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

57 comments:

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Thank You Grim Traveller.

Josh Bratt said...

Was CM around enough to indoctrinate these people? They paint him as this dominating presence who ruled over his people but he was gone quite a bit, including the week or so leading up to the end of their fun at Spahn. The idea of linking the times to this crime is a good point. The sixties were an era unlike any other and thinks are more easily understood knowing the era and occurrences therein. Cool post!!!

katie8753 said...

Thanks Grim. That's well written and thought out. I think Charlie had discussed Helter Skelter with the group for a long time before the murders. I really don't think that he was advocating murder at that point, but it was more of a "draw" as they say to keep the crowd interested. I think that by the summer of 1969 he was getting more agitated because of his record contract not panning out, as I believe that he thought his association with Wilson and others would give him a "shoe in" in the music business. So the Helter Skelter stuff was a good venue to start the revenge process.

I do think that they regarded Manson as "Jesus" or "God" and I think they believed that he could "fly that bus" or "breathe life into a bird". I think the drugs were a big part of that.

I lived the 60's and I don't remember all of that tumult but it's probably due to where I was raised. I'm sure it was a lot more prevalent in CA and other big cities than where I was raised. The only thing I can remember about the 60's was the way-out styles for women that developed, especially in the late 60's.

katie8753 said...

I also think that the big reason that the girls acted so sassy at the trial was because they truly believed that Manson was gonna beat the rap, and they would all just go free.

I think they truly believed that, and I think it has a lot to do with them thinking he was "God". And when that didn't happen, they finally realized, after years in prison, that Chucky was just a "con man". That he wasn't a "God" but just a smooth talkin' guy.

Kimchi said...

Thanks Grim....well written and a lot of thought went into this..

I want to mention that Bruce Davis actually brought up or spoke about HS in his latest parole hearing...

A big thanks to Cielo Drive for posting the latest Davis parole hearing...

First time (I think) that I remember Bruce Davis mentioning it... maybe on advise of his attorney? Who knows...

I'm still of the belief that it happened (Cielo Drive) to get a brother out of jail... I just can't waiver from that...still on the fence about Waverly... a story yet to be told I'm afraid...

TomG said...

As Sunset said in a previous thread, hallucinate drugs changes the brain chemistry. That's the answer to your August of 1969 murders. Some kids got sky high, they thought they were being bullied or moved and a beloved member was captured. Youth, inexperience, the times, that human impulse to defend who is yours.

Charlie Manson is just a little guy encouraging it because he's been there. He's got the criminal gene and the mental illness. Now these middle class white kids want to step to the plate. He's like, well here's how you do it. Do what you feel and let society explain why you did it.

william marshall said...

I mean Krenwinkle wrote it on the Labiancas refrigerator it really can't be so easily dismissed not that I buy into the whole thing if I did I obviously wouldn't be here Hello Lynyrd Katie everyone

katie8753 said...

Hi William!!! Good to see you!!!! :)

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi William!
Good to see you.

leary7 said...

You gotta love the Grim One. Excellent piece. I have always felt that it was virtually impossible to grasp "Helter Skelter" unless one had done at least a dozen acid trips themselves. I know that sounds arrogant but what LSD did to the mind, especially if used multiple times, is very hard to translate to words. And that Vincent was able to sell HS not only to the jury but to millions of readers as well is really quite astounding.
You simply cannot dismiss HS if you read carefully the transcript of Charlie's ride with the sheriffs after his arrest at Barker. Or the Leslie tapes. Or Greg J.'s and Al Springer'r testimony. And yet folk still get out the torches and pitchforks and scream for revision. It makes for good debate, but at some point - and maybe one that has already happened - it all seems a bit moot.

katie8753 said...

Leary Right on!!! Helter Skelter was definitely the motive!!! I don't know why people have tried during the years to dismiss it.

People love to stir up trouble and get something else going. People have even tried to make Vincent Bugliosi a liar. That he just made that up! HA HA.

I guess they're Charlie lovers. I don't know why. He doesn't love them....

katie8753 said...

Manson is a Sociopath. Which means he can't feel empathy for anyone. That includes anyone who likes him, or is on his side. He feels nothing.

Unlike Ted Bundy, who was a psychotic rage-filled killer, Manson is more of a passive/aggressive killer, giving the order to someone else to kill.

Manson was a short man. I know that people will argue that he was 6'10" tall, but the truth is he was only about 5'4" tall.

I know it's not the size of the dog in the fight....but he was not much to deal with in trying to fight normal sized folks.

That's why he engaged larger folks to kill for him.

katie8753 said...

Manson tried to kill Lottsapoppa. But he had a gun. And when he killed Shorty, he had a lot of other bigger men to help him. He could not have killed Shorty by himself.

He's a pathetic loser. And he always will be.

katie8753 said...

And when Manson cut Gary Hinman's face, Gary was surrounded by several of Manson's family members, Bobby, Mary, Susan & Bruce. Manson would never have had the courage to cut Gary's face by himself. Poor Gary was surrounded by people who meant him harm. People he thought he could trust. People he had helped, including Charlie.

But this is how Charlie and the others repaid him for all his kindness. Just because he wouldn't give them $5000, which he didn't have, because he spent it on a trip to Japan.

