The Vow Explains How NXIVM’s Allison Mack Went from “Smallville” to Leading a Sex Cult

The Smallville star convinced her "slaves" to get a brand seared into their skin.

The Vow Explains How NXIVM's Allison Mack Went from "Smallville" to Leading a Sex Cult
The Vow Explains How NXIVM’s Allison Mack Went from “Smallville” to Leading a Sex Cult

Smallville actress Allison Mack was a high-ranking member of Keith Raniere’s NXIVM group, which has been deemed a Sex cult and pyramid scheme by prosecutors.

Mack faces a number of legal prices for her role in Leading a secret sub-sect of ladies known as Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), which loosely interprets to Grasp Over Slave Girls.

Keith Raneire was sentenced to 120 years in jail on October 27. This is what Mack is to date, together with reportedly submitting for divorce.

In 1998, Keith Raniere, an erstwhile vitamin salesman with a historical past of multi-level marketing schemes underneath his belt, co-founded a brand new enterprise that will grow to be often known as NXIVM (pronunced “NEKS-ee-um”). Billed as Govt Success Partners on the time, the corporate purported to show clients how one can grow to be the perfect variations of themselves. Simply over 20 years later, Raniere—known as “Vanguard” by his followers—could be convicted for acts he dedicated because the group’s chief, together with Sex trafficking, racketeering, and forced labor conspiracy. Actress Allison Mack, who rose by way of NXIVM’s ranks to grow to be a senior determine in her 12 years with the group, would make headlines for her personal arrest going through similar prices. Whereas Raniere was sentenced to a 120-year jail sentence on October 27, Mack is currently underneath house arrest. She additionally filed for divorce from fellow member Nicki Clyne in December 2020, per legal documents.

As soon as known for her role as Chloe Sullivan on teen Superman drama Smallville, Allison Mack has admitted to coercing quite a few NXIVM’s feminine members into a way of life of self-harming conduct at Raniere’s command. Inside Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), a secret subgroup that claimed to foster ladies’s empowerment, Mack allegedly enforced a grasp/slave dynamic during which “slave” members were paddled, required to submit humiliating “collateral” materials to their grasp for potential blackmail functions, and disadvantaged of meals to realize the rail-thin physique Raniere most well-liked. Many say they were additionally pressured into Sex with Vanguard, and held down as a brand featuring his and Mack’s initials was seared into their skin.

Mack’s role in NXIVM is mentioned all through The Vow, HBO’s 2020 documentary sequence on the group, which is evidently getting a season 2. This is how Allison Mack grew to become a distinguished member, what she allegedly did, and an replace on the place the 38-year-old actress is now (and no, it is not jail).

Smallville star Kristin Kreuk reportedly introduced Allison Mack to NXIVM.

Mack attended her first assembly in 2006 after her costar Kristin Kreuk had grow to be involved with the group, in accordance with sources cited in a Hollywood Reporter function. The occasion was a two-day introduction to Jness, an arm of NXIVM specifically geared towards ladies (the group for males was known as The Society of Protectors).

As a Source advised THR, Lauren Salzman—daughter of NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman—instantly ingratiated herself to the then-popular CW star. Following the seminar, Mack was invited to the Albany, New York, space to satisfy Raniere during one of his weekly volleyball games (like many NXIVM moments, their first dialog was recorded and seems in The Vow). Smallville was in its fifth season on the time, and Mack enrolled in lots of expensive “intensive” programs. Barbara Bouchey, an ex of Raniere’s and former high-ranking member, took Mack underneath her wing as a mentee from 2006 until Bouchey’s departure in 2009.

As Mack leveled up the ranks, Raniere entrusted her to steer a company underneath NXIVM’s umbrella known as The Source. As Mack describes it in a recruitment video with Raniere, it is “a curriculum specifically for actors” that pulls upon Raniere’s Rational Inquiry Technique of self-improvement.

By the point Mack joined, NXIVM had confronted criticism for years. A 2003 Forbes cowl story on the controversial Raniere, and Govt Success Packages, deemed the chief a “company Svengali.” Within the piece, multi-billionaire head of Seagram beverage firm Edgar Bronfman Sr., whose heiress daughters Sara and Clare Bronfman would successfully bankroll NXIVM with round $150 million whole as longtime members, put it plainly: “I believe it is a cult.”

but Mack and her colleagues tirelessly recruited new members for greater than a decade. Among the events designed to draw younger prospects was “A Capella Improvements,” a multi-day pageant billed as a college singing showcase held in 2007 and 2008, with the primary co-hosted by Kreuk, Mack and Battlestar Galactica actress Nicki Clyne.

