Helen Zuman describes herself as “a tree-hugging dirt worshipper devoted to turning waste into food and the stinky guck of experience into fertile, fragrant prose.” Her memoir ‘Mating in Captivity’ details her experiences joining Zendik Farm, a commune in North Carolina with the motto ‘Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution’, which she came across in 1999. Helen stayed until 2004, but it wasn’t until the following year that she recognised she’d been in a cult.
Special Guest: Helen Zuman
With thanks to Audio-Technica, presenting partner for season 4 of Let's Talk About Sects.
If you have been personally affected by involvement in a cult, or would like to support those who have been, you can find support or donate to Cult Information and Family Support if you’re in Australia (via www.cifs.org.au), and you can find resources outside of Australia with the International Cultic Studies Association (via www.icsahome.com).
If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia, or find your local crisis centre via the International Association for Suicide Prevention website at www.iasp.info.
Written and hosted by Sarah Steel
Music by Joe Gould
Mating in Captivity: A Memoir — by Helen Zuman, She Writes Press, 2018
The Green Alternative At Zendik Arts Farm, a Commune Strives for a Dollar and Change — by Fredrick Kunkle, The Washington Post, 22 January 2006
Who Are These People? — by Ryan Grim, Washington City Paper, 4-10 November 2005
Commune Unplugs From the World to Save It — by Tom Gorman, Los Angeles Times, 19 April 1987
Leaving Zendik Farm — by Alison Rooney, The Highlands Current, 9 May 2017
Wulf Zendik — Facebook page
Arol Wulf-Zendik — Facebook profile
The Work of Wulf Zendik — online archive of Wulf Zendik’s writings