Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What was the influence of Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" on the Family?

The subject of science fiction author Robert Heinlein's book "Stranger in a Strange Land" and the philosophy of the Manson Family have many parallels.  This was first noted in an article in a San Francisco newspaper in about February of 1970:

www.cielodrive.com/archive/tate-massacre-by-the-book-2/
"Tate Massacre By The Book?
There is compelling evidence that the murder of actress Sharon Tate and at least six others were part of a grotesque, psychotic drama improvised by Charles Manson from a novel he read over and over.

The central character and the sequence of events in the science fiction novel are hauntingly similar to the personality and the style of life that Manson cultivated while he lived in San Francisco and Death Valley.

His gathering of a nomadic harem, his “hypnotic” domination over his “family,” their communal marriage and free sexual sharing with visitors, their attitudes toward human death, and the Los Angeles killings — all are mirrored in the book “Stranger in a Strange Land,” by Robert A. Heinlein.

In the opinion of a close acquaintance of Manson’s, these and numerous other parallels between the book and reality are not coincidental for it appears that Charles Manson has spent the past two years acting the key elements of the plot.

The acquaintance, who asked not to be identified*, is a respected drug researcher who came to know Manson when the accused killer lived in the Haight-Ashbury district in 1967-68.
*It's obvious the source is either Dr. David Smith or PO Roger Smith.

The drug researcher who knew Manson well says he read the book “over and over” and seemingly integrated his life with that of the book’s main character—a young man named Valentine Michael Smith whose description is strikingly Mansonesque: Small, notable for his sexual prowess, a gleam in his eye, and a hypnotic collector of women. ...

V. Michael Smith is held at first as a prisoner of the federal government. ...
V. Michael Smith soon escapes from the government and enters the custody of one Jubal Harshaw, an aging but hip lawyer and doctor who helps familiarize Smith with earthly ways and eases his transition to freedom.
In effect, Jubal acts as a parole officer for Smith. Manson saw the similarity and nicknamed his own amiable parole officer in San Francisco “Jubal.”

As the story progresses, V. Michael Smith leaves (Jubal) Harshaw .. and heads for San Francisco, where he begins to mold his own brand of reformist religion. He spruces it up with carnival mysticism and appoints himself as a Christ figure — at the same time asserting that all creatures are collectively God.

Manson’s family is closely parallel to the fictional version:

– Both reached a peak membership of about 20, with girls in the great majority.

– Domestic nudity was the rule in both, and uninhibited sexual sharing a common bond.

– Conventional love or romance is notably absent between Smith and his girls, as it was between Manson and his family.




-------------------------------------------

Of course we know Charlie named his son with Mary Brunner 'Valentine Michael Manson'(aka Pooh Bear) directly after the main character in the book, 'Valentine Michael Smith.'



More similarities, directly from the novel:


pg250
"...only men had souls."

[Females are "separate creations. .. They don't need souls, they are spirits to start with, eternal, unchanging, and beautiful."]

pg258
"He accepted homage from the girls as if a natural right"

pg265
Valentine and his girls communicate via telepathy

[Didn't some followers say that Charlie could read their thoughts?]


pg269
"... a young sinner in the country school he went to shot a poor little birdie... and he picked it up and stroked it and it flew away unharmed."

[You may remember the tale that Charlie once picked up a dead bird and breathed life back into it.]


pg271
Share water "this is like being baptized... and like getting married. .. It means you trust us and we trust you.. we are partners, now and forever. But once done it can never be broken. If you broke it, we would die--at once.

[After Charlie's incarceration, his followers would allegedly at certain times gather to 'share water' with him remotely.]


pg274
"Mike(Valentine) liked her snakes and could handle the poisonous ones....they grokked with him."

[Charlie could allegedly pick up a rattlesnake and not get bitten.]


pg277
"Foster(the huckster leader of an evangelical church that Michael Valentine copies) had in common with every great religious leader of that planet two traits: he had an extremely magnetic personality, and sexually he did not fall near the human norm. ... He borrowed ... from earlier scriptures in composing his New Revelation. He sugarcoated it all as a return to primitive Christianity. ...The New Revelation did not specifically encourage lechery, but it got quite mystical in discussing sexual conduct. ...
Inside the overt church was the Inner Church--a hard core of fully dedicated who made up the priesthood, the lay leaders, all keepers of keys and makers of policy. They were "reborn," beyond sin, certain of heaven, and sole celebrants of the inner mysteries."

pg278
"He looked for men like himself and for women like his priestess-wives--dynamic, utterly convinced, stubborn, and free (or able to be freed, once guilt and insecurity were purged) of jealousy in its most human meaning--and all of them potential satyrs and nymphs, as the secret church was that Dionysian cult that America had lacked...."

pg281
"Then she grokked that Mike and Patty were two of a kind--God's innocents, unable to sin no matter what they did."

pg399
"...it is impossible to kill a man..."

pg405
"Mike said gently, "Look at me. I am a son of man." "

pg408
"How can he be dead when no one can be killed?


















