'Smallville' actress says she got involved with NXIVM sex cult to revive her Hollywood career, friends say she was 'brainwashed'

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A former "Smallville" actress claimed that she got involved with the NXIVM sex cult to revive her Hollywood career.

Actress Allison Mack divulged her intentions for joining the NXIVM sex cult and pleaded innocence. She also spoke about going to the NXIVM headquarters in Albany, New York. Mack believed that NXIVM co-founder Keith Raniere could revive her Hollywood career.

"I moved to Albany to fill that emptiness and find the soul of myself again, if that makes sense, as it had fizzled," Mack said, according to Page Six. "I asked Keith if he would help me become a great actress again because I felt like I was a fraud."

The “Honey We Shrunk Ourselves” actress told journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis in 2017, "I just was like walking with myself, and I was going like, 'Am I crazy? Am I one of these awful people that you read about that does horrible things and thinks that she’s doing things for God?' I had a lot of conversations with myself like that."

The interview resurfaced this week on Gabriel Sherman's podcast, "Infamous: Inside America’s Biggest Scandals."

"Ultimately, I just sat down, and I like looked at my life, and I looked at my relationships, and I looked at all of the things I had written, journals that I had kept — things that I had done over the last few years. And it was so consistently good," Mack noted.

Mack refuted the sex crime accusations against her, "I'm not recruiting young, nubile women to be his sex slaves. You know, it's 'The Crucible,' it's the McCarthy trials, it's just like, throwing accusations and spreading like wildfire."

Mack confessed that friends advised her to leave NXIVM because they viewed it as a cult. Mack, 49, said her friends told her that she was "brainwashed" and "sick."

Raniere co-founded NXIVM in 1998 as an alleged self-improvement group.

According to Forbes in 2003, "Some 3,700 people have flocked to Raniere, and Executive Success Programs, the business he created in 1998. Prompted by a potent word-of-mouth network, they include Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television; Antonia C. Novello, a former U.S. surgeon general; Stephen Cooper, acting chief executive of Enron; the Seagram fortune's Edgar Bronfman Sr. and two of his daughters; and Ana Cristina Fox, daughter of the Mexican president."

The Daily Beast reported in 2018, "Raniere also allegedly created DOS, a secretive sex cult operating in New York, Canada, and Mexico. The acronym stands for 'Dominus Obsequious Sororium' which, according to one DOS member, translates to 'master over slave women,' according to court documents. DOS operates as a pyramid with levels of slaves headed by masters. The 'slaves' are expected to recruit slaves of their own, thus becoming masters themselves."

Mack wrote in 2021, "It is now of paramount importance to me to say, from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I threw myself into the teachings of Keith Raniere with everything I had. I believed, whole-heartedly, that his mentorship was leading me to a better, more enlightened version of myself. I devoted my loyalty, my resources, and, ultimately, my life to him. This was the biggest mistake and greatest regret of my life."

"I am sorry to those of you that I brought into Nxivm," she continued. "I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man. I am sorry that I encouraged you to use your resources to participate in something that was ultimately so ugly."

"I do not take lightly the responsibility I have in the lives of those I love and I feel a heavy weight of guilt for having misused your trust, leading you down a negative path," Mack added. "I am sorry to those of you whom I spoke to in a harsh or hurtful way. At the time, I believed I was helping. I believed in tough love and thought it was the path to personal empowerment. I was so confused. I never want to be someone who is considered mean, but those aspects of my humanity have been revealed in all of this; it has been devastating to reconcile."

Mack was arrested in April 2018 on charges of sex trafficking and forced labor. In a plea deal, she pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering in March 2019. Mack was sentenced to three years in prison and hit with a $20,000 fine.