If he had $5000 he probably wouldn't have given it to them anyway. Why should he? Manson was demanding that he join the family and give them all his money. He didn't want to. He had his own place. Why would he go live in that hideous rat-clap nasty assed Spahn Ranch debacle? He had his own place.

katie8753 said...

$5000 was a lot of money in 1969. It's more like $15,000 now. A LOT of money.

Can you imagine giving that much money to some kind of hippy cult leader because he demanded that you join the family? I sure as hell wouldn't.

katie8753 said...

Bottom line is, Charles Manson probably would never have killed anyone unless he had some big guys behind his back. In other words, if he hadn't talked bigger guys into killing folks, he probably would have been sitting back snarling and cracking his knuckles, because he wouldn't have had the balls to kill anyone.

Manson is the reason for killing because Manson talked others into killing. And that's a fact!!! Any questions?

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I agree with Sunset and Tom when it comes to drugs.

As Sunset previously stated, drugs play a key role in many murder situations... and undoubtedly, TLB is one such case.

Drugs alter a person's perceptions, effect their decision-making skills, lower their inhibitions, etc.

These kids were "fucked-up" in plain English... and when people are "fucked-up" long-term, they become more easily manipulated and predisposed to irrational acts.

All one has to do, is watch the footage of Bruce Davis the day he turned himself in.
He was completely blasted.
He was a bumbling, snickering idiot, who could barely string two words together.
He looked like an ass.

Heck...
Leslie Van Houten's lawyer (in her 1969 interview tape) described her as crazy "like something out of science fiction".

There's no two ways around it.
Drugs had a heavy hand in the final outcome.

If you completely remove drugs from this situation, it's safe to say, that these murders may never have happened.

For starters, without drugs, Manson's "manipulation tactics" would have been much less effective. (i.e., his bullshit stories would probably have fallen on deaf ears).

And secondly, without drugs, it's unlikely these suburban kids would have devolved into people capable of committing such heinous acts.

Bottom line:
These murders were the end result of a downward spiral... and that "downward spiral" was fueled and facilitated by long-term drug use.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

For what it's worth, I think Leslie and Pat believed the "HS" story.

As for Susan, it's debatable.
Maybe she did... maybe she didn't.
By the end, I think Susan Atkins was completely crackers and anxious to kill for any (or no) reason at all.
Quite frankly, I don't think that crazy bitch really needed a reason to kill. (which is more or less Tom's point).

As for Tex Watson... I'd say it's unlikely that he really believed the HS story.
(Bear in mind, that if Tex really believed the HS story, it rules-out some of the other motive theories by default... i.e., "drug burn" comes to mind)

I don't think Manson believed in "HS" for a second.
That concept is laughable.
Manson simply stumbled upon a fictitious story (i.e., "HS"), and realized somewhere along the line, that he could get a lot of "mileage" out of it (as a manipulation tool).

Leslie explains in her interview with Attorney Marvin Part (1969), that each member believed in different degrees.
(See below)

------------------------------------------------------

MR. PART: Now, you say that you all used to sit around Gresham and the desert and talk about this philosophy of going down to the center of the earth.
Could you name some of the people that used to talk about it?


MISS VAN HOUTEN: Gypsy and Brenda and myself and Katie and Charles and Tex and Clem and Snake and Rachel.

There was — we’re the ones that usually talked about it the most. Sadie did sometimes; but I don’t know if she actually believed it or not.

But all the rest of us, we really believed it.


---------------------------------------------------

That's concludes my two cents on the topic.

starship said...

Very thoughtful post, Grim Traveler, thanks!

Good point about people willing to die for what they believe in. In one of the other blogs they mentioned a "six degrees of separation" sort of thing, which really does exist. I grew up to be mild mannered me. But a boy from my town and my church, where we both served as altar boys in the 60s and early 70s, played pop warner football and lived similar middle class lives, he grew up only to die in the Branch Davidian fire in Waco.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

My comments here, were primarily a response to the other posts in this section.

For the first time, I got a chance to really read Grim's thread thoroughly, without rushing or distraction.

Jeez. That's some well-written stuff.

Grim will probably forget more about the various religions, than most people will ever know.

He has a unique way of tying information from several sources into one thought.
He has a gift of seeing "the big picture".

Good job Grim.

katie8753 said...

I really don't know how anyone can say Charlie is innocent. The proof is in the pudding. He was at Hinman's cutting his face, he drove the killers to the LaBiancas and he was at Shorty's murder.

The facts don't lie! Manson is guilty of murder. I think these young kids like to get involved in this case and say that Manson was railroaded, which he wasn't. He got a fair trial and he's right where he belongs.

grimtraveller said...

Josh Bratt said...

