Shocking new details have emerged in the ongoing story of Smallville's Allison Mack. The actress is charged with leading a sex cult that branded female slaves.
A Truly Tragic Trajectory
The Hollywood Reporter published a damning profile this week, which offers some insight into how the young actress went from international stardom on the hit show to being second in command to a cult leader.
The 35-year-old is being accused of forced labor and sex trafficking. She is currently facing up to 15 years imprisonment if found guilty. THR spoke to friends and ex-members of horrifying sex cult Nxivm about Mack's journey.
"I don't think she was thinking she was actually trafficking girls. ... I think she had drunk enough Kool-Aid to really believe that these girls were going to save the world with [Raniere's] super-sperm," explained an ex-roommate of Mack's, referring to Keith Rainiere, Nxivm's leader.
The actress was No. 2 in the so-called women's empowerment arm of the cult founded by Raniere. The group stands accused of harboring sex slaves and branding women's skin with a cauterized pen while others held them down. This process reportedly takes an excruciating 30 minutes to complete.
Mack was reportedly searching for enlightenment when she stumbled upon Raniere and his band of loyal followers.
"She was so hungry for something bigger, some kind of sign [that would show] the purpose and meaning of life," said actress Christine Lakin, who knew Mack when the two were both child stars in the 90s.
Treating 'Em Mean
The women in Raniere's rotating group of slaves were placed under dietary restrictions and forbidden from waxing or shaving their body hair. One former member explained how she knew Mack was involved with Raniere based on how she started to look sickly.
"She had a grey pallor that was common to Keith's women because they all start to get a little sickly. ... They drop weight. Their heads get too big for their bodies so they become bobbleheads. It's scary-looking," the member recounted.
According to this woman, slaves kept by the cult described Mack as being very intimidating and cruel, as well as unafraid of doling out punishments. Although the cover for Nxivm is a women's empowerment movement, Mack frequently told these women they are worthless and weak.
Searching For A Path
The actress became involved with Raniere at just 24, after attending a two-day seminar for JNess, the so-called women's empowerment arm of Nxivm. She quickly joined the group and showed up to numerous events until she was fully drawn in.
Chapman Way, director of the popular and cult-themed Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country, explained that cults seek out Hollywood types because of the cultural influence they wield.
Mack is considered the John Travolta of Nxivm, a reference to the actor's high standing in Scientology, due to how popular and affable she is. The actress soon became the go-to recruitment agent for Raniere's rotating group of sex slaves as a result.
The Smallville actress, along with Raniere, was indicted by New York federal prosecutors on three counts of sex trafficking along with conspiracy to commit forced labor. Mack was released on $5 million bail last month, into the custody of her parents. Her trial begins Oct. 1.