Charles Manson 1989 Interview on "Geraldo"
Great thanks to Aaron Bredlau for his many hours of
M: (inaudible) Listen I don’t want to go to no point ‘til we get our heads together man. Stop that until we get our heads together.
G: Let me, let me, let me ask you something
M: Here’s some stuff that I’ve written down that I can forward to you and then we can reflect it back.
G: Ok, sure.
M: You dig what I’m saying?
M: Crime factories are buying and selling crime.
G: What is a crime factory?
M: Crime factory is this fucking thing here. This is a crime, this is where we create our crime. This is a crime factory, Uh for jobs and prophet. We can stop the crime.
M: Buy stop buying and selling it. As long as we’re selling it, it’s gonna be there.
G: What about…let me ask you this question. How do you stay in touch with the world outside the prison?
M: I’m thinking the world outside the prison. The judge represents me, I stand in the courtroom. The judge represents me, the lawyer represents me. The attorney general represents me. They represent me (points to the guards.) The whole thing represents me.
G: Why are there 20,000 murders a year?
M: Because you’re selling it. You’re buying and selling it.
G: Be a little more specific.
M: Well when you take, you put up an image, you put up this image up and you say ‘Here kids, don’t be like that, don’t take them red pills kids.” They didn’t even know there was red pills until you says “Now you, you can say no. You can say no”, and then the kid said “I didn’t know I could say yes” (laughs) In other words you’re projecting that thought.
G: That’s not a bad point.
M: You’re projecting that thought, When the DA jumps up and says “this guy did so and so and so forth and he’s boombabombom” and that’s what he makes me into, that’s not what I am man, that’s not me. That’s what these fucking ignorant assholes need me to be. He needs me to be violence because he needs his ass kicked. He’s begging somebody to kill him. So he needs me to be a killer. Cause he wants to die and go to Heaven and be with Jesus. It’s got nothing to do with me, I don’t respond to it. I just shine it off, put it on another world, man. It doesn’t exist…in the planet I live on.
G: What planet is that?
M: The one that I live on.
G: Do you think that this world, San Quentin, has any relation to the world outside?
M: This world of San Quentin is where all the children of God are. This is where you keep all of your children that you don’t want. The ones that you get to carry the heavy load.
Guard: Can you lower your voice here, we have things going on.
M: That’s… I just talk natural on the level.
G: Charlie, Charlie, wait man, let’s just..
M: I told you man, see, nothing I do is right man, Unless I stay in a cell. They crowd me and I got his little space. (raising voice) My life is bigger than this little space! I live in the desert, I live in the mountains, man. I’m big! My mind is big! But everyone’s trying to crowd me down and push me down and make me into all these little things that they need me to be and that’s not me at all man. That’s not me! I killed nobody. I broke no law.
G: You broke no law?
M: I broke no law. I didn’t even get to put on a defense, man!
G: But Charlie, you were in prison half your life.
M: So what?
M: I didn’t have no parents. When you don’t have any parents and you’ve got nobody there’s no place to, they take you off the street and throw you somewhere. I’ve been in here since I was nine years old.
G: I know.
M: Yeah. Cause I didn’t have no parents.
G: But then why did you start taking other peoples property? Why did ..
M: Because I was…
G: You start messing with other peoples space?
M: Whoa, whoa, whoa. I reflect the will of God, son. You can have anything I’ve got.
G: What God is that Charlie?
M: The will of God…(starts singing) NUUUUUUHHHHHH..DIDDLEDIDDLEDIDDLE…whatever you want call it (starts singing) DUHNDUHNDUHNDUHNDUHN…you can call it Jesus, call it Mohammad, call it Boogybops, call it, call it Nuclear Mind, call it Blow The World Up, call it uh, Your Heart, call it whatever you want to call it, it’s still music to me. It’s there. It’s the will of life.
G: Why are 20,000 Americans being killed every year?
M: Because the District Attorneys are selling your blood, man.
G: I don’t understand that.
M: When you go to court, they need a conviction. They need criminals man, and they need people to lock up in cages. If they didn’t have people to lock up in cages, man, they wouldn’t to be able to sell more fear to the public. And they sell more fear to the public, and all the old women, they love to buy that fear. They just lay back and watch that fear, and read the detective magazines…
G: What makes the knifer knife? What makes the shooter shoot?
M: Society, the reflections of the child.
G: But what about the reflections of the responsibility of the person that’s doing it?
M: What person that’s doing it?
G: Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houston..
M: Susan Atkins is just doing what society raised her up to do.
G: What if she’s only doing what you raised her up to do?
M: No, no no. Come on, you set a baby in the cradle, and you go “(gibberish baby talk)”..he’s just no more, he’s no more younger or older than I am. He’s just a baby in the cradle. You tell him (sings) “Baby won’t you light my fire. Baby won’t you light my fire” and then the kid grows up and what’s he start doing? He starts lighting fires, and you say “No good kid, fire bug.” and throw him in reform school. Then you come up and tell him “You’re out there doing those burglaries. Get up against that wall!” and shine the light, scare him, have up against the wall and shake him down and say “We know you’re out here doing these burglaries.” And these guys are practicing all this macho John Wayne trip, you dig, and then the kid goes “Whoa whoop” and he runs off does whatever they’ve programmed him to do. See there’s a reverse side to everything too. There’s a positive and a negative. You come over, like I was listening to uh, to that…
G: Is there any positive side to Charlie Manson?
M: Positive what? Oh, come on man, you didn’t complete the other thought. Positive to Charlie Manson? I’m both negative and positive.
G: Are you good and evil?
M: I’m everything.
G: You evil?
M: I’m everything man.
G: Tell me about the evil.
M: I’m uh, I’m what ever I have to be to survive.
G: Would you do anything to survive?
M: Well, I’m, I’m a human being.
G: Do all human beings do anything to survive?
M: Uh, survival takes precedence over programming. You get to the point of survival and your programming goes (makes sound and trails his hand off) and it’s gone.
G: How’s, how’s your programming Charlie?
M: I got nothing in my head. I quit thinking in 1952.
G: Why’d you put that on your forehead, that swastika?
M: Cause we’re locked, we’re all locked in the second World War. And I can’t get free until we unlock the second World War. I’ve been in jail since 1943.
G: What year were you born?
M: Uh, 34.
G: Nine years old?
G: What was the first place?
M: The first place?
G: The first place.
M: (coughs) Uh, my mother got out of jail, my mother got out of the joint and um, put me in, in with the monks. The catholic monks, the brother monks in Terra Haut Indiana.
G: Yeah? They treat you bad?
M: No, they treated me like they treat all the other kids. But I seen them as a bunch of old women. So I ran off, and I escaped out of the hood. Got out of that hood and went on. Went to, went to Chicago and into juvenile hall. Look here..
G: Tell me..
G: Tell me what do you want?
M: (grabs some paper) There’s some other things I wanted to relate to you man.
G: Can I ask you some questions about your life, then you can tell me anything you want to?
M: My life is not important man.
G: I want to know, what about your life here.
M: My life here is just sittin’ in a cell.
G: How are you treated here?
M: Um, I’m treated here, differently on different levels. The first level is pretty good. You get younger men, they’ve got a lot of respect. The fat ones, and the ones that hide around the corner, they’re sloppy and they lie and they’re incompetent. But there’s a lot of good ones, it’s like any other, any other place man, there’s good and there’s bad.
G: You seem to abuse the correction officers there.
M: I do. I get off on them something terrible and they get off on me something terrible. I’ve had my teeth knocked out, my…
G: Does he make your life miserable by being that hard?
