Actor Allison Mack, best known for her role as Clark Kent’s best friend, Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, has been arrested and indicted on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labour conspiracy. Mack is allegedly involved with the sex cult Nxivm, which advertises itself as a self-help group for women, but which, allegedly, has enslaved its members.
There aren’t many stories about cults that aren’t deeply disturbing, but Mack’s involvement in Nxivm–pronounced Nexium–and the group’s actions are especially troubling. Established in 2003 by group leader Mark Raniere, who is the only male member of Nxivm, an apparent pyramid scheme of sexual slavery and labour under the guise of a self-help group was created. Within Nxivm, Raniere created the secret DOS group, which included masters, who recruited other women, and slaves, women who were reportedly used as sexual slaves.
Mack joined the group in 2006 after being introduced to Raniere’s teachings by her Smallville co-star Kristin Kreuk. In a message on her Twitter account posted in March, Kreuk said that she left the cult without any knowledge of the sex crimes that were allegedly taking place.
Although the Canadian actor said on her Twitter account that she cut ties with Nxivm five years ago, Mack did not. Instead, Mack allegedly rose through the ranks to the role of master, recruiting young women to be used as sex slaves by Raniere in return for financial compensation.
The women who were recruited as slaves were physically branded with Raniere and Mack’s initials and were forced to provide collateral in the form of financial information or damaging information about their family or themselves. If the women attempted to leave the group, Mack and Raniere threatened to make their collateral information public, ruining the woman’s family or their reputation.
According to court documents, Mack enforced strict rules with the slaves, including sexual readiness drills, sleep deprivation, and keeping their food intake so low that many women stopped menstruating. The documents also state that Mack, who was aware that Raniere preferred younger, possibly underaged women, provided naked photos of the slaves.
In her role as master, Mack is alleged to have successfully recruited Battlestar Galactica actors Grace Park and Nicki Clyne to become members of Nxivm, with Mack allegedly marrying Canadian actor Nicki Clyne to avoid immigration issues. Mack also made attempts through social media to lure actor Emma Watson and singer Kelly Clarkson.
.@EmWatson well to your vision and what you want to see in the world. I think we could work together. Let me know if you’re willing to chat
— Allison Mack (@allisonmack) February 19, 2016
@kelly_clarkson I heard through the grapevine that you’re a fan of Smallville. I’m a fan of yours as well! I’d love to chat sometime.
— Allison Mack (@allisonmack) July 20, 2013
People Magazine is reporting that since its inception, close to 16,000 people have paid upwards of $3,400 for self-help seminars offered by Raniere. The cult leader, who based his operations out of upstate New York, was arrested earlier this month in Mexico.
Raniere and Mack have both denied any wrongdoing and face a 15-year minimum sentence. Mack has been released on bail and is currently under house arrest at her parents’ home in California.