‘Smallville’ Actress Claims She Joined Sex Cult To Jump-Start Her Career
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Actress Allison Mack leaves U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York after a bail hearing, April 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Mack was charged last Friday with sex trafficking for her involvement with a self-help organization for women that forced members into sexual acts with their leader. The group, called Nxivm, was led by founder Keith Raniere, who was arrested in March on sex-trafficking charges. She was released on bail at $5 million. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“Smallville” actress Allison Mack said she first joined the notorious sex cult NXIVM because she believed the organization’s co-founder could help her to reinvigorate her career.

Mack initially made the comments during a 2017 interview with Vanessa Grigoriadis — but they resurfaced in a Monday podcast, “Infamous: Inside America’s Biggest Scandals,” which featured Grigoriadis and Gabriel Sherman.

“I moved to Albany to fill that emptiness and find the soul of myself again, if that makes sense, as it had fizzled,” Mack said of her move to the NXIVM headquarters. She went on to explain that she had even asked the cult’s co-founder Keith Raniere whether he could help her to reinvent her career.

“I asked Keith if he would help me become a great actress again because I felt like I was a fraud,” she said.

Initially billed as a self-help group, NXIVM was created in 1998 by Raniere, 62, and Nancy Salzman, 68 — but things began to go south when former members began to tell stories about being branded with Raniere’s initials and about younger female members being recruited and forced to sleep with him.

Mack denied all of that in the 2017 interview, telling Grigoriadis that she had never helped to recruit new partners for Raniere and insisting that, despite warnings from friends who believed NXIVM was a cult, she believed she was making the right choices.

“I’m not recruiting young, nubile women to be his sex slaves,” Mack said, arguing that people were just making baseless accusations. “You know, it’s ‘The Crucible,’ it’s the McCarthy trials, it’s just like, throwing accusations and spreading like wildfire.”

When her friends began to grow concerned for her, Mack said that although she did find herself occasionally questioning her own judgment, she pushed back.

“I’m like, ‘Talk to me for a few minutes. Let me tell you what we’re doing,'” she said, adding that her friends did not seem convinced: “‘No, you’re brainwashed, you’re sick.'”

“I just was like walking with myself and I was going like, ‘Am I crazy? Am I one of these awful people that you read about that does horrible things and thinks that she’s doing things for God?’ I had a lot of conversations with myself like that,” Mack revealed.

The actress pleaded guilty in 2019 to charges saying that she did, in fact, assist in manipulating women into becoming Raniere’s sex slaves. She was sentenced to three years behind bars. Raniere was sentenced in 2019 to 120 years — and lost his most recent appeal in early December.

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