The Sixties: Reflections On Manson

February 26, 2015

The Sixties:

Reflections On Manson

by

R.E. Prindle

Charles Manson

Charles Manson

Coming like a clap of thunder from a clear sky the Charles Manson murders of Summer ’69 caused all eyes to go wide.  The psychological impact was greater than the A-Bomb that, after all, happened far away.  Gruesome murders were nothing new.  Hillside Stranglers, Boston Stranglers, Richard Speck, Charlies Starkweather and Whitman…we’d seen them all.  So what was so spooky about Manson?

Perhaps the sense of disaster had been building all decade long and when the explosion finally came, while expected, it was more devastating than imagined. Manson himself was an odd one.  At the time seen only as a lifelong petty criminal recently released from a spell in the joint he seemed so unlikely as a spectre of evil.  He was soon elevated to the status of an unbelievable arch-villain, capable of almost superhuman malevolence, the very face of evil.

It was the end of the Sixties, a haze of degeneration was hanging in the air. The degeneration began at the other end of the Sixties.  In the beginning.  Crimes don’t just happen, the way has to be prepared for them.  The antecedents that led to the conclusion came to be in place.  Without the right conditions a certain type of crime can’t be committed. Charlie Manson was the result of a whole string of conditions mostly beyond his control or influence, some of them going back quite a ways.

The rise of Satanism and the death of God in 1966 as proclaimed by Time magazine on the one hand and Ira Levin’s novel Rosemary’s Baby on the other published in the same year, was the tipping point of the decade though how many people understood is the question.  I certainly didn’t although I witnessed both.  I had an uneasy feeling building as society seemed to be decaying around me, but, you know, those were squally days.

While many were standing up claiming to be the Great Satan, Kenneth Anger,  Anton LaVey  and Mick Jagger come to mind, the actual Great Satan had gone back underground in 1938.  His earthly name was Sigmund Freud.  Manson claimed to be the Great Satan and Jesus combined.  Was he Sigmund Freud’s successor?  Or just a satanic prophet?

Freud had served his apprenticeship before arising in 1900, the year attributed to his masterpiece The Interpretation Of Dreams.  Contrary to common belief Freud did not invent the Unconscious, although he did frame its interpretation, in fact the unconscious had been a staple of speculation since Franz Anton Mesmer began the codified notion of the subliminal processes of the mind in the eighteenth century.  The great French investigators Charcot, Pierre Janet, Gustave Le Bon, Liebeault and Bernstein had done the spadework, the heavy lifting.

What Freud did was organize the research into his specific interpretation of the unconscious; a view that suited his ulterior motives that were less than scientific. As a motto for his masterpiece Freud used a Latin quote that translated roughly as If I cannot be rewarded by God then I will raise Satan.  And that is just what he did.  In Charles Manson you see a culmination of Freud’s work. Freud realized that dreams were the unconscious at work.  He didn’t fully understand the mechanism but as he put it, dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.

He made his interpretation of the unconscious the abode of demons and he sought to release them, turn them loose to destroy morality.  Freud reveled in destruction.  As his disciple Isidore Sadger put it:  Oh yes, Freud was a great sadist. Nor did what Freud was aiming at escape the attention of some of his contemporaries.  The novelist D.H. Lawrence zeroed right in on Freud’s objective.  Freud was not aiming for a reformation of morals but their complete elimination.

Ursula Andress-Dr. No

Ursula Andress-Dr. No

By the end of the Sixties Freud had succeeded, for after Manson came Mick Jagger at Altamont. Harbingers appeared along the way of course.  When Ursula Andress stepped from the wave like the goddess Aphrodite of old in 1962’s Dr. No it seemed to herald a new day or perhaps the old day of the Ancient Evil returning.  Andress represented the new Anima for the times, the uninhibited sex goddess whose corresponding Animus was represented by Sean Conner as .007, James Bond with a license to kill.

Sean Connery As James Bond, .007 In Dr. No

Sean Connery As James Bond, .007 In Dr. No

Bond was free to shoot anybody he wanted, no consequences.  Bond had no morals beyond the expedient.  Thus the decade would be characterized by the Summer Of Love and the Winter of Despair. While Freud prepared the grounds with his psycho-analysis  propaganda developments played into his hands to create a perfect storm for his purposes.

Himself a cocaine addict Freud understood perfectly the effects of drugs on morals. While drugs such as amphetamines, morphine, heroin and cocaine had been in use for many decades before the Sixties dawned they were to become more readily available.  Freud himself was well aware of the effects of drugs on the mind as he had been a cocaine addict most of his adult life.  He was at one time an avid advocate pushing his drug on his associates and even his wife.

