Zendik Farm

Special Guest: Helen Zuman

Helen Zuman is the author of Mating in Captivity (She Writes Press 2018), a memoir of her five years, post-Harvard, at Zendik Farm, a cult with a radical take on sex and relationships. After leaving Zendik in 2004—and liberating herself more than a year later—she helped expose its twisted innards via her blog, originally named Escape from Zendik, and her Zendik FAQ. More recently, she's shared her story at the conferences of the International Cultic Studies Association, the Communal Studies Association, and the International Communal Studies Association. She's also written about aspects of her cult and communal experiences for Communities and Livelihood magazines, and the website of the Foundation for Intentional Community (ic.org). In all, she's visited or live at more than a dozen co-ops, cults, communes, and intentional communities throughout the United States; she now homesteads with her husband on a steeply sloped quarter acre in Beacon, New York.


Written and Hosted by Sarah Steel

Music by Joe Gould

September 16th, 2020

1 hr 52 mins 32 secs

Season 4


Season 4 presenting partner:


Helen Zuman describes herself as “a tree-hugging dirt worshipper devoted to turning waste into food and the stinky guck of experience into fertile, fragrant prose.” Her memoir ‘Mating in Captivity’ details her experiences joining Zendik Farm, a commune in North Carolina with the motto ‘Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution’, which she came across in 1999. Helen stayed until 2004, but it wasn’t until the following year that she recognised she’d been in a cult.