Monday, November 28, 2016

Manson Family Psychology- Fallen Sheep

"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. A leader leads, and the boss drives."

-Theodore Roosevelt 

"If you understand hallucination and delusion, you don't blindly follow any leader. You must know if the person is sane or insane over the abyss."

-Marguerite Young 

                                      Solomon Asch experiment (1958) A Study of Conformity

Imagine yourself in the following situation: You sign up for a psychology experiment, and on a specified date you and seven others whom you think are also subjects arrive and are seated at a table in a small room. You don't know it at the time, but the others are actually associates of the experimenter, and their behavior has been carefully scripted. You're the only real subject.

The experimenter arrives and tells you that the study in which you are about to participate concerns people's visual judgments. She places two cards before you. The card on the left contains one vertical line. The card on the right displays three lines of varying length. The experimenter asks all of you, one at a time, to choose which of the three lines on the right card matches the length of the line on the left card. The task is repeated several times with different cards. On some occasions the other "subjects" unanimously choose the wrong line. It is clear to you that they are wrong, but they have all given the same answer. What would you do? Would you go along with the majority opinion, or would you "stick to your guns" and trust your own eyes? 

In 1951 social psychologist Solomon Asch devised this experiment to examine the extent to which pressure from other people could affect one's perceptions. In total, about one third of the subjects who were placed in this situation went along with the clearly erroneous majority. Asch showed bars like those in the Figure to college students in groups of 8 to 10. He told them he was studying visual perception and that their task was to decide which of the bars on the right was the same length as the one on the left. As you can see, the task is simple, and the correct answer is obvious. Asch asked the students to give their answers aloud. He repeated the procedure with 18 sets of bars. Only one student in each group was a real subject. All the others were confederates who had been instructed to give two correct answers and then to some incorrect answers on the remaining 'staged' trials. Asch arranged for the real subject to be the next-to-the-last person in each group to announce his answer so that he would hear most of the confederates incorrect responses before giving his own. Would he go along with the crowd? 

To Asch's surprise, 37 of the 50 subjects conformed themselves to the 'obviously erroneous' answers given by the other group members at least once, and 14 of them conformed on more than 6 of the 'staged' trials. When faced with a unanimous wrong answer by the other group members, the mean subject conformed on 4 of the 'staged' trials. Asch was disturbed by these results: "The tendency to conformity in our society is so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black. This is a matter of concern. It raises questions about our ways of education and about the values that guide our conduct." 

Why did most subjects conform so readily? When they were interviewed after the experiment, most of them said that they did not really believe their conforming answers, but had gone along with the group for fear of being ridiculed or thought "peculiar." A few of them said that they really did believe the group's answers were correct. Asch conducted a revised version of his experiment to find out whether the subjects truly did not believe their incorrect answers. When they were permitted to write down their answers after hearing the answers of others, their level of conformity declined to about one third what it had been in the original experiment. Apparently, people conform for two main reasons: because they want to be liked by the group and because they believe the group is better informed than they are. Suppose you go to a fancy dinner party and notice to your dismay that there are four forks beside your plate. When the first course arrives, you are not sure which fork to use. If you are like most people, you look around and use the fork everyone else is using. You do this because you want to be accepted by the group and because you assume the others know more about table etiquette than you do.

Inmate Krenwinkle:  "Because I wanted so badly to be accepted, to be loved, and the more I did that, the more I gave up who I was, and as I began to do that, everything that was good about myself I threw away."

Inmate Van Houten:  “And I felt I could belong there. Up until that point, I was feeling like I was looking for where I could fit in. And when I got there, I felt that that was where I could belong.”

Tex Watson:  “The time came when we could look into each other's faces and see our own features, when we could be sitting together and suddenly all think the same thought. It was as if we shared one common brain.”

Inmate Davis: “So when these -- when these things happened, when these murders happened they were part of just a picture of what the family was doing, what I wanted to be accepted in. They were a part of just a happening around me and I didn't object for one minute my part.”

Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony:  “Starting about a year ago, a year and a half ago, he said, "I have tricked all of you. I have tricked you into doing what I want you to and I am using you and you are all aware of that now and it is like I have got a bunch of slaves around me," and he often called us sheep.”

Paul Watkins:  Even though I didn't want to, I had to. I did it. Anyway, it was either do it or leave, and so I said I would. Then, once I said I would, there was no way of getting out of it then because Charlie said that if you didn't do what you said you would do, then you was just no good, that's all there was to it; and so I did. I stole it. 

Bugs: "Did you ever see or observe any members of  the Family refuse to do anything that Manson told him or her to do?"  
Linda Kasabian: "No, nobody did. We always wanted to do anything and everything for him."

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was the first person to provide some explanation of how a follower’s unconscious motivations work. After practicing psychoanalysis for a number of years, Freud was puzzled to find that his patients—who were, in a sense, his followers—kept falling in love with him. Although most of his patients were women, the same thing happened with his male patients. It is a great tribute to Freud that he realized that his patients’ idealization of him couldn’t be traced to his own personal qualities. Instead, he concluded, people were relating to him as if he were some important person from their past—usually a parent. In undergoing therapy—or in falling in love, for that matter—people were transferring experiences and emotions from past relationships onto the present. Freud thought the phenomenon was universal. He wrote, “There is no love that does not reproduce infantile stereotypes,” which, for him, explained why so many of us choose spouses like our parents.

