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Synanon -- "The People Business"

Charles E. Dederich -- Synanon Founder

"Every institution is the lengthened shadow of one man" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The Synanon Game began with an idea I had of getting people together in a room to pursue a conversation with a "line of no line." I began to yell and curse and accuse and ridicule: I talked to everyone in the room as if he had a tail. Boy I felt great, and everyone else loved it too. The next week they all came back. That was the birth of the Synanon Game, which basically hasn't changed at all since 1958.

"Before the days of Synanon nobody had ever told addicts to stop using drugs. People tried to love them out of it, reason them out of it, and motivate them out of it. We said to them: "Hey, KNOCK THAT OFF! If you shoot dope here we'll throw your ass out."

"Synanon came into existence because our society is composed of mama's boys and daddy's little girls who have been innundated by attempts to produce nothing but agreeable sensations in them. Character disorders, quite simply, are people who had too strong a dose of "mother love" and were never properly housebroken by fathers.

"The childish idea that money can accomplish something without people is rampant in our society. At the top, its always the manipulation of people -- the people business -- that makes for success or failure.

"I am proposing a counter-philosophy, a rather old-fashioned, commonsense approach to things: 'Good boys and good girls get good things -- bad boys and bad girls get bad things.' This idea is the very basis of Synanon. We are a father principle phenomenon which rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior."

Synanon lasted from 1958 to 1991. It treated tens of thousands of drug addicts and alcoholics, but it also became a way of life for thousands, about half of whom had never abused any drugs.

 
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