Discussion in 'Communal Living' started by FREE, May 22, 2004.

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  1. cwd

    cwd Member

    This is some really scary stuff about Zendik.

    I came across one of their waif-like hippy chicks (short, dark hair is all I remember) on the Drag in Austin about 7 years ago. She was aggresively hawking their zine and some of their CDs, but I bought some because she was cute. :p

    The zine was full of utterly incomprehensible drivel, and their "music" was just a bunch of weird sound effects with this creepy voice-over talking about "nuclear stew" (imagine the scene in "Sid and Nancy" when Johnny Rotten pulls rapidly on his throat to make his voice echo as he's yelling "beaaanns! beannnnns!" over and over again--that's what it sounded like).

    Anyway, I almost went out to the Zendik Farm. I even called them for directions and got a hold of some guy who was completely spacy--red flag.

    But I almost went out there despite my misgivings because I was completely miserable with my life at the time (depressed, girlfriend had dumped me, etc.), and yeah, I was probably thinking with my dick a little bit too. But I was curious to see if the Zendiks had a viable alternative to this crappy, consumer-driven life we lead in America. Fortunately, I told some friends of mine about this, and although they had never heard of the Zendiks, what little I told them sent off alarm bells in their heads ("It sounds like a cult," is what they said). They convinced me not to go, saying that groups like that look for lonely, single heterosexual men (like me at the time) to prey on. This made sense to me because I felt pretty vulnerable at the time.

    Occasionally, out of morbid curiosity I visit their website and get the same creepy feeling everyone here talks about. Wulf and Arol are worshipped, and only the "beautiful people" get to enjoy the full benefits of being Zendik.

    I am really glad I listened to my friends and my own gut instincts about that group! There's no telling where I would be today if I hadn't.
  2. In The Moment

    In The Moment Member

    I'm hooked.....

    Waiting for more....

    Peace & light to you!
  3. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member


    Part 3, in which a 30-year-old Red Lentil remembers the Zendik diet. I'll warn you now that I'm a vegan, and this post contains criticism of the belief that the consumption of animal products is necessary to human health.

    The Zendiks continue to claim that their members are free to choose a vegetarian or an omnivorous diet, "whatever works for the individual". I found this to be a load of crap.

    I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian when I went to Zendik Farm. I might have been the only one. There were no vegans living on the farm, and I remember one road trip in which Nom, to the great amusemement of his fellow "road warriors", defiantly cooked some organ meat in a frying pan which had been designated "vegan only" by the residents of the house the Zendiks were crashing at. This story was repeated as an anecdote when the "road warriors" returned to the farm. They thought it was the funniest thing.

    Meat meals weren't very common. Once per week? Twice per month? Not a lot. Meat consumption would increase temporarily if they'd slaughtered some baby goats or a calf (they'd built their own slaughterhouse, which was a hell of a lot nicer than the dump we newbies were living in). The Health Administrator would also basically "prescribe" meat (especially organ meat) to you if you "needed" it. Most of the people who "needed" meat were core men who also happened to really, really enjoy eating meat. Wulf got meat all the time.

    I was pressured to eat meat by the Zendik Health Admininstrator and others in the community. I resisted for maybe a year. When I finally did eat some meat (chicken, I think) I received much praise. Other Zendiks took notice and gave me approving looks as I walked past with my plate of dead bird (or whatever it was). Vegetarianism was just another corrupting remnant of my old life (like my Led Zeppelin t-shirt and my name), something I needed to let go of in order to achieve happiness and enlightenment. Of course I felt better after eating the meat-- I was being smiled at for a change.

    Here's what a typical day's menu was like when I lived on Zendik Farm:

    Oatmeal with goat's milk, honey and fruit (sugar forbidden)
    Herbal tea (caffeine forbidden)

    Three-bean salad
    Barley (processed grain forbidden)
    Green salad w/ sesame dressing

    Seeds and fruit

    Broiled Tofu (frying forbidden)
    Baked potato

    When I say forbidden I mean forbidden. The portions were small and I was hungry most of the time. I started sneaking food, which was only possible because I did a lot of meal prep and had access to the (locked) pantry. This was the only secret I had, and it was an enormous source of shame.

    The intensely restricted diet (all meals prepared communally, extremely repetetive menus, no democratic control over what foods were served or how they were prepared) inspired intense food fantasies among we maggots. Ambi dreamed of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich (the Zendiks' archaic "food combining" edict prohibited the pairing of legume and fruit). His eyes would focus on the infinite when he spoke of it. "...And a glass of milk!" he'd say, and we'd throw our heads back and swoon with desire for sandwiches. "Aw, man! Cow's milk, right? And, oh man, marmalade! And, oh, you could toast the bread..."