Love Needs Care; a history of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic and its pioneer role in treating drug-abuse problems by Dr. David E. Smith, M.D. and John Luce, published in 1971; written in 1970
In addition, he (Manson) started espousing a philosophy which bore a striking resemblance to that set forth in the book which interested Ken Kesey and so many other early leaders of the psychedelic movement. This was Stranger in a Strange Land.
...  Roger Smith... was impressed by how closely he modeled his own fantasies to its plot. Charlie was deeply interested in Valentine Michael Smith's Christ-like character...
... Many(of the girls) had read Stranger in a Strange Land.  Like their fictional and real leader, they believed that a child would lead them toward the creation of a worldwide family in which they would play prominent roles.

http://visupview.blogspot.com/2014/11/stranger-in-strange-land-curious-times_20.html
Turn Off Your Mind, Gary Lachman, pgs. 223-224
The link between the book and Manson was so strong that Heinlein turned down an interview with Playboy because Hugh Hefner wanted to ask questions about its influence on the Family.

The Hef

















--------------------------------


Now what's interesting is that no one in the Family has ever spoken of this obvious link.  Despite what the parole officer said, Charlie has denied he even read the book:

Manson In His Own Words by Nuel Emmons  pg222
Manson:  "I... never read a book all the way through in my life..."

Or he didn't read the book because he was functionally illiterate:

Robert A. Heinlein by Leon Stover  pg57
For his own lawyer had discovered, by interviewing Manson in jail, that the murderer had never read Stranger, had never even heard of its author's name.  Indeed, he turned out to be scarcely literate, a reader of no books at all.

Though that was probably just Charlie doing his "me-so-stupid" routine.

Taming the Beast: Charles Manson's Life Behind Bars by Edward George c. 1998  pg43
He(Charlie) read a lot, dispelling the much repeated notion that he's illiterate. The illiterate tag was something he promoted himself, apparently to lure his adversaries into underestimating him.

Manson In His Own Words by Nuel Emmons, published in 1986  pg82
"As a matter of fact I just got out of the joint and am kind of like a stranger in a strange land."
(And this curious comment is the only reference to the Heinlein book.)

There is no evidence that Tex ever read the novel, but he did say this back in 2012:


www.aboundinglove.org/main/images/bookPDFs/Mansons_Right_Hand_Man-small.pdf
Manson's Right Hand Man Speaks Out by Charles "Tex" Watson c. 2012  pg50
"...I got to a pretty low state in the Los Angeles County Jail--to the point of not wanting to live. I felt like a stranger in a strange land."
(An innocent comment, or did Tex make a deliberate reference to the book?)


But whether Charlie read the book himself, or heard about it from other cons in the Can, or from Family members, it would have been hard not to know about it, as this book had a huge effect on the counter-culture of the time:

Love Needs Care  by Dr. David E. Smith, M.D. and John Luce  pg97
Ken Kesey(one of the original Merry Pranksters and an early promoter of LSD use) was a fan of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.

Robert A. Heinlein by Leon Stover   c.1987
pg60
In the event, the novel became a how-to-do-it cult book among successors to Kerouac's beatniks, the hippies. In the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco and elsewhere these dope smoking dropouts of the so-called counterculture formed "nests" of free sexual sharing and group nudity. They did this, as they were wont to say, "by the book" out of Heinlein's book--much to the author's surprise.

visupview.blogspot.com/2014/11/stranger-in-strange-land-curious-times_20.html
Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, David McGowan, pgs. 58-59
Heinlein's best-known work is the novel Stranger in a Strange Land, which many in the Laurel Canyon scene found to be hugely influential. ...

Got a revolution; the turbulent flight of the Jefferson Airplane by Jeff Tamarkin, c.2003  pg18
David Crosby(of CS&N):  "We were trying to make a living being folkies.  We'd all read Stranger in a Strange Land and we kept all our money in a bowl, on the mantelpiece--if you put it in there and if you needed some you took it out.


