Allison Mack was arrested today and accused of luring women to be the sex slaves of a cult leader.Mack participated in a group know as Nxivm (pronounced Nex-e-um) Tom Wait reports.
‘Smallville’ Actress Allison Mack Arrested In Sex Trafficking Scheme, Faces 15 Years To Life If Convicted
Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan for 10 seasons on the Superman TV series Smallville, was arrested Friday in New York on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. She was indicted along with Keith Raniere, the alleged leader of a self-help program and purported pyramid scheme being investigated for operating a shadow society of female “slaves.”
Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life in prison if convicted.
According to prosecutors, Mack is credited in publicly available materials with co-creating a program called The Source, which recruited actors. Read details from DOJ about the case below, but be warned: Some of it is graphic.
“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 today. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.”
In 2015, court records show, Raniere created a secret society within his self-help company Nxivm called DOS, “an acronym for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions’,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Investigators believe Mack and other DOS masters recruited slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them and “eradicate purported weaknesses that the Nxivm curriculum taught were common in women.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced the indictment today; Mack is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak. Raniere previously was arrested on a complaint and ordered detained, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He will be arraigned at a later date.
The investigation was led by the FBI, assisted by the New York State Police, the FBI Albany Field Office, the New York State Office of the Attorney General, the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
Smallville ran on the WB and then the CW from 2001-11 and starred Tom Welling as the young Clark Kent/Superman. Mack, who was a regular on the show for its entire 10-season, later appeared on FX’s Wilfred and had a voice role on the Amazon animated series Lost in Oz.
Here are details of the case from the Justice Department press release:
According to court filings, during the past 20 years, Raniere established a series of purported self-help programs within his umbrella organization “Nxivm” (pronounced NEX-i-um). Nxivm is based in Albany, New York and has operated centers in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South America. Nxivm maintains features of a pyramid scheme, as its courses cost thousands of dollars each and participants (“Nxians”) are encouraged to pay for additional classes and to recruit others to take classes in order to rise within the ranks of Nxivm. A number of Nxians were residents of the Eastern District of New York when they were recruited, and Nxivm has held promotional recruiting events in Brooklyn. Mack is credited in publicly available materials with co-creating a Nxivm program, called The Source, which recruited actors.
As detailed in court filings, in 2015, Raniere created a secret society within Nxivm called “DOS,” an acronym that stands for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” or “The Vow.” DOS operated with levels of women “slaves” headed by “masters.” Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid. Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid. Other than Raniere, all members of DOS were women. Mack is one of the women in the first level of the pyramid immediately below Raniere.
Mack and other DOS masters recruited DOS slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them and eradicate purported weaknesses that the Nxivm curriculum taught were common in women. Mack and other DOS masters concealed Raniere’s status at the top of the pyramid from new recruits.
As a pre-condition to joining DOS, women were required to provide “collateral,” which included highly damaging information about friends and family members, nude photographs and/or rights to the recruit’s assets. DOS slaves were told that their collateral could be released for any number of reasons, including telling anyone about DOS’s existence or leaving DOS. Many DOS slaves were branded on their pelvic areas using a cauterizing pen with a symbol which, unbeknownst to them, incorporated Raniere’s initials. During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and a master would order one slave to film the branding while the others restrained the slave being branded.
According to court filings, Mack directly or implicitly required her slaves, including Jane Does 1 and 2, as identified in the Indictment, to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange for this, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere. Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 believed that if they did not participate in those activities with Raniere, their collateral would be released.
It was a villainous scheme too twisted for any superhero show.
“Smallville” actress Allison Mack was arrested Friday for her role in sick upstate sex cult Nxivm, where prosecutors allege she recruited “slaves” to sleep with the group’s leader — and held them down as they were “branded” with his initials.
A gaunt, disheveled Mack, 35, appeared in Brooklyn federal court Friday and pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking and forced labor — a month after leader Keith Raniere was collared on the same charges.
