6 November 2017

Helter Skelter Book Club: Week 6

I was really interested in this section because I believe it is one of the first times we get a closer look at Manson's persona, and what made him so successful as a cult leader.

His entire personality is just a series of contradictions ... this is obvious with two points:

1. That Bugliosi mentioned how the majority of his "supporters" that were outside of the cult were shocked that Manson is incredibly racist. He talks about how the black man needs to take power back from the white man, but he only plans for this because it ends with himself in power. His racism is clear to any one reading this book because we hear firsthand accounts from Sadie about how he ordered them to kill the Black Panther, and a lot of the horrible racist language he would use on the ranch.

2. Manson is also incredibly sexist, which might come as a shock to outsiders considering those most committed to him / involved in the cult are women. But at the end of the day Manson acknowledges multiple times that he believes women are only good for sex, and that they serve no other purpose in society. This makes the fact that some of these women were willing to die for Manson even more depressing / confusing.

One small detail I really liked about this section was when a Californian native mentions how it is basically "impossible to hitchhike anymore." This speaks to the paranoia that was running through the state after these grisly murders. Hitchhiking used to be common, with lots of our parents partaking, but now it is virtually unheard of among young people.

I also loved how George Harrison refused to let the court quote his lyrics.

This section ends with moving from Sadie as the star witness to Linda Kasabian. I have read the Joan Didion article about her looking for a dress for Linda for her court appearance, so I am looking forward to discussing it next week!

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