"Many people from other places are now on their way to the centre of the universe, which is here now”
To most Cantabrians ‘Zenith Applied Philosophy’ (Z.A.P or Zappers) public persona, was its high profile ‘open all hours’ fast food outlets - that proliferated central
Luigi’s Pizza, The Dog House in ‘the square’, Farmer John’s Burger Bar in
Z.A.P members were also enthusiastic proselytisers around the streets of
It was the norm at The Dog House burger-bar to receive a ‘little ditty’ stapled to the burger wrapper with some profound piece of philosophy (speaking from personal experience, if only more of the recipients were sober, this approach may have proved more successful!) Still to be fair, the most intriguing reading material was to be found at these fast-food outlets. Rather than out-dated copies of Women’s Weekly and National Geographic, you were able to skim the photo-copied pages of ‘None Dare Call it Conspiracy’ or some ‘way out’ propaganda leaflet, all whilst you waited for your double-meat & cheese burger to be cooked.
Also amongst the less conspicuous Z.A.P business interests around
“The Worst Punishment Possible is Bullbaiting” [Z.A.P Membership Quote of the month 1979]
Intensely right-wing, ‘free marketers’ and vehemently anti-union prospective members were encouraged to first ‘take a personality or I.Q test’ and then take a series of expensive ‘self improvement’ courses.
In 1980 the average New Zealand wage was NZ$19,000 P.A, so an eight night course run by Z.A.P entitled ‘Communication Abilities’ came with a hefty price-tag of NZ$680.
The high cost of these courses foresaw the need for the group to vet members ability to pay.
This summary vetting process became abundantly clear to ‘yours truly’ one day in the late 70’s. Approached on the street, I was immediately questioned as to my profession, my answer “I’m a truck-driver” brought-about a rapid response from the Z.A.P ‘sales-man’ - he promptly ceased his spiel, took 3 steps side-ways, and was off to approach another, presumably more ‘tasty target’.
The people who Z.A.P wanted as members they called ’achievers’ & clearly truck-drivers didn’t meet this rigid criteria.
In Z.A.P terminology: I was a low-tone, it was the high-tones they were after.
The cost of an initial ‘personality test’ was $20 (or the equivalent of 10 plus jugs of beer, so I think you can delude quickly which option most Kiwi’s at the time took) As part of the sales pitch these personality tests were said to ‘heighten ones awareness of your potential’. This $20 was at one stage termed a ‘cost fee’, but this was changed later to a donation. Such ‘donations’ were encouraged to be literally slipped under the door at night, in cash or the equivalent in gold krugerands or maple leaf [allegations made in New Zealand Times 16th December 1984]
“Dear Sir, I wish to draw your attention to the slanderous allegations being propagated at large in
Those waiting for buses were also ‘easy target’s for the young energetic proselytisers from Z.A.P in the early to mid 1980’s and the
These high-pressure street ‘foot soldiers’ carried enrolment forms, a rather foreboding ‘contract’ for coverts to sign - as well as a range of books for sale; ‘Kissinger’, ‘The Incredible Bread Machine’, ‘The Mainsprings of Human Progress’ etc.
Another source of these publications was the Western Destiny Bookshop run out of the foyer of Warners Hotel in
“It’s all right to speak your truths boldly and clearly: listen to others as well, as there are cognitions to be had. Loud and aggressive persons are better than soft apathetic ones”. [Z.A.P Poster revised]
Members of Z.A.P preferred to be called ‘students’ and those who advanced to a given stage were granted the privilege to wear red t-shirts, signifying their rank. Another of these privileges ‘of rank’ was the lofty right to sit on the red chairs at the founder house.
“A truth at the wrong time and place is a lie for someone. But a lie at the right time and place can become a truth for someone” [Quote of the month August 1979]