How ‘Smallville’ Actress Allison Mack Became a Women-Branding Cult Leader

The Dalai Lama appeared on stage at an event hosted by NXIVM after Sara Bronfman, (circled) billionaire heiress to the Seagram fortune, visited the Buddhist leader as part of a delegation which offered him $1 million to attend the Albany, new York, gathering.

I have always been fascinated by the involvement of Justin’s Bronfman friends…

Unlike other, less glamorous cults, Nxivm has always flirted with celebrity. A 2010 Vanity Fair piece alleged that Raniere went out of his way to court wealthy and influential followers. That article, “The Heiresses and the Cult,” told the story of Seagrams heiresses Sara and Clare Bronfman, who quickly rose through the Nxivm ranks, helping to organize high profile events like the Dalai Lama’s visit to Albany in 2009.

Vanity Fair reported that the Bronfman sisters’ relationship with Raniere lead to a “massive gutting” of their trust funds “to help finance nxivm and the alleged investment schemes of its leader.” The article continued, “According to legal filings and public documents, in the last six years as much as $150 million was taken out of the Bronfmans’ trusts and bank accounts, including $66 million allegedly used to cover Raniere’s failed bets in the commodities market, $30 million to buy real estate in Los Angeles and around Albany, $11 million for a 22-seat, two-engine Canadair CL-600 jet, and millions more to support a barrage of lawsuits across the country against nxivm’s enemies.”