Author Topic: Is CEDU related to Synanon ??  (Read 2325 times)

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Offline starry-eyed pirate

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Is CEDU related to Synanon ??
« on: September 04, 2005, 05:25:00 PM »
'Ey ya'll i'm a str8 survivor but i am interested in knowing if CEDU was/is an offshoot of Synanon.  Does anyone know. This information would help to give me some perspective. T'anks
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
If you would have justice in this world, then begin to see that a human being is not a means to some end.  People are not commodities.  When human beings are just to one another government becomes obsolete and real freedom is born; SPIRITUAL ANARCHY.

Offline Anonymous

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Is CEDU related to Synanon ??
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2005, 11:38:00 PM »
http://www.fornits.baremetal.com/wwf/vi ... forum=11&5

Some stuff here about it. But some of it is incorrect. One being the origin of the CEDU name. CEDU does not stand for C.E.D. whatever they said it was. CEDU stands for "see yourself as you are, and do something about it." CE-DU, see-do. Pretty-stupid. The other being that the rattlesnake was put into a lawyer's mailbox, not the leader's.

I've heard multiple stories about the connection Mel had with Synanon. One being that he sponsored a kid that went there, another being that he and Brigetta were Synanon "squares",(whatever that means) others were ones that were mentioned in that thread. I have no idea what is the true story.

The sponsoring kid story was one I actually got from a link about herbalife, which stated:

"CEDU, as the drug institute is called, was the brainchild of Mel Wasserman, a Palm Springs furniture store owner who had sponsored recovering addicts at Synanon, a drug rehab program, at its facility in Santa Monica. In the late '60s, as Synanon developed cult-like trappings, Wasserman founded his own center for troubled teens in bucolic Running Springs, west of Big Bear. Its goals included liberating the "spirit of the child" and creating "a safe and healthy environment for making new choices." Wasserman eschewed Synanon's confrontational approach to therapy"

However, this flies in the face of CEDU's own claims of its origins, that Mel took in troubled hippie teens off the streets and had raps in his living room. Because, if I'm reading it correctly, it states that he up and created the CEDU facility and campus right out of Synanon, and skipped the whole living room bit. (But it might simply be that it's just leaving this information out.) Other stories of the Synanon connections jibe better with the CEDU origin story, as well, which indicate to me that those may be more accurate.

I also remember talking with someone at the Cult Awareness Network who told me about the connection years ago, and this was when I had first heard about it, and had begun my searching. (This was before the C.A.N. got taken over by the Scientologists, back when they were actually a legitamite organization.) But when I spoke with Richard Ofshe, (a professer at UC Berkeley, an expert in cults, and someone who is very familiar with Synanon, and who also knows of CEDU and Mel) he was unaware of any connection.

I guess Mel took the real truth to his grave. Unless you feel like asking his daughters, Stacy or Dana about it. Maybe they know. But I have a feeling they won't be too forthcoming. They'll probably deny it outright, now that I think about it, depending on how they feel about their old man. I was pretty good chums with Stacy when I went to RMA, (as good as one could be with a staff member, I suppose) and she was pretty guarded when she talked about her dad. (Actually, she never talked about him at all. She would talk about her mom, but not her dad.) It kind of indicated to me that they may have not had the best relationship in the world. He was a difficult man to get along with. Egotistical, rude, narcissistic. (My mom was at one of the parent workshops when he was there and said he was a real jerk.) And I've heard other stories, as well. But CEDU alum on this forum can feel free to dispute me if they want.

I do feel that there could be a connection, between Synanon and CEDU. There are far too many similarities between the two in terms of the lingo. And raps and "the game" have a lot in common, too.

The best thing I can suggest to you is: google it and see what you find. You can also run a search on this forum.
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Offline Anonymous

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Is CEDU related to Synanon ??
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2005, 12:39:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-09-04 20:38:00, Anonymous wrote:

"Wasserman eschewed Synanon's confrontational approach to therapy."


Oh wow, I totally missed that part when I first posted it. That makes me think this source is even less reliable than it was initially. haha. If anything, he embodied their approach, not eschewed it. Maybe CEDU wasn't as hard core as Synanon, the Seed, or Straight Inc. was, but CEDU's therapies were certainly confrontational.
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Offline starry-eyed pirate

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Is CEDU related to Synanon ??
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2005, 12:42:00 AM »
Thanks alot for takin' the time to respond to me.  i will look into the leads you have provided.  Peace.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
If you would have justice in this world, then begin to see that a human being is not a means to some end.  People are not commodities.  When human beings are just to one another government becomes obsolete and real freedom is born; SPIRITUAL ANARCHY.

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2005, 06:43:00 AM »
Well, take what I said about asking Stacy and Dana with a grain of salt. That was meant more tongue in cheek than anything else. Although if you do get in touch with them, that would be miraculous. I haven't heard any news about them at all, and neither of them seemed to continue their careers as education counselors after RMA/ASCENT. (Which is probably for the best. Maybe they got smart.)

