Guest View: Allison Mack’s Attorney, Sean Buckley, ‘Played Judge Garaufis Like a Fiddle’

Allison Mack with her attorney Sean Buckley

A comment by one of our esteemed commenters, Aristotle’s Sausage, was posted on the report: Sean Buckley – Allison Mack Is on Path to Rehabilitation.  Aristotle’s Sausage’s identity is unknown to Frank Report.

While I agree with Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis’ fair and practical decision to make an extreme downward departure from the sentencing guidelines of 14-17.5 years, and sentence Mack to three years in prison, I welcome contrasting views.

The photos and captions were selected by Frank Report. The opinions of Aristotle’s sausage are his [or her] own.

By Aristotle’s Sausage

Sean Buckley’s oral argument before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis at the sentencing hearing of Allison Mack is an astounding piece of rhetoric.

Sean Buckley, attorney for Allison Mack, leads her out of court and past reporters, after she made bail after spending several days in jail.

“Now, to be clear, Ms. Mack fully accepts responsibility here. “

Except that the whole point of attorney Sean Buckley’s statement to the court is that his client should not bear responsibility for her actions. He wants zero jail time for his client.

Taking responsibility without bearing the consequences. Neat trick if you can get away with it. This is known as sophistry, the amoral art of persuasion. In modern parlance, it is often known as “spin”. Lawyers are infamous for it and Allison Mack’s expensive advocate Sean Buckley is very good at it.

Judge Garuafis
Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis calls the shots at his sentencing hearings, as he did at the hearing for Allison Mack.

Buckley even goes so far as to elaborate on his client’s crimes:

“Nothing that she has said changes anything about the abhorrent conduct that she engaged in, about the harm that she caused the victims… Nothing that she says excuses that and we’re not asking the Court to excuse that.”

Except Buckley is asking precisely that: He expects the court to excuse Mack’s abhorrent conduct and the harm that she caused the victims. He’s asking for zero prison time and to hell with her abhorrent conduct and her victims.

It’s a bold rhetorical ploy, a diabolical twisting of words. And it was effective. Judge Garaufis got played.

“We have heard that some of those individuals are not satisfied with the apologies that she has provided. We understand that completely”

Again, this is a 180 spin. Some individuals are not satisfied with poor Allison’s so very sincere apologies. Well, aren’t they unforgiving bastards! What the hell is wrong with these people! But no, we don’t blame them, those bastards. Perish the thought. We, in our generosity, understand their unforgiving nature. I mean, haters gotta hate, right?

Again, this is outrageous sophistry. But it worked! Judge Garaufis got played like a fiddle.

A fiddle is also known as a violin. To play someone like a fiddle is an idiom that suggests that a person skillfully manipulated another person just as the accomplished fiddler manipulates his violin to produce the sounds he wants.

Forgotten were Mack’s abhorrent offenses. Forgotten were the racketeering and the criminal conspiracy, the extortion, the enslavement. Her victims and the cruel things she made them do. Her involvement in Keith Raniere’s sex trafficking. The branding with his & her initials.

The debate continues as to whether or not Allison Mack’s initials were included in the brand. While most say it was not, including Keith Raniere, it has been speculated that her initials are included and that Raniere did so in order to put the blame on her if she was caught. While there is no hard evidence of the latter, it is interesting that the AM can be seen right-side but in order to see the K-R, one needs to see the brand turned 90 degrees counterclockwise.

For these things, Mack takes responsibility but won’t bear the consequences.

This is what comes with money and privilege and a slick legal team.


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  • When dealing with a master manipulator, such as Raniere, it’s easy to get lost in the storm… Ms. Mack was responsible, but at the same time, she wasn’t herself. She lost herself a long time ago.

  • Judge Garaufis made a glaring error in judgment with respect to Mack’s sentence. People can make mistakes, but this mistake was avoidable and he had time enough to think about it. His decision is unforgivable for me.

  • Allison Mack is an actor. So are Nicki Clyne, Kristin Kreuk, and Sarah Edmondson. They get/got paid to freely lie for a living. How can you tell if any of them are really authentic? Why do you think they were perfect cult material? What can you expect from all of them except to play the part that best suits themselves?

    • All four of them are shit actresses.

      Allison Mack is the “ugly girl next door” type actress.

      Nicki Clyne is like the background extra who gets a few lines.

      Kristin Kreuk is a “smell the fart” 💨 actress whose fame revolves around playing love interests and White women, despite looking asian.

