A few years ago, I remember my girlfriend Samantha telling me she had lunch with an actress she met while working at a restaurant in Troy. Who would have ever thought that, three years later, that woman would turn out to be none other than Allison Mack. Mack is the Smallville actress who was charged on Friday with sex trafficking for her involvement in an organization that forced its members to have sex with its leader.

You've heard by now the local ties to NXIVM (pronounced Nex-ee-um), the organization near Albany led by Keith Raniere. Raniere was arrested in March by federal officials in Mexico on sex-trafficking charges. Its followers were forced to have sex with him because they feared that if they did not do so, compromising material would be released to the public.

Among NXIVM's top recruiters was Allison Mack, the actress who is believed to be right beneath Raniere in the organization's hierarchy. Mack would make frequent trips to the Capital Region in hopes of recruiting women. She did so under the guise of female empowerment and networking, promising that the group of people she represented could advance the women's careers and help with overall wellness. Samantha's interest was piqued because she built her career through networking and figured this was just another way to meet some new, helpful people along the way.

Samatha recalls that, during her ninety-minute lunch, Mack mentioned a local 'mentor' (probably Raniere, in hindsight). She also spoke to Sam about 'seminars, camps, and chapters' clearly trying to gauge her interest level. Mack, according to Samantha, never spoke about anything sexual and was never pushy, but clearly this was a recruiting job. Fortunately for Samantha, her busy schedule prevented her from attending any of these 'seminars' and the two never spoke again. Looking back on it now it makes her uneasy. She realizes that Mack's motives were anything but innocent. However, Samantha will be the first to admit that nothing about their encounter seemed unusual at the time.

Mack would go on to spend the next two years making frequent trips to the Capital Region preying on women's emotions, offering up lies and propaganda, and then offering them up to Keith Raniere on a silver platter to be brainwashed and abused.

Thankfully, Samantha wasn't one of them.