New York City as the Sixties began was in the throes of an amphetamine deluge.  Dr. Feelgoods such as the Jewish immigrant from Germany, Max Jacobson, were dispensing huge injections wholesale.  While amphetamines were understood to be a dangerous drug they were still legal while Jacobson had devised a vitamin-amphetamine cocktail that was supposed to be safe as it was thought, or hoped, that the vitamins negated the harmful effect of the amphetamines. Thus everyone from high society to the Bohemians of the Village was blasting holes in their psyche.

That other great cultural node of the country, LA, was not far behind NYC.  LA had had a drug culture for decades, hip to all the latest developments as they arrived.  LSD was old hat in LA long before Tim Leary arrived bearing his gospel of LSD in 1960. While not particularly widespread before the Sixties, but still in extensive use, consumption blossomed as the Sixties progressed.

Cocaine the great destroyer, emerged into prominence in the late Sixties.  Uppers and downers ruled the mind of the generation. Let me say here that there is no difference between licit and illicit drugs.  A pill from a doctor is exactly the same as a pill from a street pusher so while Hippies were deemed to be taking drugs, the straights took those same drugs as prescription medicine.  Those prescriptions amounted to billions of pills a year so one might say that the whole country was doped up.

Drugs tend to concentrate your attention on yourself while removing moral inhibitions.  Morality then becomes a matter of expediency.  The whole country became increasingly criminal minded.  It was also at this time that the Mafia dominated the country.  The failure of the authorities to suppress or confine the Mob also undermined morality.  By the seventies murder and mayhem were endemic to the culture.  Manson was not unique nor were his victims innocent of wrong doing themselves.  The story runs deeper.

As the decade began the record industry was very small blossoming from sixty million dollars a year in the late fifties to billions in the seventies.  The huge increase was fueled by the generational increase of interest as ‘music’ replaced literature as the culture bearer. Through music the culture was then seized by the revolutionary cadre.  On the West Coast the two major centers were San Francisco and Los Angeles although both Portland and Seattle were significant contributors.

On the East Coast, namely NYC the major revolutionary group was the folk movement of Greenwich Village.  One may say that they were led by Pete Seeger until Bob Dylan arrived one night, say, from nowhere, Hibbing Minnesota, to take the movement big time and in a different direction. Dylan was total negativity which set the tone for the decade.

In the year ’66, year one of the Satanic dispensation, the birth of the son of Satan took place in the Dakota apartments, allegorically but still in a psychological real way.  In association with this, in my mind at least, was the first record of the Doors in ’66.  It contained the song that more than Dylan ended what had gone on before.  That song was The End.

In its own way it prefigured the atmosphere that created Charles Manson. In the song Morrison intones in his ominous baritone that a murderer walks a hallway into his parents’ bedroom where he announced the Freudian Oedipus mantra to his parents:  Father, I want to kill you…Mother, I want to…the rest is obliterated by screams and electronics but the message was clear.

By 1966 a significant number of brains were addled by drugs and actually Freudian psychology so that the song had a powerful mind changing effect, releasing subconscious desires of every kind.  The effect was repeated and amplified endlessly by subsequent bands.  The generation then was raised to a fever pitch of revolutionary zeal and released, or liberated as the term was, repressed sexual desires.  This was the season of the witch as Donovan sang, or the day of the toad of which Dalton Trumbo complained.  Perverted activists came out of the wall as though summoned from hell.

Thus, Charles Manson. Manson was not a fortunate child.  Born out of wedlock in West Virginia he was shuffled around as a child going from one terrible environment to the next until he found himself in the worst, a prison cell.  Manson was an intelligent man who imbibed an education of sufficient worth to allow him to read and speak well.  The guy was no fool.  Along the way he learned to play guitar in prison.  He was sufficiently adept to pass as a musician in LA among musicians.  He was well known in Laurel Canyon and admired.  He was actually part of it. He was also, if not part of it, associated in some manner with the Process Church Of The Final Judgment, usually referred to simply as The Process.

Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull had associations with the Process.  The Process as one might conjecture was a Satanist outfit.  Thus, while one may surmise that Manson was familiar with Satanist lore from prison, he quickly assimilated to LA Satanism envisioning himself as both Christ and Satan, the dichotomy of Christ and anti-Christ was realized in his person to his satisfaction. In San Francisco after his release from prison in 1967 in which, by the way, he was quite happy he soon acquired an entourage of girls and lost boys with which the Haight-Ashbury teemed.  All of them were bonkered on massive doses of lysergic acid- LSD.

