The story of Smallville actress Allison Mack’s involvement in alleged “sex cult” NXIVM only grows more disturbing. Mack has been slapped with sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy charges (alongside founder Keith Raniere) and awaits trial in New York. So in an odd move, Mack recently sat down with the New York Times Magazine to reveal more than her attorneys will appreciate, especially when proudly admitting that a slave-branding ritual was her idea.
If you don’t know much about NXIVM, writer and comedian Brock Wilbur has previously published extensive research on the cult’s attempts to recruit him to write for their now-defunct website (that claimed to expose “fake news”). Wilbur also worked on a podcast in an effort to bring down NXIVM, and the details are simply astounding to behold. But back to Mack, who gamely told writer Vanessa Grigoriadis that the branding was no big deal:
In her apartment, I was surprised to hear Mack take full responsibility for coming up with the DOS cauterized brand. She told me, “I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp. I have two tattoos and they mean nothing.’ ” She wanted to do something more meaningful, something that took guts.
In court, prosecutors have alleged that this branding took place in “ceremonies,” in which “slaves” were filmed while having their pubic regions branded with founder Ranier’s initials. The women were also kept on restrictive diets and confined in cages for punishment for not adhering to the dietary or other rules, and it turns out that Mack once tried to recruit Emma Watson into the fold.
The entire Times Magazine report is well-worth reading. Mack talks about how she entered NXIVM and delivers a whole lot of cult-speak about how the organization was really a self-help one that boosted her career (it didn’t), and the entire affair sounds a lot like Scientology (of course) with a sex twist. Raniere’s roots and journey to fanatical leader get some heavy coverage as well. Check out the full piece here, while Mack’s attorneys scramble to mop up their client’s verbal diarrhea.