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Tuesday's Child Interview


Steve Alexander for Tuesday’s Child

Shortly after this interview, Manson’s telephone privileges were suspended by the court.

CHARLES MANSON: When you look at things in a positive manner, everything can work out perfect. You know, like as fast as man can go, he is destroying everything he can destroy. The pace that he’s picked up in sawing the trees down, killing the animals and shooting everything. You know, I go live out in the desert and I see a lot of madness. I see big fat people coming around with guns, shooting lizards, spiders, birds, anything they can get their hands on. Just killing and killing. They’re all programmed to kill.


You know, there’s one thing I flashed on the other day. A policeman took me over and on his helmet, you know, right on his forehead, there’s a beast, a bear, a bear beast on his forehead. And I say, “Well, can’t the people see the mark of the beast?” You know, it’s not… it’s not hard to see. 

Is there anything you want to know? That I could tell you?


Q: What’s your birthsign?

A: Scorpio


Q: Do you know your rising sign?


A: You know you wake up every morning and there’s another rising sign.


You know, maybe I can tell you where I’m from Everybody is always telling me where I’m from and where I developed my philosophy and what I think and all this and none of this is the things I’ve always said.  I’m from Juvenile Hall. I’m from the line of people nobody wants. I’m from the street. I’m from the alley. Mainly I’m from solitary confinement. You spend twenty years in institutions and you forget what the free world is. You don’t know how the free world works. And then you come out and you live in it and you say, “Wow, I’ve been locked up for twenty years but my mind has been free.” And I come outside and I see everybody’s got their minds locked up and their bodies are free. You know?


I’ll give it to you just like this.   All my life I felt all the bad people were in jail and all the good people were on the outside. Then I would get out of jail and I would find out that that the people on the outside smiled and pretended like they were good, but there wasn’t too many of ‘em, you know? And then I’d go back to jail. I think my longest time out in the last 22 years have been maybe 6 or 8 months. And I was out two – let’s see, three different times – one time for 6 months, one time for 8 months and then the last time I’ve been out for three years.


Well, when I got out the last time, I didn’t want out. I told the Man, I sez, “I can’t adjust to society and I’m content to walk around the yard playing my guitar, doing the things you do in a penitentiary,” So when I got out I met a 16 year old boy. I was living in Berkley, and I ask him where he lived. And he said, “Weill I live out in my sleeping bag.” I said, “Well don’t you work?” and he told me, “Hell no. Nobody works, you don’t have to work.” I said, “Well how do you eat?” He said, “Well I eat at the Diggers.” And I said, “Well how can you live that way?” He said, “Come on.” He put his arm around me and like I was his brother and he showed me love.


He took me to Haight-Ashbury and we slept in the park in sleeping bags and we lived on the streets and my hair got a little longer and I started playing music and people liked my music and people smiled at me and put their arms around me and hugged me – I didn’t know how to act. It just took me away, it grabbed me up, man, that there was people that are real.


You know, I just didn’t think there were such real people. There were people with beards and we smoked grass. And like I never had been involved with dope – with what you call dope – except when I got out I took some LSD, which enlightened my awareness. But mainly it was the people. It was the young people walking up and down the street trading shirts with each other and throwing flowers and being happy and I just fell in love. I love everything.


But the worst thing is, I have seen how the Haight was going, because being in jail for so long has left my awareness pretty well open. So I’ve seen the bad things that were coming into Haight, the wild problems and the people getting harassed in the doorways and the policemen coming with the sticks and they were running them up and down the street. So I got a school bus and I asked anybody, “Anybody wants to go can go in the school bus. The school bus is not mine, it doesn’t belong to anyone. We’ll put the pink slip in the glove compartment and the school bus belongs to itself.” And we all turned our minds off and we just went around looking for a place to get away from the Man.


We went to Seattle, Washington – the Man was there, every we went. We went to Texas – the Man was there. We went to New Mexico – the Man was there, everywhere we went. And like it was just a trip, we were going nowhere, coming from nowhere and just grooving on the road because the road seemed to be the only place where you can be free when you’re moving from one spot to another. You seem to have the freedom to take a breath. To take a breath from the city. To take a breath form oppression, from the madness of the city.


And then we went out and got out in the desert. We found a whole world out in the desert. Then I got to see that the animals were smarter than the people. You know, like I’ve never been around many animals. In jail there are hardly any animals around. Then I got to looking at coyotes, and I got to looking at dogs and snakes and rabbits and cats and goats and mules. And we walked around for weeks, following the animals and just see what they do. And there is a lot of love there. That’s where most of the love is, in the young people and in the animals. And that’s where my love is.


You know, I don’t have any philosophy. My philosophy is “don’t think.” You know, you just don’t think. If you think, you are divided in your mind. You know, one and one is one in two parts. Like I don’t have any thought in my mind, hardly any at all, it is all love.


If you love everything, you don’t have to think about things – you just love it. Whatever circumstances had to you, whatever dealer deals you, whatever hand you get handed, you just love the hand you got, you know, and make it the best you can. And that’s what I’ve always thought. I’ve never had much schooling. No mother, no father. In and out of orphanages and foster homes. And then to boy’s school and reform schools. Like it’s always been like… my head is empty.


I have no opinion. I know the truth – the truth is in no word form. It just is. And everything is the way it is because that’s the way love says so. And when you tune in with love, you tune in with yourself. You know, that’s not really a philosophy, that’s a feel and everybody who’s got love in their hearts knows that. Okay?


            Q: If you’ve got anything else to say, just keep talking.


            A: Yeah, okay, if anybody wants to listen. I realize everybody’s got their own message, dig? But I can’t tell anybody nothing that they don’t already know. But I can sing for them and I got some music that says what I like to say if I ever had anything to say.



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