Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Did Charlie really believe in his Helter Skelter Theory?

Did Charlie really believe in his Helter Skelter Theory 

 

Some feel that Charlie never actually believed in all that Helter Skelter stuff, and that he was only using it to get his followers to kill, killings that were really ordered for other reasons.

Snapping by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, c.1978  pg201-3
LVH:  "To this day(1977), I don't know if he really believed what he was saying, or if everything he did was just to get even with the world."

kennedysandking.com/reviews/vincent-bugliosi-tom-o-neill-quentin-tarantino-and-tate-labianca-part-1
In one of his last interviews, Bugliosi—who passed on in 2015—said he did not think Manson believed the Helter Skelter concept.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8171370990642927748&postID=3094309311262144335
--Anonymous said...
  I sincerely believe the murderers among this group had completely bought the HS story, hook, line and sinker. But I'm unsure of Manson's REAL motive. He manipulated the family into doing his bidding through the HS bullshit, but I think his reasons were more complex.
--AustinAnn74 said...
  I have always thought the so-called "Helter Skelter" motive was the reason behind why Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, & Susan Atkins went to the Tate & LaBianca homes, terrorized and murdered innocent people. Manson's motive was different, but his instructions were to go to those homes and destroy whoever and whatever was in them. I have never doubted for one moment that it was any other reason. Manson didn't believe that bullshit, but some of the people he indoctrinated on a daily basis sure believed it.

But I think the evidence is good that yes, Charlie really did believe it:

Member of the Family by Dianne Lake  Chapter 12 
"...even in the beginning(1967?), he was indoctrinating us to believe that black people were going to rise up collectively against white people. While he wasn't necessarily framing it as an armed conflict initially, he talked to us in the Family about the blacks and whites and the coming insurrection."

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-08-10/how-charles-manson-cast-his-spell
After the Beatles’ “White Album” came out in November 1968, Lake felt that Manson was starting to become ever more delusional, announcing that the music was speaking directly to him and telling him to prepare for a race war he called Helter Skelter.

Manson's Right Hand Man Speaks Out by Charles "Tex" Watson c. 2012  pg34
Tex:  "The spontaneous songs he sang in the confines of the family spewed forth this hatred, different from what he later released for public consumption. ... Helter Skelter became the theme of every song he wrote; a violent revolution, a bloody conflict between whites and blacks." 

Will You Die For Me?  Tex Watson  pg16of120
People are bound to ask at some point if Manson actually believed we would find the Bottomless Pit, or if it was a delusion he merely fostered among his followers. I will never know for certain, but I'm convinced he believed it as much as we did. He was absolutely sure he was Jesus Christ. It had been revealed to him three years before on an LSD trip in San Francisco, so why shouldn't he lead us first into the Pit and then back out of it to rule the world? He shared the madness he created in us; he was finally its most ardent disciple.

Charles Manson - 1992 Parole Hearing  Steven Kay on HS:  "Now I know this sounds bizarre, but the problem is that Manson and his followers believed in this motive enough to kill innocent people. At the trial we showed that Manson was so serious about this that he went to a sporting goods store in Santa Monica and bought expensive golden rope that he was going to lower himself into the bottomless pit. He rented scuba equipment because he thought the entrance to the bottomless pit was under some underground river in Death Valley and he was looking for the entrance."

Gregg Jakobson at the TLB trial:
www.cielodrive.com/archive/record-film-producer-takes-stand-at-manson-murder-trial/
Jakobson said Manson, whom he first met in the spring of 1968, often talked of “Helter Skelter” – which the hippie chief described as a black-white bloodbath in which the Negroes were to emerge victorious and take over the United States.  ...
“He firmly believed there was a bottomless pit in the Death Valley that could be inhabited,” Jakobson noted.   ...   Jakobson testified that Manson...  even acquired a record player for the Spahn Ranch near Chatsworth, stronghold of the family, so he could play the (White)album over and over again.

LADA files  Box 22  Van Houten retrial  April-June 1977 vol9033  Gregg Jakobson pg23of85 
Q:  ...did Charlie talk about Helter Skelter in front of the Family? ..
A:  It became pretty hard-core gospel for Charlie.  ...
Q:  Did you believe Charlie believed in Helter Skelter?
A:  Yes.




"Sympathy for the Devil, the Greening of Charles Manson" is the title of a chapter in a book called No Success Like Failure, by Ivan Solotaroff,  c.1994   pg177
Gregg Jakobson: "See, Charlie really believed what he believed in, he never faked it. His reality was bizarre, but so is prison and that's where Charlie came from."

Juan Flynn interview
www.xenu-directory.net/news/library-item.php?iid=4037
"But no matter what the cult leader did, he said he knew he was right, Flynn added, because "he felt he had the seal of God in his forehead." "When he called himself Jesus Christ, he believed it." "

https://www.lamag.com/longform/manson-an-oral-history1/?fbclid=IwAR3BenJqV3ar7xDtUHjploVtaNAUlN8LKuDFnGwgio0wrtwV4Hgu7DcUpKo                      Gypsy Share:  "Charlie talked about Helter Skelter every night ... I think Charlie really believed his own hype."

www.thedailybeast.com/ex-manson-family-member-dianne-lake-reviews-quentin-tarantinos-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood   Dianne Lake:
“That(the racial war) had been part of our existence,” Lake said. “I know that there’s a lot of people out there that say that’s BS, but I was there. He had been talking about this race war for a long time. Then once The White Album came out, it was Helter Skelter. .... Charlie thought he was this Messiah. He thought he was Christ, coming again. It was just crazy.”

LADA files  Box 17 Vol6024  pg5of193
Tex Watson trial, 9-2-71  Paul Crockett testimony
Q:  Who would do the talking about helter-skelter, all of them, or Manson, primarily?
A:  ...I never heard Tex voice much opinion about anything; but Manson spoke continuously of it and the other members did, too.


Charlie believed in Helter Skelter so much that even as he was being dragged away in cuffs from the Barker Ranch he is still trying to win converts:

https://www.lamag.com/longform/manson-an-oral-history1/?fbclid=IwAR3BenJqV3ar7xDtUHjploVtaNAUlN8LKuDFnGwgio0wrtwV4Hgu7DcUpKo
Charlie to police at the time of the Barker arrests:
"Charlie told us(arresting officers) that his group was out there looking for a place to hide because there was an impending race war. He told us that the blacks were going to win. He told us that because we were number one, cops, and number two, white, we should stop right there, let them loose, and flee for our lives."

                                     [photo taken at California Medical Facility, Vacaville, July 1982]


IF Charlie really believed in HS, this of course diminishes the case for the drug burn or copycat motive theories.   Perhaps we should then move on to asking questions like:

--Was Charlie just plain batshit crazy to believe the more far-out aspects of the HS theory?

