With NXIVM founder Keith Raniere's arrest by the FBI in Mexico on Sunday, former "Smallville" star Allison Mack suddenly found herself thrust back into the spotlight, but this time for her involvement with the multi-level marketing organization former members have called a cult, and its alleged practices of branding women, forced labor and sex trafficking. Mack was believed to be second-in-command of NXIVM, and some reports say her arrest is expected next.
This isn't the first time NXIVM has associated itself with high-profile celebrities, either, nor is it the first time the organization has been in the public eye. A 2010 Vanity Fair article alleged that Raniere intentionally sought out wealth and influence, including Seagram heiresses Sara and Claire Bronfam, who rose through the Nxivm ranks in the late 2000s. They reportedly funneled millions into the organization.
In 2017, the New York Times took a deep dive into the mysterious organization, uncovering a litany of sordid claims substantiated by testimonials from multiple former members. Raniere wrote a response letter to the piece claiming none of the sorority's members were coerced and that they were "better off," before fleeing the country. This story spurred the FBI investigation which culminated in Raniere's arrest.
There are multiple sorority organizations within the NXIVM hierarchy, with Mack purportedly responsible for the creation of at least one of them. She is also alleged to have introduced corporeal punishment into the organization, according to a NXIVM-tracking blog by Frank Parlato, a former PR man for the organization who is now seeking to expose them.
The purported level of Mack's involvement in the organization has come as a shock to "Smallville" fans who remember her as the meek-but-brave tech genius Chloe Sullivan. Mack was introduced to NXIVM in 2006 by her "Smallville" costar Kristin Kreuk, according to The New York Post, but Kreuk left before the branding began.
Kreuk admitted to her involvement in the group on Thursday, saying she was never part of its "inner circle" and did not recruit women as "sex slaves." She added that she never witnessed any "illegal or nefarious activity."
Below are 5 of the most shocking revelations in this developing story:
STAR POWER DRAWS RECRUITS
"Allison [Mack] was used, as was Kristin [Kreuk], as a lure to bring in other women because of their celebrity status," Parlato said on his site. And they weren't the only Hollywood connection in NXIVM, either, with reports that former "Battlestar Galactica" star Nicki Clyne is also involved in the organization. Meanwhile, former "Dynasty" star Catherine Oxenberg's daughter, India, became estranged from her family after joining the organization, and Oxenberg has been working diligently for months to expose the organization and is hopeful Raniere's arrest will lead to a reunion with her daughter.
MASTER OVER THE SLAVE WOMEN
According to Parlato's blog, The Frank Report, Mack helped form a secret sorority within NXIVM called DOS (Dominos Obseqious Sororium, translated as "Master Over the Slave Women). The Daily Mail reported the "DOS operates as a master-slave hierarchy, with Raniere at the top and Mack as his immediate subordinate." The report further stated that women have restricted diets to keep them thin and must recruit more slaves or "they are beaten with a paddle on their buttocks."
According to multiple former members, the women were undressed and forced to lie on a massage table where they were then held down and branded with a symbol that incorporates the initials of Keith Raniere and, when turned sideways, Allison Mack. According to the Times report, "A female doctor proceeded to use a cauterizing device to sear a two-inch-square symbol below each woman's hip, a procedure that took 20 to 30 minutes." This was after the woman stated the ritualistic phrase, "Master, please brand me, it would be an honor."
JNESS TO DOS TO RANIERE'S HAREM
Parlato's same post claims that Mack also runs and operates another women's group called Jness, which serves as an entry-level proving ground for women seeing to move up within NXIVM. According to Parlato, the "cream" of Jness women are invited to join DOS, and the "cream" of DOS are invited into Raniere's personal harem of 15-20 women. NXIVM curriculum teaches that men need multiple partners while women need monogamy. According to the FBI, this process was little more than Raniere setting up a ring of sex slaves for himself.
As part of the alleged recruitment process into DOS, new members were required to provide collateral in the form of incriminating images, access to physical and financial assets as well as incriminating information about the recruits family and friends. This information was then used to coerce them into obedience and compliance within the organization, as well as discourage them from leaving the organization for fear this damaging information might be leaked.