Smallville star Allison Mack pleaded guilty to two federal counts today in regards to the NXIVM sex cult scandal. The actress, who was arrested by the FBI in April of last year, was brought in on charges of sex trafficking, conspiracy of sex trafficking, and forced labor conspiracy in relation to the organization that she had reportedly been a part of since 2010.
According to Vulture, a teared up Mack told the court, "I have come to the conclusion that I must take full responsibility for my conduct and that’s why I am pleading guilty today." She pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of racketeering.
Mack also explained why she was drawn to NXIVM, founded by Keith Raniere, who is charged with sex trafficking and possessing child pornography. She told the court, "I joined NXIVM … to find purpose [...] I truly believed I found a group of individuals who believed as I did. I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people. I was wrong."
NXIVM marketed itself as a personal development group and multi-level marketing company that offered seminars and training for what it called "Executive Success Programs." The group heavily attracted women, including a number of high-profile actresses like Mack, her Smallville co-star Kristen Kreuk, and Battlestar Galactica's Nicki Clyne.
Cult investigator Rick Alan Ross of the Ross Institute characterized NXIVM as "expensive brainwashing", while various former members of the group criticized its hostile treatment of members and dangerous practices. A 2017 report in The New York Times detailed a "secret sisterhood" within NXIVM known as DOS, wherein female members were allegedly treated as "slaves" and branded with the initials of Raniere and Mack.
Early reports given when Mack originally pleaded not guilty to the charges noted that, if convicted, she could face 15 years to life in prison. It is unknown how much her guilty plea will change the amount of jail time, if any, she will serve. This story is currently developing.