Apr 20, 2018

Allison Mack, 'Smallville' actor, arrested in connection with alleged sex cult

Allison Mack attends Day 3 of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con on August 11, 2013 in Rosemont, Illinois.
Allison Mack
Chris Jancelewicz
Global News
April 20, 2018

Mack, who played Chloe on the superhero show, is due to appear in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Friday. She was arrested by the FBI, but as of this writing it’s unclear what charges she faces.

It’s expected that they’ll be related to recruitment of women into the group, and potentially aiding in organizing Nxivm (pronounced “Nexium”).

The Emmy-winning actor was last seen chasing after the police vehicle containing Raniere, who was arrested in Mexico at the end of March for sex trafficking and forced labour and was extradited to the U.S. to face trial. The actor is widely known as one of Raniere’s top confidantes.

Authorities have long alleged Raniere led the secretive clan of female followers — including some Hollywood celebrities — and brainwashed them into “sex slaves.” He then allegedly branded them with his initials in their pelvic regions and coerced them into having sex with him.

According to the filed complaint, Raniere (who was known in the group as “The Vanguard”) oversaw the functioning of Nxivm, which operated under an archaic system: women were told the best way to advance was to become a “slave” watched over by “masters.”

They were expected to have sex with their “master” and do any and all menial chores they were ordered to. They weren’t to tell anybody about the arrangement, and they risked public humiliation if they ever revealed details to any party.

Raniere, 57, posted an open letter to the Nxivm website, ruing “the picture being painted in the media” about his group and denying any accusations levied against him.

“Over the past months, there have been extensive independent investigations performed, by highly qualified individuals, and they have firmly concluded that there is no merit to the allegations that we are abusing, coercing or harming individuals,” it read in part. “These allegations are most disturbing to me as non-violence is one of my most important values.”

The complaint said that many victims participated in videotaped ceremonies where they were branded in their pelvic area with a symbol featuring Raniere’s initials.

“During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and the master would order one slave to film while the other held down the slave being branded,” the complaint says.

Investigators said Raniere preferred exceptionally thin women, so “slaves” had to stick to very low-calorie diets and document every food they ate. As punishment for not following orders, women were forced to attend classes where they were “forced to wear fake cow udders over their breasts while people called them derogatory names,” or threatened with being put in cages, court papers say.

Raniere left the U.S. in late 2017 after The New York Times published the accounts of numerous women who defected from Nxivm. Federal investigators began to interview people with supposed connections to the group after the NYT article, and court papers allege that Raniere did everything to cover his tracks, including using encrypted emails and getting rid of his phone.

Raniere and Nxivm have been the subject of criticism for years, dating back to at least 2012 when the Times Union of Albany published a series of articles examining the organization and allegations that it was like a cult.

Other rumoured celebrity members include former Battlestar Galactica star Nicki Clyne and Canadian actor Kristen Kreuk. Clyne has not commented publicly on her involvement, while Kreuk did confirm her affiliation with Nxivm in the past, though she emphasized that she had “minimal contact” with the group after she left it five years ago.

This is a developing story…


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