What do you say when someone has ruined their life? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I loved Smallville when it was on and today, I’m still a source of information about the incredible show. Also, if there was any character on the show that got my attention, it was Chloe Sullivan, played by actress Allison Mack. What can I say? I always liked girls that looked really smart and Chloe was sensational to me. One of the greatest gifts Smallville did was it gave the Superman story Chloe.
A few years ago, Mack got involved with a sex cult and was recently sentenced for that. That story hit me a bit thinking about it. I knew it had happened, but I did try to pay attention when I saw something about it. While I definitely care about the victims, I also do care about the people who did wrong and how they messed up their lives. I looked to see if I could send a message to someone like that in prison and found no way and then thought, “Why not say whatever I would say in a blog?”
So here is what I would say if I got a chance to write a letter to her.
Dear Allison Mack,
When I was in my early 20’s, the show Smallville was being announced. I didn’t have much interest in it when it was being advertised, but I came downstairs one day while my Dad was watching Season 1, Episode 3, Hothead, where I saw the Dad from the Wonder Years having flames shooting from sprinklers on a football field and you upstairs taking pictures. I was intrigued from that point on and from then on my Dad and I watched every episode together. It was really a bonding moment for us.
During the premier of Season 4, there’s a joke that my grandmother called and wanted to talk to one of us and my Mom said “They’re watching their program together. They’ll call you back.” She said, “Tell them I’m having a heart attack.” We knew she wasn’t, but the reply was “Call her an ambulance and we’ll come to the hospital when the episode is ended.”
My family also knew that you were my TV crush at the time. I didn’t have a lot of them, but I definitely paid attention when you showed up on the screen. I never understood why Clark went gaga over Lana when I definitely would have preferred you any day of the week. Anyone who knew me knew that I had a major crush on you. That lasted until I met someone that I did marry.
Even when I moved out to an apartment not to far from my parents’ house, my Dad would still come over for Smallville nights. When I moved to the city of Charlotte away from my home state of Tennessee, that changed. Still, I was watching every night and my friend, Chris, from seminary would join me. He was thrilled when he found I also loved the show and we were both there to watch the series finale together.
Here we are years later and what do I hear on the news but that you’re going to prison because of being involved in a sex cult and the horrible way you treated some victims. I even remember hearing Michael Rosenbaum in an interview talking about how you seemed to behave differently one time after joining the group. Part of me really wonders why. Why do it? Why get involved in that group? Didn’t you realize that what you were doing was horribly wrong?
On the other hand, as someone who deals with cults on a regular basis and has seen the power of delusion, I try to understand. If any of us thinks that he could never fall for a stupendous lie or commit a great wrong, then we have already taken the first step to doing that. I wish I knew what happened in your life that you thought you needed to find fulfillment in this movement.
I see some of the comments from the victims and their families to what you’ve done. Many people are saying you’re an actress so of course everything you said was a sob story to gain sympathy from a judge. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. That’s not mine to judge. I also hear many people saying that if you’re in Hollywood, you can get away with anything and get a much lighter sentence. Maybe they’re right. That’s not mine to judge.
I say this next part mainly as someone in active ministry. Already, I can anticipate you rolling your eyes. Honestly, I don’t blame you. You sit under sentence and here comes someone sounding high and mighty and sanctimonious trying to tell you about this Jesus stuff. It sounds like some fundamentalist pastor just pounding his pulpit at that point.
Seriously, I get it. That kind of stuff can annoy me too. I get tired of a lot of preachers that seem to present Jesus as if He takes care of all your problems or life is nothing but joy from that point on. It really doesn’t sell for me. I don’t want to interact with someone who doesn’t seem to know any pain at all. I don’t think they’re living in reality.
I’m not going to tell you that Jesus will take away all your feelings of guilt if you come to Him. I’m not going to try to tell you that you will get out of prison earlier no matter what kind you’re in be it public or house arrest. I’m not going to tell you you can get your career back. I’m not going to tell you the people you hurt will suddenly love you and you will be a gift to the public once more.
None of that is guaranteed.
I will tell you though that you can have forgiveness. I will tell you that you can have life. I will tell you some epistles in the New Testament were written from a prison cell and one in particular, Philippians, was written to tell us about joy, and whatever prison cell you are in, I am certain it cannot compare to what Paul was in.
I can tell you that you can stand before God and be told that you are loved and can enter into His Kingdom. I will tell you you are loved already by Him more than by anyone else whatsoever. I will tell you you could be a vessel of healing if you were willing and that could include towards anyone you victimized if they were willing and you could do your part then to stop further victims later on. Of course, all this would depend on your being sincere that you know you did something awful and that it wasn’t an act. I hope you do know that.
You see, I can think easily of people in my life who have wronged and hurt me greatly. I don’t bear malice towards them. It can be tempting, but such malice does nothing to that other person. It only hurts the person who holds it. Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who hate you. It’s what I try to do. It’s not always easy, but it is doable.
And I know the love of Jesus is a lot greater than my love.
I also understand that you don’t just want to believe in something like Christianity just because it sounds good. A lot of things that sound good, aren’t. I suspect you tried to sell a lot of things to some women to get them into the cult that sounded good, but really aren’t. If you are sincere, you know you have dealt with a charlatan. How do you know Jesus just wasn’t another one?
I get that. It’s a fair concern. It’s a good one too. Jesus demands loyalty for life and you don’t want to take that lightly. Make sure He’s real.
I would be glad to recommend several resources if you wanted me to to look into this. If you’re in a prison or in house arrest, you have a lot of free time. Get in some good reading. Chloe Sullivan was always willing to investigate things. She investigated matters that everyone else thought were ridiculous. For some time, aside from Professor Hamilton in the series, she was the only one who believed the meteors had harmful effects on the citizens of Smallville. Why not be that investigator again? Seriously consider the claims.
And seriously, what do you have to lose? If I am wrong, you have wasted some time of your life, but you weren’t going to be doing that much otherwise were you? However, if I am right, what can be gained? Again, the number one gain is forgiveness. You can live with a clear conscience. Yes. You did wrong. That will never change. Yes. You will still pay the price here for it. However, you can stand before God and be pronounced to be in the right with Him and forgiven regardless of all that was done. He who has more right and more ability to judge you than anyone else, will have the greatest love and compassion towards you than anyone else.
I always like Chloe on Smallville and her devotion even after learning his secret to do anything for Clark Kent. It would be great to see her take that devotion and turn it to the one that Superman is partially modeled after, Jesus Christ. You can’t undo the past, but you can sure make your future a whole lot better.
After all, there was a thief on the cross who had reached the end of his life and there was no hope of getting off of that cross, but his future is awesome. Why? He chose to trust that Jesus that offers that freedom to you and to all of the victims that you helped introduce into this cult. I also hope all of them who haven’t yet come to know Him as well.
Please consider it.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)