"Follow me? Do you have any choice? You'll all follow me."
When Charles Manson said this to an interviewer in response to the news that many continued to be interested in accepting him as their leader, it exemplified his tendency to talk in riddles. But given his statements about how the current socioeconomic system is destroying the environment, this riddle's answer was easy to find: he was referring to the fact that civilization is headed for destruction if it continues on its present course, and he was presenting his agenda as the only path to survival in the face of this reality of impending collapse.
The latter of course isn't true. But it remains to be seen whether society will recognize this, or proceed according to the reactionary, nihilistic, and ultraviolent mentality that people like Manson put forth as the solution to our crises. He defined Helter Skelter as "confusion," and concluded that the way out of this confusion is to manufacture further confusion-whether that entails advancing his racist worldview, embracing the ultraviolence which led to the tragedy the Manson Family created, or participating in an intelligence campaign to sabotage revolutionary movements. Which there's good evidence to indicate he did.
It's also apparent that by "me," Manson wasn't merely referring to himself, who he regarded as a "nobody." He was referring to those who would repeat his participation in the state's destabilization of liberation movements, and who would therefore reinforce capitalism's engineering of societal unraveling. The U.S. government is eager to help this process along, because it's what can destabilize the social movements capable of steering civilization in a different direction.
Cults as weapons for counterrevolution
Why was Manson so confident that everyone would one day follow him? Because the methods he had used to gain followers, and prime those followers to carry out the murders, were taught to him by the highest levels of government. Not only were his LSD programming methods for the Family entirely consistent with the tactics of the CIA's MK ULTRA drug mind control program, as detailed in journalist Tom O'Neill's expose on these intelligence connections, but the murders served to advance the U.S. capitalist state's counterrevolutionary goals. The explosion of violence, seemingly designed to be as shocking and sensationalism-ready as possible, let the media vilify the social movements it had associated with Manson.
Initially, the murders were intended as a way to scapegoat the Black Panther Party, and the Los Angeles black community in general. J. Edgar Hoover was seeking to widen the gap between whites and blacks in Los Angeles, a goal which the FBI had been advancing through trolling efforts worthy of 4Chan; in a fabricated letter, FBI agents posed as Panthers and proclaimed that the members of the Peace and Freedom Party of California would "be lined up against the wall with the rest of the whites." With the Manson Family's murder of several Hollywood figures, which the perpetrators attempted to pin on the Panthers by writing "pig" in the blood of the victims, the spooks successfully fomented paranoia. A paranoia that's considered, at least in the popular imagination about that era, to have replaced the revolutionary climate of the 60s.
Suddenly the public shared the hysteria of the CIA, which had been conducting Operation CHAOS-the project to uncover supposed foreign influence on the U.S. population throughout the heights of the counterculture movement. The surveillance and experimentation on the Manson Family fit into this monitoring effort, and made CHAOS into a way for the CIA to carry out its own domestic counterrevolutionary operation alongside the FBI's COINTELPRO (which was behind the fake Black Panthers letter).
CHAOS differed from COINTELPRO in that rather than merely fomenting rumors or sending agent saboteurs into radical groups, it manufactured entire circles of movement wreckers, who they programmed to commit elaborate crimes for the purpose of psyops. It was an importing of the CIA's tactics abroad, which consist of creating terrorist organizations and other proxies for waging war against anti-imperialists.
Instrumental in this psyop was law enforcement's enabling of Manson, which let the CIA program his followers for the violence without interference. This involved a number of intelligence-tied figures who gained strange associations with Manson, among them the CIA operative Reeve Witson. As O'Neill has said, Witson's surveillance efforts directed at the family weren't made to stop them from committing crimes, but to ensure that things went according to plan: "Just a couple of years before he died, Reeve told them [Hollywoods insiders] that his greatest regret was that he had infiltrated the Family on an operation that he wasn't allowed to discuss, and that he could have prevented Sharon Tate's murder. But even more shocking was that he told them that he'd been to the crime scene after the murders were committed but before the police arrived. That was pretty stunning information."
Researching numerous other suspect decisions made by the authorities who dealt with Manson, from the ridiculous lenience of his parole officer to the lies that his prosecutor invented in order to cover for the powerful people who surrounded the case, has made it abundantly clear to me how movement wreckers like Manson are created. These are the types of wreckers who get plucked from the peripheries of society, then get used to sabotage social movements or otherwise advance the state's interests. The state enables their transgressions so that they can carry out their missions, influences their thinking through either psychological manipulations or actual mind control, and spins narratives to cover its own tracks once the monsters it's created have become infamous. Manson's involvement with the Haight-Ashbury clinic, the open-door laboratory that the CIA's front scientists used to study the effects of drugs, further shows how Manson was used as an experimental subject in this way. And it explains how the spooks accessed his followers, who went to the Haight along with him and who were ideal targets for manipulation.
As I've gone further down this rabbit hole, I've picked up on additional examples of the kind of experiment the spooks carried out on the Manson Family. Examples like Jonestown.
The CIA has supported or created many cults, both within the U.S. and abroad. It's carried out a coverup for the U.S. "new age" pedophile cult the Finders, backed the Taiwan-based anti-communist doomsday cult Falun Gong, enabled Iran's terroristic MEK cult, and no doubt at least covertly supported Guyana's black supremacist cult the House of Israel due to its having served as a paramilitary enforcer for the country's neo-colonial regime. But the People's Temple is exceptional in that it's a cult which falls under both of these categories (domestic movement-wrecking operation and foreign counterrevolutionary proxy), and in that it most directly gained its power by deceiving U.S. radicals into assisting its covertly fascist goals. It was a proxy for Operation Condor, Washington's campaign to kill leftists throughout Latin America. Except in this case, instead of killing leftists from within Latin America itself, Operation Condor transported U.S. leftists into the region so the CIA could torture and murder them with total impunity.
Groups like the Manson Family and the Finders only vaguely appealed to counterculture sentiments. The People's Temple outright claimed to be a Marxist organization, and its leader Jim Jones put extensive work into assisting in the civil rights movement to the effect of gaining the Temple further perceived credibility within radical spaces. Which had the consequence of luring even more people into the nightmare that awaited those who joined the Temple.
I say "the consequence" instead of "the intent" because he didn't act alone, nor with initial goals that resembled the incomprehensible horror which his efforts would end up creating. It's likely that from the moment when Jones emerged as a preacher from his impoverished background, the spooks were grooming him into becoming a puppet for their designs of counterrevolutionary sabotage. His childhood mentor was Dan Mitrione, the infamous CIA torturer and trainer of abusive neo-colonial Latin American police who was perversely mourned as a great humanitarian after guerrillas captured and killed him in 1970. As Jones built his congregation, he was carrying out a vague but clearly counterrevolutionary mission in Cuba, which tied into his larger campaign to give anti-communist speeches across Latin America. And Mitrione obviously helped guide him down this path.
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