Allison Mack’s Brother, Shannon, Appeals to Judge to Show Mercy to His Sister

Shannon Mack

On January 18, 2018, Eastern District of New York United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak signed a search warrant for the Yahoo! e-mail account of Keith Raniere [] On February 1, 2018, Yahoo! produced the information.

According to FBI Special Agent Lever, on August 10, 2015, Allison Mack sent an email to Raniere with the subject titled “vow 3” and included an attached letter. In the letter, Mack used the terms “slave” and ”master” to refer to herself and Raniere. The letter pledged Mack’s “full and complete life” to Raniere.

The letter also identified “collateral” to “cement” this vow made by Mack to Raniere.

Mack’s collateral was described as:

(1) a letter regarding Mack’s mother and father that would “destroy their character”

(2) a contract that transferred custody of any children birthed by Mack to Raniere, if Mack broke her commitment to Raniere

(3) a contract that transferred ownership of Mack’s home if the commitment to Raniere was broken

(4) a letter addressed to social services alleging abuse to Mack ‘s nephews.

Despite her offering her then master Keith Raniere collateral to destroy the reputations of her family, the family of Allison Mack is standing by her. The following is a letter that was sent by her elder brother, Shannon Mack, to Judge Nicholas Garaufis.

By Shannon Mack

[Headings added by Frank Report for online readability.]

To the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis United States District Court

Dear Judge Garaufis,

This letter is to serve as a character reference for Allison Mack.

From my earliest memories to her late teenage years, I knew Allison to be a sweet, passionate, intelligent person with a deep sense of justice and a strong interest in helping others. Her primary passion, however, definitely lay in the area of the dramatic arts. From a very young age, Allison developed an intense interest in musical theater, film, and television. She began acting at a very young age, and this pursuit became the main focus of her life.

Allison Mack portrait
A fresh-faced and glowing Allison Mack in her Smallville days.

At age 18, she moved away from home, and shortly thereafter became a series regular on the Warner Brothers TV series “Smallville.” She worked on “Smallville” for ten years, during which she mostly lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the show filmed. During this time, I didn’t see Allison very often.

We would see her at my parents’ home once or twice a year. Our interactions were always amicable, but seldom did we have time to talk very much — she was often running off to a destination such as the Middle East, China, or another exotic locale. That said, Allison was always very generous and helpful with the considerable means she was earning.

Rather than accumulating a mountain of student debt, I was able to complete [redacted].

The First Time He Heard About NXIVM

I remember vividly the first time I heard from her about NXIVM (which she then referred to as ESP).

She came over to my apartment for lunch — just herself, me, [redacted], tremendously excited about this new self-development course she had taken with a brilliant man, Keith Raniere. She was anxious for me to become involved as well.

At the time, I was taking an Educational Psychology class and learning about modalities of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The concepts she related to me sounded very familiar from my own studies.

I remember wondering, “Why would someone pay thousands of dollars for this information when I learned it for the cost of a textbook and college class?” It seemed, however, that Allison was happy, so I left the issue alone and just supported her as best I could.

Some Happy Times Before Things Took a Dark Turn

During her early years in NXIVM [redacted]. At first, she did spend more time with us. The wealth she had accumulated from “Smallville” allowed her to be around us as frequently as she wanted.

Christmas 2011 remains a wonderful memory of family time. [Redacted] At the time, Allison was living in a brownstone in the Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn. [Redacted].

Around 2012, Allison moved to Clifton Park, New York, to be closer to the NXIVM community. I was crestfallen as I felt she would have been much better off living in the city and continuing to study at the Public. She became increasingly committed to NXIVM at this time, however, and seemed to lose much of her interest in theatre and even acting in general.

[Redacted], my wife and I noticed that she was “the wrong color.” Her skin had an orange appearance, akin to someone who has eaten way too much beta carotene. She was also unhealthily skinny and had bags under her eyes. She looked exhausted. It still pains me to see pictures of her from that time.

