What People Say
Dear Charles, I read with great interest your life story: "Will You Die For Me?", and wow! Thank you, very inspiring.
I just saw the new movie "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" with my 15 year old son over the weekend, and it piqued my interest.
It has been 45 years since I, as a 13 year old, read "Helter Skelter", and I was reminded again of that crazy time in 1969 (almost 50 years ago to the day).
Thank you, Charles for your great service in the Lord's work, and please know I am praying for you, and for God's will to be upon you, whether pardoned or not.
I am going to light a candle at night (I am Catholic) from August 8-10, and all night it will remind me to pray for God's blessing on you. Thank you again. This read truly did move me! Sincerely, Martin, CO.
Dear Mr. Watson, My name is Derek , and I live in Salem, Massachusetts. (Yes, the "witch" city! Ha ha!) I am interested in your case because of the incredible strides you have made in becoming a better person while incarcerated and the fact that you strive to help others better themselves through your writings and your religious group. I have read a bit about Abounding Love Ministries on the internet and was very impressed with the progress you have made in your rehabilitation, and the great remorse you must feel. I think everyone deserves a second chance, and in my opinion, you have earned and deserve it. Derek, MA
Thank you for writing me back. I did check out your website and found it to be very interesting and I love how open you are, especially when it comes to sharing your love for God. I am still trying to understand the meaning of God's plan. My questions with my believing and having faith has come from the bad things that have happened in my past. You are an inspiration to me to learn more about his love and salvation. I have told others about your website so hopefully they will check it out. Jamie, OR
Wishing you every love and happiness at Christmas and throughout 2019. May the grace, mercy and blessings of Jesus Christ enrich you throughout the holidays -- and always. You are often in my thoughts and prayers and your ministry has been a fountain of strength for me during the last 6 months. Thank you! With my best regards always. God Bless you! Chris, U.K.
I received your postcard. I look forward to seeing the letter on your website (December 2018 Monthly View). You are always in my prayers. Maybe you can show me how to repent. I have done some terrible crimes myself. Maybe we can help each other. I just wanna do good for God now. I wanna make amends. You are a role model. Please stay in touch. Your friend and brother in Christ, John, PA.
I emailed the admin about 4 or 5 years ago when I was initially blessed to discover Charles' amazing testimony. I just wanted to say that ALMS is still making a difference in my life and helping me tremendously in my walk with Christ. I've printed many of your Gospel Tracts/Leaflets and will be sharing them. Today I started with my Church in NY! I plan on writing Charles personally soon. I pray he and all his dear ones are well. Thank you for all that you do. God bless you! Jillian
Hope this finds you still solid in the Word and in good spirits. Certainly over the years there have had to be times you wanted to be free and actually it is my view that you should have been freed a long time ago. But my opinion on knowing that GOD changes people has no clout except to another brother in Christ...which you are. So keep that chin up brother and say prepared. There will come a day when you will feel the breeze blowing on your face in a land paid for by Christ with His blood. Nobody is totally innocent here Charles save the children who haven't been corrupted yet. And while some have a past that is rougher than others...we are ALL capable of being washed clean in the blood of the Savior!! Greg, GA
I was looking at some online ministries and found yours. Your story is extraordinary! People get locked up and the world forgets them. They don't dare and do not see the good that someone in prison can supply! Yours is a story that can motivate and encourage people to torn their life around and help others! If I can send you anything to help out, please let me know. Scott, NC
I wrote you a couple months ago and telling you my interest in going to grad school and asking your opinion on the hippie movement. I actually have just recently applied and haven't heard back from the school yet. I just wanted to write this letter thanking you for your response. I tried to get in contact with roughly 15 people from the 60s, and only got a response from you and one other. So again, thank you. Lastly, I wanted to say that the more I read about the hippie movement, the more inclined I also am to think it was a failure. As you said, they had no foundation. To me, the only thing that held them together was the Vietnam War, and once that ended, they had nothing. Cole, GA
I was struggling with addiction and went off the deep end. Lost my girl, sold everything, and had hardly nothing, but I came across your letter and the uplifting, positive things you said to me. Something hit me, the Lord! I knew that there was only one way to go, up! I checked into a clinic, kicked drugs and booze, and I thank the Lord Jesus, and you and your story. You really helped me, man. Aaron, TN
I continue to be blessed by your Christian website. I just learned how to use the computer about 3 years ago. God has given us a measuring stick of His love and that measuring stick is called "Calvary"! Lifting you up in prayer today during my fellowship time with the Lord! In addition your ministry! Floyd, USA
Dear Mr. Watson: Yes, I gave my soul to Christ years ago when I was in my late 20s. Yes sir, it is free and the world would be a better place if everyone knew Jesus. It was good receiving a letter back. I showed your flyer to my pastor..., and he did a sermon about you. I think you will be happy to know that, and the sermon was very good I might add. He said he was going to write too. I'll keep you in my prayers. Your friend, Jake, FL
I'm 35 years old and I'm a truck driver. I don't want you to take this letter as fan mail. I'm not a collector in any way. I just like the page Abounding Love Ministries and feel it's a very good thing you are doing. I read your book "Will You Die For Me?" It is a great book and a real eye opener. So after seeing your mailing address, I figured I would write and tell you how much I enjoy what you do. Thanks Mr. Watson. Jake, Florida
I never imagined myself sitting down to write you a letter, but here I am. I have been fascinated with cults and cult mentality since I wrote my first research paper on the Manson Family back in 1985. I recently read your interview "Will You Die For Me?" and I was very impressed with the insight you were able to provide from first-hand knowledge of how a person is able to be drawn into the "cult" mentality. I just wanted to take a moment to say that I admire that you have step up to take responsibility for your part in that summer, and how you have turned your life around. Rhonda, IN
In my mid teens, because of overcoming my tumultuous childhood, I had a strong influence over my peers. I was raised by a good family, but the sexual abuse I endured in the church as a child went unaddressed and suffocated from any attention. In high school, my instigation became catalyst to influential manipulation of the next generation of younger teenagers that surrounded me. In those times, the punk scene was flourishing and the drugs were heavy. So people became vulnerable to my ideas.
