The Hollywood Reporter interviewed people for an in-depth look at Mack’s alleged role in DOS — short for Dominus Obsequious Sororium or Master Over Slave Women — which has been called a secret society in the supposed self-help group Nxivm. Mack and Raniere, the founder of Nxivm, have been charged with sex trafficking, sex-trafficking conspiracy, and forced-labor conspiracy for their involvement in the alleged sex cult.
So how did Mack go from a TV fan favorite to potential felon?
It started in late 2006, when she attended a two-day introduction to Jness in Vancouver. The program was billed as a “women’s movement” workshop within Nxivm and the then-23-year-old actress attended with thousands of other people around the world. Mack was living in Canada as she filmed Smallville and it was her co-star, Kristin Kreuk, who brought her along.
Kreuk, who played Lana Lang on the CW show, has admitted to being in Nxivm but denies any involvement in or knowledge of the secret sorority. She tweeted a statement explaining that she left the group years ago and has declined to comment further.
Susan Dones, a former Nxivm member and “field trainer” who had her own center in Washington state, tells THR that Raniere instructed members to roll out the red carpet for Mack. Nxivm’s president, Nancy Salzman, was speaking at the event and had her daughter Lauren seek out the young actress. “By the end of the weekend, Lauren and Allison were like best friends,” Dones, who left the group in 2009, recalls.
When the seminar concluded, Mack was invited to fly to Albany, N.Y., on a private jet to meet Raniere, whose teachings she had been hearing about all weekend. Mack accepted the offer, as she was told he could help her with her acting career. Apparently, this was a rare move even when attempting to recruit VIPs.
A few weeks later, Dones visited the corporate offices and training facility outside Albany, and she was surprised to see Mack still there: “[Allison] said she was having a great time.”
“Her celebrity was her appeal,” cult specialist Rick Ross tells THR. “There were other women who were pretty, but she was the one who was so poised, so good on camera. She was somebody who could really sell it.”
Mack, 35, has been in the entertainment industry for the better part of her life. She started acting at age 4 and was enrolled at the Young Actors Space in Los Angeles. (Leonardo DiCaprio and Keri Russell are a few notable names who attended the performing-arts academy.) Someone who worked with Mack — but didn’t want to be named — tells THR she was “as normal as ‘normal’ can be in this business … Her parents were just like, ‘This is what she wanted to do.’”
Mack was 18 when she landed the role of Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, which ran from 2001 to 2011. It was in her fifth season that she attended the Nxivm conference, and some friends say it was because she was looking for something more.
“She was so hungry for something bigger, some kind of sign [that would show] the purpose and meaning of life,” Step by Step actress Christine Lakin tells THR — the two were friends as fellow child actors in the ’90s. Some friends say Mack was insecure about not going to college and wanted to get knowledge elsewhere.
“I have a tendency to say I am stupid. I [have become] very comfortable chalking things up to the fact that I don’t have a ‘proper education,’” Mack wrote on her blog in 2007. “The truth is … I am an eternal student, and I am loving all the opportunities I have to grow.”
One of her former roommates in Vancouver also tells the publication she was looking for mentorship: “Allison had such a desire to be a strong businesswoman and have a mentor.”