Jonestown and Synanon – a Compare/Contrast Presentation

COMMUNAL STUDIES ASSOCIATION PRESENTATION:
On October 5, 2012, My husband and I will do a Joint Presentation at the Communal Studies Association Conference in Oneida, New York. Here is the “working” Abstract:
In the three decades from 1960-1990, there were two modern residential communities that came and went. As former residents of both Synanon and Peoples Temple, we will introduce the communities, compare and contrast them, and have an in-depth discussion about the roles of women in the two communities.

Background:
I lived in Peoples Temple for about ten years, and then moved into Synanon for ten years.

Ron Kohl is a native New Yorker with Puerto Rican parents. He moved into Synanon in 1970 as a “square” to join his brother who had moved into Synanon as a drug addict. When Ron came home from the Navy, he didn’t see a future for himself in New York, and was drawn to the excitement and vision of Synanon. He lived in Synanon for twenty years.

We have been married thirty years this 4th of July – “Independence Day”.

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