Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson
Just like when I first read about Herbert Huncke in Wikipedia, I spent an hour or more immersed in this sad tale. Dennis Wilson bumped into a couple of Manson Family misfit girls hitchiking one day. The rest as they say is history. Looking at the cycle of a cult’s rise and fall you can see similarites in Jim Jones, Adolph Hitler and Charles Manson. Each person in his turn follows the same path over and over again. I am astounded to read so much of the history of Manson and his followers there in California and came to one interesting insight. Not too much different than the attraction the Beats had for an outsider like Herbert Huncke, the white, bored middle class kids (young women especially) all gravitated to Charlie. He was a ex-convict. But unlike Huncke who really went out to feed his drug habit, Charlie went in and pulled anyone he could with him. Woe to those who didn’t see it coming or were too late to realize how crazy he was. Herbert Huncke was never described as vindictive or ‘violent’. Charlie was all about being respected. Don’t disrespect Charlie, otherwise he’ll have to kill you.
Helter Skelter-It’s funny how racist Charlie was but that he was so convinced that Blacks would rise up and kill all the whites. And then Charlie who was white and all his followers who were also white would come to rule the blacks. Only a crazy person can hold those two thoughts in his head. I don’t think the William Burroughs, Jack Kerouacs and Allen Ginsburgs of the world were that crazy. Charlie may have been creative but he used people. Like a lot of stereotypical convicts he took disproportionate advantage of all opportunities presented to him. When Dennis Wilson bumped into the two Manson family members he gave them a ride. Driving around later that same day he saw them again. Now in my book, my paranoia kicks in (I don’t care if it was 1967 or not I get frightened) and I begin to wonder ‘Hey what is it these women do that they hitchike all day?’ If you’re not in college, not going to high school or not working you obviously depend on the generosity of others. Dennis Wilson’s protective radar didn’t sense danger at this point. And it should have because the wild ride he found himself on put him smack in the middle of the craziness.
Supposedly Dennis invited the girls back to his house. He dropped them off and went to a music recording session and came back to his house around 3am. Charlie Manson accosts him in his own driveway and Dennis discovers everyone inclusive from the Manson family is now IN his house. Poor Dennis Wilson. It’s almost as if they had been staking him out waiting for him to fall into the craziness trap. Charlie was delusional, wanting to break into the music business and being disrespected all the way. Now Charlie had an actual Beach Boy in his grip and he didn’t let go. Dennis eventually would record some of Manson’s songs and he wold pay somewhere around $100,000 in medical bills for the family while they stayed at his house. Group sex led to raging cases of gonorrhea and it took a while to fix all that for the Manson Family. Dennis even had to pay for a car wreck when a uninsured Manson Family member wrecked one of Wilson’s cars. Eventually Dennis could only extricate himself by moving out of his own house and severing all ties with the Manson Family. Charlie immediately sensed the snub, the growing disrespect and paid a visit to Dennis Wilson’s house not long after. Wilson’s housekeeper talked with Manson who then left a message. Charlie Manson gave the housekeeper a bullet with some cryptic non-sense writing on it. Wilson took that to mean he was now the target of Charlie’s anger, and by association anger of all the followers as well.
Years later people were really curious about this brush with Manson. People wanted to know why Dennis didn’t participate in the trial of the Manson Family. Realistically Wilson feared retribution from the Manson Family. One thing he absolutely did understand after his brush with Manson was the very real threat to both himself and his family. Wilson it is speculated worried about his son’s safety. Otherwise, Wilson didn’t have a bad time or wasn’t willing to say he had a bad time during the days he knew the Manson Family. I take away a few lessons from this whole episode. One is never enable a crazy person. Wilson gave Manson that sense of ‘possibility’ and getting an industry insider to give him a shot. Charlie had been ignored and probably made fun of by a few people up until then. Worse yet Dennis Wilson gave him this imprint of legitimacy he didn’t deserve though he may have had talent. The minute you withdraw that you diminish that person. And then you have to suffer the abandonment rage. This cylce was often repeated with Charles Manson as he came in contact with people and kept the Family going. While seemingly on the surface of things the Manson Family was a ‘new’ phenomenon the history of the organization does seem very similar to the other cults and secret organizations that have existed. If Manson’s family had been called the Brown Shirts and went out killing people or say the Ku Klux Klan then we would begin to understand there was an underlying hatred that existed within the Manson Family. What is confused as seemingly unique is the ‘absurdity’ and ‘randomness’ of the murders comitted. True while they seemed to be random, Manson seemed to target people he thought were ‘of money’ or ‘privileged’. Charlie wasn’t a rich kid growing up. No doubt he suffered all kinds of rejection and calls of derision from people who thought they were better than him or people Charlie thought they thought were better than him. He was very aware of the ‘rich’ neighborhoods and seemed to gate crash parties in places he knew he could get in. He was creepy and would suddenly appear in places. Someone like that doesn’t want to be your friend. They want to know what you can do on their behalf. And that is the crux of the matter you are an object, not a human being. You are to be used and expended and thrown away when it’s necessary or convenient. All Sociopaths are the same.