SF was Flashback City.  Stanley Owsley kept the Haight awash in very high quality acid. While San Francisco is where the drop outs and runaways congregated they were a loser crowd.  They were not material for much of anything.  Anybody with any sense knew that LA was where the action was.  Hence 1968 found Manson drifting down and establishing himself and his entourage among the musicians of LA and more specifically Laurel Canyon.

As noted Charles learned to play guitar in prison in a passable manner.  He could also write songs.  Thus his entrée into the Laurel Canyon crowd was facilitated.  Especially when Manson and his entourage moved in on Dennis Wilson the drummer for the Beach Boys. In’66 before the Hippie influence flooded the markets, the Beach Boys were perhaps the number one group.  In fact their biggest hit Good Vibrations, Hippie influenced, came in that year, 1966.  It was their last big hit.

Terry Melcher

Terry Melcher

While the name Terry Melcher, might not be that familiar he was the son of Doris Day and a musician and producer of some note.  He, too, was attracted to the musical potential of Manson.  Thus once again this allowed Charles to roam Laurel Canyon freely. Having cleaned Dennis Wilson out, Manson and entourage moved to the Spahn Ranch near the Simi Valley and Chatsworth.  Charles naturally got involved with drugs, Satanism and biker gangs going by such spine chilling names as Satan’s Disciples and Hell’s Angels.  (I know, Manson probably had no dealings with the latter group but when a Californian thought of bikers, he or she thought of the Hell’s Angels and were terrified.)

As it happens this was a time when the Negro insurrection or rebellion was in full flower.  For some reason the true nature of the Negro insurrection has made no impression on the popular mind.  Tens of thousands of acres were burned over perhaps hundreds of lives, maybe thousands, were taken, a whole Negro paramilitary organization came into existence that was matched by a Federal corps of ‘crime’ fighters.  The US unable to come to terms with the rejection of itself that the rebellion indicates insists that military actions are merely violations of the law thus wasting tens of millions of dollars trying these militants in court.

In Marin County the combatants actually burst into the courtroom and shot it up.  This was interpreted as merely a case of bad manners.  You tell me. Not only were billions in real estate burnt in huge conflagrations but actual giant cities began their disintegration.  Detroit has disappeared from the map in all but name.  The Bronx and parts of Brooklyn and Queens have become virtual deserts of burnt out buildings and decaying infra-structure.  We’re talking combined areas larger than many countries.

For Christ’s sake Dresden didn’t fare much worse from incendiary saturation bombing and the Bronx was to have no effect on the American mind.  Very few people are even aware of it, even though during the 1977 world series the flames shown above Yankee stadium.  When asked what the glow was the announcer calmly said:  Oh, the Bronx is burning. Well, it had an effect on Manson’s mind.  He saw the rebellion for what it was, a Negro revolution, and he envisioned it increasing rapidly into a full blown open incontrovertible war.  He called it Helter Skelter and planned to retreat into Death Valley until the Negroes would win, as he presumed, at which point Charlie and his angels would emerge when in his charismatic way he would take over the Negro society.  Might have worked, who knows?

So, what we have here is a near perfect storm, sex, drugs, rock and roll, revolution, whatever was needed. However trouble was brewing within the Family, Freudian sexual desires being what they are and integrity being something to admire from afar. Key to the Manson thing, or Sharon Tate murders, is the arch villain movie director Roman Polanski.  Sharon Tate was a hot babe that Polanski married in a fever but changed his mind when he cooled down. At that point Tate became unwanted baggage.  Can it be a coincidence that Polanski was out of the country when Tate was murdered or was it a convenience to dissociate himself from the crime?

All the victims at the Cielo address have been denounced as vile people who were into child abuse and pornography as well as other Freudian sexual indulgences such as sadism etc. These were not innocents.  Freud himself was considered by at least one of his disciples as an arch sadist.  Manson was probably acquainted with all the victims.  They were not strangers to him.  Tex Watson ran a wig business and probably knew Jay Sebring who undoubtedly would have recognized Tex.  The girls also who were not unfamiliar in Laurel Canyon may also have been recognizable by the victims.

The prevailing story is that Mama Cass Elliot ran a party house in the Canyon, an open door at home place where nearly anyone could wander in. I suppose I should give some indication as to how I’m aware of this as I certainly was not there.  One source is the estimable Ed Sanders study titled The Family.  Ed explored the area in 1970 and is probably as reliable as anyone.  Another source is David McGowan’s Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon.  McGowan is more speculative although exceedingly well informed.  He has also written a series of essays on his website, with pictures, that makes exciting reading.  McGowan points the way down astonishing avenues but has open ended conclusions. A very important book dealing with these subterranean doings is Maury Terry’s The Ultimate Evil:  The Truth About The Cult Murders.

