Smallville star Allison Mack’s scheme to lure in members to the NXIVM cult has been revealed by survivor India Oxenberg.
While NXIVM was self-described as a multi-level marketing company, it has since been revealed it was recruiting for a secret sex cult subsect, DOS, which India has spoken out about in a new documentary.
Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in 2019. She and NXIVM founder Keith Raniere coerced members like India to join by telling them it was a self-help programme.
However, as part of DOS, India, who was just 19 at the time of being recruited, had strict restrictions placed on her, including having to abide by a 500 calorie per day diet, was taught she was inferior, and told she needed to please the sexual desires of her superiors (ie. Raniere and Mack).
India recalled to Metro.co.uk that Allison, who played Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, was specifically used to recruit new members because of being well-known.
‘Allison was used a lot for recruitment because of her celebrity, and I think even targeted me specifically because of certain commonalities that we had in our own backgrounds,’ she said. ‘Where we were raised. I think it was all very strategic.
‘Ultimately the shots are called by Keith. So you could say yes this person had more authority, but nothing was being done without asking Keith. Nothing. Like they weren’t even making a decision of where to go on vacation, I know that sounds weird, without asking Keith.’
‘It was way more female than males, and in coaching and in intensives, people that came as students were generally more women,’ she added. ‘It was probably about 75% women.
‘And I think why that is, is because [Keith] knew how to target and recruit women, and he taught the other people within the organization to target and recruit women as well because it was a very feeling oriented organization so they used your good feelings – like flattery, or encouragement or, you know, these pie-in-the-sky visions of having this utopic world as a way to lure people in, and they think that they’re doing it for themselves and for their own benefit but really everything that they do serves Keith and his desires.
‘And that’s something that I didn’t know for a very long time.’
Thankfully, India was able to break free of the cult after seven years. She told Mack she wanted to move to New York City to find work, but it wasn’t until later that she started to really question what she’d been through.
‘There was a part of me that was consciously trying to distance myself, but it wasn’t actually until the summer of 2018 that I really started to question [everything],’ she said.
‘That was a long time and that was due to a cult de-programmer who actually spoke to me for two hours a day, for three months.’
Raniere and Mack are currently both awaiting sentencing.
Raniere was convicted of sex trafficking of children, conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor, while Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.
India, who is now happily engaged, has opened up about her ordeal for a new documentary, Seduced: Inside The NXIVM Cult, as she hopes raise awareness for those who might be at risk of going down the same path.
Seduced: Inside The NXIVM Cult launches October 18 on Starzplay.
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