"Was CM around enough to indoctrinate these people? They paint him as this dominating presence who ruled over his people but he was gone quite a bit, including the week or so leading up to the end of their fun at Spahn"


A few years back, when one of my friends asked my older son {then about 9 or 10} a question and got their reply, she laughed and said "you can tell he's your child !" What she meant was that because of the way I tend to examine things, she could see that he was doing a similar thing, looking at things as part of a bigger picture. It's not unique to me, I think it's a very human trait. People pick stuff up from the environment around them, sometimes very consciously, sometimes not so obviously.
With Charlie, the thing to remember is that from when he first got together with Mary Brunner {and shortly after joined by Squeaky, Pat & Susan} right up to the arrests at Barker, was a period of over two years. That's a long time and a lot to go through together. When you're together in a bus, at a house, at a ranch, that kind of close quarters living fosters bonds. Even people that don't necessarily like each other much still get bonded. And the more forceful personalities rub off on the group in a much stronger way. After a while, it's not even necessary for the dominant person[s] to be around 24/7.
Think of a parent who goes off for a few days on business or off to war or whatever. The household doesn't inevitably fall apart right away, if at all. The kids in that household know the way they're expected to go.

grimtraveller said...

katie8753 said...

"I do think that they regarded Manson as 'Jesus' or 'God'"


Charles Watson in his first book stated:

"Like some mystic, so filled with the love of God that nothing is too great to ask, I was filled with Charlie. He was God to me. A few days before, I'd gone to a pay phone in Olancha¬-one of the scruffy towns on the highway from Los Angeles¬¬to make a long -distance call to my parents in Texas.
"You've always been wanting me to be religious," I had told my mother. "Well, I've met that Jesus you preach about all the time. I've met him and he's here right now with me in the desert." Charlie was Jesus. He was my messiah, my savior, my soul. It had been true then; it was even more true now. He could ask anything, even my life, and it was his."
Linda Kasabian says that it was the night at Cielo that she stopped thinking that Charlie was Christ and she'd only been part of the family since July 4th which means that she was convinced pretty quickly !


katie8753 said...

"I lived the 60's and I don't remember all of that tumult but it's probably due to where I was raised. I'm sure it was a lot more prevalent in CA and other big cities than where I was raised"


That's a good point. I think it's fair to say that most people weren't really touched by the 60s in the way you'd think, given the way it has been written about. The late Ian MacDonald in his book "Revolution in the head", when writing about the Beatle song 'Penny Lane' starts the piece by saying "Anyone unlucky enough not to have been aged between 14 and 30 during 1966~7 will never know the excitement of those years in popular culture. A sunny optimism permeated everything and possibilities seemed limitless. Bestriding a British scene that embraced music, poetry, fashion & film and in which English football had recently beaten the world, The Beatles were at their peak and looked up to in awe as arbiters of a positive new age in which the dead customs of the the older generation would be refreshed and remade through the creative energy of the classless young."
For "1966~7" read "the sixties." It's interesting that he focuses on a particular age group. I think that it's accepted that there was a parallel thing happening in the USA.
In reality, not everyone was up in arms about war or was experimenting with drugs and sex out of marriage. There were all kinds of things happening in ordinary peoples' lives that are barely remembered now. Few people remember the Nigeria/Biafra conflict or what happened to Czechoslovakia in '68 when the Russians moved to quell the 'Prague spring.' Adults went to work and jobs were fairly plentiful. Kids went to whichever schools they were allocated. I remember my sister telling me once that the 60s passed my Mum & Dad by because as a Black couple in Birmingham up against the British racism and class discrimination of the day while trying to raise three kids {my little brother was born in '69} they had more important things to be worrying about than whether Mick Jagger should be allowed to smoke dope !
People lived life, life went on. Which is not to say that there weren't changes. There obviously were. But I think more is ascribed to those times than perhaps was there. Or perhaps more accurately, to more people than were actually affected.

grimtraveller said...

Josh Bratt said...

"They paint him as this dominating presence who ruled over his people"


Pat Krenwinkel said something interesting in one of her parole hearings. She said that she {which can be loosely translated as 'they'} observed Charlie in action and despite the fact that he'd been incarcerated so long and was deemed by society to be a failure, basically, he had this confident way of going about life and this made him all the more believable. She observed how, despite not working, he always seemed to provide and was able to get things. He got a piano out of Dean Moorehouse after Dean had picked him up hitch hiking and he traded in the piano for a VW camper which later was part traded for a school bus for greater numbers to travel in once they had outgrown the VW. They roamed all over the country. This increased their confidence in him because he always came through no matter where they were.

Haight~Ashbury was the Mecca of the Hippy happening; runaways from all over the USA flocked there, artists and writers had been there a while, the new psychedelic rock musicians were locating in and around there and even one of the most famous artists ever, John Lennon, when looking back on that summer of love said "George [Harrison] went over in the end. I was all for going and living in the Haight. In my head I thought 'acid is it and let's go, I'll go there. I was going to go there......I thought I'll go there and we'll live there and I'll make music and live like that." It was making great waves in the American media. It really was like Mecca to a Muslim.....yet Charlie said that he could forsee it's decline and split. The interesting thing is that Haight~Ashbury did decline and became the hell of the Hippy dream as crime and hard drugs set in. That kind of thing was impressive to these early family members who, not only saw Charlie coping with all that he met on the outside, but saw his social predictions coming true. Soon these predictions took on the status of 'prophecy.'
True, it's but one element in a combination, but it was one heck of an impressive element and goes a long way towards explaining how some of these 'senior' members, or maybe that should be longstanding members, were instrumental in Charlie being able to keep more and more under his sway, even when being arrested or not in their presence, as the 'Witches of Mendocino' episode demonstrates.

