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Sex, Money, Mind Control: The Zendik FAQ... - After Zendik Page 2 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
emeraldimajia

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Sex, Money, Mind Control: The Zendik FAQ... [Dec. 27th, 2011|05:00 pm]
emeraldimajia
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...like you've never seen it at zendik.org.

Click here for the Zendik FAQCollapse )
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-03-14 05:49 am (UTC)

Been there done that.....

I was a member once, so I know exactly what you are saying. I left the farm 5 months pregnant by a member. There birth control method doesnt work for everybody. As for testing for STDs, they should inform new people that herpies is their disease of choice. I only found that out later, but I was lucky and didnt get infected. Zendik farm is a great place for old guys/women that want young partners. I guess I was lucky my family was poor or I may not have been kicked out and would have lost more than a few belongings...probably my child.
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From: keckos
2009-04-13 03:37 am (UTC)

Very sad

From your small photo I think you just may be the same member who sold me a Zendik mag in Washington, DC after one of the big anti-war protests in '03. She had a great big smile on her face and was more dancing than walking, as she told me she lived in this "crazy" (her word) artist commune that produced the magazine. Maybe she was really happy because she was in the flow and had made lots of money that day, but I read it as just genuine love for the Farm. I'm happy I bought it anyway, because I found a lot to value in it. But it's very sad to hear how badly it has degenerated now, I guess because of the loss of Wulf (who I guess was already gone then, but the Farm had not yet moved from the place he'd built in NC, to the space in WV).

I found this site today because I wanted to refer a friend to the Farm that created that magazine, so I did a Google search. I obviously will now warn my friend away from it, but am happy to also find out about Echowood.

I'm also wondering now if there is, or should be, a group on Ning or something, about communes. Where people can share information about them, not just which are good and which are bad, but also what makes them good or bad, and how to create a good one.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-04-14 01:20 am (UTC)

Re: Very sad

Thats weird... I was in D.C. a couple of days ago and two people came up to me and were selling these stickers and magazines about zendik. I thought it was interesting and they told me they were fighting the "profit corporations that don't give a fuck" and "wanted equality for artists." I thought I would do some research and I came up to this. Reminds me a lot of the Jones Farm and Charles Manson. It's interesting, yet melachonic, and shocking.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-05-28 05:22 pm (UTC)

RE: Amazing gift for connecting through your writing

Helen~

I commented on one of your posts earlier today; I googled Zendik today just to keep up and found your blog. I was previously enamoured with the group back when they were in NC, but disconnected my feelings after a visit that left me feeling negative vibes. I have never found such a specific, personal account of time spent at Zendik. I went on to read more of your blogs and truly appreciated your writing style, your descriptiveness, your ability to connect through your writing. I feel I know a real part of you through reading about your day-to-day, your thoughts, ideas...I hope you make great money when your book starts to sell...is it finished and available yet? Put me on your email list when you get it published: freestarocean@yahoo.com. My heart reaches out to your artist's soul, beautiful sister~ Love and Light, (ms.) Ryan in Athens, GA
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[User Picture]From: emeraldimajia
2009-07-20 10:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Amazing gift for connecting through your writing

Hi Ryan. Thanks for writing. My book is not available yet, but it will be...I don't know when. Shaping it has been a long journey. I appreciate your words of support, and wish you all the best in your artist's quest. (My first selling trip ever as a Zendik was to Athens.)
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-07-20 03:01 am (UTC)

Wow.

ok.. thanks for the info. i went to warped (07). and a young man, prob 19 or so, sold me a Stop Bitching shirt and 2 stickers for about $15. i liked it, and thought i approved. but now, until today, i pity the people in Zendik. i want to burn the shirt and rip the sticker cause of how FUCKED it is. the guy also asked me ta consider joining. now i know. HELL FUCKING NO..
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[User Picture]From: wonderbink
2009-09-09 04:08 am (UTC)
The Zendiks were out in force trying to sell things to the crowds at Dragon*Con again this year. I used the Google app on my iPhone and came across your journal.

I'd actually picked up a couple of those magazines about ten years ago and I murkily recall seeing what may have been an article written by you in there, when you were still "Hellion." (I eventually tossed the magazines into the recycle bin, so I can't dig them up to be sure.) I do remember finding the philosophy overly simplistic and the artwork amateur at best, but didn't think that it was particularly harmful to anybody involved beyond perhaps stunting their artistic and intellectual growth.

