Friday, October 16, 2015

Was Helter Skelter “unreasonable”? Part 2: LSD/Psychedelics

To the acid enhanced mind, the philosophy and resulting “prophecies” of Helter Skelter do not necessarily appear nonsensical or even untrue. While many laugh at the apparent folly of living in underground cities, having shrunk in size to get into the hole in the desert, it is frequently overlooked how one of the effects of LSD is the distortion of size & space. Charlie’s mate, ‘Phil’ Phillips recalls during his first acid trip “I wanted to get out of the bus and I looked out the window and the bus was about 10,000 feet up in the air and all I could see down there was the earth. So I changed my mind, I said ‘I don’t wanna get out of the bus.’

John Lennon on being in George Harrison’s bungalow during his first trip; “And then George’s house seemed to be, you know, just like a big seemed to float above his wall which was 18 foot, and I was driving it.”

Without a doubt, the use of psychedelic drugs like LSD, peyote, psilocybin and mescaline played a major role in opening up new and unusual doors for various family members to pass through, both before and during their time with Charlie. Writer Steve Turner in his book “Hungry for Heaven {Rock and roll and the search for redemption}” observes of LSD, “this was the Damascus Road tablet. People started out on trips as hard nosed materialists after a bit of fun and emerged with their egos ripped & mauled, unsure at first whether they’d seen God or were God. Whatever they’d been through, the world appeared many, such experiences were devastating. There was nothing in their background or education by which to interpret it. Literally overnight all their values & assumptions were challenged.”

It’s worth looking at some of the things said by or about some of the people of the period in relation to psychedelics, in particular LSD, if only to get some sense of the internal changes that young Westerners, contemporaries of the family, were experiencing.

George Harrison {The Beatles}: “It’s shattering because it’s as though someone suddenly wipes away all you were taught or brought up to believe as a child and says ‘that’s not it.’ You’ve gone so far, your thoughts have become so lofty and there’s no way of getting back.” 

For Timothy Leary, according to author Jay Stevens, his first trip “was the most shattering experience of his life.” Ralph Metzner said of Leary the following day, that he had the “blank look of someone who is seeing too much” and he kept blabbing on about the “plastic doll world & the total death of the self.” Stevens describes Leary as having “soared off the map” and Leary himself stated “from the date of this session, it was inevitable that we would leave Harvard, that we would leave American society.”

John Lennon {the Beatles} said that after his first trip “I was pretty stunned for a month or two.”

Jerry Garcia {the Grateful dead}: “It was the truth so you know it absolutely. You don’t have to wonder whether it is, it’s not in the form of an idea. It’s in the form of a complete freed me because I suddenly realised that my little attempt at having a straight life was really a fiction.”

Eric Clapton {Cream, Yardbirds}: “Part of the trap is that they open the doors to unreleased channels or rooms you hadn’t explored before or been allowed to open. It shook all your foundations. After the first couple of times you realised that everything you’d been using as guidelines up to that point was actually pretty flexible if you happened to question it, which acid obviously did”

Brian Wilson {Beach boys}: “Glen Campbell exclaimed ‘whew Brian ! What were you smoking when you wrote that [Good vibrations] ?’ A better question would’ve been ‘what was I dropping ?’”

Writer and former actress Thelma Moss says she became convinced of the unconscious because of LSD. During one trip she became a legless beggar in a desert sandstorm and heard a voice deep within her whispering “I died here...” She later said that “truth & lies & absurdity & grandeur were all mixed together in the psychedelic experience.” On another trip, she came to an abyss: “as I plummeted down, I felt myself growing smaller & smaller...I was becoming a child, a baby. I was a baby. I was not remembering being a baby. I was literally a baby. The conscious part of me realized I was experiencing the phenomena of age regression, familiar in hypnosis. But...though I had become a baby, I remained at the same time a grown woman lying on a couch. This was a double state of being.” A rather eye opening statement of hers: “I travelled deep into the buried regions of the mind. I discovered that in addition to being, consciously, a loving mother and respectable citizen, I was, unconsciously, a murderess, a pervert, a cannibal, a sadist and a masochist.”