      Sarah Edmondson is not really an actress, hence her milking of all this NXIVM shit.

      All four of them are now old and past their prime.

      • They seem like pretty good actors to me.

        Allison got only three years even though she was Raniere’s second in command.

        Nicki Clyne is a first-line slave who escaped the law and is practically lying through her teeth about NXIVM on Twitter as she still supports it and having people believe her.

        Kristin Kreuk escaped NXIVM with what are really just minor scratches even though she was in it for seven or more years. She’s still getting work and making good money.

        Sarah was a major player in bringing down NXIVM even though she was a major contributor to its success, playing a significant part in bringing in the above-named three actresses and many more, was in it for well over a decade, and is now using her “traumatic” experience in the cult and DOS to give her new life as an actress and more.

    • == all the actesses/liars will “play the part that best suits themselves”

      Not very insightful. Everyone in every profession (even yours, if you have one) tries to “act” in the way that gets them what they want.

      • Maybe in Raniere’s world.

        Everyone acts as in they do some kind of action. But not everyone acts, as in being fake, like cult leaders who blab on about authenticity while lying about almost everything in the book, or professional actors. They fool or are paid to fool you.

        Despite what you may believe, not everyone acts in their own self-interest. They even have a word for it — altruism.

        • Websters defines “altruism” as a rare virtue most often claimed for oneself, much like “innocence” being claimed by a convict.

        • Altruistic people may be rare, but altruism is not. There are literally tens of thousands of charities in the world. Also, human beings display altruistic acts every day, especially parents. So you could almost say we were were biologically built for it. Only human beings who have become so cynical or are so “off the mark” like Raniere don’t. Is it then a surprise that he coerced so many women to have abortions and never cared about the two children he sired? That was a huge marker to anyone who wasn’t blind that he was a loser.

          • Thank you. I agree with you wholeheartedly.
            There’s nothing natural about indifference to the struggles and the pains of others, or those dealt with within oneself. How can we forget that we too are all guests of nature, and we are not ever separate from that essentiality? Really, we are all temporary guests, spun from some mysterious combination of dust and light, here to learn.
            And the poetry is so real, isn’t it? To me it is.

  • If you think that Cosby out of jail, Kevin spacey protection, Ghislaine Maxwell damage control / “family defense” and everyone planning comebacks is something that was planned in that trial or has anything to do with the choices of one judge, you are blind. Mack deserves 40 years, or at least till she proves that she is no longer a dangerous person. Lauren, Nancy, Clare, Sara, Betancourt, Emiliano, Nicky, Danielle Roberts, Porter, del Negro, the Happy first line of slaves, etc., etc. need to be in treatment ASAP. This is just a key element of keeping cult cases dismissed forever, pedophile cults protected and well. Just a plan as if nothing had happened and if Nxivm was not a Luciferian pedophile cult. In a country famous for being extremely cruel with minorities in terms of jail.

  • This is not a criticism of the author, but he/she greatly overestimates the likely impact of a lawyer’s arguments on a judge – particularly in sentencing. Judges see dozens, if not hundreds of defendants each year and read hundreds of sentencing memos. They are all mostly the same. When a judge has gone through a very lengthy trial process like this one, he’s had a ton of time to think about the case and the defendants. And its very clear that Judge Garaufis has thought about this case and these defendants very thoroughly.

    Alison Mack has done smart things to appease the judge – pleading guilty, cooperating, doing things that show personal growth and rehabilitation, denouncing Raniere, showing remorse. These things certainly did work to some degree. But 100% of defense attorneys would have advised her to do these things. This is not legal wizardry.

    It is fair to ask whether someone less famous or attractive would have gotten a larger sentence. We cannot know. But I’m very comfortable that these lawyers, however high priced, had a minimal effect on her sentencing. In no way did her money buy freedom.

    • —it is fair to ask whether someone less famous or attractive would have gotten a larger sentence. We cannot know. But I’m very comfortable that these lawyers, however high priced, had a minimal effect on her sentencing. In no way did her money buy freedom.

      Excellent point! I concur emphatically.
      The judge has been through the “dog and pony show” for decades.

      I do believe Allison’s natural girl-next-door looks helped a little bit. She looks like a nice person.

  • On Friday, July 16, 2021, Nancy Salzman will be 67 years old. Who will offer congratulations? I won’t.

    Will there be a celebration? Who will be the guests? Should she be congratulated for a long life of crime
    and yet spared prison for so long? Almost a success story!