TomG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Bratt said...

I'm being quoted!!!
People are responsible for their own actions..... ;)

katie8753 said...

Josh, you don't like being quoted????

grimtraveller said...

Josh Bratt said...

"I'm being quoted!!!"


Well, yeah. You raised an interesting point that the quote encapsulated. So much so, I had to use it twice.

grimtraveller said...

Kimchi said...

"I'm still of the belief that it happened (Cielo Drive) to get a brother out of jail... I just can't waiver from that...still on the fence about Waverly... a story yet to be told I'm afraid..."


In the last couple of weeks, I've discovered something I wasn't aware of before. When Aaron Stovitz interviewed Harold True in January 1970 {can be found here:http://www.cielodrive.com/updates/coming-november-26-27-audio-archives-interview-of-harold-true-with-aaron-stovitz/}, True told him that Charlie had asked him if he could move into the house True lived in, which, as we all know was next door to the LaBiancas'. True had left or was leaving and says to Charlie that he'll have to ask his housemates if he can move in as it's not True's decision so Charlie asks them and they say no, you can't. This is around Sept/Oct '68.
So Manson had wanted to move in next door to the LaBianca house less than a year before the murders.
Then in 2011, Charlie does an interview with Vanity Fair {can be found:http://www.mansondirect.com/spain%20interview.html} and in it, he says these words in answer to a question about why he drove to the LaBiancas that night;"I didn’t go to LaBianca’s house. I went to Harold True’s house, which is next door. And LaBianca’s house was always an empty house. We used to use it to go there to have sex because nobody lived there. It was an empty house for a long time. And when we went there, there was a dog over there, and we went to see if Herald True was over there and there was somebody living there. They had just rented the house to somebody. I didn’t even know that was there. Tex was with me, and Tex stayed there, and I went on somewhere else. And he did whatever he did. "

That's the first time I've ever been aware that Charles Manson had been in the LaBianca house prior to that night. He states that he'd been in it more than once {"we used to use it"} and all this during '68 because that's when he met Harold True and also the year True left Waverley.

katie8753 said...

Hi Grim. Regarding Harold True, listen to this if you haven't already:

http://www.lsb3.com/search/label/Harold%20True

Manson says a lot of things. Most of which are not true. He knew True didn't live there in August of 1969. But the Labiancas did. They moved there in around October of 1968.

He may have gone to True's house, but then he went to the LaBianca's house.

And as far as "copy cat killings" I don't get that at all.

Copy cat of Hinman? No phone line cutting at Hinman, no ropes at Hinman, no gunshot wounds at Hinman, no phone line cutting at Waverly, no gun shots at Waverly.

The only thing these three murders had in common was dead folks, knife wounds and writing on the wall. And at Cielo, only one word: Pig.

Manson wanted revenge at Cielo Drive and at Waverly Drive, against True. But True wasn't there, so he went next door.

Manson railed against Tex for Cielo Drive, saying it was "too messy". That he would show them how to do it.

Manson told Diane Sawyer in 1994 that you can't kill people that are in fear. Their spirits go haywire. So he had to show them how to do it. Manson is such a coward. He drove them to Waverly Drive, but didn't have the guts to do it himself, and ushered in his killing machine, Tex and the girls, then he split.

Manson is worse than a serial killer. He's a killer who used young people that he had voo-dooed up and knew they would complete the transaction, when in fact, he was too chicken shit to complete.

Then he sits around and whines that he didn't get a fair trial.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie said:
"Manson was a short man. I know that people will argue that he was 6'10" tall, but the truth is he was only about 5'4" tall.

I know it's not the size of the dog in the fight....but he was not much to deal with in trying to fight normal sized folks.

That's why he engaged larger folks to kill for him."



Katie said:
"Manson tried to kill Lottsapoppa. But he had a gun. And when he killed Shorty, he had a lot of other bigger men to help him. He could not have killed Shorty by himself."


Katie said:
"Manson would never have had the courage to cut Gary's face by himself.

Bottom line is, Charles Manson probably would never have killed anyone unless he had some big guys behind his back. In other words, if he hadn't talked bigger guys into killing folks, he probably would have been sitting back snarling and cracking his knuckles, because he wouldn't have had the balls to kill anyone."



Katie said:
"Manson is worse than a serial killer. He's a killer who used young people that he had voo-dooed up and knew they would complete the transaction, when in fact, he was too chicken shit to complete."

=========================================================

Katie's comments seem to reflect a recurring theme.

But with all due respect, I have to disagree.

Sure, Manson was a very short man, but I don't believe for a moment, that Manson was physically incapable of murdering another human being (with a weapon) due to his height.

Martial artists have a saying:
"Guns and knives are the great equalizers".

With a weapon in hand, almost anyone is physically capable of killing another human being... and Charles Manson is certainly no exception.

This idea that Manson was simply "too short to murder another person" without the help of others, is quite simply a crock of shit.

How tall do you have to be, to pull a gun on an unsuspecting victim and kill them?
There were plenty of guns at the ranch.

================================================================

As for being "chicken shit", I don't see that point either.

I really don't think Charles Manson would have any qualms about watching another person die at his hands.

