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Friday, November 22, 2013

Say it ain't so, Charlie

While we're on the subject of Charlie Manson, another article appeared in the NY Post this afternoon headlined "Charles Manson: I'm bisexual, and I raped a man."

From the Post's excerpt from the Rolling Stone magazine article:

Charles Manson revealed that he’s bisexual and forced a man to have sex with him when he was 17.

The 79-year-old Manson – who plans to get married to a 25-year-old woman fan behind bars— told Rolling Stone: “Sex to me is like going to the toilet. Whether it’s a girl or not. It doesn’t matter. I don’t play that girl-guy s..t. I’m not hung up in that game.”

He said he asked for sex with a man in a shower they shared when he was 17. When the man refused, “I picked a razor blade up off the floor and said ‘If we get caught, I’ll tell them I made you do it.’” “So he let me do it,” Manson added. “Maybe he thought I was going to cut him.”

I have to admit, I was a little thrown by this. I'd just never figured the demonic killer with all those groupies for a poofter, even though he reportedly raped another boy when he was only 11. 

It makes sense, in a way. At age 35 he had already spent half his life behind bars; since then he has spent his entire life in jail, which means that at age 79 he has spent roughly four-fifths of his life incarcerated. This makes him a jailhouse bisexual, which is different from being a bisexual on the outside, when one has a choice. 

Still, why now? Could it be that Manson has decided to do the fashionable thing and come out, even at his advanced age? It would certainly be a little disappointing if he were doing this out of a sense of political correctness. 

But I don't think that's the case. And Charlie did stay true to his persona in two important respects. 

First, he didn't just have sex with that guy: he raped him. 

Secondly, like any self-respecting sociopath, his coming out was less a shame-faced admission of perversion, and more a declaration of his superiority. Note his words: "I don't play that girl-guy shit. I'm not hung up in that game." 

In other words, anybody who is straight is "hung up." So Charlie wins. 

That's the wonderful thing about being a sociopath: you never have to feel the slightest bit of embarrassment. 


Glen Filthie said...

Ya know John they always scold us that ya can't judge a book by its cover or people by their looks - and I call BS.

I look at that pic of the happy couple and I can SEE something wrong there with the Charles. Even without the hair cut and swastika I KNOW on the instinctive level that something isn't right with that boy. I can tell be looking at his gal that she is obviously a few bricks short and maybe dangerously so.

There is a time and place to listen to our instincts and gut feelings.

John Craig said...

Glen --
I agree about Charlie -- it's unnatural for an 80 year-old man to look like an angry boy with crazy eyes, which is what he looks like. And I had the same reaction when I first looked at the girl. But then I asked myself, would I have thought the same thing just seeing her without knowing who she was? I honestly don't think so; she has those close set eyes that we associate with a particular sort of zealot; but if she were dressed normally walking by on the sidewalk I don't think she would ring any alarm bells.

Perception is a funny thing. Its sort of like when even if you were entirely unaware of it before, once you're told someone is a homosexual you can sort of "see it." i'd say that's the case with Star; we know she must be sort of insane, so we sort of read that into her face.

Anonymous said...

Nothing good can come of marrying this lunatic. Charles' eyes are dark, cold - he is creepy-looking. Since he's amoral, it doesn't surprise me that he is bisexual. He is what Jesus referred to as an evil person (they exist, the psychopaths of the world). The girl looks like one of the girls' from his time period (the 60's and 70's), when he was the leader of a hippie group. If only the girl could come to her senses and run for the hills, but I don't have much hope of her doing so.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
I agree. The weird thing is, Manson groupies have a tendency not to come to their sense, ever. Squeaky Fromme was a nut for a long time after her association with Manson, and is now most famous for having tried to assassinate President Ford. Atkins was unrepentant. And Krenwinkel is still in jail, considered a risk to society. Maybe to be attracted to someone like Manson you have to be so damaged to begin with that you're beyond hope.

Anonymous said...

I think she's merely an attention seeker & quite intentional about her looks. Don't think she's damaged the way Manson is.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Could be.

bluffcreek1967 said...

Old Charlie hasn't got saner over time or more introspective and ashamed of the atrocities he orchestrated. Contrast him with the 'Son of Sam' killer during the 70s who seems genuinely remorseful for his crimes.

It's interesting how much that girl he married looks like she could easily have fit in with the original Manson crew. Charlie's crazy and he apparently attracts all the other crazies too.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
Yes, Charlie has remained frozen in time; he's now a 79-year-old period piece.