Rick Alan Ross, a self-described cult deprogrammer, advised THR of Mack, “she was the Tom Cruise of NXIVM.” Kreuk, meanwhile, maintains that she lower ties with the group round 2013, “had minimal contact with these nonetheless involved” and was disturbed by the small print of the scandal. By the point Smallville led to 2011, regardless of a number of appearing gigs together with a recurring half on FX’s Wilfred, Mack had bought a house within the Albany space to be close to Raniere and the group.

DOS was Raniere’s idea, and Mack helped carry it out.

Through the trial of Keith Raniere, a girl named Nicole testified that Mack, who she’d met by way of taking an $8,000 appearing class with The Source, advised her in 2016 a couple of “actually cool ladies’s mentorship [program]… for ladies who were critical about being sturdy ladies.” In actuality, DOS employed ways of psychological and bodily abuse, typically to groom members for Sex with Raniere to be a part of what former members describe as his rotating “harem” of between 12 and 20 ladies.

Like NXIVM itself, DOS had the structure of a basic pyramid scheme. As advised in The Vow and in court docket testimony during Raniere’s trial, a girl would be a part of on the ground-level standing of “slave,” but were advised they could finally ascend by way of the 4 ranges of the slave-pyramid to grow to be a “grasp” of a pod themselves.

Lauren Salzman, a “first-line grasp” inside DOS, testified that there were 5 levels of recruitment. In stage 1, a “prospect” could be Asked for collateral as an emblem of vested belief in a potential grasp. In court docket, Nicole testified that Mack Asked a sexually express video and a letter falsely accusing her personal father of molesting her in childhood (Mack had allegedly supplied this identical collateral). Later, when Nicole expressed that she wished to go away DOS, she stated Mack made her afraid the damaging supplies could be introduced.

“It is the selection you made—now what are you gonna do about it?” Mack wrote in an e-mail to Nicole. When DOS members complained of how they were handled, their grasp would inform them that their concern was an indication of weakness they need to push previous.

By 2016, Mack’s slave pod included actress Catherine Oxenberg’s daughter, India, in addition to Nicole and not less than two different ladies. In weekly conferences at her dwelling, Nicole stated Mack would berate them as they sat on the ground, and demanded that some comply with diets like her personal of 500 energy a day. (One other former “harem” member advised THR that if Raniere felt she wasn’t skinny sufficient, he would blame his erection issues on her weight).

In 2017, Mack shared an Instagram selfie posing with a gaggle of ladies on a “street journey north,” not less than one of which was believed to be a DOS slave of Mack’s.

As former member Sarah Edmondson recounts in The Vow, slaves needed to text their grasp to request permission to eat and sleep, and instantly reply to “readiness drills” that their grasp despatched them in any respect hours. The masters, together with Mack, required their slaves to pose smiling collectively for nude “household photographs” they’d ship to “grandmaster” Raniere. Mack additionally allegedly threatened to launch collateral if her slaves did not comply with sleep with Raniere, saying that to refuse would violate “the Vow” they took of lifelong obedience.

Corporal punishment the DOS slaves endured included standing barefoot within the snow, in addition to beatings with a leather-based strap administered during chilly showers. Salzman testified that there were extra plans to construct a dungeon with a cage in it beneath the house the primary line members lived in outdoors Albany.

Mack’s “slaves” were seared with a brand featuring her initials.

Although DOS slaves were typically advised the brand symbolized the 4 parts, it was really a mix of Raniere and Mack’s initials.

“We were advised that we’d all be receiving an an identical tattoo the scale of a dime,” Edmondson, whose “grasp” was Lauren Salzman, writes in her memoir, Scarred. “As a substitute, we took turns holding every of the opposite members down on a desk as Nxivm’s resident feminine physician dragged a red-hot cauterizing pen during the delicate space slightly below their bikini line. The ladies screamed in ache because the odor of burnt flesh crammed the air.”

Salzman stated in testimony, “It was probably the most painful factor I’ve ever skilled.” Nicole testified that Mack advised her, “ache is love, and also you present your like to your grasp by ache.”

This was by Raniere’s design, in accordance with recorded conversations with Mack during which they deliberate the ceremony collectively. “Do you suppose the one who’s being branded needs to be fully nude and type of held to the desk like a, type of virtually like a sacrifice,” Raniere mused within the recording.