Keep in mind that now in 2017 I have been walking a spiritual path off all drugs for over 20 years. But in the early nineties, the darkness was consuming. I had my own ideology of overthrowing city council, but the details of that are unimportant now. I eventually became hospitalized for a couple of years in a psychiatric facility, in a straight jacket in solitary confinement and received daily electro-shock treatment between 1993-1995. Now this brings me to current situation...
After my release on 1995, I developed a career in the steel industry and became a successful welder. Now as a mature adult, I spend long periods of time working in isolation or camps. I get a private room, three square meals a day, and I work hard to make a living. Many of my friends in society question my spirituality because the context of raping the earth of its nonrenewable resources is so dark. But God works in such unfathomable and mysterious ways, that I have found solace in this seemingly hopeless state. Sending prayers, Rob, Burnaby, B.C., Canada
I looked at your January 2017 Monthly View and liked how it stated that I need to stop reliving past experiences. I actually make that resolution many times each year, so I am hoping that I will become strong enough someday to stop thinking about how I could have maybe done things differently, or things had gone differently between my parents and myself.
I have told you many times before, but I want to say it again that I love your Monthly View page. They are, and always have been, so inspiring to me. There are times where I wonder where you come up with your words. Do they come from things you see around you, from stuff you read, or just writing from your own experiences? Your friend, Matt, CA.
I would like to thank you for your card and your pamphlet you sent a while back. Sorry I didn't reply until now but recently I went into a depressive state of mind and also had a death in the family. My uncle passed from stage 4 throat cancer. On his death bed, he was saved one last time before he passed. At the funeral in the church during the last part, the pastor gave everyone a chance to be saved. And during that time I was saved. Your card really helped. I've now found a church and found happiness. So how have you been? Are you doing fine? I hope you find yourself in a good place. What do you do in your free time to help you keep a happy state of mind? Again, thank you so much for your card and response. It helped me more than you'll ever know. Thanks again. Hope to hear from you soon. Kaitlin, SC
My name is Kevin and I wanted to send you this letter so say hello and ask if you are in good spirits. I'm proud to hear that you changed your ways and have become a better person. You are an inspiration to me because you have shown me that even I can be a better person also. And for that I say a big thank you; do you think we can be friends to each other? I would love to be a friend to someone like you who has been a big inspiration to me. It would make me the happiest person in the world. You are one cool dude and I can't wait to hear back from you. Well I'll let you go; I just wanted to send this letter to you written from my heart to yours. Please take care, stay happy, safe, and keep your head up. Your new friend, Kevin
The reason I am writing today is because I am a teacher in Northeast for nearly twenty years and I have a heavy interest in learning about the "person behind the person." I have visited and looked over your website and observed (support) your connection to the Lord. Is this something that you found later in life or one that you came back to over the last forty years? I comment your attempt at penance on that level.
I am first and foremost a teacher and have a genuine curiosity and a desire to inform and teach others about the past, present, and a path for the future. Are you able and have access to world events today? If so, what are your feelings for the climate of the United States today, be it religious issues, political ones, or social occurrences?
I just want to share with my high school kids, that you are "real", you have a voice, and that there is always a time and chance for a second opportunity at life. J. Kelly, MA
I just wanted to write you to say how moved I was by your book, your testimony, and your faith. I was born in 1969, and lately I've been reading some books about then, I've been a Christian for quite a long time, and I was greatly encouraged by what the Lord has done in your life and how He's continuing to use you.
I guess that's a big part about what was so encouraging about your testimony and life -- it was a great reminder that God can do anything and can make anyone a new creation at any time in any way He chooses. I'm glad you shared your story, and I just wanted to say thank you. I would appreciate your prayers for my kids, and if there's any way I can pray for you, I'd be honored to do it. God bless, Cameron, NV.
“Be encouraged! Keep looking up! Keep smiling!
You have many people praying for you. I'm thankful that we serve a God who is aware, cares, hears our prayers -- and answers them in a time and way he knows best.
"Cast all your cares upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7
May God bless you in a very special way.
Ordinary, however, serving an extraordinary God, Robert, MI.
“I have enjoyed seeing your articles online. I truly believe you are a "saved" born again Christian. You have certainly convinced me of that. I know that Mrs. Doris Tate never really forgave you, and she took that to her grave. But she has to deal with that.
I am a pharmacy student at Lively College in Tallahassee, Florida. I would like to write you in the future and keep in touch with you. Can I send you postage stamps or stamped envelopes? I would like to do that if I am allowed to.
Please tell me more about your daily life and the books you recommend. Do you get "Our Daily Bread" to read in prison? I can send you a subscription if necessary. Thanks for taking the time to read this and answer me back. Sincerely, Chris, FL.
