The following is the written transcript* of the Victim Impact Statement submitted to the courts by Tabby Chapman for Allison Mack’s Sentencing Hearing, which took place on June 30, 2021. This is the first public information outside of Seduced Documentary to be released regarding Tabby’s time in NXIVM.
Allison contacted me in 2006 and asked me to collaborate with her on an official website. We met in Vancouver, where she immediately introduced me to NXIVM. Allison indicated that I could not work with her unless I took the NXIVM courses, because she wanted an “ethical team.” She said she only wanted to work with people who had the same ethical principles that she had. She also understood I could not afford the curriculum and offered to provide an “exchange of value” whereby she would pay for the intensive and I would work for her for free to pay her back. She promised ESP could help me resolve my life-long feeling of loneliness. I knew I wanted to work for her, and the thought of not feeling lonely any longer was appealing, so I agreed. I took a NXIVM intensive in Los Angeles in 2007 and I worked for her for free for several months to pay off this intensive.
I moved to Vancouver in March 2008 to continue working directly with her. I joined the Vancouver Ethos community there and was lured to Albany with the promise of work and being part of an acapella group there. Allison projected being at peace, which in turn made me let my guard down and accept cruel and punishing feedback as something that would make me a better person. I was convinced I would grow faster in Albany, so I moved there in November 2008. I continued working with Allison and others on various projects for ESP companies. I also continued to take intensives and to work as an unpaid apprentice coach.
Once I moved to Albany, I was subjected to cruelty beyond my imagination. Nancy and Allison constantly criticized me. The leaders of both my work and of the stripe path often assigned me to write up reports which analyzed how my mistakes affected me, the ESP community, and the entire world. As Allison became more involved with Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, and other high-ranking officials within the organization, Allison became a bully. My relationship with her evolved from me managing her online image, to her managing my internal image. She often used demeaning words to describe me and told me that, without NXIVM, I would have no value. Allison criticized everything about me from my inability to be an adequate friend, my weight, my finances, and my future with my partner, and told me that I would ruin my future children if I did not fix the defects in my personality. If I resisted this feedback or refused to take more curriculum, Allison would EM me and conclude that I did not truly love myself enough to work on my issues. I was often publicly shamed and humiliated, and I became convinced that I was broken and needed a lot of training to become a better person. Most of my training was paid for on “exchange,” as I worked in the tech department. These exchanges were often labeled as “scholarships” within the organization’s database. The leaders of the group identified areas in which I needed growth in order to get a promotion, identified training for me to take, required me to work in advance to build up exchange credit, and then required me to take the course. This cycle went on for years, causing me to lose thousands and thousands of dollars of income. And the feedback never really stopped.
I left Albany after I was approached by Clare Bronfman to help her get an NXIVM enemy arrested for harassing me. I moved to California and continued to have frequent interactions with Allison. I was also hosting Allison’s website. Allison would assign me tasks that were impossible for me to do and then become angry with me for not finding a way to do them. One instance of this is when I was organizing a JNESS weekend workshop. She told me to purchase a plane ticket for the trainer. Allison knew I could not afford it and when I refused, she became angry and told me to use her card to make the purchase. These angry outbursts were unnecessary and unjustified. Later, during the JNESS training, she and the head trainer spent hours humiliating me in front of others about all of my failures as a member of Jness and NXIVM, and giving me ultimatums on how to behave. I left NXIVM in 2014, shortly thereafter. I have been in professional psychological therapy since 2012 due to the damage caused by Allison and the NXIVM/ESP organization as a whole.
By the time I ended my ongoing relationship with NXIVM and with Allison, I had little understanding of reality. I spoke a language that most people outside of NXIVM couldn’t understand. I continue to be triggered whenever I have to accept any type of feedback, even if it is positive and helpful. I had a difficult time retaining or making new friends because I was not able to form deep connections; my ability to trust was eroded. Even after Allison and other members of NXIVM were done tearing me down, my own internal dialogue regarding my flaws, real or imagined, continued for years and only intensive therapy and a master’s in psychology have enabled me to begin the process of fixing this.
Through my healing journey, I now look back at my experiences and see that Allison’s role as Master in DOS was almost natural, as Keith had trained her to shed any feelings of concern and doubt and to fully trust him, while he inflicted pain on her and others.
Your honor, I know I was not the only victim of Allison’s. She has caused a great deal of pain for many people. I trust that you will make the right decision for her future. I wish to leave you with the picture of Allison as a person who started her journey with NXIVM as a diamond in the rough, seeking to perfect her shine. But Keith Raniere’s plan was to create coal. I have faith that, with much support and help, Allison can turn this around and sculpt her own facets and shape her own life, without the help of a guru or grand master.
In one form or another, you have been involved in my life for 15 years. At times, you have felt like a younger sister I have wanted to protect, and at other times, someone from whom I have needed protection. You have provided care and compassion in some of the most tragic moments in my middle twenties and yet I have felt the sting of your quills on other occasions when I was vulnerable and exposed.
I will never forget the feeling I had the first time I received an email from you with the subject line of “hey! it’s Allison Mack”. At first, I thought it was a strange prank that someone had obviously played on me. I did not believe it was you at all at first. I had very low self-esteem, and I did not understand why anyone would want to reach out to me and talk to me, especially not a celebrity. But you did! You not only reached out, but you wanted to partner up on your website and I was confused and had no idea what value I could bring to you.
I have experienced a lifetime of trauma from a young age, but my dreams have frequently featured you. In some of these dreams, I am running from you, terrified of what you may say to me again that brought so much pain in the past. And in others, I am running toward you, ready to feel a sense of sisterhood and comfort. This pattern of push and pull or wax and wane is the exact paradox that I have experienced. Throughout the years, I kept imagining myself in your shoes, facing the same fate that you are facing to try to understand how you could be feeling. I frequently became overwhelmed with anxiety and grief. It is a good thing that I have my family, my twin sons, and my partner to keep me focused. I am heartbroken for you, and I am heartbroken for all of the women that trusted you and were harmed. This is an incredibly unpredictable and scary time, and yet, it is something that just has to be done; whatever the sentence may be.
You are one of the few people who has shown me compassion when life got rough. You ensured that I had a car to drive when I was suddenly alone and without transportation. When I found my relationship with my ex-wife had ended suddenly, you were there to talk me through it. When I had surgery, you and your mother brought me flowers, or when you randomly dropped by a coffee shop where I was working and dropped off a bouquet of flowers, kissed my cheek, and left as quickly as you arrived. Helping others feel loved is the gift you have. I have many good memories, and yet, I have been scarred by you as well.
I cannot forget the moment you told me I would ruin my future children, or the moment that you told me I could not be a good friend to you. I cannot forget the moment you told me I was hovering and ruining a sales pitch, or that I had caused chaos. I cannot forget the moment you told me that being raped came with a choice to either suffer during it or to choose happiness and joy. I can never forget the day, Allison, that you and Esther ganged up on me for nearly an entire day, berating me for my mere existence on earth in front of other women at the Jness Retreat I had organized. There are so many darker moments that I could list, but I do not think I need to.
I have attended therapy for a decade now, ranging between every 1-2 weeks. Much of my therapy has been devoted to my time in NXIVM and my interactions with you. I’ve gone on to get my master’s degree in psychology, retraining my brain to understand real psychology and help people legitimately, without the pain that NXIVM caused. I hope you are able to also find the healing you need as you start this new chapter in your life.
I leave you with a wish for a swift recovery and hope that you will be able to reclaim some part of your life that has been lost.
*light editing for grammatical errors