Cover of Eugene Landy's Underground DictionaryThe Underground Dictionary Dr. Eugene Landy

A friend got this for me probably because he knew my love for lexicons and thought I would “dig it” but what he didn’t realize was that this is actually that Eugene Landy – Omnitherapist of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson!

To put it mildly, Landy was criticized for his approach with Wilson and other celebrity clients (including Alice Cooper and Rod Steiger). He was able to get Brian off (street) drugs and maintain some sort of psychological stability through a program of 24-hour control, alienation from friends and family and lots of pharmaceuticals. For years I believe. He wound up in legal trouble and surrendered his license to practice in California, relocating to Hawaii.

This is the story I’ve heard anyhow.

Reminds me (tangentially) of one of my favorite cults of the early 1970s, Synanon. I would guess this is the group parodied in Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly – inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous, used recovery from drug addiction (mostly heroin I believe) basically as a front for cult recruitment. They claimed 100% success rate which I would imagine was accurate. I read a great book on Synanon (speaking of books) a while back but I don’t still have it nor do I remember what it was called. I feel like I heard lately there is a Synanon movie in the works, which stands to reason. Oh, and by the way, like any self-respecting California cult of the early 1970s, they did wind up shaving their heads and driving around in dune buggies with semi-automatic rifles.

While I’m digressing, ever hear of Narconon? I guess this is Scientology’s answer to Synanon.

Through digressing now, back to the Underground Dictionary. Not as much fun as you might think, though I do like:

gum n. A substance on which to get high. Soft mint-flavored gum is wrapped around banana peel; the whole is enclosed in green pepper, wrapped in aluminum foil, and put in a dark place for six weeks. It is then baked at 200° F. and the crust is scraped and smoked. From The Hippy’s Handbook, by Ruth Bronsteen.

Wow, that’s a lot more elaborate than the Yippie recipe for smoking banana peels (aka mellow yellow). The Hippy’s Handbook is unfindable for love nor money. I now must have it. Twenty dollar reward offered in cash for copy in any condition, as long as all pages and most of the cover is present.

mohair n. Black female with hair in natural style.

Mickey Mouse n. Policeman.

PS. Actually just did a little research on Synanon and discovered that (1) it was founded in 1958 (!) only becoming a wacky cult when it transformed into the Church of Synanon in the early 70s, and (2) there already was a Synanon movie (IMDB) in 1965! Still would like to see a good documentary that tells the whole story. And that still has nothing to do with Dr. Landy’s book.

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