M: Man I don’t know what misery is. What the hell is mis…that’s weakness. I ain’t got no misery in me. My life’s paradise man.
G: Got any friends in here? Got any friends?
M: Everyone’s my friends, I’ve got no enemies, got no enemies, that I know of.
G: But didn’t…
M: Not alive anyway
G. But didn’t someone (inaudible) a couple years ago.
G: (chuckles) What do you mean, not alive?
M: I don’t think I’ve got any alive.
M: That I know of.
G: What happened to them?
M: I don’t know whatever happens to them. They’re not in harmony with themselves.
G: They weren’t in harmony with themselves…
M: I’m the man in the mirror, guy.
G: I know.
M: You like me I like you. You don’t like me, I don’t like you. You swing at me, I’ll swing back, you dig? You cut at me, I’ll cut you. You know, whatever you point at me, I’ll give back to you.
G: But it’s more than that isn’t it Charlie?
M: Well sure, I’m in harmony with God. That’s just a word, you know, we use the word God..
G: Or the Devil.
M: Or the Devil, yeah you could use the word Devil or demons, whatever you want to call it.
G: Mostly the Devil in your world, eh Charlie?
M: Ok,. I’ll play, I’ll play. There’s no game I can’t play. There’s no game I haven’t played.
G: You are the Devil.
M: Ok, I’ll be the Devil then.
G: You like that?
M: No, no I don’t like or dislike nothing, I see everything as it is. (pauses) I like it when I cum.
G: (laughs) You do a lot of that here?
M: When I get my nuts off, then, then it’s ok, yeah. Other than that I’m just here.
G: Get a lot of that going on?
M: I uh..
G: What’s going on in your life here Charlie?
G: What’s going on in your life?
M: I told you.
G: Tell the people
M: I said..
G: Tell them what your day is like.
M: I uh, I don’t have a day. I live in one day. I go out in the desert and I walk around. I got some power wagons out there.
G: You leave your body and go?
M: Oh yeah. I’m cutting, I’m cutting the water off for L.A.
G: Why are you doing that?
M: Because um..
G: You don’t like L.A.
M: Uh, they’ve been lying, see here’s the thing, New York,
G: What’s that?
M: Uh, It’s alright, I can understand the game. I can’t blame you for doing what I would do, and I you know, I’ve done just about everything.
G: I’ve heard.
M: So I’ve got no judgments. You dig what I’m saying? But when you get to stepping over my toes and breaking my legs, you dig what I’m saying. I say “ok, you broke a couple of my legs and…”
G: You from the street Charlie.
M: I know.
G: You like the street stuff
M: I am the street,
G: Why do you let people do that.
M: I am the street. Man, can’t you understand that.
G: I’m from the street Charlie.
M: (laughs) I know you are. I took you three times before we went through the thing, man. (laughs)
G: What does that have to do with anything?
M: As soon as they took the handcuffs off I had everyone in here. (laughs and bows)
G: With what?
M: Replied Agreement. (laughs)
G: (Laughs) Charlie..
M: Maybe the master
G: Tell me..
M: Maybe the master..
G: Tell me..
M: Maybe the master…
G: Help me understand something Charlie. Why do people murder? Why did those girls murder for you. Why did Tex Watson murder for you.
M: He didn’t murder for me!
G: You told him to.
M: No! No! No! No! Come back DA, come back. That’s not reality.
G: What is?
M: No, reality is they did what they did. They’re responsible for their own actions. I’m responsible for my actions.
G: Ever kill anybody?
M: Mmmmmm… I’ve come awful close a few times.
G: Come on didn’t you Charlie?
M: What do you mean ‘come on didn’t you?’ I ain’t lying to you. If you think I’m lying to you, you’re wasting your time and my time.
G: Ok. Let’s not lie, let’s..
M: There’s no reason to.
G: Let’s be straight.
M: There’s no reason to.
G: What are you guilty of then?
M: I’m guilty of un, what am I guilty of? I’m guilty of thinking I had rights in the courtroom. That’s what I’m guilty of thinking. When my fathers died in all them other wars, I thought “Man, I’ll just stand in the courtroom and tell the judge. It’ll be all over in fifteen, twenty minutes. “I’m busy, I’ve got some appointments.” And it started making money. And when it started making money, Whoa, money takes precedence. They’re gonna put me down underground for the money, And as long as they make their money, they don’t care who did it. Who did it’s not important. And if I had have done it, it would be worse than if I, if I hadn’t done it? Consider…
G: I don’t understand that.
M: Well consider I tell you like this “Yeah, I uh, I chopped up nine hogs and I’m gonna chop up some more of you mother fuckers. I’m gonna kill you as many as I can. I’m gonna pile you up to the sky, I figure about fifty million. If I can about fifty million of you, I might be able to save my trees, my air, my water and my wildlife.
G: You want to kill fifty million people?
M: Well, that’s just a drop in the bucket to what’s really coming.
M: (laughs) yeah that’s just a drop in the bucket to what’s really coming.
G: Charlie how do you feel about the fact that everyone….(to the camera man) yeah reload, reload, you’re doing great.
M (to the camera man) Now, now you fixin’ to shoot me with that thing?
G: No way. He’s gotta reload
M; You got a conspiracy with that, You know what he’s got in that camera?
G: (laughs) But you know something? That’s a great novel.
M: Yeah (laughs) Yeah
G: A News crew would make a great hit team.
M: If you take it you know you wouldn’t live to get out of it (laughs)
Tape stops then continues
G: Walk around, yeah
M: If we can walk around.
G: yeah anything you want.
M: I know you want this to be a success.
G: What do you got for me?
M: (reading from a paper) Real issues. Um, what we were taught as opposed to….people forget the difference between war…
G: Tell me about the fifty million hogs you got Charlie. You want to kill fifty million people..
M: Awww... come on, you see what I’m saying. All you doing is you’re looking for blood, you’re looking for fear, you’re looking for to sell death, you’re looking to sell uh, uh..
G: But you seem to have a peculiar fascination with death.
M: No, no, here, here
G: It seems to follow you wherever you go.
M: here, let me give you this line. I’ll give you the line in that. I’ll give you the line in that thought right now. Since the Europeans came into this country, they have cut all the trees, they have butchered all the lakes, they’ve destroyed all the cricks, everything’s turned into cement, uh, they’re tearing all the rainforests down. There’ll be no more wildlife left on the planet Earth. So if I’m standing out in the middle of the desert and I get out of jail, and I see the desert’s dying. The bees are dying. The birds can’t live, the trees are dying. The smog is killing everything, and I’m say “Wow, where’s my life on this planet? Can I survive on this planet Earth?” That’s what I’m working for. I’m working for my survival on that piece of dirt. It took me twenty years to get out of these damn penitentiaries, to get down on that ground. Now that I’m on that ground, I’m thinking about surviving on that ground. I don’t care about your society. The publics a bunch of assholes.
G: What do you care about?
G: What do you care about?
M: I care about life. All life.
G: You care about life and you’ll kill fifty million people..
M: I didn’t say I’d kill anything. I’m a’ reapin’ their heads in thought. I’m Jesus Christ, whether you want to accept it or not, I don’t care. I got the thought. I’m reaping it in thought. In thought. It’s a thought. See what I’m saying? In other words the whole world’s in a thought. The Pope sits in a thought. The handball’s in a thought. Everything is in a thought. And I am in the thought of peace on earth.
G: How do you feel about the fact that you’re gonna spend the rest of your life in here?
M: The rest of my life where?
G: Right here.
M: You guys are, boy you must live in a thousand illusions man. The rest of your life where?
G: In prison.
