Enough time had gone by to put to rest the damage from the initial storm surge, and now we were all waiting for the ripple-effects…that subsequent tsunami that never came…
Vince eludes to it in his book “Helter Skelter”.
Actor, George DiCenzo alludes to it in the television version.
Sociologists, psychologists, heck, even columnists were all warning us back then.
But the tsunami never did come.
The Perfect Storm of Murder rolled in, and rolled back out, leaving a wake of psychological destruction in its midst. But only calm remained, and the sorrow of course, but only the calm and the peace and the quiet remained…
Why, after fearing that like-minded Hippies all over North America would again repeat the wanton acts of The Manson Family, did that Perfect Storm of Murder never reoccur?
It’s been over forty years, and cults and their gurus have come and gone but no one group has ever laid to waste as many innocent lives as were laid bare for destruction on those pitiful nights in August…
Why no repeat? Why no copy-cats? Why no pandemic of Hippie attackers we all had so feared?
Quite possibly, all those years ago, after trying all The Family killers, Vince Bugliosi read them right the first time…
That, you can have a charismatic leader who loves the world in which he lives.
That you can have a follower who has a hatred for that same world.
But it is extremely rare to have a charismatic leader who hates the world and lives only to use his powers of persuasion to vent his spleen on society.
Osama bin Laden.
Most leaders of cults end up doing damage only to their own following, taking the rage they have for society and venting it inward, suicide pacts usually being the end result.
There are many followers who have a hatred for the society in which they live but have no innate powers to convince others to join their cause and as a result, that hatred only festers inside, destroying only that one man from within.
Many charismatic would-be leaders see the good this world has to offer and use their powers of persuasion to gain followers in support of the betterment of society. Powerful though they may be, that power is used only for Good, not Evil, so nobody gets hurt in the process.
But on those rare occasions, whether from Nature, or Nurture, or from a unique combination of both, an individual will be born and will posses alluring qualities which he or she uses only to destroy, only to hurt, only to kill.
Vince said as much in his book, all those years ago, and of course he was right.
I doubt he lost sleep wondering when a new and like-minded group would emerge from the shadows and invade our world once again. He knew that that combination of power and rage was a wholly rarefied one, and that undoubtedly we might go decades before another such demagogue would appear to wreak havoc on us all.
But behind the reasoning, and the odds, the question still lingers, doesn’t it?
As Charlie grows ever older and the time comes when he eventually leaves this Earth for good, one wonders if another just as popular, just as powerful guru is being born to inherit the title of The Most Dangerous Man Alive.
Will we recognize him in time?
Will we know how to take this battered child and remould him into a force for Good instead of Evil?
Will the weak-minded among us know not to follow such hatred and destruction?
And if they don’t know, will they at least know to drop those guns and knives before anyone gets hurt?
It’s been over forty years, usually the time period between really large storms in California.
Bereft of Manson Family ripple-effects as we have been, will the next big storm be as perfect and therefore as devastating as the last? Or worse?
If you live in Bel Air, consider taking your vacation in August from now on, and not on a boat!
The clock keeps ticking…and the waves keep rolling in….