Catherine Share: “LSD... completely destroyed my mind and made me like a little child for many years.”

Keith Richards {Rolling Stones}: “There’s not much you can really say about acid except God, what a trip ! Stepping off into this area was very uncertain, uncharted...the most amazing thing that I can remember on acid is watching birds fly – birds that kept flying in front of my face that weren’t actually there. I could almost see every wing movement. It was slowed down to the point where I could even say ‘I could do that !’ That’s why I understand the odd person jumping out of a window, because the whole notion of how it’s done is suddenly clear.” He adds, “it was the unknown with acid {you can’t really control it}. You didn’t know if you’d come back or not.”

Susan Atkins: “You’d have to understand what acid does to the mind in order to understand how a person can get confused behind drugs. And that would take a thesis, writing a book on what LSD can do to the mind.....I used to think that you came down off an acid trip after 12 hours; that’s not true. Every time you take LSD you [inaudible] expand, the moral fibre of your character which is put in you or when you grow up – everybody grows up with different morals according to their culture- when you take acid, your mind expands beyond these moral characteristics and your concepts of right & wrong so you step out beyond those bounds and when you step out beyond those bounds the imagination begins to take over and the imagination can be a very deceitful thing, it’s a fantasy. When you take acid, you go out beyond that and you think you’re coming back to where you started from originally. You don’t.  And every time you drop acid, you get a little bit further away from reality. And I took so much acid that I was what I would term ‘spaced’ and it took me many years to, what I term now, ‘re~enter’ and that was just through not having any acid and having to deal with reality every day.”

Adelle Davis: “The most lasting value of the drug experience appears to be a number of convictions, most of them religious in nature, which are so strong that it makes not one iota of difference whether anyone agrees with them or not.”

Phil Phillips {Jail friend of Charles Manson}: “So I walked up to the front of the bus where Charlie was and Charlie was facing to the front...and then he turned around and he looked just like the Devil. And I said ‘Man, we’re in Hell’ and he says ‘Yeah, ain’t it groovy !’........I couldn’t, like, believe what was happening to me. Everything was just changing before me....I couldn’t quite grasp what was happening, so we’re back to Charlie again and I said ‘what’s wrong with me, like, what’s happening to me ?’ And he says ‘this is insanity’ and I says ‘yeah, but you know, I wanna go back.’ He says ‘no, stay over here, it’s better.’ I thought I was over like in another world....”

Jay Stevens again, on Michael Hollingshead after mixing up a batch of LSD in confectioner’s sugar: “Unthinkingly, he licked the spoon. Now, 250 millionths of a gram, which is a healthy dose of LSD is little more than a speck, so you can imagine what happened to Hollingshead after his impulsive lick. He went roaring off to ‘the Other World’ where he experienced a rare but not unknown problem: he couldn’t come back completely. It was as though he was lost midway between this world and the other one, a little like a spirit who ends up in limbo because of improper burial.”

Charles Watson: “All your life you had been taught a certain way to think, a certain set of moral values, a certain perspective on the world, how it worked, what was real. Most of these things you never questioned; it never occurred to you that they were a framework in your head which you used to understand and organize the constant sensory perceptions and information and experience that were being poured into your brain. You didn't think about this framework because it wasn't what you thought about, it was the way you thought. But acid changed all this by letting you see your familiar little mental world as separate from the sensory data it arranged in such neat, conventional packages. Acid shattered the connection between raw experience and your handy pre~programmed responses and judgments and categories. Space and time melted in your vision to take new forms; common objects could become monsters or revelations of God.” 

Tony Visconti {Record producer of David Bowie & Marc Bolan, among others} on his acid excursions: “Sometimes a feeling of sheer terror came over me when I listened to what normally seemed harmless songs. I sometimes heard nefarious messages in the lyrics that conjured Bosch like images of hell.”

