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Smallville Alum Allison Mack Thought NXIVM Sex Cult Would Make Her 'A Great Actress Again'

Smallville Alum Allison Mack Thought NXIVM Sex Cult Would Make Her 'A Great Actress Again'

An explosive new podcast is set to reveal a ton of insight into the NXIVM sex cult scandal!

On Monday, journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis and author Gabriel Sherman revealed the teaser for their podcast Infamous: Inside America’s Biggest Scandals‘ next big case — and it’s already super intense! In the six-minute clip that dropped this week, actress Allison Mack, who was one of the members to face jail time for her role in the cult, opened up about why she joined the controversial group in the first place.

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According to the Smallville alum — who spoke with Grigoriadis in 2017, though the audio is being released for the very first time now — she joined the infamous cult co-founded by Keith Raniere to “become a great actress again.” She shared:

“I moved to Albany (NXIVM’s headquarters) to fill that emptiness and find the soul of myself again, if that makes sense, as it had fizzled.”

The Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves star continued:

“I asked Keith if he would help me become a great actress again because I felt like I was a fraud.”

In case you don’t know, in 1998, Keith and Nancy Salzman founded NXIVM, a personal development company that offered “executive success programs” and a range of techniques promising self-improvement with an emphasis on bringing people “more joy” in their lives. They gained popularity when Clare and Sara Bronfman, the daughters of the late philanthropist and Seagrams heir Edgar Bronfman Sr., showed the group support. But things weren’t as they seemed behind closed doors…

Former members came forward claiming they’d been indoctrinated into a sex cult! Several explained how they had given extremely personal information to the group — which then used it to blackmail them into becoming sex slaves. Some were even branded with Raniere and Mack’s initials!

In 2019, Raniere was finally sentenced to 120 years behind bars for his crimes, a decision that was upheld by an appeals court earlier this month. Mack was also sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the leader. This is particularly interesting since years prior — in the newly released interview — she maintained her innocence on the very matter, saying:

“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.”

She also insisted Keith was “not the head of a harem.” Interestingly, the 40-year-old then revealed she once felt pressured to leave the group when her friends were concerned about her involvement, she dished:

“I’m like, ‘Talk to me for a few minutes. Let me tell you what we’re doing.’”

They would reply, she recalled:

“‘No, you’re brainwashed, you’re sick.'”

Sometimes, she allowed herself to ponder this, she mused:

“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.”

And yet, she always came back to the same conclusion: she was doing the right thing. She continued:

“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.”

Whoa. So close…

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Grigoriadis also spoke to Raniere in a separate newly released interview, in which he denied that women had been branded with his initials — though he didn’t seem too disgusted by the concept, comparing it to the branding historically done by Black fraternities. The 62-year-old said:

“You look at it compared to the Omega Psi fraternity, we had one of those branches on campus where I went to college. African American. They brand themselves with an Omega. Michael Jordan has a brand and the Omega. They brand these things to be very visible and they make it ’til they go puffy. And things like that. A group of 10 or 15 women in suburbia, their average age is like 40, getting together and deciding to have a little hip brand. If that were guys, it wouldn’t make news. The fact that it’s women and the fact that it makes news is reinforcing, unfortunately, a negative stereotype of women, I think.”

Well, that certainly sounds like someone trying their best to defend branding women, doesn’t it??

Whew. Seems like these interviews are going to be very revealing! One episode of this five-part series will be released every week beginning on Thursday. Listen to the teaser HERE. Reactions?! Sound OFF (below)!!

[Image via Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube & Daniel Tanner/ WENN]

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Dec 28, 2022 12:41pm PDT