    • Nancy used to have her own elaborate birthday celebrations. And best of all, she shared her “Here’s what I want for presents” list with everyone who was invited to her birthday celebration (As I recall, there was nothing on that list that cost less than $250.00).

      I brought a $25.00 bottle of wine and a guest — and got to watch and listen to Joan Osborne and the Funk Brothers for 2 hours. Best concert I ever attended.

      Here’s a very realistic replication of one song that Joan sang that night:

      PS/I hope that Nancy gets at least 5-years and dies in prison. Not that I’m still pissed or anything…

      • Joe,

        It’s a pity that BOP rules probably prevent you from putting that song and others on a small iPod for Nasty Nancy to enjoy
        in the Big House.

        She could listen to those songs and relive her lavish birthday parties.

      • Joe-

        You’re a fellow Irish Catholic!
        Whatever happened to the Lord’s Prayer?

        “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”

        …..On second thought fuck her! 😉

        • We who were or are Irish Catholics understand the ins and outs of prayers quite well, tee-hee. Have a drink for me, Nice Guy. And maybe Joe will, too. (I canna drinka da booze. Darn it. Too much 4 me.)

          Nancy Pimpmama Salzman. Let’s see what happens. She was such a good nun. So gnarly. Hell’s bells!

      • Joe O’ Hara,

        Thank you for these little nuggets on Nancy. Please. More. Thanks.

        • Although I have not done so for any of her co-defendants (including Keith), I do plan to write a letter to Judge Garaufis with regard to Nancy – and to encourage others to do the same. That’s because I consider Nancy to be just as dangerous, unprincipled and vindictive as Keith.

          Several commenters have asserted that Keith could have never pulled off everything he did without Nancy’s presence and assistance. I concur with that assertion.

          And while I personally believe that Keith suffers from several mental illnesses, I don’t think the same is true with respect to Nancy. She did what she because she is an avaricious, immoral, mean-spirited, and loathsome person.

          I, for one, hope that she gets at least a 5-year sentence and that she dies in prison because, in my opinion, that is exactly the fate she deserves.

          PS/I will send Frank a copy of my letter to Judge Garaufis so that he can publish it if he sees fit to do so.

          • Thank you, Joe O’ Hara! Looking forward to reading your letter. And love your insights into Nancy. She is an enigma to a lot of observers.


    “This foreign born B+ list mostly television actress who has gone from one almost network show to the next including now, was a part of the sex cult. She has really tried to keep a low profile and I don’t even think the press knows she was in it at one time”.

    Frank, pretty sure this is Canadian actress Erica Durance. Almost certainly recruited into NXIVM by Kristin Kreuk. Do your sources know this?

  • To Aristotle’s Sausage

    Not only did Allison Mack play the judge like a fiddle, so did her entire family.
    Allison Mack has a younger sister who is very radical.
    That sister did not,, as far as I know, send the judge a letter of support for Allison.
    For good reason.

    But recently that sister posted an Instagram Story linking to an Instagram page announcing “Sex Workers” Labor Day.
    Allison Mack’s sister honors those hard working girls who work on their backs and knees.
    When I was younger sex workers were called prostitutes and whores and they were often drug addicts and carried venereal diseases.
    Indeed sex workers often robbed their customers.
    At truck stops around the country sex workers are called “Lot Lizards” and are regarded as a major nuisance.

    Here is the Instagram post about sex workers liked by Allison Mack’s sister:

    “Sex workers have historically funneled money from rich white men who run everything back into their communities.
    Anyone who says sex workers are enemies of the working class is a fucking idiot with little life experience, LARPing as a Leftist.”

    Happy labor day to SWs and those who support our rights!

    So all of America’s problems are caused by evil white men.
    Evil white men like Allison Mack’s father who Allison falsely accused of molesting her nephews.
    Perhaps Allison Mack is not the only crackpot and grifter in her family.

    Instagram Stories allow Instagram users to share photos and videos to their Story — which is visible to followers of the user’s Instagram account. Recently-posted Stories are denoted by a gradient border around the user’s profile picture. Like Snaps in Snapchat, Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours.

  • Frank, many thanks for the picture of Larry Fine, famous violinist and Stooge. As all true Three Stooges fans know, Larry Fine really was an accomplished violinist who performed professionally (well, on the Vaudville stage).

    Truly a man of many talents.

  • The fact that a sadistic half-wit like Allison Mack can be such a recipient of sympathy and even admiration shows that American society is in a downward spiral from which it will not recover.

    In the words of Mandy O’Brien of Bombard’s Body Language Allison Mack is “mentally stunted” and emotionally and socially immature.”