Robert Hendrickson {Film maker and author}:”LSD was developed for psychiatrists to administer to their most disturbed patients so that their deepest and darkest secrets could be brought to the surface and dealt with. But it’s use has always been considered a very dangerous method of dealing with otherwise ‘unreachable’ patients. Thus LSD was the perfect tool to be used for extracting years of ‘establishment’ programming from the minds of the Family. It was their method for obtaining an ‘ego death’ state of mind.”

Pete Townshend {The Who}: “the Owsley LSD trip on the aeroplane was the most disturbing experience I had ever had....I was on the verge of really losing my mind when I floated up to the ceiling, staying inside the airframe, and watched as everything changed in scale. Karen & Pete [himself] sat below me clutching onto each other....from my new vantage point the LSD trip was over. Everything was quiet and peaceful. I could see clearly now, my eyes focused, my senses realigned, yet I was completely disembodied.” 

Paul Watkins: “If acid does anything, it dissolves filters and buffers through which perceptions are ordinarily channelled. Three-dimensional physical reality is suddenly expanded. It puts you in direct contact with the energies all around you; nothing is dead or inanimate. It magnifies and expands your awareness in all directions at once ~ a grain of sand becomes a planet, a single voice becomes a symphony. If you resist it, the slightest fear can become a nightmare.....With these filters removed, you are no longer divorced from what you perceive. Knowing this makes it easier to understand how Charlie was able to get inside people's heads; there were no barriers to obstruct him; his energies moved in and out like the tide; he was everywhere at once. When he said, ‘No sense makes sense,’ and ‘I am you and you are me,’ he was, in terms of acid consciousness, absolutely correct.”

Grace Slick {Jefferson Airplane}: “Peyote, when boiled down to a concentrate, became a vehicle for going out of our minds. Or, in a more gentle interpretation, going from one plane of reality to another and another and another.....flying off the edge of a cliff or trying to embrace a moving vehicle is not an uncommon desire for psychedelic drug participants ~ not that people become suicidal, it’s just that in such a state anything seems possible.”

Lemmy {Motorhead}: “Real acid tripping in those days wasn’t all groovy, like, peaceful shit. The first trip I took lasted 18 hours and I couldn’t really see. All I saw were visions, not what was actually around me...all the time your mind felt like you were on a rollercoaster, sometimes slow at the approach to the top of each drop then wheeee ! Your teeth would kind of sizzle and if you started laughing, it was incredibly hard to stop. Acid is a dangerous drug if you’re complacent because it will wake your ass up ! If you were a little uneasy about yourself you would either be catalyzed by it or you wouldn’t show up again – you know, they’d take your tie and shoelaces away, and your belt and they’d put you in a room with no windows and a lot of soft walls. A lot of people I know went to the basket weavers’ hotel on acid.”

John Densmore {The Doors}: “I looked down over the frayed edge of the couch at the floor between us and saw a dark pit 1000 feet deep. I was a child again, afraid of the monsters outside my crib. Helplessly I began slipping off the couch into the bottomless abyss. I started getting scared and shouted to Grant that I was falling into the void.....the whole episode took only about 2 or 3 minutes but it seemed to last forever....acid had more of a kick than the stale wafer I swallowed on my first holy communion. LSD was a direct experience with God that I felt or at least something otherworldly or mystical. A couple of days after our trip, I still felt a little high, or at least different. I knew that the drug had worn off, that I was back into more or less my previous state of mind, but the sense that there were other ways of experiencing things was a powerful new awareness that is still present to this day [1990]. A crack had appeared in the facade of reality and I had peered through. Nothing had changed, yet everything had.” 

Charles Watson again: “What I remember most was...the ability to see into the pores of my skin. I still don’t know if what I saw in my skin was real or not. I do know that as a result, I became a vegetarian....I guess I liked the psychological effects. It was a way to escape what was really going on in my mind. Walls appeared to move, colours seemed stronger & more brilliant, with unusual patterns unfolding before my eyes. Flat objects seemed to stand out in 3 dimensions. My senses seemed more acute, one merging into another; for example music appeared as colours and colours seemed to have taste. Sometimes I even lost the normal feeling of boundaries between body and space.” 

