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Example research essay topic: Haight Ashbury Helter Skelter - 2,035 words

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Charles M. Manson Allen Azar Mrs. Kardos Term Paper 3 / 13 / 95 In this world there are cults everywhere. Whether theyre in the US, China, or maybe next-door there is always one common factor, control. Charles Manson was a cult leader in southern California during the sixties.

Like all cult leaders Manson had his own small band of followers. His influence was so great that his followers were willing to kill for him at his smallest whim. Charles Manson was very paranoid and was under the influence that there was to be an upcoming race war. He called this race war? Helter Skelter? Pag Charles M.

Manson was born in Cincinnati on November 11, 1934. His mother Kathleen Maddox, a teenage prostitute, his father was a man remembered as? Colonel Scott. ? In order to give her bastard son a name she married William Manson. He quickly abandoned the both of them. In 1939 Kathleen Maddox was arrested for robbery and Charles was sent to live with his aunt and grandmother.

Charles remembered his aunt as a harsh disciplinarian and favored is uncle because he gave him money for the movies and took him on frequent fishing trips. Only when his uncle became ill did his unfit mother come and reclaim her unwanted son and moved to Indianapolis. When Mrs. Manson reclaimed her son she promised that she would take care of him and provide for his every need.

Unfortunately, all these promises were soon shattered by liquor and men. She frequently neglected Charles by telling him she would be back in an hour and then not show up for the rest of the night. Sometimes when her guilt took her over she would give him fifty cents and another promise; and at other times she just abused him. When Mrs. Manson got fed up with taking care of Charles she arranged to have Charles put in a foster home, but arrangements fell through. As a last resort she sent Charles to Gibault School in Terre Haute.

Mrs. Manson couldnt keep up the payments and once again Charles was sent back to his mothers abuse. At only fourteen Manson rented himself a room and supported himself with odd jobs and petty theft. His mother turned him into the juvenile authorities.

Once there Manson met Rev. George Powers who had him sent to Boys Town near Omaha, Nebraska. Charles spent a total of three days in Boys Town before running away with his new friend Blackie Neilson. They were arrested in Peoria, Illinois for robbing a grocery store and returned back to Indianapolis. Charles was then sent to the Indiana Boys School in Plainfield where he ran away another eighteen times before he was caught and sent to the National Training School for Boys in Washington D. C.

After his release in 1954 he went to West Virginia and not before long married Rosalie Jean Willis. She became pregnant and Charles started stealing cars. By the time the baby was born he was in a Los Angeles jail. Rosalie moved to California to be near Charles. Her mother-in-law had a seldom streak of maternal sympathy and came to help care for her grandchild. In 1958 Charles got out of Prison his wife, child, and mother had left him alone again.

Several arrests for car theft and pimping followed; in 1960, Charles was given ten years for forging government checks. While he was serving his ten year sentence at McNeil Island Penitentiary he studied philosophy, took up guitar, and taught himself sing and compose songs. He was constant probation violator and was not eligible for parole. He served seven years until his release in March, 1967. This long stretch had left its mark. ? If Charlie has any roots in the penal system, ?

Said one acquaintance (New York Times Magazine January 4, 1970). ? Inside, you have to be aware of everything, and when he came out, Charlie was like a cat. Nothing got by Charlie if something happened within a hundred miles of him, he made sure he knew about it. Every time he came into a room, he cased it, like an animal.

Where were the windows? What was the quickest way out? He never sat with his back to the door. ? Soon after his release, Manson went off to Haight Ashbury, where the hippie movement was coming about.

At the time the true hippies, the gentle ones who believed in peace, love, and sharing with others, were like a primitive tribe suddenly exposed to civilization. As the media spread their story, the hippies became overwhelmed with teenyboppers, motorcycle gangs, and a wide variety of the mentally deranged. Manson's probation officer remembers he was? shaken?

by the friendliness of the hippies, but before long Manson learned how to exploit it. A slim man, about five feet seven inches tall, brown hair and eyes, Manson started to collect a harem of impressionable girls searching for community of love as advertised by the media. With a guitar, a pleasant voice, boyish smile, sinuous mannerisms, and being a smooth talker were Manson's traits that appealed to his followers. Whenever Manson succeeded in making a new recruit the first thing he did was to deprogram both their ego and their? hang ups, ? about conventional society.

By? hang ups, ? he meant anything he did not like. ? It wasnt a very difficult process. He was dealing with lonely insecure people in need of a father figure, people who didnt have much ego to begin with. What he did, in effect, was to tear down that ego and substitute himself, thus gaining enormous control over his followers. ? (Roberts pg. 31) Susan Atkins remembers bleakly, ?

I never questioned what Charlie said. I just did it. ? To his girls Charles Manson was a? beautiful man? who? loved us all totally. ?

