Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Last Edition of The Manson File.

- Maxime Lachaud: One of the main points of the book is that what happened at Cielo Drive was a kind of vengeance between drug dealers and everything in this story was linked, in a great part, to the drug traffic and criminal activities that were taking place in this house. So what was the role of Manson in all that and had he a role at all? In other words, this argument can be felt as provocative in some ways because some people can think that you try to suggest that Manson was innocent.

- Nikolas Schreck: If I said ”1 plus 1 equals 2” some people would say, ”There he goes, being provocative again!” I’ve never said Manson had no role in what happened. It’s just that he played a relatively minor supporting role, whereas Tex Watson, his supposed ”follower”, was the sole instigator of the Cielo Drive carnage. My book establishes the precise degree of Manson’s guilt and/or innocence not only for the Tate slaying, but in all nine counts of murder he was convicted for. I’ll limit my remarks here to the Cielo Drive episode since that’s the one you asked about. Manson was aware that Watson had a grudge against Frykowski and Sebring after they sold Tex and his girlfriend Linda Kasabian a defective solution of the new drug MDA and he knew the couple planned to go up to the Polanski home to get back at Frykowski and Sebring by stealing their drug stash. What’s been erased from the public record is that Manson, Watson and the girls had all partied at the Cielo Drive house many times, going back to when Manson’s musical patron Terry Melcher lived there over a year earlier. Melcher even let Tex live in the Cielo Drive guesthouse before the Polanskis moved in, so there’s nothing ”random” about this. Not only was this revenge robbery Tex’s plan alone, Manson didn’t order anyone to be murdered, for the simple reason that dead bodies of people you know tend to attract police attention, something any competent crook wants to avoid. As you say, the crucial fact that’s been concealed about the Hinman, Tate and La Bianca murders is that they resulted from the mutual drug dealing activities of the killers and the victims. They were typical underworld disputes between two criminal factions that turned deadly. Manson’s only role in the Cielo Drive incident was that he participated in the desperate attempt to erase evidence when this routine drug theft went wrong. That makes Manson an accessory to the crime, as he acknowledged during at least one parole hearing. But it’s a charge for which he should have served 12-18 years maximum rather than a lifetime sentence. After his arrest, he was offered an eighteenth-month sentence if he testified about what really happened, but he stayed true to the criminal code of silence. In fact, a major reason why he’s still locked up is because of his own refusal to talk about it. All three Manson trials were fatally flawed by major judicial errors and malfeasance by both defense and prosecution. Based on those legal technicalities alone, including the fact that he was deprived of his constitutional right to defend himself, Manson would have been freed decades ago if he was anyone else. So what I argue in my book is something much more complicated than Manson’s innocence.


- Maxime Lachaud: why is there such a fascination for him in America? I have talked to many American artists, lately with Lydia Lunch, and he is still, like some famous serial killers are (even though he did not commit any murder himself), a source of inspiration for those who shared the ”American nightmare”. Why is it so?

- Nikolas Schreck: The pop cultural fascination with Manson is mostly inspired by the fantasy Bugliosi manufactured than by the real human being. Manson’s telling the truth when he says that he’s a mirror in which people see in him what they’re capable of seeing. We need to separate the positive inspiration he exerted on many of the people who met him during his pre-notoriety 1967-69 phase from the legend which consumed him after his arrest. Even in his own lifetime, he’s become just as much of a myth as King Arthur or Bluebeard. And like them, the myth doesn’t have much to do with the historical reality. Some anti-Manson obsessives are convinced he’s Satan incarnate. They’re vicariously excited by the idea of hypnotic powers turning innocent ”followers” into sex slaves and mindless killers of random strangers. When I explain that that wasn’t what happened at all, and that it was a squalid drug robbery, they react with the same indignation of Christians presented with facts that cast doubt on the literal truth of the Bible. At the opposite extreme, there are equally fascinated Manson admirers who naively believe he’s a harmless Santa Claus figure, a saint martyred by the pigs because he wanted to save the trees. These dreamers tend to be in denial about his long criminal history as a thief, pimp and drug dealer with Mafia ties going back to the 50s. They don’t want the complicated details about the crimes to intrude on their simplistic fantasy. When the first flying saucer sightings took place, Carl Jung theorized that humanity projected the suppressed archetypes of all of their buried religious fears and hopes onto these inexplicable apparitions. Manson, too, is an UFO who touches some deep chord in the human imagination. The mystery of the fascination Manson inspires is rooted in the equally mysterious nature of charisma itself, which was originally understood as a gift from the gods. That’s why I predict that in centuries to come Manson, for better or worse, will be remembered as a religious figure. I should point out that nobody’s more bemused and amused by this weird fascination with his person than Manson himself, who recently asked me, ”How the hell did I get this life?”

Source: Nikolas Schreck's website

Full Interview (with Nikolas and Zeena Schreck form Obsküre Magazine by Maxime Lachaud) at Nikolas Schreck's website.

Le livre "Le Dossier Manson - Mythe Et réalité d'un Chaman Hors-la-loi" chez l'editeur Camion Noir (Français)

The look "The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman" (English) at Good Read website.