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- There are days when I get caught up in being the most notorious convict of all time. In that frame of mind I get off on all the publicity, and I'm pleased when some fool writes and offers to 'off some pigs' for me. I've had girls come to visit me with their babies in their arms and say, 'Charlie, I'd do anything in the world for you. I'm raising my baby in your image.' Those letters and visits used to delight me, but that's just my individual sickness. What sickness is it that keeps sending me kids and followers? It's your world out there that does it. I don't solicit my mail or ask anyone to come and visit me. Yet the mail continues to arrive and your pretty little flowers of innocence keep showing up at the gate. Could this be because I'm a pussy? But currently I don't care, I'm 81 years old and being stuck in here is no fair.
- Money is a game. It's only real to people who work for it.
- The United States has been sold out by people who really don't care for anything but money.
- If anybody cares, they're considered crazy. I've been fifteen years in the nut ward for trying to stop the trees from being cut down.
- I don't think you people want to know what I know. You wouldn't like it.
- Because it's not very nice.
- Because the people that you let run your lives aren't very nice, the people that govern you, the people that tell you what to do, they're not good people.
- As interviewed by Nuel Emmons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMl0ZcEfuw0&t=714
- (And they take you to Strawberry Fields) where nothing is real but the medication and the numbness and then they cut their wrists and write 'I love you God' all over the walls and hang themselves on the ventilators.
- Believe me, if I started murdering people, there'd be none of you left.
- Hitler was a tuned in guy.
- I am dismayed at the readers who lap up the lies and believe them like the Bible, but I have to hand it to the guys who created the image.... I really shouldn't blame the readers 'cause I kind of get caught up in the stories myself. But when I start believing I might really possess all the powers attributed to me and I try to work a whammy on my prison guard — he or she shuts the prison door in my face. Back to reality. I realize I am only what I've always been: a half-assed nothing."
- I don't ask other men's opinions. I have my own.
- I have X'd myself from your world... You have created the monster. I am not of you, from you, nor do I condone your unjust attitude toward things, animals, and people that you do not try to understand...I stand opposed to what you do and have done in the past...You make fun of god and have murdered the world in the name of Jesus Christ...My faith in me is stronger than all of your armies, governments, gas chambers, or anything you may want to do to me. I know what I have done. Your courtroom is man's game. Love is my judge...
- I know and understand you are much more than what I think you are, but first I must deal with you the way I think you even if that's only my own thinking and not you.
- I may have implied on several occasions to several different people that I may have been Jesus Christ, but I haven't decided yet what I am or who I am.
- I play music. People are affected by the music I play. That doesn't mean I direct traffic, that I put a knife in someone's hand and tell them to go kill somebody,
- I told them that anything they do for their brothers and sisters is good if they do it with a good thought...
- I'm a hobo ... a derelict ... a bum. I'm an open boxcar and a bottle of wine ... and a straightrazor if you get too close!
- When asked the question, "Who is Charles Manson?"; Variant: I'm a boxcar and a jug of wine ... and a straight razor if you get too close.
- I'm not your executioner. I'm not your devil and I'm not your God. I'm Charles Manson.
- If you spit in my face, and smack me in the mouth, and throw me in solitary confinement for nothing, what do you think's gonna happen when I get out of here?
- Look down at me and you see a fool;
look up at me and you see a god;
look straight at me and you see yourself.
- Mr. and Mrs. America — you are wrong. I am not the king of the jews nor am I a hippie cult leader. I am what you have made of me and the mad dog devil killer fiend leper is a reflection of your society. . . Whatever the outcome of this madness that you call a fair trial or Christian justice, you can know this: In my mind's eye my thoughts light fires in your cities.
- My disappointment is that so many of you are so gullible, that you eat everything you are fed. Even the "system" lends to the madness. Your world requires the California Board of Parole to call me before them for release consideration. On my recent appearances they have had the room full of TV cameras so that everyone can go through their act of justice and efficiency for anyone that wants to watch. But it's a game with two sides, theirs and mine. They know they aren't about to let me out. And to make them feel good about their foregone conclusion, I play the fool for them and their cameras. And even if they should say, 'Okay, Manson, you can go home', I'd have to ask, Go where? You gave me this cell when I was 12 years old. I've become as much a part of the cells as the bars on the windows and doors. This is my home.
- My eyes are cameras. My mind is tuned to more television channels than exist in your world. And it suffers no censorship. Through it, I have a world and the universe as my own. So...know that only a body is in prison. At my will, I walk your streets and am right out there among you.
- My relationship to music is completely subliminal, it just flows through me.
- No sense makes sense.
