Thursday, August 11, 2011

A message to from Dianne Lake

Hello my "M Friends",

I  recently received an e-mail from the Dianne Lake. I have added a copy of the e-mail below.  I am contacted by so many "key people" doing this blog, that Ken, Patty, Matt and I sometimes have to pinch each other to see if we are dreaming. Sometimes we also pinch each other just to be mean. Patty usually starts it.

One of my "sources" is a good friend of Dianne Lake's. Dianne has been following the blog and caught the vibe that I am one of the few "good people" in the M blog land. I have  deleted the name of our friend and certain places as to protect my "source" along with Dianne and her family.

The main reason we all congregate here is, we are very interested in what has happened to the "Family" members after it was all said and done. Some say we are obsessed.  I say we are curious. We have discussed Dianne on several occasions with hopes that she went on to live a happy life. You will find out if she did in the e-mail she has allowed me to share with you all.

Dianne has read the good and negative things expressed about her and her family. I am asking you all to please treat her and her family with the same respect and dignity that you would like yourself and your own family to be treated with.

The same way we all did for "Miranda" from Gary Hinman's camp. Also included are a few of my favorite things-putting to rest the lies the media has feed us about the case and the people involved with it. Along with putting some myths to rest.


Hi Liz,

I am the real Dianne Lake. [name redacted] told me you were one of the good ones. I find your blog to be a mostly intelligent discussion of current events.

Most of my extended family does not know the truth about my teen years. On your site you have posted some pictures of me and my granddaughter that I would appreciate if you would remove. Also could you remove the picture of me and some fellow [medical condition redacted] sufferers during a Washington protest rally. The FDA is finally coming to realize that our suffering is cause for action and I do not wish to bring my past into the mix to overshadow the gains that have been made or hurt any of the leaders of this action who do not know of my association.

I have lived a completely normal and productive life and overcame the trauma of living under the influence of drugs and CM except for keeping it a secret. Some of the comments made about my parents are very hurtful and would be extremely hurtful to my mother who is still living and is the dearest soul. Yes they made mistakes but they were very intellectual and thought they were doing the right thing by dropping out of society as well as many other people did during the 60's. My dad being a follower of Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, admirer of Timothy Leary and an artist was especially susceptible to this "new age". My mother was always very spiritual and loved my father deeply and trusted him more than she should have and went along with the "turning on, tuning in and dropping out". It was a relatively short period in their lives and they have both apologized for "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". I have forgiven them. My father has passed on and we have lived relatively quiet and upstanding lives for 40 years.

I have been married for 32 years to a wonderful man and we have 3 beautiful children, all grown up and out on their own. Please respect me and my family and allow them to live without the evilness that Charlie has come to represent. By the way my nickname "Snake" is my personal story and no version posted is the right one, just fabrications and misinterpretations of others' imaginations to sell books. I have sent 2 pictures of myself to replace the ones I hope you will remove.

Thanks Dianne


orwhut said...

As usual,this is fantastic!
I'll only be mildly surprised if any day now, you come up with a picture of the real Colonel Scott.

brownrice said...

What a thoroughly rational and pleasant email. Good on ya, Dianne... and thanks Liz for sharing.

Matt said...

She definitely projects 'evolved' and 'grounded'.

leary7 said...

Perfect - two class ladies, Liz and Dianne. I've no doubt they'd be good friends if they were neighbors. Both seem to have that great openness and capacity for acceptance and forgiveness. And moving forward.

hippichick40 said...

Wow. Good for her

St. Circumstance said...

Speechless- even me for once

well maybe a couple of words :)

Couldn't be happier that this woman was able to get herself into a happy life. She is more understanding of her parents than I am- but they are her parents, and the fact that she expresses so much love for them- makes a stronger statement about them than I ever could

Really- if Diane was able to make something of herself- it makes you wonder about so many people who use much less to blame life or throw around a ton of excuses...

Diane and Ruth have always had my deepest sympathy- looks like neither of them need it

I admire her greatly

defstar4 said...

Thank you so much Liz for posting this! Please pass along to Dianne how happy I am that she's made a life for herself. I, like most of us, am only here to gain a greater understanding and acceptance of an important time in history. Hearing from the real people who experienced the actual events is priceless and the main reason the Family continues to interest me.

Panamint Patty said...

Dianne wrote: By the way my nickname "Snake" is my personal story and no version posted is the right one, just fabrications and misinterpretations of others' imaginations to sell books.

Liz, did she happen to mention if the Bill Nelson interview is a fake?


Stacey L. said...

So glad to read that she has had a wonderful life. I respect her for coming forward and talking to us about her life...especially since she keeps it hidden. As a mom, I would do the same thing...

Thank you Diane and I hope you continue to have a great life.

Thanks Liz, this is amazing.

fiona1933 said...