    And then Lore would yell "Elevate!" from the next room.

    Almost all new Zendiks would get violently ill (flu-like symptoms, emphasis on vomiting) a week or two after moving in. I was no exception. Maybe it was because of the unsanitary conditions (can you say "open pit of slowly decomposing human feces"?), or maybe the Zendiks were right when they told me that I was throwing up because I had a cesspool within.

    Their theory is that the Zendik diet is so pure, and that the non-Zendik body is so thoroughly contaminated (even if you ate whole, organic foods before moving there) that (Domine, hyssopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor. Misere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam) these sins-- er, I mean, toxins-- must be confessed!-- I mean, um...
  4. cwd

    cwd Member

    Red Lentil--

    This is fascinating! Please tell us more if you are up to it. Have you thought of writing a book about your experiences at Zendik?
  5. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member


    I didn't think I could write about it at all, and here I am gushing on and on. I could make it a 'zine and call it DON'T GO.


    And get a horde of hot 19-year-olds to drive around in a bus and sell it at music festivals and..

  6. cwd

    cwd Member

    Red Lentil--

    How did you escape Zendik?
  7. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member

    Okay, that last post about the food didn't live up to my Scarlet Standard (a rush job, I must admit-- I didn't even MENTION the mandatory weekly enemas, the forced weight-loss dieting, or the e. coli). I'll take my time with the next one.

    Escape from Zendik Farm, cwd? But I was free to leave at any time...

    with no money...
    no transportation...
    no state-issued identification...
    no friends or relatives in all of Texas...


    Okay, I'm going to go sit under a tree and write all about it. I'll post tonight.
  8. HappyHaHaGirl

    HappyHaHaGirl *HipForums Princess*

    What!!! A weekly enema! :eek: That's some fucking bullshit right there.... no one is sticking anything up my ass, unless they're Nikki Sixx.
  9. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member

    Fortunately we were left to give them to ourselves.. we were very obedient! And afterward we'd trudge out to the open pit of slowly decomposing human feces and dump the contents of our "enema bucket" in. Health is rEvolutionary!


    I've recently discovered this bizarre news item which says all you need to know about the "education" the Zendik children were getting (they were schooled by the Zendiks, in complete cultural isolation). Tecca Zendik grew up on Zendik Farm and is now working as a model. She was nine when I lived with the group. Her naivete is no accident.

    Here's a brief article:


    and video clips:
  10. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member


    The Zendiks tried kicking me out about three weeks after I'd moved in. I looked like a Zendik, I ate like a Zendik, I puked like a Zendik. I'd begun to talk like a Zendik. And I'd stopped thinking for myself (very Zendik of me). But there was something I couldn't do: work like a Zendik.

    I was more depressed and fatigued than I'd been when I arrived. And now I was expected to do ten hours of farm/housework every day. There were no days off. Of course I didn't have the other fourteen hours to myself-- there was a mandatory meeting every morning (which often dragged on for hours), three communal meals every day, and classes, lectures, or meetings every night. New recruits had to take extra "philosophy classes" and complete reading assignments after the workday was through. Non-Zendik books and music were confiscated from newbies and divvied up among older members. We read only Zendik books. Listened only to Zendik music. Except when the core members we bunked under were listening to cassettes they'd stolen from us.

    Guess what we read in philosophy class. Just guess.

    The Zendiks knew that I had been suicidal, that I was depressed. They did nothing to address this. When I expressed the hopelessness and loneliness I was feeling, the Zendiks were extremely cold and unsympathetic. They told me that I was not special-- that everybody felt that way (uh.. everyone is suicidal??) and it didn't stop anybody else from doing their work, so I had no excuse. I was told to "snap out of it". Their cruelty and neglect was far worse than anything I'd experienced in the "Deathkultur". I was a threat to my own safety-- this was clear-- and instead of encouraging me to find qualified help (which need not be mainstream/conservative, mind you), the Zendiks used my emotions as a weapon against me.

    It was like living with forty Doctor Lauras. They tore me to shreds.