I think he could kill another man in a second, and he wouldn't lose any sleep that night.

I'm sure he had the "stomach" for it.

====================================================

This is what I DO think:

Manson's choices were all about avoiding liability.

Charles Manson was not a lawyer.
And not being a lawyer, he had convinced himself, that if he never physically killed another person with is own hands, he could never be prosecuted for murder.
And THAT Katie, is the cruxt of his maneuvering.

His choices had nothing to do, with being physically incapable of killing (due to his height).

His choices had nothing to do, with not having the stomach to kill another man (ie, being "chicken shit").

His choices had EVERYTHING to do, with avoiding personal liability.

Quite simply, he employed other people to kill for him, because he thought he could avoid jail that way.

Luckily for society, Charles Manson didn't know the law, as well as he thought he did.

If by being "chicken shit", you mean that Manson did not want to be convicted of murder, then I agree with you.
But short of that, I think your opinion is complete BS.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Charles Manson was being released from prison, and he asked the authorities to let him stay.

The man has survived an entire lifetime behind bars!

How much of a "Pussy" could he possibly be???

You can't be a "pussy" and survive in prison for an entire lifetime.
I don't buy it.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie doesn't like Charles Manson... and I get that.

But talking "smack" (that doesn't hold water), is stupid and pointless.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Sunset...

You've told us before, that you served time in prison.

How many "pussies" do YOU know, that could serve an entire lifetime behind bars with a smile?

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Charles Manson is a lot of things, but I don't think he's a "pussy".

Fuck.
I wouldn't want to serve two fucking days behind bars.

And that's the Gods-Honest truth.

katie8753 said...

Lynyrd said: As for being "chicken shit", I don't see that point either.

I really don't think Charles Manson would have any qualms about watching another person die at his hands.

I think he could kill another man in a second, and he wouldn't lose any sleep that night.

I'm sure he had the "stomach" for it.


Then why was he so scared and nervous when he thought he killed Lottsapoppa? If Manson was so tough, why didn't he just go to Cielo & Waverly by himself and gun everyone down? You say it was to stay out of jail, I say it's because he didn't have the guts.

If Manson was so tough, why did he go hide in the desert? If he was so tough, why was he hiding in the bathroom when they found him, instead of just walking out like the others?

The man has survived an entire lifetime behind bars!

How much of a "Pussy" could he possibly be???

You can't be a "pussy" and survive in prison for an entire lifetime.
I don't buy it.


I'm sure prison is no picnic, but I don't think that everyone in prison is a big brave badass. Some of them are probably just smart enough to stay out of harm's way.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Katie.

I'm on the road today, but I'll answer your questions either tonight or tomorrow. (Probably tomorrow) .

katie8753 said...

OK.

leary7 said...

Actually, I mis-spoke in earlier post when I said I thought it helpful to having done a fair amount of LSD in order to understand Helter Skelter. What I meant to say was it would be helpful having done a fair amount of LSD in order to understand THE UNDERSTANDING of Helter Skelter.
I honestly believe a fair amount of the anti-HS crowd dismisses HS because they personally cannot fathom the understanding of it or anyone in their right mind thinking it possible. But if TLB is a story of anything - it is a story of people not in their right minds. I went through my acid stage not when TLB took place but a few years later when the book Helter Skelter came out and it all made sense to me - even the bottomless pit nonsense. When one radically alters the parameters of their reality with chemicals you would be blown away at what becomes believable.

The real question that we should be discussing regarding Helter Skelter is this...

IS IT STILL ON THE TABLE?

Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte...is it possible we all could be blogging in 2019 on the 50th anniversary of TLB with maybe five thousand or so dead in race riots and talking about the recently deceased Charlie Manson as a prophet.
It's not science fiction.

grimtraveller said...

leary7 said...

"What I meant to say was it would be helpful having done a fair amount of LSD in order to understand THE UNDERSTANDING of Helter Skelter.
I honestly believe a fair amount of the anti-HS crowd dismisses HS because they personally cannot fathom the understanding of it or anyone in their right mind thinking it possible. But if TLB is a story of anything - it is a story of people not in their right minds. I went through my acid stage not when TLB took place but a few years later when the book Helter Skelter came out and it all made sense to me - even the bottomless pit nonsense. When one radically alters the parameters of their reality with chemicals you would be blown away at what becomes believable."


This is partly the underpinning of my thinking when thinking about and writing the thread. I don't want to say too much as parts 2 & 3 are to come but two really crucial things that Leary7 touches on are

"a fair amount of the anti-HS crowd dismisses HS because they personally cannot fathom the understanding of it or anyone in their right mind thinking it possible"
and
"When one radically alters the parameters of their reality with chemicals you would be blown away at what becomes believable."


I think psychedelic drugs were one of the main factors in the philosophy that shaped the crimes, but more of that in pt 2. But I wanted to get across the importance of belief as well and that's why it was important to show some of the things people on this planet {myself included} past and current actually believe. I only noted a few things, pertaining to Rastas, Black Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Catholics, Evangelical Christians etc and I hope it wasn't passed under the radar that none of these things {except for the Rasta lifestyle} are connected with drugs at all. Yet we have people that won't allow their dying children to have a blood transfusion that could save them, cult followers committing suicide, people blowing up abortion clinics, people blowing themselves up, not to mention all the things that ordinary, everyday people believe.
Without drugs.
Add drugs to that mix and whooooooosh !