It is amazing to hear from a real person. But I wish she could actually tell us something about it all. It is interesting to hear about her parents but that was fairly clear anyway.
I mean, she was there, at Spahn Ranch! What she could say could be truly insightful. I would really like to know if she feels that people there actually lost control of their minds. And what, as Little Paul said, can be done to prevent people giving up their personalities? And she says 'the evilness' of Charlie, but surely she didn't think that then, or she wouldn't have gone to be with him, or stayed.
So many of the ex-Family say stuff about how evil Charlie is and I find it hard to credit. There seems to have been a lot that was beautiful about that group. One thing was how Charlie made plain girls blossom and become beautiful, like Mary and Pat, they gained a shine from within: this is a good thing! And if they are not evil, why did they stick around a man who was? They loved him, wanted to be like him, it can't have all been a front, surely.
I would love to know how Dianne felt at the time there. But it seems she wants to draw a veil over it all and of course it is her life and her business and nobody can blame her for keeping it quiet, given all the Manson mythology.
And I would like to know: is that hair colour natural? It is the most amazing deep red I have ever seen. No wonder she didn't want to cut it.

Cease2 said...

Nice one, Liz. And thanks for sharing.

That's the reward of having a blog where there are generally balanced views from people, not calling "Family" members vile names etc. Folks here seem to recognise that people & things are not black & white or exclusively good or evil.

Best wishes to Dianne. Good for her to get in touch. Hopefully people will respect her privacy & maybe one day she will recount her recollections to shed some light on what went down from her perspective.

louis365 said...


leary7 said...

Fiona...the reason I think people retain such an interest in TLB is because it is the ultimate story of paradox - a free love hippie cult that became Murder INC. A charming and charismatic leader who "never killed anyone" who has become the face of evil.
Human nature is dualistic, and paradox abound throughout history. Many of us look back at our youth and are dumbfounded by the choices we made. Granted, the folk in the TLB story are an extreme example, but a large part of the lure of the story is the old adage 'there but for the grace of God go I'. So many of us who did the trips and hated establishment wonder how close we came to crossing the line, and if Charlie could have lured us over it. Judging Dianne or Katie of any of them to harshly seems unfair to me. Well, maybe Tex and Charlie. But the rest I always want to give the benefit of doubt (or youth) to.

leary7 said...

Ah crap, the last thing I want to do is get on the soapbox again, especially at Dianne's expense, but Fiona's comment struck a nerve.
With all due respect, Fiona, I seriously doubt any of the young guys who machined gunned babies and grandmothers in a ditch at My Lai joined the army thinking that was their future.
And I doubt that many of the folk who joined up with the People's Temple in S.F. envisioned becoming part of a mass suicide in the jungle.
Point being that the power of 'groupthink' can never be overestimated or easily understood, especially by those who haven't experienced it.
I recommend "The Unwilling Executioners" about the German people during WWII.
That there was 'groupthink' in the Manson Family is undeniable except to Charlie's most ardent supporters. How that 'groupthink' was constructed is what is discussed and argued on these boards. Was it all on Charlie, or should some of it be blamed on the drugs or the orgies or just the times? Were some of these people predestined towards violence? That certainly seems the case with Tex, but not so much the others. Why did some, like Ella Jo, walk away when the killing started and others like Gypsy stay? And why did some, who initially rejected the violence, like Kitty and Little Paul and TJ, end up coming back to the Family?
The quote I always recall was by Gypsy, who probably was the most intelligent of the whole lot, and who said it took her a full decade to clear her mind of Spahn and Charlie's teachings.
Carl Jung once wrote that "the German people have a particular and peculiar susceptibility to mass psychosis."
What was the common denominator that lead to 15-20 of the Manson Family believing, as Squeeky intoned in an '80's interview, that..."the killinge were justified because the people who did them believed they were doing the right thing. If you believe you are doing the right thing, then you are." (paraphrased)
That was what Charlie taught. The question remains, and probably always will, how the hell so many of them bought such idiotic bullshit - bought it hook, line and killer.
Cleary, Dianne never did, never bought into the violence. So lumping her in with the others seems unfair to me.

TomG said...

Triumph of the Spirit. Good for Dianne Lake. Men and Women of Good Will always overcome. So far, at least.

ACFisherAldag said...

I am so glad to hear that you are doing well, Dianne.

brownrice said...

Fiona said;
And she says 'the evilness' of Charlie, but surely she didn't think that then, or she wouldn't have gone to be with him, or stayed.

Actually she says "the evilness that Charlie has come to represent"... which is a whole other ball of wax and in my opinion a very accurate description.

leary7 said...

true, brownrice. and recognizing evil is not always easy. there were many, the secretary of Washington state in fact, who thought Ted Bundy a great guy. Charlie certainly was a charmer, women four and six and eight years older than Dianne at the time fell for Charlie's charms.
but that would be the question to ask Dianne or any of the girls - when did they first suspect that Manson was more dark than light. Some, like Squeeky and Sandy, never have.

TomG said...

While I acknowledge that Charlie Manson interviews on TV, or youtube nowadays, are funny and interesting to a point, he makes about as much sense as any transient hanging around the Atlantic City Bus Terminal.