    Allison Mack is not a role model to be emulated but is an example to be shunned.

    Body Language – Allison Mack Cult Recruitment

    • That “body language” analysis was fatally flawed.
      Mack, the person, could not be analyzed in that clip because she was an ACTRESS ACTING. That was a performance in a commercial for Nx, so nothing there could reveal the real, inner character of Mack. The only analysis of Mack that would be valid would be as an actress in a commercial.

    • The fact remains (and is the premise of this article) that Allison’s attorney appears to have done an excellent job at getting her the minimum sentence possible. You can employ all the rhetoric you want about her not being a role model, our society spiraling down, etc., etc. But he got the job done quite effectively, it seems.

  • Clearly not Aristotle’s brains. He said he thought Allison was 15% as guilty as Keith. But if Keith had apologized and the judge had given Keith 20 years (so 3 is 15%), I doubt we’d see him complaining about the judge being played. He’s far too hung up on the 120 number. It’s meaningless, because in reality Keith probably won’t live past 80 statistically.

  • Give me a break. If everything Allison did was simply blamed on Keith – without her taking responsibility – you’d be screaming about her not taking responsibility. If all she did was take responsibility – without mentioning this cult thing that had her emaciated and branded etc – it would be absurd. Is the judge blind and clueless about what went down? He knows better than anyone what’s up. You saying he got played is ridiculous. Shadow-esque.

  • Also necessary for the judge to be played here was his belief in “brainwashing”.

    He and the prosecution used deprogrammers throughout Reniere’s trial. He believed that Lauren Salzman had been “brainwashed” and so he cut off her cross examination because she was “broken” and not responsible for her actions. And the judge believed that Allison Mack was undergoing deprogramming, making progress in her “recovery” and coming out from her brainwashing. So he went easy on her.

    Brainwashing is completely false. It has been debunked by dozens of scientific studies since the 1940’s.

    But it has become an incredibly useful excuse for sociopaths to explain away the crimes they’ve committed, and with the pity it generates, criminals can even use brainwashing to cover up their criminal acts.

    Brainwashing does not exist.

    But the widespread belief in brainwashing works like a bomb.


    • Brainwashing that makes people into mindless automatons does not exist.

      But coercive control does. And so does emotional, mental, and psychological manipulation. And so does subconscious triggers that cause bad or destructive behavior.

      No one has ever gotten off from criminal action due to brainwashing in the first sense.

      And Lauren certainly did not have her cross examination cut off because the judge thought she wasn’t responsible for her actions.

      You’re such a cult shill Alonzo.

      • Present 80 years of facts and scientific evidence and an anonymous anticult ninnie calls you a ‘cult shill’.

        C’est la vie.

        Coercive control exists in the mafia, the military, in corporations, and in the flipping of these very witnesses in this very trial. “Coercive control’ is not unique to ‘cults’. In most of those other situations above, the judge would have let this cross examination continue.

        In any case, it’s good you acknowledged that brainwashing is a superstition, anonymous ninnie. If ‘brainwashing’ starts to be taken off the table in thinking about minority religions and sub-cultures, maybe we can see criminals and criminal behavior for what it is – consciously chosen, intentional behavior.

        And maybe anticult ninnies like yourself will stop shilling for criminals just because they’ve been ‘deprogrammed’ now and are ‘no longer brainwashed’.


        • –Present 80 years of facts and scientific evidence

          You presented nothing of the sort.

          –C’est la vie.

          Yes, that is life. Just like it is life where the false dichotomy of anti-cult mainstream society and cults that you live under doesn’t actually exist.

          –Coercive control exists in the mafia, the military, in corporations,

          Did I say anything about WHERE it did or didn’t exist?

          –and in the flipping of these very witnesses in this very trial.

          Yeah, if you call “flipping” choosing to be charged to the fullest extent of the law for breaking it or to a lesser extent for accepting a plea deal. That isn’t technically what is meant by “coercive control”. That is what is called the ramifications of doing something illegal. Every form of law uses the threat of punishment and/or fines to control human behavior, but it is there to prevent technically agreed-upon non-normative behavior in a democratic society.

          –And maybe anticult ninnies like yourself will stop shilling for criminals

          Learn the definition of shill, you cult ninnie.

        • Is it ninnie or ninny? Either way, that word is very funny and should be tossed around more often.