I'm quite disturbed to find that it was much, much worse than I imagined. I observed the Zendiks more closely for the rest of the convention (it went on for four days) and noticed a certain tightness to their smiles, a forced cheerfulness as they held up their T-shirts to the costumed crowds that passed on by. As I read more of your journal upon my return home, I understood the fear behind those grinning faces. Now I feel a bit bad for taunting them as I did. (I laughed derisively as one of them trotted out the 'underground art magazine' line and I looked another in the eye and told him "you can't change the world by hiding from it, you know.")

Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you for breaking free from them and let you know that your words are making more people aware of where the money they give to those poor kids is really going.
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[User Picture]From: lorigrrl
2009-10-08 06:41 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm Lori. I just happened upon your journal. I was actually looking up information on mind control for a research paper i'm writing. I am a little confused. I looked at the zendik website and they are listed as being in WV, but they have a foundation in NC and when I lived in Austin I was pretty sure some girls on the street out in front of the college were from zendik... and one we knew disappeared. People said she left to live at zendik farms. Are these related groups or am I piecing together stuff that's unrelated. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: emeraldimajia
2009-10-11 12:52 pm (UTC)
there's only one zendik. the farm moved from texas to florida to north carolina to west virginia. all their operations are now based in west virginia.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-11-02 11:46 pm (UTC)

Holy cow.... this was so well written!!! I love it

I had been fantasizing about saying f- it all and joining the Zendik tribe for well over 10 years but never went and did it.. I follow jam bands around all over the country and I see Zendik folk all over and they seem like really cool cats to be around.. I have bought many cds over the years,red a lot of Wulf's work and I was really fascinated by what my interpretation of Zendik life would be like.. This article sums it up so well I hung on every word because I never knew what the reality of the life would be. It seems like Arol has stripped the group of its soul and now seems to be a shell of what it was. I went looking for an inside glimpse of what life on the farm would be like and now I know... you should be a journalist this is so well written
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-11-28 07:19 am (UTC)

totally accurate

this was totally accurate with my experiences, although I was there only for 3 weeks so I never went selling, but all that I saw was consistent or identical with your FAQ.

While I was there they condemned anal sex, a girl fell out of her bunk and had to go the hospital without insurance, a goat was killed for food with a pistol, members were fleeced for their inheritances, savings or cars, and so on.

-Anon
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[User Picture]From: rehd_fawx
2009-12-06 12:00 am (UTC)
I recently noticed a little clutch of smarmy-looking teenagers wearing the Stop Bitching shirts, and up until reading this, I though the shirts and the philosophy behind them (at least, the watered third-party rundown I got from the kids) was pretty neat. Now, I just feel ill having brushed so close to such a nasty knot of human cruelty. I don't know you, I doubt we'll ever meet, but I'm glad as hell that you're out of there. I hope your life now is full of joy.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-01-17 10:43 am (UTC)

1985 Ex-Member

Hi Emerald,
I am extremely impressed with the comprehensive, honest, and thoughtful descriptions and insights of your experiences as a Zendik. Let me tell you how I experienced the cult during my several months as a member in the eighties. My original name was changed. I was 18, vulnerable, naive and looking for friends during a tough spell in my life when I joined them. I was lured by the promise of a supportive community, cool clothing, rock music, sex, and an alternative lifestyle. I gave over everything -- my $3000 dollar car, the money in my bank account, furniture, my Dad's electric typewriter and all my other possessions. As far as I can remember, weed wasn't actively discouraged then. Also, I witnessed members of the core group having orgies when not under Arol/Carol's watch. I remember Wulf and Arol sharing some power with the core group which seemed to represent the needs of the newer members. There were some bona-fide great people in that bunch who had the power of their own convictions, and even many who tolerated the occasional power upheavals preferring to subjugate their wills to the group in order to experience a taste of Shangri-la even if it was inevitably built upon unethical premises. Many were irritated that the power structure was being designed for the purposes of Arol's self-aggrandizement though it seemed harmless at times. However, during my short tenure I came to know many interesting young visionaries who wanted to live in community and engender ideals that they were not ordinarily able to do on their own. Chen, he was one of the leaders -- was a college drop-out who previous to joining had a real corporate job- he was a jovial, charismatic and compassionate, older brother-type who all the guys wanted to be like and who all the girls loved. I sensed he was dissatisfied with his dwindling role, usurped by Arol's then-boyfriend Kan - a mean-spirited, anti-social, intemperate redneck. When I was there, it seemed that the group was struggling to define itself, and I am saddened to hear that loftier voices didn't prevail. I could say more -- I would be glad to share my stories with you knowing that your voice is speaking out for those of us who haven't articulated those experiences. You have a passion that reminds me of the bittersweet hopes of those who came through, certain of their dreams. I sure do remember that bunch with sentimentality. Thank you for doing this work!
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-02-17 07:59 pm (UTC)

Thank you

I used to hang out with some Zendik folks back in Austin, TX around 1994 - they seemed like great people, had some really cool ideas, and I almost joined myself but ended up having to move away from TX. So thankful to know I avoided what you're describing, and so sad to hear what the group has become. I was wearing today a "Start a Revolution" tshirt I bought off a Zendik kid on the street a few years ago, and decided to see what Zendik was up to these days. Your post was one of the first things I came across.

