How Hollywood star became sex cult host
We've found your next true crime obsession.
Following the success of HBO's riveting I'll Be Gone In The Dark, it's back with a new series, The Vow.
The docuseries, which is dropping new episodes weekly on Foxtel*, follows NXIVM - the sex cult disguised as a self-help organisation run by founder Keith Raniere.
The first episode of the seven-part series introduces us to Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson, two former NXIVM members who were heavily involved with the organisation.
We also meet Raniere and his co-founder, Nancy Salzman, who worked together to recruit members, including Hollywood actress Allison Mack. (In June last year, Raniere was convicted of racketeering, sex trafficking, forced labour conspiracy and other felony charges.)
Although we only hear about her briefly in the first episode, Mack played a big role in the rise and fall of NXIVM, which will be unveiled in coming episodes.
Here's everything you need to know about Mack's life.
RELATED: What is NXIVM? Inside the sex cult
WHO IS ALLISON MACK?
If you think you've seen Allison Mack on the small screen before The Vow, it's likely you recognise her from Smallville, a teen drama following the early life of Superman/Clark Kent, where she starred as his schoolfriend Chloe Sullivan.
Before the 38-year-old became fully involved with NXIVM, Mack was a working actress who appeared on shows like Opposite Sex and Dirty Little Secret. Her last role was in 2016's Lost In Oz.
After she joined NXIVM in 2010, Mack worked her way up in the ranks, eventually becoming a high-powered member who recruited other women into the organisation.
In her role with NXIVM, Mack helped run Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS - Latin for master over slave women), a subgroup of the organisation that was marketed as a women's empowerment group, but actually abused its members.
Mack recruited women to the group, where they had to submit "collateral" (blackmail information to prevent members from talking about the group), were hit with paddles, had to starve themselves to reach Raniere's ideal weight, were pressured to have sex with him, and were branded with the cult's signature sign, a blend of Raniere's initials.
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WAS ALLISON MACK ARRESTED?
Yes, Mack was arrested in 2018 and charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and forced labour. She pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy and admitted to state law extortion and forced labour. While pleading guilty in April 2019, she said: "I must take full responsibility for my conduct."
IS ALLISON MACK IN PRISON?
Mack is not currently in prison. When she was arrested and charged in 2018, she spent a few days in jail, but was released on a $5 million bond and sent to live with her parents, where she was not allowed to use her phone or the internet while under house arrest.
WHEN WILL ALLISON MACK BE SENTENCED?
Mack could face 40 years in prison, but she won't be sentenced anytime soon. Her original sentencing date was scheduled for September 11, 2019, but was postponed. A new sentencing date has not been announced and may be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which delayed Raniere's sentencing in March.
This story originally appeared on Decider and has been reproduced here with permission
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Originally published as How Hollywood star became sex cult host