'Smallville' stars, NXIVM, and an alleged sex cult: Everything you need to know

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Allison Mack attends Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)

Smallville star Allison Mack was arrested on Friday for her alleged involvement in a sex cult.

Mack, 35, and Keith Raniere, the founder of the self-help group NXIVM, were both charged with sex trafficking, sex-trafficking conspiracy, and forced-labor conspiracy. Raniere was arrested by the FBI in Mexico in March.

So, how did an actress on the CW end up purportedly recruiting sex slaves … and ultimately land in jail?

Mack first made headlines a few months ago over her alleged involvement in NXIVM (pronounced “nex-e-um”), which has several Hollywood ties — including her former Smallville co-star Kristin Kreuk.

Kreuk, 35, is best known for playing Lana Lang on the hit show and currently stars on CBS’s Burden of Truth. However, the 35-year-old actress wanted to set the record straight on what she knew about NXIVM and a reported secret “sorority” within it called DOS, also known as “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” according to the New York Times.

Kreuk also retweeted a post from actress Sarah Edmondson that read: “For the record, my dear friend @MsKristinKreuk was never in the inner circle of #NXIVM. She never recruited sex slaves and has been out since 2013 before s*** got weird. She is a lovely person who should not be dragged into this mess. Thank you. #Cult #DOS #freedom #TRUTH.”

Smallville (Photo: Getty Images)

Allison Mack’s involvement, however, may be a bit more complicated. Mack played Chloe Sullivan on Smallville from 2001 to 2011. She has since appeared on Wilfred and American Odyssey, with her last credited appearance coming last year, voicing Evelyn in Lost in Oz.

Mack is so close with Keith Raniere, it’s believed that she was hiding out in Mexico with him last month. A photo circulating online depicted a blonde woman at the scene of Raniere’s arrest. It has also been speculated that she is the actress and DOS master referred to as “Co-Conspirator 1” in the federal complaint filed in New York, who allegedly “directed their slaves to have sex with Raniere.”

During Friday’s arraignment in New York, one of her defense lawyers entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf, and she was ordered detained by the judge.

While Mack’s involvement is likely to come out in court, she has made no secret of her admiration for Raniere.

On Mack’s biography page on her official website, she credits “Mr. Raniere” for mentoring her in her study of acting and music. In her last blog post, from July 2017, she discusses the quest she has been on to find herself since 2013.

“The other morning I woke up and realized I have dedicated my life to this quest of self discovery. But I still feel like I am searching for something ‘out there’ to get discover what’s ‘in here,'” she writes. “For the last 4 years I have been in an ongoing class broken up into segments of 8 day intensive workshops. So every 3 months, I spend 8 days with a group of amazing people who are all seeking to experience themselves and their lives more deeply. It feels like my life’s study. Since the last workshop I have been contemplating my quest more deeply. What is ‘self’? How do I know it? Where does it come from? My mentor, Keith, is always encouraging me to spend time with myself.”

Last year, she interviewed her mentor on his “Keith Raniere Conversations” YouTube channel in a segment called “Balancing Genius and Insecurities.” Mack appears to be awestruck in the 12-minute video.

U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue claims Raniere “created a secret society of women whom he had sex with and branded with his initials, coercing them with the threat of releasing their highly personal information and taking their assets.”

After Raniere’s arrest, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney added: “As alleged, Keith Raniere displayed a disgusting abuse of power in his efforts to denigrate and manipulate women he considered his sex slaves. He allegedly participated in horrifying acts of branding and burning them, with the cooperation of other women operating within this unorthodox pyramid scheme. These serious crimes against humanity are not only shocking, but disconcerting, to say the least, and we are putting an end to this torture today.”

Donoghue gave the following statement today after Mack’s arrest: “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. The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.”

Mack was last active on social media in March, sharing a photo of her and her mom.

Her most recent post is also from March 22 and is a video of a boy asking, “What do you practice?”

A bail hearing has been set for Mack on Monday. Raniere will be arraigned at a later date. 

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