“I just finished reading your book “Will You Die For Me?”. It was interesting to see things from your perspective. Obviously, your crimes were horrible, but not beyond forgiveness and redemption as you discovered. I came to understand how they happened. In fact, I could have easily been one of you, falling into living among you all if I've been in the same place at the same time.
Like you, and I suspect most of the others, I was a kid disillusioned with my family, my life and society in general. I was full of anger, rebellion and in search of love and acceptance from anyone willing to give it, which is probably why I've had three failed marriages, among many other bad choices. I was heavily into drugs, sex with anyone who seem to want me and of course everything that goes with that lifestyle.
My family, like yours, were church-going, Bible-believing people, but I went mostly because I had to; at least until I was a teenager. It took me several years of living in hell to discover the love of Christ was for me too. I have been clean many years now; I believe God delivered me from certain death. Since then, I have been walking with God, but didn't get real serious about it until ten years ago. It's been a slow process, but I discover daily how good God really is and that I am his child, and that he loves me in spite of the things I've done. Sincerely, Gwen” Missouri.
I am a 58 year old man from Ohio. I remember the events of Aug 9-10, 1969 and have read several accounts of these events and of the family. I came across your Abounding Love Ministry and your book entitled "Will You Die for Me?" This book left me awestruck. What a powerful testimony at to how big and all encompassing the love of God truly is.
I have passed this book along to many of my Christian brethren, including a pastor in North Carolina. I found your book to be essential reading for the many people who are searching for God in their lives but believe themselves to be too broken and too far gone for God to be able to forgive and restore them. This work shouts the good news of salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God overlooks NOBODY! Thank you for sharing the blessing of your testimony. Yours in Christ, Dave, Ohio
Comment: We're so thankful that Dave let many of his friends know about the book. Our prayer is that you'll do the same and well as letting them know about the website.
I have been reading your book “Manson’s Right Hand Man…” First of all, I want to say Praise the Lord for your salvation. I read Helter Skelter as a teen and have often googled the “family” to see how they were doing. Certainly never saw anything about your ministry. What a wonderful ministry you do have. I wish there was one in the prison my son Craig is in. They do have church once a week but not always a minister there to lead it.
I have always prayed for my prodigal sons that whatever it took for them to recommit their lives to the Lord that it would be done. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my firstborn would end up in prison. Really it has turned out to be a blessing. He did recommit himself and has daily Bible reading and studying of the Word. He also receives different magazines from various religious organizations which he devours. I think on his pod of 80 men he is the only Christian there. He does witness to them, especially one man who was saved then turned back to witchcraft.
Again, I just want to say Praise the Lord for your salvation. How wonderful that is. You have a powerful testimony. God can use all of us no matter what. God Bless, Janice, VA
"I am writing you to acknowledge the fast you have striven to turn your life around in the most positive way possible. I commend you for accepting God's glorious grace and sharing with others in a spiritual manner. May you be healed as you heal others and know that there are still people that you don't even know that support you in your journey for freedom. I home this letter finds you in a positive way and you continue to spread love and the power of forgiveness. I would be honored to receive a response if at all possible. Sincerely, Bryan, Georgia."
"I'm writing because I happened to see your website. I have known of you since the Manson murders. I was around 10, and didn't hear much until I was older. I was quite interested in the case, thinking it would take a monster to do something like that. That is, until I became a Christian.
When I met Christ, I still thought I was a "good" person. Did I have a lot to learn! Now I know that what happened to you could happen to anyone. We all sin and fall short of God's glorious standard.
A couple years ago the lead pastor of my church was telling how, when he was younger, he read your book. He said he was so excited about the grace of God in your story I just want you to know that. I am excited too. I love what I've read, and I'm going to get your book for myself. You are an amazing example of God's amazing grace Charles! God bless you! Can't wait to meet you in heaven. In Christ, Beth, Ohio."
"I enjoy your website, and I know your story. I have a few comments and questions. I want to encourage you on your walk and work that you do. Keep on keeping on! I only have one question. How did you renew your mind? I am 37, I know I'm to renew my mind, but I have never been able to accomplish or know where to begin. I'm hoping the Lord will give you guidance to help me. Thanks, Jeremy"
"So glad to hear back from you. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. I surely am focusing more on Christ and most recently worship. I went to a chat room and found some local friends that share the love for God; people around my age which isn't as easy as I thought it would be. Haha! They agree with me that you're a changed man a God loving man spreading the word.
Since I last wrote you, I haven't put the Bible down. One of my favorites is "Jesus said to the people who believesd in Him, 'You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free'" (John 8:31,32, NLT). You will be in my thoughts and prayers always. Take care! Your friend, Alec, Virginia."
"Thank you for the new things you sent. I appreciate it so much. Yes, I am experiencing freedom big time! In fact, I was thrown a snare this past week, and I did the right thing which I am very proud of, and it made me feel so free! I have a track record for not making good conscious decisions, but I made it! Your example, strength and friendship have helped me so much. Thank you for being such a blessing. I pray for you and consider you every day. Love, Elka, Kentucky"
"I've been wanting to write for a while. I'm only 22, but have become very familiar with you and your case. I've read "Will You Die for Me?", which I loved for its brutal honesty, and how much accountability you taken. It showed how regretful you are of your mistakes and how much you have matured since then.
At some point, I have forgotten I was reading a former Manson killer's book. , I was reading about a young man's road to finding himself and finding meaning in life. In other words, it was very relatable and showed you weren't much different than the typical 20 something. Made me think, what happened to you could have happened to anyone.