M: In prison. What prison? You got a prison in your mind? You see what I’m saying? You’re in prison, son. You’re the one that’s in jail, cause there isn’t such a thing as a prison. I’m sitting on a line. A guy comes up and draws a line and says “You’re in prison.” I says “Oh I’m in prison?” He puts up a big gate and says “You can’t get out.” and I says “Oh, I can’t get out? “ he says “Yes”, Men dress up in uniforms and walk back and forth, and have little passes and paper work and things, and I look at them and they say “We’re keeping you locked up.” I says “Oh you are? (laughs) I didn’t have anything else to do anyway.” (laughs) The only thing you’ve got me locked out from is my guitar. And whoever’s got my guitar, and whoever’s taking my guitar, whoever’s keeping my guitar…I swear to God, there’ll be nothing left over that. Cause I’ve earned that guitar two times up over your head Chop-Chop, and if they don’t let me have my rights..
M: My rights, man!
G: What will you do?
M: What will I do? Put the Holy Spirit on them. (laughs)
M: In your case it would be the Un Holy Spirit. (laughs) You know, what you think in Unholy. But Abraxas.
G: You know what I think? I think that you are an evil person.
M: Right. I’m evil. I’m terrible.
G: You are terrible.
M: Ah yeah, I’m awful. I’m awful.
G: You’re a murdering dog, Charlie.
M: Oh I’m a terrible dog, I’m a fiend.
G: You’re a mass murdering dog.
M: A mass murdering dog…now where did you get these ideas?
G: I guess the evidence.
M: But does it pay you to say that more, I mean, if I paid to say the other way, would you walk backwards?
G: I don’t walk backwards.
M: Well, it’s kinda silly
G: I never walk backwards from evil.
M: It’s kinda silly. You read a newspaper and you look on TV, and you come and see me and you want to call me what they told you. And you know, you know that 99% of that newspaper is for money, not the truth. You know that. When they’re selling it on the it on UPI and they’re making it all over the world, there’s a lot of bucks passing hands, LA Times. When the District Attorney puts the newspaper man right in his office, and then the judge comes back and says “where’d you get your source of information?” and he says “I won’t tell” Because he was getting it from District Attorney’s office to start with. But they all make it look like he was getting it from my side. Then they’ll put the gag orders on me and say I’m incompetent. I knew what happened. I could have defended myself and I could have walked out of the courtroom. But they didn’t want to do that cause Nixon would have lost his thought.
G: Let me ask you a question. What do you think of the death, the death penalty.
M: I don’t think really, I think that belongs to God.
M: God gives life and God takes life.
G: But how come you didn’t live your life with that commandment?
M: I did.
G: That’s not what I heard.
M: Well, that’s what you heard. It’s a little different from what you heard and what is.
G: So you think the state should not have a right for an eye for an eye?
M: I didn’t say that. There is dispensation to life or death. But Governor Brown lost it. Now when Governor Brown’s daddy lost it. When he used to gas chamber for political purposes and he gassed two or three people that never killed anyone, and he knew it. That’s why he lost the dispensation of the gas chamber.
G: Do you feel fortunate to survive because the law was deemed unconstitutional?
M: There was no doubt in my mind that I would survive. I’m in harmony with the truth. I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t break the law. Not Man’s law
G: Maybe, maybe you didn’t pull the trigger,
M: No, no, no…yeah, ok..
G: In those cases, in the Tate cases, do you feel remorse for anything..
M: No, no watch, watch. I’ll give it to you, I’ll give it to you. Look at it this way. A guy comes up to you and says, and he’s freaking out, and he’s going through changes and he says…”I’m uh, I’m going crazy..” I says “relax, man, everything’s alright”. He says “No my mother’s done this, she’s …” I says “Everything’s cool, baby, be cool. Maintain. Sit down, relax. Everything’s alright.” He says “It is?” I says “sure it’s alright. Everything’s perfect man. Get in harmony with life and relax.” He says “Really?” I says “Yeah” He says “Everything is beautiful isn’t it?” I says “Yes it is.” An hour later he comes back and says “I killed him.” I says “what the fuck did you come and tell me for?” “Well you said everything was ok. You said everything was perfect. You said I couldn’t do any wrong.” I said “What I meant was maintain man.” In other words, I can say something..
G: Are you telling me that they misunderstood you?
M: Oh a lot of people misunderstand me.
G: You’re telling me that those women and Watson and the other people that were around you just didn’t understand what you were telling them?
M: No, no. here’s the way that rolls. Here’s the way that nickel rolls. It rolls like this. (pauses) I play music.
M: If you’d brought the guitar I could show you what kind..
G: I heard, I heard you sing good. Maybe you’ll sing for us.
M: So, I get out of jail and these kids come around me. They say “You’re God. You have the voice of God.” and I say “Ahhh, there’s a whole penitentiary of guys like me.” You know, I’m, I’m nothing. I’m just a messenger, I’m a witness, that’s all. I’m just a poopbutt that dropped out of the penitentiary. And they seen something in me that I didn’t see in me.
G: What was this?
M: They seen a nice guy. And I’m not a nice guy.
G: I agree.
M: But they seen that. So I said “Alright, as long as they seen a nice guy, I’ll reflect a nice guy. I’ll be the nice guy to them.” So I played as much nice guy as they could deal with and I held the line of nice guy. And I looked out for everybody and I gave them places to stay and I kept all the other not so nice guys off of 'em.
G: Yeah, so
M: See what I’m sayin’. Because I liked the kids. Because I could identify with the kids cause they didn’t have nobody like I didn’t have nobody. So I kinda identify with that balance. So they come by and we sing songs and we’re all singing together and they say “Wow man, wow you got a, you got a different kind of voice.” But you’ve got to realize, being raised in jail, jail is a different kind of song. There’s a sound that goes on that tier, the cops can tell you. “YEEOW…AWWWRIGHT…YO!…. AAAAOOOOAHH! HAAAY WHIIIITROWWAAAHH!” In other words you got a certain sound, someone else might have a certain sound like “IS THAAAT RIGHT!” That’s where all your thoughts come from. “RIGHT ON!” In other words, you see this coming up (raises fist) This used to be (lowers fist to ground) “YOUGOTTHECLIMBBO?” You know, “HEYYOUWHIILINE” You know, in other words, that comes ups, boom, boom, bang boom, 'til it came up, then we put this one up (holds a peace sign), then we put this one up (holds up on finger) then we, as a people down here, we have to hold our lives carrying the people up there, you dig? So we have to look out for all them guys doing, making sure their kids got shoes, and how the money flows over there and..
G: (grabs Manson’s arm) Take it back to your disciples.
M: I ain’t got no fucking disciples man.
G: Bring it back to the kids that thought you were a nice guy.
M: Well they were marine biologist, chemistry majors, history... anyone of them was smarter than I was, when…
G: Bring it back to them, bring it back to them. How in the universe…
G: Did they misunderstand you
M: Ok, Ok,
G: That they would slaughter innocent people.
M: Alright. There was no innocent people to start with. In other words..
G: Ah it would interesting to here this
M: Are you Chicano?
G: I’m Porto Rican.
M: Porto Rican. Yeah. Well uh, I ran with you, I played a lot of drums with you.
M: Do you know anything about the underworld?
G: I know a lot about the underworld.
M: You know something about the Family?
G: I know a lot about the Family.
M: Well when you owe Family something, you generally pay it.
M: There’s a Holy Spirit that runs in that Family.
M: I pitched horseshoes with Frank Costello in 1952, Louisburg Pennsylvania.
M: I run out of the barber chairs of Cleveland, Ohio. I played drums with Montaga in Santiago, you dig? I run with guys that were running from Castro in, in the…
G: Why do you say Sharon Tate wasn’t an innocent person?
