Childbirth Unmasked: Crapping a football
by Paul Morantz copyright October, 2011
Having reached the age of 63, Chuck Dederich, arrived at the point he probably always wanted since his younger brother died of influenza when Chuck was just 8 half years old. He would not have to deal with children. He had never really dealt with his own children until they became adults, abandoning them in Ohio when he took off for California. Jady would move into Synanon, but only after her own mother, the 2nd ex Ms. Dederich was murdered by her former boyfriend in front of Jady. Chuck Jr. came in as an adult.
When Synanon first started, Dederich had Oedipus complex meetings telling all their problems were that they were still in love with their mothers. He called mothers the enemy, always angered his own mother in his mind replaced him when she remarried when he was 12. He then argued previously “the father’s principal” which was mothers spoil with unconditional love while fathers make their children earn love (today many would argue if anything, it’s the reverse) and that Synanon was based on the father’s principal.
By previously placing children in a Hatchery where they were raised by assigned adults, rather than parents who could coo them, he washaving his followers do as he– abandon their children as he had abandoned his. As common with cult leaders, everyone should live as they have chosen. Children raised in Synanon would be ignored by their parents when they walked by, and parents who tried to see their children were called “head suckers” who would be attacked in games.
In the Hatchery they would not cuddle babies, but let them independently crawl and explore. Today that type of lack of attachment is known to cause a disorder, even create antisocial behavior. Ultimately, a study done of Synanon children at the turn of the Century revealed that the majority of Hatchery children did not do very well in the outside world as adults.
And on February 1, 1976 Chuck Dederich took it a step further to a position there would be no children born in Synanon. He said that for their tax – free purposes they were taking in wayward children and that was enough. The Synanon lifestyle he said in a riveting speech called “Childbirth Unmasked: Teachings” already was unburdened by not having to do repairs, fix automobiles or prepare food, so why should there be the burden of taking care of children. The removal of childbirth he said “would take the last load off the ruling class…” Ruling classes since the time of Egyptians have others raise their children. No one, he said, wants to do that.
But while his longing for disassociation from children made the choice easy, loathing was not the reason for this new notion. The real motivation is apparent in his public speech but no one was really listening. When Guy Endore wrote the book “Synanon” in the 60s he cited an unnamed “heretic” who declared Dederich was a megalomaniac who had already driven out all of the original directors and that one day there would be a scandal and everyone would wonder where the money went. Endore had laughed the heretic off. But that day had now arrived.
Money was indeed one of two motivations for childlessness. Drive people out and there are less costs. Just short of 2 years later—at end of l977– Dederich would strike again, this time a new notion that everyone had to leave their loved ones and pair up with a stranger picked by the community. All this he would later admit at deposition was to squeeze people out of Synanon. Unlike most “movements” which Dederich acknowledged Synanon was, Dederich did not seek to expand or conquer new lands, but now wanted to shrink the community to only those who produce income having traded in their skills for bald heads, overalls, ranch life with servants, and no pay.
He no longer wanted to feed or pay for the housing of dope fiends or useless squares. He wanted just enough fanatics for the operation to bring in the money. He wanted to cash out on housing properties and to do that that he had to evict. In his own words “squeeze out the rotten fruit.”
Dederich had long ago bragged to the media he had no personal money, but then came the settlement with the Examiner where as a co- plaintiff he took ½ the settlement. Now money was an obsession. Synanon started suing all the media and in each case Dederich was a co-plaintiff ready to take ½ of any settlement. He saw defamation lawsuits with his free legal team causing so much expense for the other side that they would settle and that would make him personally rich per his co-plaintiff status. And injury settlements are not taxable. Now, by making notions that would push people out the door he was cutting costs, and cutting costs of children particularly, allowing property to be sold and 2 years later Santa Monica was sold. A year later Dederich set up a brilliant distribution of charitable goods program with the plan of eventually charging other charities to be on the distribution list. And also 2 years later Dederich would set up a private corporation– Home Place, Inc., in Lake Havesu– wherein the plan was for Synanon to pay money to the private corporation for teaching services to the members of Synanon and then the corporation would pay Dederich and his selected few. He finally begun the financial raiding of Synanon Foundation, the non-profit corporation.
