Questions & Answers
Q: How was Charles Manson able to convince people to do things that were against their natural grain and which many seem now to deeply regret?
In the 60's, many people who met Manson came away saying he had charisma or a special ability to lead. There was a quality about him that was attractive and irresistible. He had the ability to charm and fascinate people with his glamour and magnetism, even witchery. This was not, however, a godly charisma. It was witchcraft. He sent his girls off to murder, saying, "Write something witchy on the walls!" There was an evil presence.
Charlie's outward appearance was very deceptive. He'd charm you, so he could later implant his evil philosophy in your heart. I believe he had deceived himself over the years with vain philosophies, causing his conscience to become deeply flawed. He used an elevated logic to manipulate those of us who were young, gullible and naive. His judgment and condemnation of us and our parents, created a sense of lack. He exalted himself, desiring our worship. As a result, we looked to him, believing he had the answers to life. We admired him and wanted to be like him. Since he had revealed our sense of lack, he seemed to have what was missing in our lives.
In reality, Manson was objectively a very evil person. His heart was filled with resentment and anger towards society. He deeply blamed others for all his failures. After he had charmed us, he preached his philosophy of revenge. This is a similar indoctrination that we see working today in the lives of terrorists, their children and followers.
Q: What further insights can you give to help us understand how a leader like Manson could deceive someone to do something so contrary to how they were raised?
I have come to see that it was not so much who Manson was, but our deep lack of identity, causing insecurity. We took on Manson's deceptive beliefs, which propelled us to do his will being fueled by our hurts, frustration, bitterness, anger, confusion, addictions, paranoia and compulsive behavior. We lacked a sound belief system of our own. The difference between right and wrong became very shaded after months of programming. But, we would have never murdered anyone without believing his lies.
The dynamics of a group mentality was a catalyst, since we gave validity to each other's warped beliefs. There was competition within the family to gain Manson's acceptance. Our individual lack of identity made us ripe for his deceptive philosophy. During the '60s, there seemed to be a void of sound beliefs in the lives of many teenagers and young adults. Many have said to me, "It could have been me!" Our false beliefs were objective in nature, only desiring to fulfill our carnal cravings for sex and physical satisfaction medicating our pain. Our hearts longed for what looked and felt good. Thinking we were right and in control produced a growing rebellion.
Unknowingly, we were slowly giving ourselves over to evil and losing control to the murderous philosophy of Manson. We believed Manson was right, and some of us were willing to die for him. Our conscience failed to work properly because of the drugs we were ingesting. They created a false sense of bliss. At the same time, our flawed conscience freed us to murder and carry out Manson's evil delusions. The rest is history!
Q: What beliefs do we need to develop so a person like Manson cannot manipulate us to carry out their destructive beliefs?
We must believe in God as our Heavenly Father, who created us. This must be taught by our parents and in our schools to give our children a sense of worth, value and dignity. As a result, a godly-fatherly instinct will come forth instead of an animalistic one. Many scientists understand that evolution is an evil lie. When we realize we were created in the image of God, instead of evolved from monkeys, we take on a different worldview, concerning ourselves, mankind and our relationship with God as our Father.
I believe there is a spiritual void within every person. A relationship with the Creator of the universe gives a proper identity and only then do we begin to see others as we should. As we place value on our own lives and relationship with God, we begin to place value on the lives of others. In other words, as we come to know who we are in God's family, we come to know those in his family. As a result, we won't believe we need a cult like the Manson Family, but instead see ourselves in need of a loving Heavenly Father.
For me this relationship with God is established with the person of Jesus Christ, Who made it possible for all of us to relate to God on a personal level. He has satisfied my father-hunger. We arrived in this world lacking spiritual understanding because of the fall of man. We try to live in our own ability. Many of us get lost. Even if we succeed with all that life has to offer, but don't come to personally know God, we have failed. Jesus Christ is that person, Who came to Earth to lift us out of our flawed logic. He does this by having taken our penalty on the cross. He died and rose again from the grave to give us new life. He freely gives us His ability by placing us in right standing with God, fully forgiven and filled with the Holy Spirit. This righteous relationship with a living God is what empowers us to live victoriously, free from guilt and shame, overcoming by a divine identity. As a result, we know the truth and are no longer vulnerable to a flawed philosophy, such as Manson's.
(For 208 more Q&A, see Manson's Right-Hand Man Speaks Out!)