M: Wait a minute. We didn’t..
G: No way Charlie! I can’t let you get away with that shit.
M: Terry Melcher was supposed to do some things with music that he didn’t do.
M: Terry Melcher lived in that house.
M: Nobody knew that Sharon Tate lived in that house.
G: So killing Terry Melcher was ok?
M: No, no, no, no, no, no. He broke his word, man.
G: So you went looking for him?
M: I didn’t go looking for anyone.
G: You sent the girls for him?
M: No! See there again you don’t understand it. Now let me lace it up your head again man.
M: Let me tell you about something about a woman.
G: Tell me
M: The women I got, I don’t gotta tell them what to do. If I’ve got to tell them what to do, I’ll send them up on the highway and get them away from me. I don’t deal with women I got to tell them what to do, they know what to do. If they don’t know what to do, they better get, stay away from me.
G: And in your case, they knew to kill.
M: They knew to take care of me.
G: They knew to kill for you.
M: They knew to look out for number one.
G: They knew to kill for you.
M: No, no, kill..
G: They knew to kill pregnant women.
M : See you’re still, you’re still…why don’t you and the DA get in the bed together man?
G: Because the whole country is the DA in your case, man.
M: Oh no, no, no, no, no. He made about six or seven hundred million dollars on the, on the idiocy of the public.
G: And you left the bloody trail all around half of LA.
M: No, no, no, no you ain’t...
G: And who knows what else you did.
M: WHOA! WHOA! I said. You haven’t seen the bloody trail yet. (laughs) You haven’t seen the bloody trail yet.
G: What do you mean?
M: Oh it’s been worse than that, you think nine was just the first little marble in the bucket. There’s a whole row of people out there that’s been getting killed.
G: You going up to fifty million?
M: Uh, I don’t know that’s up to the ghost.
G: People killing for you now?
M: I’ve got no power over the Holy Ghost.
G: People still killing for you?
G: They still killing for you?
M: I don’t, I don’t, I don’t
G: You don’t know?
M: Killing for me.
M: Boy, you’re the damnest guy in the world. Why can’t you get it in your head, ain’t nobody doing nothing for me.
G: You’re a boy scout?
M: Is anyone doing something for me?
M: Who’s doing anything for me?
G: I don’t know, you tell me.
M: Well who’s doing something for me? Are you doing something for me?
G: I’m talking to you.
M: Are you doing anything for me?
G: I’m giving you an outlet for your philosophical ideas.
M: Oh, I ain’t got no philosophical alley. Survival is all I know.
G: I hear you.
G: (to the camera man) Wanna change tape?
M: I’d like to get a drink.
G: Can we get…Charlie let’s.
G: Say something to me. One Two. Let me just talk in his mike.
M: Do you know how many books have been written? You know..
G: (whistles into Manson’s mike) Does it work? Ok.
M: Do you know how many books have been written? How many books have been written in uh, in regards to um,
G: What you did?
M: Yeah and …what I did, there you go again. What I did. If I did so much, why did the court run and didn’t give me a trial? Why couldn’t I put on a defense and call witnesses?
G: Because you were acting crazy.
M: I was acting crazy? What is acting crazy man?
G: Acting crazy is the way you were acting when you walked into this room.
M: Yeah, yeah. The nut wards of this country…
G: Ah you’re getting your reading glasses. Charlie Manson…very mortal there Charlie.
M: (Laughs) The nut wards of this country have been running the world man.
G: Yeah. You nuts Charlie?
M: Sure you thought I wasn’t crazy?
G: You criminally insane?
M: I want world peace, you think I wasn’t crazy, anybody that would want world peace..
G: Anyone that would want world peace by killing fifty million people has got to be...
M: Come on… you’ve got to make the sacrifices to do something with it.
M: Nobody’s gonna…
G: You should have met Hitler. You would have gotten along great.
M: Uh, I’m not all that.
G: You are all that.
G: You love Hitler.
M: No, I don’t love him or hate him.
G: Hitler and you could be like fraternity brothers.
M: Hitler was trying to put order into the world.
G: (laughs) Yeah right, hellava way to do it.
M: See that’s another thing.
M: If you’re not willing to die for something than you’re not willing to kill for something. If a solider puts his life on the line he’s willing to die for what he believes in, then that gives him the dispensation from God to take life for what he believes in.
G: You believe that?
M: I don’t believe it, that’s the way it is.
G: You believe that you are divinely uh, inspired to take a life?
M: See you’re, you’re playing in apply. You’re applying that now. You’re implying that I’m thinking something like that. I’m not thinking anything like that. That’s what you’re thinking I’m thinking. And that’s in your head, not mine.
G: (laughs) I want to know how you feel about the fact that you were the stuff of a nation’s nightmare for years. You were the personification of everything evil, everything rotten in this country.
M: Yeah you dumped it all off on me. I was your goat.
G: You believe that?
M: Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman didn’t do a day, but they were the ones saying “Rise up and kill your mom and dads kids! “
G: They weren’t saying that.
M: Don’t tell me he didn’t take an M16 in Chicago Seven and jump up and tell the kids to go kill their moms and dads.
G: He didn’t say that.
M: Yes he did. I read it in the paper!
G: (laughs) But you believe the paper? Ahhh.
M: See what I’m saying? If you want to read me in the paper, then I’ve got to read you back in the paper. You see?
M: But the same with Abbie Hoffman, same with all those guys, they never do .. Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, they didn’t do no time in jail. I got stuck with it.
G: You got stuck with it cause you left a trail of dead bodies.
M: I didn’t leave a trail of dead bodies.
G: Come on Charlie! Stop bullshitting me!
M: Okay. You say it.
G: I don’t say it.
M: I am what you think.
G: I know what you are.
M: And that is in your mind. That’s not reality.
G: What is?
M: That’s only reality in your mind.
G: Reality is you’re in prison trustee, a good guy.
M: No, no, no, no, no. Reality is…
G: Why did some prisoners try to kill you a few years ago?
M: Reality is
G: Why’d they try to kill you?
M: Reality is..
G: Why’d they try to kill you, I asked, a couple of years ago?
M: That doesn’t cut nothing.
G: Why they do that?
M: You’re making an ass out of yourself just like Snyder did.
G: SHIT! Don’t tell me that.
M: Just like Tom Snyder did.
G: That’s Tom Snyder.
M: You’re gonna end up out on the street without a job.
M: (laughs) Do you see what I’m saying?
G: Why’d they try to kill you?
M: In other words, man..
G: Charlie answer my question.
M: Nobody tried to kill me.
G: Didn’t they spray you with lighter fluid?
M: They been trying to kill me for twenty years nobody been able to do it yet. Would you like a try?
G: Would I?
G: If it were my relatives that you killed I would.
M: We’ll say that I am all these things that you think I am. Wouldn’t that be more fearful than letting me try to be a nice guy? Would you want to make me into those things? Would you want me, do you need someone like that in your world? That’s your judgment now. The judgment you’re making on this mirror, man, you got to carry. You want to make me a terrible violent no good so and so, a roo-roo-ba, when in reality I’m a deadhead man. I’ve been dead since 1951.
G: How’d you die?
M: I died in the penitentiary in solitary confinement. Didn’t you understand I’ve been in jail since I was nine years old? I’ve got nothing in my mind. There’s nothing in there, I just go “Oh yeah! Oh You did that? Is that right? You did that by yourself? Hmmm” I learned a long time ago you can’t never tell nobody nothing. You can’t judge nobody else. There’s only one person you can judge. I judge me. You have to judge you. I sit in the cell 18 years. If you sat in the cell for two weeks you’d be banging your head against the wall.
