Wednesday, August 2, 2023


The word 'programming' comes up repeatedly in the Manson saga.  And in the way it's used, I think they are referring to 'mind-control programming'

Helter Skelter, pg235 Bugliosi questioning Atkins at Grand Jury
Q: Did Charlie ask you to steal?
A: No, I took it upon myself. I was--we'd get programmed to do things.
Q: Programmed by Charlie?
A: By Charlie...

Helter Skelter, pg319
As with the others, I(Bugs) questioned Watkins about Manson's programming techniques.

Helter Skelter, pg326
According to Watkins, in this song Charlie "figured the Beatles were programming the black people to get it up, get in on, start doing it."

Helter Skelter, pg494
Because Kanarek had questioned Juan about Manson's "programming of Family members, I was able to bring in a conversation Manson had with Juan in which he explained that he had to "unprogram" his followers to remove the programming placed upon them by their parents, schools, churches, and society.

The Family, by Ed Sanders
The story is told how some of the family, evidently as part of the program to experience everything, revel in horse excrement.

...that great Manson trick of programming people while they were on LSD trips.

Guys like Sunshine Pierce and Joe and others left the Spahn Ranch because they found themselves slowly becoming one of those "program people" that Manson talked about. And who on earth really wants to become a zombie.

Manson became more and more involved with blending violence into his transactions. He seemed to be eager to see which of his "program people" would kill. ... One of Manson's potential "program people" was the Vietnam veteran..Juan Flynn.

Early in the day Manson would "program" the girls--give them a list of things to do.

Watson never made a move without Manson's "programming."

On the ride down to Los Angeles, Squeaky, according to legend, told the officers that Charlie had the girls perform fellatio with dogs as part of his mental-death program.
Like Sadie and Brenda, Clem would turn a question back at the questioner, or give pat answers as a way of "reprogramming" himself.

Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness that Ended the Sixties,by Dianne Lake
--After the attorneys were finished examining and cross-examining me, Charlie got my attention. He made full penetrating eye contact. "Were you programmed to answer?" he shouted.

pg2364 Manson: "I was programming him(Whitely) for something." ... "Sir, I didn't look at Mr. Whitely at anything but a brain that I could program."
pg2381 THE COURT: "What lies in his mind, I don't suppose any one of us knows, when he says that he wants to program Sergeant Whitely."

LADA files Box 46 vol32 pg133 Watkins:
"So the music was designed to draw them from San Francisco to the desert by programming them like you program a computer."

LADA files Box 46 vol 26 Grogan retrial Aug, 1971
pg417 Spahn visitor Dawn Quandt:
Q: After the Manson family arrived, did some change come over Clem? ..
A: A change of--he was in their power or their thoughts. ... he had a tendency to be programmed by them.

Q(Weedman): Now, Charlie prophesized that the revolution was going to come, is that correct?
A: Yes.
Q: Then why was it, according to his philosophy, that it was necessary to compose this music to program the girls to leave Haight-Asbury if the revolution was coming down anyway?.

LADA files Box 20 vol7011 Posten at Watson trial
Q: What did he say the Beatles were saying?
A: He said the Beatles were telling it like is and that they were programming the people to helter-skelter.

My Life With Charles Manson by Paul Watkins, Chapter 7
It wasn't that Clem was dumb, it was just that he adopted Charlie's program of playing the idiot (playing beneath the awareness of people) so completely that he became an idiot.

My Life With Charles Manson by Paul Watkins, Chapter 12
Meanwhile, we practiced our own music for hours, wrote new songs to operate beneath the level of people’s awareness and to program those “who were one in their minds,” to come to the desert.

My Life With Charles Manson by Paul Watkins, Chapter 15
Neither of us really know how to handle what was inside us; we’d both been so heavily programmed by that time that all natural impulses were trapped, blocked off.

My Life With Charles Manson by Paul Watkins, Chapter 23
Charlie...  had attempted to program me for this long before: “When Helter-Skelter comes down, I’ll be back in the joint, it’ll be up to you.”

