Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson

I spent an hour or more immersed in this sad tale, reading on Wikipedia. Back in 1967, Dennis Wilson bumped into a couple of Manson Family girls hitchiking around Los Angeles. The rest as they say is history. One can see similarites in all cults whether it be Jim Jones, Adolph Hitler or Charles Manson. Each leader in his turn follows the path over and over again. I was astounded to read so much of the history of Manson and his followers there in California and came to a conclusion. The friendship the Beats had for an outsider like Herbert Hunckethe white, is mirrored exactly in the bored middle class kids (young women especially) who fell into the net of Charles Manson. He too was a ex-convict, like Herbert Huncke. But unlike Huncke whose real motivation was to feed his drug habit, Charlie’s goal was to suck-in every person he made contact with. Woe to those who didn’t see it coming or were too late to realize. Herbert Huncke was never described as vindictive or ‘violent’. Charles Manson was all about being respected. Do not disrespect Charlie, otherwise he’ll have to kill you. No questions asked.

On the topic of Helter Skelter:
Charles Manson was a racist and was absolutely convinced that blacks would rise up and kill all the whites. But then Charlie (who was white) decided he and all his followers (who were white) would come to rule the blacks. Only a fully disassociated person can hold those two thoughts in his head at the same time. I don’t think the Burroughs, Kerouacs and Ginsburgs of the world were THAT crazy. Charlie may have been creative too like the Beats but he used people. Stereotypical convicts like Charles Manson took disproportionate advantage of all opportunities presented to them.

The day in 1967 that Dennis Wilson bumped into the two Manson family members he gave them a ride. Driving around town later that same day he saw them again, hitchiking. In my mind, 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 or raising children, 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 Mason Family groupthink and group action.

After the second meeting with the Mason Famiy girls, Dennis invited them back to his house. He dropped them off and went to a music recording session. Wilson came back to his house around 3am. Now, Charlie Manson accosts him in his own driveway. Dennis discovers everyone inclusive from the Manson family is now on his property and living IN his house. How does something like that happen? It’s outrageous when you think about it, in the space of just a few hours, the whole Manson Family picked up and moved into Dennis Wilson’s house.

Poor Dennis Wilson. It’s almost as if they had been stalking him, waiting for him to fall into their craziness trap. What makes this worse is Charlie was delusional. But he also wanted to break into the music business, all along the way meeting rejetion and being disrespected (remember don’t disrespect Charles Manson). This had to have been Charles Manson’s dream come true, the chance encounter of his Family members with a real live Beach Boy. 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 would pay somewhere around $100,000 in medical bills for the family while they stayed at his house.

Group sex led to raging epidemics of gonorrhea in the Family and it took a while to fix it. Dennis even had to pay for a car wreck when a uninsured Family member wrecked one of Wilson’s cars. As outrageous and unbelieveable as this seems, the ‘solution’ Dennis Wilson decided upon was equally so. 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 new 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 Dennis Wilson had with Manson. People wanted to know why Dennis didn’t participate in the trials of the Manson Family members. Truth is Wilson feared retribution from the Manson Family (and rightly so, everyone should have taken them seriously). 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 story. One should never enable a crazy person. Dennis Wilson gave Manson that sense of ‘possibility’ and ‘credibility’ that having an industry insider on his ‘side’ could only make possible. Until Charlie invaded Dennis Wilson’s house he had been ignored and probably made fun of by all the music industry types he contacted. Worse yet Dennis Wilson gave him this imprint of legitimacy he didn’t deserve though Charles Manson may have had music talent. The minute you withdraw that imprint of legitimacy you diminish that personality. 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 through time. 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 deep within the Manson Family. What is confused as seemingly ‘novel’ or ‘unique’ about the Family is the ‘absurdity’ and ‘randomness’ of the murders comitted by the Family. 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 saw him as lower class than themselves. That kind of social prejudice can be terrible to suffer. And the wounds it deals become deeper over time. Anyone who thought they were better than Charlie or even people Charlie himself thought were better than him, were all Pigs. He was very aware of the ‘rich’ neighborhoods and seemed to gate crash parties in places he knew he could get in. He was mysterious and 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. At the end of the day you are an object, not a human being. This is the score being settled, the wounds being counter-inflicted. You are to be used and expended and thrown away when it’s necessary or convenient. All Sociopaths are the same in this regard as they see anything or anyone outside themselves.





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