One wonders if the whole group had somehow been caught up playing some huge 'game' they couldn't get out of, even after two years of it:

Snapping by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, c.1978  pg201-3
When it came time to play Helter Skelter, life in the Family had become a game with no borders on fantasy and reality, an extended "trip" that kept up long after any chemical effects had worn off.

http://robertscourt.blogspot.com/2008/06/donate-today.html
 In a scenario perhaps reminiscent of Mark David Chapman's and John Hinckley's infatuation with Catcher in the Rye, could Stranger in a Strange Land somehow have been Manson's program-trigger mechanism?  Was the concept of Helter Skelter part of Manson's program?

The big question, though, is why didn't Bugliosi even mention the obvious influence of this book in his own tome "Helter Skelter?"  One gets the feeling Bugs wanted to steer people away from this link, just like he steered his readers away from any links to the Black Muslims or The Fountain of the World(FOTW).  But why?

I think the answer is that, if the public had found out the "Helter Skelter" philosophy wasn't Charlie's idea, and if the very concept of the "Family" wasn't Charlie's idea, they might wonder to what extant TLB wasn't Charlie's idea.



-----------------

 "And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land."
     --Exodus 2:22







==================postscript

There were some other odd connections by Heinlein to the case:


Heinlein shared this strange proclivity with Charlie:

 https://newrepublic.com/article/145906/charles-mansons-science-fiction-roots
Heinlein was in an open marriage with (his second wife)Leslyn, a poet and script editor. He had a habit of encouraging his close male buddies to take Leslyn as a lover. As (his friend L. Ron)Hubbard would later marvel, Heinlein “almost forced me to sleep with his wife.” Sharing his wife’s body was a form of male bonding for Heinlein, and it served as a precursor to the communal orgies that he imagined in Stranger in a Strange Land, which helped the members of his imaginary religion form group solidarity.

-------------------------------------

Heinlein was corresponding with Catherine Share while the Family was in the Inyo County Jail:

Member of the Family by Dianne Lake
Gypsy, who also used another alias, Minon Minette, spent her time(at the jail in Inyo County) writing letters to author Robert Heinlein to see if he would help bail us out, since we were only acting in defiance of the establishment. He wrote her back a nice letter admitting he had done some pranks in his youth, but unlike the character in his book Stranger in a Strange Land, he was unable to offer any other type of legal or financial support.



There were apparently three letters:

www.heinleinsociety.org/thsnexus/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=390&p=3402&hilit=Manson#p3402
January 7, 1970: Virginia Heinlein(third wife) letter to Lurton Blassingame
"Some weeks ago, a fan letter came in from the jail in Independence, California. In a burst of generosity, Robert tried to do something about this girl who'd written him. It turned out that she was one of the Manson family. So if we're knifed in our beds like Sharon Tate, it's because of three letters from members of the family. Just tell the police. I'm leaving these notices everywhere I can, in hopes of preventing anything from happening.

books.google.com/books?id=7GttAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA313
Heinlein, Vol 2 pg313
In the mail was a disturbing letter from a young woman in Inyo County--out by the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles--who asked him for help: She and her friends were being chased by police helicopters. It was a crazed letter--the margins filled with decorative drawn fancies--and yet there was something about this one. ... ...he placed a call to the Inyo County Sheriff's Office and found that the bare outlines of the woman's story--"Annette or Nanette or something"--were accurate. The police were chasing down a group of young people, but in answer to Heinlein's question, the sheriff's office told him drugs were not the issue--and that was all they would say.

How did they get Heinlein's address while they were in the jail?  Why would Heinlein have personally answered this letter, out of all the other pieces of fan mail he got?

visupview.blogspot.com/2014/11/stranger-in-strange-land-curious-times_20.html
Turn Off Your Mind, Gary Lachman, pgs. 223-224
.. at one point Heinlein was asked to lead a seminar at Big Sur's Esalen Institute, sharing the bill with Alan Watts. ...

Could members of the Family have met Heinlein at Esalen?  Is this why Gypsy felt comfortable enough to contact him while they were jailed in Inyo County?  Is this why Heinlein felt the need to write back?