I obviously don't judge you for your past actions. I understand you were young and times were different then. I want you to know that I'm proud of how far you come and that you have a friend in me. Love you brother, Michael, Los Angeles."
"I'm 18 years old, & I live on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland. I just heard about your crimes a year ago and they really did quite shock me (but I wasn't to disturbed, don't worry!), but I'm glad to hear about your reform.
I've visited your website, which I found to be very profound and spiritual, and I've read through parts of your book as well, via your website. I've never actively practiced religion myself, but I'm open to the concept of it, and the faith it gives individuals including yourself.
As a result, I hope to hear back from you for more spiritual purposes. Regards, Nicki.
"I'm writing to you because you seem like an interesting fellow who might like a new friend. I'm a 26 year old male. I work at Ross Dress for Less and am an amateur artist.
I've been reading your website, and I have to say that your story is quite inspiring to see how you've turned your life around through Christ.
Just want to say, "Keep up the wonderful work you do!" God bless you, Renick, Oklahoma."
"I finally got your book off the internet; used copy for $7. I am almost finished reading it. I found it to be a very hard read in some places and incredible and exciting in others.
The two chapters about the murders were of course very difficult to read. But a song that I know kept popping into my head while I was reading it by Josh Wilson called "That was then, this is now".
The chorus goes like this: "That was then...this is now; you're bought by the blood, saved by the Son the Saints all sing about. That was lost...this is found. It's time to say goodbye to the old you now. So go ahead put the past in the past. Box it up like an old photograph. You don't have to go back, cuz that was then and this is now!!"
Charles, I can't help but feel such joy for you when I think of the transformation that has taken place. I want very much to be a partner with you in prayer. Your story is an amazing story of God's amazing grace! I'm so happy to be writing you and thrilled that you are a child of the One True King. God bless you, Beth, Ohio."
“I hope this finds you doing well. I am 39 and live in rural Georgia, with my four children on a small little farm that keeps me busy.
I must tell you how I came to find you. I've been struggling with some personal health issues over the past two years. I love the Lord and have turned to Him for support and guidance. He has been my rock. I praise Him!
While reading different sites online about forgiveness and heaven, I came up on your "Abounding Love." This is a divine intervention.
I didn't know you by name or face until I found this. Of course, I know this story. To read of your faith in forgiveness and testimony has given me hope and assurance that God forgives us and despite our sins, we can be forgiven. I have made choices regarding my health that have made me ashamed to ask the Lord for forgiveness. I know now that he has forgiven me. Thank you!
I know you are a busy man, but I so badly to share with you that this has helped me. I know it is going to be alright. Thank God! I finally am at peace and I'm content with life and thankful for all that I have. God bless you.”
"I have begun reading your books, "Will You Die For Me?" and "Manson's Right-Hand Man Speaks Out!" I just felt that I had to write you. I have so many questions about who you are now and have so much to say. Your books are both very well written and informative. Truth be told I can hardly put them down.
Apart from reading your books, I went to the abounding love ministries website and read your Q&A. When describing your typical day, you mentioned you wake up at 5 a.m. am I the first thing to do is read. What do you read Mike bucks, scriptures, etc.? I read a lot, so if you have any book recommendations, I would love to hear them.
I also was excited to find out that we both have December birthdays, and I was a vegetarian for 12 years; you still are today. You received your BS in Business Management, correct? How many degrees have you earned and is there anything you would like to study? I am currently a sophomore in college, double majoring. So I think it is cool you achieved that goal.
I suffer from depression and so some days are harder than others. Is there any uplifting advice or quotes that you could share with me? I am very proud of the person you have become. I know that you receive a great sum of mail, however, I do hope to hear back from you. Best wishes!"
I'm just a teen, but I've been wanting to write to you, and I finally am. I started reading stuff on the so-called "Manson Family" and though you were a big part of the crimes, and I don't know you personally, I couldn't help but feel bad.
I haven't been able to read any of your books because I couldn't find them. As glad as I am you found God, I'm not the most religious person. How can I find God? I have read a Bible once, but I don't own one.
I don't know how much mail you get, or if you get any hate mail, but I'm not judging you, because only God can, and I feel God forgave you. Plus, you have apologized. Thank you, and God bless you! Ian, WA, USA
I recently read your book and anything else I could find on you. I am interested in your life and choose not to dwell on the past as I can see you have moved on from that dark place. Praise God for the journey you have travelled thus far.
I am a Christian (I guess). I try with everything in me to believe and live the way people tell me God wants me to. I fail every day. I want to become this person who feels the joy I am told a relationship with God can give me. I tend to be somewhat narcissistic, but I am on the other hand a good person.
Do you have any words that can help me? Someone who has turned their self around as wonderfully as you seem to have would be an inspiration to me. I don’t care what you did in your past. I admire you for what you have done since then and continue to do. You help people! I hope you realize that.
Please help me find the God you serve! I hope to hear from you soon. I will be honored if you answer. Thank you, Jennifer.
