Josh Silvers: Ex-Synanon Member is Now a Proud Restaurateur

If there’s one thing nobody can deny, it’s that although Synanon originally started as an incredible organization to help dope fiends recover, it soon spiraled into a cult of its own. This much has actually even been evidenced in HBO’s ‘The Synanon Fix,’ a documentary series chronicling the movement’s rise and fall through the eyes of those to have witnessed it. Amongst them was Josh Silvers, whose involvement with Synanon as a mere toddler quickly went from a dream to a nightmare owing to the simple fact he wasn’t personally cared for.

Who is Josh Silvers?

It was back when Josh was merely a toddler that his family joined Synanon owing to its appeal as a commune, following which he and his sister were given rooms in the school it ran. He thus still vividly remembers that he had the love of his parents, care of his sister, as well as the affection of the entire community for quite some time, that is, until it was decided all kids were to be moved to the firm’s headquarters in Tamales Bay. The reason for this decision was that founder Chuck Dederich believed that without the distraction of kids, members would work harder to earn the program more money, per the documentary.

That’s when everything turned upside down for Josh – he went from having an entire community of supportive individuals to adults who merely viewed him as work and a project. He actually vividly remembers being struck over the head once too, especially because it was with such force his ears were ringing the rest of the day too – and this was before the school was turned into a military project. After all, when that came around, the member-turned-educator Rod Mullen became his personal nightmare – he might’ve been afraid of many teachers, but Ron was the worst for him.

According to Josh’s own narrative, “When I say we got woken up at 2 or 3 in the morning, it was Rod Mullen waking us up and yelling in your face… I remember him hitting me in the head and hitting my ear so hard that I went flying… and that’s like one of those memories that has never gone away.” It was abuse and it was trauma that he, alongside many other children, had to endure, but he was fortunate in the sense that by the time it all came to an end, he could reunite with his family. Despite everything they still shared a bond, enabling him to gradually leave everything behind for good.

Where is Josh Silvers Now?

It was back in 1979 that California native Josh kickstarted his career after years of learning to be in the real world, spending time with his family, and uncovering passions, and it was as a Sous Chef at City Hotel. He actually served there for six years before evolving into the Sous Chef for Mustards Grill and Sous Chef for Rapollo Sea Food, where he worked for a year each. Then came his 3-year stint at Blue Moon Cafe, 4 years at Saks on 5th Avenue, and a year at Orenda Grill before he opened up his own place by the name of Syrah Bistro, a casual, cozy cafe that was operational from 1999 to 2008.

Once that chapter came to an end, Josh actually launched Jackson’s Bar and Oven in Santa Rosa, California, which is a restaurant that remains active to this day – it survived the pandemic. He even tried his hand at serving purely wholesome comfort food in a relaxed setting with Three Squares Cafe in 2012, yet it sadly closed its doors within a year owing to some issues. Therefore, today, this proud family man is serving the most decadent food to any patron that shows up at his door, all the while also continuing to build himself both personally as well as professionally with the help of a sound support system. In other words, this husband, father, friend, as well as chef explores and experiments to this day.

Read More: Mike Gimbel: Ex-Synanon Member is Now a Host, Producer, and Speaker