The other motive for no children was just as apparent from his speech. Totalistic leaders often look back on nostalgia to the days they made it happen and long for a return to such glory. That’s why Osama Bin Laden turned to hatred of the United States. He had wanted to liberate Kuwait so he could re-experience his glory in assisting Afghanistan against Russia, but the United States was chosen over him for the job. And his counterpart, Pres. George Bush Jr., so enjoyed the cheering crowds as he destroyed the Taliban in response to 9/11 that he made up lies to justify invading Iraq to relive it all.
Dederich clearly missed his glory days when Synanon alone claimed it cured drug addicts and Life Magazine ran the largest photographic display in its history on Synanon. But drug rehabs were now everywhere and Dederich had to become creative to create some new idea that would be controversial and allow for re-experience of the emotional highlights of his life.
Dederich speech contained both these motivation if one looks close enough, but also a “sales pitch” to get it done.
There was, he stated, nothing to get out of having a baby, and the experience was like “crapping a football.” A woman then loses her figure… For what? The only reason would be to indulge a woman’s selfishness but “This movement doesn’t need children. …We don’t have to use our women for breeding stock for Christ sakes.”
He explained that every baby would take up between a $100,000 and $200,000 worth of energy for the next 18 years.
Then speech planted the idea of no more children. “It took an awful lot of conning and fooling around to let squares in. To get people to stop smoking. Boy, that required one Hell of a lot of thought and soul searching and Jesus Christ, we might have destroyed the whole fucking place. Of course, we made the place so much more of a pleasant place to live in– where people can’t taste their food, where everything smells good and the health of the people is better and everything else. But were damm near over-the-top on smoking. Were not over-the-top on aerobics by any means yet. Not quite. We’re about 25% of the way into compulsory exercise. But we still have the terrible ghastly resistors.
“This is a little laboratory experiment. This is a little community. I have done exactly like the rest of the guys that run the world. I could run a State, a country, a city, it doesn’t make any difference. I’m one of those guys. I know that magic. I know it.
“And I need people around me. A very small group. That’s the way it is. The nature of that magic is that you don’t violate it at all…. I can exert my magic by telling the people. I can do it right in front. I can say, ‘Now watch this,’ and they’ll go boom, boom, boom, boom. Just like people do all over the world.”
He then chastised Synanon for giving him little support or affirmation. All the dummies are getting richer and fatter but what does he have? No one he says can pick one “God damn hole” in what he is now saying. “There is nothing mystical about this. The world is loaded with kids and I know they’re all alike. I have had children. I have grandchildren. And I’ll tell you, my philosophy seems to work.”
Synanon, whether they like it or not, is a social movement and they are not there to do it like their parents and family did. Synanon, like a monastery, has rules. And they have to move ahead. Abortions use to be considered evil, but now “having an abortion is like squeezing a boil, nothing more.”
No one, he said, was going to be able to resist this direction. “I am way ahead of you. I have come to terms with it…You must come to terms with it…I have to know when to say ‘Go.’ And then everybody’s got to come along or out…. My people ruled the world. I’m trying to introduce you assholes into how the fuck it’s done.”
First, he reminded, he declared no dope and no booze years ago. No smoking 5 years ago. Exercise 2 years ago. There was resistance to eating our meals together.
“Now you think that my job is conducted on the level of intellection and reason. It’s not at all. It isn’t. Not at all…. I’m not trying to sell the community and make them say or understand something. I don’t give a fuck what the community understands!…. I want the community to form itself into some kind of an integrated group and say, ’Charge!’ And to do something.”
He explained that at the age of 16 he realized there was no God that looked like Santa Clause or Eisenhower and for 20 years he was an atheist. But then they start pointing around calling themselves a small “r” religion so no one was disturbed. “Most people who have had situations like mine through the world at large or small situations, who are professional charismatic leaders, know what I know. I’ve already made by mark. I demonstrate how it’s done…
“See, change is what you are terrified of. You are like all kids. You are fucking rigid. You are just frozen rigid. You are just frozen like all young people. I mean just frozen.”
He pointed out in medieval times people took the vows of chastity, but they don’t have to do that. They’re just not going to have children. “I think children are a very bad investment…. We have not cashed in on any children born into Synanon because no children were born into Synanon long enough ago to have reached adulthood and make any kind of contribution. We haven’t done very well with children raised a long time in Synanon.”
