It was a gift. My eyes lingered on those fingers and counted his toes. The New-Path drug treatment centers in the science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly bear numerous similarities to Synanon. Ms. Richardson says she chose the infant program because she felt those involved were dedicated to developing a superior way to raise and educate children, and that it is probably true in the early days, but most were unaware that the program was really an outgrowth of Charles Dederich’s hatred of nuclear family forming from his own childhood experiences and blaming his mother for his addiction. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. Children who had been assigned to Synanon began running away, and an "underground railroad" had been created in the area that sought to help them return to their parents. Maybe it's the leader's fault. Beatings of Synanon's opponents and its ex-members, "splittees", occurred across California. The Synanon organization, initially a drug rehabilitation program, was founded by Charles E. "Chuck" Dederich, Sr., (1913–1997) in 1958, in Santa Monica, California, United States. In what ways are we just wrong? Synanon is mentioned in Joan Didion's 1979 essay The White Album. “Synanon had a good school.” The School is where they put the kids when they took us from our parents. Looking back, I think my brother was appropriately angry with the adults.". Does Janzen say why Ron Eidson and Ritter are not in his book or he wrote that there was no violence inside Synanon when everyone knows there was? Several weeks later, on October 11, 1978, two Synanon members placed a de-rattled rattlesnake in the mailbox of the attorney Paul Morantz of Pacific Palisades, California. [6][29][30] This incident, along with the press coverage, prompted an investigation by the police and government into Synanon. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”. From my view, at first it had innovators like Al Bauman and Jerry Newmark, who both left over the brainwashing and violence. Men were given forced vasectomies, and a few pregnant women were forced to have abortions.[6][7]. For author Mikel Jollett, the frontman for the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event, his book is a "primal scream.". But at the same time, she concludes, the majority failed in area of human love, trust for self and others, which she contends occurred due to alienation from parents, the overuse of negative reinforcement and the unpredictability of Synanon. may be the next best thing to finding Synanon School yearbooks. Mom says Synanon was going to change the world. The Point Reyes Light, a small-circulation weekly newspaper in Marin County, would later receive the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their covering Synanon at a time when other news agencies avoided reporting. Though the San Francisco area newspapers and broadcasters covered the Synanon case, they were largely silenced by lawsuits from Synanon lawyers, who made libel claims. He also forced women to have abortions and almost 200 men had vasectomies after Dederich forbade any more children. The Internal Revenue Service revoked Synanon's Federal tax exemption, and all of its properties were confiscated and sold. The other problem with the system is there was no guarantee that your self-awareness was nothing more than what others had chosen for you All that being said, my disagreements with her statements have little to do with methodology she used which appear accurate in assisting the evaluation of the effects of the Synanon experiment in child rearing. Goodnight canyon. We realize that a Synanon School year book may be hard to find so registering to complete your school's Virtual Yearbook *……………………………………………………………………………….*…………………………………………………………*. Synanon School Alumni Synanon School Alumni Class List . The concept of "lifetime rehabilitation" did not agree with therapeutic norms, and it was alleged that the Synanon group was running an unauthorized medical clinic. A review mixes praise sometimes with criticisms. Taxation issues also arose, naturally. “Synanon had a good school.” The School is where they put the kids when they took us from our parents. "At that age, my response was to become the super kid. "Mary Karr likes to say, 'You have to write about difficult relationships with great love.' Her husband? He became the one to blame, he was the angry one. "I make them.". ", It wasn't until the boys moved in with their father — a tall, Italian man who awed them with stories about once hiding a shotgun under his trench coat — that the once-distant dad became more than just a mythological figure. “When I returned,” she declared, “I was given a ‘contract’ for trying to escape. Synanon purchased the Club Casa del Mar, a large beachside 1926 hotel in Santa Monica, and this was used as its headquarters and as a dormitory for those undergoing anti-drug treatment. They have slapped children in the face, thrown them across the floor and punched them in the stomach.” Synanon moved to create schooling for members, and Dederich wanted members to mentally change in order to improve society on the outside. Those answers would tell us a lot of human nature. "Sometimes I think about this book as this primal scream, this assertion: 'This happened. Dederich’s legend was that while on a work trip pre-Synanon he became paranoid and wouldn’t leave his room, found and read a copy of Emerson’s Self – Reliance and decided to use the principles to cure addiction. I can’t stand the thought of not seeing my son each morning. [28] NBC continued with a series of reports on the Synanon situation on the NBC Nightly News. Math, science and other major studies, Ms. Richardson adds, dropped off for lack of qualified teachers. What was in those barren corners before you arrived? Per Ms. Richards interviews it appears that most Synanon kids probably make very good parents, knowing not what to do, and the importance of affection and attention. For readers, Hollywood Park is a powerful memoir about one man's journey after he escapes a violent cult as a child. Starting in 2000, former member Susan Richardson, as a requirement of obtaining her bachelors degree in humanities, wrote a paper called “Growing Up In Synanon,” aided in part by Tom Quinn who had earlier written in his own Synanon paper that was reasonably accurate. of Synanon School find and contact you. Ms. Richardson also suspects that the results are closer to today’s society in which women, having been so long denied, are more interested in career commitments. If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: Rocker Mikel Jollett's Memoir Is 'Primal Scream' About Childhood in Synanon Cult. Second, it is possible her experiences can be equated with a lack of parental bonds and probably has given her a first hand understanding of attachment syndrome (discussed below). In response to these accusations, Dederich declared that Synanon was a tax exempt religious organization, the "Church of Synanon.". I had been aware of the many kids post Synanon who had turned to drugs, but this report was the first I heard that any of the Synanon kids were taking drugs while in Synanon. The small Point Reyes Light newspaper, a weekly in Marin County, received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1979 in recognition of its coverage of Synanon when other news agencies avoided reporting on it. If I got sick, who would read to him before bedtime? To simply be a husband to a wife, a father to a son. Ms. Richardson did not interview some Synanon children I am aware of who can hardly function. The "New-Path" drug treatment centers in science fiction writer Philip K. Dick's 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly bear numerous similarities to Synanon. Journal of Humanistic Psychology 18.3 (1978): 3–20. Those suffering from addictions to illegal drugs were not always welcomed into AA because it was considered that their addiction issues were significantly different from those suffered by alcoholics. I thought her work was great. Ms. Richardson concluded most children attitudes about parenthood were probably affected by this, and while some probably were, as I stated above, I believe the children saw through what was happening much more than their parents, and probably for some it was motivation to have children and do it right. Founded in 1958, Synanon sold itself as a cure for hardcore heroin addicts who could help each other by “breaking” new initiates with isolation, humiliation, hard labor, and sleep deprivation. Jukie Moncharsh for me penned her famous declaration: ” They were always hitting children. ", "It wasn't like Godfather, it was like Pirates of Penzance," Jollett explains. Aftermath, The Children of Synanon – – the Susan Richardson report. As a condition of probation, he was disallowed from taking part in managing Synanon. She also did a lot of research.