Published on Apr 21, 2018
Allison Mack, former Smallville television star, was arrested on April 20, 2018, on federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor, for her recruitment of women into a sex slave cult run by notorious cult ringleader Keith Raniere.
In this staged interview, first uploaded to Raniere’s YouTube channel in April 2017, Raniere answers questions posed by Mack on a variety of topics ranging from human emotions to acting skills to sexual relationships. Mack appears mesmerized by Raniere’s every word; this video shows just how intertwined her life had become with Raniere’s manipulative rhetoric.
“As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female-mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.”
The cult, called NXIVM (pronounced “Nexium”), masks as a “self-help” organization that has reportedly drawn other celebrity followers. The cult was initially formed in 1990 in upstate New York by Raniere as a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme called Consumers’ Buyline, and was later renamed NXIVM.
FBI assistant director-in-charge William F. Sweeney called the NXIVM operation a “pyramid scheme” and asked for anyone who might have been a victim to come forward with any information they have.
Keith Raniere was arrested in Mexico in March 2018 on multiple federal counts of sex trafficking and forced labor. The criminal complaint against Raniere – known as “Vanguard” to his followers – alleges that he encouraged the formation of a secretive subgroup within NXIVM called “Dominus Obsequious Sororium” or “Dominant Over Submissive” (DOS), in which women were coerced into serving as sex slaves. The complaint outlines how the victims were forced to turn over “collateral” – identified as potentially damaging personal information or materials, such as nude photographs – with which they were later blackmailed.
Numerous women who were successfully recruited into the cult were forcibly branded with Keith Raniere’s and Allison Mack’s initials. A cauterizing pen was used to make the permanent marks near each victim’s pubic region. According to a former NXIVM publicist, the brands were used to mark victims “as lifelong slaves who have taken the vow for lifelong obedience to Keith Raniere and Allison Mack.”
Allison Christin Mack joined NXIVM in 2007 and, according to the group’s former publicist, went on to recruit at least 25 women into the terrifying slave cult. According to former NXIVM members, Mack eventually became second in command and was known within the cult as “the Madam.”
Allison Mack’s bio on her website currently states that “[o]ver the course of several years, Mr. Raniere mentored Mack in her study of acting and music. As such, she has developed a deep connection to the nature of humanity as it relates to acting as an art form and a tool for personal evolution. In 2013, Mr. Raniere worked with Allison and a small group of equally skilled and dedicated professionals to develop a curriculum that is currently taught through a private arts academy, The Source. There Allison serves as president and is one of its top trainers. The Source provides a unique toolset and innovative exercises to increase one’s mastery of the art of compassion, utilizing the disciplines of acting and expression.”
Mack starred as Chloe Sullivan in the TV series “Smallville” from 2001 to 2011, and also acted in numerous other TV shows and films. Mack ended her acting career in 2017, allegedly under direct orders from Raniere.
Battlestar Galactica star Nicki Clyne joined the NXIVM cult in 2006. Two years later, although she was under contract and at the height of her popularity, she asked the producers of Battlestar Galactica to let her out of her contract. The producers agreed and killed her character off in an episode.
Raniere fled to Mexico in late 2017 after an expose of his cult was published in the New York Times on October 17, 2017. Mack and Clyne, along with other female cult members including Lauren Salzman and Loreta Garza Davila, were present with Raniere when he was arrested in Mexico in March 2018. In addition, Mariana Fernandez, the mother of Raniere’s child, was spotted with Raniere in Mexico in December 2017. Arrest documents state that Raniere was living with “several women” at a luxury villa near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the time of his arrest.
Raniere and Mack both face 15 years to life in prison.