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Allison Mack to be released on $5 million bond in sex trafficking case How these Smallville stars were lured into a cult
April 27, 2018

If you read any of the headlines in the spring of 2018, you probably had one question: Exactly how were two of the stars of
Smallville, Allison Mack and Kristin Kreuk, lured into a cult that’s been accused of everything from sex trafficking to the branding of women? To answer that, we need to take several giant steps back, and first look at the parent organization allegedly responsible, NXIVM.
NXIVM (pronounced “nexium”) is a so-called self help organization that’s been compared to Scientology on account of its rigid hierarchy. Members are ranked and assigned colored sashes, according to a 2012 Albany Times Union investigation. Meanwhile, its New Age ideology teaches the need for “ethical people” to control “much of the world’s money” in order for “human existence to survive.” The founder of NXIVM is Keith Raniere, a self-styled guru who renamed himself “The Vanguard,” and who also allegedly used his powerful position within the cult to coerce female members into sexual relationships.
Raniere created other organizations within NXIVM, including the “exclusive sorority” Dominus Obsequious Sororium, or DOS, which former NXIVM member Frank Parlato (via The Daily Mail ) claims was co-founded by Allison Mack. It’s within the dark inner workings of DOS that this story truly broke open, particularly after Raniere was taken into custody in Mexico while Mack helplessly looked on as her guru was nabbed for suspicion of “sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor.” Since then, news outlets — and law enforcement organizations — began tracking both Mack and Kreuk’s involvement, as well as the sordid details of DOS.
Here’s what we found out about how the former Smallville stars were lured into a cult.
Kristin Kreuk’s involvement
After Raniere’s arrest, the spotlight immediately fell on the famous people who’d gotten wrapped up in his cult. The most notable name on that list has to be Kristin Kreuk, who played Lana Lang, the love interest of a teenage Clark Kent on the CW drama, Smallville .
According to Parlato (via The New York Post), Kreuk got involved with NXIVM in the mid-2000s, and it was her involvement that allegedly attracted co-star Allison Mack. “Allison was used, as was Kristin, as a lure to bring in other women because of their celebrity status,’ Parlato also told The Post. This timeline, as far as Mack’s involvement, was seemingly corroborated by a December 2017 20/20 report in which NXIVM
whistleblower Sarah Edmondson claimed that Mack joined in 2008.
Mack would allgedly go on to become an important figure in the organization (more on that in a moment), while Kreuk claims to have had minimal involvement.
Kreuk’s exit and denial of wrongdoing
Parlato — who claims he left NXIVM after one year of employment there and is currently involved in lawsuits with the group — told The New York Post that Kreuk was part of the NXIVM’s “inner circle,” and that she only left in 2012 after reports surfaced alleging Raniere’s sexual misconduct with minors.
Kreuk disputes this claim in a note she
tweeted which read, in part, “The accusations that I was in the ‘inner circle’ or recruited women as ‘sex slaves’ are blatantly false. During my time, I never experienced any illegal or nefarious activity. I am horrified and disgusted by what has come out about DOS.”
Kreuk also says in the note that she initially joined the self-help program to help with her “previous shyness,” and that she now regrets having anything to do with the organization. “I am deeply disturbed and embarrassed to have been associated with NXIVM,” she writes. “I hope that the investigation leads to justice for all those affected.”
For Mack, however, it seems to be a whole different story.
Allison Mack dove deep
Sarah Edmondson told 20/20 that soon after Mack joined NXIVM, she “became a favorite of management,” thanks to her “huge following and lots of fans.” Her quick advancement in the organization led to her assuming leadership positions in several sub-groups, including the supposed female empowerment movement, Jness, and the infamous DOS, according to Parlato.
Publicly, Mack has advertised her involvement with Jness, both on her YouTube channel, and on her website . “When I found Jness, I saw that my struggles as a woman came from a lack of understanding,” Mack writes, adding, “Many years later, the curriculum continues to guide me through the maze of my inner world shining light on the dark corners of my psychodynamic revealing confusions and insecurities that have hindered the expression of the authentic, empowered woman I have always sought to embody.” Okay.
Mack (and Kreuk, incidentally) also promoted an a capella singing group, which may have
had ties to Raniere. But Mack’s public involvement with NXIVM doesn’t stop there.
