Last year, it seemed like another new sex scandal emerged every couple of days, but this one might be more shocking than any of those. Allison Mack, who played Clark Kent’s sweet hometown gal pal/computer ace sidekick on ‘Smallville’ for ten seasons, has been arrested and charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. She was arrested Friday in New York. Her partner Keith Raniere, the reported mastermind was previously arrested and ordered detained. Mack was to have been arraigned Friday afternoon, while Raniere is due to be arraigned at a later date. They both face a fine of a mandatory 15 years to life in prison.
United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue stated:
“As alleged in the indictment, Allison 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.”
Mack reportedly created an organization called The Source, which was allegedly meant to recruit actors. This appears to have been a front for a “secret society” created by Raniere called DOS, an acronym for a Latin phrase that translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions.” Mack and others recruited female victims by telling them that their group was meant to empower them.
Here is the Justice Department’s full press release:
According to court filings, during the past 20 years, Raniere established a series of purported self-help programs within his umbrella organization “Nxivm” (pronounced NEX-i-um). Nxivm is based in Albany, New York and has operated centers in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South America. Nxivm maintains features of a pyramid scheme, as its courses cost thousands of dollars each and participants (“Nxians”) are encouraged to pay for additional classes and to recruit others to take classes in order to rise within the ranks of Nxivm. A number of Nxians were residents of the Eastern District of New York when they were recruited, and Nxivm has held promotional recruiting events in Brooklyn. Mack is credited in publicly available materials with co-creating a Nxivm program, called The Source, which recruited actors.
As detailed in court filings, in 2015, Raniere created a secret society within Nxivm called “DOS,” an acronym that stands for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” or “The Vow.” DOS operated with levels of women “slaves” headed by “masters.” 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. Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid. Other than Raniere, all members of DOS were women. Mack is one of the women in the first level of the pyramid immediately below Raniere.
Mack and other DOS masters recruited DOS slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them and eradicate purported weaknesses that the Nxivm curriculum taught were common in women. Mack and other DOS masters concealed Raniere’s status at the top of the pyramid from new recruits.
As a pre-condition to joining DOS, women were required to provide “collateral,” which included highly damaging information about friends and family members, nude photographs and/or rights to the recruit’s assets. DOS slaves were told that their collateral could be released for any number of reasons, including telling anyone about DOS’s existence or leaving DOS. Many DOS slaves were branded on their pelvic areas using a cauterizing pen with a symbol which, unbeknownst to them, incorporated Raniere’s initials. During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and a master would order one slave to film the branding while the others restrained the slave being branded.
According to court filings, Mack directly or implicitly required her slaves, including Jane Does 1 and 2, as identified in the Indictment, to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange for this, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere. Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 believed that if they did not participate in those activities with Raniere, their collateral would be released.
It’s stunning to hear about such a frightening turn of events involving someone who presented herself as being so wholesome in her TV role. Chloe Sullivan was created strictly for ‘Smallville’ but proved so popular that she was introduced in the comic books afterward. In addition to ‘Smallville’, Mack appeared on FX’s ‘Wilfred’ and provided a voice for the Amazon animated series ‘Lost in Oz’.
Check back for updates regarding this disturbing event as they are revealed.