Synanon says tape recordings of its brutally frank group encounter sessions must remain secret on grounds that to play them in court would violate freedom of religion.
Superior Court Judge Laurence T. Rittenband will hear arguments from Synanon attorneys who are trying to block subpoenas for tapes of the group's "game".
Seeking to subpoena some of the "game" tapes is Paul Morantz, the attorney who was bitten by a rattle snake placed in the mailbox of his home.
Synanon members Joseph Musico and Lance Kenton, son of bandleader Stan Kenton, were arrested the day after the Nov. 10 snake attack, and a month later Synanon founder Charles Dederich was charged with conspiring to kill Morantz.
Synanon attorneys have filed briefs with Rittenband to block Morantz from access to the tapes, saying the "game" is often "referred to as the glue that hold Synanon together."
Morantz wants the 13 tapes seized Nov. 21 by the Los Angeles police department at Synanon headquarters in Badger, Calif. All but two of the tapes were returned to Synanon after a Tulare County Superior Court hearing.
On one of the key tapes still held by Los Angeles police, Dederich launches into a tirade against lawyers who are "draining our very lifeblood out of us, expecting us to play by their silly rules."
Withou mentioning Morantz, Dederich says:
"I'm quite willing to break some lawyer's legs, then tell them next time, I'm going to break your wife's legs, and then we are going to cut your kid's arm off. Try me. This is only a cample, you son-of-a-b----.'"