The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Friday, April 11, 2008

Taming the Beast: Charles Manson's life behind bars

Edward George has been where few of us would willingly go, both physically and emotionally. His book, Taming the Beast: Charles Manson's Life Behind Bars, is evidence of that. He spent 8 years as a prison counselor to Charles Manson, and now offers readers a rare glimpse at the man who led his followers down a deadly road.

The following is from Mr. George:

The Legend of Charles Manson
I who write these verses,
Expands his dirty deeds.
Perhaps the worse that I can do
Is immortalize this Beast.
Charlie went to prison,
By way of death row.
That’s where I met this murderer,
At San Quentin, years ago.
He had a mother who didn’t care,
And a father who wasn’t there,
Nobody there to wipe his ass,
And everybody treated him just like trash
Scram, little shit, you’re in the way.
Get lost, you idiot, go out and play.
The little bastard had no place to go,
So like a stray dog, his meanness grew.
Down dark alleys, asleep in parks,
He wandered the streets in the dark.
He met some friends who helped him along.
They taught him things that were very wrong.
Who cares for little boys who run away?
And when they steal, what do they say?
Who cares for kids who don’t know what’s real?
What do they say when they start to steal?
He stole some cars and robbed a store,
He grabbed the money and ran out the door.
When he got caught, he ran away,
In foster homes, he would never stay.
Reform schools added to his lot,
Deforming him was part of the plot.
Twisted thoughts was what they taught,
And he learned the skills that evil men sought.
They locked him up with the big boys
Who took away all his toys.
They told him, kid, shut your mouth,
And never snitch about what you see.
Big boys give and little boys take,
And every day, he’d cry and shake.
He lost his manhood one lonely night,
In fear of dying, he gave up the fight.
He asked God’s help,
When he prayed at night.
No angel came to
Take away his fright.
He threw away his virtue,
Called Jesus a big joke.
His soul became defiant,
And he gave up heavenly hope.
Christians like to torture,
They like to start wars.
They fight over doctrines,
And kill without remorse
They forget love and compassion,
The one thing that counts.
Still they hope is for a heaven,
That many people doubt.
Even his mother, a child’s only hope,
Left him for a man he didn’t know.
His father, he called a traitor
Who slipped away like soap.
His body raped when the sun went down,
His soul purged by day.
They lock him in a chamber
Where no one wanted to stay.
For years they gave him dirty looks,
Stripped him with every glance.
He cried at night, till he cried no more,
And dreamt of living on a far off shore.
Sitting in prison cells for many years,
His music came with a rush of tears,
When he struck a cord on an old guitar,
Songs poured out like water from a jar.
He spent half his life behind cold stone walls,
For crimes that weren’t so bad,
Like stealing cars and smashing doors,
Writing bad checks and pimping whores.
Then one day, in nineteen sixty-seven,
He thought he died and gone to heaven.
He got a parole after doing a dime,
So he grabbed his guitar and walked the line.
From the LA streets and the Hollywood set,
He went to San Francisco without a cent.
He picked up girls as they came along.
In the summer of love, nothing was wrong.
With sex and drugs and music free,
He found the awesome LSD
Who could imagine what he had in store,
With psychedelic powers, he opened a door.
Searching the Haight and Asbury Streets,
He roamed through acid and flowery sweets,
Dazzling creatures with a cunning smile
Embracing each love with hidden guile.
He held resentment toward the world,
For the loss of fun he never had.
He hated those who had much more,
And the girls whose parents could buy the store.
No high school proms, no football games,
No flashy clothes or camp fire flames,
No friends to hang with after school,
No where to go but play the fool.
He went to Berkeley and found new tricks,
And checked out Telegraph where stoners trip.
He fed his cravings and fucked on the floor,
Chasing for pleasures all men adore.
Fun and games went on for days,
They danced and swayed in a lazy daze.
Charlie claimed he was the one,
