Well, this is completely bonkers.
Do you remember that story about the self-help group having a cult where women are branded with the cult leader's initials?
Well, Smallville actress Allison Mack is now accused of being one of the highest ranking members of that cult. Which is actually super serious.
Allison Mack is an actress whom you probably recognize.
She was a main character on Smallville, the Superman prequel TV series that ran for, and this is neither a joke nor an exaggeration, ten seasons.
Before she played Chloe, Clark Kent's high school classmate and friend, Allison Mack started off doing commercials as a child.
She got her first big break as an actress when she played a teenager on the Christian family drama 7th Heaven, portraying a self-injuring teenager.
(That 7th Heaven thing involves a weird coincidence and we'll come back to that in a little bit ... bear with us.)
More recently, Allison Mack had a recurring role on Wilfred. She's also done voice work for DC animated films, just in the past several years.
The fact that she's a familiar face to so many makes these accusations against her shocking.
When the NXIVM story broke, there was zero mention of Allison Mack.
The New York Times published a stunning expose of NXIVM and their alleged sex cult.
A woman interviewed described how she had left the organization, which is ostensibly a self-help group (and has been characterized as a pyramid scheme in the past), after being held down and branded.
Yes, branded -- like the thing that they do to cattle-thieves in cowboy movies.
The thing with a hot iron. being pressed into someone's skin until the burn is so thorough that the mark is permanent.
(In the case of NXIVM, a doctor is accused of giving the brands with a cauterizing tool ... which, to be clear, is not better.)
The brands, by the way, are of the cult founder's initials.
So, yes, we'd leave and tell everything, too - even though this alleged sex cult apparently forces all of its members to sign non-disclosure forms.
It also reportedly requires inductees to turn over nude, potentially embarrassing photos that could be used as blackmail.
There are an estimated 16,000 members of NXIVM, but most of them are involved in the self-help side of things.
They take "success classes," which basically sounds like the sort of "give us money and obey us and you'll succeed" nonsense that you'd expect from the Church of Scientology.
But NXVIUM allegedly has a dark side -- a sex cult known as DOS (believed to stand for the Latin phrase, dominus obsequious sororium, meaning "master over the slave women").
Within this cult, these "slaves" each report to their "master" in a pyramid reaching up to NXIVM's founder, Keith Raniere.
The women within this hierarchy are said to go on starvation diets, take cold showers, and send their "masters" regular nudes. As part of this, they leave friends and even family behind and devote themselves to this cult.
These serious allegations involve a lot of brainwashing, folks. Also, corporal punishment inflicted upon women who fail to meet expectations.
Reportedly, Allison Mack is part of this cult.
And she is very near the head of it, reporting directly to Keith Raniere.
According to these reports, women who fail to obey Allison Mack are beaten with a paddle, and she is responsible for selecting Keith's sexual partners as well as doing "normal" recruiting for the cult.
But it's not all fun and dominion for Allison Mack, who is described as "both perpetrator and victim."
She, too, has to stay as thin as possible -- consuming as little as 500 to 800 calories per day and running 40 miles a week.
Every detail is more and more disturbing.
It is believed that she was a prize addition to Raniere's cult because, as a celebrity, she added a degree of polish to Raniere's image and to his organization.
No one accuses Allison Mack of setting out to do all of this, though -- it's believed that she was brainwashed, just like the many other victims.
Allison Mack's representative is "passing" on responding to questions, which is ... really not a good thing.
These are damning accusations ... but we have to bring up something that immediately jumped out at us.
Andrew Keegan is known for being a cult leader. Before that, though, he was an actor -- he was in 10 Things I Hate About You and had a recurring role on 7th Heaven.
And we all know what 7th Heaven's lead actor, Stephen Collins, has been accused of.
So we have to ask ... why is the common point for a cult leader, a high-ranking cult member, and an accused child-molester the same TV series?
And how did Jessica Biel turn out so normal?