Claire Clark “The Recovery Revolution” Columbia Press 2017 Fake History–Synanon–a Book Review

1st Fake News – – now Fake History? – – Claire Clark’s book. The Recovery Revolution– – – what the University of Kentucky, Claire Clark and Colombia Press do not want you to know Re Synanon, Seed and Straight.

Paul Morantz. Copyright September 2017.

Claire Clark’s Recovery Revolution.

My name is Paul Morantz. In 1977 at the age of 31 Connie became one of the 1st persons to alert the United States to the problems of cults and brainwashing. My education began through litigation against Synanon foundation Inc., which started as the 1st self-help with no doctors participation in year 1958. I continued to litigate against cults for almost 30 years. My memoirs is on Amazon – – “Escape: My Lifelong War Against Cults.”
From its inception there was a debate amongst experts and politicians whether or not Synanon was a miracle cure or dangerous brainwashing. (In Ms. Clark’s book you will only read of those who praised it, she omits all the professionals who warned against it ) By the time I became involved, there was no longer an issue regarding the Synanon system, although the public was not yet aware. The journalist and lawyers who were trying to bring the facts to light were locked into the category of “enemies” by the finder of Charles Dederich . The system from its inception depended on creation of enemies and punishments for those who would disobey or leave. Punishments eventually included beatings and being put in Slug Camps. By the time of my involvement, children were removed from the parents, send it to beatings and former addicts were placed in military training and ordered to go out and attack, even kill, those its founder – – Charles Dederich – – labeled an enemy.
I participated in multiple lawsuits against Synanon alleging brainwashing and violence towards its critics which it and this author labeled “enemies.” I worked for the United States Department of Justice in the IRS case that closed him Synanon down for destroying documents related to the fact it was a terrorist organization and lied about its charitable purposes. There are published legal opinions stating these findings. Just google the IRS and Synanon.
I having interviewed for documentaries, books, scripts on Synanon and cults for 4 years. I helped California pass a statute last year outlawing many of Synanon’s procedures in prohibiting such reoccurrence by non-licensed facilities. See
Recently I lectured on Synanon to the Harvard Medical School which is asked if I will speak again and is subject of Ms. Clark’s book. I have asked Ms. Clark to debate me and she has refused. I sent her written questions of why she omitted so many facts and that her alleged investigation would not go as far as you examine my archives which is online (Synanon papers archives– the real one). She is not responded to written questions but has responded that she will not debate me. I have offered to the University of Kentucky to give a lecture to the students and they have not responded. The publisher, Colombia press, and presented with all this information and added to refuses to comment a return phone calls.
It is bad enough that we live in a time in which truth is so hard to ascertain because of how easy it is to write, and where even our leaders now role model the art of lying. But rewriting of history is truly dangerous because if lessons of history are not learned, they are repeated. Ms. Clark has opened the door and let out a devil – – brainwashing – – that I and others have worked for a long time to expose and protect against.
I apologize for what may seem to be a long response, but it is hard to accept someone could be so callous to the victims of violence and to the requirements of truth. All despite. Charles Dederich admitted at his deposition that he approved the murder attempt on my life and 80 other attacks of violence on its critics. He went as far to say his control was so absolute none of it could have happened without his approval. It is very hard after all these years to see an alleged historian disregard myself and the other victims, write a book as if it all never happened and suggests Synanon evolved away from its drug care roots because it had to “battle its enemies.”
Dederich’s own testimony was that he never could cure any one other than by having them stay for life. His tape recordings, testimony and documents show that he change it to a utopian society and then to a religion to avoid taxation. He began enforcing people out of Synanon to cut down its cost while he arrange for the funds to be transferred to private accounts. In one of the earlier books on Synanon – – by Guy Endore– the author discusses people who say that Dederich is going to do this but this author while citing and/or does not cite this. She cites the 1st book written by Dr. Dan Casriel but leave out his reporting of abuses and the fact that psychological testing showed that the people acting social were still testing antisocial. And of course she cites the Yablonsky book would so accurately described Synanon processes but leave out in that both Yablonsky and Dederich compared it to brainwashing– but it only had recently been discovered through Dr. Robert Jay Lifton’s study of prisoners of Korean War.

