Synanon: The Untold Story –
April 22, 2018 – April 22, 2018 – Bill Lane was a 20-year-old junkie living in Brooklyn when his mother heard about Synanon on TV. “There was no such thing as a drug rehab in those days,” says Lane today. “There was no help. You got busted, you went to prison.” But there was nothing quite like Synanon. Launched in a dingy Santa Monica storefront in 1958 by Charles Dederich, it eventually operated centers up and down California, morphing into a utopian community, then a religion and a cult with more than $30 million in assets and upwards of 1,300 followers. True believers shaved their heads, wore overalls, and lived together at Synanon compounds, professing an almost slavish obedience to Dederich, no matter how brutal his methods.