‘Smallville’ star Allison Mack claims credit for branding women in NXIVM ‘sex cult’

Allison Mack, the former “Smallville” star arrested last month on sex trafficking charges for her role as a leader of the NXIVM organization that authorities have called a “sex cult,” said that she came up with the idea of physically branding the women she helped recruit into the group.

“I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp,” Mack told the New York Times Magazine in a story published late Wednesday. “I have two tattoos and they mean nothing.'”

Reporter Vanessa Grigoriadis also reported that not all the women who received the cauterized brand were told that the symbol contained the initials of both NXIVM founder Keith Raniere and Mack herself.

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Actress Allison Mack
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BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 04: Actress Allison Mack arrives at the United States Eastern District Court after a bail hearing in relation to the sex trafficking charges filed against her on May 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The actress known for her role on 'Smallville' is charged with sex trafficking. Along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, prosecutors say Mack recruited women to a upstate New york mentorship group NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Actor Allison Mack, known for her role in the TV series 'Smallville', exits with her lawyer following a hearing on charges of sex trafficking in relation to the Albany-based organization Nxivm at United States Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 01: Allison Mack attends Amazon Studios' premiere for 'Lost In Oz' at NeueHouse Los Angeles on August 1, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)
Actress Allison Mack arrives at the Hollywood FX Summer Comedies Party in Los Angeles, California June 26, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Actor John Scheneider poses with co-stars (L-R) Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk and Annette O'Toole from the new WB television network action series "Smallvile" at the network's summer All-Star party at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, July 15, 2001. The series depicts the classic Superman character as a teenaged Clark Kent.
ROSEMONT, IL - AUGUST 11: Actress Allison Mack attends Day 3 of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2013 held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 11, 2013 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - AUGUST 11: Actress Allison Mack attends Day 3 of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2013 held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 11, 2013 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Allison Mack attends the 'Love, Loss, And What I Wore' new cast member celebration at 44 1/2 on July 29, 2010 in New York City.
Allison Mack during 'The Ant Bully' Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
Allison Mack during 'The Ant Bully' Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack during The CW 2006-2007 Prime Time Preview at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)
Allison Mack at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Allison Mack during 13th Jules Verne Film Festival - 'Smallville' Season IV Premiere at Rex Theatre in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Legendary Pictures and Exec. Producer, Scott Mednick and Allison Mack (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage)
Michelle Trachtenberg & Allison Mack during The 2002 Teen Choice Awards - Backstage Creations Talent Retreat - Day 1 at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Allison Mack with Neutrogena products at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Allison Mack and Erica Durance (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Allison Mack & Eric Johnson (Photo by Terry McGinnis/WireImage)
Allison Mack at the Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Allison Mack at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
392609 02: Actresses Karen Allen, right, and Allison Mack perform in a scene from the televised movie 'My Horrible Year!' (Photo Courtesy of Showtime/Getty Images)
Actress Allison Mack, known for her role in the TV series "Smallville", departs after being granted bail following being charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy in New York, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Actress Allison Mack, known for her role in the TV series "Smallville", departs after being granted bail following being charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy in New York, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Actress Allison Mack leaves U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York after a bail hearing, April 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Mack was charged last Friday with sex trafficking for her involvement with a self-help organization for women that forced members into sexual acts with their leader. The group, called Nxivm, was led by founder Keith Raniere, who was arrested in March on sex-trafficking charges. She was released on bail at $5 million. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Mack, who is free on $5 million bail until a trial scheduled for October, said in the interviews — conducted months before her arrest — that the group used painful practices as a motivational technique.

“I found my spine, and I just kept solidifying my spine every time I would do something hard,” Mack said. She said the group focused on “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.”

Mack is accused of recruiting women into the organization, and of “directly or implicitly” requiring these women to have sex with NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, according to U.S. attorney Richard P. Donoghue.

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Photos: NXIVM sex slave cult and its demise
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Photos: NXIVM sex slave cult and its demise
ALBANY, NY - APRIL 26: The NXIVM Executive Success Programs sign outside of the office at 455 New Karner Road on April 26, 2018 in Albany, New York. Keith Raniere, founder of NXIVM, was arrested by the FBI in Mexico in March of 2018. (Photo by Amy Luke/Getty Images)
ALBANY, NY - APRIL 26: The exterior of the NXIVM Executive Success Programs office at 455 New Karner Road on April 26, 2018 in Albany, New York. Keith Raniere, founder of NXIVM, was arrested by the FBI in Mexico in March of 2018. (Photo by Amy Luke/Getty Images)
ALBANY, NY - APRIL 26: The Karner Woods office park's sign on April 26, 2018 in Albany, New York. The NXIVM Executive Success Programs office at 455 New Karner Road is part of the office park. Keith Raniere, founder of NXIVM, was arrested by the FBI in Mexico in March of 2018. (Photo by Amy Luke/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 04: Actress Allison Mack (R) departs the United States Eastern District Court after a bail hearing in relation to the sex trafficking charges filed against her on May 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The actress known for her role on 'Smallville' is charged with sex trafficking. Along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, prosecutors say Mack recruited women to a upstate New york mentorship group NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 04: Actress Allison Mack arrives at the United States Eastern District Court for a bail hearing in relation to the sex trafficking charges filed against her on May 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The actress known for her role on 'Smallville' is charged with sex trafficking. Along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, prosecutors say Mack recruited women to an upstate New york mentorship group NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Actress Allison Mack (C) arrives at the United States Eastern District Court for a bail hearing in relation to the sex trafficking charges filed against her on May 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The actress known for her role on 'Smallville' is charged with sex trafficking. Along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, prosecutors say Mack recruited women to a upstate New york mentorship group NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Actress Allison Mack leaves U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York after a bail hearing, April 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Mack was charged last Friday with sex trafficking for her involvement with a self-help organization for women that forced members into sexual acts with their leader. The group, called Nxivm, was led by founder Keith Raniere, who was arrested in March on sex-trafficking charges. She was released on bail at $5 million. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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She has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking, and if convicted, she faces 15 years to life in prison.

In March, Raniere was arrested in Mexico, where he fled after the publication last fall of a New York Times report about NXIVM practices like branding women. Federal authorities say Raniere and Mack created a secret society within NXIVM in 2015 called “DOS,” which “operated with levels of women ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters,'” and that some of the DOS slaves became masters who “directly or implicitly required the slaves to have sex with Raniere.”

Raniere has since been charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.

Mack starred on “Smallville,” from 2000 to 20011, where she played a young Superman’s best friend.

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