In a companion post–to this – – Claire Clark’s Recovery Revolution– the speech Charles Dederich she will not tell you– you can hear Dederich brag of their beatings, of training the Imperial Marines who will crack bones and even kill.
This is only one of many documents in which this view is stated. More will be put online, including memorandums on their beatings of children and outsiders. This is an organization that took children away from parents, forced vasectomies and abortions and made married couples break up and go with a stranger instead picked by management. None of this you will find in this book will and it is not possible for anyone to research Synanon and not discover this, nor what happened in the programs they tried to copy Synanon. She would not even admit the changing partners requiring, but instead falsely states that it was just “open marriages.” It is not possible in my opinion that she does not know that is a lie. There is no way someone could research Synanon and not find out that it was ordering of new partners and remand of breaking up with your old one.
This happened because Dederich’s wife died any took a stranger for his new wife and decided that everyone therefore should do the same. Why did they obey? Because of years subjected to the Synanon system which says a obey or die… No one could make it without Synanon. That was the cure that was what was taught from the beginning and that is what this author refuses to tell you.
I apologize in many Synanon former members that have to have this forced back after so many years and I still hold that most people in Synanon would never have committed any of these crimes but for Charles Dederich that system he developed. Synanon is a story of people who came for help or came to be of help, who trained at Utopia, and found out how easy it was to surrender your life to madness and participate and/or support terrorism. For those who suffered at the hands of Synanon, either members and/or critics, and sorry for these memories to be sold push forward. But if there is going to be any benefit from Synanon, behaviorist and scientist and historian must review the true facts in history, and not some person wishes it was otherwise. Even I wish it was otherwise.
The evidence of all this is in a Synanon’s own documents and tape recordings which are available to anyone. I advised Ms. Clark of this review on Amazon and she had it deleted. Her university, Kentucky University, and the publisher, and herself, have refused to comment on this review. Initially, Ms. Clark, responded that she was sorry I was disappointed and that she would welcome scene documents. I have since offered to make them available to the University of Kentucky but they have refused comment.
This was initially a review written on Amazon re the book Recovery Revolution by Claire Clark, Associate professor at University of Kentucky concerning Synanon and it clones. It intentionally conceals true facts concerning Synanon and suggest approval that it had to “battle its enemies.” /I will be posting later a much deeper review showing her concealments and showing while Synanon is an important root for the start of modern rehab but more importantly experts she was aware of and didn’t report, pointed at the flaws of punishments and brainwashing.
I have a website – – Paul – – which tells the entire history of Synanon. But anyone really interested to know what happened and why and what important things we should learn from its existence I recommend my book on Amazon “From Miracle to Madness: The True Story of Charles Dederich and Synanon.
The reason I called it “true story” was because of fear that some person connected or on the special need would try to write a cover-up book. My book cannot be overcome because it is written mainly from Synanon’s own documents. As said, I’m going to start posting these documents. The 1st one being simultaneously made.

This review was posted on Amazon. After author learned of it, it was removed.

