Actress Reveals How Allison Mack Lured Her Into NXIVM Sex Cult
As the trial of Keith Raniere continues, the public is learning more of the secrets behind the shocking NXIVM sex cult.
This week one of the prosecution’s more important witnesses took the stand to answer one of our biggest questions:
How the eff did these people get actresses to subject themselves to what amounts to sexual slavery??
A 31-year-old woman identified only as Nicole opened up to the jury about her own experience being lured into NXIVM by Smallville star Allison Mack (who has already plead guilty).
According to the prosecution’s opening statement, Nicole was strapped to a table, blindfolded, and subjected to unwanted oral sex by another female cult member — a “slave.”
But how did it end up there?
On Tuesday through Friday, Nicole gave her side.
Nicole recalled in her testimony meeting Allison in April 2015, in an acting workshop called The Source.
The now-31-year-old actress’ boyfriend, a successful Canadian voice actor named Mark Hildreth (whom The Tudors fans may know as Cardinal Pole), had encouraged her to join the class to help her career.
Yes, her boyfriend was also allegedly part of the cult.
Unfortunately, as it turned out, The Source was created by alleged NXIVM co-founders Raniere and Mack. Near as we can tell, the entire class only existed as a front for the cult, a sort of trap to entice beautiful young women.
After a few months (and thousands of dollars of classes) Nicole felt comfortable opening up to Allison about her most intimate feelings; in February 2016, she revealed she’d been depressed and had suicidal thoughts.
That was apparently just the opportunity Mack was looking for.
According to Nicole, Mack told her about this “really cool thing” she was into, a sort of “women’s empowerment group.” She told her it was “exactly what you need right now.”
Nicole had explained she was a big fan of Wonder Woman — Batman v Superman, which introduced Gal Gadot (above) as the classic heroine, was coming out the following month.
So “women’s empowerment” was just what she needed to hear at that moment:
“I wanted to be like Wonder Woman. I wanted to be mentored by another actress who was trying to be a great actress as well.”
No wonder she looked up to Allison. As teen reporter Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, she had been the female lead on a superhero show for years.
She agreed to join.
“I wanted something to be hopeful for, and I thought maybe what she was talking about would help.”
Nicole testified she had no idea at the time this group was ultimately run by Keith Raniere:
“It’s a women’s empowerment group, so if a man had been running the thing it doesn’t make sense. I wouldn’t have been interested.”
It was the description of the next step in joining NXIVM during which Nicole broke down in tears for the first time.
She agreed to provide “collateral” to the group.
As we’ve heard from other reports, this could mean nude or sexually explicit material. She admits she did give Mack a sex tape.
But this next bit was, in a way, more disturbing.
Nicole said she was asked to write letters falsely accusing her father of molesting her and accusing an ex-boyfriend who was “prominent in the entertainment industry” of misconduct.
The actress gave the group, which she knew at the time as “The Vow”, three letters, which were addressed to her hometown newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, and her mother’s work address — ready to be sent at any time if she backed out.
Allison told her the letters would be locked safely away, and Nicole trusted her. She now says she was “not thinking very clearly.”
The next step Nicole was ordered to take was celibacy.
Nope. Already out.
Nicole says was no longer allowed to have sex with Hildreth, her off-again boyfriend, nor any other man. She recalled meeting “a really cute boy” a few weeks in and telling Allison about it.
When Mack got infuriated by the admission, Nicole realized she might have made a mistake.
But when she brought up backing out, she claimed Allison told her:
“You made a commitment. You can’t go back, it’s not an option. It’s like an arranged marriage.”
Besides, they already had her “collateral.” What would happen if she tried to leave??
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Next, it was time for Nicole’s third step.
She was ordered to reach out to Raniere, who was allegedly the secret head of The Vow, aka NXIVM, aka DOS (Dominus Obsequious Sororium, Latin for “Lord of the Obedient Sisterhood”).
Nicole testified that NXIVM president Nancy Salzman referred to Raniere as “the smartest man in the world” — and if she hadn’t already realized her predicament, this was a huge red flag for the actress.
As she told the jury, to uproarious tension-breaking laughter:
“It just sounds like bulls**t.”
According to reports from inside the courtroom, Raniere was NOT laughing.
But eventually Nicole did meet with Raniere.
She testified he blindfolded her and brought her to a cabin in the woods she later found out was in the Clifton Park community in upstate New York; apparently several members of NXIVM live in the area.
There, she says Raniere told her to “get undressed” and “get on a table” before tying her wrists and legs to the sides of the table.
She says she felt “super vulnerable and exposed” being nude — and added the table was quite cold.
So real! That’s the kind of detail that gives testimony credible.
That’s when the whole sex cult aspect of everything began. Nicole testified:
“Then somebody started going down on me.”
She says “somebody.” She had assumed it was Raniere; she thought they were alone in the room. But then…
“Keith started talking, and I was so confused.”
The event went from uncomfortable to “terrifying” as she asked herself:
“How many people are in this room right now?”
Even as she was being assaulted, Raniere interrogated her about her sexual history, how many partners she’d had, if she’d ever been in a threesome, etc.
Afterward, she was given back her clothes but told to keep the blindfold on.
As Raniere drove her home, still blindfolded, he told her not to tell anyone about that night and reassured her “that nothing bad had happened.” He even told her she’d been “very brave.”
Nicole told her “friend” Allison about what happened — and she clearly recalls Mack ALSO telling her she “was really brave.”
Oh man, that is a Rosemary’s Baby freakout moment if ever we’ve heard one.
Nicole testified Raniere later told her it was a woman who had gone down on her, but that he wouldn’t reveal which of her “sororium” sisters it was.
However, prosecutors believe they know. They say it was “Camilla” — a witness who testified earlier that Raniere had sex with her when she was just 15 years old.
As this trial continues it’s possible we’ll hear worse. But seeing how people preyed on young women at their most vulnerable times may be the most important lesson to come out of all this.
Stay safe out there, everyone!
[Image via Rachel Worth/WENN/Warner Bros/YouTube.]