The two actresses have been married since February 2017

Last year, Smallville star Allison Mack — who is facing criminal charges for her alleged connection to controversial self-help group Nxivm — got married to Battlestar Galactica actress Nicki Clyne, federal prosecutors said in court transcripts obtained by PEOPLE.

Nxivm’s one-time publicist tells PEOPLE the union was at the behest of Nxivm co-founder Keith Raniere, who faces sex crime charges along with Mack.

Journalist and blogger Frank Parlato says he worked for Nxivm between 2007 and 2008, but was never himself a member of the Upstate New York-based group. In recent years, Parlato has written more than 1,700 critical posts about Nxivm and Raniere on his website, and says he has been sued multiple times by the group, which he along with one former member describe as a “cult.”

Parlato, who has developed a large network of Nxivm sources over the years, was the first person to report about the alleged branding of female members and wrote that Mack’s arrest was imminent days before it happened.

“Clyne went from being a successful actress to a stooge for this cult,” he says.

PEOPLE has reached out to Clyne and has not received a response.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

He adds: “Nicki has been in the cult for 12 years. She quit her regular role with Battlestar to follow Raniere.”

Mack, 35, and Raniere, 57, both appeared before a federal judge in Brooklyn on sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy charges.

Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne
| Credit: Allison Mack/Instagram

Both face a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Raniere is being held without bail. Mack was freed after a court appearance last month and is on house arrest in California. As a condition of her bail, Mack is to have no connection with any current or former NXIVM members and will be monitored by an electronic bracelet.

A trial date for both has been set for Oct. 1, 2018.

Mack Allegedly Had ‘Slaves’ Beneath Her

Speaking to PEOPLE on Friday, Parlato says he cut professional ties with Nxivm after seeing and hearing things that disturbed him.

He first learned of the alleged branding last year, after receiving an unexpected call from Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, whose daughter, India, is in Nxivm.

“She called me out of the blue one day in May of last year and said, ‘You write about the cult — I want to tell you something,'” Parlato recalls. “I didn’t even know who she was, but she told me, ‘My daughter is a slave and she’s branded.’ That’s when it hit me: This is finally what will take this criminal down. The branding, whether a crime or not, will help people understand how seriously psychopathic [Raniere] is, which will lead to more scrutiny, which led to the arrests.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York alleges Mack was an integral member of Nxivm, and was just below Raniere in a secret society within the group called “DOS” — which according to prosecutors is “an acronym standing for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions.’ ”

Mack allegedly had “slaves” beneath her, and either “directly or implicitly required” at least two women “to engage in sexual activity with Raniere.”

“In exchange, for this, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere,” the statement alleges.

Prosecutors allege that women were forced to turn over “collateral” — identified as potentially-damaging personal information or materials, such as nude photographs, with which they were later blackmailed.

A cauterizing pen was used to brand Raniere’s initials on the pubic region of women, according to prosecutors.

Parlato alleges Clyne was Mack’s “slave.”

Mack and Raniere have both pleaded not guilty. Representatives for both have not returned PEOPLE’s calls for comment.

Emails to Mack have also not been returned.