Cedu Documentary Clip 4 – Raps

Clip #4 from the Cedu Documentary. Students experience their first “Raps,” Cedu’s three-times-weekly, four-hour “attack therapy,” and based on the Synanon “Game.”

Learn more about it in the Cedu Documentary section.


About Liam Scheff

"Author, Artist, Film, Permaculture." Liam Scheff is a writer, artist and stand-up lecturer on issues that people usually don't make comic books about. (Visit liamscheff.com). Liam's highly-praised book "Official Stories" reveals the complex details behind the myths of our times.

Posted on October 8, 2008, in Surviving Cedu. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Holy crap Liam! I just got back from the library to watch these clips cuz my computer has no sound. I had chills running up my spine the whole time. I’m having snot flashbacks and I bet I’ll have some messed up dreams tonight. Just saying thank you for putting this together is far too little in terms of gratitude. This means alot and it really needed to be done. I would gladly send in a payment to pre-order copies when it is available. Thank you Liam!

  2. ….Also
    I was glad to see that Dennis Dokstedder decided to add to this. He’s the only adult there that I remember being a genuinely decent person. I hope there will be more of his testimony, there’s something valuable in hearing it from a former staff, even if it’s one who was only there part time and not directly involved in the most destructive aspects of Cedu. And to everyone else in this documentary thank you too. You did this for the benefit of us all and it is deeply appreciated.

  3. I remember sitting in the same rap with Morgan and hearing the same raw fear. Feeling the same fear. I can remember the fear that I felt as the rap groups were being announced and then waiting for the rap to begin. It was like lining up for a firing squad. It still gives me a chill.

  4. Hi,

    Yes, glad it works, does bring up memory, for sure…it’s been something to process, while editing…

    Dennis actually grew with the program, and went from being an adjunct staff to a central figure at the school, in his description; he became one of the most important and authoritative on the program after a time. He told us that, after a point, he had run more “IWTL” propheets than any other staff.

    If you recall, staff tended to either leave in relatively short order, or move up the totem pole – he moved up! He was there right up till the end in 2005, and began his work in 1984 – so, a long employment. He was kind enough to give a long interview, and does comment throughout. More to come!

  5. I agree Sarah! It was totally like lining up for a firing squad. So very very intense. And 3 times a week… What a nightmare.

  6. Wow…good to hear all of this has been made public! From being told that one of my closest friends had suddenly died to repeatedly being called a “desperate whore” by school counselors, raps proved to be some of the most degrading (and confusing) experiences of my life.

    I am now a secondary teacher in a public, inner-city district and cannot imagine addressing my students with the tone of disgust and humiliation that I faced (3 times-a-week) in CEDU raps.

  7. Hi DBC,

    Yes, that is how we were talked to, and worse, certainly. Can you give any detail on the incident you’re describing? (You can always email me, via the contact page on my website – liamscheff.com ).

    Also – “good to hear that it ‘has been made'” – correction – “Is being made public” – that is, spread the word. It’s still a very hidden, very poorly understood and recorded phenomenon, that has widely impacted the culture, however.

  8. And the hits just keep on coming, holy shit ! I’m in shock right now, just to see those clips and be able to identify with all that’s being said. One of my worst childhood experiences had to do with a rap. I just laughed at the life size Nerf Ball description of snot flowing and got scared at the same time that I would ever have to sit in a rap again. Though I will give you this, you having Dennis in these documentary clips does put a smile on my face. He’s the only staff member, minus one other I never hated.

  9. Oh the Raps. Time to rip or be ripped. Rip others before they rip you. I got you good a few times 🙂 Then again, I remember watching a whole Rap (that you started) rearrange itself to one side of the room to make room for people from other Raps to rip me. Memories of Cedu are flooding back as I look at your site. I am glad to see what you have started.

  10. Wow. I too am having memories come back as I read and research more.
    Thalia, I remember you. You were ‘upper’ school when I got there in Jan.94, Amanda C. was my big sister.
    I’m so relieved to know that I’m not the only one to look back and think…that wasn’t okay. I remember one rap when I was getting nailed for flirting with a boy in my peer group. I’d never flirted with him but it just kept coming and coming and coming, from staff and students alike. With 15-18 people in a room screaming at you for doing something…what can you do? I wanted to crawl inside a deep dark hole inside myself. I ended up copping to shit I didn’t do, just to show them I was “taking responsibility” so they would stop yelling at me.
    So many memories coming back….I need a shrink! 🙂

  11. I am so glad that someone has decided to bring this whole horrible experience to light. I spent two years at cedu, only to leave feeling social anxiety and total guilt. I always wondered if went on here was legal and how it was even able to be considered HELPFUL. THANK YOU for doing this, although the memories are a bit painful. Something I would never put my child through, that’s for sure.