          Of course, people who are under coercive control, consciously make their own choices. However, isn’t it rational for people like judges to take into consideration this “coercive control” when sentencing people for their intentional criminal behavior? And, aren’t there different levels of coercive control? IMO, coercive control is not one size fits all. Vanguard had these 500 calorie-a-day women draped in quadXL coercive control garb.

          • It’s “ninnie”. I’ve thought a lot about this and even produced a taxonomy for some different sub-species of ninnie. More new sub-species are being discovered all the time.

            Tribal Ninnies: A Taxonomy

            As for coercive control, yes there are degrees. But don’t be blind to your own culture’s use of coercive control. For instance, the government threatened witnesses with life in prison in this trial and had the power to carry that threat out. And indeed, did carry it out and used that threat to coerce others.

            The point is that coercive control is not unique to cults. It is throughout the human species. Most people just believe that certain minority religions and sub-cultures are illegitimate. Many Catholics, for instance, believe it’s perfectly fine for their church to exert control over their members because they believe their church is legitimate. But other religions or sub-cultures they don’t like?

            No way.

          • I understand your point and I want to make one point. Keith was obsessed with some things. One thing he was obsessed with, is identifying who was susceptible to the kinds of coercive control that he knew how to administer. This has been well documented in FR. Most think the fright experiments were this. Having a predator, identify and then exploit your natural vulnerabilities/weaknesses, is something most of us have not had to endure. Imagine if the government or religions, hand-picked their marks – based off well researched personality profiling. We’d all be lucky to not have a weak link exposed and exploited.

      • Brainwashing is a colloquial.

        It’s a word that exists for lack of a better word.

        Don’t get caught up in semantics

    • Alanzo, your interpretation of how the judge “broke off testimony” is factually incorrect.

      Your speculation as to what was in the judge’s mind is tantamount to mind-reading. Which is as patently false a construct as brainwashing.

      Lauren did take responsibility for her actions. She pled guilty.

      How many times does what actually happened in the courtroom have to be explained to you before it gets through the brick wall around your critical thinking?

      Lauren could have been recalled by the defense for further examination.

      She was not.

      That’s on them.

      Please, try to do one thing today that’s not about Scientology or cults or deprogramming or defending other people’s cult battles or any of the usual.

      Just one.

      • I’m glad we’re all agreeing that the widespread belief in cult brainwashing is false. In my experience, this is new in discussion groups about cults.

        But my point was never that Lauren Salzman did not take responsibility for her actions. My point was that the judge, and the prosecutors, believed in brainwashing. This was one ploy they used, among many, to flip witnesses, prejudice the jury, and get convictions on charges with almost non-existent evidence.

        Not all the charges were without merit, and did have plenty of evidence to support them, and I believe those convictions were sound.

        MR AGNIFILO:: Judge this repeated sort of system questions for each witness that looking back at it, What did you think by a certain set of facts, and the witnesses, just like in this case, I thought I was being groomed to join a harem. That’s not the witness testifying to eyewitness observations. This is a lay witness that’s here to talk about what she saw what she heard what she did. She is not an expert. She is certainly not an expert on another person’s intention in the context of her own life. It’s highly prejudicial. It’s been going on throughout the government’s case in chief, and I object to it, and I renew my motion to strike the court

        THE COURT: Thank you. Mr Lesko. Do you want to comment on that?

        MR LESKO: Your Honor, I mean, I think it is highly relevant, and not only with respect to this witness, but for other witnesses and victims, that the jury understand their understanding of what happened to them, and particularly after they were, in essence, deprogrammed.

        Did you get that? “So that the jury understand their understanding of what happened to them.”

        This means that before these witnesses were deprogrammed, their testimony of their understanding of what happened to them would not have been ‘understandable’ to a jury. This is a use of deprogramming by the government so that their witnesses change their testimony to what the government wants them to say – under the ruse that the jury may then “understand” it.

        This belief in deprogramming expressed to the judge – and accepted by him – proves the judge believes in deprogramming, and thus brainwashing, and it was a huge part of Keith Reniere’s trial.

        This prompted me to re-watch “The Crucible” and to restudy on the Salem Witch Trials, to see how those prosecutors and judges believed in witchcraft, and how that belief corrupted their proceedings.

        You should study the Salem Witch Trials, “All the best to you”.

        By the way, if you want to give me arrogant and insulting life advice, see if you can muster the courage to do it under your real name.


  • The Prosecution’s hand in the reduced sentence for Mack certainly bodes well for Lauren Salzman. We all know the story behind the judge stopping her cross-examination, but she probably assisted the Prosecution more than anyone else.

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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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