Many outsiders found him to be a relentless recruiter who came on strong with every girl he met, a cynic who treated his harem like possessions and seldom showed any real affection to them. A close friend explained, ? In away he was very frank and truthful, but in away he was very treacherous with words, but there was no meaning behind them. ? Dr. David Smith founder and director of the free clinic in Haight Ashbury, thought that these two sides of Charles Manson were not contradictory: To take an example, if you get to know any paranoid schizophrenics it wont puzzle you at all. The schizophrenic usually believes in a mystical system in which he is right, and he can plan in the most calculating and cunning way possible.

He himself does not really know he is a con man, or whether he really does love the girls. He vacillates between one emotion and the other, one of the characteristics of a schizoid personality is the inability to sustain one emotion. It doesnt confuse me that he would be able to convey sincere emotion and carry on in a very plotting way. Of course, he would hide the cunning side as much as possible from those he wanted to involve in his system. When the girls came into the group their biggest conflict was the idea of sex on demand.

Charles could be very brutal when necessary, any girl that stayed with him accepted the idea of having sex with him or anyone else on demand. He preached that women should be submissive to men; this idea was put into one of the Beach Boys songs. Charles titled it? Cease and Resist, ? and although the Beach Boys changed it to? Never Learn Not To Love, ?

they kept the lyric? Submission is a gift, give it to your lover. ? As Haight Ashbury was being taken over by drug pushers, psychotics, and rapists, Charles packed his crew in to an old converted school bus and headed south in the spring of 1968. The group of fourteen consisting of nine girls and five boys were arrested near Oxnard for sleeping nude in a field; the mother of a newborn infant was arrested and charged with child endangerment. But the charges were dropped when they agreed with authorities to leave Ventura county. Once in Los Angeles the crew stayed in Topanga Canyon, which, originally was a haven for hippies, which, like Haight Ashbury, had been overrun with panhandlers.

For a while they stayed with Gary Hinman, a musician. Then one of the girls met Dennis Wilson, a member of the Beach Boys singing group. He invited the entire family to stay in his luxurious home in Pacific Palisades. Manson attempted several times to pursued Wilson to join with the family. Wilson never gave in and after several attempts Manson and his family left the house. They finally settled at Spahn Ranch in the Santa Susana Mountains.

Spahn Ranch was an old movie set, just north of the San Fernando Valley. The owner of the Ranch, eighty five year old George Spahn, was blind and feeble and allowed the family to stay with him. George Spahn soon grew desperately afraid of Manson, he only allowed them to stay because he enjoyed the attention he got from the girls who cooked and cleaned for him. The Family stayed at the Ranch for an entire year before they left because the deputy sheriffs had staged several raids looking for stolen vehicles. It was then that the family headed off to the dessert where they made their last home until their arrests. While living in the desert Manson's fears of the Black race grew substantially.

Manson was an avid believer in the law of karma, an eastern religious idea that all events come in cycles and have previous causes. Manson was convinced that the black man would revolt and oppress the white man in the way that the whites had previously oppressed the blacks. He believed that this revolt would lead into an all out race war that he called Helter Skelter. Manson was under the impression that after the race war happened that only he, his family, and anyone else that escaped to the desert would survive. Believing this, Manson turned his home in the desert into a fortress.

Guns appeared at the ranch, and the men would frequently take target practice. Guards were posted. Escape routes to the desert were plotted. Caches of gasoline and other necessities were buried all over the Death Valley area. Manson was pro-race war. So much so that he preached it and attempted several times to provoked it.

Manson tried to provoke Helter Skelter by having his family carry out several murders and then make it look as if people of the Black race had committed the crime. The people he killed ranged in the upper- class and some famous. His most famous victims were Sharon Tate, a movie star, and her husband Roman Polanski. Other victims included Leno and Rosemary La Bianca, Abigail Folger and her fianc? Vote Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Gary Hinman, Steven Parent, and Donald Shea. Manson's victims were savagely murdered.

The killers used guns, knives, forks, and blunt objects. With their victims blood they wrote on the walls, ? Death to pigs. ? When the police found Abigail Folger, her white dress appeared red after being stabbed twenty-three times.

And when they found Leno La Bianca a fork was sticking out of his chest. On August 16, 1969, during a police raid, Charles Manson and his family were arrested for murder. The trial soon followed. Leading the prosecution wa Babies, Eve. ? The Manson Murders. ? Esquire.

August 1994. Bugliosi, Vincent. Helter Skelter: The True Story of The Manson Murders. W. W. Norton &# 038; Company Inc.

New York. C. 1974. Roberts, Steven V. ? Charlie Manson: One Mans Family. ? New York Times Magazine, January 4, 1970.

Sanders, Ed. The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion. E. P. Dutton and Co. , Inc. New York. 1971. ?

The Manson Women: Inside the Murders. ? Turning Point. Interviewer Diane Sawyer. ABC, New York.

November 9, 1994. Unknown. ? The Power of a Cult. ? Glamour. January, 1995: 160 - 18 s


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