Today, it was reported that Keith Raniere, the leader of sex cult Nxivm, has been sentenced to 120 years in prison. Nxivm, which masqueraded as a self-improvement workshop, was created to lure young, sometimes underage female professionals. Founded by Raniere and Nancy Salzman in the late '90s, the MLM company was finally brought down by an exposé published by the New York Times in October 2017. This led to an official, federal investigation that unveiled Raniere's despicable (and downright evil) actions and behavior, and also revealed the shocking role Smallville actress Allison Mack played.
The NYT article, titled "Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded" uncovered the truth about Raniere and how he forced young women into becoming his "sex slaves." They were physically branded with a cauterizing device, starved, raped, and encourage to recruite other "slaves." They were all instructed to call Raniere their "master." Mack was one of the ringleaders who helped Raniere run his whole operation. In 2019, she pled guilty to sex trafficking. “I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people, and I was wrong,” she said during the court hearing, per the AP.
What's Allison Mack's sentencing date?
As of now, Mack's sentencing date hasn't been made. After Raniere was arrested and charged in early 2018, Mack was also arrested and charged with sex trafficking and forced labor, and was released on a $5 million bond. Although her sentencing was originally scheduled to be in September 2019, movement on the case was pushed back “to allow time to complete pre-sentencing reports” and that the ringleader has been released on bond under strict rules. The sentencing has further been delayed due to COVID-19.
It also appears that Mack is facing additional legal consequences for her actions. Per Entertainment Tonight, a new lawsuit was formed in January 2020 against Mack, claiming that she, along with Raniere and 13 other people "exerted power over the plaintiffs; took their money; made it financially, physically and psychologically difficult, and in some cases impossible, to leave the coercive community; and systematically abused plaintiffs physically and emotionally."
What did Allison Mack do during her time at Nxivm?
Although it's probably not fully clear at this point the extent of Mack's role at Nxivm, Mack admitted, under oath that she tried recruiting other women, and forced women to give her humiliating, personal information and photographs to be used as blackmail. "I'm very sorry for the victims of this case. I'm very sorry for who I've hurt through my misguided adherence to Keith Raniere's teachings," she stated in court. One of of the people Mack abused, Nicole, was interviewed by Rolling Stone and shared her horrifying experiences with Mack.
Nicole told Rolling Stone that Mack coerced her to write false accusations against her father, detailing that he molested her as a child. When Nicole wanted to leave, Mack told her that it wasn't possible, and that being part of the cult was a "lifetime commitment." Mack also forced Nicole to "show her devotion" by blindfolding her and driving her to a location where someone raped her (allegedly it was another woman in the group who was forced to perform oral sex on Nicole, which is also considered rape FYI). Nicole also alleged that Mack and Raniere were in a sexual relationship.
Although Nicole was finally able to leave the cult in 2017, it took her a long time to process her abuse. "Things would get normalized, and slowly become more intense...if you put a frog in hot water, they just jump out. If you put a frog in cold water, and slowly turn the heat up, they just boil it to death," she said.
If you need support, The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be connected with a trained staff member in your area. Or visit RAINN.org to chat online with a support specialist at any time.