First Review
It would be nice if we all knew which books are correctly telling history and which are not. But obviously that’s not a power we have. What are called “apologetic” historians try to rewrite history for their personal needs. But I was involved in this story and I can say beyond any reasonable doubt the Assoc. Prof. at Kentucky—Claire D. Clark– has written what appears to be an intentional false book trying to make a hero out of Synanon and Charles Dederich. That is same as making a hero out of Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson r and/or Ted Bundy.
All she had to do was Google and know that Dederich was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of kidnapping. I litigated against Synanon for around a decade with the organization and took many depositions including Dederich’s. He admitted that all the violence – – they trained the “Imperial Marines” to go out and attack its enemies which included anyone who spoke badly of them— in my case they put a Rattlesnake in my mailbox after removing its rattles. Phil Ritter was clubbed over the head and almost died. Ron Eidson family was held at gunpoint by Synanon members while other members applied rifle butts to his head. Dederich has admitted he approved all of these acts. Dederich at deposition testified a rifle butt to the head was a good way of communicating a message.
I’m sure Ms. Clark will try to say that she was writing about a time– Early Synanon history when it was a drug rehab– Before Dederich outlawed children and compared childbirth to “crapping a football,” demanding that men have vasectomies and that people break up their marriages and take strangers for partners. But all she does is write about the praising stories about Synanon that Synanon’s PR Department pushed and from which it raised a small fortune having a free labor force and not having to pay taxes. She knows but leaves out there was an equal amount of experts and journalists who were warning that Synanon was brainwashing people and binding them to the house forever. That’s not a cure nor should it be allowed to exist. She leaves out Dederiich and Yablonsky (who’s book she relies on) both stated Synanon was brainwashing and Steve Simon she left out said in his Harvard dissertation it was dangerous because it brainwashes. Simon, she doesn’t say, went to prison for covering up Synanon’s crimes
Ms. Clark also discussed Synanon’s methods being copied by other organizations but some of them became worse than Synanon in terms of violence on its own members. This is common knowledge but she keeps it out. Last year at my urging, Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. signed a bill making the very Synanon System she writes about illegal in California. A similar federal bill is pending. Lawsuits for abuse and congressional reports caused the Seed and Straight to fall. Children died in the Synanon clones. A book on it is Maia Salavitz “Help at any Cost.” The book explains on how Synanon’s Punk Squad was copied and led to decades of abuse of teen-agers across the nation
She never mentions Santa Monica gave me an accommodation for my work exposing Synanon.
Ms. Clark says she researched the archives, but there is really only one archives and I own it. A false archives of Synanon was set up by Dederich’s family when the IRS closed it in 1991. But Synanon took out all the writings and tape recordings concerning violence and murdering people. But my archives has those documents – –everything that they did in their own writing. You can find this online by searching Synanon papers archives.
What Ms. Clark did was comparable to someone writing a book about Hitler helping the economy following World War I and then getting the trains to run on time and then stopping and never letting you know what happened next. Worse she writes only it had to “battle” its enemies as if murder was justified.. There were no enemies. There were critics. And the critics turned out to be right. At deposition Dederich admitted creating enemies to keep addicts there. He said you use “boogeyman” to keep them from running away.
I have records they kept of beating minors. They would broadcast the screaming. I have their writings comparing themselves to the Mafia, memos and tapes bragging about beatings and desire to kiill. Soon I will have this on line,
Considering that Synanon attacked over 80 people and hospitalized teenagers to adults with violence attacks by Synanon mobs all approved by its management this book that tries to cover it up says actually more about the author than Synanon.. She lacks humanity. That was same conclusion Sir Edgar Fridenberg reached on Yablonsky’s book. Noting he knew nothing of Synanon but was written he was amazed the author coul not see the inhumane treatment he was describing it was brainwashing and substituting one addiction for another. He ppredicted a dangerous state of mind would appear in Synanon. That state of mind not only appeared, but appeared in programs who copied it. A 5 year old could research this on line and find all this information.
