When I first went public that I'd be interviewing Charles Manson, some people were intrigued, while others had harsh words to say. I understand the backlash and judgements, but please note:
*This interview is not me condoning, supporting, or backing any of his personal views or actions.*
It is more from a place of curiosity of the human psyche.
This interview isn't about what happened over 50 years ago, as it has already been covered.
I wanted to ask questions that no other interviewer has and I had a unique opportunity to do so, because Charles Manson became a fan of my poetry while reading it in prison.
Now that's a sentence I never thought I would say.
Trust me, I know. ...
But because of this, it allowed me to go deeper with him than the typical interview.
I wanted to know who he was during the end of his life.
When exploring the life of Charles Manson and how it ended up the way it did, it's important to look at his childhood. As a young boy, Charles Manson was physically, mentally, and sexually abused, had little to no education, and had spent his entire life in prison. This is not for sympathy votes, but more as a challenge to understand. His life is an opportunity for psychologists to study the impact of childhood trauma combined with mental health and environmental conditioning.
Try to imagine Charles Manson as an innocent baby and read these facts from his upbringing:
-Manson described only one happy memory from his childhood and that was a three second hug. He was touch-deprived and love-deprived.
He never knew his father and his mother was a prostitute who rejected him.
-When Manson was born, she didn’t even bother giving him a name.
When the nurses handed her the paper, she wrote “No Name,” and to this day, his birth certificate is registered as “No Name Maddox.”
-She trader her own son to someone in exchange for a free pitcher of beer.
-His mother went to jail when he was 5 years old.
-He started stealing at 13 so he can save enough money to live on his own.
He didn't know any better and just wanted to escape his painful situation.
-He was beaten and raped for 3 years non-stop as a young boy.
Charles Manson himself felt that he was too damaged as a child to live in the world.
When they released him from jail, he begged them to keep him there. They refused.
He got out and started the Manson Family.
His followers would eventually go out on a drug-fueled rage and kill people.
He never actually killed anyone himself.
I'm under the philosophy that every single human being has something to teach, even if it's through darkness. There is always something to study and lessons for us to learn from.
My intent with each interview is to connect with whatever lies inside each person, regardless of how heavy their shadows are, or to ask deep enough questions that plant seeds in both the people I interview and the audience. As somebody who studied psychology, childhood trauma, and spirituality, I was more intrigued in exploring Charles Manson from a neutral philosophical place. I'm not here to judge him or project my opinion.
This isn't to glorify him either. It's to simply try to understand.
From a psychological perspective, he might come off as unsound during certain times, but my goal was to see past that, and to also see past what he did; not to excuse them or justify them, but simply to see past them and look at what lies inside after all this time.
This interview is to give a glimpse of what Charles Manson's beliefs are after spending half a century in prison.
Apollo Poetry interviews Charles Manson
AP: What does freedom mean to you?
AP: How do people become free?
CM: BE. Go away and keep going until never get here. There is no un-free. There is no “not free” in freedom.
AP: What is your understanding of the infinite time and space of the universe?
CM: All understanding, clear, thought, (nothing).
There is no time in the infinite and there is only one SPACE in forever.
AP: Do you believe in other dimensions?
CM: I don’t not believe. “Dimensions” is one God. There is no other, only zero. Nothing is All.
AP: What is the purpose of human existence?
CM: Be. Do. Experience. Get the dust out of my eye. Made up as real and unreal. Most of what people made up as real and unreal are only for something to do.
Don’t think it. Come new.
AP: Do you believe in reincarnation?
CM: If you have a re-in, you need a re-out. The in and out of life. The life and death.
Don’t think about it. It just is. All. Everything. Always and nothing.
"Carnation" is a flower...
AP: What would you want to be in your next lifetime?
CM: That’s 500 million light years already played out into the next;
backwards and circled itself.
AP: What is Empathy?
CM: No two things can cover the same space in time, unless I say so. It’s when you never end finding love... it's forever. ‘Maybe’ is so I can keep starting over.
AP: What is the biggest misunderstanding people have of you and your life?
CM: There are no people in my life. People are the trouble. I was never, NEVER good enough to be a “you” in life. No one had or has a real life – life has it all.
The bug and bird are just as much you.
A pissant is you....
A flee, a tick, flee, fish, maggot, fly is you.
A “you” is ALL.....everything, forever and ever.
AP: If this was your very last interview, how would you want the world to remember you? What would your final words be?
CM: I am the world. It is my last – my last is always first, and I’m trying to be free of want.
I am forgetting everything so I can just be me, and not what others told me, taught me, or wanted and needed me to be. I want not to "want", but to be me with few words.
AP: What happens to us after we die?
CM: You become before never. There is one God. There is no 'other'. Nothing is all.
AP: What is Love?