The only successful child they took in was his daughter Jady who came in at the age of 10 and now is being groomed for a big job in Synanon. And his son, who came as an adult, learned to be a proprietor and make people do things. They would do better to select people from the outside then to try to grow their own.
“So, there is no profit to this community in raising our own children.”
Dederich said this was a new direction, that some time would be taken to implement it. “Now, you say every new rule in Synanon is hard on people…. I just wondered if it wouldn’t be better, in your opinion, to be the kind of person that is not terrified and resistant to change. Do you think that would be a better kind of person?…
“Rules, the little silly rules in Synanon, have nothing to do with anything…. I’m trying to get some people who understand these matters and get past this resistance. I want to game it because it will make me feel good. Jesus Christ, it takes me back 17 years ago when the only people I was dealing with were dope fees and the average education was 9th grade.
“Everybody who moves into Synanon, I don’t care where they come from, whether they came from the ‘character disorder,’ or the ‘normal’– it doesn’t make any difference what door they come into– they all come in to get something…. They like something going on here, and I can say, and others can say, since I came to Synanon, I don’t like to go to anyone else’s house and ask for anything. I do not want to join them. They all want to come and live in my house.”
People, he explained, have to deal with the one who does the dealing. “I’m one of those. I’ve always been one of those. Nobody ever deals with me. Not in Synanon. Not since that day when I stopped drinking. Nobody has ever dealt with me again and nobody ever will….
“So having a child is totally and completely self indulgence act for some people. They only do it because is easy.
“See, were going to cut the population down. We’re not going to use the 2 1/2 million dollars from the sale of the Oakland club for expansion. We’re going to use it for shrinkage.
“… The Synanon of 5 years from now has no room for the kind of people that you are now. You won’t be here…. At this time we got too God damn much fat in Synanon. Too many rum-dums… I want to squeeze them out.
“… All the new ideas come out of Synanon. We can do it better, I think, with fewer people. We’re too crowded. Nobody wants Santa Monica anymore. Will probably sell it and get out of it.”
Santa Monica was not necessary because every dope fiend rehab is a branch of Synanon that have “spies in here trying to find out what the fuck we’re doing.”
He analogized the situation to living on a dying planet but there’s an opportunity to take a space ship to a better one but children are not allowed. Do you get on board?
He also analogized to being told one did not have to drink again. That was freedom. And now wouldn’t that be freedom for a woman to say that she doesn’t have to have a baby, she can take a pill, screw, and can have a lot of fun. “I can keep some man captivated and everything else. And I never have to have a baby as long as I live?”
Synanon was a ride. “Take the trip.”
“Most people don’t know what they’re doing in Synanon. That’s been the story for 17 years, for Christ sake. Betty and I are the last people in Synanon from Ocean Park when the whole explosion took place. That’s it. That’s it.”
Quickly, Synanon members competed for favor by accepting the new truth. Brooks Carder wrote Dederich real estate of the last “breeders” children. Of these 15, 5 had been pulled out by their parents. For data compiled by Liz Missakian, other hundred and 53 children born in Synanon only about one third or still there which means that raising them was a very expensive proposition without pay back.
Steve Simon, the psychologists who came to study Synanon for his dissertation, and warned before his conversion that participating to observe was dangerous as it was brainwashing , and then never left, edited and transcribed the speech proudly. Years later he would go to jail for destroying tapes.
The speech was given a cover and made part of the Synanon Library. It was discoverable and available to the media but yet no one was paying attention. Whatever Dederich once might have been, he was clearly now a madman.
Later there would be apologists who claimed he came unglued when his wife died in 1977. But she was alive and well when this speech was given. She was as brainwashed as anyone.
And Synanon, of course, ran with the message. Immediately all pregnant women were gamed to abort and all did, one being 4 months pregnant. The rule developed that all males over 18 and 5 years in Synanon would have a vasectomy. Vasectomies “stews” were set up for resistors who were gamed until they broke and stated they would have a vasectomy. Upon such pronouncements they were lifted in the air and carried into adjoining rooms where Synanon doctors immediately performed the vasectomies.
One person did not. His name was Phil Ritter. He fled all the way to the authorities where he unsuccessfully tried to convince law enforcement Synanon was forcing vasectomies. He got in order for custody of his daughter but then his wife and child suddenly “disappeared.” In two years he would become Synanon’s first murder attempt. and barely survived.