Al Jones

Alleged Cult Leader & 'Smallville' Actress Appear In Brooklyn Court In Sex Cult Case

June 12, 2018 - 6:13 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- A federal judge has denied bail for the leader of a self help group that the feds say is a front for a sex cult.

Reputed cult leader and NXIVM founder Keith Reniere appeared in federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday along with actress Allison Mack.

The case involves Mack allegedly recruiting women to engage in sexual activity with Raniere, 57, who then paid Mack in return, prosecutors said.

Mack, best known for playing a teenage friend of Superman in the CW network's "Smallville," is also charged with sex-trafficking and forced labor conspiracy.

She is free on $5 million bond.

Raniere was deemed a flight risk and denied bail. He is being held without bail in the federal lockup in Brooklyn.

Raniere has been behind bars since he was captured in Mexico and brought to the U.S. in March. 

Federal prosecutors have accused Raniere of forming a barbaric secret society within NXIVM, an Albany based group that over the years has attracted a following of minor celebrities and wealthy people. The prosecutors allege the sub-group branded brainwashed victims with Raniere's initials during initiation ceremonies that turned them into sex slaves for Raniere.

"Dynasty" actress Catherine Oxenberg's daughter is one Raniere's followers and the actress said she has been brainwashed and has been very vocal about trying to free her "brainwashed" daughter, India. "I love my daughter with all my heart and my daughter is not in her right mind," said Oxenberg.

NXIVM's Mexican affiliate is headed by Emiliano Salinas, a son of that country's former president. Authorities also say Raniere has been bankrolled by Clare Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram's liquor fortune. Both have said they were unaware of the alleged abuses.

A judge has set an Oct. 1 trial date.