Mack’s devotion is real
On the autobiography page of Mack’s personal website, the former Smallville star doesn’t attempt to hide her devotion to Raniere. She writes, “Over the course of several years, Mr. Raniere mentored Allison in her study of acting and music. As such, she has developed a deep connection to the nature of humanity as it relates to acting as an art form, and a tool for personal evolution.”
Together, Mack and Raniere created another NXIVM offshoot, called The Source, which Mack describes as “a private arts academy” that “provides a unique toolset and innovative exercises to increase one’s mastery of the art of compassion, utilizing the disciplines of acting and expression.”
Mack’s feelings about the teachings of Raniere, particularly in terms of The Source, were laid bare in a 2017 video in which she listens to Raniere’s thoughts on “authenticity” and the desire to “breakthrough a type of existential isolation.” Mack is literally brought to tears as Raniere speaks, and it becomes clear just how intertwined her life has become with Raniere’s rhetoric. However, according to Parlato, there is a much darker side to all of this life-affirmation and self-empowerment. The Authentic Human
What exactly is DOS?
Parlato also alleges that DOS doubles as an acronym for “dominant over submission,” and that its members are coerced by Mack and Raniere using the collection of “collateral” (like compromising photos) to allow themselves to be branded with the pair’s initials. DOS members are also allegedly made to take “The Vow,” which promises “lifetime slavery to Mr. Raniere and Miss Mack.” Pretty big leap from feminist studies, a capella singing, and acting classes there, right? But wait — it gets worse.
“The ‘cream’ of Jness women are invited to join DOS, and the ‘cream’ of DOS women are invited to join Mr. Raniere’s harem [subject to his approval],” Parlato claims. Ugh.
In 2017, Mack allegedly assumed the leadership role for DOS, which involved her traveling the globe to ” recruit young woman [ sic ] to join” the various groups within NXIVM. Not surprisingly, however, Mack has never publicly acknowledged having anything to do with DOS, nor has she been convicted of any criminal wrongdoing, as of this writing. Which brings us to…
The Feds nabbed Raniere
As we previously mentioned, this whole thing kicked off with Raniere’s arrest on March 26, 2018 at a luxury resort in Mexico. According to the FBI , he was extradited and would be charged in Texas the following day for “sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.” At no point in the FBI’s report is a co-conspirator named, however some of Parlato’s more sensational allegations, as well as those of women who have come forward to accuse Raniere of identical crimes, seem to have at least sparked probable cause for a federal investigation.
“As alleged in the complaint, Keith 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,” United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said while announcing the charges.
The complaint also described Raniere’s organization as an “unorthodox pyramid scheme,” in which “slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid.”
At that point, it didn’t seem like the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office had any interest in Mack, even though she was apparently witness to Raniere’s arrest.
Mack was present at Raniere’s arrest
Thanks to cell phone footage obtained by — who else? — Frank Parlato, Mack was exposed to the world as being present when the Mexican authorities dragged the guru away. TMZ ran the story along with Parlato’s footage (embedded above), and wrote that Mack “is believed to be second-in-command to Raniere.”
Parlato also published the video footage on
Art Voice , along with the identities of three other women who were supposedly present, and who, as Parlato phrased it, “gather to chase after the car that arrested Keith Raniere.” (The women can be heard on the video saying, “We’re going to follow.”) This story was then picked up by The Daily Mail , who cited an unnamed local Mexican “authority” who claims the women then engaged in a high-speed car chase with police.
The Feds later arrested Allison Mack
Allison Mack wasn’t arrested at the same time as Raniere, but it was apparently only a matter of time before she too was nabbed by federal authorities.
On April 20, 2018, Mack was arrested on some serious (and seriously troubling) charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. In a statement explaining the indictment (via The Hollywood Reporter), Richard P. Donoghue of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said 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.” So yeah, Mack got hit with the same charges levied at Raniere upon his arrest. Moreover, the five-page indictment (via Vice ) explained that the organization’s M.O. was allegedly to coerce women into sex acts by “means of serious harm or threats of serious harm.”
It would seem that the FBI is looking to build a case and take down Raniere, Mack, and their associates. “We ask that anyone who might have been a victim to reach out to us with information that may further our investigation,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney.
So, to circle back around to the original question: How did these Smallville stars get lured into a cult? The same way anyone with a garage full of unsold vitamins or a phobia of public speaking could have been duped. Only it seems this crew had darker motivations, which Kreuk apparently sensed, and to which Mack perhaps fell victim to, and possibly even fostered. Regardless of why the famous folk got involved, the real story here is the victims, for whom hopefully justice will be served.

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