G: You’re right.
M: (laughs) yeah. You know, so you come and live with yourself in a little old square box for 18 years with everyone getting down on you. They haven’t touched me man, because I know what I did. I don’t break laws. I make laws. I’m the law maker. I’m the one that laid the track down. They drive the train, I lay the track. I make the laws. If I take this chair, and I knock that light down, I make a whole new procedure with it.
M: I make the laws from here. (starts dancing) (holds up Nixon victory signs) This is me. Nixon was only playing. (holds up Black Power sign.) That’s me. Now I admit I influenced everyone out there at that ranch.
G: Do you feel sad?
M: Sad? I don’t…
G: Do you feel sorrow for the relatives?
M: What you can’t understand, Mr. G, is that I have been raised up in a different world than you have been raised up. I’ve been raised up in the penitentiary. There’s no weakness in the penitentiary. There’s no sorrow or remorse in the penitentiary. You come to the cell and you go in and you find Jesus or you don’t. You either find Jesus or you run with the Devil.
G: Don’t you think that Jesus would be appalled that you were evoking his name?
M: I didn’t evoke any name, they put that on me. The spirit laid that over on my track. They said I was Krishna Venta. Krishna Venta died in Box Canyon in 1949. And they put that cult over on me. That was the cult that was in Box Canyon in 1949 when I was in reform school. Twenty years before I even grew up. They put that guy on me and said I called myself , and I stood up on the cross and I did, I didn’t do all that. That wasn’t me. I ran with a vato named Jesus. He spelled his name Jesus. He’s Panamanian, dig? We called him Zero. And um, they said that I, that that was me. Because they hooked it on me and said “We’re looking for Jesus.” the cops made a joke about it, said “We’re looking for Jesus.” and then they said “Are you Jesus?” I said “ Uh, no my name is Manson.” They said “Oh, well that’s what we thought. Manson. Son of man, you’re him.” I said, well then they made a joke out of it, you know. And when they put me in for arson, for burning up those tractors out there, trying to put the water back on the ground, (coughs), they uh, they come back on me like, uh, I had been calling myself Jesus or something, you know.
G: And that’s where it comes from?
M: Yeah, that’s how I got stuck with it.
G: What year was that?
M: Un 1968, 69.
G: Oh so it’s pretty late in the game already.
M: No, no, not late in the game in essence of looking in forever, because your courtrooms have convicted me for being Jesus Christ in one courtroom.
M: And then in the other courtroom you convicted me for being the Devil. Now if you believe in your own courtrooms, you’ve convicted me for being the father of this country. (laughs) You’ve convicted me for being the motivating force behind your children, and some of the them I hardly even known.
G: God forbid.
M: Yeah. And I only known, I only knew Linda Kasabian, I seen her three times in my life, maybe two minutes in my whole life I seen the broad. She come up to the ranch for about a week and says “Hey my name is Linda.” I says “Hello Linda” she says “Can I stay here?” I says “Can you stay here?” she says “ I’d like to live at the ranch.” I says “ I like to live at the ranch.” she says “Well can I stay here?” I says “Can I fuck you?” she says “Yeah” and I put my hand up her dress and I say “Yeah ok, you can stay around.” That was the biggest thought in my head, was getting in her body, I wasn’t thinking about sending her down to be no troops about saving nothing about stopping nothing. Don’t you remember the song I wrote about Garbage Dump?
G: Let’s hear it.
M: Oh Garbage dump, my garbage dump, you could feed the world with my garbage dump. Garbage dump, my garbage dump, that sums it up in one big lump. Market basket AMP, I don’t care if the box boy stares at me. I don’t even care who wins the war, I’ll be in those cans behind my favorite store, oh garbage dump…I’m a hobo man, I’m a hobo. I just fell out of the penitentiary. I hadn’t been out of jail long enough to do anything. I had a motorcycle, a guitar and a sleeping bag, and a bunch of broads following me around talking about how I was Jesus. And when these people broke their words, when they broke their words, they set the..
G: You talking about Melcher here?
M: I’m talking about Melcher. When he broke his word, he didn’t do what he said he was gonna do. When uh, when uh, Leno LaBianca got stabbed all up and all that gold and all that stuff was laying all around. The little black phone book from New York hit list was gone. That came off the top of another penitentiary in Leavenworth Kansas. That came off the top of that poker game over in Nevada, from where the divorce courts are running down through Denver and all that. In other words, there’s a lot more to this road than you see. See?
G: Now, where I come from, the guys with guts, they do it themselves.
M: Come on man.
G: They don’t send some teenager in to do…
M: Why, why why you gotta, why you feel the need, why you feel the need to get down on me. Is that gonna make you look any bigger? What if I just jumped on you and beat the dog shit out of you? Would that make you feel any bigger?
G: You would have to have three friends with those odds.
M: (laughs) yeah yeah yeah. You’re a dreamer. Yeah you’re a dreamer.
G: Don’t try it Charlie.
G: Don’t try.
M: But that doesn’t prove anything does it?
G: I don’t know.
M: Does it?
G: Not much, not much really.
M: Well, neither did you prove the second world war. (laughs) I mean you may have won the war, but you didn’t prove whether it was right or wrong. Right or wrong, history turns it. History wheels it.
G: I agree.
M: Now if you though I was guilty of something, and after all the pressure they put on me, put that medication on me and all the doctors that drugged me up and down the hallways, and done everything they could do to kill me, I’ve had this whole country down on me trying to murder me for all kinds of different, everything they don’t understand, they don’t know, what they can’t realize. Every little insecurity they got, here they come and bring it to me, you dig, and I’ve got to carry it on my back. Do you think I would still be here if I was guilty of anything? And look me in the eye. Look me straight away in the eye. Do I look like I’m guilty of anything?
G: You look more guilty than anyone I’ve ever looked in the eye in my whole entire life.
M: Really? Really? Oh boy that mirror is gonna be heavy for you to carry ain’t it? (Laughs)
G: Charlie, one of the things you should never do, let me give you some media advice, is look at me and ask if you’re guilty.
M: See, we’re talking personalities here.
G: (laughs) But you are the guiltiest.
M: Yeah but we’re talking personalities.
M: You gonna say I’m guilty. You don’t even know me.
G: What you’re a convict.
M: You never even walked with me.
G: You’re a lifer, you should have been dead.
M: I should have been dead?
G: Most people say it’s unfortunate that you’re not.
M: I’m a convict and I should have been dead.
G: There’s nine dead people out there.
M: There’s a lot more than nine, son. A whole lot, and there’s gonna be a lot more.
G: You wanna make your confession now?
M: Confession for what, what do you want me to confess to?
G: The others.
M: The others what?
G: Other than the nine. How many other than nine are there?
M: Well, I think Tank got his brains blown out for lying, didn’t he? A couple snitches they got found burnt to death over there in Sacramento in the trunk of that car. I think there’s a whole load of people that are dead out there because they their out of balance. They’re not in line.
G: Because they crossed Charlie Manson?
M: No! no, no. I don’t, I don’t pass out rules! I don’t dispensate life or death!
That’s God’s job!
G: You suggest it.
M: No I don’t suggest anything.
G: You say take care of business.
M: No, no, I live in the truth with mine. If someone else comes up and lies on theirs, and they’re snitching to that cop and they’re writing notes and they get busted, and they get their throats cut, Hey, what can I say? “Well you made it happen”. I didn’t make nothing happen man. I can only be responsible for one human being, my own self. I’m responsible for this guy. And everybody in the so called Manson Family, that you guys gave me after I got busted, which there was no such thing as a Manson Family. It was a musical group called Family Jams.
