Charles Manson responds to questions submitted by a Croatian journalist, January of 2013
Q - How is it to be a celebrity prisoner? How is it being famous in prison?
If there’s 20,000 men in the prison, there’s only 20,000 men that are going to know you. So being famous doesn’t mean anything.
You could be the handball champion and be the most famous guy in prison. Or you could work in the kitchen passing out the bread and everybody gets bread from your hands. So in prison being famous doesn’t mean anything. Everybody knows you anyway. Just about everybody knows everybody. All the cops know you - they have your picture on the post. Everybody sees you every day. You live right there shoulder to shoulder with everyone. You walk there with everyone on the yard, with everybody, you know? You go to church with everybody. Everybody’s right there. So being famous in prison doesn’t mean anything.
Yea, you might be the boxing champion, and everybody in prison knows you because you box, or everybody knows you in prison because you sing on the Christmas show, or you play music in the band, maybe you work in the band or something, you know? So being well-known doesn’t mean anything.
Q - Through all the years within the prison routine, you’ve had the chance to do different things to pass the time; make small dolls, paint. What kinds of paintings do you do? What do your paintings represent? What colors do you use?
I’m not much of an artist; I have to work with what I have. Whatever that is changes. I may have a little “kiddie” set of paints, and that all might change and I may get some oils. And then they may decide you can’t paint with oils and give you pastels. You know they just take away whatever…. the colors are still in motion, Grey and Red and Blues and Greens are in play now, with a little Yellow, you dig?
Q - Is your correspondence censored, Mr. Manson?
Yea, I’m pretty sure that it is, yes.
Q - Do you reply to your letters?
No – some of them. ‘Depends on the time that I have.
What kind of people write to you?
Q - A cross-section of the public. The media mind, the social mind, the political mind, the criminal mind, people in prison, people out of prison.
Q - How much of an opportunity do you have to be informed about what’s happening on the outside – do you follow the news, the stuff that’s going on in the world?
Well, see what that question is, is like you’re asking a question from what you think is the outside. There’s a line, which side is out and which side is in? What you think is outside is what you think is outside – that’s not necessarily outside.
Q - What do you think about American politics, and about having a black president?
The president is not black, he’s mixed blood. Black is the African’s black.
Q - And what about American politics, the judicial system in America? You said Obama is foolish and a slave of Wall street. Does it mean, maybe that money is over-valued?
A long time ago, there was a United States, created by the Constitution, George Washington, and his Army, the Sons of Liberty. That was destroyed by Abraham Lincoln. It was divided and conquered, because Europe didn’t want to accept a world economy in a round world.
When the world was discovered to be round, the rebirth and new order of the planet began. The new order of the Earth was George Washington, ‘was a successful revolution. Lenin and Marx followed him, and then Mao followed that. The whole world was in a revolution, as it is today.
The revolution that is going is the proper order of life in a round world – in a round economy as opposed to the flat land, flat world of the lowlands. The irony of the whole situation is, the Catholic Church didn’t accept the Protestant rebirth of the new world order in George Washington.
Q - Can you help me understand your power – your notoriety…. your charisma?… from the beginning, your connection with rock music linked you with a pop culture, and the U.S. judicial system put you in prison for something that you didn’t do.
Rock music came out of the prisons. The prisons are the birthplace of much creative life that’s played off into the over-world and they call it charisma whenever it surfaces in the media, and the world sees convicts, outlaws, rebels – they see a reflection of the people that founded this establishment. Like George Washington had charisma, or Adolf Hitler had charisma, or Joseph Stalin. A lot of revolutionaries of the past were, in their day, considered outlaws. The United States Navy was considered a pirate by the English Navy. The English considered the United States government to be outlaws, rebels, rejects – until it was founded and became the United States.
Q - Hitler had charisma too, and a charismatic person could make anybody do anything they wanted…
That’s not a criterion, you don’t know that. How can you decide that?
Q - …that Hitler, by chance, succeeded to enter an Academy of painting, (which he desperately wanted), will probably be written in the history of the 20th century as another story. That you probably…
How do you know that? How can you say that Hitler was in your mind to want what you think? You don’t know what that man was thinking. You don’t know what his circumstances were.
The truth is that men are dealing with situations beyond your concepts – and then you judge what they have to do, like Joseph Stalin. He saved Russia. He fought and did what was supposed to be done. Then when he died, they made him into a tyrant. He was no more a tyrant than he had to deal with what he had to deal with.
