Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ok, so this is weird:

Animated phone interviews with Charles Manson

"Old Man" is a curious and compelling animation of phone chats between Charles Manson and Marlin Marynick, author of "Charles Manson Now." Directed and animated by Leah Shore. (via Devour)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How unreasonable was Helter Skelter ? Part 1 of 3

While it should always be stressed that the prosecution, as part of their opening argument, stated that they believed there to be more than one motive for the Tate/LaBianca murders, the Helter Skelter motive tends to be the one that most people remonstrate over. I find that most contributors to the various TLB blogs over the past few years have tended to doubt it, while many of the significant authors of Manson related books {among them Robert Hendrickson, George Stimson and Nicholas Shreck}, as well as certain past family members, have pretty much dismissed it altogether. Even members past & present of the DA’s office that successfully prosecuted the killers {Aaron Stovitz, Jeffrey Jonas and Vincent Bugliosi} have expressed doubt and skepticism.

To be frank, it’s a very easy motive to dismiss. The motive itself, if there was one, could only exist in the context of the surrounding philosophy. I’ve found that most who dismiss the motive, do so alongside a dismissal of the surrounding philosophy because it just does not seem credible that anyone could seriously take on board the tenets that went into what was presented to the world as Helter Skelter. The other side of the coin however, is that some did believe it, were of the mind that Charles Manson also believed it and that number was only found in the Family. When I first read “Helter Skelter” I thought the very notion of a civil war between the White race, sparked off by White revenge on Blacks for some heinous murders the Blacks had committed which then led to the Blacks massacring the Whites that were left over after the civil war only for them to hand over the power of rule to the Family that had been hiding out in the desert in some underground paradise, was ridiculous. I still think it’s ridiculous.

Yet, as I’ve gotten older and more experienced and learned more and passed through belief structures and systems myself, as well as understanding others, I find that to various states of mind, there’s nothing really unusual or unreasonable about Helter skelter. If one takes into account the 1960s, the revolution in the air, the quest for civil rights, the racial tension that exploded into riots in the cities in the USA, the psychedelic drugs, the lyrical messages in much of the music, the on going search for meaning, the taking on board of new religious philosophies accompanying the rejection of established ones, the emergence of young people as a force to be reckoned with and the serious insightful questioning of authority, then a package like Helter Skelter actually makes sense.

When looked at through the lens of religion, it is no more unbelievable than that which millions of people believed then, before that and now. It’s package contains nothing intrinsically more unusual or unbelievable than what you will find among the beliefs of someone who genuinely believes in horoscopes or astro analysis. It’s no weirder in principle than the belief in the virgin birth of Christ, the parting of the Red Sea on behalf of the Israelites on the run from the Egyptians, Noah and his family escaping the great flood in a huge boat with every type of animal on the earth or Muhammed receiving the Qur’an verbatim from the angel Gabriel. Mormons happily believe that their founder, Joseph Smith translated the book of Mormon from some golden plates after an angel showed him where they were buried. Reincarnation is one of the central tenets of Hinduism, while rebirth forms a major part of Buddhist philosophy. Purgatory, spiritual beings, hell, a returning Messiah, a Messiah that has yet to come....these and so many more are things that ordinary people all over the world believe. You may be one of them, you may know some of them, you may be related to or in love with one or some of them. The point is that all manner of beliefs that cannot be actually proven exist. So why should Helter Skelter be dismissed as any less believable ? 

As will be shown in part two, psychedelic drugs {in particular LSD} were a crucial component in the acceptance of Helter Skelter but people have long accepted all manner of philosophies and ideas without the assistance of drugs. Not all those that fell in with religious cults did so on the back of a drug befuddled mind. And we went on to see in the 70s and beyond with Jonestown, the Branch Davidians at Waco, the Solar Temple and Heaven’s Gate that when people believe something, no matter how crazy it may seem, they believe with their lives.

It was reported that some of the girls in the Family believed that Charlie got the school bus they travelled in to fly over parts of Golar Wash because the terrain was too difficult to drive up. Others reportedly believed that he brought a dead bird back to life by breathing on it. These stories seem utterly mad until one considers that Linda Kasabian, Charles Watson, Susan Atkins, Brooks Poston, Catherine Share, Nancy Pitman, Paul Watkins, Leslie Van Houten and others {judging by some of their statements, you’d possibly include Sandy, Squeaky and Ouisch in that number} all believed that Charles Manson was Jesus Christ. In fact, long before there was ever any connection between the Family and TLB, indeed, while the Tate autopsies were in progress, officers from LASO went to see officers from LAPD and told them about the finding of Gary Hinman’s body. When they explained about having arrested a suspect that had given Spahn Ranch as his address, they went on to explain that the group living there were an odd bunch whose leader Charlie had apparently convinced them that he was Christ. And when the Family were arrested at Barker later in October, Manson was booked as “Manson, Charles, aka Jesus Christ, God.” It seems that even Manson believed at times that he was Jesus but again, this is not as out of the way as it initially seems. It was something that actually was known to happen to people that were tripping on LSD or had tripped for a while. British rocker Vince Taylor was one of the first acid casualties and he thought for a while that he was the Son of God. Beatle John Lennon, one of the most renowned of the 60s trippers, at one point gathered the band and their entourage together to announce to them that he was the Messiah come again. Timothy Leary was not only convinced that the Beatles were sent by God, he himself took on a prophetic fervour after he became a regular tripper. During his psilocybin experiments with prisoners, many started “getting religion” with Leary joking “let’s see if we can turn the criminals into Buddhas.”

