Lots and lots of druuuuuuugs….
Especially when it’s Tuesday.
For sure if it’s raining.
Definitely if you’re from L.A.
Right-on anyhoo, if you’re not!
A must-have after dinner.
A must-do before sex.
A need-to for murder, Man.
Well, anytime if your Life is worth crap.
Yeppers, no Manson Family analysis can be complete without the Big “D” discussion…
And in Tex Watson’s “Right Hand Man Speaks Out!” interview, he does just that in the Chapter entitled “The Drugs”…
Now I, MsBurb, am not totally immune to the illicit ya know. I am not as straight-laced as I claim to be…I too have OD’d…and I’d do it again, if I had the chance!!!
I was two years old, a climber and a forager, and those damn Bayer baby aspirin, you know, the tiny pink ones that Bayer stopped making (gosh darn it!), were so FREAKIN’ GOOD, I dragged a chair over to the kitchen counter, crawled up onto that chair, up onto the counter, stood up and opened the cupboard and reached up on my tippy toes to retrieve the “good stuff” from my Mother’s well thought-out medicine hide-a-way…
Yep, the genius that I was, I took a spoon, pried off the metal cap and downed the entire bottle, my own little pink-pill Heaven awaiting for me around the drug-infused corner…
Mom panicked, called the Doc, and I slept the sleep of peaceful babies, dreaming no doubt of where I’d find my next “hit”…
All that was missing was Manson and a Buck knife, ‘cause I was a knife-wielding Zombie in the making, wasn’t I?
Well, was I? And was Tex? And do he and I have the same make-up to enable us to dice and julienne human beings at will?
Let’s see, shall we…
- Tex claims to have had his first alcoholic drink at age fourteen vs. I had sips of adults’ drinks when I was eight or nine.
- He smoked his first “joint” at age 21 vs. I’ve never smoked anything, not even cigarettes.
- His drinking and pot smoking, he claims, led to his hallucinogen and methamphetamine use, which in turn, according to Tex, led to murder vs. I OD’d on baby aspirin at age two and have never literally killed anyone - I’ve slaked the odd reader of mine once or twice - but out-and-out murder, nope.
Tex admits that he lacked “a strong personal identity”, an oft repeated admission by ALL the Manson killers at one time or the other. But, in my opinion, I think they confuse what they claim to be self-consciousness with a missing conscience altogether OR an existing mental disorder, either at birth or associative in the formative years.
There is not one of us, in our early years who hasn’t felt parental or peer pressure, and used drugs or alcohol to escape those pressures, but 99% of us do NOT become knife-wielding Zombies, now, do we?
In his new-found Christianity, Tex wholly believes in the existence of a literal Satan and that drugs, to him, “…are a gateway to the occult.”. This is very difficult for me to believe, as I feel the only gateway into anything destructive, is our own free will to choose or not to choose to follow such a path. Maybe my view is rather idealized as I have NOT had a foray into the drug culture but his Cause & Effect scenario seems like just another way to excuse his own behaviour…
Tex even goes so far as to say that Manson himself was “…possessed by evil spirits through drugs.”, which for me is quite laughable, and I doubt I’m laughing alone, as if Charlie heard this himself, he’d be chuckling along with me. Charlie would undoubtedly admit that if there was any evil in him, it was there long before drugs were a full-time activity.
I will agree with Tex’s assertion that drugs are “…a tool to open the mind” but the actions you take while under the influence WILL be affected by whatever inner moral core you have or you don’t have prior to their ingestion.
His belief that, “We opened ourselves up to the satanic power and believed there were no consequences for our actions.” is counter-intuitive to the thought that having an inner core, a conscience, a strong belief in Right and Wrong is what will protect us from the heavy affects of drugs and alcohol. The proof in the pudding is in the plain fact that if Tex’s premise were accurate, then we should have had knife-wielding Zombies all over North America in those years, and we simply did not. Yet thousands of young people experimented with and made heavy drugs a career in the 60s and only eight of those youths became Bel Air killers…
(As an aside, I think it’s odd that no matter what person may be connected to Manson, Tex Watson claims to have never over heard such a connection. And to add to the many denials, Tex denies ever hearing Manson speak of the Process Church or Anton La Vey in particular; yet, he admits that one or two of the Family members were affiliated with some satanic association, possibly alluding to Sadie’s Kenneth Anger performances in the Haight and Bobby’s association with Anger there as well. This has nothing really to do with this discussion but after so many connection denials by Tex, one wonders if he is telling the truth or just offering a blanket lie to lighten his own culpability?)