  12. um, but dennis was not decent person. he was just as crazy as everyone else. he loved having favorites and secrets and lived in a delusion that the place where he worked was helping kids. that alone is enough for me to judge him as indecent. but its true, he lacked the same sadistic edge the others often had. but he was smart enough to know better, and chose to go along with it instead of sticking up for him. in that way i find him worse than the others. the other non sadist staff were too stupid to know the difference, dennis was not. he chose to see what he wanted to see and abandon truth. i sort of hate him for that worse than i hate rudy even. but thats just me.

  13. Hi Alia!

    But we’ve got to give him credit – and thanks – for being willing to talk. I mean, everybody else I wrote ran, would not speak on the record.

    I don’t think you hate him ‘more than rudy,’ not really. I mean, I get what you’re saying – these adults have responsibility, and culpability in what happened, what they saw, what they did not report or put a stop to. Believe me, I understand and agree.

    But I do thank the guy for, well, showing up, and going on the record. And for a lot of people, his presence at the school softened the experience considerably. I don’t really like to justify a bad experience by virtue of a less bad experience. But, that happens.

    You know, even for me, there are a couple staff that for some reason I am greatly sympathetic with – one who left because I think he really felt the place was destructive – and another, a female staff who I think was really destroyed by the place.

    Anyway… just some thoughts…

  14. There were staff who worked there who were good people. I think that it is easy for staff to be indoctrinated in a very similar way to the students. I know that there were people there who genuinely wanted to help kids who were in trouble.

    I know that a few of the ones from my time are on Facebook. I won’t post their names here but if you’re interested in trying to talk to some of them i’ll let you know

  15. You guys at CEDU had it pretty rough but I do not know why these girls would even learn to “cope” withthin this “program”- I guess I was lucky because I knew I was not really guilty of anything and I was nearly eighteen. Seems to me though the more money and property the could control the worse stuff the could dream up to inflict. I just told them I was standing up for my rights as an adult and was leaving, of course, that was not the end of the story for me personally but I was told that shortly thereafter one of the poor kids who was a real mess and treated rather badly had “lost it” and stabbed a newcomer to death. It closed in secrecy. So just like a murderous traveling freakshow the time came to leave, but they took the ideas to KHK, CEDU, and Bachelor etc. (bachelor was the name of a family involved in possibilities-any connection?)

  16. The program was called Mount Bachelor Academy, so it might have been named after a mountain in Oregon where the program was located. But that would be interesting if there was a connection.

    Thanks for posting Anthony. You are showing that all of these programs have connections in style and content and I think it is so important that people recognize the history and how little has changed since the 60’s, except that programs have learned to stay out of the lime light as much as possible and not become front page news. But the abuse continues. Glad you got out.

  17. Oh, and you said you did similar things when commenting on the Summit and Raps, so could you give a little more description and details of what you actually did so we could compare the similarities or differences? Did you have bans and other punishments? Did you go through workshops identical or similar to the Summit or any of the other sections of the documentary? When did the program open? Was there a man or woman was in charge, the founder, the guru, and were you given any background on why or how the program was formed? Some explanation of why they felt a call to “help” teens and why they chose such a model?

  18. Wow…. Raps. I’ve never been able to explain them to the people in my life. I’ll be sure to share this with my husband.

    I appreciate being able to hear others talk about the experience of raps. I was unloaded onto in my very first rap. I was terrified. I had no idea why I was being yelled at. Thankfully, I broke down into tears easily that day and the rap heat wasn’t on my for too long. That first rap was a very shocking experience.

    The damage from raps for me was from hearing people say things that regular people never say to your face. I’m finding as time goes on that I have trouble believing my friends are friends. There were things that your so called “friends” would say to you in raps that just should never be said out loud. At one point my entire peer group told me they wanted me kicked out of their group. In the years after graduating some of the friends who had said horrible things to me explained that they were only siding with the rest of the group. The whole idea of projecting onto someone had a bit of a good intention but it seemed to be used more for belittling the receiver and keeping the heat on someone else. Raps did nothing to teach us how to be a friend or how to deal with any feelings or issues in the real world. I went into the program with social anxiety and left with an even bigger problem. Today at almost 40 years old, I still have nightmares that the people around me actually all hate me. I now know that everyone has mean thoughts and most people do not share the thoughts because it is fleeting and often not true to how the person feels. In adolescence it is difficult to understand that concept. Thankfully there have been and still are some wonderful friends in my life that have helped my believe and trust that there are true friends in the wold.

  19. And…these schools are still being operated..in different forms and fashions, Liam. I just recently interviewed at one because from the ad it seemed professional. When I got there, from the moment I walked in the door.. I knew something was wrong.

    Thanks for posting these and doing this documentary.

  20. I can’t believe how much is coming back watching this. It is so scary that they got away with this child abuse, and we really are all survivors.

  21. The other schools that were spin offs of CEDU (research them), many were formed by former CEDU synanon-related folks themselves….where are they today? They have all pretty much failed or gone out of business. The above comments ALL demonstrate exactly why. All of us post students from these places have deep scars and wounds. Very few, but there were some, were actually employed at these places and did care and did have a heart, but they were saving their own butts and jobs at the time. Never ever again should children go through this.

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