Allison Mack, the former star of the CW’s Smallville, was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison, as well as a $20,000 fine. In April 2019, she pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy related to her role in NXIVM, the Albany-based self-improvement group and multi-level marketing organization commonly referred to in the media as a “sex cult.”
Former member Jessica Joan, who revealed last December that she had been a Jane Doe in the case, gave an impassioned victim statement during the proceedings, in which she described Mack as “a demon of a woman” who had groomed her to be a “sex slave.” “Allison Mack and Keith Raniere are the most evil monsters I’ve ever met,” she said. “She sought me out like a predator stalking their prey.”
Mack also spoke to the court. “I stand before you today filled with remorse and guilt,” she said, adding that her behavior was “abusive, abhorrent, and illegal… I renounce Keith Raniere and all his teachings.” She teared up when addressing her family, who were in the courtroom. “I would not be alive without your support,” she said. She also thanked the victims who had testified against NXIVM. “Thank you for your bravery in stepping forward and speaking out,” she said.
As the second-in-command of Raniere, the enigmatic leader of NXIVM, Mack is alleged to have recruited young women to serve as her “slaves” as a “master” in the secret society DOS, a subset of NXIVM. Mack and other DOS “masters” told recruits the group was a self-improvement and “empowerment” organization, as former DOS members testified in court in 2019.
Mack was arrested in Brooklyn in 2018 on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy related to her time in NXIVM. Earlier this spring, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison for sex trafficking and other crimes. Raniere was also ordered by the judge to pay a $1.75 million fine.
As a “master” in DOS, Mack coerced young women into providing embarrassing “collateral” — often, nude images or sexually explicit videos — in exchange for membership in the group. “Slaves” were required to be branded with Mack’s and Raniere’s initials, and prosecutors allege that many were instructed to have sex with Raniere to prove their fealty to the group.
As Rolling Stone previously reported, one former DOS slave recruited by Mack, identified in court only as “Nicole,” testified that Mack required her “slaves” to adhere to extremely restrictive low-calorie diets, conducting weekly weigh-ins to ensure they didn’t gain weight, which would displease Raniere. Nicole also testified that Mack gave her various “assignments,” including being instructed by Raniere to be blindfolded and submit to receiving oral sex from another DOS member.
In a memorandum submitted to the court, Mack’s attorneys requested leniency from the court, asserting that “since being freed from the twisting influence of Raniere, Ms. Mack has re-devoted herself to pursuing a positive and constructive life,” maintaining a 4.0 average at a California community college and starting to work as a caterer.
“Ms. Mack has regained the clarity she had lost as a member of Nxivm — clarity to see past Raniere’s lies and manipulations, and to understand the incalculable harm caused by the group she was a part of,” the statement read, noting that she had fully cooperated with the government to prosecute Raniere and other DOS members, including providing crucial evidence that helped to convict Raniere: an audiotape in which he described, in graphic detail, the process of branding DOS “slaves” (this tape was played repeatedly in court during Raniere’s trial).
Mack herself also submitted a letter to the court in advance of the sentencing hearing. “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 regret of my life,” Mack said in the letter.