Allison Mack is an interesting case.
I followed her blog for a while. She had some interesting things to say about acting and her venture into directing, plus she had a curiosity about “philosophical” deepity.
She seemed like a smart person who regretted never having gone beyond high school, and she had a curious mind. And then there was that bizarre stuff about NXIUM, JNESS, and about her mentor and guru Keith. She even did an online book club. The book was called “Shantaram” (it took me days to dredge up the title of that book from memory) and it’s godawful. I’m willing to bet it was suggested to her by Raniere. It’s precisely the kind of book a person who would join a cult would read.
So from having read her blog and sampling her taste in (ahem) literature, here’s my half-assed take on Allison Mack. She seems extremely naive, a bit insecure (aren’t we all) and eager for a shortcut to Life Wisdom. Capable and quite smart. And she really, really liked a book written by a guy who is plainly a boastful liar. Did I mention she seems terribly naive?
So yes, I’d say she’s a victim. Kind of. She was manipulated by Raniere, obviously. But she let herself be manipulated. We’re all responsible for our actions even though the things we do are seldom entirely of our own making. She was an adult when she began her involvement in this NXIUM scheme, recruiting people into something that looked like a pyramid scheme and a self-improvement racket. She wasn’t forced into it by economic necessity, she had a successful TV career, 10 straight years with a network show. So if she was a victim, she was also happily victimizing others, enthusiastically recruiting people into the racket.
Little warning bells ought to have been going off in her head. She thought ESP was helping her career. Why? Her acting career stalled, predictably, after Smallville ended. She was making money I presume, profiting from her work for NXIUM. She had made a deal with the devil, and was quite happy with it. Hardly a victim.
When she was first getting involved with the cult, people warned her. Pointed her to the evidence. She chose to ignore it. Victim? hardly.
When the branding of women and the blackmailing of DOS members began, the alarm bells should have been deafening. She was a perpetrator by then. Fleeing across the Mexican border to avoid arrest. Victim? Not a bit of it.
Well, she’s a criminal now, by her own admission. Odd as it sounds, it seems her descent from well-meaning naif to felon snuck up on her bit by bit. That’s why I find her such an interesting case.