Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Daytop Village

David Deitch

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I've seen far too many posts questioning the origins of the TC and how it's philosophy has trickled down to other programs. I guess it's time for me to send all those still searching in the grassy knoll to this man.  :roll:  For those want to see how Synanon was influential in Daytop, Phoenix House, and numerous other programs all you need to do is look up their connection with David Deitch, who by the way is a Synanon graduate. For those interested here is a link to him. ::argue::

Thanks, odie!

Would you perchance also know:
When was David Deitch involved with Synanon, and
What was the basis for his involvement?
(Some folks were not addicts per se, and were more attracted to Synanon's avowed ideals from a TC perspective).

The basis for his involvement was that he was in treatment there. He graduated, became "classically educated", and the rest is history. I believe he was in treatment around 1960 or so.

Here is an "ancient" fornits post found on a mirror site.  I tried to find it again in-house, but was unsuccessful.  Either it no longer exists, or fornits Search and Google's Advanced Search do not work optimally, or all of the above.

LINK to Mirror Cache

04/15/00  17:20

    RE: Red Eyes Basis of Drug Diagnosis/The Great Drug War
Josef Stalling and Ilich Lenin made repeated public remarks that communism and capitalism could not co-exist, that sooner or later one would topple the other and that it was the Soviet goal to topple capitalism. Nikita Khrushev gave a speech to the United Nations in 195? saying to the West, "We're going bury you." Some Americans did not take these threats idly. In the Sixty's while the flower children were smoking joints, a group called the Minutemen were clandestinely stashing arms for the ultimate East/West struggle. A more intellectual, white-collar group was the John Birch Society. The Communist Manifesto stated that Communism and Capitalism can not co-exist, and that Communism will work to topple Capitalism. The John Birch Society had a stated platform that Communism and Capitalism can not co-exist, and that the Society will work to topple Communism. Now the KGB worked hard in the 1960s and 1970s to try to help overthrow the United States from within. For example, the KGB seeded money to the civil rights movement (though the freedom marchers never knew it) and the KGB made a heyday showing angry blacks burning down Watts on Soviet TV. KGB operatives infiltrated the anti-war movement and seeded money to it too--unbeknownst to War protesters. They made a heyday showing films of Abbey Hofman and the Chicago Democratic Convention riots on Soviet TV. They infiltrated the movements of Catholic nuns and German and American housewives laying down in front of trains transporting nuclear weapons in the American west and in Germany. (I was an Army Intelligence Officer in those days. I was commissioned just after Congress forbade the military from keeping files on American citizens.) Now one group the KGB really feared was The John Birch Society. So it started propaganda to paint the society as red-necked, white extremists of the American Nazi Party ilk. They did a good job too, convincing us all that intelligent men didn't join the Society. Incidently, the John Birch Society took a stand against Synanon saying that it was a communist society. (I don't know what the Society said about Jim Jones and The People's Temple, but Jim Jones even admitted he was trying to establish a Communist society in Guyana.)

In the 1960s William O'Brien, a caring Catholic priest from Brooklyn, sent many of New York's heroin addicts out to Synanon. New York psychiatrist Dan Casriel visited Synanon in the 1960s and wrote So Fair a House which helped put Synanon on the map. Monsignor O'Brien and Dr. Casriel teamed up to form their own synanon for Brooklyn's Probation Dept. which they called Daytop Lodge. Daytop was funded, in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). But like MATRIX, a federal synanon or therapeutic community (TC) set up by NIMH at the federal lock-up hospital in Lexington, Ky, Daytop Lodge failed because it did not have a charismatic leader. So O'Brien and Casriel coaxed David Deitch, an assistant administrator at Synanon, to join them. The new Daytop is called Daytop Village. But it wasn't long before the administration was saying that Deitch was trying to set up a communist commune based on the teachings of Ernesto Che Gueyara--Fidel Castro's right-hand man. So David Deitch was booted out. Today Daytop is one of the biggest surviving synanons (or therapeutic communities which is what they have decided to call themselves these days.)

Not to be out-done NYC's Mayor Lindsey was looking for a solution to the overall heroin addiction problem in that city. The Black Muslins were working on an exhortative approach to drug addiction cures. I believe some Black Panther officials had met with Synanon to observe The Game. Though NYC's heroin problem was predominantly in the black ghetto communities, Mayor Lindsey compromised and settled on another minority to head his Phoenix House. Phoenix House was sponsored by the city's Addiction Services Agency which was sub-headed by a psychiatrist from California name Mitchell Rosenthall. A Puerto Rican psychiatrist named Dr. Efren Estaban Ramirez was selected to head Phoenix House. Now Synanon had a treatment facility in Puerto Rico. Dr. Ramirez selected synanon-style Games as his treatment modality for Phoenix House. One female psychiatrist who had visited Dr. Ramirez down in Puerto Rico was Dr. Julian Gensen-Gerber. She created her own synanon in New York City called Odyssey House. One her houses was the first TC for children. Dr. Rosenthall became head of Phoenix House when Ramirez left.. Synanist Rae Tibble directed one of the Phoenix houses. Synanite John Maher left Synanon to found The Delancy Street Gang in San Francisco. Rod Mullen and some other Synanists left Synanon to form Amity Foundation in Tucson ... -9923.html

