Infobae is a news website created in 2002. The organization has 450 staff journalists and over 1000 stringers. Their headquarters is in Buenos Aires. The company has news bureaus and local editions in New York City, Mexico City, Miami, Bogotá, São Paulo, and Madrid.
They were good enough to entertain readers with a birthday notice of Allison Mack. She turned 40 on July 29. The story is in Spanish:
Here is an English translation. Mack turned 40 on July 29.
There are a few clarifications, which I will make in [brackets and bold.]
By Matías Bauso
July 29, 2022
Today, at the prison in the Californian city of Dublin, a few miles from San Francisco, one of the inmates may be allowed more visitors than usual. She wears the number 90838-053 – her ID number within the prison system – hanging on the left side of her orange prison jumpsuit.
It is a special date for her. It is her 40th birthday. It must be the saddest celebration of her life.
Allison Mack, the actress who for ten seasons played Chloe Sullivan, the best friend of young Clark Kent in the series Smallville, reached 40 while serving a three-year prison sentence she received in the middle of last year for being a member of the NXIVM sect led by Keith Raniere.
The fall was abrupt. From TV star to inmate.
[Actually, the sentencing guidelines were 14-17.5 years. The prosecution asked the judge to sentence her below the guidelines.]
Then with ups and downs, she participated in many commercials, plays, series and movies. Her big break came in 2001 with her role as Chloe in Smallville, the series about Superman’s youth.
After setbacks and a stagnation in her career, she joined NXIVM, brought there by a fellow cast member.
[Mack joined NXIVM at the height of her career in 2006, when she was starring in Smallville.]
At the end of one of the courses, someone approached her and invited her to meet Raniere. She was told she would be the special guest, and a private plane would be made available to her. The meeting between the leader and the actress took place a few hours later.
From that moment on, NXIVM became the center of Allison’s life. Her acting career was put on hold. She was in a relationship with actor Sam Witwer, but the engagement fell apart.
Raniere’s first name is Keith, but he preferred to be called Vanguard.
Raniere was the founder and leader of NXIVM, a society that was simultaneously a company that provided self-improvement courses, a sect, a criminal group, and a vehicle for the abuse of women.
The courses and seminars were presented as ideal for the personal and professional development of its participants. Each of them cost thousands of dollars and were organized in a way that one was concatenated with another. Thus, the training of a student/client took a lot of time and money.
[Allison was one of eight founding sisters – a DOS leader. All the founding sisters of the sororium were obsequious to the Dominus, Raniere.]
That definition was nothing more than a euphemism.
The harangue with which young women were summoned was more or less always the same:
“We are women coming together and committing full time, one to another, to make ourselves more powerful, to push us to face our worst fears and expose our greatest vulnerabilities, to know that we stand side by side no matter what, and to keep our word in coping with pain,” Allison Mack would say with conviction.
Admission required several steps. The first was an oath of allegiance and submission. Then there were assurances [collateral] to be given.
The women were forced to reveal family secrets, many unspeakable, in front of a camera: their words were recorded. This emotional nudity was not enough. Allison Mack, the recruiter, demanded a second guarantee. The nudity had to be physical. The applicant had to send her unclothed photos, which were kept under threat of being made public in case of defection.
The initiation rite was atrocious. Three or four women in a room. [Sometimes more.] Their mistress blindfolds them and orders them undressed. They obey without hesitation. Their will is bent. As they take off their clothes, although they see nothing, they know that others are doing the same. Then they are pushed into a van.
They travel naked, with only the blindfold over their eyes. They drive a few kilometers. They know not where they’re going.
[I understand some women were blindfolded and driven somewhere, but they disrobed after they arrived.]
At the destination, someone helps them get out. They enter a house. Perhaps, one of the women peeks under the cloth and sees it is a luxurious dwelling.
The screams and tears do not stop the operation. The one who stoically endures the torture is congratulated and made an example of. In the air lingers the sickly-sweet stench of charred skin.
If viewed vertically, the hieroglyphic becomes an A and an M, the initials of Allison Mack.
From the side, with a landscape view, what emerges does not cause, at this point, any surprise.
In that brand carved with hot iron (or with an electric scalpel), cauterized on the skin, appear a K and an R, the initials of the first and last names of the leader, Keith Raniere, who will later have sexual access to the initiated women marked with his initials.
