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 heart close to the Santa Monica seashore in 1958. Synanon developed quick into an experimental commune and "religion" that attracted millions of nonaddict individuals and used to be strongly dedicated to social justice and revolutionary schooling. Over 25,000 humans have been contributors of Synanon at a variety of instances, together with jazz musicians Charlie Haden and Stan Kenton; supporters of the crowd incorporated Senator Thomas Dodd, comic Steve Allen, and psychologist Abraham Maslow. In its later years, besides the fact that, the gang grew to become curious about 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 broad fundamental assets and interviews with former participants, the increase and Fall of Synanon explores how the establishment developed within the context of yankee social, political, and financial tendencies. Historian Rod Janzen argues that the group's downfall resulted from individuals giving an excessive amount of strength to Synanon's charismatic founder and a small crew of top-level affiliates. Media recognition fascinated with 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 overall public's reactions to such societies can shift from tolerance to stances of worry and lively opposition.
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