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Charles Manson and Scientology

Post-prison Involvement


 

Scientology critics like to present Charles Manson as a typical Scientologist. Manson, however, only dabbled into Scientology for a short time, alongside many other subjects. Scientology had nothing to do either in the horrible murders he pushed his followers to perpetrate. This does not prevent critics from presenting a completely distorted picture of the reality. This page provides all the facts necessary to understand the situation in a correct perspective.


All the evidences we have about Manson's involvement after his release from prison are anecdotal and unverifiable evidences coming from Scientology critics and apostates with an axe to grin. Their accounts, sometimes containing several factual errors, are not substantiated by independent evidences. More reliable information points, on the contrary, that Manson had no involvement with Scientology or the Church of Scientology (CoS) subsequently to his release. For the record, however, let's review critics' sources

Paulette Cooper

From "The Scandal of Scientology" (link http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/books/scandal/sos-13.html?scandal does not work anymore):

One famous, in fact infamous person interested in Scientology that they do not boast about, talk about, or probably even want is Charles Manson, the convicted murderer [1] of Sharon Tate and her friends. The New York Times stated that Manson first got interested in Scientology while he was incarcerated in the McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington (Scientology has programs for prisons [2]).

After his release, The Times reported, he went to Los Angeles where he was said to have met local Scientologists and attended several parties for movie stars, possibly the July 18 dedication of the celebrity center [3]. Scientology literature was also said to be found at the ranch when Manson and his family were captured [4]. But for reasons unknown, it is claimed that Manson may have been made a "suppressive person" by the Scientologists [5, and there have also been hints that he may have joined the Process, the sex and satan group which originally broke away from Scientology [6].

Notes:

  1. Manson was never actually convicted of having murdered anyone, only of having ordered the murders.

  2. Manson did not receive auditing as part of a one of Scientology program for prison. He received it on the private initiative of one of his a cell mates.

  3. Hearsay. Besides, the first thing Manson did upon being released from prison (after pleading NOT to be released) and transported to Los Angeles was not to head for the CoS but request (and receive) permission to go to San Francisco on that same day. There, he initially earned his living playing guitar on the street.

  4. If Scientology literature was found at the ranch, it would have been mentioned in Bugliosi's book. There is not the slightest mention of that. Apart for being inconclusive on its own right, it almost is certainly false.

  5. Since Manson never joined the CoS in the first place, he could not have been declared a "suppressive person" either.

  6. The Process was not a "group which broke away from Scientology". Robert Moore broke away from Scientology, then founded his own group, which had near to nothing in common with Scientology.

Cooper is correct in stating that Manson got interested in Scientology, but fails to make the important distinction of his subsequent abandonment. On the contrary, she relies on hearsay and unverifiable anecdotes to imply that he continued his interest and involvement after he was released.

From the appendix (link http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/books/scandal/sos-app.html?appendix does not work anymore) of the same book:

After I wrote this book I became friendly with an advanced Scientologist who had gotten his "grades" in Los Angeles allegedly at the time that Manson may have been there. He claimed to have frequently seen Manson at the Org and he also claimed that Manson had reached the level of PC IV in Scientology (a high level but not yet clear). I don't know if this information is at all accurate because some people phantasize about the relationship of (and their relationships with) the infamous as much as others do of the famous.

More hearsay, but at least, here, Cooper recognizes these as such. Besides, if Manson had gone up to PC IV (there is no such thing as PC IV, only level IV), it would have taken him considerable time, and more people than just an apostate would have seen him.

Dennis Erlich

From: dennis.l.erlich@support.com

Message-ID: <9510252121.0U0BI04@support.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 95 21:21:40 -0700

[...]

OSA has a standard patter to answer the Manson allegations.

Trouble is, it's not true. Manson was a scieno. He took the Comm Course at LA Org in 67, I believe it was. Before I got there. I remember hearing something about it when the vetting occurred.

Apostate third hand account - Erlich heard of something that happened before he got there. As for "vetting", the CoS may very well have been worried about Manson having been a Scientologist and checked their record for any trace. It doesn't mean, however, there was anything or that any actual vetting took place.

What is interesting to observe, though, is how this more than ambiguous statement quickly becomes a "fact" for anti's:

William Barwell:
Manson was a Scientologist and the cult, embarressed by Manson's membership destroyed files that would prove that purposefully, to hide that embarressment. Dennis Erlich was an eyewitness to Scientology's efforts to destroy all such files when that project was undertaken by Scientology.

Erlich was not an "eyewitness to Scientology effort to destroy all such files". He relayed some hearsay about Manson doing some course in the org, then vaguely spoke about vetting. Nothing that warrants the allegation that the CoS "destroyed files that would prove that purposefully".

More of the same:

Michael Reuss:
Dennis and others have reported that the L.A. orgs had a document round-up and shredding party, targeting all information and documents showing Charles Manson's past connections to Scientology.

PTSC:
Scientology critic here, Dennis Erlich, stated that he was present when the orders went down in Scientology to shred Manson's records in the cult.

Mike O'Connor
I myself believe the first hand reports posted here that the cult eventually made sure to delete, remove, or shred all documents concerning the man, on L. Ron Hubbard's orders.