- Remorse for what? You people have done everything in the world to me. Doesn't that give me equal right?
- Sanity is a little box.
- So for you people who are filled with fear that I might someday be released: breathe easy, I don't see it happening.
- The music group I had was called 'The Family Jams'. And all the girls sang in the music group, and all the boys played in the music group. It had nothing to do with the occult. It was a music group.
- The real strong have no need to prove it to the phonies.
- The world of madness is a lot bigger than the world of sane,
- There are days when I get caught up in being the most notorious convict of all time. In that frame of mind I get off on all the publicity, and I'm pleased when some fool writes and offers to 'off some pigs' for me. I've had girls come to visit me with their babies in their arms and say, 'Charlie, I'd do anything in the world for you. I'm raising my baby in your image.' Those letters and visits used to delight me, but that's just my individual sickness. What sickness is it that keeps sending me kids and followers? It's your world out there that does it. I don't solicit my mail or ask anyone to come and visit me. Yet the mail continues to arrive and your pretty little flowers of innocence keep showing up at the gate.
- There were these two kids — everybody thought I was cruel because one day he (the youngest boy) fell in a three foot ditch. There was a lot of bushes, the slope was three or four feet above the ditch. Down there it was muddy and he was crying. Others standing around said, "Help him out", but I didn't. I said, "Watch". About twenty minutes passed or so and he stopped crying and started to climb out on his own. And the second time he tried to climb out he fell back down, but kept on climbing out more. Finally when he made it, climbed out, he was really tired, and stood in front of me and smiled. I pushed him back in the ditch again.
- We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice.
- Where does the garbage go? As we have tins and garbage alongside the road, and oil slicks in the water, so you have people, and I am one of your garbage people.
- Why are the children doing what they're doing? Why does a child reach up and kill his mom and dad and murder his two little sisters and then cut his throat?
- Women today are not satisfied. ... They want men, but all they find are little boys.
About Charles Manson
- Thanks Chaz!
- While I was working on Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: "Are you exploiting my sister's death by living in her house?" For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, "No, it's just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I'm in this place where a weird part of history occurred." I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don't want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, "What if it was my sister?" I thought, "Fuck Charlie Manson." I went home and cried that night. It made me see there's another side to things, you know?
- You can try to kill me a million times more but you cannot kill soul. Truth was, is, and will always be. You have beaten me, broken my neck, knocked my teeth out. You've drugged me for years, dragging me up and down prison hallways, laying my head on every chopping block you've got in this state, chained me, burnt me, but you cannot defeat me. All you can do is destroy yourselves with your own judgments.
- Parole hearing (1986)
- From behind the time locks of courtrooms and from the worlds of darkness, I did let loose devils and demons with the power of scorpions to torment.
- Parole hearing statement (1986)
- I accept this decision. That's cool. What I'd like for you to do in your own minds personally, everybody that has a personal mind of their own, could possibly consider that the longer that you let this conviction stand, and this little Helter Skelter scheme of the District Attorney to give his particular reality over into the play, that's going to be the reality that they're perpetuating. That's not the reality that I'm perpetuating. I'm not saying that I wasn't involved. I'm saying that I did not break man's law nor did I break God's law. Consider that in the judgments that you have for yourselves. Good day. Thank you.
- Response upon being denied parole (1997)
- Note for the record. In the all that was said about me, it was not me saying it, and if you see a false prophet, it is only a reflection of your judgments, for in truth, it is motions, not words, that speak for the Manson family. We each have our own worlds and judgments. I have no judgments outside of what you all have set for yourselves. I'm content wherever I am. Whatever you do or say does not touch my inner circle. I have peace within myself. Peace of mind.
- Parole hearing statement
- Used to be being crazy meant something. Nowadays, everybody's crazy
- TV interview
- I am a mechanical man, a mechanical man/ And I do the best I can.
- Song lyric
- Utter confusion/ Live on in your illusion/ That won't wear out
- Song lyric
- I never thought I was normal, never tried to be normal. Normal runs in that little rut down there. I don’t know nothing about being normal. I‘ve been in jail all my life, man. I lived on the handball court. This guy raised me up. All the men in the joint raised me up, told me what to do, what was right and wrong, told me where to sit down , where to stand up, I just did whatever I was told. You know, and I got to the end of it and I just turned around and said "Wow, far out."
- Interview with Tom Snyder (1981)
- Well, we’re our own prisons. We're each our own wardens and we do our own times. We get stuck in our own little trips and we kind a judge ourselves the way we do. You know, I can’t judge uh, nobody else, best thing I can do is try to judge myself and live with that. See, what other people do is not really my affair, unless they approach me with it, and want me to do something about it, uh, then I’ll uh take into consideration what has to be done. But other than that I just uh, try to do my number, and do my time.