Terry is an important source for the Process Church and the general unrepressed Freudian Satanic unconscious that characterized the era.  And then there are Bugliosi and Barney Hoskins of course, as well as others. At any rate Polanski’s crowd at Cass Elliot’s a few days before the Cielo Drive murders had felt cheated on a dope deal.

They therefore strung the dealer up by his thumbs and practiced a little Freudian sadism on his body that might have made the Nazis blanch.  The fellow deeply resented this treatment and sought revenge. Sixty-nine was not as vile as things were to become but all these dope dealers were very unsavory characters especially after cocaine became the drug of choice.  See the movie Sid And Nancy to get an idea of their character.  So the Canyon crowd were morally bound to these criminal types while everyone concerned was firing on all eight cylinders without a muffler, so to speak.

Somebody, we don’t know who, contacted Manson requiring his services to rectify the dealer’s humiliation.  The question here is what is right and wrong?  What moral universe were all these people functioning in?  Bear in mind now that by this time it was thought that all morality was relative, nothing was good or bad, right or wrong, but thinking made it so.  Hence the reasoning outside the conventional notions of law.  You’re only committing a crime if you think you are although others may have a different opinion in which case might is right.

The murders were only wrong if you didn’t understand the logic and were unmoved by Freudian Satanism. The beneficiary of the murders was Roman Polanski who rid himself of an unwanted wife thereby freeing himself to engage in the child molestation that caused him to flee the United States to the safety of Europe. Manson himself who had undoubtedly explored the mysteries of the legal system in prison in serious confabulations with other prisoners on concerning how to avoid arrest was confident that according to legal requirements he was immune to arrest or, at least, conviction.

Quite simply, he was not present at the murders so legally he could not be convicted of them. According to himself he did not order his angels to murder anyone but somehow they determined that the murders were the thing to do so in his mind he couldn’t be convicted of conspiracy to murder.  Even though the murders of both the Tate and La Bianca people left clues that the Negroes were responsible in an attempt to aggravate the race war, or Helter Skelter in his term, this could merely be the result of group conversations from which the Family acted on its own. Thus, legally, Charlie had his bases covered.

He had been elsewhere, like Polanski, and guilty of nothing. As evidence that Helter Skelter had begun the Family invaded Death Valley actually carving out a little kingdom of their own.  Amazing story, really.  The US was a free country with minimal supervision.  Had the society been coherent, that is governed by a single set of mores, the whole situation would have been impossible but with the birth of Satan in 1966 and the Freudian dissolution of morals anything was possible.  And indeed, everything became possible.

While according to Christianity and the old legal code based on English Common Law murder had been committed and someone had to pay.  Innocent, and he was, or not, Manson had to pay.  This was only because he had terrified an immoral Hollywood society who recognized their own image in the Tate-La Bianca murders. The murders were only one of numerous horrendous crimes being committed at the time including the equally horrendous Zodiac murders in San Francisco.

Bomber Billy Ayers

Bomber Billy Ayers

Additionally there were two other murder rings to consider.  One was the Weather Underground and the other was the activities of the Jewish zealot Rabbi Meyer Kahane who founded the JDL, Jewish Defense League.  The Jewish Defense League gave birth to an even more murderous offshoot called the Jewish Defense Organization.  Both these groups were off into an insane vision of reality that boggles the imagination. The Weather Underground was the brainchild of the mutant Bomber Billy Ayers and his sidekick the murderous female Bernadine Dohrn.  In a way similar to Manson Ayers was guiding the destiny of the amazing flakeouts comprising  the Weathermen.  Ayers as leader was responsible for numerous bombings and several murders.  He was involved in the plan to bomb a military dance.  The bomb had it succeeded would have killed or maimed dozens if not scores of party goers.

The bomb was filled with shrapnel and nails that would have torn through the swirling figures on the dance floor.  The plan was aborted when the bomb makers blew themselves up. Certainly the crimes and proposed crimes for which Ayers was responsible were as horrendous if not more so than those for which Manson was convicted.  In point of fact, after leading the authorities on a merry chase Bill the Bomber was apprehended, tried and convicted quite similarly to Manson.  However he was immediately released on a legal technicality and never tried again.  He was later heard to chortle:  Guilty as hell and free as a bird.  God, what a country.  But he was never tried again.