Sorry, I don't buy that Son of Sam has gotten saner and is generally remorseful. Once a sociopath, always a sociopath; there's never been one who's been cured. I've seen his recent jailhouse interviews, and know about his born again ministry, but I think it's all a ploy and he's hoping to get paroled at some point. I never even bought that "Son of Sam" stuff about the dog telling him what to do; I think that was an attempt to get an insanity plea through. He was never diagnosed as schizophrenic, he was just a faker. He's now just a sociopath who pretends to be a good person.

I agree with you about the twirl, though; she does seem pretty much the way she describes that other Manson groupie.

Gilbert Ratchet said...

I saw this in the bookstore the other day. Have you seen it?

John Craig said...

Gilbert --
I have, thanks. Haven't read the book, but read about it. I was left wondering whether it was actually written by a real sociopath or by an author posing as one. (It was written pseudonymously.) Most sociopaths don't have that much perspective on their own condition.

bluffcreek1967 said...

Well then, we just might have to disagree on that one John. I've watched a few interviews of the 'Son of Sam' killer over the years, and his 'conversion' may indeed be legitimate. I'm skeptical of these jail house conversions, so I'm not inclined to believe most of them.

Interestingly, if my memory serves me correct, he's never called to be released and he admitted to how evil he had become. His language has also been remorseful in nature as opposed to trying to justify or explain away his actions. This causes me to pause and at least be open to the possibility in his case.

If one doesn't believe that a true spiritual 'conversion' can occur, then no amount of arguing will suffice. But I do, although I admit they are rare and I will not place any bets on Berkowitz, the 'Son of Sam' killer. Time has a way of confirming most things though.

As far as a sociopath never being cured, I'm not so sure of that. I don't know if I would use the term 'cured,' but it may be possible that such a person could recognize it and seek to overcome it - maybe in the same way people struggle against other personality disorders or issues? It would probably be a lifetime struggle too and I don't believe something that deep-rooted is going to disappear after a series of counseling sessions. Anyways, just some thoughts.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
We will have to agree to disagree on this one. All the psychology textbooks, by the way, are in agreement that sociopaths never lose their sociopathy.

I wrote about Berkowitz's supposed "conversion" here, back on 8/25/11:

bluffcreek1967 said...

I'll check out your post John, thanks!

bluffcreek1967 said...

John, I read your post on Berkowitz from 2011 and while I found it interesting, I wasn't wholly convinced of it either. I found at least one or two things in the article that still lead me to think that possibly Berkowitz might have had a true conversion.

I wouldn't defend the idea with my life, but the kind of statements he's made where he said he doesn't deserve the second chance he's got in prison and how God had mercy on him even though he was a monster, make me at least open to the idea. There seems to be some genuine remorse indicative of possibly a real change.

Also, I do think the worst of people can change through Christ (via spiritual regeneration) - even sociopaths. The Bible records several instances of murderers and others of the worst of society who have been radically changed by the power of Christ. The issue is not the greatness of one's sin, but the sovereign grace and mercy of God on unworthy sinners. Sure, men like Berkowitz don't deserve it (and neither does anyone else!), but Christ did not come to earth to save the 'righteous,' but sinners unto repentance.

If the Bible's accounts are not believed, then there's no common ground between us to argue for this point. Still, being a sociopath is not the 'unpardonable sin.' Like many other 'personality disorders' (which used to be called just plain sin and arrogant pride), it will probably be a lifetime struggle that will not be fully overcome until one reaches heaven.

It may be true that, clinically, sociopaths can't change. But I don't necessarily take this as gospel truth because the 'experts' say so since they're the same ones who say that pedophiles can change and that homosexuality is 'normal.' As you can tell, I'm suspicious and often disagreeable with the psychological establishment (although I admit that they do make some legitimate observations concerning human nature now and then).

Either way, I do appreciate your articles on sociopaths and they've caused me to learn things I hadn't known before.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. But we are going to have to agree to disagree about this one. To be honest, I'm not religious, so don't view things from that angle.

I agree with you that pedophiles don't change; But personally, I don't think that sociopaths do, either. I think that a lot of them would be particularly skillful at convincing people that they've changed. Part of being a sociopath is being an artful liar, after all, and sociopaths are always claiming to have turned over a new leaf (particularly to parole boards).

I agree that Berkowitz has said the right thing as far as expressing remorse; but expressing it and feeling it are two different things.

Anyway, thanks for taking the trouble to read the old post and thanks again for your comment.

bluffcreek1967 said...

Fair enough John, and as always I appreciate the thought-provoking exchanges.