- Interview with Tom Snyder (1981)
- [On what he feels he is expected to say] Consider it, I'll tell you like this: I'm going to chop up some more of you mother-fuckers. I'm going to kill as many of you as I can. I'm going to pile you up to the sky. I figure about fifty million of you.
- Interview with Geraldo Rivera
- Geraldo: How do you feel about the fact that you're going to spend the rest of your life here?
Manson: The rest of my life where?
Geraldo: Right here.
Manson: You guys have been living a thousand illusions, man. The rest of my life where?"
Geraldo: In prison."
Manson: In prison? What prison? You got a prison in your mind? You see what I'm saying? You're in prison, son. You're the one that's in jail because you think there is such a thing as a prison. I'm sitting on the ground and a guy comes up and draws a line and he says "You're in prison". I say "Oh, I'm in prison?" and he puts up a big gate and says "You can't get out". I say "Oh, I can't get out?" and he says "Yes", then he dresses people up and walks them back and forth and has them say "We're keeping you locked up" and I say "Oh you are? I didn't have anything else to do anyway."
- Interview with Geraldo Rivera
- We should have suicide parlors where, if someone wants to die, they should be allowed to die. If someone wants to use drugs they should be allowed to use drugs. How can someone else say "You can't do what you want to do"?
- Interview with Geraldo Rivera
- I don't deal with women I got to tell what to do. They know what to do.
- Interview with Geraldo Rivera
- Mr. and Mrs. America - You are wrong. I am not the king of Jews nor am I a hippie cult leader. I am what you made of me and the mad dog devil killer fiend leper is a reflection of your society ... Whatever the outcome of this madness that you call a fair trial or Christian justice, you can know this: In my mind's eye my thoughts light fires in your cities.
- Statement issued by Charles Manson after his conviction for the Tate-LaBianca murders
Testimony during his trial for murder [not on the witness stand at trial, however; he never took the stand]
- These children that come at you with knives they are your children at all times. You taught them all they know about this world. I didn't teach them, you did. I just tried to help them stand up when they were too weak.
- My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system.... I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.
- Some called me Christ. In prison my name was a number. Some now want a sadistic fiend, and so they see me as that. So be it. Guilty. Not guilty. They are only words. You can do anything you want with me, but you cannot touch me because I am only my love.
- You are going to use this courtroom to kill me? I am going to fight for my life one way or another. You should let me do it with words.
- It's all your fear. You look for something to project it on, and you pick out a little old scroungy nobody that eats out of a garbage can, and that nobody wants, that was kicked out of the penitentiary, that has been dragged through every hellhole that you can think of, and you drag him and put him in a courtroom.
- In fact, it makes me mad when someone kills snakes or dogs or cats or horses. I don't even like to eat meat — that is how much I am against killing....
- I will have you removed if you don't stop. I have a little system of my own.
- Said to judge during trial
- Dead in your mind or dead in my mind?
- When asked by the prosecution whether he was dead
- Most of the people at the ranch that you call 'The Family' were just people that you did not want, people that were alongside the road, that their parents had kicked them out or they did not want to go to Juvenile Hall, so I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this: that in love there is no wrong.
- I was working at cleaning up my house, something that Nixon should've been doing. He should have been on the road picking up his children, but he wasn't. He was in the White House, sending them off to war...
- But I know this: that in your hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam war as I am for killing these people.
- You eat meat and you kill things that are better than you are, and then you say how bad, and even killers, your children are. You made your children what they are....
- I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me, and I look at you, and then I say to myself, you want to kill me? Ha! I'm already dead, have been all my life. I've spent twenty-three years in tombs that you built.
- If I could get angry at you, I would try to kill every one of you. If that's guilt, I accept it.
- You expect to break me? Impossible! You broke me years ago. You killed me years ago...
- If you put me in the penitentiary, that means nothing because you kicked me out of the last one. I didn't ask to get released. I liked it in there because I like myself.
- Is it a conspiracy that the music is telling the youth to rise up against the establishment because the establishment is rapidly destroying things? Is that a conspiracy? The music speaks to you every day, but you are too deaf, dumb, and blind to even listen to the music. . . It is not my conspiracy. It is not my music. I hear what it relates. It says "Rise," it says "Kill." Why blame it on me? I didn't write the music.
- I can't judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.
- I can't dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven't got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me ... but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you.
- I don't think like you people. You people put importance on your lives. Well, my life has never been important to anyone...
- I'm not sorry, this is what you deserve.
- I have killed no one and I have ordered no one to be killed.