It sounds like Allison Mack may have been suffering from a condition called carotenemia

For the next several years, we saw Allison maybe once a year at our parents’ house. The strange diet and phone calls continued and even intensified. Her manner was always very vivacious and energetic, but I always got the feeling of a certain manufactured enthusiasm.

I also remember reading about a kind of euphoria that can accompany starvation and thinking that might be contributing to Allison’s apparent state of mind.

It Was Clear Mack Was in an Unhealthy Situation

Her health and mental state continued to deteriorate. In 2016, she came to our house for Thanksgiving dinner, claiming that she was on day seven of a 10-day cleanse, and ate absolutely nothing. She was almost in a daze the whole time.

She would often absent herself to have a phone or video call with her “people” in New York. While she acted caring and loving, it was clear that she was in an unhealthy situation that was taking a toll on her.

Allison Mack pictured with some other 1st-line members of DOS; Loreta Garza, Dani Padilla, Mariana [the mother of Keith Raniere’s youngest son and elder sister of Daniela and Camila] Allison Mack
In the spring of 2017, Allison performed in a play in San Diego, California. [Redacted]. My wife and I attended the play and spent some time with Allison. She seemed very happy to be acting again. I remember feeling like she’d established a healthy separation from what I then had firmly decided was a cult.

In the fall of that year, I read the now-infamous article in the New York Times, which included an interview with Sarah Edmondson about branding and other violations occurring at NXIVM events. Within days of reading this, I received an anonymous email at work saying that Allison was in very bad trouble and needed help. I felt completely powerless but replied that I would do whatever I could to help.

At this point, I had not heard from Allison in several months but was firmly convinced she had been completely subsumed by this cult. There seemed to be very little left of the Allison I had grown up with. Subsequently, she was arrested and placed under house arrest.


Allison Mack jogging in Knox Woods while on t=her extreme DOS diet.

The Start of Mack’s Healing Process

This was the start of the healing process that we could see for Allison.

Allison began to attend church services and classes at [redacted]. She made new friends among her classmates and re-connected with several friends from high school. She seemed to have lost most or all interest in being an actor, but she discovered a new love for the world of higher education.

She devoured (and continues to devour) books on feminist theory, philosophy, comparative religion, and psychology. She clearly thrives on the academic studies I wish she had pursued decades ago.

Looking at it now, I feel like Allison’s twelve years in NXIVM were almost a bad dream. She had become completely lost in that organization, and it had swallowed her whole life.

Allison’s commitments to social justice and helping others have returned as she has become her “original self’ again after all these years. She has left all the ideas and people of NXIVM out of her life and replaced them with more solid, academic, and humanistic values. Her friends share and reflect these values, as does our family.

‘The Allison We All Loved Has Re-Emerged’

In the past year or so [redacted]. It has taken quite a while to rebuild the trust Allison broke due to her participation in NXIVM. However, with the continued [redacted] and self-development and improvement that she is pursuing, I have every confidence that the original Allison, the Allison we all loved, has re-emerged.

Though originally hurt by Allison’s actions in NXIVM/DOS, my wife and I whole-heartedly forgive and support the Allison we know today.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my lengthy discourse here. I am easy to reach should you have any questions.

Best Regards.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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mexican lady
mexican lady
2 years ago

This was a good letter. Her brother seems to be nice. I think he helps paint the image of how Keith manipulated and sucked l in. Clare was missing this type of letter. Despite all her money, nobody even had the thought of writing a letter like this.

Mexican Lady
Mexican Lady
2 years ago
Reply to  mexican lady

another thing I though og: i think this story shows the importance of not giving a fuck about being nice with your family members. if you see something sketchy. Call them out on it. Her brother did not want to hurt alison by telling her her nxvim course sounded like something she could learn from a text book. India’s grandmother said the same thing about nancy salzman and nxivm in the documentary. She thought nancy was full of crap but she didn;t want to upset her daughter. Let’s stop being nice and start being honest.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mexican Lady

That’s such a good point. ML.

Do you think Allison paying her brother’s college tuition made him feel less like he “could” question his sister?