In June 1970 a former New Yorker and recovering alcoholic named Art Barker formed The Seed in Fort Lauderdale. A TC for kids. No one down there had ever seen anything like it. A kid being controlled by the GROUP. Brutal verbal confrontations. They called him a genius. Art let everyone believe that he just sort of dreamed up his own version of kids shouting indictments at other kids. Art Barker's gaudy, Gothic sign for The Seed is strangely similar to John Maher's sign for The Delancy Street gang. Barker was funded by NIMH and then by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) when that sub-organization was formed and headed by Robert DuPont.

After getting kicked out of Daytop, David Deitch wound up helping set up synanons for the Illinois Drug Abuse Programs (IDAP) and was on the staff of Chicago's new TC named Gateway. While Deitch was setting up synanons for IDAP, Dr. Jerome Jaffe was making a name for himself at IDAP treating heroin addicts with methadone. Richard Nixon selected Dr. Jaffe as the first drug czar. Dr. Jaffe was replaced by Robert DuPont as the second White House Drug Czar due to DuPont's work with methadone treatment in Washington, DC. Robert DuPont, who administered funding to The Seed, once told Dan Baum that he had looked at TCs as a possible solution to the nations way out of the drug war but had felt TCs could not handle the load of the enormous numbers of the nation's addicts. Yet when he left NIDA he became a paid consultant for Straight, Inc. and helped make it the largest synanon in the world.

Deitch's Gateway House testified against Straight in the Fred Collin's case in 1983. An association had been formed called the Therapeutic Communities of America (TCA) of which Gateway and Phoenix House belonged. The TCA had a client bill of rights and the TCA felt that Straight had not held to this. David Deitch references Straight's abusive tactics in an article he wrote on Coercion in the Therapeutic Community for the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 1984. In 1984 David Deitch had become Director of Clinical Services for Phoenix House.

Which all gets us to Ginger's question? Why didn't we know that there were books on Straight before? (Actually, by now I've forgotten exactly what Ginger was asking about, but I think it was something along what I'm replying to.) Answer. Even as the communist propagandized against the John Birch Society so that no respectable thinking man today would admit that he had been a John Bircher (I was not. I was too young and had my head stuck too deeply in science and engineering books to realize that there was a shooting war going on over in Asia, and that people were beginning to be locked up for smoking pot. However, had I known, I probably would have been a John Bircher.), so the drug warriors propagandize against people who are trying to bring reason into the phony drug war. Straight's former national director infiltrated Pride. Dr. Newton's name is mentioned at their conferences. PANDAA still pushes Newton's and DuPont's books. The drug warriors have done a good job painting the Drug Policy Foundation as a group of pot heads wanting to use dope, when in fact they're some pretty level-headed, intellectuals. Arnold Trebach is an attorney with a Phd in Criminal Justice and a professor at American University. He was a voice crying out almost alone against the horrors of Straight. The Drug Policy Foundation gave Richard Bradbury a $10,000 grant to aid him in his work.

Straight was so taken aback by Trebach's 1986 book which made reference to the fact that Straight was brainwashing children that Straight invited two psychologists from Simon Frazer University in Canada to visit Straight. Dr. Bruce Alexander was one of those visitors. In Peaceful Measures: Canada's Way Out of the Drug War, he writes that Straight does indeed use Communist brainwashing techniques on its clients. As for the other professor. Dr. Barry Beyerstein. You want to know what he said. Well you'll just have to visit my web page for that.

So yes Ginger. There were people who knew. There were people who were trying to help. You kids were just too shell-shocked to find it. And besides the Internet did not exist. The Drug Warriors have done a good job in painting moderates as coke snorting felons, just like the KGB had John Bircher's painted as red necks back in the 60s. Wouldn't surprise me if they haven't infiltrated moderation groups like the Drug Policy Foundation or the Lindsmith Foundation. By the time you kids woke up, the stuff was off the press. There wasn't a big demand for it in those days. You were the real benefactors-to-be of the books. You just wern't ready yet.

If anybody from the Drug Policy Foundation is listening, I think you'd better tell the printer to stock up on The Great Drug War. I think a 100 copies might be needed within a year. The kids are finally growing up Melvin.

Wes Fager
Oakton Institute for Cultic Studies

I’m not sure if you had already come across this thread yet. I’ve just read it and found it interesting.
I’d like to know what your thoughts are on the info. TTYS.


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