Chris Squire {Yes}: “I had a rather nasty experience with some LSD and was in a bit of a haze for a few months...I stayed in my girlfriend’s apartment for quite a few months recovering: I didn’t take acid again after that. Having seen the end of the world I thought I’d gone far enough. I had taken it so many times when it was all fun and great and somehow or other I ended up in a Fulham hospital being interviewed by the cops. I didn’t know where I was. I was just smiling at them, thinking they weren’t there.” 

Bob Dylan: “When psychedelics happened, everything became irrelevant....people were deluded into thinking they were something that they weren’t, birds, fire hydrants, whatever.”

Dave Davies {The Kinks}: “As I started to inhale I felt as if there were two of me inhaling two separate cigarettes, each of ‘me’ experiencing two different and quite distinct effects. I was suddenly transported into another dimension or, I should say, dimensions. Before me I could see the universe and all it contained and I was rushing at the speed of light into what seemed the very heart of it. At first it was a phenomenal sensation of travelling very fast when, in fact, I was virtually motionless...a world of energy opened up to me, everything throbbing with relentless life force, breathing, vibrating in every molecule. This was the most incredible experience that had ever happened to me. Explosive, completely revealing, enlightening, illuminating and exciting, but strangely sad. I would lapse into profound moments of excruciating and unbearable sadness. Then I would suddenly be lifted into mystical realms of ecstacy, where answers to the riddles of life would be answered in an almost alien, ineffable language of mind energy. During the whole experience, I sensed a being above my head who talked me through it all. He told me he was my captain. He explained so much to me and helped me out of my tangled moments of confusion. He showed me in a scintillating, almost cinematic way that all I had ever learned would now have to be unlearned.”

Mick Fleetwood {Fleetwood Mac} recalls looking at Peter Green while tripping and seeing “him dead, a skeleton without flesh. I couldn’t even look at the others !”

Andy Summers {The Police}: “The room in front of me dissolves into an egg yolk rainbow of bright plastic colours and all that once had dimension and solidity becomes liquid....I start down a tunnel of intense kaleidoscopic imagery...Alice going down the tunnel into Wonderland and it’s scary and exhilarating as hell. One second I am surfing a rainbow, and the next moment - if I open my eyes – the room appears to be full of horrible little monkeys staring at me with burning eyes....I notice that the bin is like a box of incredible jewels. Old banana skins, cereal boxes and cigarette packets are dazzling jewels of incredible energy that appear to me now in either particle or wave form.” He later reflected that “clearly LSD is not for the fragile; it’s risky, it’s dangerous, a journey from which you may never return.”

Not for nothing did Grace Slick and friends plan to dose President Nixon with enough acid to get him “talking to paintings, watching walls melt and thinking he was turning into a bulldog.”

I make no apology for the number of varied experiences or thoughts concerning the psychedelic experience that have been related here. These aren’t even a drop in the ocean of the vast amount of what has been said or related about psychedelic drugs. We’ve barely touched on the bad trips or delusions that often came with the experience, such as Dave Davies communicating with alien beings for many years after or Sting being transported to his mother’s womb or a trench during WW1 {during an ayahuasca ‘trip’} or John Lennon and Vince Taylor {and indeed, Charles Manson} becoming convinced that they were Jesus Christ, let alone the large number of people that became acid casualties, many occurring in popular music {Syd Barrett, Roky Erikson, Skip Spence, Steve Took, Brian Jones, Vince Taylor, Victor Unitt, Dave Bixby, Gene Clark, Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, Mike Taylor, Brian Wilson, to name but a few}. Or the power of psychedelics to enhance suggestibility.

Many have wondered and continue to wonder how anyone could believe something as “ridiculous” as Helter Skelter. Not everyone did. But when you take into account just where a constant diet of psychedelics could take you {and most of the family were, in the main, trippers for at least a couple of years}, it’s not hard to see how some would have taken it in and believed it all the way. Then acted upon it......

Written by Grim Traveller


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Thank You Grim Traveller.

MrPoirot said...

