A. The D.A. put the word "family" on it to make me a leader and bring me into the conspiracy. They've never really been my family or my followers. We were together in a dream, man.
Q. You stay in touch?
A. I know everything they're thinking. They won't think nothing in the next 20 years I don't know. I answer their letters before they write them. If you got all of those people, and you put them in this room, everything would be just like it was. We'd sit around and sing. The family circle can never be broken. We're still together. There's no taking us apart.
Q. How did this group get started?
A. I get out of the penitentiary - a man can understand this- and I haven't been with a broad in a long time. So I meet a broad on a street corner. She's real young. So I ask if she could stay with this other broad (Mary Brunner). So we meet another chick didn't have no place to stay. That was Squeaky (Fromme). Then we meet Patty (Krenwinkel)- and Patty's got a credit card! So we're just going to have a little vacation trip, so we get a bus. We're just tripping. And Susie (Atkins) wants to freeload, see? So I look up and I'm sitting on a beach with 12 girls. They're lighting my cigarettes, spoiling me, and actually it's a pretty nice little trip I've got going.
Q. Why did it go bad?
A. The troubles came when the guys came. Every guy that came had troubles. And everybody that comes in that circle, I gotta go though all their changes.
Q. The troubles weren't your fault?
A. I'm not saying I didn't influence- I did influence. But no more than I've been influenced. It's hard to explain 20 years of a running psychotic episode. It has no logic, no good, no evil; it all runs in insanity. You put 30 people in a circle, and you've got a vortex of everybody's thought and will, and it reflects off into one head, and that head goes off into madness. I was stuck in a psychotic episode.
Q. Are you psychotic?
A. I can go in and out of it.
Q. Do you ever heard from these people now, like Squeaky?
A. She's in the joint doing life.
Q. Do you write her?
A. Back and forth. She's me.
Q. Do you hear from Sandra Good, who was jailed for writing death threats to corporate executives?
A. Yeah. She got out.
Q. She's the one in Vermont?
A. She's your blue socks.
Q. How about Mary Brunner?
A. Mary Snitch.
Q. Is she in jail?
A. No, she snitched. When she had (my) baby, I held the baby up and I held a knife on it and I said, "if the cops come and say, 'Tell, or we'll kill this baby,' what are you going to do?" She said, "I won't tell. I won't tell."
Q. Is Susan Atkins, who boasted of the killings, still in jail?
A. If they let her out tomorrow, she's still going to be in jail. She's imprisoned herself. She's playing Jesus for parole. They say, "If you accept Jesus as your savior, we'll let you out." So she says, "O.K." I got nothing against Susie. I love her. But I wouldn't want her around me.
Q. Do you regret that those people are not free and happy today?
A. Don't you realize what those people have done for you people? What do you think would have happened if the Manson family hadn't did what they did? You seen the Vietnam war stop, didn't you?
Q. Because of what you did?
A. No. Because of what those kids did. You forgot? It was the peak of the revolution. (Singing) "You say you want a revolution...."
Q. Are you saying that the murders were a political act?
A. Why was people killed? There was $250,000 worth of gold coins laying by the dead body, by LaBianca. Why didn't they pick it up? You think we weren't in the peace movement?
Q. Are you at peace with yourself?
A. Sure. How do you think I've survived all this madness? By not having a mother and father.
Q. You think your early suffering absolved you from later deeds?
A. Yeah, yeah. Later deeds? I've done nothing I'm ashamed of. Nothing I couldn't face God with. I wouldn't kill a bug.
Q. But you'd kill a person?
A. I'd probably kill all of them if I could - is that what you've been waiting to hear? Hey, time and circumstance made me into this Manson guy. Satan. Society wanted to buy this evil, mass murderer-devil-fiend. I'm nobody. I'm the last hobo in line. Give me a bottle of wine and put me on a train.
Q. You said you live in darkness.
A. I do. It's away from the light. I don't fit in the world that you guys live in, so I live over here in the shadows of it.