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On the morning of August 9, 1969, three LAPD officers arrived at 10050 Cielo

Drive (Bugliosi 7). The scene that awaited them was horrendous. In the driveway, in a

parked car, the body of Steven Parent was found. He was shot four times and stabbed

once. Laying about eighteen or twenty feet past the front door of the house, Voytek

Frykowski had been shot twice, beaten over the head with a blunt object thirteen times,

and stabbed fifty-one times. Also discovered on the lawn was coffee heiress Abigail

Folger, stabbed twenty-eight times. Inside the home, in the living room, were the bodies

of Jay Sebring and Sharon Tate. Sebring, a hair stylist, had been stabbed seven times and

shot once, dying of exsanguination. Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time of

her death, was stabbed sixteen times in the chest and back (Fillmer par. 2).

The following evening, in a seemingly unrelated crime, Leno and Rosemary

LaBianca were discovered in their home at 3301 Waverly Drive. Rosemary was found

face down in her bedroom, a lamp cord wound around her neck, in a pool of blood; she

had been stabbed forty-one times. Her husband, Leno, had a pillow case over his head, a

lamp cord tied around his neck, his hands tied behind his back with a leather thong, and an

ivory-handled, bi-tined carving fork in his stomach; he had been stabbed multiple times and

had the word ?WAR? carved in his flesh (Bugliosi 55-56).

The murderers were members of a group led by Charles Manson called the

Manson Family. These people were completely controlled by Manson. He had them

convinced that they were the chosen ones and that they were only carrying out the orders

of a man they thought was Jesus Christ incarnate (Watson par. 3). They were willing to

risk death and imprisonment to satisfy this man. Manson used borrowed ideas from

prosperous cults of the 1960?s to achieve a complete control over his followers.

In June of 1960, Charles Manson was sent to prison for forgery, mail theft, and

pimping (Bugliosi 192-193). There, he became involved with a cult called Scientology

(195). Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard (?Cult? par. 45). It teaches that each

human has a soul called a ?thetan.? Scientologists believe that, many years ago, the thetan

was ?god-like? and that people fell from divinity and forgot their origins. People were

then trapped on Earth in ?delusions of mortality (?Scientology? par. 12).? Hubbard

claimed that he had found the spiritual way to finding the true way to man. He said that

one must work through many levels of self knowledge and knowledge of past lives to

?awaken the primordial deity? until divinity is once again achieved (?Cult? par. 45).

The highest level of awareness in Scientology is called ?theta clear.? Manson

claims to have reached theta clear while in prison. He supposedly achieved this through

many ?auditing sessions,? the method that Scientologists use to teach awareness, taught

by his cell mate, Lanier Rayner (Bugliosi 195-196). Most likely, he picked up many of his

methods of mind control from these sessions, along with ideas such as karma and

reincarnation (635).

The Process Church of the Final Judgment, labeled a Satanist cult by the media,

was founded in 1963 by Robert DeGrimston, a former Scientologist. The basis of this

religion was the book of Matthew of the New Testament, and it began as a mixture of

Zoroastrianism and Scientology. The name ?The Process? refers to the ?changes

necessary to avoid the end of the world with its associated judgment.? Processeans

worship Jehovah, Lucifer, and Satan (?Process? par.17).

Even though The Process fervently denies that Charles Manson was ever a

member, many ideas from his philosophy parallel Process concepts. Both Manson and

The Process taught of a violent and unavoidable Armageddon in which all but the few

chosen ones would be destroyed, and both thought that motorcycle gangs would be the

?troops of the last days.? One Process pamphlet described the second coming of Christ

as: ? ?Through Love, Christ and Satan have destroyed their enmity and come together for

the End: Christ to Judge, Satan to execute the Judgment.? ? Manson believed that, when

Christ returned, it would be the establishment that ?went up on the cross (Bugliosi 637).?

Manson and The Process shared ideas on fear also; they preached that fear was the same

thing as awareness, and that the more fear one had, the more awareness and therefore

more love one had (320). There were so many similarities between Manson?s philosophy

and The Process that even if he was never a member, The Process must have been a great

influence on Charles Manson (638-639).

A great many other ideas of Manson?s came from the Beatles and the Bible. This

may seem like an odd pair, but they fit together surprisingly well in Manson?s mind.

Manson had his own unique interpretations of almost every verse from Revelations 9. He

believed that the Beatles were the four angels spoken of in the Bible. When the Bible

describes locusts emerging from the bottomless pit, he saw it as another reference to the

English rockers because locust and ?beetles? were one and the same. The locusts are

described as having the faces of men and the hair of women, which only reinforced his

opinion (Bugliosi 322-323). In Verse 15 of Revelations 9, the Bible says, ?So the four

angels were released; this was precisely the hour, the day, the month, and the year for

which they had been prepared to kill a third of mankind.? Manson preached that the third

part of mankind was the white race that would die in Helter Skelter (Bugliosi 323). Helter

Skelter was the name that Manson had given the race war between the whites and the

blacks. He believed that the blacks would win but would be unable to govern and then be

forced to turn to the Manson Family for leadership (Bugliosi 329-331). Manson believed

that the Beatles song of the same name was a prediction of this race war (?Charles

