The star of the TV show ‘Smallville’ Allison Mack was arrested last week on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor. It appears that she was recruiting women for a “sex cult” called Nxivm. Now she faces life in prison.
Nxivm initially positioned itself as an organization that provides programs for women empowerment. However, it is now named a “cult” as it forced its female members into sexual “master-slave” relationships, built on the principle of the pyramid. One was ‘master’ to those lower on the pyramid and ‘slave’ to those higher. On the top of the organization stood Keith Raniere, known to his followers as “Vanguard.” He was also arrested last month on charges of sex trafficking.
The most shocking thing about the “sex cult” Nxivm is that it actually used people and forced them into humiliating things under the pretense of female empowerment. For example, the slave had to text her master every morning and evening, always be in touch, even at night, and do everything her master asked, like sending naked pictures or taking part in sexual games. Nxivm promised empowerment and took down payment for it in its own way.
Apart of being involved in “master-slave” relationships, members of Nxivm also took part in sessions, like “Money,” “Face of the Universe,” “Control, Freedom & Surrender,” described by Forbes in an article in 2003.
Interestingly enough, the organization was founded in the 1990s, and it wasn’t Raniere’s first attempt. Before founding Nxivm, he had been accused of running a pyramid scheme through an unrelated company.
For these two decades, articles about Nxivm emerged in the press from time to time. For example, New York Times stated that 16,000 participants had taken Nxivm’s courses, but only some of them joined Reniere’s inner circle of “master of slave women.”
Ex-members of the cult told the press that there were courses on human pain in the organization, which encouraged people to self-punish. They also revealed that they were forced into unpaid labor and kept on low-calorie diets because Raniere was attracted to a particular physique.
Apparently, Allison Mack wasn’t the only celebrity involved in the cult, and she continued recruiting women for it. In 2016 she even tweeted at Emma Watson, who is known for her feminist views, about a fantastic women’s movement that “I think you’d dig.”
[email protected] I'm a fellow actress like yourself & involved in an amazing women's movement I think you'd dig. I'd love to chat if you're open.
— Allison Mack (@allisonmack) January 24, 2016
She also tried to recruit actress Samira Shoaib by characterizing the organization as a women’s meeting where you can share experiences and support each other.
Allison Mack even left clues about the cult in the videos on her Youtube page, uploaded in 2013. Warning: you will come across a lot of harsh comments about the cult and her accusations.
What is striking is that Nxivm attracted members by promising something highly discussed currently, like empowerment, self-actualization, self-improvement, and independence. Unfortunately, people bought it.
UPD: As of right now, Mack has been released on bail at $5 million.