How anybody took him seriously is somewhat of a mystery. However, they him seriously in 2011. So there is a point to ponder, how damaged people might look for a strong personality to do their thinking for them.

Not that I'm not a damaged personality....

leary7 said...

true, brownrice...and recognizing evil is not often simple or easy. Many, including top politicians in Washington state, thought Ted Bundy was a great guy, almost another JFK.
Women four and six and eight years older than Dianne at the time fell victim to Charlie's charms.
But that is the question, for Dianne or any of the girls - when did they first recognize that Manson was more dark than light. Squeeky and Sandy and a couple of others still haven't recognized that.

rfoster1 said...

Dianne, I am so glad that you were able to find peace and love with your real family. I am also glad that you were willing to reach out and share with us! This is a beautiful thing!

ColScott said...

Why would you compare her to Miranda? Miranda was a fraud and this obviously IS Dianne Lake.

There are many questions for Snake but it appears she does not really wish to answer them- the letter is superficial beyond compare.

Matt said...

@Cease - I agree wholeheartedly, life is often much more ambiguous than black or white, it just depends on your personal vantage point. That subject has fascinated me since I read Don Quixote in High School.

I see it in all aspects of this story: When discussing former Family members I see tremendous ambiguity in REALITY. I think different members perceived what was happening in vastly different ways; in CM's case (for example) I think many of our opinions of him are incredibly disparate in terms of good and evil - it just depends on how you view him based on your past experiences & personal makeup.

THIS is why I enjoy this subject so much.

Cease2 said...

Yes Matt, the Family story is full of ambiguity & conflict, especially in our perceptions of the real human beings involved. It's easy I think to dislike Bruce, Tex & Fatherman but the others I have conflicting feelings about.

Charlie & Squeaky have charisma in abundance and are great communicators & are humourous. Sandy, Sadie & Gypsy are much less likeable and it's harder to understand where they're coming from, but again, are big characters and can evoke some sympathy.

Our interest in the subject may be seen as morbid by many but this tale's got all the ingredients... a snapshot of the times, interesting people from various social strata, sex, drugs, rock & roll... & a Hollywood murder-mystery to boot.

What's not to be fascinated with?

Matt said...

There is "ambiguity of reality" when considering the vast majority of the way the individual Family members perceived what was happening on a day to day basis over a few years time.

There is "ambiguity of good and evil" when considering the few Family members who were actually involved in the crimes.

I'm disappointed when people choose sides and point fingers. I find it a great mental exercise to look at and consider all aspects.

leary7 said...

Pointing fingers, is as you infer Matt, just plain childish. But "choosing sides" or having strong opinions is just part of the human spectrum.
It is possible for some to look at TLB and not see the ambiguity. They look through the "calling a spade a spade" lens. In fact, I think most of the general public does that.
They see Manson in simple terms - a psychotic con with violent tendencies - let's not forget he raped a boy with a knife to his throat as a teen.
They see Tex in black and white terms - a guy whose brain was so fried by drugs he probably honestly believed he was the Devil.
They see the girls as mindless skanks, so desperate for love and attention they sold their souls to a narcissistic control freak.
Maybe they don't see the ambiguity because they don't want to. Or maybe they are right, and there is a whole lot less ambiguity than the students of TLB like to imagine.

Suze said...

Thank you for sharing this, Liz! I hope we hear more from her!

FrankM said...

fiona1933 said...
It is amazing to hear from a real person.

As opposed to ... ?


Matt said...

Well Frank, as opposed to someone like the rest of us .. who weren't there.

How often do we get this kind of opportunity?

Ken619 said...

Hi Dianne,

Boy, this is really neat!

I’m glad you have had a great life.

Hope we’re keeping the facts straight here at the blog.

Thanks for sharing.

Nefaereti said...

hello Liz

i dont mean to "rat anyone out"...but you may want to let Dianne know those same photos ended up on this site as well in case she'd like to ask them to remove the photos as well (I think they're the same you had up, Liz, and graciously removed at Dianne's request) again...dont wanna cause trouble, but I can understand, believing in the cause she's working for so much, why she wouldn't want her former life to affect it

There's also vid floating around on one of the Manson related websites somewhere that identifies her but I can't remember where I saw it :( (it's related to her cause, and is posted legitimately in relation to that cause elsewhere...some people picked it up and put it on their site, identifying her by name and her relation to Manson)

and to go girl! Glad to see you're doing well :)

Zappy said...

I have always had deep compassion for Diane Lake. From what I have read over the years, she seemed to be a scapegoat for CM's anger, the way he abused her so. My best wishes to her.

One term we never seem to see in any of the writings past or present is that these girls were pretty much "emotional hostages" .. No matter what we might say or believe, we all have a point of vulnerability..a point where a seemingly benign personality can infiltrate our psyche. There's always red flags, but if we are willing to believe, it's easy to get sucked in. There's a manipulator in every crowd.

If you think about groups of friends in the past, one seems to lead, while others follow..some are on the outskirts and others dive right in..competing for a place next to the one who leads. Think about it..but how far would you go..or have you gone?