Who would save the world before he was done.
The girls wanted things he couldn’t give,
But he would show them how to live.
He hated all their social skills,
And broke them down in piggy swills.
With voodoo eyes, he mesmerized.
They could not turn away.
He worked his magic into their souls,
And in their minds the devil rose.
“If you want to follow me,” he said,
“You must change what you do.
I live outside the law, I’m an outlaw by name.
Just a prison junky who doesn’t want your shame.”
Living for years in a wired cage,
He hit the streets with savage rage.
No one knew the plan in his head,
Or how many people would soon be dead?
The women who followed were clever and bright,
As rebellious as Charlie and ready for flight.
They turned away from homes that were good,
So strong the attraction of Charlie, the hood.
They jumped on a bus and hit the road,
And leaped over mountains like a big mother toad.
They painted the bus with rainbows of color,
And never turned back to wave to their mothers.
He led them through a forest bright,
Feasting on them with great delight’
Feeding them tales by a camp fire sight,
With wolf like eyes that shown in the night.
Now Charlie claimed he was the only way.
It was pretty incredible, that all the girls stayed.
He made a pack like Dorien Gray,
For demon powers that would never decay.
Charlie liked to play the clown,
His sinister side he hid with renown.
A mask so Raven, a smile divine,
He seduced each girl with loquacious wine.
They jumped on the bus and started to jam,
It was then the psychedelic party began.
With LSD and his mystical charm,
He used this power, every soul to harm.
He had a plan with a goat headed ram,
To be the leader with a swastika brand.
They rolled into Hollywood hoping for gold,
Thinking about a million records sold.
They traveled around with hardly a cent,
And staked out a mansion without paying rent.
Charlie walked puddles in Beverly Hills,
And hung with the Beach Boys at a Malibu Grill.
His plan was to sing and be a great star,
His girls would sing backup, a little bizarre.
They gave out sex at their master’s command.
Then dared his friends with new demands.
They wanted a record to be made,
But Terry’s offer Was doomed to fade.
When Manson team pushed him around,
Terry Melchor put him down.
Rejected by the LA crowd,
Manson began to screech aloud.
He threatened those who were his friends,
And said that he would take revenge.
Charlie’s head woman, found on the street,
Soon became his favorite sweet.
She carried the torch when Charlie was gone,
Protecting the family whether right or wrong.
She found an old ranch where a blind man lived,
And through her charms, he invited her in.
Charlie shoveled shit to pay his way
And fed the horses, so he let him stay.
Lynette cut hay as quick as should could,
Taking charge of the ranch as Charlie would.
She assured Mister Spahn understood
That he’d better be quiet for his own good.
The girls gave sex to join his club,
Charlie took honors, never using a sub.
Just like a pimp, he made them feel tall,
As long as they stayed under his law.
But get out of line or become a snitch
Your life was over as quick as a stitch.
Charlie condemnation, as strong as a Pope,
He gave no forgiveness and offered no hope.
When money ran low, all the fun stopped,
They ate garbage, and whatever they stole.
They crept by night over the Hollywood Hills,
When the lights were low and the air filled with chills.
Charlie ranted and railed about corporate greed,
And in his family, he planted a deep seed.
You fight these freaks with sneak attacks
With knives held behind your backs.
The Beatles spoke to Charlie’s brain,
Sending messages in their songs.
“Helter Skelter” told him what to do,
How could the solution be wrong?
At first, he gave orders to test his thoughts,
To see if his minions did what he sought.
Amazed was he, they did what he said,
He found the power others would soon dread.
A hot desert wind blew over the land,
The keeper of the wild began to demand,
“Protect the planet, the water, the air,
The animals and trees are under our care.”
The rich build decks out of redwood trees,
They rape the land and destroy the bees,
They pollute the air, the water and sea,
The animals are dying, all agreed.
For days they sung of death and doom,
Until one night under the moon,
With ropes and guns and blades in hand,