In my memoirs “”Escape: My Lifelong War Against Cults” on Amazon there is a 55 page chapter on Synanon. You can also go to Paul I recommend for the truth on Amazon order “From Miracle to Madness” which tells a story from Dederich’s childhood to the IRS closing down Synanon after court finding it tried to hide it was a terrorist organization by destroying relevant testimony.
Ms. Clark’s book in essence is part of that conspiracy. UCLA destroyed the relevant documents and then put up its puff pieces in UCLA archives. The court s had already ruled that Synanon members entered into a conspiracy to conceal the truth and there were arrests for obstruction of Justice as well. Our author here cites people who were convicted of crimes but does not tell you that. She does not tell you that while there were claims that Synanon was “tunnel back” to human race (and for many at a time it was), it actually became a vehicle for taking Reformed addicts back to their criminal life on the streets . Only Dederich raised the level of the crimes– they were now to commit mayhem and murder. Sworn testimony in my case was Derich chose between options of a $10,000 hitman, blowing me away on freeway with shotgun or rattlesnakes in my mailbox.
This is not to say that there were not some good ideas that came out of Synanon, nor that there were no good people in Synanon who sincerely wanted to help others. Early some good educators brought interesting ideas to Synanon. But to the extent that they found that comradeship, a common roof and believing in common enemies, as well as inhumane punishments, could be a force from which to break away from crime and using drugs, Synanon is a George Orwell story of how following revolutions tyranny rises and becomes a horror. . Those who are the most fanatic become the leaders and the others follow. Just like today in N. Korea. This book is 3 monkeys “ speak no evil “hear no evil, see no evil…”
Synanon is a very important subject for behavioral science, particularly today with such rise of dictators everywhere and loss of freedom. How it was done is shown in my books but you won’t find it here. I wrote so people could learn from it and not repeat errors. This book argues it was all great. One has right to believe brainwashing is a cure, she is not first, but you don’t sale it by hiding facts. Ms. Clark, the University of Kentucky and Columbia press should be ashamed.
They have glorified an organization that hospitalized a kid for sleeping in his van on their property, for hospitalizing four people that drove through the parking lot looking for a space, beating a rancher who had helped Synanon kids run away and get home, tied a man to a post-and beat him while his wife was held off by guard dogs, hospitalized four kids who drove by their property and hit a fence. They trained a hit force, bought $300,0000 of weapons and then attempted to beat, mangle and kill. There were more than 80 violent attacks. They hit kids in the face and kept record on it.
Then of course there was the murder attempt on me. Clark knows all this. But all she says of it was that Synanon mutated into a group that was readying itself to “battle its enemies”. She knew it was a group in which this leader proclaimed over broadcasting system that he wanted the message to get out that if you messed with Synanon “You can get killed dead… I want to crack some bones…. And I do want an ear in a glass of water.” Over and over again he compared Synanon to the Mafia.
By the early 60s it was proclaimed that people were not cured in Synanon and no one should ever leave. (Actually I thought Dederich accomplished more than he did). Anyone who left was generally not allowed to come back. Dederich would teach them that they would die if they left Synanon and then to rule by fear throwing people out at whim to show that he had the power over life and death. I have over 20 volumes of depositions of Charles Dederich. This author—Clark– never read any of them. I have Synanon memorandums describing very happily how they beat people until hospitals were necessary. She remained silent—thus writing a fraud. And when she talks of the early days of Synanon she quotes those that praised, but is silent to all who issued warnings. She never mentions all the prison programs ended in failure and cancellation.
Nor that Dederich’s grandson and son of leader of Imperial Marines were among them many who ran away.
She never deals with issue Synanon’s own records showed few who left stayed clean and she argues in favor of a system that says you can never leave so stay and work and make Dederich rich. Today, rehabs don’t try to keep people forever; they employ licensed counselors and have follow-up programs. They don’t control who they sleep with, do not order abortions and take children away from parents. Most of all, they do not teach to kill their critics.
In my book “From Miracle to Madness” I printed both the praise and dissent so the public could learn of the controversy, how it was debated, how the authorities responded and how Synanon became rich, powerful and destructive. There was for its member a dream of Utopia. Instead it became a nightmare. It was Skinner’s box gone insane. The author knows it but she doesn’t want you to. After passage of many decades she tries to rewrite history to the fairy tale someone told her as a kid. But she wasn’t the one who had their teeth knocked out and none were put under any pillows..