Mack was Raniere’s direct “slave” and previously had a sexual relationship with him — but also acted as a “master” to other slaves, who were starved and branded like cattle.
As Raniere’s initials were being burned into their pubic regions with a cauterizing pen, Mack allegedly put her hands on their chests and told them to “feel the pain” and to “think of [their] master.”
The actress — who played Clark Kent’s pal Chloe Sullivan in the “Smallville” TV series about Superman’s origins — first lured female Nxivm members into the secret societyknown as The Vow by describing it as a “women’s empowerment group” and cajoled them into handing over “collateral” like embarrassing photos and statements to gain entry, prosecutors allege.
She then groomed the women for sex with Raniere, ordering them to adhere to extremely restrictive diets, refrain from removing their pubic hair and stay celibate, according to court documents.
“Ms. Mack was one of the top members of a highly organized scheme which was designed to provide sex to [Raniere],” Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza said in court Friday.
“Under the guise of female empowerment, she starved women until they fit her co-defendant’s sexual feminine ideal.”
She also forced them to pose naked for photos — “including on one occasion close-up pictures of their vaginas” — that were given to Raniere and also used as collateral, the feds charge.
“All mine?” he texted in response to one naked photo of all the slaves sent by Mack, according to prosecutors.
Mack and other slave “masters” allegedly made their slaves participate in “readiness” drills, requiring them to respond to requests at any time of the day or night so they were “seriously sleep-deprived.”
One of her slaves became so thin and tired that she stopped getting periods.
Prosecutors say they have e-mails from Mack pledging her “full and complete life” to Raniere and offering to “cement” the vow with her own collateral — including a contract promising him any children she ever has and her home if she breaks their agreement, and a letter to social services alleging that she abused her nephews.
Nxivm — pronounced “Nexium” — presents itself as a Landmark-style self-help program, and its workshops have attracted many high-profile figures, including British billionaire Richard Branson and the son of a former Mexican president.
Mack’s “Smallville” co-star Kristin Kreuk was also a member of Nxivm but ultimately left. She has said she never witnessed any wrongdoing in the group.
During Friday’s court appearance, it was revealed that Mack last year married “Battlestar Galactica” actress and Canadian national Nicki Clyne, who was spotted hiding out in Mexico with Mack and Raniere when authorities tracked down the cult leader last month.
Dressed in a light jean jacket, light brown boots and black pants, and sporting dark circles under her eyes, Mack spoke quietly as she answered the judge’s routine questions.
Judge Cheryl Pollak declined to release Mack from detention, saying her lawyers failed to offer a “sufficient” bail package given the serious charges. She said they could file a new petition Monday.
Mack’s attorneys argued that she was not a flight risk because she returned to the US voluntarily from Mexico.
“The allegations contained in the indictment are only that: allegations. The hard facts establish that she is not a risk of flight,” said attorney Sean Buckley.
But Pollak noted Mack may not have been aware that she was facing a minimum of 15 years behind bars — and a maximum of life in prison — at the time.
Prosecutors want a high dollar figure posted by someone with no affiliation to Nxivm — which is bankrolled by the heiresses to the Seagram’s whisky fortune, who are also devotees — and home detention.
They argued that Mack may be able to use the “collateral” to intimidate witnesses in the case, noting that “high-ranking” members of the group have already registered Web sites in potential witnesses’ names “with the intention of publishing damaging information” about them.
“She obviously has the ability to manipulate people,” Penza said.
“She has, based on the structure, a number of slaves underneath her who have pledged vows of obedience.”
A friend of “Dynasty” star Catherine Oxenberg, whose daughter India is allegedly one of the “slaves,” said afterward that he doesn’t want Mack out on the streets.
“She’s a B-grade actress — beyond B grade — and she is not in a reality show or a TV series. This is life,” said Stanley Zareff.
“She has to go away.”
Raniere was also indicted Friday but a date for his arraignment had not been set.