----------------------

Heinlein even met Polanski:

nevalalee.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/the-dark-side-of-the-moon/
In March 1969, Robert A. Heinlein flew with his wife Ginny to Brazil, where he had been invited to serve as a guest of honor at a film festival in Rio de Janeiro. Another passenger on their plane was the director Roman Polanski...

----------------------

And for those of you who grok with the author Dave McGowan's "Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon" theory about curious connections between the Laurel Canyon music scene and the military and intelligence worlds, it turns out Heinlein was living in Laurel Canyon at the time, and was himself a graduate of the US Naval Academy.





visupview.blogspot.com/2014/11/stranger-in-strange-land-curious-times_20.html
Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, David McGowan, pgs. 58-59
David McGowan writes:  "Another famous resident of Laurel Canyon was science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein, who resided at 8775 Lookout Mountain Avenue.



-------------------------

There was even a tangential link to The BEL:

http://www.ocweekly.com/news/lords-of-acid-6402333
--the Brotherhood of Eternal Love
His(Ron Stark) textbook for security, exhorting others to follow his example, was, of all things, a science-fiction novel published in the 1960s by Robert A. Heinlein, called The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. It is the story of a lunar colony's attempt to free itself from the control of Earth through a movement based on a system of cells, each kept in ignorance of the others.

------------------------

If Charlie was an actual fan of Heinlein, he may have read this book too:



Robert A. Heinlein by Leon Stover   c.1987 pg60
"....When Farnham's Freehold(c 1964) appeared, at the height of the Black Power movement, it met with a storm of critical indignation. The title hero is flung into a future in which the rule of North America has passed to the Black Muslims. ... They(critics) jabbed at the novel's hero, Hugh Farnham, for the single-minded attention he gave to rescuing his family from black enslavement, and then for defending the family freehold upon the return of the Farnhams to the postwar anarchy of the "present" time."

OO-ee-OO!




25 comments:

Orwhut said...

Thank you, Starveigo. Not only was the post fascinating but it included the prettiest pictures of Mary and Gypsy I've ever seen. :)

Dan S said...

I grok ya, starviego! If they were truly Martian they should ve eaten the dead

CATSCRADLE77 said...

Throw in that David Gerrold aka Jerry Friedman, of Steven Parents' last phone call writing Heinlein:

The archives contain David Gerrold’s 1971 letters to Heinlein and pages from the script for “The Trouble With Tribbles” – presumably about the similarity between tribbles and Heinlein’s “flat cats,” though the letters were written years after Gerrold’s episode aired.

http://file770.com/heinlein-archives-online/

You can get copies of these letters for a modest price or so the website says.

StillGrooving said...

I read Stranger in a Strange Land many years ago and truly enjoyed the book. However, I never gave one thought towards modeling my way of living to that of the book's characters. Think I'll pull it off the book shelf and refresh my memory.

jerseydevil said...

Actually just ordered a used copy of this book along with a have dozen others for my winter reading think it was $6.

Matt said...

Star, you motivated me to finally order and read the book. Congrats.


Unknown said...

I remember at the grand jury Bugs asking a lot about Mansons reading habits. All responded he didn't read.

starviego said...

"...what's interesting is that no one in the Family has ever spoken of this obvious link"

Some theories:

--The surviving Family members are honestly ignorant of any similarity to the Heinlein book. (This doesn't sound realistic, as the links have been mentioned in the media and books.)

--The surviving Family members are too embarrassed to admit that they based their existence on some cheesy sci fi novel.

--

--

kraut_iznota_knotsy said...

Thanks for the post.

I remember reading "Farnham's Freehold" sometime in the late '60s / early '70s. I didn't retain much of it, and had to go look up the plot on wiki. It IS an "ooo-wee-ooo" moment considering the similarity to Charlie's "war" - the pit - racial-power-reversal, etc.

Just my opinion, but I can't imagine Charlie making it through a book, both for the "borderline - illiterate" reason, but also too much more distracting / pleasurable and easily-manipulated stimuli (on the outside & at the Ranch)

But locked up in prison? Much more time and much more "focus" for reading - what ELSE is there to do (besides eat, "screw", fight)? I can see Charlie reading a book, especially science fiction when he was locked up. Wouldn't it be a hoot if the whole "helter/blackie" thing came from Farnham's Freehold? But since it didn't come out until '64, I wonder if he could have got his hands on a copy.

