MATING IN CAPTIVITY:
a cult memoir
for smart people

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About the Author

Helen Zuman is a tree-hugging dirt worshipper devoted to turning waste into food and the stinky guck of experience into fertile, fragrant prose. She holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and a Half-FA in memoir from Hunter College. Raised in Brooklyn, she lives with her husband in Beacon, NY and Black Mountain, NC.

Mating in Captivity: A Memoir

A Harvard grad seeks a mate in a cult that forbids monogamy. To pursue love on her own terms, she must brave exile and learn self-trust. When recent Harvard grad Helen Zuman moved to Zendik Farm in 1999, she was thrilled to discover that the Zendiks used go-betweens to arrange sexual assignations, or “dates,” in […]

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The Art of Making Money

by helenzuman in General

If I had to choose one thought that’s governed my relationship with cash, throughout my past, I would go with “It’s hard to make money.” Meaning, the things I have to do to make money are hard, as is the process of finding or developing new income streams. Recently, when I hear Stacey Boehman (of […]

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The Cult of Busyness

by helenzuman in Cults, General

Back in 2011, I signed up to write a column for the Carroll Gardens Patch. Each month, I was to turn in a five-hundred-word story, with photographs, then promote the hell out of it through my personal networks. My pay? Fifty dollars per column. At first, I was just thrilled that I was getting published. […]

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What Is a Sex Cult?

by helenzuman in General

If you google the term “sex cult,” you’ll find plenty of supposed examples—including, most notably, NXIVM, the Rajneeshees (profiled in Wild, Wild Country), and the Children of God. What you won’t find is a definition. No one—not even Wikipedia, or the Urban Dictionary*, or dictionary.com—seems to know what it means. Is it a cult whose […]

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