Actress Allison Mack is probably best known for playing the role of Chloe Sullivan in Smallville, but unlike her heroic character, Mack spent many years becoming the villain for thousands of women. It has been three years since her 2018 arrest in connection with the NXIVM cult and cult leader Keith Ranier, and finally, there is some justice to be had.
To the outside observer, NXIVM looked like just another multi-level marketing scheme. Launched by Ranier in 1998, the company-turned-cult offered self-help seminars for professionals. This seemingly innocuous cover hid something insidious—an organisation called DOS. It was strictly for women, and among other atrocities, was used as a way to force them into sexual slavery. Women coaxed into joining DOS allegedly had to turn over damaging information that Rainier could hold over their heads to prevent them from leaving the cult.
In 2006, Allison Mack joined NXIVM, and took up the role of ‘master’. Her job was to recruit women into DOS where they could be branded with Rainier’s initials and forced into slavery. Both Rainier and Mack were arrested in 2018.
At 60, Rainier will likely never see the exterior of a prison again. He was sentenced to 120 years in prison for a laundry list of charges. Mack, on the other hand, was facing anywhere from 14 to 17.5 years on racketeering charges for her involvement.
Before the sentencing came down, she delivered a tearful apology and asked the judge to forgo prison time, but in a scathing letter to Mack, Judge Garaufis stated, “You abused this position of power to persuade and pressure women to join DOS. You capitalized on your celebrity and these individuals’ eagerness to be close to you, told them you were recruiting them for a ‘women’s empowerment sorority’, and misrepresented and obscured fundamental facts about the organization and the conditions of membership.”
Ultimately, Mack was sentenced to three years in prison, as well as a $20,000 fine and 1,000 hours of community service. The reduced sentence is due largely to her cooperation with authorities when it came to prosecuting Rainier.
While it won’t undo the years of torment that Mack put those women through, many of the victims who came forward during her trial are feeling a sense of closure. Actress Jessica Joan was one of the many women recruited by Mack into DOS and eventually told to try and seduce Rainier as a way to heal from past sexual trauma. When asked about why she travelled across the country to speak at Mack’s trial, she responded, “I went public with the intention of using my story to help other people. I’m not held down by trauma and baggage anymore. I’m free for a future that looks very bright.”
India Oxenberg is another woman who spent time in DOS under Mack’s ‘mastery’. Initially introduced to NXIVM by her mother Catherine, India found herself pressured into both a 500-calorie-a-day starvation diet and a sexual relationship with the cult’s founder. She left the cult behind shortly after Rainier and Mack’s arrests and has finally started to speak out about her experience. “Everyone makes mistakes and we learn from them and this just happened [to be] something that I never anticipated having to deal with,” said Oxenberg in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I could never have expected the life that I have now. I just feel so much more me.”
Allison Mack’s sentence is dramatically less than what she might have faced, and some might be wondering if it is enough. Ultimately, we’re not the ones who can make that decision. All we can do is see the guilty punished and hope that it is enough for the women ultimately hurt by Mack’s complicity in the cult. As it stands, we’re happy to see that some justice, at least, is being served.
It’s early in the morning. You’re tired after your routine laps around the cul-de-sac when you spot someone with no pants lying on the ground, lifting up their legs before spreading them open in a V shape towards the sun…
Introducing ‘perineum sunning’, also known as ‘who needs coffee when I can butt-chug sunlight?’. The latest wellness trend includes exposing your perineum—the super-thin area of skin between your vagina (or, in men, the penis) and the anus—to the sun for a period of 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
“In a mere 30 seconds of sunlight on your butthole, you will receive more energy than you would in an entire day being outside with your clothes on,” says Ra of Earth in his video, introducing Instagram to this ‘self-care’ trend. The viral video, which has amassed over 84,000 views, features three nude men approaching the sun and pulling off ‘The Sunny Spready Solstice Pose’ at a mountainside.
The wellness enthusiast has also been kind enough to post step-by-step instructions for ‘sun worship exercise’ pulled from The Tao of Sexology: The Book of Infinite Wisdom written by Doctor Stephen T. Chang. “Turn your body so that your back is towards the sun,” the instructions read. “Lean over so that the sunlight comes into the opening. Feel the warmth penetrate into the tissue.” According to the post, sunlight has excellent germicidal qualities that can neutralise germs in the nether regions, keeping the area healthy and free from infections.
The trend later shook spiritual influencer Metaphysical Meagan who took to Instagram to preach the practice. “I start my day with 5 minutes of perineum sunning and feel energised for hours,” writes Meagan, recommending the wellness trend to “anyone who is seeking optimal health.” Meagan notes that perineum sunning is an ancient Taoist practice that originated in the Far East. In Taoism, the perineum is called the “gate of life and death” and is considered a gateway where energy enters and exits the body.
According to Meagan, benefits of perineum sunning include strengthening of organs through solar energy, preventing the leakage of ‘chi’ or life force energy from the body to sustain health and longevity, increasing creativity, aiding libido, regulating hormonal functions, promoting deeper sleep and amplifying your aura. “The ideal hours of the day to do this is between 7 to 9 a.m,” Meagan guides, wrapping up with “the intention of this is not to tan your butthole!”
The trend doesn’t stop there. A-listers like Shailene Woodley, Diplo and Johnny Knoxville are the latest butthole-sunning advocates. “I like to give my vagina a little vitamin D,” Woodley tells Into The Gloss. She admits to having read about the practice in an article written by a herbalist about yeast infections and other genital issues. “If you’re feeling depleted, go in the sun for an hour and see how much energy you get. Or, if you live in a place that has heavy winters, when the sun finally comes out, spread your legs and get some sunshine!”
But what do those with actual medical degrees think about this trend? “As a dermatologist, I cannot recommend any sun exposure without sun protection,” Nazanin Saedi, MD, Director of the Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology Center, tells Health.com. “These areas, just like other areas of the body, need sun protection and clothing tends to provide that.”
“It’s actually dangerous,” comments David E. Bank, MD, founder of Mount Kisco’s Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “This skin is particularly sensitive. Over time, it could result in an increased risk of skin cancer,” he adds.
In fact, Josh Brolin, an Academy Award nominated actor, admitted to having sustained ‘#severeperineumburns’ after unquestionably-following the trend. “My pucker hole is crazy burned and I was going to spend the day shopping with my family and instead I’m icing and using aloe and burn creams because of the severity of the pain,” the actor wrote, sharing the viral image of Metaphysical Meagan on Instagram.
While physicians recommend safer options like meditation, mindfulness and actual vitamin D diets and supplements to substitute the trend, it seems like the rest of the internet couldn’t help butting in, some pouring their morning coffees down the drain to try it themselves, others wondering why aliens don’t visit us anymore: