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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Janzen, Rod A.
Rise and fall of Synanon.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001
|Material Type:||Internet resource|
|Document Type:||Book, Internet Resource|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Rod A Janzen; Center for American Places.
|Notes:||"Published in cooperation with the Center for American Places, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Harrisonburg, Virginia."|
|Description:||ix, 300 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.|
|Contents:||Synanon and the image of a rattlesnake in a mailbox --
In the beginning: a cure for drug addicts --
The coming of the squares --
Integration and the game --
The Synanon school --
Dopefiends and squares --
Communal art, re-creation, and a new religious identity --
Violence and shaved heads --
The end of childbirth and changing partners --
Legal issues and materialism --
A period of darkened light --
The final years --
Reasons for the decline --
Synanon people on the outside.
In its later years, however, the group was tied to highly publicized violent actions - including putting a rattlesnake in the mailbox of a Los Angeles-area attorney - making the group's name synonymous with paranoid cults.".
"Based on extensive primary sources and interviews with former members, The Rise and Fall of Synanon explores how the institution evolved in the context of American social, political, and economic trends. Historian Rod Janzen argues that the group's downfall resulted from members giving too much power to Synanon's charismatic founder and a small group of top-level associates. Media attention focused on the group's cultish activities, neglecting the community's significant successes in drug rehabilitation and social integration.
Janzen's in-depth analysis of Synanon serves as a fascinating case study of how alternative societies can change over time and how the general public's reactions to such societies can shift from tolerance to stances of fear and active opposition."--BOOK JACKET.