Rod Mullen: The Former Synanon Square is Happily Married

‘Born in Synanon’ is a riveting documentary series by Paramount+ that features various members of the group called Synanon who explain their reasoning behind joining the community and the role they played while there. This includes Rod Mullen, whose reflection on his past actions paints an intriguing picture of just how things were run within the group, often without keeping everyone in the loop. As such, it is no wonder that the world is eager to know more about his current whereabouts.

Who is Rod Mullen?

Rod Mullan’s journey with Synanon started with the game of Square, in which members of all colors and races were given the opportunity to speak their hearts out in any way they wanted without fearing any consequences. This was because the game’s rules insisted that nothing said in the square should be used to attack one another outside of it. The players of the game were often called Squares, a title used by Rod during his time in the group.

As Synanon started to spread its wings, Rod became more and more involved in the workings of the group. He shared how, for many of the Squares, the group was a chance to put their beliefs into action and help the world move on to a path they thought would benefit the people. From helping addicts to maintaining a strict structure, the Squares were some of the most motivated individuals to help Founder Chuck Dederich, including Rod.

Having been born in the middle of World War 2, Rod was no stranger to hardships. His father was a plumber and steamfitter whose job often took him overseas. Meanwhile, his mother worked as an educator and social worker but was allegedly struggling with schizophrenia and had gone through five marriages. At the age of 10, Rod joined his father overseas but returned home at the age of 17 when the latter died in a boating accident.

Following his return home, Rod became a student at the University of Idaho before his 1963 transfer to the University of California at Berkeley. During his college years, Rod became more aware of the political climate of the USA and was even arrested during the 1964 Free Speech Movement. When Rod did come to know about Synanon, he could not help but be fascinated. In fact, he ended up donating all of his paternal inheritance to the organization, which apparently did not sit well with his then-wife and financial handler.

Rod spent almost 12 years with Synanon and learned much about himself and those around him. He formed good connections with many and rose through the ranks to gain fame within the community. However, in 1979, Rod ended up leaving Synanon when he felt that the organization had become detached from what it had originally stood for and why Rod himself had joined the group.

Where is Rod Mullen Now?

As of writing, Rod Mullen lives in Arizona and seems to be doing well for himself. In 1995, he became the CEO of Amity Foundation, having joined forces with Naya Arbiter to reshape the company that the latter had established to help those in need of medical attention, especially from diseases like HIV/AIDS. In June 2018, Rod also became the company’s President. However, he retired from being a part of the company he helped grow in December 2022.

In fact, Rod is now the President of Extensions LLC, having obtained the position in January 2023. The company is based in Vail, Arizona, and seems to have brought Rod much joy. Given his active interest in social and political causes, the former Synanon member is also known for his public speaking skills, often imparting wisdom to others based on his past experiences and present work.

On a more personal note, Rod is quite happily married and never misses a chance to shower his beloved wife, Naya, with praises. He is also quite proud of his children and takes exceptional joy in celebrating the achievements of his grandchildren. In June 2023, his grandson Austin graduated from Drexel University magna cum laude, something that Rod was ecstatic to share. Among many things, he enjoys traveling and often partakes in outdoor activities alongside his family.

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