--What caused Charlie to move in the direction of believing in the spring and summer of  '69 that he and the Family would have to be ones to kick it off ?

49 comments:

grimtraveller said...

Starviego and I often seem at loggerheads on most issues, which is ironic because overall, I completely agree with him on this.
There are a number of reasons why varying people don't believe Charlie believed in the tenets of HS, actually believed them. I do think that a number of disparate elements aided and abetted the actual timing of the murders but to say he didn't believe in all of it is refuted by evidence; primarily evidence from Charlie. Just his 1970 Rolling Stone interview coupled with his trial testimony alone tells me he believed it. But when put together with so much other stuff {acid Christ conflation, Black Muslims in jail, his subsequent statements, what others have said etc, etc} well, forget it. He believed it.
Incidentally, just because you believe something passionately doesn't mean that you won't deny all knowledge if your life is in danger. Can you imagine Charlie in prison, saying that he believed it ? He would have become public enema no.1....

Robert C said...

Just my gut feeling -- he never really believed in HS. Just a tool to control his wastrel acolytes. Got into a jam once in the desert where the living is hard and food and water become scarce in the longer run. Things began to fall apart, he got angrier by accounts, all saved by the raid and their arrests. Had they sat out there much longer there would have been nit-picking and probable deaths. But I digress ....


Torque said...

Starviego, Grim: as difficult as it is for some to accept HS as a motive some 51 years on, perhaps a revisiting of the immediate period of Manson's release in March of '67 is in order.

A very briey survey of that literature evidences a disturbed individual in the person of Charles Manson. According to Dr David Smith, of the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, "Charlie could probably be diagnosed as ambulatory schizophrenic."(In Tom O'Neill, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties. Little Brown & Co. 2019. P.319).

When O'Neill interviewed Smith about Manson, Smith volunteered that, "I felt that he was schizo."(p.319). Moreover, to quote Dr David Smith regarding Manson's original parole officer(Roger Smith), "Roger said he knew from day one that Charlie was a psychopath."(p.319).

There has always been discussion of drugs within the scope of the Tate/Labianca killings. But what about drug use in the early formation of the Family? That, coupled with a demonstrable mental illness in Manson, created for some very fertile ground for HS. The point is that in the mind of a schizophrenic, coupled with drugs and turned-on followers, this could be a distinct reality.

This of course would lead to violence, and ultimately murder in the Tate/ Labianca killings. Again, David Smith states of the Family that, "They were trading sex for speed, and [Atkins] thinks that Helter Skelter and the ultimate crime was a paranoid speed delusion."(O'Neill, p.309).

Chris Till said...

Many Americans thought there was a revolution at hand in the late 1960s. It was not an unusual sentiment. How many black American race riots were there between 1964-1968? Many dozens, perhaps more than 100. Does anybody reading this have the actual number? It's not difficult to imagine people believing the so-called ghetto riots of that era would end in revolution.

Back then, many white Americans looked to black American groups like the Black Panther Party to be the vanguard of a coming revolution. The BLA/Cleaver faction of the BPP specifically tried to foment violent revolution in America.

There were many threads in the zeitgeist of the late 1960s. One was a feeling of impending apocalypse or that American society could not possibly last.

Finally, I wrote a piece about similarities between Manson and Digger co-founder Emmett Grogan and general Digger philosophy. Are there any other '60s counterculture historian types that might want to proofread it?

grimtraveller said...

Blogger Robert C said...

Just my gut feeling -- he never really believed in HS. Just a tool to control his wastrel acolytes

The reason I'll always dispute this is twofold ~ firstly, he already had control. HS as HS didn't turn up until the very end {almost literally} of 1968. So it is to the end of '68 that one must look to see if the "tool of control" theory is viable. And at the end of '68 and the 18 months leading up to it, Charlie had had increasing control over the lives of his troupe.
Then there is the aftermath of the murders, specifically the period in which the perps were caught, awaiting trial, convicted then sentenced. Manson exercised ridiculous amounts of control. He got Sadie to recant the very testimony that got them indicted and in doing so, took away any protection she had from a death sentence. He got Leslie to get rid of Marvin Part, the one lawyer she had pre~trial that had a strategy that actually could have gotten her a separate trial and a possible lighter sentence, if not acquittal. He got Pat {who was afraid of being killed by Charlie} in Alabama fighting extradition {obviously angling for a separate trial} to waive that and come to a joint LA trial and death sentence potential rather than something that could have saved her. Even during the trial he tried to get Linda to recant her testimony and rejoin the Family. He assured Bugliosi, when Tex was pretending to be mentally ill, that he could cure him in 20 minutes. That's confidence. That's Control. And apart from Linda, it all existed long before HS.
There has never really been any evidence that Bobby or Bruce believed in HS. Yet Manson exhibited a measure of control over both. On the other hand, Brooks Poston was very much under Charlie's control, to the extent that he told Robert Hendrickson that had he stayed at the ranch, he'd have committed murder eventually. And this control was around before HS. Tex, Bruce, Bobby, Karate Dave, Cappy, Babs Hoyt and others came and went freely ~ the key with all the returnees is that they returned freely. That Squeaky is still very much in Charlie's thrall is a powerful indication that HS was not needed to either establish or maintain control.
But the bonding that comes with groupthink would be pretty near impregnable if Manson genuinely believed in HS. Paul Watkins believed he believed it. Greg Jacobson believed he believed it. And Manson himself spoke of many of its tenets in his trial. Where he stayed clear of was not in HS per se, but its conclusions because enslaving Blacks and ruling the world simply sounds insane and whatever else he might have been, Manson wasn't stupid. He knew how the media, the judiciary/LE and most importantly, prisoners and prison staff would view such ideas. Charlie was practical when it came to his staying alive, whatever fanciful notions he may have espoused about the beauty of death !

Robert C said...

Grim said, "The reason I'll always dispute this is twofold ~ firstly, he already had control."

Sure, but HS was just another tool, especially trying to explain why they should move to the desert and because the family was beginning to show signs of breaking up around him.

Grim said, "So it is to the end of '68 that one must look to see if the "tool of control" theory is viable."

Yeah ... and so what, and for that matter 'why' call it theory worthy of testing ?

Grim said, ** Grim then goes all over the 'map' trying to show Chuck already had control but that misses my point. I don't think Manson believed in HS but simply used it as a tool to keep his minions on course and to some extent in-line -- to give them a cause or reason for staying and obeying.