I'm sure any questions regarding their father would be met with hostility, anyway, and trust me, you don't want to see Stacy mad. Or maybe you do, it's kind of fun.
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Offline wiseup

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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2005, 02:40:00 PM »
[ This Message was edited by: wiseup on 2005-12-26 16:17 ]
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2005, 07:08:00 PM »
Oh yeah, I totally forgot to post this link, too. It pretty much reiterates what I said, but it's a good link to have, anyway.

http://www.isaccorp.org/cults.html
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2005, 10:52:00 AM »
I was a student at CEDU in the 70's when Mel Wasserman was still running it. The "Charles E. Dederich University" became "See yourself as you are and do something about it" after the rattlesnake incident among other things.

Synanon and many of these places had a good rep at first which was why C.E.D. Univ was viewed as positive. They were taking junkies off the street who were previously hitting little old ladies over the head and robbing them to get the next fix. It wasn't like what I hear about now where some kid is arguing with his parents and gets kidnapped and thrown into there. Most anyone coming into CEDU in those days was pretty low bottom. Noone really cares about these people anyway - just look at the ongoing prison conditions.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2005, 05:01:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-09-16 07:52:00, Anonymous wrote:

"I was a student at CEDU in the 70's when Mel Wasserman was still running it. The "Charles E. Dederich University" became "See yourself as you are and do something about it" after the rattlesnake incident among other things.



Synanon and many of these places had a good rep at first which was why C.E.D. Univ was viewed as positive. They were taking junkies off the street who were previously hitting little old ladies over the head and robbing them to get the next fix. It wasn't like what I hear about now where some kid is arguing with his parents and gets kidnapped and thrown into there. Most anyone coming into CEDU in those days was pretty low bottom. Noone really cares about these people anyway - just look at the ongoing prison conditions."


Wow. It makes sense though. Otherwise, wouldn't he have just named it "Seedo"? I always bought that "see yourself as you are" line, too, but always wondered why it was spelled that way.
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Offline Anonymous

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Is CEDU related to Synanon ??
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2005, 07:34:00 AM »
Quote

On 2005-09-04 20:38:00, Anonymous wrote:

"http://www.fornits.baremetal.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?topic=6140&forum=11&5
















I guess Mel took the real truth to his grave. Unless you feel like asking his daughters, Stacy or Dana about it. Maybe they know. But I have a feeling they won't be too forthcoming. They'll probably deny it outright, now that I think about it, depending on how they feel about their old man. I was pretty good chums with Stacy when I went to RMA, (as good as one could be with a staff member, I suppose) and she was pretty guarded when she talked about her dad. (Actually, she never talked about him at all. She would talk about her mom, but not her dad.) It kind of indicated to me that they may have not had the best relationship in the world. He was a difficult man to get along with. Egotistical, rude, narcissistic. (My mom was at one of the parent workshops when he was there and said he was a real jerk.) And I've heard other stories, as well. But CEDU alum on this forum can feel free to dispute me if they want.


Why not ask Barbara Walters?  I'm sure she investigated throughly before sending her daughter.  Sounds like a good news special to follow-up the success of "Brat Camp".
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Offline wiseup

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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2005, 04:48:00 PM »
[ This Message was edited by: wiseup on 2005-12-26 16:18 ]
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2005, 05:54:00 PM »
Quote

On 2005-09-04 20:38:00, Anonymous wrote:


"http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?topic=6140&forum=11&5

I guess Mel took the real truth to his grave. Unless you feel like asking his daughters, Stacy or Dana about it. Maybe they know. But I have a feeling they won't be too forthcoming. They'll probably deny it outright, now that I think about it, depending on how they feel about their old man. I was pretty good chums with Stacy when I went to RMA, (as good as one could be with a staff member, I suppose) and she was pretty guarded when she talked about her dad. (Actually, she never talked about him at all. She would talk about her mom, but not her dad.) It kind of indicated to me that they may have not had the best relationship in the world. He was a difficult man to get along with. Egotistical, rude, narcissistic. (My mom was at one of the parent workshops when he was there and said he was a real jerk.) And I've heard other stories, as well. But CEDU alum on this forum can feel free to dispute me if they want.




Why not ask Barbara Walters?  I'm sure she investigated throughly before sending her daughter.  Sounds like a good news special to follow-up the success of "Brat Camp"."


Hahaha. Well, you do know that Jackie, her daughter, started up her own school for girls called New Horizons (hmm. that name sounds familiar), didn't you? I think she took Caroline Wolf with her, but I don't see her name on the facutly list, there.

