Mel Wasserman (1930 – April 29, 2002)[1] was a businessman, entrepreneur and founder of CEDU Education.[2] He was a pioneer in the unaccredited Therapeutic Boarding School industry who used cult doctrines as their philosophical base.[3]

Mel Wasserman
Died(2002-04-29)April 29, 2002
(aged 72)
Carmel, California
OccupationBusinessman, Entrepreneur
Known forFounder of CEDU Schools
Spouse(s)Brigitte Wasserman (Steinnman)


Wasserman participated in the now discredited cult Synanon.

After starting work with troubled teens in his home in Palm Springs, California, Mel decided to sell his furniture business and invest in a school to help teenagers and cash in on the troubled teen industry.[2] Success of the CEDU program was dramatic and it rapidly expanded into other specialized educational programs possibly due to the massive profit potential Mr. Wasserman realized by charging in excess of $6,000 per month per student while hiring non-credentialed troubled low-wage adults as staff.[4] Although there is no proof of this, Mr. Wasserman allegedly surrounded himself with educators and professionals and educated himself in the field of adolescent behavior.[3] The philosophy he brought to CEDU Education was strict adherence to his set of principles as administered to unsupervised teenagers by troubled former drug addicts and sexual deviants, notably accountability and boundaries, although the idea of boundaries was constantly blurred by adults sharing lurid tales of the adult teachers troubled past including drug and deviant sexual activity with captive minor children. He has been quoted as saying to students and parents, "Take away boundaries and bring in a sewer, a biker society. The magic is not in the building itself, it is in the setting of boundaries, a certain posture and a certain way we act inside them, and then we have something which facilitates what we are trying to do here."[5]


  1. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths WASSERMAN, MEL". 5 May 2002 – via
  2. ^ a b "CEDU: A Timeline (Work In Progress)". I Speak of Dreams.
  3. ^ a b "News & Views 5/2002 - Tribute To Mel Wasserman".
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Accountability".