Now that Allisom Mack has been arrested along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, she is facing at least 15 years behind bars if convicted.
But how did she go from a charismatic young actress to an alleged monster who used blackmail to force women to obey their cult leader?
It didn’t happen overnight.
The Hollywood Reporter describes how Allison Mack went from a bright eyed teen actress to one of the leaders of a sex slave cult infamous for blackmail and branding.
When Mack landed the role of Chloe Sullivan on what would turn out to be the long-running series, Smallville, she moved to Vancouver, where most good television is made.
Unfortunately, she moved alone and had no real friends with her. At the same time, she was anxious about skipping college to pursue her acting career.
So when her costar Kristin Kreuk uninvited her to what was presented as some women’s empowerment classes,
Mack was apparently already seeking “alternative sources of wisdom.” She believed that she had found it with an organization called Nxivm.
12 years before Mack would be arrested shortly after cult leader Keith Raniere, the self-described “Vanguard” already had a harem.
But that wasn’t the side of Nxivm that Mack saw at first. And Kreuk never made it that far into the cult.
Instead, it’s said that Raniere and his inner circle rolled out the red carpet for Mack as part of something that they call “love-bombing.”
Mack was then invited to meet Raniere — something that she would not have expected, and something that would normally have involved investing thousands of additional dollars in classes.
On her blog in 2007, Mack wrote: “The truth is … I am an eternal student, and I am loving all the opportunities I have to grow.”
Growth often means change, and it’s undeniable that Mack went through a stunning transformation during her time with Nxivm.
But … for the worse.
Because once you get past the vague ramblings about empowerment, Nxivm is all about the cult leader … and his harem.
Women like Mack eventually became part of what is called DOS, which stands for Dominus Obsequious Sororium, which means Master Over Slave Women.
That doesn’t get less creepy because it’s Latin, folks.
It also doesn’t help that this alleged sex-cult-within-a-cult has also been referred to as “The Vow.”
These women were branded — prosecutors say without their foreknowledge or consent — with a symbol that turned out to be an amalgam of Mack and Raniere’s initials.
Refusal to follow the orders of a “master,” and particularly Allison Mack, was allegedly answered with physical punishments and with threats to release blackmail materials.
But it took years before Mack attained that status or took on the role of enforcer. She was introduced to that side of Nxivm in stages.
Some of Mack’s former friends believe that she was simply brainwashed and is yet another victim. But it is difficult to make that argument when her initials were branded onto other women’s.
Mack was reportedly the “master” of all of these “slaves,” answering only to Raniere.
If anyone balked at her instructions, she would reportedly berate them.
Mack would reportedly scream at them: “You made a lifetime vow!”
One of THR’s sources says: “Mack was incredibly intimidating, cruel, and punitive.”
If these “slaves” refused her orders, dated other men, left the group, or refused to have sex with Raniere, Mack would apparently threaten to destroy them by releasing their collateral.
“She berated them and told them they were worth nothing, that they were weak and couldn’t uphold their word.”
Initially, it was not Mack’s potential as an enforcer of Raniere’s will over a group of slaves that made her appealing.
It was her charisma and, of course, her status as an actress that made her such a catch for Nxivm.
According to Rick Ross, a self-described cult deprogrammer:
“There were other women who were pretty, but she was the one who was so poised, so good on camera. She was somebody who could really sell it.”
This isn’t just a horrifying story — it is a cautionary tale.