Dederich, Charles E.

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Dederich, Charles E. Gender: M
Charles Edwin Dederich
born on 22 March 1913 at 04:20 (= 04:20 AM )
Place Toledo, Ohio, 41n40, 83w33
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 01°12' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 00°16 Asc.s_aqucol.18.gif 27°14'


American founder of Synanon drug and alcohol rehab program, 1958. The crusty guru came to California in the '50s, an alcoholic and a loser. After a strict German Catholic upbringing, he had dropped out of Notre Dame and gone through a number of jobs, leaving two broken marriages in his wake. He rented a small apartment near the beach and started going to Alcoholics Anonymous. As he learned to celebrate sobriety, he began to find his own voice and his own ability to lead others. Substance abusers began hanging out at his place for a combo of soup and salvation.

In 1958, using his $33 county relief check, Dederick rented a storefront in Ocean Park and tacked up a sign, "TLC" for the Tender Loving Care club. Within a year the group was renamed Synanon (from the word symposium) and moved to a large brick building in Santa Monica. When the neighbors complained, Dederick spent 25 days in jail for running a "hospital" in a residential area.

With permits, he continued and flourished. His detox and rehab program began to attract national attention with it's success rate. Dederick stressed three rules - no drugs, no booze, no violence. His groups practiced tough love, long encounters that included caustic and profane abuse, reviling and humiliating substance abusers as worthless losers.

As the numbers increased, the donations began to pour in. Many people turned over their total assets when they joined. Synanon became a business corporation, running its own gas station and auto repair shop. The organization eventually became a $30 million, nonprofit, tax-exempt business owning vast California real estate and 450 vehicles, planes and boats. Chapters were formed in California cities and across the nation, even reaching Germany and Malaysia. By the late '60s, Dederick became more controlling, urging members to divorce themselves from family and outside influences, focused their lives exclusively on Synanon. In 1974, he declared the controversial program a religion.

For all the good that Synanon had done with thousands of addicts eventually passing through its program, their utopian reputation began to tarnish when former recruits started filing civil suits. Stories emerged of physical punishment, even violence within the haloed gates. Becoming more applicably a cult, they became known for brainwashing and storing guns and munitions.

The breakdown of the Synanon's reputation was insured in 1979 when attorney Paul Morantz, who had successfully represented two former Synanon members in suits against Dederick, was bitten by a live rattlesnake that he found in his mailbox. He survived, but filed criminal charges. Dederick was fined, sentenced to five year's probation and stripped of his role in running Synanon after pleading no contest. Evidence included a tape in which Dederick discussed how to handle lawyers, "I'm quite willing to break some lawyer's legs, and then tell him that next time I'll break his wife's legs, then cut off his kid's ear. Try me. This is a sample."

Dederick died of cardio respiratory failure 2/28/1997, Visalia, CA.


  • Work : Begin Major Project 1958 (Began club that turned into Synanon)
  • Financial : Lose significant money 19 September 1978 (Legal judgment of $300,000, lawsuit against him)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Heart Attack 28 February 1997 (Cardiac failure, age 83)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Steinbrecher quotes B.C.


  • Traits : Personality : Acquisitive
  • Traits : Personality : Aggressive/ brash
  • Traits : Personality : Charismatic (Leadership)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol (Rehab)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Two)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Homicide involvement (1978)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : 12 step group (AA)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 83)
  • Vocation : Business : Entrepreneur
  • Vocation : Religion : Cult leader (Synanon)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Drug rehab methods)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Synanon founder)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Crime Collection