News of the branding ceremonies broke in June 2017 on the positioning of Frank Parlato, a controversial determine who grew to become an early NXIVM whistleblower following work as a publicist for the group (The Vow reveals that Edmondson was one of his sources). The report led to a high-profile story within the New York Instances months later. With investigators on the scent, Raniere, Mack, Salzman, and others fled to Puerto Vallerta, Mexico, the place federal brokers discovered Raniere hiding in a closet in March 2018. In video of the arrest obtained by the Every day Mail, a gaunt and dazed-looking Mack seems in body as regulation enforcement drives away with Raniere in custody.

She has reportedly filed for divorce from fellow member Nicki Clyne.

In December 2020, TMZ reported that Mack had filed divorce documents in Orange County, CA. Per federal transcripts, Mack advised prosecutors that she had married Clyne in 2017 underneath Raniere’s orders, in order that Canada-born Clyne might stay with the group within the states.

Clyne, who by no means confronted any legal prices for her role in NXIVM, continues to be an lively supporter of Keith Raniere’s. Alongside fellow former members of the group, in the summertime of 2020 Clyne staged day by day dance events outdoors of the Brooklyn jail the place Raniere was held forward of his October sentencing as a part of a brand new group known as The Forgotten Ones. In line with the BK Reader, the common dancing first arose when Clyne would dance for Raniere whereas visiting him from outdoors the Metropolitan detention heart; quickly the teams’ dancing reportedly grew to become common amongst different prisoners who had a shared view.

In September 2020, Clyne appeared with different Raniere defenders in an interview with CBS News. Asked concerning the allegations that NXIVM was a Sex cult, Clyne stated, “I don’t even know how one can define what that’s.”

Asked about Mack on the time, Clyne stated, “I have not been capable of converse to her for a yr and half. A part of the situations of her bail is that she will’t converse to anybody who’s affiliated in any approach with the case or NXIVM.” She known as the sequence of events since 2018 “the toughest, most humbling expertise of my life,” but stated “I wouldn’t commerce my experiences for something.”

Mack pled guilty and is currently on house arrest.

When Allison Mack was arrested in April 2018, she initially pleaded not guilty to Sex trafficking and conspiracy prices associated to her role in DOS. After a number of days’ stint in jail, she was introduced to her dad and mom’ custody in California that very same month on the situation she would not use her telephone or the web, nor journey for causes not related to the case.

Nonetheless, per a September 2020 Vice article citing pupil stories and display photographs, Mack had evidently been utilizing her pc to take digital gender research programs at UC Berkley, together with one titled “The Historical past and Follow of Human Rights.” After classmates’ outcry upon studying of Mack’s presence within the courses, an individual claiming to be a pupil wrote in a Reddit put up that Mack was allegedly Asked to go away a “Gender, Sex, and Energy” course after per week. The unconfirmed report additionally claimed Mack might have continued on as a pupil.

Mack’s final Instagram put up, a re-shared video, is dated March 22, 2018. The final picture of Mack is a photograph together with her mom, and as of August 2020, she is known to nonetheless be underneath digital surveillance at her dad and mom’ house.

A yr after her arrest, Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, admitting to state regulation extortion and forced labor. The New York Instances stories that she tearfully advised the Brooklyn court docket that she joined NXVIM to “discover function,” and admitted to recruiting DOS members underneath false pretenses of mentorship. She additionally confessed to forcing them to submit damaging collateral, which she then leveraged for labor and companies, and apologized for harm brought on by her “misguided adherence to Keith Raniere’s teachings.”

Mack’s prices carry a possible for 40 years of jail time, nevertheless it stays unclear whether or not she has lower a plea cope with prosecutors. Her authentic sentencing date, scheduled for September 11, 2019, was delayed with no new date introduced.

meanwhile, whether or not Mack needs to be held totally culpable for her actions whereas underneath the longtime sway of Raniere stays a subject of debate; even whistleblower Frank Parlato has directed a plea for “mercy” towards sentencing US District Court docket Choose Nicholas G. Garaufis.

“I do not suppose she was pondering she was really trafficking ladies,” Mack’s former roommate advised THR. “It doesn’t suggest she does not deserve punishment, but I believe she had drunk sufficient Kool-Assist to essentially imagine that these ladies were going to save lots of the world with [Raniere’s] super-sperm.”

 

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