Helter Skelter Remembered

Charles Manson Mugshot

(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images)

Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — It was the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders over the weekend, and if you weren’t around or old enough to know what was going on when it happened, trust me, it was big news, a shocking reminder of how low humanity could go.

I watched a documentary about the female Manson cult members he recruited, all young, lost, estranged from their families, and easy prey for a con artist. 

How did he prepare them to commit the brutal murders of strangers on command?

First, he cut them off from meaningful contact with outsiders, from the news, from any perspectives other than his own. 

They were trained to accept his word as truth and the law and reject any contradiction.

Manson kept them in a constant state of fear, peddling a steady stream of lies about deathly threats from outsiders – the police, the straight world, but most of all, black people. 

A vicious racist who hoped to start a race war by blaming the killings on the Black Panthers, Manson fed his cult followers tall tales of conspiracies targeted at their “family.”

This toxic stew of fear, ignorance and obedience primed the women to be manipulated by Manson to go out and kill as an act of self-preservation. 

“We were good soldiers,” one of the women says in the documentary. 

And when it came to slaughtering pregnant actress Sharon Tate, it was no more than “demonic” Hollywood deserved, she says.

Random killing by lost souls conditioned by a manipulative grifter to commit senseless violence as a political statement – thank goodness we don’t have stuff like that happening in America any more.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more


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