G: Oh! God! Yeah…I’m sorry.
M: You know. We used to write songs. If you want to, if you want to believe what Ed Saunders in New York and wrote and never even met anybody, and he wrote on the note uh, calling the lawyer down there, and the lawyer was feeding him information from underneath and breaking all the laws and sending him the transcripts so he could write a book like he knew everything and everybody, but he didn’t know nothing.
G: What do you think of Vincent Bugliosi?
G: What do you think of Vincent Bugliosi?
M: Bugliosi’s a machine. He’s a well programmed machine. And me made himself a big lot of money. You don’t realize how much money he’s made. You’d be very jealous if you knew how rich that guy was.
G: What do you think of him in substance though?
M: In substance, he’s uh, he’s uh, he’s mother’s perfect child.
G: What do you mean by that?
M: Well, he’s done his lessons real good, he, he knows all the books real good, he’s right down to the last little, little decimal. In other words, to talk to him, you’d have to, you would have to make it so compli- I couldn’t talk to that dude cause I’d have to make it so complicated.
G: What do you think of Sharon Tate’s mom attending all of your parole hearings?
M: Sharon Tate’s mom has never attended my parole hearings and she knows I didn’t have anything to do with killing her, her husband.
G: That’s not right now is it Paul?
M: No, she goes to Tex.
G: Who’s the one that..
M: Tex took responsibility for that man, didn’t you read his book? He said he did that. He said he did that cause he thought that’s what I wanted him to do. I never told him to do anything. I told him ‘Do what you know is right.” Like I would tell any human being, “Do what you know is right.” “Do what you feel is right inside of you.”
G: Ok, I’ll be Tex and you be Charlie. Ok? “I wanna go uh, kill all those people that live up on that hill.”
M: No, it wasn’t like that.
G: What was it like?
M: He said, he said, he came to town “DUUUHHH…” here’s a yokel comin’ into Hollywood. He got a pocketful of money and a pick up truck. He got in with them fast girls and they took everything he had. “DUUH DUUH DUUH DUUH.” And he’s runnin’ around with that pick up truck. I look over there into my game and I see that pick up truck, and I want that pick up truck. He says “I wanna join, can I come up and live with you people?” and I said “Can you come up and live with us?” and he said “Yeah” and I said “Can I have your pick up truck?” and he said “Yeah.” So, he gave me the pick up truck, so I felt responsible for him, so I let him clean the barn out. I let him to those funky jobs around, dig? He’s in a matriarch, I’m in a patriarch. There’s a difference. I’m walkin’ on one road, he’s walkin’ on another and he’s looking and he’s seein’ what I’m doin’, and he’s gaining strength inside of himself. He’s re-arresting…resurrecting, his own thoughts in his mind to be in a patriarch. So he comes up to me and says, “Well I, this guy beat me for my money, what should I do?” I said “Whatever you feel is right.” “Should I go get it back?” I said “If you’re big enough go get it back, if not sit down and forget it.” He said “What would you do?” I said “What is it?” He said “It’s 5,000 dollars.” I said “Well, I might be big enough to go get it. If you’re big enough to get it, go get it.” So he went down and beat some broad for some money. The broad had beat him for his money. He just got his fate back and went back and beat the broad for her money. Then he comes to me and runs and hides. They call me and says “Where’s my money son of a big boohoo?” I says “Man, you know, I ain’t got nothing,” I go “Drag that to my door man, , go down and face it ” “Oh, they’ll kill me, they’ll kill me.” and he ran, left me to face his responsibility, you dig? So I take a gun, and I have to go down there and get nasty with people, dig? And I have to put it in line, I have to say “Look man, I don’t know nothing about no money. ”OOOOH... we’ll burn that ranch down and kill everybody.” I said “No, not my friends you won’t.” You dig? I said “I’ll..” You know, we went through a lot of changes, so I ended up shooting that dude, you dig?
G: You kill him?
M: No. No. I… I don’t know much about guns. I’m not a very…I’m serious. You know I don’t know anything about... I’ve been in jail all my life, they don’t have guns. I fight with knives if I want to fight.
M: And, so uh, uh, then when it come back around, he owed me one. If I face, if I face death for you, you dig what I’m saying, you owe me that.
G: What happened?
M: So then Bobby had some hassle and I got in a, I got in an altercation with somebody over him. And then with some other bikers and the cops were raiding us all the time. So you got to realize I live in a very violent world. You know, um, violence has always been around me in the eye of that, been it all my life. So I keep it off of me (does some kung fu type moves) with motions and force fields, dig? In other words, I don’t really get involved in that cause I don’t lie. I pay my debts, if I have an argument with you, we’ll go play some handball.
G: Charlie... so Tex, you did one for Tex,
M: Tex had to pay me
G: What... gotta pay me back
M: You gotta pay the brother back.
G: Ok, so what did Tex do? What happened?
M: Tex went to pay the brother back. He went to pay the brother back to get Bobby out of jail. You dig what I’m saying? He says “We’ll go get a lawyer.” I says “Get a fucking lawyer for what? All the lawyers do is lie and take the money, you know (coughs) Lawyers aren’t doing anything but for themselves.” Dig? So he says “We’ll make the murders keep on looking like they was keep on keeping on.” You dig what I’m saying? So, it jumped off into who was doing wrong. Who had the little black phone book from New York City, who wasn’t paying they’re debts from Brother Recording Company. When Brother Recording Company from the Beach Boys was taking music that was coming out of the penitentiary, and singing (sings) “In my room” “I’m puttin’ out good vibrations”, and you come up on the set and say “Where’s my money?” and they say “Oh! You don’t have any money coming” and I say “ What you mean I don’t have any money coming? You’ll pay me. Give me what I got coming. Don’t give me no more than what I’ve got coming, but pay me what I got due.” and they won’t give me my dues. I say “Ok, you won’t give me my dues, I’ll call New York.” “I’ll call New York!” (pauses) “Cause I’m ice pick in New York.”
G: What did Tex do?
M: What did Tex do? Tex went crazy, man. He tried to stand up and walk where I was walking. He tried to be a man in a woman’s body and it didn’t work to well. And he, he went out of his mind.
M: What ever gay is.
G: You wanna walk around or you wanna sit? Let me check my questions.
G: So, so who’s your best friend in here?
M: My best friend?
G: You got any friends?
M: Oh I got a lot of them. My best friend’s a convict and a cop.
G: A Cop Convict?
M: No, the cop’s a cop that’s looking out for me.
(both pause and read papers)
M: They got…(gibberish)
G: What’s that?
M: They got a lot of good cops in here that uh, look out for business and take care of the truthful. Yeah, they probably do like fear. You do most of your shows to uh, to uh, to old women don’t you?
G: You mean the day time show?
G: To women, mostly.
M: Yeah I was checking you out. Yeah, you’re pretty good.
G: The night time show is mostly men.
M: Yeah, you got to, see you got to kowtow to all that..
G: I don’t kowtow to nobody.
M: Well you know what I’m sayin’. You got to play up under it. You got to think about whatever that mass puts out on your head.
G: Let me I wanna…roll? Roll? We have a situation... Johnny... Susan Atkins comes home to you with bloody fingers.
G: She says “Charlie, look what I did for you.”
M: Yeah. “I give you the world. I just killed myself and I give you the world.”
G: So, how’d you react?
M: I says “You dumb fucking cunt, I already had the world, you just put me back in jail again.” (long pause) And that’s what she did, she put me right back in jail. (pauses)
G: How’d she react when you said that?
M: People don’t hear each other. We talk to each other, but uh, very seldom do we ever communicate.
