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Discussion Starter #1
RIH = Rot in Hell.

I'm reminded of the legendary Bette Davis quote upon hearing of rival Joan Crawford's death. If I may paraphrase: "You should never say bad things about the dead, only good… Charles Manson is dead. Good.”
 

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Its amazing that hes such a household name, I guess it was the pop culture connection and bizarre imagery.
It always bothered me that he doesn't seem to have been recognized as someone with mental illness.
It also seems strange that hes infamous as the posterboy for spree killings...yet didn't actually kill anyone himself.
A very strange story.
 

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I remember reading the book about him when I was a teen. He thought the Beatles were talking to him in their music, and together they were planning/hoping to start a race war. The black people would win the war, but they weren't smart enough to run things, so they'd come looking for a leader. And he'd be the only one left alive, so he'd become leader.

I think Charles and his followers did more than their fair share of acid.........many times more.......
 

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@Diablo you are right, the man was a very mentally sick individual who's mental illness was further fueled by hard drug use but at the time mental illness was diagnosed and treated very different that we know today. Hell they probably would have given him more LSD or electric shock therapy to cure his sociopathy. Instead he was just branded as twisted and evil. Either way, does not excuse in any way what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Indeed.

On the other hand, probably more in the domain of personality disorder than mental illness. People can be completely "in touch" with reality, in a manner that designates them as clearly not psychotic, but yet harbour a belief system that justifies the most outrageous atrocities in their own mind. True psychotics are far too disorganized in their thinking to be able to carry out the sorts of acts that show up in the papers.
 

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All of the above plus he had a healthy dose of charisma. Just what misguided hippy chicks were looking for. Never underestimate the power of mental illness and charisma, it's filled our history books with a lot of material.
 

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Indeed.

On the other hand, probably more in the domain of personality disorder than mental illness. People can be completely "in touch" with reality, in a manner that designates them as clearly not psychotic, but yet harbour a belief system that justifies the most outrageous atrocities in their own mind. True psychotics are far too disorganized in their thinking to be able to carry out the sorts of acts that show up in the papers.
maybe it was part of an act, but he didn't seem particularly in touch with reality to me.
All in all, aside from some bizarre delusional tirades, I don't think of him as any more evil or dangerous than OJ simpson, you know, someone who actually committed murders. More discomforting and shocking, yes, and he seemed to revel in that persona. makes me wonder if he could actually kill someone with his own hands. he came across like a coward putting on an act so he'd never have to actually *d0* something.
a lousy human being for sure, but I do think this story was largely contrived by the media. there have been far worse criminals than him who received less notoriety.
 

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It was certainly very sensational at the the time - evil incarnate cult leader commands drug crazed hippy cult to kill - couldn't get anything more out there than that in to the "Leave it to Beaver" 40's era conservative parent/corporate generation. It was all their Reefer Madness fears realized and as such it continued to stay rooted in American pop culture. He had all the traits of a psychopath, no empathy, self-centered, charismatic and could draw in others to (ab)use to his own end etc as well as sociopathy.
 

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Its amazing that hes such a household name, I guess it was the pop culture connection and bizarre imagery.
It always bothered me that he doesn't seem to have been recognized as someone with mental illness.
It also seems strange that hes infamous as the posterboy for spree killings...yet didn't actually kill anyone himself.
A very strange story.
I'm glad he wasn't recognized as mental illness. As I don't think he was. Theres a fine line between mental illness and evil and evil is the side of the line he was on. If this were to happen today in Canada we'd lock him up for a year, put him on meds and release him to the public.
 
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You can be crazy and still found guilty. My understanding of the law is you are only found not guilty by insanity is when you don't understand what you did was wrong. So if you try to cover your tracks, for example- guilty.
 

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Wonder why the song Good Time Charlie Got The Blues popped into my mind as I opened this thread.

Go to the worms you bastard.
 

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I rarely think of this of anyone at all, but I hope it was a lingering painful death.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm glad he wasn't recognized as mental illness. As I don't think he was. Theres a fine line between mental illness and evil and evil is the side of the line he was on. If this were to happen today in Canada we'd lock him up for a year, put him on meds and release him to the public.
Again, what we're dealing with here is a severe personality disorder, and not psychosis. Keep in mind that if he was psychotic, he could not have effectively manipulated his followers. And for that matter, neither could have Jim Jones, or other similar types. One can hold bizarre, and seemingly irrational (to us at least) beliefs that look like delusions. But it's the coordinated manner in which those delusional beliefs are maintained, communicated, and planned around, in a manner that is coordinated over time, that makes the difference between psychotic and other kinds of "problems".

During my masters program, I took a course in clinical diagnosis. The instructor coordinated with a psychiatrist at the university hospital to provide us with patients to interview. Each of us would interview an in-patient, one on one, while the rest of the class observed via CCTV, and we'd compare diagnoses afterward (interviewer going first). I was given a woman in her late 40's who had been hearing voices for a number of years, and was very upset by it. She was depressed, because it was interfering with her family life. When I came out of the interview, I told the psychiatrist that, while hearing voices is normally a strong diagnostic symptom of schizophrenia, she struck me as much too sane. She was able to string together her history of symptoms and how her life had descended into misery as things got worse. That is, she was aware; something one would be unlikely to see in a true psychotic, unless they were on medication and had undergone extensive counselling over a protracted period. One would not expect the sort of detailed and coherent autobiography she relayed from a schizophrenic. The psychiatrist revealed to us that she had, in fact, gone for a CAT scan the day before, where they discovered a tunour on her left temporal lobe, and she was slated for surgery the following day.

Sometimes what can look like crazy at first glance, is really something else. Fortunately, mental health professionals are trained to differentiate.
 

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I read Helter Skelter in high school. WOW, what a weird, weird series of events. The killings should have been referred to as the "Tate-LaBianca Murders", because of the victims, but because of his... err... charisma?? they're known as the "Manson Murders". Been baffling judicial minds for almost 1/2 century. I'd imagine he will be the subject of a case study (or two) forever.

Edit: After I posted this, I was watching 22 Minutes. They reported his death, "May he rest in piss"
 
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