Hello Charles, my name is Bruce. I’m 44 years old and am an ex-con myself… I have done two terms… I was released in 2011 and have since discharged my #... but find myself back in the same situation. I’m living on my friend’s couch for now... I have no job, no car, etc. I have to fight the feelings of wanting to do something illegal to get money. I do have a bit of a drug problem, but I have moments of clarity. I can be good; that’s how I was able to discharge my # without violating my parole. But then I find myself falling into the same pattern – getting high, not caring, etc. I was talking with another friend of mine who had done some time and he is doing very well. He is into the church. He told me about you and what you had done, and who you are now and said it was all because of the church. So I went to your website and had a look, and I liked what I saw. If someone like you can change and find yourself with the church, then maybe I can change for the better? I have read about you on the internet; I have seen an all the good you have done for yourself while locked up. I even watched one of your sermons on YouTube. I was very impressed and felt better about myself, because your speech made me think about my life. I thought if “Tex” Watson can change and feel good about himself, then I can too. I know you’re in a very high profile case, but I do hope you are released.
You have done a lot to better your life; you’re not the same person you were 45 years ago and I’m proud of you! I am trying to better my life! I want you to know that you have me looking at my own life and seeing what’s wrong… and with God’s help, I can save it. THANK YOU! Bruce, CA
I got interested in you and your conversion after I had watched a special show on the History Channel called 'Manson' recently. At the end of the program it had showed the followers of Manson and had info on each one and after I saw yours and that you were born again in prison, I was interested in your story of how the lord changed you, so I looked you up online. Fortunately, I came across your 'Abounding Love Ministries' website. As I write this, I have only read a small portion of what you had to say on there but enough to prompt me to write you and congratulate you for your decision to accept Jesus into your heart!! I look forward to reading much more on your website about your relationship with Jesus Christ. Lynn, KY
Thank you so much for your encouragement to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." I know that I do as I continue to meditate on His Word. I had great success in getting a DVD of your Forgiven video from The Word for Today. Thank you for your testimony Charles. I have enjoyed watching it. I praise our Heavenly Father for His forgiveness and also giving us the ability to forgive others. Once again, I thank you for everything, the information and your prayers and know that you are always in my prayers. May God continue to bless you and your ministry. Timothy, KS
Thank you very much for your online ministry. I've been searching for some spiritual food and your words were just what I needed. My significant other is currently incarcerated in federal prison in Beaumont, TX. He has already served 2 1/2 years of a 20 year sentence. I want our relationship to survive but as time passes, it becomes more and more difficult. In the meantime, I just keep praying and try to support him in any way that I can. I read your book, Will You Die For Me? and felt your pain and isolation. I know those feelings all too well and I, too, have tried to dull them with drugs and alcohol. I agree with you that the only way to combat loneliness and emptiness is to have god in your life. Sometimes, He seems pretty quiet, but I know that means He is working behind the scenes. On another note, we do have some similarities. I'm an 8th generation Texan and currently reside in Houston. I, like you, was also raised in the Methodist church. I still attend most Sundays with my parents. My relationship with god is a work in progress. Thank you again and God bless. Blaine, TX
I hope you are doing well! I am writing to tell you that I admire your ministry and to say that I think you are a great inspiration to so many people looking to make a positive change in their life. I know that all we can ever change in this world is ourself and that you have helped many with your message. I would love to hear from you, Mr. Watson, and learn more about you. I hope all is good for you and thank you for taking the time for me. Ty, GA
NEVER LOOK BACK: I grew up in a home that was filled with negativity, emotional neglect and violence. I can honestly say that I do not remember receiving a hug from my mother, let alone hearing her say that she loved me. One phrase I did hear from her quite often was "I love you because I have to, but I do not like you." I realize that is probably hard for someone who came from a happy home to believe, but closeness was something that did not exist in my young world. To me the negativity, neglect and violence was normal; because I did not know anything else. I never realized just how much the loveless home I lived in had affected me. My self-esteem was damaged and I continued to go down the dark hole of loneliness. As I grew older the beatings ended, but the damaging words didn't. Although I was a perfectionist, I was never good enough in the eyes of my parents. I pushed myself harder and harder to gain their acceptance, but that never came. There was always something wrong with me.
At the age of 20 I joined the military and moved away from my parents. I was becoming my own person and finally able to see that I was worthy of love and acceptance. I was someone who deserved to be loved, however, I didn't realize that they had inflicted horrible damage to my self-esteem. The damage was so deep that I was unable to maintain a relationship, because I didn't know how to give or receive love. At the same time, my desire for perfection also remained and I began to rise through the military ranks quickly. That didn't satisfy me either, because I felt that if I was able to do it, anyone could. I was never happy with any of my accomplishments.
I turned to counselling and therapy many times over a period of five years, but it never seemed to work. I suppose somewhere deep inside of me I kept telling myself that I was not worthy of God's love. After I returned from a very arduous tour in Iraq, I knew I had to do something to get beyond all of my self-destructive behavior. I began looking online to see if there was something I could do to get beyond all of this sadness. As I was searching the internet, I came across your website and read through every article that was inside. I started to become inspired by your words, because they seemed so genuine and heartfelt. I decided to write you, with the hopes of gaining an understanding of how you were able to get beyond your past, because I felt it could also help me.
I was pleased beyond words to receive a letter back from you, nearly five years ago. At that point my life changed, because not only was I introduced to a wonderful man, I was also introduced to the Lord. At first I questioned everything too much, but I believe that is what the Lord intended for me. He knew that I had to be certain in every way before I walked along His path. I still have times where my low self-esteem can creep in, but I also know that I have two outstanding friends to help me when I'm struggling. Those two friends are you and the Lord. I thank you for your guidance, your friendship and most of all your belief in me. Your friend, Matt, CA
I was at CMC with Charles and I want you all to know that since my release; in 1984 I have had no further convictions. I lived for a period of deception, but God is faithful and has me back on track again. So let Charles know that Paul Bell the inmate that ran the card ministry is still walking with the Lord. Paul B.
