Critics of Scientology, of
course, will do their utmost to try and associate Manson's with
Scientology in such a way as to suggest a connection between
Scientology and the murders. They will use his short involvement
while in prison to make headers such as "Another proud
Scientologist: Charles Manson" or "Scientology nuts: Charles
Manson", leading one to think that there is a connection between
Manson's crime and Scientology, when, quite on the contrary, Manson had
rejected and failed the little Scientology he dabbled into.
In addition to misleading
claims, some critics will also censor capital information that runs
counter to the impression they seek to give. Here are two of many
A key quote critics will " miss out" in their
presentation is the information relayed in an
interview of Tex Watson, one of the key Family member turned
"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."
This information is
important because it runs directly counter the suggestion that
Scientology had anything to do with the murders. It also shows the
exact contrary - that the only person who succeeded the most
remarkable feat of extracting some of Manson's followers from his
influence was someone interested in Scientology.
The only mention I ever
saw of this information on critical web sites is in the form of the
"Susan Atkins told me in person that
a "man" use to come up to Golar Wash and have meetings with Manson.
"I believe he was with The Church of Scientology" said Atkins."
While not being technically false, the
statement of course gives a completely distorted presentation of
what actually happened. It implies a link between Manson and the CoS,
almost as if Manson was controlled by the Church. Knowing the full
context gives a completely different picture. This, on its own,
illustrates how cautious one has to be with statements made by
An other example is as follows.
A set of quotes assembled
by critics from various sources and regularly posted by them in the
alt.religion.scientology newsgroup includes
Bugliosi's quote from "Helter Skelter":
"I knew...that Manson was an
eclectic, a borrower of ideas. I knew too, both from his prison
records and from my conversations with him, that Manson's
involvement with Scientology had been more than a passing fad.
Manson told me, as he had Paul Watkins, that he had reached the
highest stage, `beta clear', and no longer had any connection with
or need for Scientology."
However, here is a scan of
the FULL paragraph (highlighting my own):
The part of the quote highlighted in yellow above
has simply been dropped. This information, however, is a capital to
understand things in its right context. (The difference between
"beta" and "theta" is due to a difference in edition but the content
is otherwise identical between the two editions).
If you want to check this
for yourself, make a Google search on "more than a passing fad",
setting the newsgroup on "alt.religion.scientology", the author on
"Mike O'Connor" (the author of this set) (don't forget to turn
"include ignored posts" on); then make the same with "after his
release from prison in 1967", and see what the results are. (Here's
the result of the
first search (14 matches), and here the result of the
second search (zero matches)).
Mike does not have the
excuse of not knowing about the full paragraph, as he uses in other
quotes of the set the original comments made by the person who first
came up with these quotes in
1995 and who was honest enough to quote the full paragraph.
Interesting enough, contrary to present day critics, the same person
who posted the initial quotes concluded quite rightly:
"All in all, pretty sordid stuff;
but as you can see, not much evidence that Scientology had very much
influence on Manson."