“Smallville” actress Allison Mack arrested for role in alleged sex cult

The cult allegedly trafficked and abused its female members.

Allison Mack, the actress best known for her role on the Superman teen drama “Smallville,” has been arrested for her role in a cult that allegedly trafficked and abused its female members.

Prosecutors say NXIVM, branded as a self-help group, was actually a cult that treated women as sex slaves and even branded them with the initials of the group’s leader, Keith Raniere. Mack is accused of recruiting women for NXIVM and reportedly served as a high-ranking member of the group alongside Raniere, who was arrested in Mexico late last month. Mack and Raniere have been charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor. The five-page indictment alleges that Mack and Raniere coerced people into sex acts and forced labor by “means of serious harm or threats of serious harm.”

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Mack’s arraignment was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

“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 told the Hollywood Reporter. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit."

NXIVM allegedly persuaded women to provide nude photographs of themselves, which were then used as blackmail, and branded members with Raniere’s initials, according to an October New York Times investigation. “Master, please brand me. It would be an honor,” the women were reportedly told to say before their skin was burned at a house in Albany, New York. The women were also reportedly subject to strict “near-starvation” diets so that Raniere would be pleased. The release of the Times report apparently caused Raniere to flee to Mexico.

According to reports, Mack was the immediate subordinate of Raniere and may have even introduced the practice of physical punishment into the group. Kristen Kreuk, another actress from “Smallville,” spent some time with NXIVM in her early twenties and said she was “deeply disturbed” by the revelations about the group.

Cover image: PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 1: Allison Mack, star of WB TV show, 'Smallville' signs autographs at the Wizard World East's second annual pop-culture expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center June 1, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The expo had the largest concentration of comic book creative talent on the East Coast in an industry that grosses about $10 billion a year world wide with approximately $300 million in English-speaking North America alone. (Photo by Don Murray/Getty Images)