Many in the Manson blog universe have great knowledge of the case yet they do not have any understanding of Helter Skelter and choose to deny its' significance or existence. They feverishly claim Charlie did not believe Helter Skelter when it was he who invented it and preached about it for hours every night for months.

A similar phenomenon occurred recently in the Bahamas. A ship's captain who had seen rough seas many times but had never seen a hurricane so he mistakenly thought he could sail safely through one. The entire 850ft ship and all hands were quickly lost because he refused to acknowledge the existence of an all powerful super storm.

Perception is reality. It does not matter if a human can not fly if you believe you can fly you may jump out an 8th story window and fall to your death. People murdered for Helter Skelter and ended up dying in prison for this belief.

The Heavens Gate cult believed they were all going to reincarnate on an approaching comet so they committed a mass suicide.

Jihadist believe Allah will give them 78 virgins if they die for him while killing nonbelievers.

Ponce De Leon believed in a fountain of youth.

Hillary believes she is above the law(she is right about that though). Some crazy beliefs turn out to be true it seems.

Helter Skelter isn't the strangest belief I've ever heard of. I can easily see people believing it. Quite a few Family members still today tell how they believed Charlie's Helter Skelter. Gypsy tells of how she believed in it up until she got tired of searching through the high desert for the entrance to the underworld.
I can't think of a single member of Charlie's inner circle who didn't fully believe in Helter Skelter.

katie8753 said...

Thanks Grim. I never realized that acid was that powerful. It's interesting that Susan & Tex basically say the same thing, that all the basic groundwork that was laid out for them growing up disappeared after taking acid. It's easy to see how someone like Charlie could get into their brains and change their whole way of thinking with this drug.

The people who say they don't think Charlie preached Helter Skelter are usually the ones who like to say that he's innocent of any wrong doing and didn't get a fair trial, that Bugliosi made it up, blah, blah. They can't admit that he was preaching this stuff on a regular basis because it contradicts their defense of Manson.

leary7 said...

Really great stuff. Mr. Grim never disappoints.
One trip and Leary knew he would have to leave America. Now that's poetic.
A bit unsettling that the quotes I think are the most dead on in this piece come from one Charles Watson. And a close second would be Paul Watkins.
And the worse, or most obtuse, would be of course Dylan.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie said:
"The people who say they don't think Charlie preached Helter Skelter are usually the ones who like to say that he's innocent of any wrong doing"

I don't think such a generalization, is fair or accurate.

Lots of people adhere to alternative motive theories, and those "alternate theories" don't necessarily paint Manson as completely innocent.

If Manson was the ringleader (and he helped orchestrate the murders), he's guilty of conspiracy, regardless of the motive.

Bugliosi himself, believed several motives (or motivations) were probably responsible for the final outcome.

You're painting with a very wide brush.

One can certainly believe in an alternative motive theory, and still believe Manson is guilty.

grimtraveller said...

katie8753 said...

"I never realized that acid was that powerful"

Across the blogs and going back over archives that extend around 10 years, I've been struck by the number of times I've come across an almost willy nilly acceptance that drugs played a part in matters but little real in depth appreciation of what a 'mind altering' substance actually means, let alone does.
I've been fascinated in varying degrees by psychedelic drugs and what they do since the summer of '76 when I was 13 and just discovering the Beatles and I had this poster that gave a historical timeline of the band's history. Though I've not seen it since then, I still remember the phrase "First hint of drug influences in the song 'Tomorrow never knows'" and not knowing what it meant. By the end of that summer I had a better idea and since then, it's been an eye opener to read about LSD, the way the army in America tried to use it {there were hopes that it would become a truth drug}, the way the Beat generation and researchers felt that by spreading it's use among the artistic and the free thinkers that it would benefit society, all the way up to LSD evangelists in the UK advocating dosing the water supplies of the big cities to 'turn on' those populations.
It is notable to me that people have had their minds altered or have taken on beliefs that appear to many to be downright strange {indeed, as a Christian, one could say that about me !} and drugs haven't been involved at all. But acid has been recognized by many over the years to be a very useful tool in controlling others subtly. Charlie wasn't the only one to discover this. Many band members and managers utilized acid in rock bands in the 60s as a tool of control.
While the TLB crimes could have been committed without psychedelics, I don't think they would have been.

