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josie's avatar

How did Charles Manson find all those misguided people?

Asked by josie (27538points) 3 weeks ago

I just read that Charles Manson died. All that stuff was before my time but there is no shortage of information about him and his “Family”.
One thing I do not understand.

How did he find so many people who were willing to commit savage murder and collect them into one place?

Especially young girls. Not that girls can’t be killers, but more often it is the guys who kill.

It isn’t as if he could put out a want ad in the papers, or post it on Facebook.

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15 Answers

chyna's avatar

It was the times. The girls were all runaways and looking to join groups or communes. I think he picked the ones out that looked the most needy. He had lots of drugs and kept them stoned. He mesmerized them into thinking there would be a race war. Apparently he was a smooth talker.
But I agree. I don’t care how many drugs you give me, if it’s not already in my nature by the age of 18 or so to kill, I don’t see how he talked them into it.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Not all of the “family” was so vulnerable or predisposed to violence. The group was very fluid, constantly changing as people came and went. And, of the members who were there at the time of the murders, only a handful participated; some turned state’s witness, at the risk of their own lives.

As for the young men and women who did those unspeakable acts, they were impressionable and in the hands of a manipulative psychopath. Manson kept them high on drugs and alcohol and convinced them that they were a safe, nurturing place. He also had a number of sociopathic techniques for controlling people. For example, he’d look deeply into the eyes of an homeless teenager and say, profoundly, “You have troubles with your parents” or “Things weren’t good for you at home.” This is nothing more than a cold reading – we’re talking about a young runaway, so how much of a reach is that? – but the person would truly believe that Manson had seen inside his/her soul. The subjects were already troubled and disturbed, and they were prone to that sort of control.

ragingloli's avatar

How did Drumpf find all these supporters oh his?
Same reason.

flutherother's avatar

They were mostly very ordinary and were not killers when Manson found them. The question is why are ordinary people so easily duped by charismatic figures with such obvious faults.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

^^^ People can be so easy to influence and lead – Stockholm syndrome is a very real phenomenon – and a charismatic individual can exploit that simple, human trait.

@josie got it right when he used the word “misguided.” The Manson killers were susceptible to manipulation and followed some very wrong guidance.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

My guess is he befriended screwed up teenagers. Which at that age is most of them.

LornaLove's avatar

He was psychopathic and also probably narcissistic. Narcissistic people often draw in empaths, or empathetic people who get suckered into what the Narc wants. Some were also probably psychopaths and also felt that lack of social conscience. A few could have been lost and needed to belong somewhere and felt guided by him coupled with drugs a deadly combination.

Possibly there was “group consensus” or fake consensus (you can Google a few examples of men at war for example).

Or perhaps they were just simply evil. Perhaps we underistimate evil at times?

seawulf575's avatar

Troubled youth combined with drugs set the table. Add in a communal situation in which they suddenly feel welcome and loved and a part of something, they become very willing to accept the one they see as the provider of this situation.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That’s probably an accurate account of how ISIS gets it’s recruits too…

There’s a reason that I refer to common people, as sheep.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Same reasons people get sucked up into cults.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Vulnerable people are easy to manipulate. Add in a steady flow of drugs and it just makes them that much easier to manipulate.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Charismatic psychopaths never seem to have any trouble drawing recruits. And it appears that more of us than we care to believe are capable of feats of incredible heroism and self sacrifice as well as episodes of unspeakable depravity. I wonder just how many of Charlie’s followers might have gone on to lead mundane ordinary lives had they not crossed his path. I don’t think we appreciate just how frequently major factors in our lives can be attributed to the fickle nature of random chance.

Aethelwine's avatar

You should watch the latest season of American Horror Story. It’s called Cult. They do a superb job showing how people fall for these leaders.

Kardamom's avatar

Have you ever had a friend, most likely, but not always, a female, who picked an abusive mate, and ended up staying with him despite all sorts of horrible manipulation and ill treatment? And then they say something like this (this is an actual quote from a former friend of mine who refused help or intervention to get her away from her abusive husband) she said with a dreamy look in her eyes, “He’s my lifeblood.”

My friend and her abusive husband smoked a lot of pot, and drank. The last time I saw her she was a shell of a woman. Even her loving parents, and a group of dedicated friends couldn’t persuade her to leave him.

I hadn’t seen her in about 10 years, when one of our mutual friends saw her somewhere. The abused woman told our mutual friend, “We were never friends, that was just something I said to you. I’ve never been friends with any of you. I was just playing a game.” This statement was so messed up. This woman had been a dear friend to many of us, but her husband messed her up, and because he was abusive (and charismatic to her) she was willing to do whatever he told jer to do.

This woman was a kind, artistically talented, altruistic extrovert when I met her. Her sick fuck of a husband was able to manipulate her into a shy, lying, scared person, who would do anything he demanded her to do. It was so sad to know that she was beyond help.

Patty_Melt's avatar

He didn’t find them. He cultivated them.
Between emotional manipulation and psychadelic drugs, he got his tribe.
He had some convinced that he had an exciting music career ahead of him.

He hated people for the very fact that they had money (lots), family, and didn’t know or care that he existed.
You know, the way most of Fluther hates our president.

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