Manson was socio/psychopathic but not stupid. His IQ, to the extent one can believe in such, was high-normal bordering on above normal. Mix that with nearly a lifetime up to that point of hanging with the prison crowd and he had plenty of time to concoct all kinds of phony stuff peppered with more recent crap like the Beatles White Album.

I don't think we need another Grim-in-depth analysis here. Just keep it simple stupid and you'll find your answers, and so far I'm still sticking with the belief that Charlie never believed any of his philosophies carefully prepared for the young desperate minds of his followers. I'll change my mind if someone has some good evidence to the contrary -- I'm flexible.


starviego said...

Torque said...
"...in the mind of a schizophrenic..."

Charlie on the one hand was seemingly displaying symptoms of schizophrenia when he came to believe he was Christ, and when he thought the Beatles were sending him messages in their songs; but on the other hand Charlie was never formally diagnosed as being a schizophrenic, and never spent any time in a nuthouse. Was it a case of temporary insanity, or was Charlie's nuttiness induced by outside parties for a finite period of time?

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said:

I don't think we need another Grim-in-depth analysis here. Just keep it simple stupid and you'll find your answers

I'm not trying to break into your house, I'm only disagreeing with you and explaining why !

the family was beginning to show signs of breaking up around him

Not in 1968 and early to mid 1969 it wasn't.

Grim then goes all over the 'map' trying to show Chuck already had control but that misses my point

Your point couldn't be missed. I acknowledge the point, but you're right, I did go all over the map ~ primarily because that which refutes your point is so plentiful that it needs a map to house them.

I'm still sticking with the belief that Charlie never believed any of his philosophies carefully prepared for the young desperate minds of his followers

And it's a fair belief. I'm not actually trying to change your mind. I'm simply stating that I don't agree with it and why. Or would you rather I just said "I disagree" and leave it at that or better still, just not say anything ?

'why' call it theory worthy of testing ?

Partly because before I accept anything from anyone, I'm going to weigh, test, stretch and pull apart whatever is brought. And if the definition of a theory is "a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena" then many of our thoughts constitute theories of a kind, even in a colloquial sense.

you'll find your answers

Well, we all find them in different ways.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

Charlie on the one hand was seemingly displaying symptoms of schizophrenia when he came to believe he was Christ, and when he thought the Beatles were sending him messages in their songs

These may have been symptoms consistent with schizophrenia but they were also well documented aspects of everyday life during the 1960s. John Lennon believed he was Christ after acid, Paul McCartney saw him as "a king, the Emperor of all eternity" while on acid, George Harrison found himself transported to India in communion with spiritual masters of the past.....as the author Steve Turner put it, after taking acid many were "not sure if they'd seen God or were God." So many people either thought they were Christ or God or thought someone else close to them was. When experiments were done with psilocybin on prisoners in the early 60s in the USA, almost all of them had deep "religious" experiences that altered, at least temporarily, their outlook on life, themselves and others. Which was partly why there were so many psychedelic experiments in the 50s and 60s. Ironically, it was the fallout from the drug being taken up by the young masses that prevented much of the research that arguably was needed to assess what role psychedelics could play in treatment and artistic endeavours.
As for picking up messages in the music of the Beatles, one cannot credibly write the story of that band and their times without seriously looking at that aspect of their influence. What is not often acknowledged is that Lennon, McCartney and Harrison all freely admit to communicating messages to the world and any "tuned in" people, through their songs. They freely admit to the messages they threw in about sex, drugs, places they'd been, what they thought on various topics, domestic arguments, cries for help, reflections on their pasts and presents etc. What Charlie did in picking up on that is not in the slightest bit unique. Call it morphic resonance if you will or a simultaneous shared experience among masses, but the 60s was full of people thinking the Beatles {and others} were talking to them through their music. And many, if not most of those aren't or weren't viewed as mentally ill.
The messages that Manson "picked up" from the Beatles are what the Beatles put in those songs ~ even I can see that. "Piggies" isn't a complimentary song about farm animals but an observation that the establishment as was then, needs to go. "Blackbird" isn't about our cute feathered friends in a St John's Wood garden, but a message saying to Black people "take your freedom ~ it's not going to be handed to you benignly." "Revolution 1" equivocates on whether violent revolution is the way to go but "Revolution 9" is the sound of violent revolution according to Lennon and "Helter Skelter" is about the fall of a powerful empire not a fairground ride. The helter skelter is simply the metaphor he used as piggies was the metaphor Harrison usd to describe people.
I've long felt that Manson was actually amazingly perceptive to have picked up on the messages of those songs. One can be as critical of him as one likes {and I am} but he wasn't Rumpelstiltskin, spinning gold out of straw. the gold was already in existence.

starviego said...

Searching for hidden messages in songs isn't crazy, but thinking the messages are meant for you specifically IS crazy.

Robert C said...

Grim said, "Not in 1968 and early to mid 1969 it wasn't."

Actually, it was. Especially by mid '69. But the extent and degree to which Charlie recognized it as it was happening is still questionable.

Kind of like General Custer taking a good bit of time gradually realizing he was not on the offensive but on the defensive at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and by then it was too late.

Recall there were hundreds of so-called hippies visiting the 'family' or passing thru their circles during this time, the vast majority deciding not to follow the 'Grand Bee', some even finding him quite dangerous at the time. I'm personally quite familiar with this.

It's one of the least discussed and little understood topic of all on this blog. Surviving interviews were with the family members and those who were closely tangent to the whole mess, not with those who were there, had a look and walked away. Charlie's fear -- his inner core might walk away too. Remedy ... concoct some ridiculous stories his remaining idiots could follow.

But so far I don't find any compelling evidence to the contrary from Grim for now regarding theory testing. As mentioned, just opinions.




grimtraveller said...

starviego said:

Searching for hidden messages in songs isn't crazy, but thinking the messages are meant for you specifically IS crazy

Agreed, kind of, but then, it becomes a circular argument. A is a pop star. A takes drug X. A is blown away by drug X but knows it's illegal yet wants to say something to their listeners about it. So A codes it in song. Codes it in such a way that both the straightest of the straight can sing it without having a clue as to what it's about, while the hip and tuned in get the real import of the message. So the hip and tuned in are picking up on references that are specifically put in for them, hence, they are receiving messages specifically meant for them. Some get it, others won't.
Again, look at any number of Beatle interviews or books {spanning 1967 to 1996 or the huge anthology from 2000} in which the main songwriting Beatles speak about their evolution as writers and there are so many statements in which they make it clear that they were putting in messages for their friends and others that they felt would pick up on the references to drugs and social evolution. So why wouldn't Charlie Manson have done so ? Thousands of others were and it wasn't viewed in countercultural circles as being either schizo or weird. Indeed, it was a sign of being "hipper than thou."
When George Harrison landed in Haight-Ashbury during the summer of love {the very 1967 that Manson was there} and was just walking about, it was like God coming to the Haight for many of the young people that happened to be around that afternoon. When he was handed a guitar and played a bit of "Baby, you're a rich man" it was like divine revelation, especially when taking into account the opening line of the song, "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people ?"
In the same way when many heard MLK or Malcolm X or JFK or Fred Hampton or even Adolf Hitler speaking to mass crowds, they felt they were personally being spoken to and were subsequently inspired into varying forms of action, songs were a medium of mass communication but with the capacity to reach individuals as though personally. I've lost count of the number of artists {specifically songwriters} that won't interpret their songs but specifically say things like "you put your own meaning on it." The Beatles confusingly tended to both tell you what their songs were about and tell you that you should put your own meaning on it.
So why shouldn't Charlie Manson have done so ? By doing so, he was actually behaving quite normally for the times.