grimtraveller said...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

"One can certainly believe in an alternative motive theory, and still believe Manson is guilty"

One can but it doesn't appear that many do.
Obviously we're talking TLB as opposed to Hinman/Shea/{Crowe} but it seems that a consensus seems to lean towards HS being the thing that ties Charlie to TLB and if HS is discredited, the link is severed and thusly, the guilt. The Emmons book has been discredited by Manson as bullshit which has left him free to state that he didn't know about the copycat {even though Bugliosi says in HS that he admits he knew the murders were going to happen}. I find few people genuinely push the anger towards society or lack of a record contract angle, I've not heard anyone other than Bugliosi push the bloodlust angle and the drug hits or Frykowski raping Linda K scene tend to emphasize Tex rather than Charlie as does the Suzan LaBerge wanting her Mum dead scenario. The Mafia hit for the black book seems more a supposition than a bona fide theory that many are prepared to hang their hats on.
If you take George Stimson's line to it's logical conclusion, Charles Manson had nothing to do with anything regarding TLB. I can understand why so many seem to take that line.

maudes harold said...

Great compilation Grim.

As I was reading Part 1 I began envisioning the ‘murderer’ of all of these crimes wearing a cape. It looked eerily similar to the cartoon posted on mansonblog a little later. I saw the ‘murderer’ broken down like this:


Heart-the girls

Hands & Feet-Tex, Bruce and the enforcers (this category can arguably include many)

Cape-the motive

I saw the cape as a tapestry of everyone’s picture/reasons/purposes/motives for the crimes. It covered them, but not completely. It can be removed or altered when/if necessary, and it looks a little different to everyone else. I think there were specific motives in all parts; head, heart, hands and feet and it came together to create a monstrosity of events. Helter Skelter was a good overall ‘cape’ for the motives for many, but didn’t cover the entire ‘crime scene’, so to speak, which is a big reason I think Bugliosi went with it. I would have loved to ask him about the other motives he spoke of.

I kinda freaked when a day or so later I saw the cartoon on mansonblog that looked just like what I had pictured except w/o the top hat. But the top hat just reminded me of Bummer Bob, so it was perfect.

I agree Grim, that we can often discuss drugs w/o really giving them the credit of the depth of influence you refer to. LSD is again currently being discussed as a possible therapeutic treatment in mental health circles…..

Great post!

maudes harold said...

Include Steve Jobs on that list too...

MrPoirot said...

Brain scans of patients on LSD look identical to brain scans of schizophrenic patients.

I've always found it interesting how Charlie had seen the bad effects of alcoholism as a child and consequently forbade Family members at Spahns from drinking yet Charlie imbibed in the worse thing he could possibly have found; he imbibed in LSD which reactivated his latent schizophrenia.

Charlie sat around all day at Spahn Ranch doing acid and dreaming up bizarre but harmless hallucinations. Finally in early Dec 68 he hears the White Album and begins his seminal philosophic masterpiece he called Helter Skelter. 8 months later Spahn Ranch residents begin murdering indiscriminately en masse.
Without LSD there is no Helter Skelter philosophy. Charlie would simply have listened to the White Album and gone on being the same Charlie he always had been.


Did Charlie simply suffer a severe schizophrenic relapse in Dec 68 brought on by LSD use? Was his Helter Skelter creation just a philosophic manifestation of his insanity which led to a mass insanity at Spahn Ranch? Lemmings to the sea?
Were the TLB murders just the result of a mass insanity by Charlie's followers introduced through Helter Skelter?

katie8753 said...

Grim said: "LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...One can certainly believe in an alternative motive theory, and still believe Manson is guilty"

One can but it doesn't appear that many do.

If you take George Stimson's line to it's logical conclusion, Charles Manson had nothing to do with anything regarding TLB. I can understand why so many seem to take that line.

This is what I'm talking about. If you take away Charlie preaching Helter Skelter, then you end up with people saying that he was completely innocent of any of the murders, which is what I was trying to say.