All unwarranted assumptions and allegations. These are however repeatedly uttered, until they simply become a "well known fact" in the anti-Scientology world:

Android Cat:
Co$ expunged any references to Charlie in their records

Dave Bird:
They shredded every document mentioning the actual courses he did take at the Org!

The same legend is to be found in the critical book "A Piece of Blue Sky", written by Jon Atack. Not only does Atack mentions this supposed "cover-up" operation as if it really occurred, but Manson's involvement all of a sudden became "considerable":

Piece of Blue Sky:
There was a cover-up by the Guardian's Office, which successfully concealed the extent of Manson's considerable involvement.

Of course, this kind of allegation is of the typical self-feeding conspiracy type. The fact that there are no evidences to be found become proof that they were expunged, which in turn become the proof that Manson did take the alleged courses within the CoS. The lack of proof itself is proof that the hearsays are true!!!!!

Old timer

Another source strikes a better balance, but is "answered" by more hearsay and, again, by the confusion between checking the record and any actual vetting:

anon-remailer@utopia.hacktic.nl (Anonymous)

30 Oct 1995 08:48:23 +0100

Message-ID: <472007$5qf@utopia.hacktic.nl>

[...]

nobody@flame.alias.net (Anonymous) wrote:

[...]

>In article <46ppt5$1v8@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, DWTripp <dwtripp@aol.com> wrote:

>>I was on ASHO staff at the time. I did hold a tech post. My knowledge regarding GO actions in the wake of Manson's arrest came from my attendence at regular Friday night poker games where the presence of Henning Heldt, Martin Greenberg and other GO people was consistent. Yes, they did talk shop. The "claim" made at the time (I believe it was Martin) was that LA Org records had shown that Manson had possibly done a Communications Course and bought some books. No refernce was ever made regarding any purge of records and if such was done, it was likely initiated by LA Org Execs. Possibly even Erlich.

>This is bullshit. This is the GO trying to MINIMIZE Manson's

Not bullshit.

>involvement. Using the word "possibly" is trying to avoid an outright lie (Manson wasn't involved) to a fellow Scientologist.

>You all have the WRONG slant on this. I'm not saying Charles Manson

Correction, mostly all wrong. Too much speculation, too few facts.

Charles Manson was a Scientologist. "Possibly" is correct re Comm Course at LA Day. In addition to auditing when he was in jail, Charles Manson was "being handled" as a "clandestine op" off org lines. (If you don't know what this means, ask Dennis - or Henning or Moxon or McShane or DM if you can.)

When the news of the murders reached MSH and LRH on the ship they immediately sent an encoded telex to D/G US to cancel the msn and vet all records. A GO "assessment" was done to evaluate the risk to LRH (not Scn) if info re the Manson connection was discovered. (ONLY Henning, the ops and the missionaire should have known and certainly this would NOT have been poker party chat.) Years later, when Manson's name came up again LRH ordered another "assessment" done. This time the order travelled thru the CMO and was seen to by none other than ________ .

Be ye able to fill in the blank, Andy, boy? Tak' th' high road and ask aboot yoor own hoose, me laddy.

Rocks be a' slammin'

Old Timer

FBI proof

Another myth is that the  FBI proved critics assertions through documents seized during the 1977 raid. This is "substantiated" in the following manner:

- FACTNET document
The following list of documents were siezed by the FBI on its authorized search of Scientology's headquarters in LA and Washington DC. They are all obtainable using the freedom of Information act, request procedures. Complete sets have also been sent to the three anti cult organizations mentioned near the end of this document. [...]

12. June 22, 1970. Compliance Report Regarding Charles Manson, Bruce Davis. (Manson went a bit wild on Auditing.) [...]

Quoted alone, in the context of a discussion involving Manson's participation in the Church of Scientology, it would seem to prove that something mysterious went on that the CoS needed to hide about Manson. This "compliance report", however, is the one quoted above and doesn't prove anything else than the fact Manson received auditing on a private basis while in prison, an experience that eventually failed.

Piece of Blue Sky

Finally, let's look at the Piece of Blue Sky excerpt:

The last straw for McMaster had been the brutal murder of three teenagers in Los Angeles. Two had been Scientologists, the third was disfigured beyond identification. The mutilated bodies were left a hundred yards away from a house where Scientologists lived. McMaster felt that this was an act of retribution for Scientology's duplicity.

A few weeks later, The New York Times revealed that Charles Manson had been involved in Scientology. Internal Scientology documents show that Manson had actually received about 150 hours of auditing while in prison. There was a cover-up by the Guardian's Office, which successfully concealed the extent of Manson's considerable involvement.

The triple murder is linked by inference to support the later mention that Manson was a Scientologist, while avoiding the complete picture, and suggesting a direct link between Scientology and the whole Manson story. An "internal Scientology document" is used as further evidence, omitting the facts contained in the very SAME document that the auditing was of a private nature and was ultimately a failure. Finally, the whole thing is implicitly "substantiated" by the conspiracy theory that all evidences have been vetted out.

Introduction Manson's Scientology experience Manson abandoning Scientology
Post-prison involvement Paul Crockett Scientology influence
Gaul and Sharp Bruce Davis



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This web site is NOT created by a Scientologist. It is created by a Scientology EX-MEMBER who is critical of Scientology. However, this ex-member is ALSO critical of the anti-Scientology movement. This does not make him a Scientologist, nor a defender of Scientology.

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