Author Topic: Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?  (Read 18653 times)

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Offline 80's Guy

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« on: June 21, 2005, 12:01:00 AM »
I have read several of the books on Synanon, and they have not totally satisfied my curiosity on the way of life at Synanon. I am especially interested in the connection between Synanon and The Seed. I was a part of The Seed for many years and am interested in anyone who attended Synanonn to tell his or her story here, so we can start comparing notes on these two programs.

As a result of this forum, I have grown tremendously. Please post your Synanon stories,so all of us here can benefit from what many consider to be "The Grand Daddy of Therapeutic Communities." Tell us what life was like for you at Synanon. . .Thanks for your contributions.

[ This Message was edited by: 80's Guy on 2005-06-20 21:05 ]




SYNANON Charles Dederich  Synanon
The People Business  The Game Trip
Santa Monica beach Synanon rattlesnake Paradise, Inc.  


 
experience stories splitees[ This Message was edited by: 80's Guy on 2005-06-21 22:06 ]
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Offline starry-eyed pirate

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2005, 02:19:00 AM »
Yeah, i am a survivor of Str8 inc and  would love to hear from any survivors of Synanon for the same reasons stated by 80s' guy.  i am dissappointed to come to this forum and find only 1 lonely post. Synanon was a long time ago maybe all the survivors have already left this world.  i don' know. If there are any Synanon survivors out there i encourage you to please share your experience with us here.  We are all searchin' for a better understandin'.
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Offline CEDU 1974-75

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2005, 06:26:00 PM »
It would be nice to get some imput from the synanon contingent.I'm pretty sure cedu was the first synanon offshoot.

When I first discovered this site about a year ago,I didn't know what to expect.Fact is,I was kind of hoping to gain some insight into my own experience.I believe that perhaps I have.It is an added bonus that this site is dedicated to discontinuing the practice of systematic teen abuse.I'm pleased to participate in any small way I can.

Former Synanon member contributions would be greatly appreciated.
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Offline Chai

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2006, 01:20:00 AM »
Your post was such a long time ago I doubt that you will see my reply, but here goes.

I met a young man in 1972 who had just escaped from Synanon and come home to Washington State. He was 19 and I was 17. Within a year we were married. Within two years we were divorced. He left Washington and I never saw him again. I kept up with his life somewhat through his adoptive family. He had lived in 13 foster homes and was adopted at seven years old. Life did not treat him kindly. He died at age 38 in 1991 of a cocaine overdose. He didn't talk much about Synanon and what he did say didn't make much sense to me because it was so foreign to anything I had ever experienced... but I do remember that his hair was just growing out from being shaved and that he had escaped.
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Offline Anonymous

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2006, 04:35:00 PM »
Great Post. Did your ex ever introduce you to other Synanon survivors? What is it that he told you about his experience that seemed so foreign to you? Thanks for the insight. I wold love to spend time talking to ex Synanon members who could really share what went on inside (beyond the 2 books that have been written).
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Offline Chai

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2006, 05:17:00 PM »
That was many many years ago and my memories are faded. I was an over-protected 17-year old girl living at home with mom and dad and so the whole concept of some sort of commune where a person had to escape to get free just didn't make sense to me. I really don't have much information, sorry. I just wanted to let you know how it ended for one person who had been there. He had a rough beginning in life and his adopted parents weren't the kind who could help him - very critical people. He was getting into trouble with the law so they put him in the Navy. From what I understand, drugs were easily available in the Navy then and he a user. The laws had changed so that an addict could get an honorable discharge and that's what he did and then went straightway to Synanon. He wasn't using when I met him and married him. But it wasn't long before he was into it again. When I was 19 and pregnant he was going out on a Friday night and I wouldn't see him until Monday. Then one weekend in August he didn't come home for over a week. Later I learned that he was dealing.

He never introduced me to anyone from Synanon... he had been in Synanon in CA and we were in Washington state. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.
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Offline Anonymous

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2006, 09:40:00 PM »
Cascade School
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Offline Chai

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2006, 02:47:00 AM »
Cascade School?
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Offline Anonymous

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2006, 12:03:34 AM »
danielle allgood   ,  michael,
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Offline Anonymous

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I was there
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2007, 04:44:43 AM »
At sixteen years of age I was closer to death  than  life . For  reasons  that  have  substance but which  will  for  purposes  of  this  ommuniucation enain private, I  had  quixkly progressed  in  an  addictive  abuse of  drugs to fully  quakify  as  a candidare  for  
what  turned  out  to  be  the  life  saving  experience pf  a  six  year   stay in  Synanon.

It  was  on  April 1, 1968 when I entered  Synanon . I  was  sixteen  years  od  and  one  of  a  small  group  of  teengers that  had  managed  to  fuck  up  their  lives  enough  to  belong  in  this  hard  core  drug  treatment program .

When I  arrived Synanon was  a  Two  to Three  year program  fron  which  residents graduated . The recicivisim rate of these "graduates"was  high. So  high in  fact  that in  1969 Charles  Dederich, the  Founder of Synanon  declared  that  Synanon  was   no  longer  a  two  to  three  year  program but, rather  was  a  lifestyle  that  wasa    lifelong  for  anyone  that  wanted  to  enjoy  it;s  benefits ,  Thus  ,  an  addict  that entered  Synanon and  trhen  left  would  fall  into   a  status  of  persona non  gratis  and  would  be  subject  to  a series  of  humiliating  expewriences  to  regain a  degree  of  acceptability. These  "splitees" never  really  regained  the  status  of   a  kind  of  citizenship  which  other  residents  enjoyed ..

