Allison Mack’s once promising acting career went down the tubes after she took a role as a high-ranking cult member in real life.
Before Mack was recruited to join NXIVM’s Vancouver chapter in 2010, she was best known for her leading role in “Smallville.” She had also made appearances in “7th Heaven” and “Opposite Sex" and had more roles underway but, as HBO’s new docuseries on NXIVM “The Vow” shows, she was feeling unfulfilled in her acting career.
Mack claimed she found satisfaction in NXIVM, a multi-level marketing company, which had centers across North and South America. Mack was just one of several actors and celebrities that the group convinced into joining, promising them more success and a higher level of enrichment. The organization was thrust into the spotlight in 2017 after several former members blew the whistle on the group’s inner sex cult with a shocking New York Times expose. The secret society was a group called DOS (an acronym for a Latin phrase which means “Master Over Slave Women") where women were branded and were forced to fork over collateral in order to serve NXIVM leader Keith Raniere and other high ranking slaves-turned-masters in the pyramid scheme.
Masters would push their slaves to count calories and would make them ask permission for nearly everything they did. Mack reportedly became a slave to Raniere, and under his watch she lost an alarming amount of weight. If Mack broke her commitment to Raniere, there would be dire consequences: her home would be transferred into his name and any future children she had would become his, the New York Times Magazine reported in 2018.
Mack wasn’t just a slave. She also became one of the top masters in the first level of the pyramid immediately below Raniere in DOS, according to a 2018 U.S. Attorney’s Office press release. She helped come up with some of the DOS protocol, and even came up with the branding ceremony, in which DOS slaves would be branded with both her and Raniere’s initials, the New York Times Magazine article reported. At least one branding ceremony took place at her upstate New York house under her supervision, the New York Times reported in 2017.
Mack had told the Times Magazine that DOS was “about women coming together and pledging to one another a full-time commitment to become our most powerful and embodied selves by pushing on our greatest fears, by exposing our greatest vulnerabilities, by knowing that we would stand with each other no matter what, by holding our word, by overcoming pain.”
However, victims think otherwise. Many were forced to hand over a steady stream of collateral which could be used as blackmail if they breached their vow to their masters.
Mack was arrested in 2018 on sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy charges. She pleaded guilty last year to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering charges.
"I believed Keith Raniere's intentions were to help people, and I was wrong," she told a judge at the time of her guilty plea.
Days after her arrest, Mack was released on a $5 million bond to her parents’ custody in California, NBC News reported at the time. At the time of her 2018 arraignment, prosecutors claimed Mack married fellow NXIVM member and “Battlestar Galactica” actress Nicki Clyne one year earlier in a sham marriage so that Clyne, who is Canadian, could stay in the group.
Mack seems to be keeping busy with college classes: She's reportedly been spotted taking multiple classes at UC-Berkeley, including “Gender, Sex and Power” and “The History and Practice of Human Rights,” Vice reports.
Students have been expressing their displeasure at taking classes with Mack; one TikTok user, @jefferystarrofficial, claimed she became friendly with Mack during class before learning about her involvement with NXIVM.
"Oh wait, this is her, this is the same person that carved her initials into women’s bodies,” the TikTok user explained.
Reddit user ucbthrowaway24680 wrote that Mack had left the "Gender, Sex and Power" class of her own accord: "She was in my ‘Gender, Sex and Power’ class for about a week, but left voluntarily after outcry from students who did not feel safe discussing those topics with someone who branded other women. Our professor will not tell us how the administration is handling this matter being brought to their attention due to privacy laws.”
Mack faces a maximum of 40 years in prison. She had a sentencing hearing scheduled for last September but that was postponed after her lawyers asked for more time so they could prepare evidence. Coronavirus concerns further delayed court proceedings. There's currently no date scheduled for Mack’s sentencing.
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