Anyway, thanks for the piece, Starvy :)

DebS said...

kik Manson was in prison from 1960 until March 1967 so he could have read the book. I'm on the fence with the illiteracy. I think he could read though maybe had trouble with the "big" words. He may not have comprehended everything but got the gist of a story. He was a terrible speller but did manage to write volumes of letters. You can't write letters unless you can read.

Orwhut said...

Anybody know the identity of the blond on the left in the photo with Hefner?

beauders said...

The girls have said they read the Bible to Manson while he laid in a bathtub, maybe they read him these Heinlein novel's.

David said...

Great post, Star. Well done, sir.

Unknown said...

If I am not mistaken and i might be. I remember reading somewhere possibly Helter skelter or anothwr book (ive read so many on this subject) that after Charlie was arrested at Barker and being transported to the clink in Independence. He asked the cops to stop at the mouth of Golar Wash to retrieve a knapsack. The cops were the ones to retrieve said knapsack, which happened to contain a copy of Stranger in a Strange Land. I may be wrong about this and if I am I apologize.

Gorodish said...

starviego :

Excellent post on the parallels between this book and the Manson Family. I would bet money that Manson read this book. It went to print in 1961; he could have read it in prison or in San Francisco in 1967. Like a poster above mentioned, some of the "big" words may have been an issue, but if you've ever read the book (as I have 3 times, the first time as a 15 yr old in 1971), it is not a difficult read requiring a nearby thesaurus. And his first "family" member was a librarian who would have gladly aided him in his reading.
I dug out my copy of SIASL yesterday and skimmed thru it....I was amazed at how the characters mirrored family members and associates:

MV Smith - Manson (charismatic protagonist/antagonist)
Jubal Harshaw - Roger Smith (mentor, see original post)
Duke (the handyman from Kansas who can fix anything, is originally troubled by MVS' behavior, but slowly grows to become his right-hand man, eventually going "deep into the stew") - Tex (the handyman from Texas, etc.etc.)
Gillian the nurse - Mary the librarian
MVS 3 "secretaries" Anne (blonde) - Sandy, Miriam (redhead)- Squeaky, Dorcas (brunette) - Katie
Dawn Ardent (erotic dancer originally involved with another cult) - Sadie

This book definitely served as a blueprint.....

Gorodish said...

Orwhut said :

Anybody know the identity of the blond on the left in the photo with Hefner?

The blonde next to Hefner is Joy Tarbell, one of his original elite "Jet Bunnies" who doubled as club bunnies and stewardesses on his black private jet "Big Bunny", jokingly nicknamed "Hare Force One". The girl on his arm is Barbie Benton, his longtime squeeze back in the late 60's/early 70's.

Orwhut said...

Gorodish,
Thank you very much. That's another mystery of life I won't have to worry about. I recognized B.B. Always enjoyed looking at her.

GreenWhite said...

I always enjoy your posts, Starviego. You bring up things that cause some of our curmudgeonly brethren to hop online and type their miserable anger in your direction with a fervor that makes me wonder why they get so peeved. I was super into Dave McGowan around the turn of the century but not so much as I've aged and become more cynical. Especially in this aloof scene. Regardless, McGowan has an easy writing style and his site was one of the most fun in its genre for the time. I wonder though if his conclusions based somewhat on everyone ever being in the military (or their dad) was simply a sign of the times and reflective of the upper middle class to upper class privileged demographic he was discussing. I'm 48. My dad, uncle, grandfather, his brothers etc etc all served in the military and I think that's a common story in the US. Guys enlisted, joined the Guard, or even took commissions before they were drafted in an attempt to avoid combat positions or whatever other personal reasons were in play. Plus, McGowan imo used sources that never listed their own sources. I'm sure I'll end up reading the LC book again at some point, it's entertaining, but McGowan almost seems like an earlier Sanders retelling Schreck with his rehash of Sanders. You're one of my favorite posters online in this area of study. Please keep going.

starviego said...

Thank you for the compliment, GreenWhite. My only concern is running out of subject material, as there is only so much data to mine.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

The big question, though, is why didn't Bugliosi even mention the obvious influence of this book in his own tome "Helter Skelter?"

At the start of his own tome in a "publisher's note ", Bugliosi talks about the influence of the Beatles lyrics on Charles and says that they were an influence on him is indisputable but so too is the fact that this was no responsibility of the Beatles. The whole thrust of Bugliosi's arguments regarding the Beatles and the Bible is that Charlie's interpretations were weird, way off beam, irrational etc.
For me, a bigger question is why Bugliosi and Gentry didn't even mention Charlie's attempt to move into the house next door to the LaBiancas. Even if it had no bearing on anything at all, it's as interesting from a background info point of view as Charlie turning up at the guest house at Cielo.

