By Christopher Zoukis
Many of the men told Dr. Springer to take a hike because they didn’t like his rules. The one that irritated them the most was the no-alcohol policy. But many decided to work for this happy Jesus-freak and save their money. Then they could quit and go buy booze.
So they built and built and built. Working for the man who was working for The Man.
Dr. Springer called his Utopia Zzyzx, because he wanted it to be the last word in spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health.
Zzyzx had a chapel. It had a fancy mineral pool with soaking tubs, where the miracle cures took place. Naturally, the pool was shaped like a cross. Cleanliness was next to Godliness at Zzyzx. There was an artificial lake, made by men for men. Here the new believers could be baptized just like Jesus. And Dr. Springer would play the role of John the Baptist.
Visitors stayed in a two-story 60-room hotel that even had its own airport. Dr. Springer called the airport Zyport – the portal to Zzyzx. And like a prototype of the strip of Las Vegas, there was even a main drag called the ‘Boulevard of Dreams.’
When Zzyzx was finished the only thing missing were people – sinners who wanted to have their burdens eased. Sick people who wanted to be healed.
They weren’t missing for long.
Dr. Springer began a dazzling and omnipresent promotional campaign. National and international radio broadcasts proclaimed the location of heaven on earth. Out in the middle of the desert, like an oasis, sat a land of milk and honey. It was called Zzyzx. It was a place where miracles took place.
Listeners from around the world called the phone number they had heard on the radio. When they did, they got a recording of Dr. Springer. His dulcet tones beckoned them with, “Hello, this is your old friend Curtis Springer coming to you from Zzyzx Mineral Springs out in the heart of the great Mojave Desert.”
Zzyzx, the curious were informed, was the “last word” in health and vitality.
The response was overwhelming. They came in droves. Every Wednesday buses ferried hopeful sinners and health seekers from the Olympic Hotel on Figueroa Street in L.A. out to Zzyzx. And of course, the bus rides were free.
For those questing souls who arrived, the day at Zzyzx started with a breakfast of goat’s milk and Springer’s Antediluvian Tea. The tea had miraculous power. It healed the inner organs of the body, revivified strength and health, and prolonged the life span of all who drank it. It was the next best thing to the Fountain of Youth.
Rabbit meat, fruit, ice cream and fresh vegetables completed the menu.
Room rates at the hotel were reasonable. No one was being ripped off. That’s not what Zzyzx was about. Spiritual health and physical vitality were the watchwords at Zzyzx.
Guests were, of course, encouraged to make free-will “donations” to the Springer Foundation. The encouragement came dressed up in the rousing sermons Dr. Springer preached twice a day over a state-of-the-art booming PA system. After a few days of such encouragement, it seemed silly not to make a generous donation, especially when the guests felt so healthy, so changed, so liberated. So cured.