And crept into a stranger’s land.
So desperate now, they stayed out of sight,
Their fiendish minds no longer bright,
Whoever they sought as they stalked the night
Tex had dreams of malicious delight.
Gather your knives, and follow me,
Let’s show them malice for cutting the trees.
No one will stop us, no one be spared,
We’ll strike tonight, our vengeance be theirs.
Charlie gave Tex a knife and a gun,
Then whispered, “Go do the devil’s run.”
Tex, so stoned, his soul so broke,
He thought the whole thing was just a joke.
It was time to act, would they obey?
Charlie knew the right things to say.
Tex led the family, the slaughter to do.
Stalking Cielo Drive with his deadly crew.
In the shadow of evil, Tex drove on,
His moral strength completely gone.
Blood so cold, brain so hot,
His conscience stoned with meth and pot.
Peaking through windows at a peaceful sight,
No one could imagine the fury of that night.
They burst into beauty and innocence bright,
And slashed God’s creatures gasping in fright.
To stay alive, Sharon pled, in despair,
“Take my life, but please, my baby spare.”
Then Sadie spoke, “You both will die.
There is no mercy, no escape to try.”
Tex beat and stabbed whatever moved,
He shot and stabbed without a thought.
So much he loved the little man,
He willingly killed at his command.
The headlines gave LA a stroke
When earth and heaven the next day awoke.
The stabs, the cuts, the blood soaked hall,
The wounds so deep, pigs on the wall.
Like vampire wolves they slipped away,
Returning to their hidden caves.
What they had done, was beyond belief,
Left the Hollywood set deep in grief.
The deeds they’d done to helpless souls,
So senseless, the tragedy enfolds.
How could this happen without a cry.
Not one person heard them die.
There was no mercy in the air,
Their cries were all for naught.
When silence came and all were slain,
No life or breath remained.
The silent sky, its cloudy curtain closed.
The stars shrieked and turned away.
The face of darkness trembled in the wind,
Unable to bear the horror of their sin.
The screams and wails meant nothing more
Than screeching seagulls above the shore.
Dripping with blood, the horror done,
They returned to Charlie, their faithful son.
For those who did these horrible deeds,
The shameless daughters, Satan’s breed.
They searched their hearts for answers clear,
Answers that only brought them fear.
What madman lurked within their minds
That they could do such horrendous crimes?
No one imagined how great the sin,
Or what his motive to begin.
To start a race war, some would say,
To get revenge another way.
To murder just for a thrill,
Or set a diversion for Bobby B’s kill.
Manson’s blood lust unsatisfied,
He stalked for more innocent lives.
It didn’t matter who they were,
There was no one that night would spare.
Leno and Rosemary paid the price,
When they returned home that fateful night.
No one knows their time is near,
Nobody knows when it’s time to fear.
The stalking butchers took their lives,
For reasons only Charlie knows.
He entered first and calmed them down,
Tied them up without a sound.
Then he left the murder scene,
Without revealing he was a fiend.
On the way out, he made the orders clear,
“Tex, kill them, then, have a beer.”
Patty was strong. Leslie was weak,
Tex pushed them both to the brink.
He told Leslie she must take part,
Already a zombie, and faint of heart.
Charlie was an actor, a president at heart.
A Hitler, a Stalin and a Mao for a start.
He waned to play a general as his part,
Just like Napoleon, he thought himself so smart.
After the murders, they all ran away.
Searching in the desert for some place to stay.
Charlie found a hole, deep underground,
A place they could hide and never be found.
It wasn’t long, before they heard a sound
Of deputies searching all around.
They caught them there in the Valley of Death,
Sun baked, brown and out of breath.
The Bug tried the bastard, a wondrous job he did,
And sent Charlie to prison for eternity to rid.
And Tex, the vicious murderer, also got his due,
Then Moose Davis and Bobby B and the whole female crew.
Some went to prison, others to death row.
Then the courts changed their sentences,
To the possibility of parole,
And time to save their souls.
Charlie kept his loyal women,
Waiting in great anticipation
