Chuck Dederich--a former Alcoholics nameless member who coined the word "Today is the 1st day of the remainder of your life"--established Synanon as an leading edge drug rehabilitation middle close to the Santa Monica seashore in 1958. Synanon advanced quick into an experimental commune and "religion" that attracted millions of nonaddict participants and was once strongly dedicated to social justice and innovative schooling. Over 25,000 humans have been contributors of Synanon at a number of occasions, together with jazz musicians Charlie Haden and Stan Kenton; supporters of the gang incorporated Senator Thomas Dodd, comic Steve Allen, and psychologist Abraham Maslow. In its later years, in spite of the fact that, the crowd turned focused on hugely publicized violent actions--including placing a rattlesnake within the mailbox of a Los Angeles-area attorney--making the group's identify synonymous with paranoid cults.
Based on wide basic assets and interviews with former contributors, the increase and Fall of Synanon explores how the establishment advanced within the context of yankee social, political, and monetary tendencies. Historian Rod Janzen argues that the group's downfall resulted from contributors giving an excessive amount of energy to Synanon's charismatic founder and a small team of top-level affiliates. Media realization desirous about the group's cultlike actions, neglecting the community's major successes in drug rehabilitation and social integration. Janzen's in-depth research of Synanon serves as a desirable case examine of the way substitute societies can switch through the years and the way the final public's reactions to such societies can shift from tolerance to stances of worry and energetic opposition.
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