“Leaders of the group were said to use nude photos and other compromising materials to keep lower-ranking members in line.”
Hollywood actress Allison Mack has been sentenced to three years in prison for her role in NXIVM, which former members described as a destructive sex cult.
If this was not a true-crime story, you might expect it to be something Hollywood would dream up for a movie.
NXIVM started in New York state back in the late 1990s. It presented itself as a multi-level marketing company aimed at personal and professional development through attending seminars.
It eventually evolved into a cult that revolved around its founder Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to over 100 years in prison last fall.
Victims of the cult were primarily women, many of whom described a ritual in which they were branded with Raniere’s initials and expected to have sex with him at his whim.
Allison Mack recruited people for the organization.
Cynthia Little of Variety has details on the case:
Allison Mack Sentenced to Three Years in Prison in NXIVM Sex Cult Case
Allison Mack has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, a stunning downfall for the fresh-faced actor who spent a decade as a fan favorite on “Smallville” but then became a key figure in the NXIVM cult led by convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere.
Mack, 38, learned her fate Wednesday morning in federal court in Brooklyn from U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis. She was arrested in April 2018 in Brooklyn after a wild trek with Raniere and others to Mexico, where Raniere was arrested in a villa outside Puerto Vallarta in March of that year.
“I made choices I will forever regret,” Mack told the judge, according to the Associated Press, adding that she was filled with “remorse and guilt.”…
During the hearing, one unnamed NXIVM victim made a statement via video. Actor Jessica Joan appeared in person in court to give a victim’s statement. “Allison Mack is a predator and evil human being, a danger to society with no care, remorse, or empathy for her victims,” Joan said.
Joan, who has said she suffered abuse and sexual trauma as a youth, called Mack and Raniere “the most evil monsters I’ve met.” In a statement after the sentencing decision was announced, Joan asserted that she does not believe Mack feels remorse.
Brendan Pierson of Reuters describes what some victims endured:
Actress Allison Mack gets 3 years prison for role in NXIVM cult
Before being sentenced, Mack tearfully apologized to her victims and her family, saying her actions while in the group were “abusive, abhorrent and illegal.” She said she had completely renounced NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison last year for sex trafficking and other crimes.
“Coming out from under this delusion has been the most difficult experience of my life,” Mack said.
Former NXIVM members testified at Raniere’s trial that he established a secret sorority within the organization in which “slaves” pledged total obedience to “masters,” with Raniere at the top as “grand master.” Women were kept on starvation diets, branded with Raniere’s initials and in some cases coerced into sex with him.
Leaders of the group were said to use nude photos and other compromising materials to keep lower-ranking members in line. Mack, who was both a “slave” of Raniere and “master” of other women, admitted in her guilty plea that she coerced two women into doing unpaid work by threatening to release damaging information about them.
In the smaller, central image below, you can see the brand. It’s the letters ‘K’ and ‘R’ for Keith Raniere.
Allison Mack helped convict NXIVM's Keith Raniere with tape of him discussing branding women https://t.co/guDJkER60F
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) June 22, 2021
This ABC News report from 2017 will give you some background on NXIVM if you’re interested in learning more:
It’s a cliché to suggest that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, but it fits this case.
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