G: How’d she react?
M: How did she react? Susan followed me around and she was always trouble. She would steal, she would lie, she’d do all kinds of crazy things. And the only thing I could do, see you got to realize, woman’s got the thing over the man. All she’s got to do is call the police and they’ll lock me up for her. So all these cops work for the woman. It’s like the guy come and he says “I’m takin’ this broad here.” He says “I’m the man.” I told him “Ok, be my guest.” He says “I’m takin’ this broad” I says “Ok.” He says “Come on!” Susie jumps up and says “You put your hands on me it’d be the sorriest day you live.” And he turn back to me and said “ Tell this broad to go with me!” I said “I don’t tell that broad nothing, man.” He said “Why?” I said “If I tell her to go with you, she’s liable to put me back in the penitentiary. I’m not going back to jail for you. If you can’t get over on that broad, man, don’t come bring that old weak ass shit on me.” So he pulls his knife out and wants to stab me and I said “(laughs) It’s kinda silly ain’t it? You know, you can’t get your balls out of that broad, so you gotta come get your nuts out of me. Why don’t you go back to your mother and find out who took your balls, I didn’t get your fucking nuts, man.” And I’m hiding behind this guitar, and he’s stabbin at me dig? So every time he’s stabbing, I cut him a little bit. I says “Man you only cutting yourself here. I got nothing bad going against you. Why you keep stabbin’ at me for man? You tryin’ to prove something to yourself? Go look in the mirror, man. What’s it go to do with me. You want to be a whatever, man, whatever a man is.” You know what I’m saying? Man? I’m a lizard on a rock, man. I’m a coyote or a bug in the bushes, man. Why I got to be a, I don’t live in that world you live in. I wouldn’t, I don’t got nothing to do with that world. I drove them Cadillac’s through town, you dig, I got nine pockets full of money looking around thinking ‘Wow what’s next”, you know. That’s a bigger jail than the one I’m in. You’re in jail, you’re in prison, man. These guys here are in prison. I’m not locked in dollar bills. I’m free man, I’m free. And at night, when I sit in that cell, man I’m gone. I’m up in those golden arches and I’m flyin’. And I go anywhere and I do anything I want.
G: But you’re not in the general population?
M: Only because uh, Rapscap will make up a lot of uh, you know what he tells the public? All these young people come and say “We want to help Charlie.” and he’ll say “Well you help the department of corrections, that’ll help Charlie.” I’m a holy institution by myself now.
G: Yeah, I know.
M: They won’t let me go because uh, because they uh, they need me to uh, hold their brains up.
G: I can’t think of anybody in prison today, that I’d rather see in prison than you.
M: Yeah. That’s what you would say to yourself?
G: I have no doubt that if you went back outside, you’d do the same thing again. I think that you’re a..
M: Back outside where?
G: I know... that’s not the word..
M: Outside your mind? I wouldn’t go outside in your mind.
G: What would you do if you were outside. What would you do if you stepped out of San Quinton today.
M: I am. I am outside of San Quinton today.
G: Alright let me
M: I’ve got two feathers on the road already.
G: Bear with me. Bear with me. What if I said “Charlie, your physical being is free, as of right now.” You go outside the gate, you’re body, where would you go, what would you do?
M: Probably go look for a place to sit down.
G: What would you do?
M: (sings) “I give you anything I got for a little piece of mind.”
G: You scare people, Charlie.
M: People are scared, they use me as an excuse. They’re afraid of what they don’t understand, what they don’t know.
G: They’re afraid of Susan Atkins’ bloody hands.
M: Susan Atkins is working on her problems, man, she’s got her world to deal with. Each one of those people that you call my family, They were geniuses. They all had college educations. Everyone of them were very smart young people. They were a generation of the 60’s. I wasn’t a generation of the 60’s. I’m a Bing Crosby fan, not a Beatles fan. You guys make me into be something that I wasn’t. I never had a beard or long hair in my life. I was a beatnik not a hippie. I was playing bongos down on Venice Beach smoking grass in 51, 52. I’m 55 years old man, 53? 54? I’m in the 50’s. I’m not in, I’m not you know a teenybopper. YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! I’m not a teenybopper, guy. You now. It’s like, um, I’m street. I’m all the way street. I live in jail. Like a lot of kids, they get busted when they’re eight and ten years old cause they don’t have no parents. The jails are full of them. Are they full of them? They’re full of kids that don’t have no place else. That’s Daddy right there.
M: That’s the reason I cuss him and call him all kinds of things, cause he let’s me get away with it.
G: Now you’re making up now, you’re making up?
M: Hell no I would never make up. (laughs) No way would we ever make up.
G: Charlie, let me ask you. You’re gonna die in prison?
M: (laughs) Die in prison. Boy oh boy.
G: You gonna die?
M: Again, there you go. You got die in your mind. You got die in your mind, I ain’t got die in my mind.
G: My show’s about murder.
M: Oh, you’re show’s about murder. Okay. You take a figure and you put it up and you make it into be some.. You put right, take right, put it right on the wrong side and then everybody’s following right into wrong. And all the kids are growing up following this right into the wrong. And the kids are going to get through. And you’re either gonna have to give me my rights in the courtroom or you’re gonna have no courtroom.
M: You’re gonna have to give me my rights.
G: I heard that already, I heard that.
M: You know.
G: Why is it so common?
M: Because you’re out of balance. You’re social conscious is out of balance.
G: Don’t give me that line, please.
M: The premise of your reality sits in the judge’s benches, man. The judge’s benches represent crime, the police represent, they do the will of the judge. The attorney general does the will of that, the governor does the will of that, all the way up to the Pentagon. All the way up to where the bombs drop on the rice farmers. It all starts down here in the courtroom.
G: Is it easy to take a life?
M: I never took anybody’s life.
G: Is it easy to stick a knife into somebody’s body?
M: Um, I generally don’t stick people, I cut them a couple times first, make them, show them that I can, but I never really stuck anybody, not stuck a knife in them. I cut them a couple times to show them I could then tell them, you know, ‘Don’t make me do this no more.’
G: And you didn’t feel pleased when Susan Atkins came home with her bloody hand?
M: Uh, I, I, I was not raised up with all those thoughts in my mind like you have.
G: You weren’t raised up.
M: Pleased, no I wasn’t I raised myself.
G: You’re like the wolf boy.
M: That’s right, I raised myself up. Sure. Sure. I got a different way of doin’ everything. I got my own way, you know. Does that make me bad?
G: It makes you violent and bad, yeah.
M: I’m only as violent as I have to be. If I don’t have to be violent, I’m not. But I was raised up to where if you didn’t fight, you got fucked. (chuckles) If you didn’t fight, you got taken away and your stuff was taken away. And I got 40 years of fighting in here. I can’t read and write but I can fight. I fight very well. I don’t, I play hand ball, and uh, I play music. Other than that, I’m not too much, I don’t read too well, I don’t write too well and uh, actually see, I’m the king over where I live. I’m the king where I live. And um, when people come up to me and they ask me what to do, I say, ‘You do what you’re love tells you to do.” And then the DA says “Well Charlie was their love and he told them what to do.” No. No. The infinite consciousness of the universal order that runs in everybody’s minds. See it’s like you got a public, their minds are all going one way, their bodies are all going another. The money’s going another way. And then the news media’s going another way. And you know, reaping these thoughts, is reaching out into those different chambers of thought, and reaping in those heads and readjusting it in, in through the crosses. Cause the preachers represent the courtrooms too. And the priest represents the courtrooms. And when those kids picked up the cross, they picked up the cross for a reason. Each one of them had a reason for pickin’ up that cross. On of them was trying to save Lake Mono from extinction. Some of them had something else going. Others were ecology. A lot of the kids wanted to stop the war. Uh, the uh, all the peace movement of the 60’s. I come out in 1967, that was already jumpin’ man.