Personally, I can see how and why HS was not only believable, but enactable in the minds of some. To certain mindsets, it really does make sense.

grimtraveller said...

katie8753 said...

"Then why was he so scared and nervous when he thought he killed Lottsapoppa?"


Because, for better or for worse, if you've never killed a person and you hadn't gone to the apartment actually intending to kill and you'd killed {or thought you had} and in front of witnesses too, you might be nervous.
It's still the ultimate violation when you've not done it.

grimtraveller said...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

"I wouldn't want to serve two fucking days behind bars"


I spent an afternoon in a stinking, damp, uncomfortable police cell back in the summer of '83. I endured being strip searched and having an officer prise open my buttkus to make sure I wasn't carrying any contraband. Because I had my mate's name written on a piece of paper in my pocket, something I'd done over a year before and had totally forgot about, and he had exactly the same name and surname as one of the arresting officers {it was a really uncommon name}, they thought maybe I was up to no good in relation to this copper.
That afternoon was more than enough for me. When people came my way with anything remotely criminal, I went the opposite way ! I don't think I'm a puss but I couldn't do jail.
I think I'd be bored more than anything but I'd also be scared, at least initially.

grimtraveller said...

katie8753 said...

"Regarding Harold True, listen to this if you haven't already:

http://www.lsb3.com/search/label/Harold%20True"


That was a very interesting listen, particularly as it was two decades after the murders. And just like he does in his January 1970 interview with Aaron Stovitz, he makes mention of the fact that Charlie had, back in '68, wanted to move into the house next door to the LaBiancas, ie, the True house.
So he was familiar with both the houses that the murders happened in. And he had reasons not to be exactly enamoured with either.
I wonder why Vincent Bugliosi makes no mention at all of Manson wanting to live next door to the LaBianca house. Obviously it wasn't necessary but I would have thought it was a pretty significant piece of information.

Josh Bratt said...

Everyone knows a lot of things that they couldn't possibly know. If you've never been locked up, you can't possibly understand it (one night doesn't really count). If you've never been involved in crimes (murder, robbery, etc) how could you know how it feels? How can Katie possibly know all the things she seems to know......
it's called assumptions.... :)
If you don't know, you don't know and it comes across to the reader. Speculation is fun but don't pass assumption as fact. :)
Good Day

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I've known Katie for many years, and her debate style is to simply swamp her opponent with a slew of exhaustive questions aimed at diversion.

When her opponent finally tires of answering her questions, she assumes that she has "won".
When in fact, the "dance" really amounts to nothing more, than her opponent repeating themselves ad nauseam.

I've already made my point(s) quite handily.
All I can really do now, is simply repeat myself.

But, I've got like 5 free minutes, so here goes...

Katie asked:
Then why was he so scared and nervous when he thought he killed Lottsapoppa?

When you shoot another criminal in the chest, you expect retaliation.
I'm sure Manson fully expected Lotsapoppa and his cronies to "respond" with some type of "retribution".
Being prepared for "payback" does not necessarily make someone a pussy. It makes them smart... and realistic.

The thing is Katie...
Fear is a somewhat abstract concept.
How can you know for sure, how much fear is in another person's heart?

The fact is... you're speculating.
The extent to which Manson was "scared and nervous", is difficult to prove in objective terms.

If Manson really had THAT much fear in his heart, he would NEVER have confronted Lotsapoppa in the first place.


Katie asked
If Manson was so tough, why didn't he just go to Cielo & Waverly by himself and gun everyone down? You say it was to stay out of jail, I say it's because he didn't have the guts.

As I said earlier, Manson's maneuvering was based upon avoiding liability.


Katie asked:
If Manson was so tough, why did he go hide in the desert? If he was so tough, why was he hiding in the bathroom when they found him, instead of just walking out like the others?

Regarding the desert "haunts":
Disconnecting one's followers from society, is a classic move that many cult leaders employ.
The further a cult leader can keep his followers from mainstream society, the easier they are to manipulate.

As for the bathroom episode:
Again, Manson was attempting to escape liability.
Plain and simple, he didn't want to be arrested.
Does that make him "scared" or "cunning"?
It's up for debate.

Katie asked:
I'm sure prison is no picnic, but I don't think that everyone in prison is a big brave badass. Some of them are probably just smart enough to stay out of harm's way.

I never described Manson as a badass.
There's a long way between "badass" and "pussy" though... and several increments in between.

=============================================

Katie,

You describe Manson as a wimp, pussy, etc., etc, constantly, and I just don't see any proof.

Manson was a thief... a pimp... a drug user... a whole lot of undesirable things.
I just don't see any hard proof, that he was a "pussy" beyond your recurring opinion.

That's all I've got...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Manson had children that he never took care of... "biological children" that is...

And from that standpoint, I tend to agree with Katie.
I would generally look upon such a man, as a "pussy".

Heck...
It's not very noble or "manly" to father children biologically, and then, completely abandon them.

I'll give Katie that one.

BUT...
Does that make a man a "deadbeat" or a "pussy"? Or both?