For President Ford’s assassination,
Which Squeaky tried and failed.
The secret service stopped her,
Before the task was done.
She said she didn’t shoot the gun,
Only wanted to show Charlie her love.
Charlie thought her marvelous,
Her heart so brave, indeed.
“She’d die for me,” he told me,
On this we both agree.
Even after many years, some followers remain,
Some visit him in prison, and honor his holy name.
Some have set up websites to cause a little fright,
So Charlie’s on the internet hosting you at night.
As time goes by, his followers,
Have cast off Charlie’s spell.
They point at him, the dirty rat,
Who left them there in shock.
They were so young and foolish,
Taken in by a friendly guru.
Who gave them drugs and set them up
And told them tales that were not true.
Each year they beg parole boards,
So long they’ve served for him.
Charlie won’t admit he used them,
And that’s his biggest sin.
They followed him as if a god,
Who led them to and fro.
Like angels fallen at his feet,
They knelt before him in deceit.
He gave them shame without remorse,
With tender promises, he sealed their course.
The monstrous deeds they did for him,
He forever denied the blame.
Murderous thoughts, he sang to them,
They tripped on what he said,
With fear and magic he controlled,
The love he had was soon disposed.
To kill for him was all he asked,
A little favor, nothing bad.
“People die everyday,” Squeaky said,
“So what’s the big deal.” It’s not that sad.
My life, Squeaky once told me,
“Depends on what you do.
Treat Charlie right, help him escape,
And no harm will come to you.”
I’ve searched his eyes for grace,
I’ve seen first hand his dirty face.
He’s melted me with burning fire
And attracted me with great desire.
He had a special something,
As eerie as it sounds,
It haunted me like the Sirens,
When Ulysses’ men all drowned.
I’ve felt the fury of his grasp,
And gave to him what he asked.
I learned the power of this man,
Who tried to hold me in his hand.
I talked to him like a brother,
And tried to change his heart,
“Why do you hate so many things,
When it’s tearing you apart?”
He never admitted to murder,
Yet the rage was always there.
He said I was a Mamma’s boy,
And would never feel a real man’s joy.
He told me I was a paycheck,
Living in a paper bag,
A working stiff from eight to five,
A man who was hardly alive.
Charlie told me lots of things,
That sounded pretty good.
“You want to control the prison,
You must rule convicts like a hood.”
“You’ve got to have balls of steel,
And beat the men with a forceful will.
You must rule by fear and not by love,
You must play at life with an iron glove.”
Charlie thought like a Nazi,
He thought that was cool.
He didn’t like Niggers either,
And used them as a fool.
He tried to trash my spirit,
Tempting me with his girls,
He hooked me up with Squeaky,
Before she aimed at Ford.
Once he threatened my family.
That’s when he crossed the line.
I had a gang connection,
A gangster friend inside.
I told my friend to tell him,
He’d do the job for me.
If he touched one of my family
He’d be dead and hell to see.
Some saw Charlie as a man of God,
A wonder in every way.
They could not see beyond the veil,
That he was only a man of clay.
Manson’s fury the walls can’t stop,
Squeaky and Sandra will keep the watch.
He’s kept their brains so tied in chains,
They’ll never, never change.
The rest have all broken away
To claim their lives for another day.
For years they’ve lingered in a cell,
Although they’ve broken his evil spell.
In life and death, he claimed no shame.
He gave the innocent teens the blame.
They followed blindly this holy man
Who sifted them with the devil’s hand.
They cry for justice as years go by,
While victims say they all should die.
Heaven listens to their groans,
While parole releases are postponed.
No sentence can ever make it right.
What they did that horrible night.
Few can pardon what was done,
And only God can judge each one.
Whatever lives this man has claimed,
They lie now in their quiet graves.
But the real victims of this plot,
Are those left in prison to rot.
The victim’s want their vengeance,
Their curse relentless to the end.
They will grow in pain tomorrow,
And go on forever in their sorrow.
When someone takes your child,
And turns them into a fiend,
The heart is torn within you,
And sadness never leaves.