Jay Stevens in his book “Storming Heaven ~ LSD and the American dream” states “to discover in the recesses of the mind, something that felt a lot like God was not a situation that either organized science or organized religion wished to contemplate.”

The relevance of this in relation to the Family is simply this; If Charlie implies he is Christ {“do you know who I am ?”} and is showing you a different way of being and if you believe Charlie is Christ or someone Christ like, then you believe what he tells you. And if he shows you biblical back up for what he tells you, then who’s not to believe ? It is no coincidence that virtually all the Family had come from ‘Christian’ backgrounds in which the reality of Christ the person who led the way, through the Holy Spirit, had become secondary to formulated “Christian culture” in which ritual and rules had become uppermost. An actual minister of the church, Dean Moorehouse, was blown away by the combination of Charlie and acid. Both the young and not so young were looking for real meaning and experiences which explains the number of people that followed pop and rock artists and by extension, what they did or said. There was much looking at and following religious philosophies from the East and many prominent and much loved artists, musicians, actors and writers influenced countless thousands by advocating various gurus as well as looking at more esoteric ideas like Satanism. A section of the Black population in the USA had already embraced “The Nation of Islam” by the late 60s. One of the chief beliefs of the nation was that the White race had been created by an evil Black scientist. At one point, Malcolm X believed that. Muhammed Ali {even while he was still Cassius Clay} believed that. In the UK and West Indies, the Rastafarian movement made great steps in the 60s, foremost among their beliefs that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the returned messiah, God in human form, that Babylon {the Western world, in effect} was falling and that the Black race would be led back to Africa. Many still passionately follow both the Nation of Islam and Rastafari to this day.

There was also a resurgence of experiential Christianity as the Jesus movement  attracted many disillusioned Hippies. This is important because not only did Jesus come alive to many thousands of people who had been searching for spiritual experiences, the notion of reading the bible, interpreting it for one’s own self and being able to share and teach among small bands of converts {despite being part of a larger church} became de rigeur and into this way of thinking, Charles Manson fit perfectly. Like Christ, he was an outsider. Like Christ, he was hounded by the authorities of his day and was seen as a law breaker. Like Christ he was supported by a number of females of substance and appeared to not ‘work’. Like Christ, he was charismatic and could hold large numbers of people in his sway. Like Christ, he could evade capture from the searching authorities while moving freely about. Like Christ, he espoused a wisdom and understanding that seemed to transcend his years and limited upbringing and experience. Like Christ he could not only explain the scriptures, but could infuse new meaning into old words. It’s understandable why so many young searchers, disillusioned with the staid expression of ‘church’ from their lives, thought he was Christ.

In a changing world, as yet unsure what it might actually be changing to, Helter Skelter made sense. It made at least as much sense as following a guru like Meher Baba that said he was God in human form and who maintained a vow of silence from the mid 1920s to his death in 1969. Pete Towshend {The Who}, Melanie Safka and Ronnie Lane {Small Faces, The Faces}, Billy Nicholls, Donald Mahler and Loren “Tex” Hightower among others were not thought mad for following Meher. The Beatles weren’t thought mad for following the Maharishi and so on.....

Later we shall see how there were a number of other parallels and factors at the time the Family were together that made Helter Skelter at the very least, plausible.

*Written by Grim Traveller

Thursday, September 17, 2015

From the Mailroom...

The author of this email contacted me once again, and asked me to remove her email from the blog.

Honestly, I don't really understand why. I post business-related emails all the time, and I never mention anyone's full name.

In her original email (which I published), she simply asked me to post a link to her website... nothing more, nothing less. The email was completely innocuous.

However, despite my confusion with this whole situation,  I've removed her email (as per her request).

In place of her email, she asked me to post a brief description of her website's infographic. (She wrote it herself. It's posted below her website's link).