I want to take the time to thank you for your website 'Abounding Love Ministries. I am 67 years old now and all my life I believed in nothing or anything to do with God or Jesus. It made me such an unhappy and lonely person with nowhere to go. My friend told me to read your website. At first I didn't bother, but I finally got around to reading it. And now, thanks to you, your site has given me something to finally believe in, and it all makes so much sense. Why did I not see all this before? I feel so much happier in myself. Now, I have something to believe in and things can only get better from now on. I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with everyone. I knew all about you from the past, but for you to get through all of that to find God is truly an amazing thing. You have achieved so much over the years Mr. Watson, and you have helped so many other people to believe in God, including me who never ever thought I would believe in anything and that is all down to you and Jesus and I am eternally grateful. I would be so pleased if I would hear from you via letter, just so I know you had a chance to read mine. But I know it's probably not possible as you are busy. Thank you Mr. Watson and thank you so very much for changing my life in a very good positive way. God Bless. James, England
All you have endured, all you've come to be is an astonishing transformation. I know the full effects of suppression. It is in degrees. I know madness. It is also in degrees.I believe you've come to full peace. I believe all is forgiven. There can be no other journey but to where you've arrived -- you, a man of conscience and conviction.
Charles, I wrote to you (and many others, as I did prison ministry for 30 years) long ago on a regular basis. I still have a cassette tape of your ordination, a tape of your sermon on baptism, and a VHS tape about your situation which you made with Pastor Chuck Smith from Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA. After a few years, you asked me to write to your wife, and I did. She provided me with hundreds of tracts which I made good use of, and I only wish there were more. I worked a full-time and part-time job, but my ex-husband had left me with my then 3-year-old son, and I could not afford anything from your ministry, but I was never charged. Every bus I rode to jobs in Cleveland had one of your tracts in every empty seat. As the bus filled up, everyone picked up those tracts and read them during their trip to work. I left them in phone booths (we have none today), on shelves in stores, and I handed out so many in so many places. I thank you for all those opportunities. Carol, Ohio
I also just read you current Monthly View regarding the Victim's Rights Week this past April. That type of event must be highly emotional for everyone involved. It takes brave people, on both sides, to walk into the chapel and share their emotions and heart-felt stories. Here is a story that I might not have shared with you before. When my older brother was 18 he was babysitting for an older woman who he knew from work. Her estranged husband came to the house after she returned home and beat both of them with a metal pipe, as my brother was helping her carry some packages into the house. My brother and this lady were left for dead, as the perpetrator passed out from the drugs and alcohol that were in his system. My brother awoke after several hours, got help and spent the next few days in the hospital. The person who committed the crime was never convicted of a crime; he was only placed in a facility to help him get beyond his drug and alcohol problem.
I find that the closer I get to the Lord, the more at peace I am. Of course, I still have my moments where I get down, but that is the time I pray the most and ask for help. I see so many things in a much different way. I have always been a compassionate person, but I can feel myself being a much more feeling person than I have ever been before. I find myself wanting to be a better person each day. I have you to thank for helping me along the way, with being my friend and truly showing that you care about the path I will choose in my life. Matthew, CA
I am writing to you, with hope you will receive this and respond. I was born in 1973, after your crime. I came across your story, and the mess you wound up in, by means of some documentary. I did some research and found out as much as I could about you and your case and also the Manson family. Although myself, I never committed any crimes, I struggle with self-esteem, drug and alcohol abuse. Even with times of years of being clean and sober, I can not find peace of mind, or comfort and faith in God and I have been to multiple rehabs and churches. I am now 40, all alone and lost the will to live. I am curious at how you continue on after 40 plus years in prison, and still have the will to go on, from a big mistake you made when you were basically just a kid. You must have found some higher power because I can't handle being alone and not having the things I should have at my age. 12-step meetings do nothing for me... If you receive this letter and would be kind enough to share what keeps you going, you may possibly save a life. Best of luck to you, and hopefully you will receive parole. Brian, New Jersey
I just wanted to say that I have been blessed immensely upon discovering this website and all of its content. I see Charles in a new light now and I am so happy he has allowed our Lord to mold him into the man he was born to be. I thank the moderator as well as Charles himself for keeping this labor of love alive to help lead others to Christ and help people see that the Lord can work through anybody. God bless Charles Watson! It is inspiring to see him living a life that glorifies Jesus despite the fact that certain persons tend to doubt his sincerity. I can tell that he is a new creation in Christ Jesus and that he has transformed drastically & beautifully throughout the years. I hope that he can feel the love and prayers that many of his brothers/sisters in the Lord are sending out to him. I hope this ministry continues on for a very long time. Jillian
Thank you for your words of encouragement. I did get my NLT Bible, and I am truly enjoying it. I take it to the country with me to let my dogs run. My mind is clear there surrounded by nature. Thank you for suggesting it. All the answers truly are in the Bible. I am seeking answers for my problems now. I've been on your website numerous times, so much to read. I'm going to print off the Monthly Views so I can highlight parts that speak to me. You have been a blessing to so many people. I hope you can feel that. I read the monthly views and see the lives that you have helped change, and it encourages me to be a better person and to reach out to others. I will always remember you as someone who has helped me to grow in Christ. You are such a big inspiration to me and others; you truly have a gift that you have shared. A gift I am truly thankful that you took the time to share with me. Please keep me in your prayers and I will you as well. Your friend, June, KY
My name is Maurizio, and I recently came across this passage and thought of you: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and those whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin." (Romans 4:7,8, ESV) I have been currently struggling with religion and you have become somewhat of an inspiration. WA State.
