Was Synanon a Cult?

A transcript of part of an interview with former Synanon resident Larry Kronish

David: Was Synanon a cult?

Larry: It is all true you cannot cut it up in pieces and say is this true Is that true.  It’s all true, none of it is true.  The truth is complicated.

Was Churchill a magnificent hero who saved London, who saved England in WW2?


Was he an unreconstructed, imperial colonial racist who had the worst possible views on, not just people of color, but people who were not aristocrats?


They are both true.  Did Synanon save my life? Yes

Was it a wonderful place to be?

Yes, it saved my life and I do not regret being there.

Did Synanon betray me an wound me? Yes, it is all true.

Was it one thing at one time and one thing at another time?


That’s what makes it so fucking difficult.  You can’t simply say “There is this and there is this and there is this.”

Did Synanon do good?

YES!  It did a Shitload of good.  Did it save people’s lives?

Fuck man do have any idea how many people’s lives it saved?!

Fuck man do have any idea how many people’s lives it saved?!


All these movements that have grown out of Synanon that are still saving people’s lives including some of the people who came here like Rod or Bruce or John Stallone?


Did Synanon do terrible things?  Did it hurt people?  Did it injure people?  Did it perform criminal acts?


Was Synanon an enlightened community that thank God was on the face of the earth, this marvelous thing happened?


Was Synanon a cult?


4 responses to “Was Synanon a Cult?”

  1. I guess you could say the same thing about the United States of America. Another great experiment in saving lives and giving people a second chance. Another organization, periodically run by racist who have justified enslaving and annihilating thousands of the others both here and abroad. In many ways Synanon was just another expression of this fledgling attempt to create a more perfect union.

    1. Great point Andre, so glad to see you here!

  2. My parents were in Synanon and I’ve heard all of their stories. I look forward to reading and hearing more stories from others.

    1. Thank you For stopping by!

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