Incidentally, it was white, straight, law abiding, middle aged, patriotic parents in the USA, for the most part, that began the penchant for picking up messages in songs when they were reacting with horror to R&B and rock'n'roll in the 1950s. The teens went gaga for the excitement of the music and its sound and how it made them feel. It was, in many instances, their parents that helped popularize it by their opposition to it, some of which was based on the movements of the artists, but also a feeling of primitive/primal/base {read "black"} passions being unchained and let loose to run rampant and unpredictably into their lives.
Arguably, they weren't wrong. Songs, whether recorded or not, have been carriers of philosophies and messages since Jubal first crafted instruments, way back whenever.







grimtraveller said...

Robert C said:

Actually, it was. Especially by mid '69

Well, let's put it another way. Which of his main coterie had left between December '68 and June '69 when Watkins left ? I can only think of Brooks and Juanita out in the Barker desert and Manson wasn't aware of this until around or just after the mid point of '69. It's kind of when Watkins goes that a different kind of ball starts rolling.

Recall there were hundreds of so-called hippies visiting the 'family' or passing thru their circles during this time, the vast majority deciding not to follow the 'Grand Bee'

I think "hundreds" is a vast exaggeration. But yeah, I think it would be fair to say that most of the people that had contact with the Family in their 2 years didn't stay. But a sufficient number did.

It's one of the least discussed and little understood topic of all on this blog

I agree. But there's good reason for that ~ there's simply not much to say. On the one hand, you get the kind of tales of this cameraman or that person that claims to have beaten up Charlie or that kid that saw him get his arse whipped or White Rabbit or even Fayez that sometimes posts here ~ much of which turns out to be at best, questionable. And that's before we even get to Mario and his contract.

Surviving interviews were with the family members and those who were closely tangent to the whole mess, not with those who were there, had a look and walked away

Well, yeah !
There have been some that passed through, though. "Sunshine" Pierce in Ed Sanders book, Juanita Wildebush, Paul Crockett, Nancy Jordon, Phil Phillips, Phil Kaufman, Stephanie Schram, Nancy Jo Davies, even Harold True and all those musicians or Hollywood types that got up close if not personal, with their stories.
Vincent Bugliosi in "Helter Skelter" wrote at one point that he was a long way from understanding the relationship between Manson and his followers {specifically the women} and that's one of the aspects of the saga that still interests today. The import of those that stuck around for a day or so or a few days or a few weeks really isn't quite so interesting. What can they really add to the story ?

Charlie's fear-his inner core might walk away too. Remedy ... concoct some ridiculous stories his remaining idiots could follow

I get what you're saying there but this is where the theory/argument, whatever one wants to call it, always falls down for me.
He was outlining aspects of HS to Gregg Jacobson before it was even called HS. And at the other end of the spectrum, before he had any awareness of the connection with HS to the TLB murders, Paul Crockett out in the desert was convinced that Charlie was convinced HS was imminent and real. To state Manson didn't really believe in HS carries an assumption of deliberateness even before December of '68. In other words, Charlie knows that by spinning this yarn, certain people will swallow it hook line and sinker. And that as a result, they will stay. It also assumes that 8 or 9 months before they happened, Charlie planned to kill people and to use HS as the means by which this could be achieved.
That's bloody genius.
I don't believe Manson was a genius.
Besides, he didn't know Tex would return. He didn't foresee Linda arriving. The amount of stuff he would have had to have had in place to start convincing the Family of HS and killing if he did not personally believe it is astronomical.

just opinions

Agreed. That's what makes it fun for me, hearing all the opinions and the reasons one has for concluding what we do.

Robert C said...

Grim said, "Well, let's put it another way. Which of his main coterie had left between December '68 and June '69 when Watkins left ? ..."

I include not only those that moved on (Kevin, Kay ?) but those who professed thinking about it as the cracks in Manson's stories and behavior began to magnify.

Grim said, "I think "hundreds" is a vast exaggeration."

Actually I was going to say thousands which I believed but toned it down. Hundreds for sure and that includes not only visitors to Spahn for a drum circle but Manson girl's recruiting in town as well. But word was out fairly soon, and I was there, that the pseudo-hippies living up the canyon were bad news and to be avoided. This was a dynamic era of not only altruistic hippies (the majority) hoping for a better future but also your usual compliment of predators like Manson -- there was more than one Manson running around back then but not in possession of the right ingredients to create the sort of attractions and slaughters yet to come.

Grim said, " But there's good reason for that ~ there's simply not much to say."

Actually I think there's an enormous amount of unadulterated information about the family that they could contribute. The testimony of most if not all of the Manson Family members was and is, as we know, dubious at best.

Grim said, "Vincent Bugliosi in "Helter Skelter" wrote at one point that he was a long way from understanding the relationship between Manson and his followers {specifically the women} and that's one of the aspects of the saga that still interests today."

Agreed.

Grim said, "I get what you're saying there but this is where the theory/argument, whatever one wants to call it, always falls down for me.... "

For me HS didn't have to be connected to anything as you suggest. Just something he heard on an album that he could construe to use as a controlling tool then or later. I believe Charlie planned very little if anything. He sort of went with the flow of the existing dynamics of the family keeping careful control over the group as a whole. He said so several times in early interviews. Ideas already existed from as far back as prison, materialized immediately in urgent situations, or somehwhere in between. He played it by ear.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Robert C,
this statement of yours
👇
"Actually I think there's an enormous amount of unadulterated information about the family that they could contribute"
ABSOLUTELY 100% CORRECT.....