For me , I  spent  the  first  year  or  so  of  my  stay  trying  to adapt  to  this  very  strange  way  of  life  and  attempting  to  understand  where ,  if  at  all, I  fit  in .  

That  first  year  was  difficult , terrifying  and  at  the  same  time
a boundless  amount  of  good  times and   discovery . I  spent  a  large  part  of  my  tine  in  the  water  of  the  Pacific Ocean  at Santa  Monica  California  surfing .  The  physical  enviornment  was  centered  at  a  Monolithic  beach  club  called  the  Club  Del  Mar  (before  Synanon  took  over) It  was  a  grand  old  Hoyel /;club  omplete  with  Ballroom  ,  several lounge areas   and  a  large living room  Their  was  an  iindoor  olympic  sized  pool  and  a  complete  health  club

My  jpob (everyne  had  a job ) was  to  teach  the  children  of  the  older  residednts  to  surf  .

I  was  ,  for  the  first  time  in  my  life ,  in  the  presence  of  extremely  chatismatic people  who  had   risen  inb  this quirxky  placew  to  positions  of  lradership .  One  such  figure  I  came  to  respewst  and  admore  wasa  Jack Hurst. Jack  was  a  natural  born  leader .  He  was  smart , egocebtric , and  zenophobic . Once  he  believed  in sopmething  it  was  diffucult  to  sway  him . He  was   and  remains  one  of  the  most  decent  men  I  have  ever  known .He is   gone  now  having  died  several  years  ago  but  I  will  always  remember  him  with  respect ,  He  was  a key figure  in  turning  my  Synanon  Experience  into  a  positive  thing .  Many  of  the  young  men  that  were  in  Synanon  at  the  time  I  was  admired  Jack .  So  much  so  that  we  would  imitate  his  mannerisims  in  terms  of  speech, dress, body language and posture . Odd,  but  we  did .

In  my  first  year  I  was  what  was  called  a  rage  rat .  I  and  many  just  like  me  were  full  of  generalized  rage .  We  cut  it  loose  in  the  Synanon  game ,.  So  much  has  been  written  about  the  game  that  I  will  defer  to  these  other  reports   rather  than  trying  to re-report  about  it . Suffice  to  say  that  the  game  sharpened  ones  communication  skills  ,  ability  to  think  fast  on  your  feet  and  your  ability  to  take  punishing  attacks  without  falling apart .  It  was  an  uncensored  conversation  that  was  frightening  and  fun , angry  and  tender , emotive  and  intellectual .

After  the  first  year  I  had  come  to  feel  generally  committed  to  Synanon's  view  of  the  world  . I  stayed  5  more  years  ,  got  married  and  eventually  came  to  work  as  a  kind  of  valet  on  Charles  Dederich's  personal  staff ,  I left  in  1974 to  pursue  a  college  education  and ,  to  eventually  attend  and  graduate  law  school

 I  did  these  things  because  Synanon  gave  me a  safe  enviornment  to  mature  in..  

After  I  left ,  Synanon    shifted  into  the  more  radical  behaviour  that  got  it  in  trouble . Several  years after leaving  I  was  inviited  back  to  visit . I  had  become an  Attorney  and  thus   a  kind  of  local  boy  makes  good . When  I  went back  the  adventure  was  laced  with  fond  nostqaligia ,  but  also  was  rich  with  the  realization  that  you  cant  go  home  again .  I  had  grown  beyond  the  limitations  of  the  Synanon  Lifestyle .  I  will  never . however .  deny  the  incalcua;able  help  I  received  fron  having  lived   that  lifestyle  for  six  very  important  years .
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Offline try another castle

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2007, 05:25:06 AM »
Quote
We cut it loose in the Synanon game ,. So much has been written about the game that I will defer to these other reports rather than trying to re-report about it .

That's too bad. Since all the reports I have read thus far are second hand and not first, like yours.

Quote
He was smart , egocebtric , and zenophobic... He was and remains one of the most decent men I have ever known .


Okay, um. Confusing. Jack was egocentric and xenophobic, yet decent. Not sure what you are trying to say  here.

Listen, for what it's worth, it's good to hear from you, regardless on whether I agree with you or not on synanon's effecacy, I always like to hear from people who went there. You guys turn up so rarely.
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Offline blownawaytheidahoway

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synanon
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2007, 09:11:05 AM »
I just got Yar -whatever's book about Synanon. It came out in the late sixties. are you in it?

Also, having been at CEDU, I'm trying to fill in a few blanks that only visitors from Synanon might jbe able to answer.

Welcome!
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Life is a very wonderful thing.\' said Dr. Branom... \'The processes of life, the make- up of the human organism, who can fully understand these miracles?... What is happening to you now is what should happen to any normal healthy human organism...You are being made sane, you are being made healthy.
     \'That I will not have, \' I said, \'nor can understand at all. What you\'ve been doing is to make me feel very very ill.\'
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Offline iknowcedulies

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2007, 10:25:32 PM »
where are  the  synanon  gang  that  became  cedu  that became cascade.
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Offline Antigen

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2007, 12:08:33 AM »
See if any of these links are still working. Might find some good leads there:
http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia. ... html#links
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Offline try another castle

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Where are the Synanon Ex-Members?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2007, 12:14:14 AM »
Thanks Ginger. I've checked out George's page before, and of course, I can't get in to the members only area since I never belonged, and could probably not play it off well enough to pass. It would be interesting though. I can't seem to get the museum site to work. Some of the links take me back to the original spread. It might be my zonealarm being difficult, though. But I do have scripts enabled in FF.

But that is indeed, the main site I have interest in.

The secrecy is interesting. Have you found any other survivors' forums which are like that?

I'd also never heard about the "Escape from Utopia" book. I'll have to check that out.
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