for her actions. Since Bronfman is the director in chief of everyone’s lawyers, wouldn’t it be implicit that she is receiving the most bang for her buck? For quite awhile, I’ve envisioned Mack as the one with the most potential to be used as a fall guy, not that she hasn’t earned it to quite an extent. She might be used to take some heat off others more valuable to Bronfman, namely Raniere and herself.

    There appears, so far, to be no hint that Bronfman has turned against Raniere or that she will, despite requesting a separation of their cases. Anything that any of the defense attorneys in this situation tries to do would inevitably be known by Bronfman beforehand, sitting in her ivory tower.

    • Requesting a separate trial, not refreshing the legal defense trust, and taking away Raniere’s commissary funding are all indications Bronfman is no longer working with him.

      • Not necessarily. Those could be indications someone wants you to believe neither they nor their respective attorneys neither work nor dine together despite their shared DNA.

      • The thing is it all could be for appearance sake. These people lie. They could be doing what’s necessary to save their butts but still be true to the mission. Twenty years of devotion and knowledge of who Keith really is and now suddenly they accept it was all bad? Even Bouchey struggles with what NXIVM and Kieth are

        • Mitch Garrity makes an excellent point!


          Don’t worry Mitch I know we’re not friends now, but I do think you make great points provided I agree with them.

        • It’s not sudden. It’s been a year since Raniere was arrested. They all have been pouring over tons of evidence the DOJ has presented to them. They have been separated from Raniere for a year, talking to their lawyers, family, friends, and otherwise clearing their heads. Both Salzmans said they committed crimes but insisted some of what NXIVM did was good, so they haven’t accepted it was all bad. Barb is a head case, I wouldn’t base anything on her opinions.

          • Scott states ,”Barb is a head case, I wouldn’t base anything on her opinions”.
            By Scott’s own logic we should ignore Scott.


            Methinks Scott and Bangkok are the same person because they both take an interest in Heidi’s feet.

        • I totally agree. A whole bunch of liars and manipulators. There are people reading too much into things such as everyone hugging and laughing when meeting up in court, Lauren and Nancy not seen to be speaking. The latest Clare and Alison seen hugging, nobody looking Keith in the eye. People need to take it all as a pinch of salt. Smoke and mirrors and all that

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083