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Charles Manson and Scientology


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

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.


  Facts - Myths - Documents

Facts

These facts summarize what is known about Charles Manson's Scientology experience. It serves as a basis to debunk the false impression Scientology critics seek to give by linking Manson and his crimes to Scientology. It also fills up key information critics leave out.

Manson was introduced to Scientology by Lanier Rayner, one of his cell mate at the United States Penitentiary of McNeil Island, Washington, where he was assigned on July 1961. The initiative was Rayner's own and wasn't part of any official Scientology program. Manson was dabbling in countless subjects and philosophies at the time and Scientology was a fairly new and fashionable mind development technique.

For a while, Manson would speak of nothing else and would reply "Scientology" if asked for his religion. After about 150 hours of "auditing" (Scientology processes), however, he was screaming to get away from his "auditor" (the person administrating Scientology processes) and even managed to be put in solitary confinement. This was probably due to the fact that Scientology brings one to confront and take responsibility for his unethical behavior, something that, obviously, Manson never could do.

In 1966, a pre-release report mentions that Manson was not interested in Scientology anymore and apart for a few words and concepts he mixed with the Bible, the Beatles, Nietzsche, and his own fantasy, there is no trace of Scientology influence, much less that of the Church of Scientology (CoS), from this point onward.

In his best-selling book, "Helter Sketler", Vincent T. Bugliosi, former Los Angeles deputy district attorney in charge of the Manson case, wrote that, in his rather extensive investigation, he found no evidence of any kind that Manson was involved with Scientology after his release from prison in 1967 - a statement he would renew in 1971 in a letter he wrote to the Church.

Quite on the contrary, Tex Watson, former Manson's accomplice turned Fundamentalist Christian, said that the only mention he ever hear of Scientology was when Paul Crockett, a weather-worn miner interested in Scientology, managed the unique feat of extracting a couple of key Manson's adherent from his grip.

Critics and apostate of Scientology would claim that Manson did courses in the CoS after his release from prison and that any trace of this have been erased from the records, but there are no evidence for this other than pure hearsay and, taking into account what we know otherwise, is not likely at all.

Bruce Davis, however, one of Manson's gang member, did some courses in the Church of Scientology of London before being kicked out for his use of drugs. He is the prime suspect in the brutal murder of Doreen Gaul and James Sharp, two young Scientologists found slayed in Los Angeles in November 1969 - though this could as well be the result of a sort of revenge from Manson against Crockett.

Myths

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 more examples:

Paul Crockett

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 Christian fundamentalist:

"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 highly misleading comment:

"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 anti-cult activists.

Standard Set

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."

Documents

Below are all available documents.

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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