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Charles Dederich

March 16, 1997

* The Times' March 4 report on the passing of Charles E. Dederich, my friend and colleague for over 35 years, is substantially correct. There were two Chuck Dederichs. One, over a 20-year period, founded and developed a revolutionary and effective method for treating criminal addicts; and the other manipulated the organization into a cultish form that eventually led to the original Synanon's downfall.

Dederich's positive legacy, "the therapeutic community," lives on in the U.S. and around the world in the form of several thousand replications of his original Synanon concept and organization. As a consequence, tens of thousands of former criminal addicts have been lifted from a life of destruction to a positive lifestyle.

Among many others, one notable result of Dederich's contribution to criminal addict rehabilitation is the Amity Right Turn project, a therapeutic community for convicts inside the walls of the California Department of Corrections' Donovan Prison.

LEWIS YABLONSKY PhD

Emeritus Professor of Sociology

Cal State Northridge

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