One gets the feeling Bugs wanted to steer people away from this link, just like he steered his readers away from any links to the Black Muslims or The Fountain of the World(FOTW)

Does one ?
At the end of the book, Bugliosi refers to Charlie as an eclectic and adds, rather slyly, a very telling definition ~ a borrower of ideas. He goes on to list a few influences ~ the Process, scientology and Hitler, in addition to some of the others in the book.
You yourself point out that as far as you are aware, none of the members of the Family have ever ascribed any particular thoughts to Heinlein's book, so why in the world would Bugliosi ? For all we know, he may never have even heard of the book, let alone its contents. I wouldn't mind betting that many who come to read this post have either not heard of the book or are aware of the parallels to the Family, let alone that Pooh Bear's actual name comes from the book. Is the influence that obvious ? It's not like we have been overbrimming with talk about it over the years.
But the reality is that neither the Black Muslims, the FOTW or Heinlein's novel play an important role in the specific story that Bugliosi as the prosecutor, was trying to tell. None of them made the murders happen. I don't doubt that what Manson saw and heard in prison with the Black Muslims, or what he knew of or witnessed in the FOTW or what he heard in the music of the Beatles {like millions of others in the USA, USSR & UK} or what he may have picked up from "Stranger in a strange land" or varying religious ideas influenced him, along with acid, a number of other countercultural elements, his musical ability, his con status and the Family's response to him.
To a large extent, being influenced by a diverse set of elements and somehow bringing it all together under one banner that was uniquely your own, was the latter half of the 60s. It shows up in the Beatles probably better than most examples {for obvious reasons}, but it was pretty common.

if the public had found out the "Helter Skelter" philosophy wasn't Charlie's idea, and if the very concept of the "Family" wasn't Charlie's idea, they might wonder to what extant TLB wasn't Charlie's idea

Well, there wasn't anything groundbreaking about Black people turning the tide that had flowed against them for centuries or in White people helping them {although that was a little newer}. The concept of the Family wasn't Charlie's idea and I don't recall anyone claiming that. Roger Smith made the point that there were lots of Charlie's running around and Squeaky's book shows to some extent how the Family came together by osmosis rather than grand design, at least initially.

starviego said...

"..none of the members of the Family have ever ascribed any particular thoughts to Heinlein's book, so why in the world would Bugliosi? For all we know, he may never have even heard of the book, let alone its contents"

Maybe not in the trial, but certainly he should have put it in his book, as big an influence as Heinlein's novel was.

David said...

Grim said: "At the start"..... and ...."Does one ?"

Yes, one does. I agree with Star on this one, Grim. If he is writing as a 'historian' it should be there because it was an influence as Mary Brunner could attest if she chose to chime in and because of the obvious similarities- Man's Son is enough for me.

As an attorney I can give you a pretty good explanation why he didn't: Heinlein wrote 'science fiction'. Those last two word are the key. Now, remember Marvin Part's comment about Van Houten- 'Crazy in a science fiction way'. As a prosecutor why hand the defense an insanity defense? It needn't be a 'cover up'. In fact that is an area of Bugliosi bashing I find silly- he made up HS. No, his job was to convict. Why on earth present Stranger in a Strange Land to the jury and since his book is about what the great Bugliosi accomplished at trial why mention it there and say 'I avoided that'?

And we don't know if any of the Family members ascribed any significance to the book. Certainly, Watson's use of the title is at least interesting if not a form of communication like the Krenwinkel photo from back then.

Those who would have been there at the beginning to answer the question are either dead, dark or have no motivation to go there at a parole hearing. The answer to this likely lies with Mary Brunner.

Gorodish said...

David said :

Certainly, Watson's use of the title is at least interesting if not a form of communication like the Krenwinkel photo from back then.

He could have been referencing the Heinlein book, or, being the bible thumper he is, he could have nicked it from the Exodus 2:22 excerpt referenced in the post.

Dan S said...

I just finished the Family by sanders and he says the book was in Manson's special bag they recovered when he was arrested for the last time in the desert. The only book in there along with a bunch of magazines

Dan S said...

Interesting article on cielo. How could he ace a correspondence course of he s practically illiterate? And his black/white bus story in the Manson Files is well written.