Episode 9 · September 19th, 2018 · 1 hr 2 mins

About this Episode

Synanon began as an addiction support group that gathered in a grimy Californian flat in the late 1950s. It would grow to become a well-funded utopian society throughout the late ’60s and early ’70s, before declaring itself a religion in 1974. This organisation would attract Hollywood stars like Leonard Nimoy and Jane Fonda to participate in its so-called “Game”, and eventually break up married couples, force men to have vasectomies and women to have abortions, amass assets worth tens of millions of dollars, and become entangled in a web of violence.

Synanon’s leader Charles Dederich is often credited with coining the phrase “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

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