    I couldn't "snap out of it", of course-- and they wanted enthusiastic (productive) little slaves. So the core suggested that it wasn't "working out" for me at Zendik Farm. I called my dad, in tears, and told him that it wasn't "working out" for me at Zendik Farm. He thought that I was just being fickle, and said I should "give it another chance". I asked the Zendiks for another chance, swore that I was committed, that I would do better. I would do anything to convince them to keep me.

    Two years passed, and a lot of weird shit happened. I think I will have to write that 'zine...

    All Zendiks undergo ritualized public humiliation at the daily "worklist" meeting, where Arol's directives are handed down through the "'stratorz" (why couldn't I have joined a group with a more innovative approach to loading the language?) and every hour of the Zendiks' days are planned. Arol herself would make an appearance to lead the humiliation session (they called it "interpersonal") and the group trance (complete with droning guitar accompaniment) that ended every worklist meeting.

    It was at one of these meetings that the Zendiks kicked me out-- on my 20th birthday (1993). They said that I was "too cynical". No further explanation. I cried and promised again to do better if they gave me another chance, but they were already treating me like an outsider.

    The Zendiks like to tell stories about ironic accidents that happen to people who leave the group. And yes, indeed, bad things happened to people who were kicked out (people who left on their own fared better). Death, insanity, disease, poverty. But rather than indicate cosmic wrath, this was just more proof of the group's inability to facilitate positive change in people's lives-- we were half-dead, insane, diseased and impoverished when we arrived, and we left with all that and a shattered sense of self.

    There was a sort of Zendik halfway house in Austin in those days. They called it the "Urban Annex". It was a very new enterprise, run by two former Zendik Farm residents, Nevic and Nom. The Urban Annex was designed to provide all the exciting humiliation and subjugation of Zendik life-- in a fun city environment. Nevic and Nom were both complete assholes, but I had no choice. I asked the Zendiks to let me live with them.

    And what a life! On arrival at the Annex, Nevic (that's Kevin backwards, isn't that clever?) explained how things were run:

    I would have to get a job immediately. I was not allowed to have my own money-- I would sign my paychecks over to Nevic. Dried beans and grain were provided by the Zendiks (I would have to do most of the Annex's cooking, though, as Nevic and Nom did not know how), and toilet paper had to be stolen from the restroom of a nearby cafe (this was done on principle). Nevic and Nom had their own rooms, but the rest of us lived on the floor (about six of us slept on bedrolls crammed into a single room). "If you need fifty cents for the bus, you can ask me for it," Nevic said.

    I remember Nom searching my mail (birthday cards from relatives) for money.

    Did I mention that Nom and I had been a couple at Zendik Farm? That he had recently left the group (he'd been long-term, highly devoted) after having some sort of nervous breakdown spurred on by my decision to stop fucking him?


    The Annex leadership was cruel and totally irrational. I had no identification, but was still forced to look for work. Even when I got the flu-- had a very high temperature and could barely walk-- they called me lazy and forced me to look for work. It was Dickensian.

    I visited Zendik Farm (dinner and a lecture) and confessed my criticisms of the Annex to Nez, who pretended to be sympathetic. I thought that the Zendiks would be concerned that they were being (I thought) misrepresented by Nom and Nevic, who were obviously on a massive, dangerous power-trip. Not so. I was soon confronted by a group of angry core Zendiks. They physically surrounded me and poured on the verbal abuse. How dare I, after all Nevic and Nom have done for me, and how ingrateful, and what a little dilletante, and I have no right to criticize, and what a lazy worthless, and this and that. I went back to the Annex, where Nom and Nevic had been informed of my criticisms.

    You can imagine the atmosphere. I secretly telephoned an aunt, who bought a plane ticket for me. My flight wouldn't leave for several more days, and I couldn't tell Nevic and Nom that I was leaving-- they would retaliate. My aunt offered to wire me cash as well, but without identification I had no way to receive it. I needed someone to pick it up for me. Then I could get the fuck out of that house.

    I turned to Seika, another recent Zendik defector who lived down the street from the Annex and seemed (as Nez had) trustworthy and sympathetic. She agreed to pick up the cash ($300).... but instead of giving it to me, she delivered it to Nevic. She'd told the Annex boys all about my secret escape plans. They stole half the money. "You owe us for rent", Nevic said.

    Then I went home.