You have to be very careful with labels.

katie8753 said...

The fact that Manson got other people to do his dirty work, to me, makes him less than a man. I'm not sure what label is appropriate for someone like that.

The fact that he even gathered those young kids up is, to me, pathetic. But then again, they had freedom of choice, so that's not ALL his fault, but it was his doing.

When I was a kid we had a boy on the block that was a bully. He was always threatening other kids to do things or he would retaliate. He would say "go beat up that girl or I'll beat you up". Or "go catch that frog and cut his stomach open, or I'll cut yours open".

I never actually witnessed him beating anyone up, but I guess the threat was perceived as real, because kids would do what he said. I remember thinking that kid was a coward because he was getting other people to cause harm for him.

Whether Manson was getting other people to do his dirty work because he was too scared to, or because he was just trying to stay one step ahead of the law, I really don't know. I just know he reminds me of that bully kid from years ago.

grimtraveller said...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

"Manson had children that he never took care of... 'biological children' that is..."


Even that needs to be put into some kind of context though. He was in jail when his first child was born {the one that committed suicide} and his wife disappeared with that child, a similar thing happened with his second child and he was around Pooh when he was arrested for the last time. The kids that turned up as adults and said "you're my Dad !" were already grown and he obviously didn't know about them, that is, providing he was their Dad. As an adult he spent so little time on the outside that he would have been a derelict father even if they had been around !

katie8753 said...

Hi Grim.

As a mother, I have to say that Charlie never really took a fatherly role. It doesn't matter if he's in prison, on the outside, or just trying to start a cult. It doesn't take 5 minutes to make a call to your child or send a letter.

You Grim, as a family man, and I know you are, because you speak lovingly of your children, know as much as any man with children. He could have contacted Pooh or any other children he had, but he didn't. He knew who his children were thoughout the years, but didn't try to contact them.

Maybe he was embarrassed, I don't know.

You can make phone calls or write letters in prison. We know that for a fact.

I think that Manson was very derelict about his children, especially with the knowledge that he talked about children a lot during his time with the family, "they are special", blah, blah, blah.

He didn't really put his "money where his mouth is". Children are a blessing to the world and Charlie preached that a LOT, but he didn't really put his money where his mouth is.

CarolMR said...

Thanks for a great post, Grim Traveller.

grimtraveller said...

katie8753 said...

"As a mother, I have to say that Charlie never really took a fatherly role. It doesn't matter if he's in prison, on the outside, or just trying to start a cult. It doesn't take 5 minutes to make a call to your child or send a letter"


Technically, I agree with you. I've got very strong thoughts on parenthood. In England there's been almost an epidemic over at least the last 30 years with absent Dads not caring for their kids. In the 90s the govt created an organization called the Child Support Agency {loving dubbed 'the CSA'} to basically force absconded Dads to at least pay towards children they fathered. It happened to friends of mine and it was then that one started to see that it wasn't always as cut and dried as it always appeared. Also recently, the group "Fathers for justice" have taken to all manner of daring stunts to highlight the fact that many mothers won't let them have contact with their children, even when the courts have ordered it.
But I digress !
The point with Manson's first two kids {both called Charles Manson !} is that their Mums took them away and he didn't know where they were. I'm not even sure he ever met the second one. Pooh was looked after by Mary Brunner's Mum but after about 1973, according to {I know !!} Susan Atkins in her first book, Mary wanted nothing more to do with Manson and wouldn't even let Atkins refer to him as Pooh. Besides which, the Family belief was that parents are the ones that screwed up the kids by putting their ego on them, and the practice was that anyone but the parents raised the kids.
Not defending him because such a view is anathema to me, but he has been pretty consistent when it comes to children. I'd say he replicated pretty much what he experienced.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

You mean there's more to fatherhood than tying the umbilical cord with a guitar string?

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

LOL

leary7 said...

And for all you anti-HS fanatics who still think HS is science fiction, ponder this...
There is a lunatic sitting in jail for the rest of his life. He is a pervert of the highest order, a delusional megalomaniac and pure sociopath and his name is not Charlie. It is Warren. Warren Jeffs.
And unlike Charlie who had only maybe 15-20 hardcore followers who would do his bidding, Jeffs has 10,000 in his FLDS church. And a great per centile, experts say somewhere in the eighty per centile, will most certainly follow any orders that Jeffs gives them. If he tells them all to move to Yellow Knife, Alberta, they will all be there in a week. And if he tells them in order to get into their celestial kingdom they have to off at least three black people they will do so. Seriously. I know these people, I've worked with them and spent time with them. Fanatics are not hard to find on this earth. Charlie's idol Adolph inspired several million of them.
My belief is that Helter Skelter can and will happen - NO, not the idiot bottom less pit nonsense, but the race war part. If the govt cuts food stamps and disability by a third as experts say will happen within the year, who do you think will be most affected? Rage amongst the black community is simmering just below the surface.
Wouldn't it be ironic if Manson kicked the bucket a year or so before his race war began.

grimtraveller said...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

As for Tex Watson... I'd say it's unlikely that he really believed the HS story.
(Bear in mind, that if Tex really believed the HS story, it rules-out some of the other motive theories by default... i.e., "drug burn" comes to mind)



Though not a popular view to take, I've long felt that Tex did believe in HS. Firstly in his two books, 28 years apart, he states he did. Leslie in her interview with Marvin Part, nine years before his first book, earmarks him as one of the ones that used to sit around talking about it with them. Recently, CieloDrive.com has featured more testimony from the Charles Watson trial and the testimony of one of Watson's old friends, David Neale, is particularly interesting. He says he ran into Watson in June'69 while he was on leave from the army and Watson spoke of HS and the revolution that he believed was about to happen any moment:

Q: What did Charles tell you, Charles Watson, in substance?