Grimtraveller,
I really wish I would have saved the contract that Charles Manson wrote out for me in January of 1969 that I commented about in this blog-post of this blog

👇
https://www.mansonblog.com/2017/01/charles-manson-is-returned-to-prison.html?m=1

I have some REAL horror stories about baseball cards I have away when I was 18 years old.
(Stupid MGN3.....LOL)
I'm a HOARDER of paperwork, documents, photos, legal items, and a whole lot more now.....

Mario George Nitrini
------
The OJ Simpson Case

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said:

I believe Charlie planned very little if anything. He sort of went with the flow of the existing dynamics of the family keeping careful control over the group as a whole...He played it by ear

I'm in broad agreement with that.

Chris Till said...

Many Americans thought there was a revolution at hand in the late 1960s. It was not an unusual sentiment. How many black American race riots were there between 1964-1968? Many dozens, perhaps more than 100. It's not difficult to imagine people believing the so-called ghetto riots of that era would end in revolution.

Back then, many white Americans looked to black American groups like the Black Panther Party to be the vanguard of a coming revolution. The BLA/Cleaver faction of the BPP specifically tried to foment violent revolution in America.

There were many threads in the zeitgeist of the late 1960s. One was a feeling of impending apocalypse or that American society could not possibly last


Which is another reason why I think Charlie did believe HS. {During the recent protests, UK news have been showing American news clips from the 60s and in a number of them, young Black guys were asked if they'd kill Whites and they were enthusiastically replying "Yeah !"} As Chris has just pointed out, it wasn't something unique. What's unique about it is the TLB murders being the trigger point for it because Blackie wasn't moving fast enough.
Vincent Bugliosi, even in his book, questions whether Charlie truly believed it all. And he equivocated over the years in his answer. On one hand, he posited that it was in Charlie's "sick and twisted mind" that he believed he'd be the ultimate beneficiary of HS. On the other he wondered if he did believe it because he primarily saw Charlie as a sophisticated and evil con man who had a history of controlling behaviour {pimping, rape in institutions} and a predilection for death to go with his anti~establishment bent.
What makes his presentation of the case so remarkable is that he really had to tread lightly and deftly to show Manson as both deluded without being mentally ill while simultaneously being a ruthless murderer that had no regard for people. I think that there really are very few lawyers that would have taken the path he did. Aaron Stovitz looked for every logical other path to take when it came to motives ~ he suggested robbery, raising money to bail out Mary & Sandy and of course the copycat. But by March of 1970 even he couldn't ignore the philosophical and revolutionary aspect ~ though he too thought it was part of Charlie's con.

Peter said...

I dont think he believed it. The fact that social and political events may have supported such a belief is just one of the reasons it worked to control the Family. Alienation is an important aspect of maintaining a cult. The Family wasn't just going to jog on forever. First it was the music, but when that started to slip away Manson needed something to take its place, Helter Skelter. And the natural result of introducing this philosophy is to make good on it. Which in turn brought them even closer together as fugitives, while at the same time trimming some dead wood: i.e., Sadie, Tex, Linda, Katie, and Leslie. Manson was an opportunist and a con artist. Helter Skelter was his con. A con needs some basis in fact to be convincing.

Chris Till said...

In studying the Mansonistas, it's important to be grounded in the history of the American counterculture of that era. The Family did not happen in a cultural vacuum. Far from it.

Personally, I think that some of the best books on the subject are Tom Bates "Rads" (on the Madison, WI bombers of 1970); Elia Katz "Armed Love" (NYC politico-hippies go on the road late 1969-ealry 1970, visiting communes); Bryan Burrough's "Days of Rage" (flawed, but absolutely essential reading on late '60s into the 1970s US so-called revolutionaries); Charles Perry "The Haight-Ashbury" (all about the Haight in 1967). Richard Fairfield "Communes USA." Interestingly, both "Communes USA" and "Armed Love" describe a remarkably large group marriage commune in Taos, NM that has disappeared from history.

Lately, I keep going back to Nicholas von Hoffmann's "We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us Against." It's a notebook dump of a book by a fine reporter who visited the Haight in later 1967. Somewhat pertinent to this discussion are his descriptions of the dire racial violence in the Haight: blacks raping white women; white bikers beating blacks; blacks beating up hippies, etcetera. It reminded me that it is likely more accurate to regard the Mansonistas as sociologically closer to a biker gang (albeit without bikes) than hippies.

Emmett Grogan's "Ringolevio," especially the second half, is essential reading for understanding the late 1960s counterculture. Like Manson, Grogan was charismatic, a thief, a burglar, had no respect for others' property, and, if his memoirs is true, killed two people for snitching on him.

Studying some of the other California cults of that era is essential too: the Children of God, the Source Family, Da Free John, Steve Gaskin's folks. None were thrill killers like the Mansonistas, but illustrate how open to believing any-fucking-thing many young people were then.

Peace and thank you, Grim, for responding to my previous comment.

grimtraveller said...

Robert C said...

I include not only those that moved on (Kevin, Kay ?)

Robert, which Kevin and Kay are these ? Is this Kevin the same one that Robert Hendrickson sometimes referred to ?

Peter said...

First it was the music, but when that started to slip away Manson needed something to take its place, Helter Skelter

Chronology is ever so important when looking at the Family. A number of our theories get torpedoed simply by not recognizing what was going on when. Even Family members were prone to that as we see with Tex mooting the raising of bail money as one of the motives for the Cielo murders when the logistics make this an impossibility or Susan claiming in her final book that Charlie sent Mary & Sandy that morning to buy rope {when they already had loads of it as was seen that night !} and other supplies for an attempt at a jailbreak of Bobby {!} when Manson wasn't even at Spahn but on the way back from San Diego with Stephanie Schram.
And so it is with the notion that as the music started to slip, Manson needed something to take its place. At the tail end of 1968 and the early months of 1969, long before the music was looking like it might not happen, Helter Skelter had gripped Manson and the Family. Indeed, HS to a large extent fed the music.

Which in turn brought them even closer together as fugitives, while at the same time trimming some dead wood: i.e., Sadie, Tex, Linda, Katie, and Leslie

This strikes me as something of a contradiction.
For starters, Tex and Linda weren't "trimmed," they fled of their own volition. And on top of that, within a short space of time, it was known that Linda had been blabbing, when Joe Sage phoned the ranch to ask Charlie if it was true about the murders.
On top of that, Sadie, Leslie and Pat didn't go, they weren't "trimmed" either. They stayed with the Family when they fled to Barker, indeed, Manson was continually reassuring Pat that no one could touch them for what they had done. Manson didn't want them arrested for murder, especially Susan Atkins who, as much as she responded to his control, was something of a loose canon and was known to be so, even within the Family.
That all said, the clearing of the dead wood argument is an interesting one and would possibly have more legs if Tex, who was valuable to Charlie and Pat, whom he had genuine feelings of warmth towards {and continued to have pretty much to the end if some of his more recent interviews are anything to go by} were not part of the equation.