If you take away Manson preaching Helter Skelter, then you take away Manson's control of these people. One does not exist without the other.

There are at least 2 factions in this case: those who think Manson was involved in these murders, and those who think he wasn't.

Those who think he wasn't will say there was no Helter Skelter, that Bugliosi made it up.

Those who think he was do believe he was preaching Helter Skelter, and had complete control of the family.

The proof is in the pudding. Manson was in complete control of the family after his arrest. There is NO denying that. If George Stimson wants to deny that, he can watch Sandra Good and all other others on the sidewalk with a shaved head and an "X" carved in her head, threatening people if Charlie was convicted.

And BTW, they weren't talking about ATWA back then!

katie8753 said...

This stuff about Linda being raped is nonsense. I don't know who dreamed that up. Tex was incapable of being in charge of changing his own underwear.

And the Tex/Suzanne thing? I put that on Suzanne. She didn't try to get anyone else out of prison did she? That's her deal.

katie8753 said...

And Suzanne wasn't taking LSD that I know of. She was completely in her right mind.

MrPoirot said...

I post this documentary because it discusses insanity incident between twin sisters which is
a form of mass insanity whereby multiple people go insane at one time almost as if insanity were caused by airborne germs like the Cold or Flu. One person can lead another person into insanity. Mass insanity is known to be fairly common and cause such bizarre events like crime sprees and even odder events like abandoned sea going vessels. Ships have been found throughout the centuries with all hands missing yet there was no sign of piracy or storm damage. Crew members simply jumped overboard to drown themselves after hysteria or insanity broke out in one individual and spread to others.
Spahn Ranch would be a similar environment to a ship as the ranch was isolated and people lived closely together. If Clap can spread through a commune why not insanity?

louis365 said...

Quite the video Mr. P....first I have seen it.

BTW...those virgins promised to the Jihads are all males.

katie8753 said...

Mr. P that video was a hoax. I saw that woman blink when she was supposed to be unconscious.

MrPoirot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

How many of you acid experts have actually dropped acid?
I just scanned through, but I wonder if grim traveler has traveled that grim road.
You can only know so much from reading....

grimtraveller said...

I've dropped acid a few times and psilocybin a couple of times, in terms of psychedelics. I would put various forms of marijuana in there too because I think they can come under the banner of mind altering substances. And ganja {I still refer to marijuana as ganja, my apologies} I've had hundreds of times.
You're right, one can only know so much from reading but one shouldn't dismiss the conclusions reached or thoughts put down from what has been read.
But I was very deliberate in using other peoples' experiences of acid and other psychedelics in this piece. My own personal journeys weren't actually important here. I'm keenly aware that not everyone reading this would have had acid experience but given that LSD and other psychedelics played such an important part in shaping the Family and in their shared experience, I think it's worth having a look at contemporaries of theirs that also shared the experience. Because certain questions arise when one reads about Charlie and the Family, such as, how unique was their whole thing ? Or is there something within human beings that make that kind of "adventure" not so surprising ?
I'm not trying to come across like an expert because I'm nowhere close and neither do I want to be. But there are certain matters that arise with this case that I can't be trite or dismissive about and one of those matters is drug use. You can believe and act on all kinds of things without drugs. With drugs, the process can be just as potent.

katie8753 said...

I wonder if Susan has run into Gary Hinman, the TLB victims, or Doris, Patty & Paul in the afterlife. Boy, that would be AWK-WARD!!

katie8753 said...

Wow isn't is about time for a fake Charlie dying news article?

Can you imagine when Charlie does finally shuffle off this mortal coil and enter Door #3 and face his victims? They'll probably all be standing there with bats. And Charlie will go into his scat routine:

"Ba Dop Bopaloop Skiddle Dee Woop Shaz ta Wop to Boodle a Noodle, Fa Doop Diddle a De Ba, Didly Eoo, Ba Doodle a Be Da, Jabba da de da, No Boba da de da, fa Ding fa do ding, Sez da massa"

Anonymous said...