Hi: I read about your case, and your finding our Heavenly Father. God bless you, brother. I love to hear about your journey with Christ. George, WA State
I praise God for His display of love, mercy, forgiveness and grace in saving you and adopting you as His son. I also thank you for your witness as a disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in sharing your testimony of faith to others. It is so wonderful to know what a great work God is doing through you and your ministry. I pray that you may be released to do what could be an even more expanded and greater work to glorify Him. Timothy, Kansas
While looking over the Abounding Love Ministries web page, a question came to mind I hope you can answer for me. How does your faith in Christian religious view the extreme religious right intolerance of other beliefs in religious faith or politics? I hope you can shed some light on it for me. Matt, Amarillo, Texas
Response from Charles: Thanks for your letter. I believe we need to respect the rights of others to believe as they desire, just as we desire respect for our beliefs. If we appear trying to fix others, we're saying they are wrong or less than. As a result, we run the risk of putting up a wall that will close their ears to ministry. Instead of creating a sin consciousness by attacking a person's sin and unbelief, as Christians, we are to minister the Good News of God's love and grace, which creates a righteousness consciousness. When the seed of righteousness is implanted in our heart, we will begin to view the solution for others as we view ourselves, that we received the righteousness of God by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, not by legalism. Remember what God says, "...the just shall live by faith." (Hab. 2:4; Rom 1:26, 17; Gal 3:11)
I'm from a small town in Pennsylvania where I go to school for Criminal Psychology. I happened to hear about your case in one of my classes, and it caught my attention. I learned that you have since been a changed man. It really touched my heart. Kristen, King of Prassia, PA
My name is Paul. I am training to be an official servant of God. Of course, I've considered myself a servant for a long time. You see, sir, I look to you with much encouragement. I went to jail for attempted murder in 2005. I got out on parole in 2009. I heard your moving story in 2010, and it changed me into the man I am today. So Thank you! I have a wife and two small children that I can now show the Way. Coatsville, PA.
I have wanted to tell you for a long time how impressed I am at the way the power of forgiveness shines through Susan LaBerge. It is a true statement to how someone can let go of anger and sadness, while opening up their hearts to the power of love and forgiveness. I was so impressed with the way she stood by her convictions and didn't let anyone pressure her into changing the way she felt. I can't help but be fascinated at how strong of a person she is, because many people would have changed their way of thinking as soon as pressure from others started to hit them.
At the same time, it is a testament to what a good person you truly are. I think that is what drew me to you in the first place. I was at a point in my life where I knew I needed to change. I knew I needed to free myself of anger and sadness and stop reliving the past. I can't tell you what it was exactly that made me seek out your page in the beginning, but it was probably one of the most beneficial things I have ever done in my life. Not only have I gotten to know a wonderful person, but I have also been able to read your monthly views over and over. I have read them so many times and each time it seems as if I have found something new. It was almost as if I was guided to you in order for me to heal and to make a life-long friend. I am proud to call you my friend and thankful that I met you at a time in my life when I needed that genuine guidance. I saw several different therapists, but it never seemed to help. I continued to feel the pain of everything that had happened. I read books, listened to audio tapes, and had even tried hypno-therapy and yet nothing worked. Then, I saw your website and began to read every single word and the true process of healing began. I can't explain what it was about your words, but it seemed I could relate to so many of them. I was drawn to everything you had written. I can't thank you enough for everything you have given to me. Your friend, Matt, CA
I've read and seen a lot on the Manson murders, and therefore have heard of Charles Watson several times. I do believe that he's truly sorry for his role in these crimes, and has accepted responsibility for his part in them. God has awesome powers, and one of those powers is to turn those who do not believe in Him into His worshipers. I wish Mr. Watson all the best in his efforts to continue to spread the Word.
I know that Mr. Watson may never know about this message but I wanted to say that his testimony is very powerful indeed. I know Mr. Watson regrets that he took part in the Manson family, but God took a man who committed a heinous crime and turned his story into a beautiful testimony of God's unconditional love and grace! A prayer for all prisoners that they too may be saved through God's grace! Praise God and our Savior Jesus Christ!
Hello, My name is Jennifer. I recently served (well, almost served) on a jury for a murder trial. I truly believe that God put me there for a reason. I have not been able to stop thinking about how many people, children of God, are forgotten. Society says that we are defined by our actions, but that is not what the bible says. We are defined as children of God, imperfect children who have been saved becuase of Gods grace and sacrifice. I dont want for any inmate to think that they have no life left and that they are unworthy of Gods love. The truth is that none of us are worthy, but we still have it.
Hey, this is an awesome website! I recently watched something on the history channel about Charles Manson. It is awesome the way the grace of God works! I love Brother Watson's studies and know that he is doing such tremendous work for Jesus! Thank you God bless you guys keep up the good work! we will be praying for you all!
I just want to say hello and let you know that I loved reading through this website. I also am a christian and rejoice that Charles Watson has become such a strong man of God! It's very exciting to know that he has been so faithful to the Lord all these years. Please let him know that I'm praying for him and the continued success of his outreach prison ministry. Thank you and God bless!!
