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Charles Manson and Scientology

Scientology Influence


 

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. These pages provides all the facts necessary to understand the situation in a correct perspective.


Apart for a couple of expressions found in his discourses, and contrary to what Scientology critics imply, there is almost no trace of direct Scientology influence linked to Manson and his crimes. Of course Manson exploited some concepts to better entrap the Family members, but then he also exploited concepts from the Bible, Nietzsche, and even the Beatles. To a much greater degree, in fact.

As Bugliosi rightly said, Manson mostly went on to do his own thing. Rather than anything else, the strength of Manson's hold was mostly due to his own imagination. Even when he borrowed concepts from other sources, he often "enhanced" their appeal to fit in his own devious belief system. An example would be the "bottomless pit" legend, found for example among the Hopi Indians and in the Bible. Manson took this as a basis, but built around it a whole universe that included imageries such as that of a tree that bears a different fruit each month or that of glowing walls:

The belief that Scientology was part of the mix, however, is shared by several actors in this drama, even though they would otherwise acknowledge that they never heard Manson mention Scientology, and even though they base their belief of Scientology influence in vague and general terms.

Charles "Tex" Watson:

Charles Watson was one of Manson's 'right hands" and participated in the Tate murders. He is serving life sentence in prison and is now a fundamentalist Christian. He also maintains his own web site.

We already quoted Watson saying Manson never mentioned Scientology, and that the only time he had heard of it was because of Paul Crockett:

I never heard Manson mention Scientology or The Process Church. He did meet up with a Scientologist named Crockett, in the desert. Crockett was instrumental in deprogramming Poston and Watkins, and stood toe-to-toe with Manson. This was the only mention of Scientology. I remember them arguing back and forth for hours.

Watson, however, considers Scientology a form of Satanism, and believes Manson used it as part of his demonic influence:

Manson used a cult mentality, drugs, music, psychology, Scientology, sorcery and a combination of mystical skills to beguile his followers so that they would be willing to kill, and give their lives for him. To this day, Manson has followers around the world who carry his message of hate, deception and destruction forward.

[...]

Life on the deepest level was very demonic, and we didnít even know it. Several members of the family had experience in Satanism and Scientology. The use of drugs opened up our very souls not only to these philosophies, but to demonic forces. There was something very evil slowly capturing our souls.

Notes: apart for Bruce Davis, who had done some Scientology courses in London before being kicked out for his use of drugs, I never heard of any other Family member who had experience with Scientology.

Manson was reportedly studying Scientology in prison, and he could have been in contact with The Process Church at that time. An ex-Scientologist started the Process Church, and its members worship both Satan and Christ. I find that interesting because I felt Manson was both at times.

Notes: Robert Moore, the founder of the Process Church, was indeed an ex-Scientologist, but the church he founded has no resemblance with Scientology. The very fact that the Process Church worshiped both Satan and Christ would be a perfect example of the complete antinomy with Scientology.

As for Bugliosi and others, Watson, though believing there must have been some Scientology influence, simply cannot tell for sure which it was, or even if there was any such influence after all:

Q: Do you think Manson was influenced by these cults?

Maybe Manson was influenced by these, maybe not, who knows? There is a lot of evidence for it. I know he was into mind control and good at programming us with his beliefs, and some of those beliefs seem to have been very close to those of The Process Church, which is a satanic cult.

Brooks Poston:

Brooks Poston, the member of the Family "deprogrammed" by Crockett, also believes Scientology was part of the philosophy Manson used to control his members. However, he does not says much else beyond a simple affirmation:

Gregg Jakobson:

Gregg Jakobson, another Manson's follower, brings more precision, but it is to confirm that Manson never mentioned Scientology and mostly used the Bible and the Beatles as reference:

Vincent Bugliosi

Vincent Bugliosi himself was very interested in whatever influence Scientology or other philosophies might have had on Manson. So much so that Bugliosi mentions this as one of the main topic he wanted to speak with Manson in one of the few encounters he had with him:

Strangely enough, though, Bugliosi doesn't tell us what the outcome on this subject was, and what was Manson's answer, if any. However, we have already seen that Bugliosi went to great length to state that his extensive investigation lead him to believe Manson mostly had gone on to do his own thing after his release from prison and to dissociate it from Scientology involvement. Nevertheless, he does believe that Scientology might have had some sort of influence:

 

[...]

Anymore than Manson's followers or even Paul Crockett, however, Bugliosi could not come up with anything convincing in that respect. We have already quoted the most specific elements he came up with in his book:

Even here, several things aren't quite correct. First of all, the 1974 version mentioned "auditioning" rather than auditing, just like it mentioned "beta clear" rather than "theta clear". These were corrected in the 1994 edition. Secondly, "cease to exist" is not really a typical Scientology expression. "Coming to Now" isn't either, as the correct expression is "coming to Present Time". Being in the present time or in the now, is also a very widespread and basic concept in many other spiritual approaches and hardly the exclusivity of Scientology.

Note, however, that Manson did indeed seem to regain a couple of Scientology expressions. This can be seen in the address he made to the Court in November 1970 (link http://www.4a4r.com/11-1970.html doesn't work anymore):

You can't bring the past back up and postulate or mock up a picture of something that happened a hundred years ago, or 1970 years ago, as far as that goes.  You can only live in the now, for what is real is now.

In this sentence, "postulate" and "mock up" could be said to be typical Scientology expressions. "Postulate" could be roughly translate into "wish", and "mock up" into "imagine".

These expressions, however, are used in the same text in other sentences and concepts that have little to nothing to do with Scientology. It illustrates once again the limited extend of whatever influence there might have been. Manson just seems to use these words simply because it sounds good.

In conclusion, Bugliosi believes in a vague and general manner that Scientology might have had some influence on Manson, even though he really can't bring up anything convincing enough. However, he made clear the distinction between this hypothesis and a direct link with Scientology, as we have seen already:

This is the exact contrary than what Scientology critics are trying to do. Rather than make appropriate distinctions in an area frown with ambiguity and danger, they on the contrary will indulge in unwarranted amalgams and try to link in the public mind a serial killer like Charles Manson with the million of people who once were, or still are, involved in Scientology.

Bugliosi rightly warned about that, and knowing that this warning, which we already quoted above, was done 30 years before critical activities on the net, it takes on prophetic value:

Any attempts to link Manson and his crimes to Scientology is a sorry and spurious attempt to create controversy where there is none.

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



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Disclaimer :

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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