NBC Evening News for Thursday, Mar 29, 1979
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(Studio) Background of Synanon given.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(No location given) Synanon's founding 21 years ago by Chase Diederich to combat drug abuse recalled; non-profit status of org mentioned Mbrs.' said to regard Synanon as religion; reasons for joining noted. Films shown. Synanon said seeking IRS (Internal Revenue Service) recognition as religion for tax-exempt status. Synanon attorney Dan Garrett's letter to Diederich, outlining benefits of tax-exempt status detailed; pts. listed on screen. IRS (Internal Revenue Service) said not to have ruled yet. Former members anger with regard to Synanon's financial and real estate ints. cited. [Former member David GERSTEL - comments.] Charitable Trust Div. of California attorney gene office said investigating Synanon status as charity. Possibility and consequences of settlement as result of investigation examined, listed on screen. Synanon's arsenal noted, shown. Refusal of California attorney general office to comment and refusal of Synanon representatives to interview mentioned.
REPORTER: Edwin Newman