Manson?). He would often quote whole Beatles? songs and Revelations 9 to support his

views (Bugliosi 300). Manson believed that the Beatles were spokesmen contacting him

directly through their songs. He claimed that the White Album set things up for the

revolution and that his album (to be released later) would ?really start things off


Charles Manson had an uncanny ability to sense and use a person?s hangups or

desires (Bugliosi 317). He prayed on young men and women who were vulnerable and

looking for any sense of love or belonging. Many of the members of the Family were

young females who had traveled to California in search of God or happiness (343). He

even attracted a few men with LSD trips to ?open the mind (317).? What they found was

a man who would convince them of what they desperately wanted to believe: that they

were attractive and desirable, and that he was God. As he pulled in followers, Manson

began to preach his philosophy. He claimed to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and was

known as both God and Satan. He taught that the United States was on the brink of a

black/white racial war called Helter Skelter. Manson believed that the blacks would be

incapable of governing after being the inferior race for so long and would turn to the

Family for leadership (?Family? 2). He promised his followers that they would soon

retreat into the desert to the Bottomless Pit, another concept shared with The Process,

where they would live in comfort until they numbered 144,000 (Bugliosi 313). Then, they

would return to the upper world where they would rule (333). When Manson?s followers

numbered twenty or thirty and Helter Skelter had still not begun, he decided to start the

spark that would light the fire.

The members of the Family had already proven that they were willing to kill and

risk their own lives for him, so Manson ordered the Tate-LaBianca murders. The intent of

these murders was to cause Helter Skelter; they were supposed to appear as though blacks

had committed them. For this purpose, the words ?DEATH TO PIGS? were written on

the living room wall at the LaBianca residence, and ?HEALTER SKELTER [sic]? was

printed on their refrigerator, both in the blood of the victims. The word ?PIG? was

printed on the bottom half of the front door at 10050 Cielo Drive in Sharon Tate?s own

blood (Bugliosi 331-332).

After Manson and the Family members who were involved in the Tate-LaBianca

murders were arrested, he continued to reveal his ultimate control over them. Susan

Atkins, who was involved in both murders, agreed to testify for the Grand Jury in return

for immunity. After the criminal trial started, however, and she had one meeting with

Manson, she repudiated her statement and was once again charged with first degree

murder (?Family? 11). Manson?s followers who were not arrested held a vigil outside the

Hall of Justice everyday throughout the trials (?Charles Manson?). During the court

proceedings, when Manson refused to face the judge, the other three defendants did the

same (Fillmer 10). When he carved an X in his forehead, they mimicked him again. And

when he changed that X to a swastika, they followed (?Family? 11). The defendants

repeated all of Manson?s outbursts in court in a ?chant-like manner (Fillmer 10).?

Vincent Bugliosi says of the Family members in his book Helter Skelter, ?They

were also young, naive, eager to believe, and, perhaps even more important, belong.

There were followers aplenty for any self-styled guru. It didn?t take Manson long to sense

this. In the underground milieu into which he?d stumbled, even the fact that he was an

ex-convict conferred to a certain status. Rapping a line of metaphysical con that borrowed

as much from pimping as joint jargon and Scientology, Manson began attracting followers,

almost all girls at first, then a few young boys (222).? Manson used the people?s

eagerness to implant his philosophy deep into their impressionable young minds. He

taught that he was the fifth angel of the Apocalypse, the one that held the key to the

Bottomless Pit. What Charles Manson didn?t teach his followers was that the translation

of the angel?s name — Abbadon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek — is ?destroyer.?


Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders. New York:

Bantam Books, 1975. 7, 54-56, 196, 222, 300, 317, 320, 322, 323, 325, 635,


?Charles Manson.? n.d. Online. AltaVista. Dec. 1997. Available AltaVista:


?The Church of Scientology.? n.d. Online. AltaVista. Sept. 1997. Available

AltaVista: //www.webzonecom.com/ccn/cults/scien-05.txt

?Cult Catalog of the ?Other? Jesus.? n.d. Online. AltaVista. Sept. 1997.

Available AltaVista: //www.webzonecom.com/ccn/cults/fal10.txt

Fillmer, Deborah K. ?Forensic Science and the Charles Manson Murders.? 26 Apr. 1996.

Online. AltaVista. Oct. 1997. Available AltaVista: //www.cris.com/~dfillmer/


?Manson Family Murders 1969-1971.? n.d. Online. AltaVista. 4 Dec 1997. Available

AltaVista: //www.umi.com/hp/Support/K12/Great Events/Manson.html

The New American Bible. Saint Joseph Edition. New York: Catholic Book Publishing

Co., 1970.

?The Process – Church of the Final Judgment.? n.d. Online. AltaVista. Dec. 1997.

Available AltaVista: //limestone.kosone.com/people/ocrt/process.html

Watson, Charles. ?helter skelter.? 10 Jan. 1998. Online. AltaVista. 11 Jan. 1998.

Available AltaVista: //www.aboundinglove.org/helter.htm


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