NBC Evening News for Tuesday, Jun 13, 1978
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(Studio) Continuing report in series on Synanon, originally organization for drug and alcohol rehabilitation that has undergone many changes since its beginning. Leader of group noted as Chuck Dederich. Authorities' scrutiny of some Synanon activities on organization's land in Marin Cnty., California, north of San Francisco, and at other sites reported.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(No location given) Violent incidents near Synanon property in California reported; case of Richard Marino and Calvin Smith given as example Marino and Smith lawsuit against organization noted. [MARINO - describes experience.] Similar experience reported by former drug addict Robert Graeme, who had wanted to return to Synanon communal living after being helped earlier by organization, outlined; Graeme's decision to take bodyguard, Jack Harding, with him to interview at Synanon House in Santa Monica and reports from both with regard to violence they encountered detailed. [GRAEME - says Dederich himself threatened them.] [HARDING - was reminded of young Gestapo group.] Lawsuit brought by Graeme and Harding mentioned. Marin Cnty. grand jury report in March concerning recent Synanon actions that have left area residents uneasy, like group's gun purchase from San Francisco shop and reports of child abuse, detailed. Group's response to remarks about gun purchase given. Case of Synanon runaway, 16-yr.-old Julie Moncharsh, cited as example of reported child abuse. [Ms. MONCHARSH - described childbeating incidents she witnessed while in Synanon.] Group's statements about alleged child abuse and holding of children as prisoners quoted. Recent call to San Francisco police to get some children away from organization, as group refused to allow them to go back to families, reported [Robert MONCHARSH - described problems in getting daughter out of organization] Photos and films shown. Details given of efforts by inspectors from state health department to inspect medical facilities on Synanon premises and investigate chgs. of child abuse; is noted that inspectors had warrant, were still prevented from carrying out duty and informed state attorney general State attorney general's comments outlined. Dederich's remarks on state health department during news conf. last fall played via audio tape. [DEDERICH - describes situation that will be created if inspectors want to come onto organization's property.] Marin Cnty. grand jury suggestions for reappraisal of group by IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and state of California, in its tax-exempt status as non-profit institution and Synanon's present attempts to be reclassified as religion, meaning financial records would no longer be available to grand jury, outlined. Info. learned from unnamed accting. firm, about information request to firm from Synanon accountant Martin Rubenstein concerning conversion of Synanon assets into diamonds and foreign currency, detailed; accounting firm's notification of IRS and California state attorney general mentioned. Synanon's taking offensive in lawsuits and demonstrations against detractors and critics noted. Upcoming report outlined.
REPORTER: Edwin Newman
(Studio) Offers to Synanon to tell its side of story to rpting. team for airing in reports stated; organization's decline reported Letter received from organization official challenging some points in series of reports noted; offer for Synanon to have time to respond to questions repeated.
REPORTER: John Chancellor