I'm throwing away the tshirt today. Thank you for your courage and writing.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-02-25 06:13 pm (UTC)

I'm glad I didn't visit....

In my one year of college (1991), I came across the Zendik Farm "mag-zeen" at a meeting of a campus environmental group, and the more I read it, the more angry at the world I became, and the more jealous I became that I could not join Zendik Farm. The tone of the writing, as well as the "testimonials" of members who were already there, made me furious that I had neither the resources nor the courage to give up my "DeathKultur" life and go there. A few years later, I told a therapist about this, and I had told her of their angry tone toward the world, and she immediately said, "They're a CULT!". At that time, I refused to believe that and thought more and more about joining. How heartbreaking it is to realize that this therapist, who I really despised at the time, was absolutely right. What is even more terrifying to me is that on their website, Arol casually goes on about growing season and what's growing in the garden, carefully making sure nothing "real" gets out to the larger public. Sickening....
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-03-21 04:09 am (UTC)

We bought animals at that place...

At first, I liked the place; the rank and file seemed pretty nice. I got the impression, as I am sure many visitors do, that it was a simple art collective/commune. I inferred that from, well, all the art and shit. Hell, I even was tempted to join up, being a writer and all.

I first got a hint that something was up when one of them mentioned something about "the movement" and that Arol person. When I asked for more info, he clammed up. I brushed it off, and left form home. The woman, with the luxury of hindsight, seemed pretty spooky.

Knowing that I did business with a cult makes me somewhat paranoid. I wonder if Arol is having them look me up on the net...*shivers*
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From: valiors
2010-05-25 05:12 am (UTC)

cooool

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[User Picture]From: dncingmalkavian
2010-08-06 01:06 pm (UTC)
This is scary. Really. I am never giving money to these people, ever.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-08-08 02:43 am (UTC)

Thank You

Thank you for taking the effort to put this together, and having the courage to post it. It is a valuable resource for all of us to have a clear picture of what the zendik people are about.
I vend on a pedestrian mall in Va, so I have encountered the teams of sellers and indeed talked with them. I was annoyed that they were trying to vend w/o a license like the one I pay for, so I was less than helpful, and of course didn't buy anything.
Now armed with this I can have much more useful encounters with them next season. What can you say to free the brainwashed? probably not much.
Oh Well
bob
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[User Picture]From: Marlene Ivette Flax
2010-12-03 11:49 pm (UTC)

Re: Thank You

You can print out the FAQs and have them read it. That is a start to plant a seed of doubt as to what they are involved in.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-08-09 04:56 am (UTC)

Thanks for this...

I've started researching "Intentional Communities" again and Zendik has been on my list of things to research. It was good to get a former insider's view of what it was really about because it was one of the places I was considering recently. I first became aware of Zendik about five years ago when they had some members soliciting in a upscale shopping district of Richmond, VA called "Carytown". I actually paid for a copy of Wulf's "novel" (and actually read the badly-written thing). When I came back to considering Zendik, I found two major things on the Internet: the Washington Post article which made it seem like just any other intentional community (which it really isn't at it's very core) & your posts here that gave me all the information that I really needed to know. I can't believe that they are allowed to get away with the tax-designation of being a "non-profit". I've pretty much concluded that it's just a cult of personality that is still being administered by Wulf's old girlfriend & his daughter for their own personal benefit. It's actually an insult to real egalitarian, non-hierarchical intentional communities that can't go to the government seeking funding under the guise that they are "non-profits". Zendik "farm" and it's nonexistent "arts foundation" is a total fraud which enriches nobody but a few select individuals. The more people that know this, the better. I actually see the occasional bumpersticker in town that says "Stop Bitching Start A Revolution" and it makes me sick to my stomach. I just wonder if they know what they are really supporting from having bought that sticker. Probably not.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-09-22 06:16 pm (UTC)
Hello Helen,

