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Synanon / Alleged Murder Attempt #255042

CBS Evening News for Thursday, Oct 12, 1978
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(Studio) Early view of Synanon as revolutionary therapeutic community stated. Recent attempts of organization to silence critics by lawsuits and intimidation noted. Los Angeles police investigation of incident involving Synanon reported.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(Los Angeles, California) Police report of attempted murder of Los Angeles attorney Paul Morantz with rattlesnake as weapon detailed. Morantz' recent win in lawsuit of woman who claimed she was kidnapped and brainwashed by Synanon members noted. Background of Synanon given and recent chgs. about its growing violent nature and other charges by former members detailed. [Former Synanon member Beverly LEVITT - had to watch husband walk around with Synanon wife. States decision to get out of place where she hadn't freedom to choose marriage partner. Says others had same thing happen to marriages.] Synanon's arming of members and defiant stance taken against critics described. Interview of organization founder, Charles Dederich, last winter by KMXT reporter Connie Chung shown; his claim that article in "Time" magazine produced threats on his life stated. [DEDERICH - is going to make them as nervous about children and grandchild as he is about his. Says group never starts anything, but that no one will mess with them.] [Victim MORANTZ - states beliefs of Synanon that they are saviors of world. Compares Synanon to Manson group.] Agreement of 2 Synanon mbrs. allegedly involved in attempted murder to surrender to authorities reported; one is reported to be son of band leader Stan Kenton. Lance Kenton, age 20, said to have spent half of life in Synanon.
REPORTER: Terry Drinkwater

Cronkite, Walter;
Drinkwater, Terry

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