Transcript of an interview of Barbara and Jackie with Jane Pauley on the NH website:
http://www.daughtersatrisk.com/dateline.html

Actually, I heard while I was at RMA that Barbara Walters DID want to do a special about the school, but the school said "no way." Despite the fact that I'm sure she would have put a positive spin on it, since the both her and her daughter are so pro-CEDU. I wonder what RMA was so afraid of?  :roll:

My mom ran into Jackie and Barbara on a cruise one time, and she was talking to them about the school. (I "knew" Jackie only briefly, as she graduated very shortly after I got there. I think I was in one rap with her, that was about the only time she and I actually spoke to each other.) Jackie was lamenting about how awful the school had gotten. (I guess my mom ran into them probably in the late 90s. I'm not sure if it was before or after Brown had bought them.) Of course, I thought to myself "Well, it was pretty awful back then, too."
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2005, 05:58:00 PM »
whoa. don't know what happened to the formatting on that last post. the quote tags are all where they are supposed to be. I didn't mess with them. Sorry about that.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2005, 06:09:00 AM »
Synanon was initially a drug rehabilitation program founded by Charles Dederich Sr. (1913-1997) in 1958 in Santa Monica, California. By the early 1960s it had become an alternative community as well, attracting people with its emphasis on living a self-examined life, as aided by group truth-telling sessions known as the Synanon Game. Synanon ultimately became the cultish "Church of Synanon" before its founder left in the late 1970s and the group disbanded finally in the early 1990s.

Dederich was a reformed alcoholic and regular attendee at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous who made an impression as a speaker on many attendees. Drug addicts were not accepted into the AA at that time so he created his own program to address their needs.


Club Casa del Mar, at one time a Synanon facility, on the beach in Santa Monica, California (photo 2005).Synanon began as a two-year residential program, but before long Dederich decided that members could never graduate, that full recovery was never possible. The community developed a business selling promotional items, a successful enterprise that generated roughly $10 million per year of revenue. The Club Casa del Mar, a large beachside 1926 hotel in Santa Monica, was purchased and used as a headquarters and dormitory for drug treatment. Children were reared communally in the Synanon School, and juveniles were often sent to Synanon by the courts. Professionals, with and without drug addictions, were eagerly invited and were expected to turn over their assets to the group. Control over members was imposed through the Synanon Game, in which a member was surrounded by the other members of the group and systematically belittled and degraded until the person experienced a nervous breakdown. Members were told that once a person had been completely broken down, their negative traits could then be eliminated and they could begin building themselves back up; "The Game," however, was actually a brainwashing technique invented in China [1]. Beginning in the mid 1970s, women were required to shave their heads, married couples were made to break up and take new partners, males were given forced vasectomies, and a few pregnant women were even required to have abortions.

Beginning in 1974 the authorities began to question Synanon's promises and practices. The concept of "lifetime rehabilitation" did not agree with therapeutic norms, and the group was alleged to be running an unauthorized medical clinic. On remote properties in California such as Tomales Bay in Marin County and Badger, Tulare County, California the state the organization built unpermitted buildings, a trash dump, and an airstrip. Tax issues came up. To dodge these accusations Dederich declared that Synanon was a tax exempt religious organization, the "Church of Synanon."

The change did not make the problems disappear. Children assigned to Synanon began to run away, helped by an "underground railroad" that sought to return them to their parents. Beatings of opponents and ex-members, "splittees", occurred across the state. A Grand Jury in Los Angeles issued a scathing report in 1978 attacking Synanon for its child abuse and for the profits that flowed to Dederich, and also attacking authorities for their lack of oversight. Remarkably, the authorities still did nothing. Though local newspapers and broadcast media covered the case, they were largely silenced by lawsuits from Synanon lawyers charging libel. Those suits ultimately turned out to be Synanon's undoing, giving journalists access to internal documents.

On October 11, 1978 two Synanon members placed a rattlesnake (rattle removed) in the mailbox of an attorney in Pacific Palisades, California. The victim had successfully sued on behalf of a woman that Synanon had abducted. The lawyer was bitten and barely survived. Six weeks later the Los Angeles Police Department performed a search of the ranch in Badger that turned up a recorded speech by Dederich threatening death to his opponents. A drunken Dederich was arrested on December 2. The two other Synanon residents pleaded "no contest" to charges of assault and conspiracy to murder. While his associates went to jail, Dederich avoided imprisonment in exchange for ending his involvement in Synanon.

The tiny Point Reyes Light, a weekly newspaper in Marin County, received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1979 on account of its coverage of Synanon when other news outlets avoided covering the group.

Synanon struggled to survive without its leader and with a severely tarnished reputation. The Internal Revenue Service revoked the group's tax exemption and the properties were confiscated or sold. By the mid-1990s the community had essentially folded.

Despite its faults, the Synanon program worked for many individuals. Among other successes, it is credited with curing (temporarily) heroin-addicted Jazz musicians Art Pepper, Frank Rehak and Joe Pass. The organization was touted by motivational speaker Florrie Fisher in her speeches to high schoolers, and she credited it with curing her of a heroin addiction. It also inspired more moderate, successful programs such as Delancey Street, co-founded by a former Synanon member. Many former members still value the positive aspects of Synanon, primarily its strong sense of community, and remain in close contact, personally or through online chat groups, and some even own businesses together.

and for those of you that don't know..... Charles E. Dederich University does equal CEDU. Charles Dedrich also was the founder of the saying "see yourself as you are and do something about it" which is why it was later changed after the rattlesnake incident with the lawyer. And yes, CEDU was baised off of synanon church.
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