It started as a drug rehab program, morphed into a utopian community, and finally went out in a blaze of violence, abuse and fraud. Yeah.  Shaved heads, The Game, rattlesnakes, and dope fiends!

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Links & Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741 741
Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-7233
VictimConnect, a referral helpline for victims of crime: 1-855-484-2846
Make The Connection

Synanon movie trailer. Skip to 2:23 for the best fight scene of all time.

Paul Morantz’s Escape: My Lifelong War Against Cults and From Miracle to Madness: The True Story of Charles Dederich and Synanon

Paul Morantz’s website 

A website run by a former Synanon member with a bunch of pictures. This is probably the worst website I have ever seen, and it’s worth looking at based on that alone. 

Mikel Jollett’s Hollywood Park 

An interview with Mikel Jollett on NPR’s All Songs Considered

Claire Clark’s The Recovery Road: The Battle Over Addiction Treatment in the United States

Rod Janzen’sThe Rise and Fall of Synanon: A California Utopia

C.A. Wittman’s Synanon Kid

THX 1138 


Written and produced by Anna Roberts
Burning palm tree artwork by Perry Vasquez
Intro music by Elliot Middleton

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