Allison Mack Says Branding Women Was Her Idea


Allison Mack, the former Smallville star arrested last month on sex trafficking and forced labor charges for her role as a leader of the alleged sex cult NXIVM, has said that she is the one who master-minded some of the organization’s more controversial practices.

The New York Times Magazine has published a lengthy article featuring Mack, Keith Raniere (feds fingered him as the group’s founder), and media-averse socialites Sara and Clare Bronfman. Journo Vanessa Grigoriadis wrote the article, and the interviews were conducted six months ago. 

  • Mack said it was her idea to brand cult members in the groin. “I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp. I have two tattoos and they mean nothing.'”
  • She described the process, and the pain the women went through. "Even if they cried when they were getting the brand; even if they wore surgical masks to help them with breathing in the smell of burning flesh; even if the brand was much larger than they were told it would be and looked like an ancient hieroglyph; even if they were in a state of sheer terror, they were still able to transcend the fear and cry out to one another: 'Bada** warrior b***hes! Let’s get strong together,'" the report states. 
  • Mack, who is free on $5 million bail until her trial, scheduled for October, said the group tried to motivate members through pain. 
  • “I found my spine, and I just kept solidifying my spine every time I would do something hard,” Mack said.
  • She likened NXIVM to a sisterhood. She said it was “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.”


  • Raniere was arrested in Mexico in March and she was nabbed a month later.
  • U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue has accused Mack of “directly or implicitly” requiring group members to have sex with Raniere. They have both pleaded not guilty and faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted. 
  • Raniere described himself as “polyamorous” but said all relationships were consensual. "Everything was utterly consensual," he said through his attorney Marc Agnifilo. "It was adults making decisions on their own of their own free will, and that’s what the trial is going to show. A lot of adult, strong-minded, free-willed women made decisions for their own lives.”