Thank you for responding Grim!!! Mucho appreciated good sir. Usually I just get venomously tainted responses from people with Atkins pictures. ;)

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure of things, aren't we Katie.....

grimtraveller said...

katie8753 said...

"I wonder if Susan has run into Gary Hinman, the TLB victims, or Doris, Patty & Paul in the afterlife. Boy, that would be AWK-WARD!!"

That depends on where they met !

katie8753 said...

Well Josh, I guess it depends on what you're so sure about.

grimtraveller said...

maudes harold said...

"As I was reading Part 1 I began envisioning the ‘murderer’ of all of these crimes wearing a cape. It looked eerily similar to the cartoon posted on mansonblog a little later. I saw the ‘murderer’ broken down like this:


Heart-the girls

Hands & Feet-Tex, Bruce and the enforcers (this category can arguably include many)

Cape-the motive"

That's pretty deep.
Let me ask you, if Tex, Bruce and the enforcers were the hands and feet and Charlie the head, do you think there is anything at all in what Tex and Leslie have alluded to over the years about being controlled ?
Personally, I think that "control" is a much misunderstood thing when it comes to people because it can actually be so subtle. We recognize it and can see it when it's upfront and direct, but not when it's a little more obtuse. I think it's possible to be controlled, while still being in command of your faculties and able to make decisions. Aside from the fact that it happens in war, school, political life and in sports, the film & music biz and sometimes in employment.
But then, I believe in paradoxes.

maudes harold said...

Hey Grim!

It is very paradoxical as are humans, which is what makes them so darn fascinating. We humans are controlled, programmed or conditioned on all sorts of levels for all sorts of purposes, from not crossing on a red light to believing there’s only one way to the Divine. All this is related to Learning as well (my hubby was programmed long before he met me to ‘put down the toilet seat’ Yay! lol).

Some programming is necessary for safety, simple common sense and consensus for a functioning culture(which is why I would never drive in the UK, I’m so left-handed my head would spin). The problem comes with the intentions behind programming.

I believe there was direct programming by Charlie, through group pressure, drugs etc, like in any high school too. Because the human mind is not static thing, it is malleable, changeable, and impressionable, there were varying levels of impact and success on the people that came into Charlie’s world. Some saw him as a con man immediately and some, to this day, see him as a modern messiah. Of all the people in this case, I think Charlie has remained the most consistent in his behavior. He has changed the least in terms of his responses to situations and his environment. He basically started in the joint and ended up in the joint. The others didn’t.

While I will say that many of these people were ‘controlled’ by Charlie, I also believe that, in a complicated psychological way, they wanted/needed to be controlled and cared for and some were just plain old sociopaths. I don’t think this was a conscious thought in their minds necessarily, but a reality of their specific situations and their characters, especially at that time. He hit those people at a vulnerable age, when un-cleaving from your family of origin and on your way to ‘adulthood’ and self-sufficiency. Scary times.
As has been discussed ad infinitum, Charlie could spot those and hone in on them. With all that being said, and bringing us up to the present, part of the problem that I have with some of the murderers today is a lack of acknowledging their ‘consent’ to Charlie right from the beginning. It’s not enough for me for them to say “Charlie and the drugs made me do it.”

Some have done a better job of owning up to that part. In fact, I just read something new to me that Bruce Davis wrote in 2010, where it appears he attempts to do this (whether he succeeded is a matter of opinion). None of these people were brought to Charlie at gunpoint, at least not that I am aware of. And anyone who participated in any crime, even under threat, consented to these acts, especially so if they stayed after a crime. While I believe they were ‘controlled’ to some degree, personal responsibility does come into play here.

A mighty fine paradox indeed!

beauders said...

Oh the irony Watson is a vegetarian.

grimtraveller said...

Even more ironic is that it was because of what he saw under acid's influence that he stopped eating meat.
On the other hand, it offers a glimpse into Watson's mind that at that point, he could not distinguish acid fantasy from reality and acid reality became so fused with actual reality that he existed in only one reality. It was powerful enough to stop him eating meat ever since.

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