 -Michael Maccoby

 Susan Atkins:  "He asked me if I had ever made love with my father. I looked at him and kind of giggled and I said, "No." And he said, "Have you ever thought about making love with your father?" I said, "Yes, I thought that I would like to make love with my father." And he told me, he said, "All right, when we are making love imagine in your imagination that I am your father and, in other words, picture in your mind that I am your father." And I did, I did so, and it was a very beautiful experience."

Tex Watson:  "It was a strange collection. Charlie would later refer to us as the ones society didn't want and threw away. But who we were really didn't matter all that much. The only personality that counted for anything was Charlie: Charlie — our father, Charlie — our god, Charlie."

Inmate Van Houten"He would come on the weekends and pick us up. And the structure of the family being disturbed caused me to feel abandoned by Dad. And I blamed my mother. So my relationship with my parents took on a different dimension."

"I felt that I was out of place. I didn't know where I fit in in the community. For my middle school years and my early high school years, I was part of a very socially involved crowd. And once my family separated and the structure of it changed, I looked for a place where I felt more comfortable."

Inmate Krenwinkle:  I wanted someone to love me and that's how I got involved with Mr. Manson. From there on situation that (indiscernible) with continually living with them. I became I got to the point where I didn't feel I could make any decisions.

INMATE DAVIS: Well, my Daddy and I had two things in common. We were both raised by fathers who were abusive and violent and demanding. His father, he learned to be a father from his father. And that's how he taught me. 

Squeaky Fromme: “There were many women around. We all had a relationship with each other that was very strong. And all of our minds kind of hooked up. We rejected the society. We rejected marriage because we didn't like what our parents had.” 

From Helter Skelter - Bugs words:   "They were a real family in every sense of that word, a sociological unit complete to brothers, sisters, substitute mothers , linked by the domination of an all-knowing, and all-powerful patriarch. Cooking, washing dishes, cleaning, and sewing- all the chores they hated at home they now did willingly, because they pleased Charlie."

Bobby Beausoleil: " We were a family. We were mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, son." 

We are family. I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing
We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing
Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
And, and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
All, all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

- Sister Sledge  

 Destructive Group Leader’s Personality
Narcissism - A pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of all others, and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition.  It is described as an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy.  It usually begins by early adulthood and is present in various contexts.  Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met…
  1. Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion
  3. Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special    or unique, or high-status people
  4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious
  5. Feels entitled.  Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment.  Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations
  6. Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. Devoid of empathy.  Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others
  8. Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her
        9. Arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, or confronted.
 “That which has cosmic implications calls for cosmic reactions.  A person with an inflated sense of self-import, reacts in an exaggerated manner to threats, greatly inflated by his imagination and by the application of his personal myth. Narcissists live in a state of constant rage, repressed aggression, envy and hatred. They firmly believe that everyone is like them. As a result, they are paranoid, suspicious, scared and erratic."

From the mouth of Charles Manson:

“I'm the king, man. I run the underworld, guy. I decide who does what and where they do it at. What am I gonna run around like some teeny bopper somewhere for someone else’s money? I make the money man, I roll the nickels. The game is mine. I deal the cards”
“Total paranoia is just total awareness.”

“I lived in Hollywood and I had all that, the Rolls Royce and the Ferrari and the pad in Beverly Hills. I had the surf board and the Beach Boys and the bishkis and the Neil Diamond and the ramskam and the Jimmy shriffen and the Elvis Presley's best of bestlies and all them guys. The Dean and Martins and the Nancy Sinatras and the goffs and sofrins, "Will you do it to me? I hear you do it good honey" and all that kind of "Will you come up to my house later?" 

"Well, I go into Malibu and I pick a rich house. I don't steal, I walk into the house and the fear hits you like waves. It's almost like walking on waves of fear." 

"Remorse for what? You people have done everything in the world to me. Doesn't that give me equal right?"

So what do you get when you take a bunch of young people who are predisposed to want to fit in, and who all have major mommy and daddy issues, and then subject them to the constant influence of a narcissistic criminal old enough to be their Daddy? Now, toss in hard drugs and food/sleep deprivation. Combine all of this with the influence of bikers and other older ex-cons. Blend into the background some really groovy music, and finally add the backdrop of orgies and sexual experimentation. Peer Pressure never looked like this where I was growing up. This seems to me to have been the prefect storm for some. Through the process of elimination over time, Charlie was able to sort out the true maniacs in his group. When it came time to push things over the line- he had blurred the lines so far that it must have been tricky to know when it was going to end up in disaster. Being told to "Take a knife and a change of clothes" was probably a good first indicator. Tex should have just taken off and ran all the way back to Texas. He had the choice. They all had a choice. They did not have to follow every order like blind sheep. At the end of the day- they all had the final personal decision to stop before it went too far....

Didn't they?

" Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the natural laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, nor ever will, escape the consequences of  his choices"

- Alfred A Montapert

" A man is born alone and dies alone; only he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he alone goes to hell or the Supreme abode"

- Chanakya

                                                           - Your Favorite Saint