I have wondered why no one in her family went to Albany and confronted Keith or Nicki or any of the Nxivm crew. Especially if they had concerns about Allison’s health. Etc.

Maybe because Allison was giving them money – them trying to get her away from Nxivm and back into acting would be made to look like a conflict of interest on their part by Keith?

Even though it would really just be about getting Allison back to living her own dream and pursuing theatrical acting instead of acting as Keith’s pimp and living Keith’s dream instead.

Aristotle’s Sausage
Aristotle’s Sausage
2 years ago
Reply to  Mexican Lady

If forced to choose between her family and her Vanguard, Mack would’ve likely dumped her family. It’s typical cult behavior.

2 years ago

Raniere was credited with having a Rasputin-like power over women.

Truth be told, Allison Mack is a bi-polar lunatic who needs pills to regulate her emotions and function at all.

Arranging raw carrots and celery sticks on a plate is the limit of her abilities.

2 years ago

Background on Shannon Mack
He is a high school music teacher in Southern California

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Music, Composition, University of Southern California, 2003

Master of Music, Choral Music, University of Southern California, 2006

Single Subject Teaching Credential, Music, California State University, Long Beach, 2008

Shadow State’s comment

What the devil went wrong with Allison? ?
Allison was head over heels in love with Raniere the very first time she met him!
Raniere is not the full story.

Allison Mack meets Keith Raniere for the first time

mexican lady
mexican lady
2 years ago

keith looks so cute in his volleyball outfit! How could anyone not fall for him??

2 years ago
Reply to  mexican lady

Mexican Lady
You can have him!

2 years ago

“What the devil went wrong with her?”
Well, she seems to have some sort of mental illness. That’s why the judge ordered her to a facility with extended treatment for the mentally impaired. He also ordered a psychiatric evaluation.
This must be hard for her to come to terms with: that society sees you as partly wacko.

2 years ago

I read in Jeffrey Epstein’s biography “The Spider” that Catherine Oxenberg’s sister was friends with Ghislaine Maxwell, who told her at a party in the mid-1990s that the girls she recruited to satisfy his pedophilia were “nothing”. It seems the social problem we’re dealing with is a little bigger than NXIVM and DOS…

2 years ago
Reply to  Ana

Christina Oxenberg, India’s aunt, said that Maxwell described herself as Epstein’s girlfriend.
Christina O. knew that wasn’t true.
Maxwell was older than 14.

2 years ago

Thanks. By the way, I thought India looks like her father and now I believe she’s the blond version of her aunt.

2 years ago

Not a good idea especially if he wears something similar to the photo depicting him above as he looks like Jared from Subway and we all know how that turned out – New York Post for the win with best headline following Jared’s arrest!

2 years ago

To Mr. Shannon Mack

I understand your concern for your sister.
But what she did hurt not only you and your wife but also your two young sons and your father.

Allison fabricated false documents that could have created serious legal problems for your family and inflicted great psychological harm to your young sons.

If those false documents created by Allison have been found by the California authorities, your whole family could have been investigated.
During the course of that investigation your young sons could have been removed from your home and placed in foster care.
That would have been most traumatic for them.

Aggravating the situation your sister Allison encouraged other women to fabricate similar false allegations against their families.
All to impress a man who is a pedophile himself.
And Allison knew Raniere is a pedophile.

Mr. Mack, this case is about more than your family.
It is about one hundred or so young women and their families.

Mr. Mack, I am sure you are a good man and you love your family a lot.
But what Allison did potentially endangered lots of innocent people.

Whatever happens please make sure that
Allison gets the help she is desperately needs.

Shadow State

Mack Shannon
Mack Shannon
2 years ago

Mr Obsessed

I really don’t give two shitz about what your warped obsessed mind thinks.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mack Shannon

Mack Shannon

Your sister is so crazy she needs psychotropic drugs to function.
It’s in the sentencing memorandum.
Read it.

2 years ago

Allison knew that Raniere is a pedophile.

Based on her knowing, accusations that never progressed and no one in Nxivm believed them.

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.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

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


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