It’s been a little over a year since she was sentenced for her involvement in the abusive, cult-like organization NXIVM, so where is Allison Mack now? The actor, best known for her role as Superman’s best friend in the series Smallville, pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges in June. She recruited and coerced female members into a master-slave relationship and directed them to seduce NXIVM’s leader Keith Raniere.
NXIVM began as a personal development company founded in the 1990s by Raniere, but it was exposed in 2017 by the New York Times as a pyramid scheme and predatory organization that coerced its female members into sexual slavery. As it turns out, Mack was an integral part of their conditioning, recruitment and eventual branding that would leave the women with permanent physical—and indeed mental—scars. Here’s where Allison Mack is now and what happened to her after NXIVM.
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Where is Allison Mack now?
Where is Allison Mack now? The former actor is detained at FCI Dublin CA, a low-security federal correctional facility for female offenders. Mack is inmate number 90838-053, with her release date noted as March 29, 2024.
It’s one of the only federal women’s prisons in the United States. It faced allegations of rampant sexual abuse by prison officers, even the warden, according to a report published by AP in 2022. The investigation found “a permissive and toxic culture” at the Bay Area facility, where inmates were threatened or punished when they tried to speak up against “the rape club”, as it’s colloquially referred to by prisoners and workers. None of the inmates that made complaints against the prison have been identified.
Mack joined NXIVM in 2006 after attending a two-day introduction course. In 2015, the secret sorority DOS (Dominus Obsequious Sororium) was established, which in Latin translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions” and Mack was an integral part of its operations. Mack, who was a high-ranking NXIVM member at this point, told the New York Times that DOS was “about women coming together and pledging to one another a full-time commitment to become our most powerful and embodied selves by pushing on our greatest fears, by exposing our greatest vulnerabilities, by knowing that we would stand with each other no matter what, by holding our word, by overcoming pain.”
To join the group initially required a pledge to submit blackmail material, nude photos, for example, that would guarantee their silence. The DOS “sisterhood” was a sub-pyramid scheme within NXIVM’s larger operations. It was billed as a female empowerment group, comprised of circles, each led by a “master” who recruited “slaves.” In time, the subordinates also recruited their own “slaves.” It would eventually involve branding—searing Raniere’s initials into the flesh of DOS pledges and this act was at the heart of the NXIVM trial. Mack claimed responsibility for coming up with the brand and discussed the concept of the “ceremony” at length with Raniere.
“Do you think the person who is being branded should be completely nude and sort of held to the table like a sort of, almost, like a sacrifice?” Raniere asked Mack in a recorded conversation, according to the New York Times. “The person should ask to be branded,” Raniere told Mack in another recording. “She should say, ‘Please brand me. It would be an honor’—or something like that—‘an honor I want to wear for the rest of my life.’”
For her role in NXIVM, Mack was sentenced to three years behind bars, issued a $20,000 fine and 1,000 hours of community service. She began her three-year sentence on September 13, 2021, after pleading guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges. “We can confirm Allison Mack entered the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on September 13, 2021, at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Dublin in Dublin, California,” a spokesperson for the prison told NBC New York at the time. “Ms. Mack’s projected release date will be calculated in accordance with federal statutes and Bureau of Prisons policy.”
She didn’t testify against Raniere at trial but cooperated with prosecutors and provided crucial evidence of the NXIVM leader’s role in “devising the branding ceremony”, in which his initials were burned into the flesh of some followers. Raniere was sentenced to 120 years behind bars, being found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy. “The 120-year sentence imposed on Keith Raniere today is a measure of his appalling crimes committed over a decade,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme at the time. “Raniere exploited and abused his victims emotionally, physically and sexually for his personal gratification. It is my hope that today’s sentence brings closure to the victims and their families.”
The Hollywood Reporter obtained a letter written by Mack ahead of her sentencing in 2021, which expressed her remorse for the suffering she inflicted on the members of DOS. “I am sorry to those of you that I brought into NXIVM. 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.”
She continued: “I threw myself into the teachings of Keith Raniere with everything I had. I believed, wholeheartedly, 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 added.
The letter stated that Mack “publicly denounced Raniere (and her own prior association with Raniere) in the strongest possible terms.” Her attorneys continued: “That is made clear by Ms. Mack’s plea allocution, her decision to cooperate completely and fully with the government and is further underscored in her letter to this Court as well as her efforts to demonstrate her remorse to the public generally and more specifically to those she harmed. There is thus no need to impose an additional sentence of incarceration on Ms. Mack to achieve specific deterrence.”
If you want a first-person’s account of the inner workings of NXIVM, you should check out Sarah Edmondson’s book Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult That Bound My Life. As seen in the HBO Max documentary series The Vow, Edmondson spent over a decade dedicated to Keith Raniere’s vision—having enrolled more than 2,000 members over the course of 12 years. Her compelling memoir tracks were joining the organization, her indoctrination into the secret sisterhood DOS and her harrowing fight to get out to expose Raniere’s abuse.
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