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Something we shouldn’t ignore about Charles Manson is how he became what he was. Because children are subjected to similar treatment all over the world. When I learned about his childhood, I was blown away. I am only going to scratch the surface in this blog. I think it is important to not simply dismiss him as an evil nut-job. The circumstances that created the monster, we know exists all over the world, especially, in the sex slave trade of children. He was brutalized, neglected, and systematically and forcibly raped while growing up in institutions that were supposed to protect him. He became a ward of the state because his mother found him to be too much of a burden. She was having sex with multitudes of men – it is unclear if she was a prostitute then. She definitely became one later. He was considered a nuisance to her lifestyle and she didn’t have the necessities to take care of him. His uncle took him in for a bit. He dressed him in woman’s clothing because he thought he was too much of a sissy and was trying to teach him a lesson. When he cried he got smacked and Manson thought he deserved it. He normalized brutality.
Rejection was his norm and love and acceptance was a foreign concept. A Catholic institution took him in where he was systematically raped and beaten. How much of an influence do you think the bible had on him in that environment? He learned to hate and to fear. If he was a devil, the church played a major role in turning him into one. Of course, he got into trouble and forced into different boys institutions where he experienced more brutalization and rape as was common back then. And because he was a small person, he got the worst of it. By the time he was 17 he raped a boy while holding a blade to his throat. He learned this behavior.
From brutal upbringings, sometimes, if you are lucky, you get a Richard Pryer who became a brilliant artist and who only seemed to hurt himself. Modern psychologists looking at Manson’s upbringing see that his adult behavior is predictable. Evil isn’t something someone catches like they would a virus. Satan didn’t randomly strike him with his pitchfork. It is inspired by brutality. It is a twisted adaptation.
Despite being illiterate, Manson had a 107 IQ which is slightly higher than average. But, in every other way, the deck was stacked against him from birth. Who would you be if you experienced his upbringing? The circumstances you are born into is a crap shoot. Manson lost. And today children all over the world are subjected to this kind of brutality. We need to be aware of this not to excuse what monsters do but to prevent monsters from happening.