An Old Cult Classic

I was looking into the “Troubled Teen Industry” recently and I found an article in Mother Jones (yeah, I know) connecting the industry to Synanon. If you don’t know what Synanon is, the article gives an introduction, but I’d recommend looking into it just to get an idea of what has come before in the recovery community.

Nothing in the article really surprised me, except for this sentence:

Studies found that Synanon’s “encounter groups” could produce lasting psychological harm and that only 10 to 15 percent of the addicts who participated in them recovered.

If this is true, Synanon was remarkably successful as far as recovery programs go. Last time I checked the success rate is about five percent per year for just about anything. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking to start a cult and I wouldn’t recommend that kind of treatment to people who want to hold on to their sanity.

But hey Synanon people, that’s just my opinion.


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