Every person has situations that call for extreme. And that extreme doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what they wanted. That’s what they had to do. We’re gonna judge somebody else’s actions with low-life intelligent life-forms, who don’t understand the mass of people have always been wrong. It’s the few that’s saved you, and kept you from your own destruction.
Q - There are rumors that Charles Manson was involved with the MK Ultra programs and also Phoenix programs through prisons.
The what programs? I don’t even know what that is.
Q - A reference to the military involvement with the church of Satan?
Satan don’t have a church. He is the church. There is nobody but Satan- in Satan.
Q - Why exactly the Tate-LaBianca murders? Why not other people?
There was other people, you just didn’t see it. You didn’t see but what they showed you. They only showed you what they wanted to control you with. You’re under control also.
Q - Why did it happen?
It happened for a lot of reasons – the atmosphere is dying, they’re cutting down all the trees, foreign corporations have taken over the government. There are whole countries that are moving in the United States. The United States is so big, it’s unbelievable. You see Germany and Japan were little teeny countries. The United States has 52 countries, 58 countries. You could put Japan in California four or five times, you could put Germany in Indiana ten times, twelve times across the borders of Kentucky and Ohio. That’s vast areas of humanity that’s so vast, you could put Europe in the United States.
Q - If you were to get out, what would you do?
I’m already out, and I’m doing everything I can to save my life – my Air, my Water, my Trees, and my Life.
Q - The world has changed. How would you handle it if you were to get out of prison?
I would turn all the people into animals.
Q - “No sense makes sense”, how is that a reflection of your life?
The veils of stupid ignorance can’t understand a timeless abyss of human… The Vikings had boats that you row with oars. Those row boats were rowed across the ocean into the Americas – long before the windjammers and the sailboats were even invented. There were Vikings that were in America. America was here five, six hundred, maybe a thousand, two thousand years before anybody else got here. When the sailboats came, there was Vikings, they called them Indians. They weren’t Indians – Indians are from India. There’s no Indians in America, that’s a mistake that some Italian made in Rome, because nothing was invented or found or discovered unless the Pope gave permission. People have forgot, man, that there’s a million years here. Not just twenty thousand years because the Pope said so.
Q - There is an impression that you have a high opinion of yourself – what is the other side of the coin?
There’s no self. Self is a game your mother plays.
Q - Your childhood ?
‘Didn’t have one.
Q - Picasso said “It takes a lot of time for someone to become young”.
Yea certainly. It’s wasted on babies.
Q - What about your children?
They’re all my children.
Q - What about love, woman, womanizing?
I love earth, is a woman.
Q - The question arises, who was in fact the person you really loved?
Me. It’s inside of me that I love. How else could I love anyone else unless it’s inside of me?
Q - Ok, you don’t regret anything. But from today’s point of view, with this experience, if you could, would you change something?
Change everything. Every day I change everything.
Q - Almost all of those who were around you, from your childhood until later, have become or are in prison.
Persecution goes with the change. Persecution goes with the territory of change. Change is the most important thing that you have. You’re not changing fast enough.
Q - Woodstock, flower children, Vietnam, sex drugs and rock n’ roll. What is your philosophy on the apocalypse?
It’s happening now, every day.
Q - It was real Helter Skelter.
It’s been going on.
Q - Who knows what the Beatles were thinking for using their song for another scenery?
That’s the District Attorney’s idea about the Beatles. That wasn’t my idea about the Beatles. The Beatles were a rock ‘n roll band, that’s all that was.
Q - Life is perhaps a foolish game. Now what do you think? Do you feel more lonely now, or then, when you were the mental leader and home of younger and lost people?
I don’t have no lonely, and I don’t know no lost people.
Q - You said, “give me my rights” – to understand you better, what kind of rights do you want and how?
George Washington and the Sons of Liberty fought a revolution for everyone to be exactly what the constitution says; Equality for everyone. Everyone has the right to live their lives. No one man has the right to take away from any other man, unless that man be God.
Q - Who do you blame – bureaucracy, American government, system of law, or Charles Manson?
I don’t blame. That’s a stupid word, man. I don’t blame. There’s nobody to blame but one’s own ideas and concepts.
Q - What do you think about your life now?
It’s all life now.