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Syanon: Rehabilitation Center Turned Cult: Background information when reading Hollywood Park

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Hollywood Park

by Mikel Jollett

Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett X
Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett
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    May 2020, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Catherine M Andronik
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About this Book

Syanon: Rehabilitation Center Turned Cult

This article relates to Hollywood Park

Syanon movie posterMikel Jollett and his older brother Tony were just two of the hundreds of children that grew up in the bizarre environs of Synanon, an infamous California cult in the 1970s.

Synanon began in Santa Monica in 1958, the brainchild of Charles (Chuck) Dederich, a recovering alcoholic seeking to extend the Alcoholics Anonymous program that had helped him to those addicted to other drugs beyond alcohol. At first, residents and visitors alike, especially from the nearby film and music industries, reported success: an engaging and positive atmosphere in which former drug addicts earned acceptance while learning social skills that would help them function, clean and sober, in the outside world. Since it was so close to Hollywood, speakers at the rehab center included Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling and even LSD guru Timothy Leary. Hollywood denizens were welcomed onsite to film a movie named after the program (the tag line: "where only the damned want in") starring Edmond O'Brien as Dederich and ...

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