Chris Till said...

To specifically answer the OP's questions, I think the best source is Manson's "Rolling Stone" interview from early 1970. The interview was re-published in two books from 1972: the classic "Mindfuckers: A Sourcebook on the Rise of Acid Fascism in America" and "The Age of Paranoia: How the Sixties Ended." In the the fairly wide-ranging interview, Manson discusses in detail black American revolutionary activity and the "White Album."

starviego said...

Thanks, I'll try to get ahold of those books.

AstroCreep said...

I think we use the term “control” inaccurately in regards to HS being a means to wrangle a group of kids. What HS did was it helped provide a common enemy/cause for the family to get behind and develop a close bond because of their shared belief in “the cause”. Grim is correct, initially the shared family goal was music and it went all in to help achieve that goal. When that achievement wasn’t attained, a new goal (HS) was injected. It was the piece that transitioned the family from a more traditional “hippie” group to a violent and criminal group-

grimtraveller said...

AstroCreep said...

I think we use the term “control” inaccurately

I'd agree with that. Control is a multifaceted hydra with many tentacles. You see it in schools, government, politics, sports outfits, law enforcement, family structures, prostitution rings, crime gangs, among kids, in the music industry at all levels and across generations etc and it ranges from subtle, almost undetectable means, through cleverly employed psychology to outright force, a semblance of love and/or belonging, articulate persuasion, promises, a certain cultural matrix and good sex. Sometimes it's very deliberate, other times it's stumbled upon inadvertently and then acted upon nefariously. It's notable that often, those under the control do not see themselves as being so.

What HS did was it helped provide a common enemy/cause for the family to get behind and develop a close bond because of their shared belief in “the cause”

I think that existed before HS was a viable, tangible "thing". From what I can determine the Family pretty much always saw itself as being separate from society and to a large extent the Hippy movement and as such, there were always 'enemies' in view.

initially the shared family goal was music and it went all in to help achieve that goal. When that achievement wasn’t attained, a new goal (HS) was injected

The music actually gained a greater emphasis with the arrival of HS. There was lots of composing of songs to lay the groundwork for the events that were supposed to accompany HS. What became the new goal when the musical hopes were dwindling was murder.
Melcher heard Manson play in the May of '69 and soon let it be known through Gregg Jacobson that he wouldn't be recording Charlie. And it's in June of '69 that Manson starts telling Paul Watkins that he's going to have to start the revolution by showing the Black man how to do it. Dianne Lake and Juan Flynn corroborate Watkins on both the sentiment and the time period. His recording plans seemed shot by August but not his plans for musical communication, hence him going to Esalen. Is it a coincidence that the very same week, heck, within a few days of him being bombed out by people at Esalen whom he played his music to, that the TLB murders happen ?

starviego said...


grimtraveller said...
".... his plans for musical communication, hence him going to Esalen. Is it a coincidence that the very same week, heck, within a few days of him being bombed out by people at Esalen whom he played his music to, that the TLB murders happen?"

I don't know that there's any hard evidence that Manson ever played any music there....

ColScott said...

Manson playing music at Esalen sounds like a lie.


No one stops to think that multiple things can be true at once. This is why Grim's eidetic memory is useful and a trick at the same time.

What seems MOST likely to my highly knowledgeable brain-

Charlie believed that the SHIT was gonna come down (what he used to call it before the White Album) Seems a common enough belief at the time

Charlie knew that the motives for TLB had nothing to do with HS

HS was a train of thought, drug talk, current events all mixed together.

TLB was for some other reason

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

I don't know that there's any hard evidence that Manson ever played any music there....

Well, if one gets down to it, there isn't much hard evidence of much in this case. There's a lot of circumstantial evidence ~ which very often is stronger than hard evidence. Watson & Krenwinkel's fingerprints are hard evidence that tells us only that they were in the house at some point. Atkins' tales that she later denied are not hard evidence. But one could make the argument they were way more damaging.
The main evidence of Charlie playing his music at Esalen is from Charlie himself, or rather, some Family members {including Stephanie Schram} recounting Charlie talking about playing there and getting not exactly enthusiastic, Melcher-like, reactions.

ColScott said...

No one stops to think that multiple things can be true at once

My entire schtick when it comes to this case is that multiple things are true at once. That's how I end up arguing with so many different people across multiple sites and get accused of constantly playing devil's advocate and not settling on any one conclusion.

starviego said...



Was the music just a cover story? Was Charlie just at Esalen to pick up drugs?

www.facebook.com/CHAOSTheBook/?__tn__=%2CdC-R-R&eid=ARBT0RKkTCf9LJpWtne2TEjCpET1fitF4z6U1faabaws8Q_UE5pcfPb_sSzeZm3Kz2CuzQNEVFgXq4MV&fref=nf
From the Los Angeles Sheriff’s files:
"Sergeant (Redacted) states she has also received information that Mr. Manson is currently in San Francisco and is to return to the ranch on Friday, Aug 8, 1969. Mr. Manson reportedly will be in possession of a large amount of narcotics. ... The above listed runaway juvenile, (Redacted) should be accompanying Mr. Manson."

grimtraveller said...

It's a major assumption that every piece of intelligence received {then, as now} is above board and bang on the money.
It's an assumption that has and will continue to send agencies on wild goose chases.
In schools today in the UK, all staff are supposed to report any child that they suspect has been radicalized. Back in 2005, we all saw where that mindset can lead and it simply emphasized that at any time, in any place and in any era, intelligence is by no means infallible, even when dealing with known criminals.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said:

Was the music just a cover story? Was Charlie just at Esalen to pick up drugs?

A cover story for whom ? The Family ? They're the only people he told. And even if he was there to pick up drugs, what's the big deal or mystery surrounding that ? Take us in the direction you're going, Star.

starviego said...

If the 'Charlie rejected at Esalen' theory is bogus, you knock away one of Bugs' reasons for Charlie ordering up HS when he got back. And thus it would leave motive more mysterious than ever.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

No one stops to think that multiple things can be true at once

Here's an irony for you Col ~ Vincent Bugliosi did. Aaron Stovitz had to and said so to Rolling Stone before the trial. And most importantly, the jury, though they didn't want it to be, could see it once all the evidence was in and Charlie's remaining supporters had testified.

starviego said...

If the 'Charlie rejected at Esalen' theory is bogus, you knock away one of Bugs' reasons for Charlie ordering up HS when he got back. And thus it would leave motive more mysterious than ever

Not really. With or without Esalen, the main ingredients are in place. At best Esalen serves as a more immediate timing boost in a milieu where murder was already in the air and happening {Lotsapoppa notwithstanding}.