Being a member of DOS meant becoming a slave.
One became part of a pyramid structure in which the women who occupied the higher positions were the mistresses of those lower in the hierarchy. The slaves had to be available 24 hours a day in case they were called by Allison Mack or Raniere. They were obliged to be on a permanent diet and had to submit to the sexual initiatives of the leaders.
Whoever violated confidentiality committed what Mack or Raniere considered a breach. Whoever did not obey blindly risked that the photos and confessions given at the beginning, the sensitive and intimate material, would be disseminated. A clearly extortive procedure.
A cult with sex slaves, brainwashing, and even branding as if they were cattle.
Allison convinced her slaves that having sex with Raniere had “healing” powers. He liked very skinny women, so they were subjected to diets of less than 800 calories a day.
Allison Mack, a magnet. The applicants were young, skinny and beautiful. They all seemed to follow the same physical pattern, Raniere’s taste. Many testimonies agree Mack was the main recruiter and head of DOS.
She ripped into Emma Watson in a tweet inviting her to the group.
Mack Tweeted, “I’m involved in a unique humanitarian movement for women’s development. I would love to tell you about it. As a colleague of yours, I know we share a view of the world. I think we could work together. Let me know if you are willing to talk.”
Mack received no response from the Harry Potter actress.
Allison Mack was the boss (mistress) of a small army of nearly 20 women at her and Raniere’s beck and call, who could not engage in romantic or sexual relations with other partners.
Nor could they demand to see Vanguard more frequently. They were only available (and extremely thin) for individual or group sex sessions.
The daily dynamics of the slaves required them to ask their mistress for permission to eat (in the trial, one of the victims narrated how she blamed herself for Raniere’s erection problems for weeks because she was two pounds heavier than permitted) and even to sleep, to report their movements and every food they ingested.
Even if there was no planned activity, they had to make themselves available to their mistress and Vanguard. Every now and then, all of them, mistresses and slaves, took a “Family Photo”. Naked, hugging, and with broad smiles, they would send a picture to Raniere.
Allison Mack would send a message to one of her slaves at any time of day. The text was only a question mark. The reply was to come in less than a minute. “Here I am. Ready, Mistress.”
The court sentence was delayed because of the pandemic. In the meantime, the actress had to serve house arrest (at her parents’ house, without access to cell phones or internet connection) and bail of 5 million dollars.
In those days, she tried to take courses at the University of Berkeley, but was repudiated by other students. She also divorced Nicki Clyne, a Canadian actress from the Battlestar Galactica series, who was a member of the cult and forced to marry her so that Clyne could obtain U.S. citizenship.
Raniere was first sentenced to 120 years. The prosecutor asked for 14 years for Mack. But her sentence was reduced because she decided to cooperate with the investigation.
She told the prosecutors how the organization was organized, the modus operandi of the subjugations, and fingered Raniere and others responsible for NXIVM.
In this way, she managed to get the initial charges of sex trafficking, abuse, and organizing slave labor dropped, and was only charged with racketeering, something similar to being part of an illicit association, being part of a criminal organization, and extortion. Her admission of guilt was reduced to those two crimes.
Before the judge and before some of her victims, Allison Mack apologized.
Her statement was detailed and seemed sincere. She said what she did was because of “a misguided inclination to Raniere’s teachings.”
That at the time she joined the organization, she was emotionally unstable, trying to find a direction for her artistic career, and this vulnerability allowed her to act in this way. She maintained she was only looking for Raniere to turn her back into a great actress.
She ended by saying, “I apologize to those I brought to NXIVM. I ask them to forgive me for exposing them to that nefarious and emotionally abusive scheme run by that twisted man. I ask your forgiveness for pushing you to put your money and your body into something so horrendous.”
“I feel the weight of enormous guilt for having violated your trust, for having taken a horrible path. I apologize to all those I spoke badly to and those I hurt. I believed I was helping at the time. I believed in love and empowerment. I was confused. I never wanted to be an evil person, but I was. Raniere and the organization were the worst mistakes of my life. And my biggest regret.”
Today Allison Mack is far from red carpets, magazine covers, movie sets, and Hollywood luxury. She’s still in California, relatively close to the movie Mecca, but she’s locked up in a cell. Maybe someone will bring her a cake this afternoon to blow out the candles for her 40th birthday.