'Smallville' Actress Allison Mack Arrested for Ties with Alleged NXIVM Sex Cult
Mack was arrested on sex trafficking charges for allegedly blackmailing women into having sex with the group's leader, Keith Raniere.
Photo of Allison Mack (L) SGranitz/WireImage. Photo of Raniere via NXIVM website.
Allison Mack was arrested in Brooklyn by the FBI on Friday for allegedly recruiting slaves into an alleged sex cult within the self-help group NXIVM. The 35-year-old, who is best known for playing Clark Kent's best friend on the TV show Smallville, also blackmailed women into having sex with the group's founder, Keith Raniere, according to a federal indictment.
NXIVM—pronounced "nexium"—is ostensibly a multi-level marketing organization in which people take self-improvement seminars and recruit others to do the same. It's been around since 1998, and New York Magazine referred to it as "cult-like" all the way back in 2007. But it wasn't until 2017 when a New York Times exposé revealed that recruits into a secret society within NXIVM, known as DOS, would have to turn over naked photographs of themselves and get branded as part of the organization's initiation process.
Raniere claimed to have the highest IQ ever recorded and required his followers to call him "Vanguard." He was apprehended in early April on sex trafficking charges in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and video shows that Mack was present at the scene of the arrest. He's currently being held in Texas without bail, and both he an Mack could face between 15 years to life in prison if convicted, NBC New York reports.
Meanwhile, Mack is far from the only actress tied to the group—she's been accused of starting a subgroup within NXVIM that was specifically targeted toward celebrities. In fact, she's not even the only participant to have appeared on Smallville. Kristin Kreuk, who played Superman's love interest on the show, was accused by NXIVM's former publicist of also recruiting women into the group. She's publicly denied being part of the organization's "inner circle," which is backed up by a third actress named Sarah Edmondson, who showed the Times where she was burned with a cauterized pen as part of her initiation.
"I wept the whole time," she told the paper about being branded. "I disassociated out of my body."
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.