My Life With Charles Manson by Paul Watkins, Chapter 23
Basically, Charlie’s trip was to program us all to submit: to give up our egos.... But generally, the girls were easier to program than the guys. It was easier for them to submit; they were more ingenuous and didn't have as far to fall, as much ego to drop off. They'd already been programmed into a form of submission by society.

Death to Pigs, by Robert Hendrickson, c.2011 pg277
Watkins: "He(Manson) always said, he said, "I'm gonna unprogram you and program you again," and that's what he did."
Manson's Right Hand Man Speaks Out Charles "Tex" Watson c. 2012  pg20
I never heard Manson mention Scientology... I know he was into mind control and good at programming us with his beliefs.

Kasabian's attorney: "She said that all the girls felt as if they were computers for this man (Manson)." (10:40mark)

Death to Pigs, by Robert Hendrickson, pg244
Brooks: "Well, before when he put his motions in with it, all he had to do was start his motions and it's like, I would immediately turn on like a computer. Like, the button would be clicked and I'd become whatever machine or whatever tape was playing at the time."

The Mind Manipulators by Alan W. Scheflin c.1978
Many of the Family members have concluded that they were indeed hypnotized....
At her re-trial, former Manson cult follower Leslie Van Houten argued that she was a programmed dupe whose mind had been softened by LSD and then shaped to commit horrible, violent crimes without remorse.

If one examines the case closely, it becomes obvious that Manson used mind-control techniques such as hypnotism, LSD, and other types of mental programming to turn middle-class suburbanites into selfless killers...
The Senate Select Committee’s investigation revealed drugging of unsuspecting targets, electric shocking to obliterate memory and “programming” individuals to kill ...
Submitted by Starviego. Thank you Starviego.


TabOrFresca said...

Thanks Starviego for the article. The list of instances of “programmed” could turn out to be useful. I tend to stay away from discussions, especially those that deal more in philosophy rather than in hard facts.

The word programming tends to get a bad rap. People think of Angela Lansbury and Lawrence Harvey in the Manchurian Candidate. But without some level of order, we are left with anarchy - which doesn’t work. In order to have “order”, there needs to be rules that are followed and following rules requires conditioning - which is a form of programming.

The games of basketball and (American) football have something in common when it comes to offense. In each of these sports plays are run on offense. The offensive players practice these plays and each player is conditioned or programmed to do a specific thing based upon the chosen offensive play and how the defense acts. When the offense does not follow these plays, anarchy results and it is commonly referred to as playground style or “Helter Skelter (confusion)”.

Driving our cars is probably a good example of how we must be programmed to follow rules. “Keep your eyes upon the road and hands upon the wheel”. Stay in your lane, stop at lights and signs, and watch your speed.

A lot of the Manson Family were messed up before they met Manson. Manson probably gets blamed for more than his share of the blame. I’m not convinced he programmed people to a point where they couldn’t think for themselves. He definitely did influence them, maybe more than he thought. I wouldn’t have convicted him for Tate, but would have for LaBianca, Hinman, and Shea.

Bugliosi was brilliant in that he convinced the jury that the defendants were mindless robots or zombies who thought for themselves (Huh ? Talk about have your cake and eat it too). I believe Bugliosi did more (effective) programming than Manson.

Thanks again Starviego.

Medium Patty said...

You are so right about this. At the time, people didn't have language or concepts to describe what was happening. Computer programming, confidence men or brainwashing were the only historical references to use. Now people are beginning to learn the complexities of cults, catfishing, domestic violence, romance scams, etc. The techniques of manipulation are very complicated and still not really understood, i.e. what didn't she/they just leave/stop giving money/ go back?

They could tell something was wrong but couldn't articulate what was happening, especially when they were specifically manipulated to doubt their own minds.

starviego said...

The frequency with which the Family used this term was probably due to Charlie's constant use of the word. And I think Manson was so familiar with it is because he had repeatedly been subject to 'programming' by the shrinks and the prison authorities. He got the word from them.

It's no secret that some of the prisons were big into 'behavior modification' at this time, which probably included MK-Ultra technologies.