If anything, reading Watson's testimony makes me realize that I must not judge who gets eternal life and who doesn't, for that is up to Jesus. It helps me to lose the anger I've had for years for his horrible acts. I can't help but believe he is sincere because he has confessed and denounced Manson. Wow, if it can happen for him, it can happen for anybody, right? The good he has done is to show young people what drugs, anger, insecurity and a lack of having Jesus in their lives can do to them. I pray that young people will turn away from drugs and look to the cross! God is so amazing.
Just watched the tex watson story and the end was very emotional i just want to say that Gods forgiveness is very unlimited & if we confess our sin he is faithful and just forgive us of our sin & cleanse us from all unrightousness.the apostle paul killed and had the early christians jailed.he was there when they stoned stephen.Then one day he was on his way to damascas and he was met by jesus ans jesus ask him why he persucuted & he ask him who are you he said iam jesus whom you persecute.After that paul was a changed man & went on to be insipred by God to write i believe 16 books in the new testament.So Grace can go alot alot farther than we ever think. So long in Christ, Daril
Just a normal working class christian. I came across your web site while taking a break from working on the graveyard shift. Charles story is very inspirational. Thanks for the time and effort to do the witnessing you do. (not only to prisoners)
Mr. Watson's life is a testament to the love of Jesus Christ and that He can turn all things for His good. Thank you.
I have just come across all this news about the Mansons. I just read Mr. Watson's testimony and I can't tell you how much it has blessed me to see how God has changed this man's life and how he is not wasting his time in prison. He has made more of an impact in prison than he would have if he had of not been arrested. It's not very often you see a person with such bold faith and so evident in his life and testimony. Please tell Mr. Watson thank you for his bold testimony and for his sharing his faith with countless millions of people. This is the kind of testimony that speaks volumes, and the kind that gives others hope in their hopelessness. This has made my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Something good did come out of all that evil and wickedness. I remember watching the movie on TV when I was a youth and I remember being so oppressed. Now I can have something good to think about the whole situation, God's goodness and saving Grace. I will pray for God's perfect will in his and his family's life. Terri - Fairmount, GA
Some years ago, I'd heard that Mr. Watson had become a Christian, but, until now, had no way of verifying it! Therefore, I am quite thrilled to actually see the truth of his conversion to Christ!!! I am in the process of someday acquiring a PhD in Restorative Justice which is a method of helping people find an alternative to a life of crime via reformation as opposed to undergoing punishment ONLY! Chuck Colson's prison ministry incorporates this viable and proven approach! My very good friend works as a part-time chaplain in the federal and state prison system of Pennsylvania. Since Charles cannot read this email, please tell him, in your own words, of my joy in learning of how God has restored his life and given him a Divine Calling in ministering to fellow prisoners around the world; and that I'll be remembering him in prayer on a regular basis as a newfound brother in the Lord!!! Sincerely in Christ's Name, James - Auburn, MA
May God continue to use you to spread His word to everyone in prison. Please stress to them that it is never too late to ask Jesus Christ in your heart. Thank God for your minisrty. May God continue to give you His strength and grace to tell everyone about Jesus. God Bless You! Kayla - Houston, Texas
I always am in prayer for Watson and his prison ministry..What was meant for evil God turned to good.. Back in the day my mothers boyfriend defended charles manson for publicity only and as a young teen I was exposed to this case. I was full of such joy when This man Charles Watson was saved and forgiven and snatched from the pit of hell. I am with Charles Colsons Pen pal to an inmate and appreciate your missionary web site. Very uplifting.. Thank you Rev. Anne
I just wanted to say that I recently read a "Where Are They Now?" article about the Manson Family, and the "Tex" part caught my eye. I, too, am a born again Christian, so I checked out this website. I think it is so amazing that our God has brought you out of such bondage! What an incredible testimony you have--it's good to know that even though you are dutifully carrying out you sentence, you are a shining example of Christianity in one of the darkest places!!!
Charles & I were neighbors for a time in 1997-1999 in Bldg 6 @ MCSP. He is absolutely right on many topics he has written. I grew up as a firm believer in the death penalty. As I spent my last two years of my sentence on that yard, I could see that there were some men that had actually manifested a change in their heart sufficient enough to cause them to live a life so obviously different than their previous one. Although Charles and I were not "close", I believe that he was one such man. As a result I no longer am a proponent of the death sentence and a believer that change is possible. It is through individuals, like Charles, by living as an example, that God can change men. I paroled in 1999 and through God's grace have not re-offended or returned to jail/prison.
I just wanted to leave this message saying how surprised I was to hear that Mr. Watson is now a Christian and what a blessing it was for me to read through the website and see how some good came from such a horrendous crime that terrorised us all. I know Mr. Watson will never see this, but I wish all the best for him and pray that God continues to work in his life and those around him. Thank you God for even the smallest of blessings! Rachael
This is the first time I have ever researched anything about the crime in which Mr Watson was involved in. I just want to say I admire Mr Watson for upholding his actions and is now at peace with Christ. I do wish him and his family well.
I just wanted to let Charles know that I am in prison ministry and that I have used his testimony on forgiveness to the ladies who come out for church. The Lord has used his testimony to administer hope in the lives of the women we deal with and I'm just writing to say thank you, God bless you and be encouraged Charles because the Lord is still using you greatly here in Pa. Bless You brother.