All the Family killers herald Tex when he says, “I want[ed] to belong at any cost.” Katie, Sadie, Linda, Bobby, and Leslie have all admitted said at one time or another; yet, one wonders where the peer pressure ends and the collaboration with like-minded dysfunctional souls begins?
Tex admits that under the influence he would experience alternate states of depression and excitement, which to me just suggests a possible Manic-Depressive or Bi-Polar disorder in existence well before the drugs accentuated those states.
It is my belief that ALL the kids who congregated and then STAYED with Manson at Spahn’s were suffering from various mental disorders. That this group of young people were NOT your garden variety Hippies/Druggies, simply because many, many kids came to Spahn’s, some stayed but only a special few chose to commit murder for Manson - whether Tex and the rest of the killers want to believe this or not.
The penultimate example of how compartmentalized and dysfunctional Tex’s mind is, is seen in the words he chooses to close his response, to the question on the affects pot had on his mind and actions;
“I could easily have harmed someone while driving under the influence.”
Makes you speechless, don’t it?!
Tex worrying about D&D and forgetting about hacking SEVEN people to death without the aid of a vehicle as his weapon!!!
Throughout this entire interview, Tex continually uses the word “rage” to describe his mood as a child, a young adult and his time with Manson before the murders but he never details the origin or reasoning behind this state. He makes a vague reference to “…the fear of not meeting the expectations placed upon me….This world became threatening and I wanted to fight back. I felt this violence and rage flare up inside me.” but never details the source of this pressure or whether or not it was a stressor only in his mind or wholly valid. He may be purposely vague so as not to accuse his parents or use their parenting skills as a reason behind his rage but without a more detailed explanation, one is left a) in doubt as to the the validity of this rage; and b) why any personal or career pressure could have been so great that it manifested itself into a murderous outburst acted out on complete strangers.
Katie vaguely alludes to this feeling as well, so there very well may be a cohesive pattern to this unrealistic reaction to outside stressors but then again, if this is the case, then such reactions hint again at a pre-existing mental disorder with these people.
Tex readily admits to the increasing drug use, “I realize these drugs were turning my already emotionally disturbed world upside down….I guess I was trying to… find a quick way to escape from reality. I didn’t like myself or the way things were turning out.” So, does this suggest an outside pressure placed upon him by family or friends? I don’t think so. I think the rage that he was feeling was from his OWN disgust at the direction of his own life. Yet amid all this self-loathing, he continued, by choice, to stay the course, and instead of raging out at himself, loving himself too much to do that, he raged out at others, allowing strangers to suffer the punishment that he himself was too chicken to suffer.
In the end, Tex readily admits that, “I guess I liked the psychological effects. It was a way to escape what was really going on in my mind.” He KNEW he had mental problems; he KNEW his Life was spiralling out of control; yet, he CHOSE to stay the course and not seek help because quite simply,
“I liked the psychological effects.”
He LIKED it all. He stayed and played…and killed because he just plain LIKED it all.
As with all the other killers, Tex naturally places his own ruined life before the ruined lives of his victims. He, of course, corrects and qualifies his statement to add the murders as an after-thought but like all the rest, it’s HIS Life and HIS ruination which is first and foremost. Every killer, save for Manson, have ALL claimed victim status for their own, and although this may not be a deciding factor in whether or not these murderers are sociopathic, it surely is a telling factor in how they view themselves and the world around them, many years later, decades of sobriety under their belts.
The decidedly mysterious factor in the behaviour of the killers prior to Hinman/TLB seems to swirl around the influence methamphetamines played in the weeks prior the murders. Tex quotes others that Speed is “the drug of violence” and that it was due to meth that turned “…the Haight from weeds and beads to crystals and pistols.” No doubt, that Haight-Ashbury did morph into a very dangerous locale but there is no quantifiable evidence that I’ve uncovered that blames meth solely for that violent turn.
Regardless, one wonders how only a month of usage could have morphed Tex into a mass murderer without any other mental/social influences at play. He calls his Speed usage “…a major contributing factor in my crime.”
Tex goes on to say;
“I had been using it constantly for three weeks before the crime. During the murders, I felt like a mechanical man, a programmed machine out of control, like a malfunctioned robot unable to stop the brutality. It was like being on another planet; electricity filled the air. I was without restraint, empowered by the drug and without my normal inhibitions and personhood.”
Assuming he had any ‘normal inhibitions and personhood’ to begin with…
With the meth rage that is sweeping North America right now, according to Tex, we should have knife-wielding Zombies home invading hither and dither…and yet we don’t…
Maybe this speaks volumes as to why Tex is still in prison forty plus years after his murders. Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of Bruce Davis…