Dan S said...

Steph schram is our esalen witness but she didn't go in with him so she doesn't really know what happened

starviego said...

In her interview with TLB radio, Schram said Charlie slapped her before they went to Esalen, not after. So it appears Bugs was willing to fudge the facts to make it appear Charlie was snubbed by the audience.

Certainly the cops never released their interviews of the people at Esalen that night. Certainly something big was being hid.

grimtraveller said...

"Certainly" is always a dangerous word to use when all you have are suppositions and suspicions. What one can say is that at present, Starviego certainly thinks there is some conspiracy still afoot !

grimtraveller said...

starviego said:

In her interview with TLB radio, Schram said Charlie slapped her before they went to Esalen, not after. So it appears Bugs was willing to fudge the facts to make it appear Charlie was snubbed by the audience

In the same interview she also said the Pauls Crockett and Watkins came after her & Kitty when they fled Barker and that she thought they were after them to kill them.
Stephanie was not infallible.
Willing to fudge the facts ? So many facts came to the prosecution that it would be unrealistic to expect every single fact to line up to our perfection. Funnily enough, Bugliosi said something similar to Tom O'Neill.
The issue isn't always whether the chronology of the facts is bang on but whether or not if there are discrepancies, they significantly alter the case the prosecution is presenting in such a way as to be detrimental to any defendants. Is that the case here ? In the 1992 edition of "HS" Bugliosi freely admits that someone from Cielo called Esalen on 30th July but doesn't know who and that this, and Manson's supposed visit there remain a mystery. He had independent stories from Watkins & Kasabian about Esalen as well as Stephanie's recollections {it's Watkins that specifically names the place} and whether it was Esalen or just Big Sur, according to those 3 whoever it was that Manson played his music to, the reaction was not basking in Charlie glory. Stephanie said that he was angry before he went in and the issue is that a]he had hit her and b]his music was rejected, not that he hit her because his music was rejected. In fact, Bugliosi is clear in saying that it was later in the day that he hit her. That could be at any time later in the day. Far from fudging the facts, it actually amplifies the general angry demeanour of Charlie in that two or so day period. That 42 years later in an interview Stephanie recalls that she was hit before he went into Esalen is what it is. Taking all things into consideration {Manson said that during their first time together, she took acid for the first time and it blew her mind} I'd say it's a stretch to conclude that there was a deliberate fudging of the facts when in actuality, the facts weren't really in dispute, even if the order of some of them may be.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

In her interview with TLB radio, Schram said Charlie slapped her before they went to Esalen, not after

Well, this is the dialogue of that interview:

Stephanie: We spent one night there and then we went by the Esalen Institute where I think Charlie had hopes to get some recording people on his side to record some music.
Cats: Did you go in with him?
Stephanie: No, I didn’t.
Cats: When he came out was there a change in his attitude at all?
Stephanie: No. I had already at one point the night before seen a violent side of him and why I remained with him, I don’t really know.
Brian: Can you tell us about that?
Stephanie: Well we met a couple of people hiking down one of the trails there in Big Sur and I think he was hoping that they would be able to provide us with dinner. I was pretty freaked out at the time and I think when they saw me they were afraid and they left. He came into the van and gave me a pretty good slap and said that I had ruined his chances for dinner that night.
Cats: When he came out of Esalen was he even more angry?
Stephanie: Well, yeah he was. He seemed to kind of stick to himself though then. I mean he was obviously angry, was not real communicative with me so I was just along. I was just kind of along at that point.

As interesting as all of that is, you know what I find absolutely fascinating about the entire interview ? The absence of two words from all discussion ¬> "helter" and "skelter." Not there, not once. No asking if the supposed conversation with Stephanie's sister in San Diego about the the Beatles, Blacks, HS and people lying dead on their lawns was true as far as she knew. Even if one thinks its whole existence is a red herring or a load of shit, if one is interested in getting to the truth of a matter, surely that's a question that one would put to Stephanie of all people. Like with Steve Zabriske telling the Portland police that a "Charlie" and a "Clem" had committed the TLB murders before Susan Atkins had started talking to Howard or Graham or Al Springer told the police about Charlie, it makes one wonder where exactly Bugliosi got this information from and was confident enough to put it in his & Gentry's book.

So it appears Bugs was willing to fudge the facts to make it appear...

Other than that little discrepancy, pretty much everything he stated regarding the episode has been corroborated, some of it by Charles Manson !

starviego said...

What did Kasabian say about Esalen?

grimtraveller said...

Only Paul Watkins seems to have mentioned Esalen specifically by name. Stephanie referred to it as a sensitivity camp {Manson is supposed to have said it was a place where the rich went to play at being enlightened} but by 2011 was calling it Esalen and Bugliosi concluded back in 1970 that it must have been Esalen. When Linda speaks of that time and place, she refers to it with the catch all term, "Big Sur," so that could be referring to his general trip or the specific place[s] that he went to play his music. She testified that he said the people there were not together and were just off on their own little trips. As is so often the case, it's by putting together certain fragments that various people bring to the table, that a picture can be built up, not always by exactitude.

starviego said...

grimtraveller said...
"... Linda ... testified that he said the people there were not together and were just off on their own little trips."

Was that at the TLB trial? If she said that, she is using the same words Watkins used, which might indicate Charlie was just propagating a rehearsed spiel to his minions.

Of note is that before he left Spahn to go north, Charlie told the Family he was going to look for new young loves. He didn't mention anything about a musical performance.

Of course the biggest red flag of all is the hiding of evidence regarding what the investigators found out up there.

grimtraveller said...

What evidence was hidden ?

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

Of note is that before he left Spahn to go north, Charlie told the Family he was going to look for new young loves. He didn't mention anything about a musical performance

Hey, allow a guy a bit of freedom to decide as he goes along 51 years ago !

starviego said...

grimtraveller said...
"What evidence was hidden?"

Whatever it was that the detectives found out about the Esalen trip. For sure the cops would have gone up there to ask questions.

grimtraveller said...

If anyone hid anything, it was the bigwigs at Esalen who wouldn't confirm Charlie'd ever been there.

SAMTHECAT said...

It was there, it was in the background, it was in the air. it was hanging around but it wasn't the primary motive.

Manson was desperate to go to the desert, but he didn't want to go alone, how could he persuade the others to go with him.