  11. autumngrl

    autumngrl Member

    I had a friend in my teen years(i'm 31 now) that went to zendik when it was in texas.His story isn't much different from yours.He told me of the "cleaning out of the bowels",the control issues,the hard work and that he was pressured to have sex with people he did not want to.When he refused to have sex with those people they would humiliate him in public. After he told me all of this I thought,"eh he's putting me on".But we were in new orleans one night and he freaked out,i mean shaking,ducking,begging me to hide him...from someone from zendik....that's when i knew he was serious about what happened. I don't think he was the same after his farm experience..............
  12. cwd

    cwd Member

    Red Lentil--

    Wow, that is really fucked up. How did you put your life back together after that experience?
  13. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member

    Put my life back together? Uh.. I'm still working on that.
  14. cwd

    cwd Member

    Sorry, that was really bone-headed of me. I guess one never would truly get over that kind of mind-fuck, but you really seem to have your shit together enough to be able to even write about it.

    I'm just surprised that there are not more ex-Zendiks writing about their experiences on the internet, because there is not much information on the group out there. Your experience, Red Lentil, is the most thorough account of life on the "Farm" that I have come across on the internet. This, to me, is surprising.
  15. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member

    I'm surprised as well-- the last time I was brave enough (and had enough time alone with a computer) to look for other ex-zendiks was about five years ago. There were a lot more of us around back then, it seems. Or we were just being more vocal about it. There was an ex-zendik site, too. I think it was "zendiksucks.org", gone now. I'd written to Zendik Farm a couple of times, asking for contact information for others who had left, but they never wrote back to me. Not that I expected them to...

    This really is the first time I've been able to write about my experience. Ten years! Ten years of my life spent crippled by anxiety! And I didn't even know what the fuck was wrong with me!

    I know that there are other ex-zendiks reading these posts. Please come forward and tell your stories. If the internet had been what it is now in 1990, I might have learned the truth about Zendik before it was too late.
  16. FTNW

    FTNW Member

    Ok... I'm an exzendik...
    What you have written, Red, is right on the money although some of the other stuff seem kind of off. What else can I say?
    Remember the saying, "a lie cannot be sustained"? It's proving true. My demise was a complete understanding of the "Truth Way". The relentless pursuit of the truth, they couldn't handle that very well. I didn't get kicked out but I left because I was going to kick Chens ass, thinking back I should have. Did you know Law? Something about Chey.. I was the guy who took care of the shitters in Bastrop. One day I was going in to turn the shit and Chey was coming out, I never saw such a pile of shit before in my life, my god! I guess if anyone was to be labeled my GF it would have been Zara, remember her? I think they had to leave Florida because I called the city and told them about people there having sex with minors, you know how they are....
    Send them a link to this thread! They should be exposed for what they are.
  17. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member

    Quoting Mikey:
    "Zendik recently sold their land in North Carolina and moved to West Virginia. What you may not know is that in their five years on the farm near Ashville, they managed to get subdivision approval for the property. It can now be subdivided into 14 tracts and is being developed as Panther Creek Farms, an expensive yuppie country estate subdivision..."

    Ok... Now look at this heap of steaming bullshit from www.zendik.org:

    "If you've been trying to contact us, we've moved to Marlinton, West Virginia. Therefore it might be a few weeks till we get back to you. Development began to engulf us in North Carolina--the mountain behind us that was our back yard, will be an upperscale golfcourse community. Sooo, we've packed our tents, animals, studios, and taken to fantastic, marvelous, stupendous, gorgeous West Virginia. Now the Monongahela National Forest is our backyard. We'll be posting photos and directions..."

    Expose them??

    Don't mind if I do..
  18. cwd

    cwd Member

    If their property in NC is being sold at auction, then the Zendiks aren't making a profit off of it (NOT that I'm defending them, mind you). It means they couldn't pay their taxes/mortgage and the property was either seized by the govt or foreclosed on by the bank. Unless, of course, I'm misunderstanding that link Mikey sent.
  19. Red Lentil

    Red Lentil Member

  20. cwd

    cwd Member

    Arol has been discussed a lot on this thread, but I am curious about Fawn. What is she like? Is she a spoiled brat who gets to fuck whichever beautiful Zendik male she wants? It comes across that way ever so subtly on their website.

    I looked at the excerpt of her cable-access TV show on the Zendik website and it's laughably bad. She yammers on and on about sex and relationships, thinking that what she is saying is profound, insightful, and original. :rolleyes:

    So what are your thoughts on Fawn, Red Lentil?

    As for your question about the documents of the sale of their land, the most likely place you will find that will be at the courthouse of whatever county their "farm" was located in NC. It's probably not worth the drive from SoCal. :) I doubt you will find any solid information about it on the internet.
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