I was actually wondering how much you know about the past lives of the members who are still or were once in Zendik.
A member of my family who was very close to me left a goodbye note and disappeared some years ago. Those of us still looking for him recently found that he was looking into things like Zendik, but every time we send people to the local communes to try and find him we are often forced away. Whenever I see Zendik members at conventions, I always look for him, but have had no luck. If I was to send you a picture of him, would you be able to potentially identify him as a member?
I'm terribly sorry if this causes an inconvenience.
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[User Picture]From: emeraldimajia
2010-09-23 10:21 pm (UTC)
yes, you can send a photo to madgelma@hotmail.com. it's likely i'll know whether or not the person is or has been involved with zendik.
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[User Picture]From: malfunctionzero
2010-10-15 05:03 pm (UTC)
When I was a teenager and there was a possibility I was going to be out on the streets I found Zendik online and considered going there. I even went as far as contacting them. I told my friend and he did some research and within 5 minutes he told me "You know they're a cult, right?" I've only heard worse and worse as time has passed.
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From: diamondco10
2010-10-19 11:50 am (UTC)
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-10-23 10:26 pm (UTC)

They were in NYC today

My friend and I went out to lunch and on the way home my friend noticed this very tall, long haired good looking guy holding up the t-shirt. She had had a shit of a day so asked about it cause she liked the saying. He told us it was an artist community in WV. I'm an artist and I gave him my card w/my artwork on it. Yikes!! Now they have my phone number and email! As I walked away something didn't seem right to me so I started googling.... Thanks for this blog. Cults make me so angry. I had a friend start into to something called "Personal Dynamics" years ago and I worked tirelessly to get him to stop taking the programs. He did after two, but refused to believe he had been changed by it. He most certainly was. You're doing a great service by writing this blog and your book. I wish you much success!
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-10-23 11:12 pm (UTC)

I love it!

I lived there for 2 years in the late 90's. Almost everything you've posted, I've experienced first hand. Wulf was an arrogant asshole, Arrol is nothing short of a self-absorbed bitch, Fawn is boring and everything she says sounds scripted, and Zoe has a bad case of Napoleon complex. I'm still not sure why stayed as long as i did. I guess their "deprogramming" was working it's magic. I must make mention that living there changed my life for the better. I really got to know myself. Then I realized that they wanted to change the things about myself that I recognized as good and natural. That's when I bailed. Not to mention, being gay there was a direct route to self-loathing.
On another note: Everyone who lived there at the time always talked about how incredible Zendik music was and how great a singer Wulf was. Their music is CRAP and Wulf sings like a dying goat. Nez had horrible delusions of grandeur, and was marginally talented at best. I always hated Zendik music and got alot of shit from other Zendiks for feeling that way.
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From: (Anonymous)
2016-10-08 12:11 am (UTC)

RE: I love it!

Maybe we were around at the same time. I performed with Fawn when I was 13. Not many are talking about the California days! Guess we are getting older! I never lived their permanently but it was my weekend hang for awhile, especially preparing for the dances. Thank god I was never swayed! Kids not being able to call their moms "mom" bothered me at 13!

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From: (Anonymous)
2010-12-03 05:18 am (UTC)
Hi, I study cults and mental health hoping to specialize in helping ex members of destructive groups. You should send this information to Steve Hassan to post on his site of resources. Also, I am curious to know how many people live on the farm at one time. Thanks
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-12-03 11:27 pm (UTC)
Hi, I study cults and mental health hoping to specialize in helping ex members of destructive groups. You should send this information to Steve Hassan to post on his site of resources. Also, I am curious to know how many people live on the farm at one time. Thanks
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[User Picture]From: emeraldimajia
2011-01-10 12:53 am (UTC)
Right now I'd guess there are 20-25 people living at Zendik. In the past there have been up to 70 (or so). I don't have the time right now to fill out the "submit group information form" on Steve Hassan's web site; it seems, though, that most people needing access to the information in my FAQ would have a fairly easy time finding it.
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-02-14 08:11 pm (UTC)

Zendik in February

Found your FAQ very interesting, along with many of the comments. We were at the farm yesterday to collect a hog we'd purchased and found the 15 or so folks we came into contact with very engaging and friendly (heard no 4 letter language at all). They offered us tea, coffee and chocolate bread (which was delicious) and our 8 year old daughter played with two of the children present in the kitchen while we talked "hog" with Erim and Vong, cabinet decoration with some of the women (didn't get their names), heritage turkeys and geese, and the baby lamb in the kitchen. I asked how many people lived there and was told 20 including the kids. I joked once or twice about just staying and got no response. Had never heard of Zendik so googled it when we got home.
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