Description of website- 

The United States history is one of blood, murder, and mayhem. From the slaughter of the Native Americans, to slavery and immigrants, mafia killings, right down to your basic homicidal maniac. Between 1900 and 1910 accompanying an influx of immigrants, murder rates in the U.S. increased sixfold. By the end of prohibition and at the peak of the great depression the murder rate had increased to ten times what it was in 1900. Thankfully, during war time the homicide rates dropped again by the 50’s and seemed to be on a relatively low and even keel. The 60’s began at a slightly higher rate, but by 69 after all of the turmoil and public unrest following assassinations of MLK and Kennedy.

By the 70’s the homicide numbers were still growing. With monsters like Manson, Bundy, and others committing atrocities, the United States was seeing the highest number of homicides since its colonial days. The 80’s started out just as terrible, however the rates dropped slightly as the decade progressed. By the 90’s, the crime rate was still considerably high, yet midway through a sharp dropoff in homicides occurred. Having reached an all time high in 1991 before the sharp decline, the 2000’s notice a 40% drop in murder rates.  These were the lowest rates in 35 years. It is the hope of most Americans that this trend continues.

One graph shows the likeliness of being a homicide victim by age group, sex, and ethnicity. Sadly, males under 25 who are African American are most often victims. However, anyone is at risk when it comes to being a victim, but with lower overall homicide rates, we can rest easier.

Our last graph illustrates the surge in homicides in large cities across the United States. We all hope these will not be an oncoming trend that keeps up the pace.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Apparently there was a Manson Death Hoax yesterday but nobody noticed...

Charles Manson is NOT dead, despite many on the internet falling for yet another online death hoax. The infamous serial killer became a trending Twitter topic on Tuesday when an unreliable media outlet wrongly reported that he had been found dead in his prison cell, but it’s 100 percent not true.

For more than 40 years, Manson has been serving a life-sentence for his part in forming a cult and instructing its members to carry out a series of murders. This week, a website called Now 8 News claimed that Manson had been found dead in his Corcoran State Prison cell early Monday morning. According to the misinformed report, prison guards approached Manson’s cell after hearing strange noises and discovered him on the ground with a slit throat.

The site even included a fake transcript of a supposed suicide note, which had lines like, “I am immortal. My body may lay here right now, but in less than 24 hours I will rise from the dead just like the great Lazarus, exactly like Jesus – because I am God!” There is a back-and-forth debate happening on Twitter as people seem unsure what to believe in regards to Manson’s alleged condition, but Gossip Cop can confirm that he is still very much alive.

Manson did not commit suicide in his prison cell, despite a completely made-up story resulting in yet another widespread internet death hoax. And, regardless of the person involved, Gossip Cop still wishes that these awful hoaxes would die out.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Other Side of Madness (1971 Video)

It's been a long time since I've seen this movie. It was originally titled "The Helter Skelter Murders"......

At the opening credits of the movie, it says "1975". However, IMdB indicates "1971", with which I agree, as some of the scenes were filmed at Spahn Ranch:

There was a comment left on IMdB by a lady that said she was involved in making the movie.  She said the Rock Concert was filmed outside of Kansas City using real

Just to advise, there is a little nudity and adult subject matter, so before you view, be advised...

It's kind of fun to watch to see more footage of Spahn Ranch, the Hall of Justice, and Los Angeles back in the day....


Thursday, August 27, 2015


Manson family member Bruce Davis found eligible for parole

The finding is now subject to a 120-day review and could still be blocked by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to a statement released by the state corrections department.

Sitting governors have stopped three previous attempts to grant parole to Davis, 72. In 2013, Brown said Davis is "still dodging responsibility" for his role in the Manson family's gruesome actions in 1969.

Though he wasn't involved in the Tate-LaBianca killings, Davis was convicted in 1972 for the murders of Gary Hinman, an aspiring musician, and Donald "Shorty" Shea, a stuntman and employee at the Chatsworth ranch where Manson and his followers lived.

Davis claims he did not participate in the killings of actress Sharon Tate, who was married to director Roman Polanski and pregnant at the time, or Los Feliz residents Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

In the 40 years he has spent in prison, Davis has married, fathered a child and earned a doctoral degree in religion.

Manson remains incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison, where he is serving a life sentence. His next parole hearing is scheduled for 2027.


 Parole Considered For Manson Follower Bruce Davis

Bruce Davis
SAN LUIS OBISPO (AP) — After 43 years in prison and 29 parole hearings, parole officials are again considering whether it is safe to free Charles Manson follower Bruce Davis.

The Board of Parole Hearings has recommended three times that the 72-year-old Davis be released from prison. Each time the parole has been blocked, once by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and twice by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown most recently rejected Davis’ parole a year ago, saying he remains dangerous despite his age.
Davis remains at California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo.

On Thursday, for the 30th time, parole commissioners will consider if Davis should be paroled in the 1969 slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.

Davis was not involved in the notorious killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others.