How to join

Details & Registration

Thanks for your interest! This page will explain how to register, as well as details about the event.

When & Where:

The Darkness Experiment will take place at a large house in a remote area outside San Diego, California. The retreat begins at 4pm on Dec 6th and ends at noon on Dec 10th. All participants must attend the entire retreat.

Food: All food is included and deliciously prepared by our chef Gerard Labonté. There will also be a 36-hour water fast, also led by our chef. Special considerations can be made for folks who need to alter this.

The rest of the retreat will be gluten-free meals, all prepared for you and in consideration of your individual dietary needs.


Base price for the 5-day retreat is $850, that includes a trifold to sleep on.

If you want a room upgrade, then in addition to the $850 base price it’s $250 more for a twin bed (sold out), $450 more for a full bed (sold out), $650 more for a queen, $1000 more for a king (sold out). Beds can be shared, so if two people want to share a bed, only one person in the bed needs to purchase the upgrade (both would pay the base price though).

Volunteers can get $350 off their ticket, and would be expected to help set up and take down the dark curtains, which is a significant amount of work.

If you have been to a previous retreat, you can sign up by sending a payment to Dave on Venmo (@davebooda), if this is your first time please fill out the application and I will be in touch!

Questions? Email me at


What do you mean when you say “dark”? Low light or completely dark?

The house will be completely dark. Zero light. No different than if you were blind and had no use of your eyes. You will be forced to rely on your other senses.

What if I have medication or things I need to find during the retreat?

We all will adapt to the dark, and that includes coming up with ways to make sure we can find the things we need. Maybe that means coming up with a special label system that allows you to feel labels instead of read them. We’re happy to help you, but we encourage you to get creative and find solutions that work for you.

What happens if being in the dark is too much for me?

This is an understandable concern. Being without sight for (perhaps) the first time in your entire life can be jarring and unnerving. We will do our best to support you through whatever you are going through. That being said, if you absolutely need a break that’s okay too. The kitchen is an area where you can retreat to if needed. It will be dimly lit and our chef Gerard will be there most of the time.