He obtained his PhD becoming a ‘Distinguished Professor’ at UIllinois and put in charge of indoctrinating the children of the US.  He lives in ultimate luxury today. I’m sure there were enough legal irregularities in Manson’s case to declare his conviction null and void but that was not to be.

The second case is the equally strange one of Meir Kahane.  He was a Rabbi from New York, therefore of the privileged caste of Jews who in many ways are set above the law.  Like Manson, Kahane too lived his life unto his own set of mores.  Kahane was driven mad by the events of WWII.  Even though that nasty event was a Jewish-German war the Jews miscalculated the course the war would take.  They were enraged that Hitler did to them what they were trying to do and actually did succeed in doing post-war to the Germans. Thus, post-war the whole Jewish people essentially went mad.

Perceiving Nazis under every US bed, the country itself overflowing with Hitlers out to get them.  They made endless movies about their paranoia.  One of the best called Hitler’s Brain is about the notion that while Hitler died his brain was saved and kept alive continuing the extermination of the Jews from some undisclosed South American location.

In another movie, The Boys From Brazil, a number of boys had been cloned, perhaps from cells of Hitler’s brain in its undisclosed location, and they were growing up to be just like Dad to finish the job Dad had begun.  Good sci-fi movies actually and these were only two of a number. Hence Kahane’s brain rent asunder, leading his paramilitary troops of the JDL, he began a horrendous bombing and murder campaign.

Apparently everyone knew about it except the FBI.  Kahane was never arrested but somebody got tired of him and offed him or else the Assassination Bureau got him.  The point being, although guilty as hell he was allowed to be free as a bird never being arrested.  Like Ayers said:  What a country.

Another interesting situation involves the Process Church and the Son of Sam murders but it is not exactly pertinent here.  Really what we had in the US was an amoral society, or a developing one.  The rise of Satanism was remarkable.  Suddenly after Rosemary’s Baby there was an absolute avalanche of Satanic or demonic movies.  Younger undeveloped minds were completely demoralized. Laws were regularly passed that enlarged the rights of criminals and made police work nearly impossible.

Understandably they became frustrated as they watched arch criminals like Bomber Billy Ayers walk and then admit guilt.  Into the seventies a new type of vigilante movie arose depicting characters like Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry and Charles Bronson’s Death Wish films as Paul Kersey. The police were unable to control the criminal element that became emboldened by every law passed to handcuff the police.

The Silent Majority of Nixon respecting not only the Law but also the idiot laws against their interests that the criminal enablers passed were unable to defend themselves, indeed they were forbidden to, so they took refuge in film fantasies. Eventually one, Bernhard Goetz. tired of being abused, armed himself and when four Negroes, commonly referred to by the media as ‘youths’, who were terrorizing the subway train he was riding attempted to rob him Goetz shot all four although none fatally.  Although the Liberals were unable to put him away for assault or attempted murder or whatever after Goetz escaped them in his first trial he was sentenced to prison in his second trial for carrying an unregistered pistol.  So much for refusing to be assaulted and robbed by Negroes.

So, society created the environment that enabled the whole pattern of behavior that permitted Manson to even think of dreaming the situation he became involved in.  Remember, he was only one actor among many in this amazing social situation.  Of all the crimes committed by the various members only he and his angels were punished. Freudian sexual fantasies released the girls of Manson’s family to behave in the more than the loose way they did.  Rampant drug use befogged their minds so that they barely knew what they were doing and that was encouraged by the Satanism nearly created and legitimized by Hollywood movies, led by Roman Polanski and Rosemary’s Baby.

In case folks haven’t realized it yet movies are not only a sort of entertainment they are open propaganda encouraging the propaganda of the deed. And then society only punished arbitrarily certain propagandas of the deed.  Bomber Billy Ayers was actually rewarded for his crimes and is honored in certain circles today.  Because the Bomber was released we have the asinine Barack Obama as president today.  If Ayers had been treated as Manson has and he has surely deserved it, Obama would have remained an obscure street person.

Meir Kahane

Meir Kahane

Mier Kahane’s crimes far exceed those of Manson and he was tolerated until a vigilante took matters in hand. Perhaps Manson represented a vision of what US citizens were or becoming so that in the shock of recognition they were so repelled by their own image they would try to obliterate it.  Thus Manson, who had killed no one was given a death sentence to wipe out that image.  Manson would have died for our sins.  Unfortunately California abandoned the death penalty prior to Manson’s date so he has remained to haunt our subconscious all these decades. Will his death be some sort of cathartic?  A cause for great celebration not unlike VE day?   We’ll see, won’t we?

Saint Chuck

Saint Chuck

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