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Thread: Underground Railroad

  1. #1
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    Underground Railroad

    Children assigned to Synanon began to run away, helped by an "underground railroad" that sought to return them to their parents.


    I'd personally like to investigate this more.

  2. #2
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    Christine....

    I read on a Synanon-bashing site (wasn't pro synanon) about a rancher and his wife who helped kids runaway from Synanon.

    Not much other info, but will find it if you're interested.

  3. #3
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    Heck, thought I'd better post a link while I could still find it...

    http://www.rickross.com/reference/br...washing35.html


    Scroll down to the Synanon section.

    Sorry, this may have been posted already - there is just so much info here!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by christine2448 View Post

    I'd personally like to investigate this more.
    If only I had 2 million hours in a day.

    Don't we have a couple of posters that have the Point Reyes book? Am I even thinking right? The book written by the newspaper about Synanon? I wonder if that mentions the underground railroad?

  5. #5
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synanon



    This article on Wiki mentioned the railroad..

    Lifetime rehabilitation concept
    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 it was alleged that the group was running an unauthorized medical clinic, and that on remote properties in California such as Tomales Bay in Marin County and Badger, Tulare County, the organization had built unpermitted buildings, a trash dump and an airstrip. Tax issues arose. In response to these accusations, Dederich declared that Synanon was a tax exempt religious organization, the "Church of Synanon."
    The problems remained despite the changes. Children assigned to Synanon began running 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 refused to intercede. 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.
    I don't recall hearing that before, "splittees".

    And mentions that book Point Reyes in references

  6. #6
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    Check this out!

    In January 1978, Light reporter Keith Ervin reported on an unusual number of children running away from Synanon. The Gambonini family on the Marshall-Petaluma Road had created their own "underground railroad" to help the children get back to their parents.

    http://www.ptreyeslight.com/stories/...non_story.html

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by christine2448 View Post
    If only I had 2 million hours in a day.

    Don't we have a couple of posters that have the Point Reyes book? Am I even thinking right? The book written by the newspaper about Synanon? I wonder if that mentions the underground railroad?
    I have it Chris. It might be mentioned in the book but if it is there is no usefull information. I actually talked to a lady(secretary?) at the Point Reyes Light who was working there at the time that everything happened. She told me that there was also a church who helped with the "underground railroad>" She said people would show up in the middle of the night(from Synanon) and in the morning they were gone. She said she didn't know any of the details though.
    Retired 08/03/03

  8. #8
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    There is a friend of mine that works with the underground railroad for abused women in the LA Prosecutors Office. I will give her a call and see if she knows anything about other groups that were doing the same things for other people in other situations. Don't know how much she can tell me but I'll give it a shot...might have to wait until Monday though.

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