Just days ago, NXIVM cult mastermind and sexual predator Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison on sex trafficking, racketeering and forced labor charges. If you’re like me and completely obsessed with watching Stan’s documentary series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult and following any and all updates about NXIVM, the news of his sentencing was cause for an emphatic “hell yes”. But also like me, you’re probably wondering where his former co-conspirator Allison Mack is now.
In the second episode of Seduced, a doco which follows the harrowing story of former NXIVM member India Oxenberg, we were introduced to Allison Mack – a former TV actress in the show Smallville who ended up running the secret sex slave society of NXIVM, called DOS. But since Seduced is focused on India’s story of being coerced into sexual slavery, we don’t learn that much background info on 38-year-old Mack herself. I’m sure there will be more to come in the series, but here’s a crash course.
How did Allison Mack meet Keith Raniere?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mack was first brought to a Vancouver group meeting in 2006 by her Smallville co-star and friend Kristen Kreuk. At the time, Smallville was a super popular show with ~the youth~, and Mack (who played Superman’s sidekick Chloe Sullivan) was a fan fave. The higher-ups at NXIVM, including Raniere and his second-in-command, president Nancy Salzman, knew with her high profile that she’d be a good “get” for the organisation. After just two days of group meetings, Mack was flown to NXIVM’s Albany, New York HQ to meet Keith Raniere in person. It usually took months and thousands of dollars for punters to land a meeting with the so-called “Vanguard”, so she was getting VIP treatment from day dot.
When did Allison Mack join NXIVM?
Shortly after meeting Raniere in 2006, Mack was all in. And she really drank the Kool-Aid, rising meteorically up the ranks and recruiting new members aggressively, even convincing her own parents to take courses that NXIVM offered. In the Hollywood Reporter article, one woman who applied for a job working for Mack said: “She told me about Jness and ESP [two arms of NXIVM] within 30 or 40 minutes of meeting her.” Mack even reached out to other actors, including Emma Watson, via Twitter. Mack had been in the acting game for over 20 years by the time she joined NXIVM, and according to the New York Times, she said tearfully during her 2019 plea hearing: “I joined NXIVM first to find purpose. I was lost and I wanted to find a place, a community in which I would feel comfortable.”
How did Allison Mack come to run a sex cult?
Keith Raniere soon tasked Mack with leading The Source, a NXIVM course targeted specifically at helping actors work on their self-development. But somewhere along the way (it’s not entirely clear when) Raniere came up with DOS, which stands for Dominus Obsequious Sororium, or Master Over Slave Women, a secret female offshoot of NXIVM. He enlisted Allison Mack as the leader of the secret society, or Master, and in turn she recruited others to join by calling it a “really cool women’s mentorship… for women who were serious about being strong women.”
In reality, women who joined were asked to provide “collateral” in the form of sexually explicit photos or videos, or by sharing damning information about themselves or their loved ones. In Seduced, India Oxenberg says that the reasoning behind this was so Allison would know you were serious about DOS – when in actual fact this material was used as a form of blackmail if members ever wanted to leave. On top of that, recruits were stripped nude, blindfolded and held down as they were branded in their pelvic area with a cauterising pen. Burned into their flesh was a symbol that combined Raniere’s and Mack’s initials, a practice that Mack has admitted was her idea.
The women were allegedly forced to have sex with Raniere, put on restrictive diets to fit his ideal body type, and suffered physical punishment. One woman also claims she was held captive in a bedroom for two years and forced into sexual activity with Raniere. Allison Mack acted as second-in-charge (after Raniere) of DOS while it was in operation, and on April 20, 2018 was charged with racketeering, sex trafficking and forced labor charges.
Where is Allison Mack now?
Just four days after she was charged, Mack was released on $5 million bond and and on house arrest to her parents’ place in California. She pleaded guilty to all charges in April 2019 and her sentencing, which was originally slated for September 2019, has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report in Variety, when she finally is sentenced, Allison Mack could face up to 15 years in prison for her crimes.
Catch new episodes of Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult on Sundays from 5pm only on Stan.