Written by Ed George, Author of “Taming the Beast,” Charles Manson’s life behind Prison Bars. Vince Bugliosi sold over 7 million copies of “Helter Skelter.” Here a summary in ten pages of verse. Of course, I could go into a lot more detail, but… Enough. Ed

Notes for verse: Fear of death is the real compeller used by Manson. He held this awesome terror over his followers. It’s the same fear that drove his Hollywood friends away. Male friends didn’t want to admit that a 5 foot three man weighing 130 pounds gripped them with a wary feeling of pending disaster. His biker buddies stayed for the girls and drugs, the more rational friends took flight.

This other worldly fury in his eyes, forever shifting from menace to kindness, drew people to him. He offered excitement and pleasure. His bizarre and weird behavior attracted followers who were looking for risk taking energy and daring.

His language, the words, his dramatic, intense voice seduced with such religious fervor, I thought impossible. “How does he do it,” I asked myself a thousand times?

“I had to find out.”

For years, I tried to befriend him. I spent hours talking with him. I read his mail. I probed him every way I could. I read all the psyche reports. I communicated with Squeaky Fromme and Sandra Good and other family members. I read all the books. Later, we wrote each other and I wrote, “Taming the Beast,” Charles Manson’s Life Behind Prison bars.

Strangely I liked Charlie and became fascinated with him. He seemed to like me most of the time, mainly, to get what he wanted. That went from hot to cold. He always tried to hold fear over me like he did with all his family and some of my staff. He was good at it. A very clever manipulator. He told me I didn’t understand him because his thoughts were many levels higher than mine. He held himself up as a suffering guru, a Jesus, who understood the world and all its pain. His thoughts were much deeper than his followers could imagine.

He projected a mystical image over his followers, demanding they submit and obey his divine will. This worked because he was able to tear down their moral beliefs with sex and drugs and program them to murder, just like Hitler did with the German people. Unbelievable as it seems, he did it. The tragedy is, they obeyed and murdered. He transformed them, convincing them it was okay to kill.

Now that’s pretty awesome.

I believe that I am one of the few squares in the world who experienced Manson’s power first hand. The man mesmerized me with his theories on the meaning of life. After all our conversations about why the murders, he told me, “It’s all a game,” and that should have wised me up. He called me a “Mommy’s boy.” He told me that my wife was only interested in my pay check. “Stop coming home with the money,” he preached, “and she’ll dump you.”

He wanted me to quite my job, and join the family. The girls would take care of me, treat me nice. I’d party with lots of sex and drugs. “Sure, I thought, it sounds good, but I’d end up with a knife in my back.”

My old buddy, Pin Cushion Smith, warned me to stay away from the family, but those wicked women sure attracted me. He told me that I didn’t understand a murderer’s mentality and that I was playing with fire. My prison psyche told me the same thing. “Back off,” he told me. “You’re getting to close.” And I knew it.

I gave him special treatment in prison, watched his back for him and spent more time with him than any other inmate. I should have been doing other things, but my interest in him was like an addiction. I gave him too much time and attention. I could have been fired. I almost was. Some of it is in the book.

I can admit it now that his charisma overwhelmed me. I allowed it to happen. I got too close. As nutty as his tirades were, some of it made sense. His ideas about the environment excited and motivated me. I wanted clean air and water. I wanted to protect the trees and animals. I wanted to know more about this unique person under my control.

Did he have supernatural gifts? Why did he want to murder? Why did he program his followers to murder? How did he convince them right was wrong and wrong was right?

I was too close to let go, too fond. For eight years, I visited him almost daily. I befriend him, knowing full well who he was and what he had done.

Those girls were puppies in his hands. I felt it. I sensed the power. He molded them without them realizing what he was about or the evil he planned for them. When he unleashed his plan, when he told them to follow Tex, these girls responded like robots. They were blinded by his magic charisma. Drugged, demoralized, sexually abused, held in bondage, battered and terrified. They had no choice but to follow his maniac’s desire for revenge and power. If they did not follow, deathly consequences shadowed them, consequences like what happened to Shorty Shea. They were kidnap victims like Patty Hearst who joined a the Symbionese Liberation army with a proverbial gun at her head. She was very rich and got off with a slap on the wrist..

Steven Grogan, a former Manson follower and a close friend, once told me when I asked him why he helped kill Shorty Shea, the Hollywood stunt man, he answered, “There was no saying no to Charlie back then.”

That’s power.

The girls were so programmed to defiance and arrogance, they confessed to the murders and gave the Mastermind Charlie a pass on the whole deal. They hung them selves for Charlie. Of course, Vincent Bugliosi went after the big fish and got him. But the girls got a bad rap too.

You can purchase Taming the Beast through Amazon, and check out the Myspace page for the movie too.