‘Smallville’ Star Allison Mack Claims NXIVM Branding Ritual Was Her Idea
By Liz Calvario
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment
Allison Mack is opening up about her involvement in the controversial NXIVM organization.
In a New York Times feature published on Wednesday, the 35-year-old former Smallville actress claims that she had a part in the creation of the group's branding ritual, which involved women being branded as a rite of passage with a symbol that includes a "K" and an "R," the initials of the secretive group's leader, Keith Raniere.
Writer Vanessa Grigoriadis says that when she met Mack, the actress took "full responsibility for coming up with the DOS cauterized brand."
"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,'” Mack told Grigoriadis, adding that she "wanted to do something more meaningful, something that took guts."
Mack also explained how she joined the group when she was dissatisfied with her career and asked Raniere to “make her a great actress again." She also admitted to recruiting other women, adding, “I found my spine, and I just kept solidifying my spine every time I would do something hard."
ET learned at the time that Mack’s bond was set at $5 million by a federal judge in Brooklyn, and that she was released to live with her parents under "home detention with electronic monitoring" in California. She pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking.
Raniere's NXIVM is under investigation by the FBI. In March, he was arrested in Mexico for allegedly turning "female followers into brainwashed slaves," CBS News reported at the time.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of New York, Mack and Raniere allegedly branded their victims and forced them to participate in sex acts through the various self-help programs that Raniere established within his umbrella organization, NXIVM. The statement also claims that the organization maintains features of a pyramid scheme, is based in Albany, New York, and has operated centers in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South America.
If convicted, Mack and Raniere could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, up to life imprisonment.