G: Didn’t take you long to get into it.
M: I wasn’t into, I wasn’t, I wasn’t into it yet, I was only out two years, a couple years.
G: It didn’t take you long.
M: Now how the hell am I gonna control 35 women in two years?
G: Beats me, man.
M: Yeah, you see what I’m saying, in other words, the guy you’re trying to make me into is impossible. What you’re doing is, you’re creating a legend. You’re creating a beast. You’re creating what ever you’re judging yourselves with into the word Manson, and that’s not me at all.
G: You’re not a beast, Charlie? You are a beast.
M: See? I’m, I’m whatever you need me to be for you. And whatever you make me is what you’ll carry for the rest of your life and forever.
G: You named yourself Charlie (points to his swastika.)
M: No, no. You don’t even know what that means. (pauses) It’s my father’s name, that’s all. My fathers died in the second world war for my rights and I didn’t get them.
G: You a nazi, Charlie?
M: No. No, I can’t even spell the word.
G: I bet you could.
M: See what I’m saying? Now see what I’m saying. When you think I lie, then that’s because you got a lie in your heart. And then you come back and you say you’ve got heart, but you’ve got no heart without, with lie. A lie beats, your heart beats in truth, man, you see what I’m saying? In other words, if you’re lying, you’re not lying to nobody but yourself. Nobody else cares. I was the only guy that cared. I was the one that picked the kids up out of the streets and give them a little place to stay, but I learned better than that.
G: You gave them a place to stay and then you turned them loose.
M: No I didn’t turn them loose, yeah I , I turned them loose in, uh, in respect..
G: And there’s 9 bodies to show for it.
M: No, there’s a lot more than that. They become free in their minds. We started a rebirth movement.
G: Yeah a re-death movement.
M: No, the rebirth in Jesus. Rebirth in Christ. It’s a holy war is what it is, really.
G: Who is, who are the sides?
G: Who’s fighting?
M: Everybody’s fighting in the spirit.
G: Which side are you on Charlie? Are you on the side of death?
M: On the side of what?
M: Death. I didn’t know God had a side. I thought he was on all sides.
G: What do you want people to remember you as?
M: Uh, will there be people to remember?
G: Write me you’re epitaph.
M: (laughs) See, uh, all that is on your road, I don’t live in that, that dream. Dreams of living and dying, don’t uh, don’t, they don’t hold any substance.
G: How do you feel about this interview, do you feel good about it?
M: No, no actually I don’t. No actually I don’t. We could have, we could have done a lot better. I appreciate your spirit in this, but um, in the same instance, uh, well I can’t tell whether you’re real or not. I don’t know if you’re just play acting this for, I’m real for what I’m saying.
G: I’m real.
M: Yeah, I’m not play acting.
G: Me either.
M: I’m not an entertainer. I don’t entertain.
G: You can be entertaining though.
M: Uh, I entertain myself, and if others are around they may feel the energy of that and be entertained. But, it’s not my profession and it‘s not my uh, vocation. I don’t have any vocation.
G: You have any final thoughts?
G: Tell them about murder. Help them understand murder.
M: Murder, a lot of people, you got to realize, you know, you come up to someone and say, you say “Ok, I love you as a brother.” You dig what I’m saying? So the guy comes up and he says “Will you help me?”, I says “Sure I’ll help you. What do you want me to do?” and the guy will show you with his actions what he wants you to do is kill him. He says “I have these terrible headaches” He said “My wife left me” and uh, he says “I don’t have any money, and uh, the repossessed my car, and I’m going crazy, and uh, there’s a gun in the dresser drawer, will you hand me those aspirins right by gun? Don’t shoot me! Please don’t shoot me!” And you look at him, and you hold the gun in your hand and say “What are you asking me to do? What are you projecting in my mind to do?” There’s uh, people that want to die. I brought it up to the uh, medical association not too long ago that we should have suicide parlors. To where, if someone wants to die, they should be allowed to die. If someone wants to use drugs, they should to use drugs. Who’s someone else to say you can’t do what you want to do? In the Land of the free and the home of the brave? I mean if you’re free you can do what you want to do.
G: Except hurt somebody else.
M: What do you mean hurt somebody else gots nothing to do with it, man. If a guy’s smoking grass, that’s not hurtin’ anybody else.
G: You went a lot farther than that, Charlie.
M: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. See, you, you come back on me man. Why don’t you look at the issue? You can’t put the issue off on Charlie and say it’s all Charlie’s fault.
G: The show’s about murder, Charlie, you’re the issue.
M: Okay, I, I uh, killed everybody since day one. I’ve murdered them all. I’m God and I’ve killed everybody. Now what? It doesn’t improve your position any. I’m working for your position just as well as I’m working for mine. I got dealt the hand. (holds up hands like a poker hand) Hippie Cult Leader, what the hell is a Hippie Cult Leader? You wanna be a Hippie Cult Leader? Hippie Cult Leader, alright, here’s your Family card, oh I’m the Family, uh-huh. Oh, I got Family card, Hippie Cult Leader. Mass Murderer! Ahh, Mass Murderer. Nine dead bodies. Now I’ve got this hand, now how would you play it? How would you play it? How would you play this hand here?
G: About the way the jury did.
M: What, what about NATO?
G: What has NATO got to do with it?
M: NATO’s got a big thing to do with it. What about the MX missile?
G: The MX missile didn’t kill Sharon Tate, a pregnant woman, by stabbing her in the belly.
M: Oh, oh, well what about Charles Older? My judge who was a Flying Tiger in the second world war. Reagan’s appointee?
G: I think he did a good job.
M: I wonder who’s got my horse now. Or where did the gun come from that killed that people. Did you know that was Ronnie Reagan’s gun? You didn’t even know that did you? See what I’m saying, there’s a lot of it that you don’t understand.
G: Thanks for your time.
M: Now see what I said? Now you’re gonna go have to research it,
G: I will.
M: And when you research it, and you’ll find it, and then your hear will go (slaps hands) and you’ll say “Boom! That guy had the heart, I only thought I did.”
G: Have a good rest of your life Charlie.
M (gets up) You didn’t bring the guitar.
G: They wouldn’t let us.
M: They wouldn’t let you.
G: We brought it, but they wouldn’t
M: These (inaudible) work for you man.
G: Yeah, well, they’ve got rules. I understand the rules. Ok, I’m gonna walk Charlie out.
M: No, no. Wait a minute, wait a minute. We ain’t through here.
M: I wanted to get some money donated to this, uh, A, ATWA. Then I wanted to give you this here. (looks at papers) I wish we could have talked about this.
G: Let me take it back with me.
M: Yeah I will, I wish we could have talked about this. You gonna send me copies of those pictures or do you hate me so much that you won’t make your word with me?
G: My word is always good. I won’t send you those joke shots though.
M: Yeah, this interview was a piece of shit. (hands paper to Geraldo) We could have done a hellava lot better.
G: Goddamn, what are you talking about?
M: We could.
G: You should be a media critic now. Let me put this in my pocket.
M: Media critic?
G: Yeah, you know a little about everything.
M: I already know everything. I don’t know a little about everything, I know everything.
G: How’s your health?
M: I live forever.
G: That’s what I’m afraid of.
M: I see you got black boots.
M: Asalamalincolnwhilelincolnasasalam. From here to Vietnam. (laughs) Now we’ll that ghost for a while and see if you got anybody in New York City.