A: Well, he asked me to come to the ranch and to live and he explained Charles Manson's philosophy, which was now his, and he explained helter skelter and he told me that there was going to be a revolution in the country.

He didn't say — he did say that Charles Manson well, the thing that kept throwing me was he kept referring to Charles Manson, the girls, and himself as one. They were all the same.

Q: Go on. Anything else you can remember?

A: I remember him telling me of helter skelter, of the revolution, and that it would be happening in this country within a matter of months.

Q: What did you say to him, if anything?

A: Well, for starters no about going to the ranch and living with the people. There really wasn't much reasoning. I didn't really know him. He was a completely different person.
Q: David, you say that Mr. Watson told you in June of '69 that helter skelter, the revolution, would be happening in a couple of months.

Did he tell you how it was going to start?

A: No he didn't; he didn't mention it.

Q: What did he say about helter skelter, about the revolution?

A: He just mentioned that through acid and through a level of understanding that Charles Manson was on, and he was also on, they had listened to enough music that the Beatles were putting out at this time and he -- being Charles Manson had decided that helter skelter was what was going to happen.

Q: Did Tex say that he thought that this was what was going to happen?

A: Well, he was talking almost as if he were -- when I would ask him about Charles Manson or about the girls he would say, "We are the same, so if you ask me about one of them you are asking me about me."


grimtraveller said...

Even after the murders, he was still talking about it. At his trial, Jeanne Mallet testified about the times she saw him in Texas in November '69, literally up to the day he was arrested:

Q: Did he talk about black people in California?

A: Yes. He said something to the effect that there were a lot of black men going with white now and he spoke of the black-white revolution that was going to take place.

Q: Spoke about a black-white war?

A: Yes.

Q: Talked to you about a pit in the desert?

A: Yes, he told me all about that.

Q: And helter skelter?

A: He didn't explain.

Q: Did he mention the words "helter skelter" to you?

A: He said it some but it was never mentioned in any of his ideas or anything.

Q: Didn't he seem a little more serious than he had previously?

A: Yes. I would say he had a lot of new ideas. People change, you know. I hadn't seen him for two years.

Q: Did he seem to be sort of preoccupied with those new ideas?

A: No sir.

Q: Didn't he spend a great deal of time talking about his California experiences?

A: Yes.

Q: He talked about this hole in the ground, the bottomless pit, so to speak?

A: Yes.

Q: And this revolution that you have told us about?

A: Yes.

Q: As a matter of fact, he repeated that a number of times, didn't he?

A: No--mainly just on one day he was explaining the whole thing to me.


I think there's a good chance that he really did believe in it. Whether or not he specifically had it in mind during the murders is another matter altogether but whether he did or not, it was part of the air they breathed at Spahn and much of what they did was in furtherance of their general mindset, part of which, by then, was seeing the start of HS, allied to their moving to the desert.

grimtraveller said...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I don't think Manson believed in "HS" for a second.
That concept is laughable.
Manson simply stumbled upon a fictitious story (i.e., "HS"), and realized somewhere along the line, that he could get a lot of "mileage" out of it (as a manipulation tool)


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I do believe Charlie believed it. That's primarily why I think that since coming down to earth, he's embarrassed by it.
The concept may be eclectic, cobbled together from a variety of sources that have somehow fused in the acid forefront of the mind.
The concept may indeed be laughable. But it's no more laughable than a scenario made up of a virgin birth, God as your Dad, a crucifixion to pay for the wrongdoings of the entire human race, a resurrection, living through your followers, showing the route to a real relationship with God, returning one day to judge those that have accepted the offer and those that haven't.....It's no more laughable than most religious and philosophical ideas that are engaged in by a significantly large segment of the earth's population.
I don't doubt that he manipulated minds by it. But I wouldn't be surprised if most real manipulation comes through mindsets of belief. Bin Laden, Stalin, Hitler, Amin, Castro, Pol Pot, G.W. Bush, Milosovitch, Koresh, Ceaușescu and goodness knows how many others that manipulated and persuaded did so from a position of believing in what they were seeking to achieve or maintain.
HS sounds great when you've articulated it in your own acid enhanced mind and you've articulated it to others who get it and trust in you and want to please you and respond to your tests and philosophy and you're all fairly cool with it and tripping.
It's a different matter altogether when you're in jail with rapists, robbers, muggers, murderers, con men, pimps, fraudsters, hit men, junkies and the like, who aren't interested in roaming the mind and the universe, where surviving each day in a racially charged hotbed of potential hell is the main concern and you'll be laughed out of town by heavies who have their eye on that orifice between your bumcheeks.