D. said...

He didnt believe in it, nor did a single person who took part in the crimes. Poston also told police he "heard" that Charlie shot a "black leader" in LA. But we know and so did Tex, Susan, Pat, Bobby and a bunch more that it was Crowe over a dope deal. Let that be a microcosm of the entire case. Lake was a kid, kept totally in the dark about the banal criminal activity on the Ranch. Poston was to. Poston was a person actually looking to follow and br lead. Charlie's reaction to that was to basically dump him off at Barker. Charlie didn't like brainless followers and people who couldn't do things on their own. Watson has stuck to Helter skelter the most, whereas Susan wrote an entire book calling it a myth and Pay has avoided saying that was the motive, even smiling sarcastically at hearings when mentioned. She said for years she thought it was another robbery. Why would Watson stick to it most? A mundane dope dealer (which even Lake maintains he was). Because He had the real motive, that's why and claiming brainwashing and a crazy motive is a better excuse than a cold, calculated one over money, drugs and a hurt ego. Jacobson knows what the true is. But his duty was to shill for the prosecution as damage control for the Beach Boys and their management.

Tragical History Tour said...

Manson didn't need to believe that HS was literally going to occur, although he was certainly insane enough to believe some of his own rhetoric. (Does anyone not insane think you're really going to live under the desert only to emerge and rule the world?) He just had to appear to, to brainwash enough of the family to tag along with his craziness. And enough of them certainly did believe it, that's been proven over and over again before the Bug ever set foot near the case. Manson's WHOLE ethos in life was to trick others into doing what he wanted. He was lazy like that.

It's a pretty simple concept that the anti-Bug, anti-HS crowd can't seem to fathom. HS (or some element of a shit coming down apocalypse) only needed to be believed in by a few core members to be the motive to murder. They handed Bugliosi the ball of insanity and he ran with it right into the endzone of their convictions and subsequent lives of rotting away in prison. Blame them if you don't like it. Of course there were some drug deals going on and they were always looking to steal, because they were a small band of drug-using criminals.

Manson was an angry little fuck from day dot. He lied and stole every thought in his woolly head his whole life. He wanted to get back at the world that had treated his poor innocent self so badly. Others had some motivations of their own, but Manson tied them all up in an apocalyptic scene that enough of them believed to go 'up on that hill' and start mayhem. Manson's ego made him think he could get away with it. He chose locations he knew because thieves always case joints first. And his followers stole lives. End of.

grimtraveller said...

D. said...

He didnt believe in it, nor did a single person who took part in the crimes

Well, Pat obviously did. She could have written any two words in the English language as a sign. She chose "Healter Skelter." You know, the fact that she misspelt it tells you one thing in particular ~ it was a phrase she was accustomed to hearing rather than something she'd become familiar with seeing. And the other phrases she wrote {"Rise", "Death to pigs"} just so happened to be major tenets of HS.
Susan obviously did. In the privacy of her jail cell in an environment where snitching was not expected, she told her cell mate, when asked how she felt about the murders, that "now HS could begin." She even defined aspects of what HS was.
Leslie obviously did. In a private communique to Marvin Part that no other human being was ever meant to hear, ever, she implicated Charlie, Mary, Bobby, Tex, Pat, Susan and herself in murder and unprompted, gave HS as the rationale for it all and pitched Charlie as the ordained Jesus whose vision it was that they all followed and why she went along ready to kill. Remember, they did not regard what they did as murder.
Charlie outlined much of the thinking of HS in an interview with Rolling Stone while he was awaiting trial. At the time, although he was denying being involved in murder, he had no reason to deny HS as at the time of the interviews {about 4-5 months before the trial actually began} it hadn't become the centrepiece of the prosecution case. So he answered questions about its tenets relatively freely. He believed what was in Revelation. He believed the Beatles were prophesying. He believed in the Black uprising. He believed HS. Even when he spoke in his trial, he tried to explain aspects of it like the underground river etc. He tried to make it seem almost ordinary because to him, it was ordinary, it was part of his thought process at the time. Of course, he didn't tie it to murder because for all his rhetoric about the beauty of death and having died before, he didn't want to die in the gas chamber !

grimtraveller said...

D said:

Poston also told police he "heard" that Charlie shot a "black leader" in LA. But we know and so did Tex, Susan, Pat, Bobby and a bunch more that it was Crowe over a dope deal

It's very instructive where one is coming from when a phrase like "over a dope deal" is used in relation to Lotsapoppa. The fact is that Watson was not in the slightest bit interested in any drugs when it came to Lotsapoppa. It was not a dope deal as such, but a scam in which he pretended to be part of a dope deal for the money that he intended to steal. The idea was get the guy's money and run. It was no more a dope deal than it was the Royal Ballet. So Charlie did not "shoot Crowe over a dope deal."

Charlie didn't like brainless followers and people who couldn't do things on their own

He must've been loving Tex then, for Crowe, must've been loving Susan for the Grand jury, must've been loving Pat for Claude Brown and extradition, to the extent he got her to come back to LA for the joint trial that sunk her, must've been loving Linda for telling Joe Sage and must've loved Leslie for Marvin Part so much that he had to tell her to get rid of him and not submit to any psych examination.

Watson has stuck to Helter skelter the most

Leslie Van Houten ? She's talked of little else since the early 70s.

whereas Susan wrote an entire book calling it a myth

And have you read it ? It is a cornucopia of contradiction. By all means, discount HS as one of the motives for murder, but if you're going to use Atkins' "The Myth of HS" as your back up, you may as well also use "Dora the explorer."

Pat has avoided saying that was the motive...She said for years she thought it was another robbery

That first night, she may well have. And then she wrote HS the second night when everyone in that car was well aware of why they were out looking for people to kill ~ and who was leading the show.

grimtraveller said...

Tragical History Tour said...

Manson didn't need to believe that HS was literally going to occur, although he was certainly insane enough to believe some of his own rhetoric. He just had to appear to, to brainwash enough of the family to tag along with his craziness

On the other hand, I'd argue that there is no more powerful a way to get people to align with and follow a vision than to actually believe it yourself. That's a pretty persuasive package.
Charlie liked psychedelic mind exploration. LSD profoundly affected him. One should bear in mind the two colliding aspects of his person; the psychedelicatessen, the mind trouper that was struck by deep and lofty thoughts and conflating himself with being Jesus and the Devil. So the criminal con man fused with the carer who foresaw the decline of Haight Ashbury, the white race, America, the mistreatment of Black people and the Native American and the need for the karma to turn and justice to be applied. Yet the racist that believed the Black man was merely a subservient clone of the White master.
Also it's worth bearing in mind that he wasn't the only one. As you point out, he took thoughts from a variety of sources. And in that acid mind of his those thoughts brewed together that variety of flavours into something that ultimately lost people their lives, both those that died and those that committed the murders.