ADD THIS TO THE WALL OF WEIRD…
Actress Allison Mack, best known for her role as Chloe Sullivanon Smallville was arrested last Friday and is facing charges of sex-trafficking in connection with the controversial self-help group Nxivm, which one former member has described as a “cult.”
According to People, Nxivm is based out of Albany, New York, and has been the subject of scrutiny from both law enforcement and journalists after it came under fire from Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, whose estranged daughter, India, joined the group in 2011.
In March, the group’s founder, Keith Raniere, was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.
Last Friday, Mack, 35, was arrested on the same charges.
Here are seven things to know about the case.
1. Mack Is Best Known for Playing Wholesome Chloe Sullivan on The WB’s Smallville
Before her arrest, Mack had an extensive list of acting credits. As a child actress, she had roles in several TV movies and guest starred on shows such as Providence, Empty Nest, Evening Shade and 7th Heaven. In 2001, she landed the role of Chloe Sullivan on the WB’s Smallville — a role she played for 10 years.
After Smallville ended in 2011, Mack continued to act and do voiceover work. In recent years, she appeared in FX’s Wilfred and on The Following, on Fox, among other periodic TV roles.
2. Mack Allegedly Recruited Women to Be Sex ‘Slaves’
According to a statement from prosecutors after Mack’s arrest, the actress allegedly recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group to address their weaknesses but was actually a group created by Raniere that allegedly took advantage of women sexually.
“The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit,” Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in the statement.
Prosecutors allege Raniere ran Nxivm like a “pyramid scheme” and created a secret society within the group called “DOS” — which according to prosecutors is “an acronym standing for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions.’ ”
Investigators allege Raniere, who was known as “Vanguard” within the group, occupied the top of the pyramid and was the DOS’s only male member. Beneath him were tiers of female “slaves,” each of whom could become a “master” by recruiting other women into the group, according to prosecutors.
Mack and other women occupied the next tier down from Raniere, authorities believe. According to a letter prosecutors sent to the judge opposing Mack’s bail, the actress “was focused on recruiting attractive young women who could meet Raniere’s sexual preferences.”
3. The Female ‘Slaves’ Were Allegedly Blackmailed and Branded With Raniere’s Initials
Authorities allege the women were forced to turn over “collateral” — identified as potentially-damaging personal information or materials, such as nude photographs — with which they later could be blackmailed.
Prosecutors allege that the women Mack is accused of victimizing, referred to in the indictment as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, “believed that if they did not participate in [sexual] activities with Raniere, their collateral would be released.”
Authorities suspect Mack forced DOS slaves, including Jane Doe 1, to have sex with Raniere and that Mack “groomed DOS slaves for sex with Raniere by requiring [them] to adhere to extremely restrictive diets and not remove their public hair (in accordance with Raniere’s sexual preferences) and by requiring them to remain celibate and not to masturbate.”
According to arguments prosecutors made in court documents, Mack allegedly demanded that the group’s slaves partake in “readiness” drills requiring them to respond to their masters at any time of night.
Mack’s slaves were “kept seriously sleep-deprived and emaciated to the point where they stopped menstruating,” prosecutors allege.
Additionally, DOS slaves were allegedly “branded in their pelvic regions with a cauterizing pen with a symbol that, unbeknownst to them, incorporated Raniere’s initials.”