Imagine being at home everyday, waking up and doing your daily routine every morning, just to walk out your own front door and put your life is at risk because there is a cult forming in your own neighborhood, and you don’t even know it. That there is a group of people willing to murder innocent people for their leaders enjoyment. But you still go out and go to the grocery store while there are multiple killers on the loose. You don’t even know that your life is in danger but it may possibly in fact be. So how is it possible for a “cult” to be so incredibly dangerous?
Charles Manson. A man who believed that he himself was Jesus, who created a cult because they believed he was in fact Jesus as well. A man who had people do his killings for him. Born Charles Milles Maddox to mother Kathleen Maddox. Kathleen Maddox was sixteen-years-old when she gave birth to Charles. She was an alcoholic and prostitute who later married a man named William Manson. The marriage did not last long, therefore Charles ended up going to a boy’s school where he was rejected at any attempt to reach his mother. Soon after he ended up on the streets getting caught up in the mix of crime. He spent half of his first thirty years behind bars being considered very dangerous. While behind bars he did a lot of reading about cults and scientology leading to “The Manson Family Cult” once he was released.
“The Manson Family Cult” was a group of about a hundred followers whom all shared an interest for an unconventional lifestyle as well as hallucinogenic drugs. “The Manson Family — including Charles Manson and his young, loyal disciples — is thought to have carried out some 35 killings.” (A&E). August 9, 1969, their first set of killings occurred. Four of Manson’s most obedient followers were instructed to kill actress Sharon Tate, writer Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Jay Sebring. They killed and targeted these people because it was in the home of Roman Polanski which represented the showbiz world that had rejected Manson. Manson later got the death penalty in 1971 and was sentenced to life in prison. Sharon Tate’s murder goes beyond the word terrible. She was eight months pregnant at the time. She plead for her life and the life of her unborn child. Susan Atkins continuously stabbed Tate in the stomach to the point of her death. Atkins used Tate’s blood to write “PIG” on the front door of the house.
The Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body. This thesis ties into the life of Charles Manson because he was able to influence many and create a cult. He was able to gather people and make them believe he was the Jesus. He was seen as powerful to the point where people looked up to him and listened to everything they were told and everything he wanted them to do. All these murders that occurred throughout the time of the cult did not include a single person dying from Charles Manson himself. Every person was killed from the members. He instructed these killings and orchestrated them. He was able to create so much power in himself, call himself a leader, create a cult, and have others do his killings for him.
These acts of this man and his cult he formed affected society today because of the many outcomes it produced. Hollywood is now producing movies and tv shows that are inspired by what Charles Manson was able to achieve. American Horror Story, a tv hit series, produced a season called “The Cult.” The episodes were portrayed as what the 2016 election with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but it turns out this season was inspired by Charles Manson and how he was able to compel people to commit these murders.
Recently there was word that there is now a movie being produced by Quentin Tarantino called, “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.” The movie will take place in the year 1969 where the infamous murder of actress Sharon Tate took place. Although the movie will
not be centered around Charles Manson, it was influenced and will include part of the Manson Family Cult murders. It will be centered around Sharon Tate’s neighbors and put a spotlight on part of what happened when Sharon Tate was murdered.
Another effect Manson had on people, well one person in particular, was Brian Warner. Brian Warner took on the name Marilyn Manson when he was on his road towards fame. He took Charles Manson’s last name and actress Marilyn Monroe’s first name. In an interview with MTV that took place in the mid-90’s, Marilyn Manson stated why he chose these two names together,“…putting those two together was a pretty powerful balance that was kind of irreconcilable: Male and female, positive and negative, good and evil.” (Deerwester).
So why do we look at monsters and find them appealing to know all about them? Well we look at Charles Manson as a criminal, but we look at his killings and want to know more. We want to know how it happened, who lives did he take, how did he go about it, was there plan behind all this, and who was all involved? We ask all these questions in search of answers. We see these stories all over the news once it happens and and all over the internet. Believe it or not we are fascinated by these things because it is not likely for a man to be so strategic and get so many people involved. This man had people look up to him and refer to himself as Jesus. A cult formed in a town where some of may have lived. The thought of this happening to us is scary but once it happens to someone else we research it and look at all the aspects of the horrible crimes committed. We are all obsessed with monsters and it may even be scary to think that we all have the potential to be one.
Overall Charles Manson is one of the world’s most dangerous people who got others to do his killings for him. He was a smart man but a yet evil one. It’s a scary world out there so be careful because the next monster can be right next door.
“102 Monster Culture (Seven Theses) Notes.” Professor Ramos’ Blog, 26 Mar. 2018, professorramos.blog/2018/03/20/102-monster-culture-seven-theses-notes/.
This is one of my scholarly sources I included. I included it to explain how Charles Manson is indeed a monster in today’s society.
“Charles Manson.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 14 May 2018, www.biography.com/people/charles-manson-9397912.
This source was extremely helpful because it gave the background on who Charles Manson was and how he got to be the monster he was. It summarized his childhood and the killings he did including his most famous killing on Sharon Tate. Therefore it was a biography that was helpful to my essay.
Deerwester, Jayme. “Charles Manson’s Pop-Culture Influence.” USA Today, Gannet Satellite Information Network, 20 Nov. 2017, www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2017/11/20/charles-mansons-pop-culture-influence-co-opting-beatles-hit-south-park/880269001/.
This source was helpful because it was able to describe the way Charles Manson influenced society today and all the effects he had on the world. Although it was not a scholarly source it was able to still explain in multiple ways the effects of him.
“Dissecting Marilyn Manson.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=HKt_DAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT6&dq=marilyn%2Bmanson%2Binfluence&ots=6YSbKt5FKP&sig=caXRLiWoKMHeUuyQQOFBng_MNhE#v=onepage&q=marilyn%20manson%20influence&f=false.
This was a scholarly source I included because talked about yet again another effect Charles Manson had on a celebrity in particular. It goes into depth about Marilyn Manson and why he decided to take Charles’s last name.
Donaghey. “Margot Robbie Is Officially Playing Sharon Tate in Tarantino’s Manson Movie.” Vice, Vice, 9 May 2018, www.vice.com/en_us/article/59qmea/margot-robbie-sharon-tate-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-tarantino-vgtrn.
This source was helpful because it explains how a movie is coming out soon and will star some of Charles Manson’s attack in Hollywood with actress Sharon Tate. It was interesting and obviously it’s going to be good it from Tarantino.
Gilbert, Sophie. “The Real Cult of Charles Manson.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 20 Nov. 2017, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/11/the-real-cult-of-charles-manson/546206/.
This source was able to give me more information on Charles Manson and the effects he had on society such as movies and tv shows. Also it explained more about who Charles Manson was.
Nielsen, Donald A. Horrible Workers: Max Stirner, Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Johnson, and the Charles Manson Circle: Studies in Moral Experience and Cultural Expression. Lexington Books, 2005.
This was a book that I found on google scholar that gave me more information about Charles Manson including his morals and what led up to the events he pursued in.