11 November 2007

Charles Manson Interview with Michael Moynihan for Seconds Magazine

SECONDS: What can you tell us about the music you're playing now?

MANSON: I've never really sat down and took this serious, until the last two or three times I've been playing. I’ve never let this part of me come out. I'm a hobo, and I've been on the road since I was just a little kid. I've got a lot of good songs that I never let anybody see because I don't want them stealing 'em. I don't really open up, 'cause if I open up I'll never live to get out of here. They'll steal every fucking drop of my blood. There's no mercy in these bastards, because they're not even there--there's no intelligent life forms. They're all living in something somebody else made and then retired. Like everybody set their life out in motion, and then they went off and retired, or died, or went somewhere else. Then all these other guys, these kids that grow up--they're wearing everybody else's shoes and riding around in everybody else's car, and they don't have nothing of their own, not really. Everything they've got comes from somewhere else. So when you come up with something new, that's like meat to a vulture. They just sit around and wait for you to do something, and push you to do something, and as soon as you do it, they jump on it and eat it up so quick that it don't even look like you're doing anything.

Charles Manson 'Commemoration'

SECONDS: Seconds gave your CD a four-star review.

MANSON: What’s a four-star review?

SECONDS: They said it sounded great.

MANSON: That's cool. If they liked that they sure will like this other stuff. I've got a whole lot better music--that's really repetitious, up and down, kind of country-bumpkin stuff.

SECONDS: What else have you been playing?

MANSON: I've got some new style things--they're not new to life, but they're new to music--like going into a trance, putting yourself in a trance, and coming from the spiritual world with other lifeforms that have lived before. And I'm not talking about something phony--this can be done. But it can’t be done for inspection, it can't be done consciously. It has to be a total oblivion, unconscious thing that only happens every once in awhile, it just sneaks through every once in awhile and happens. And I just happened to get some of that, about some Navaho, some Indians, and some different things.

SECONDS: There's not a lot of noise in the background on the CD, which is pretty incredible considering it was recorded in prison.

MANSON: See, where I'm at, you don't realize--there was one place in there where someone was talking, and later on, off the tape, I had to go down and shut him up. If anyone sings on the tier, everyone tells him, "What the fuck, why don’t you shut up"! and start cat-calling you and all that shit, 'cause you've got a lot of jealousy in here. And to sing you've got to kind of hold everyone else to attention, and that's not very easy--one guy to hold all these convicts in place while he does something that they don't want to hear anyway. One time we were doing a music session in Vacaville in one cell, and in the next cell some guy got killed. It came out on the tape and they subpoenaed the tape and took it to court! They sat there listening to this music and some guys screaming in the back, "Arrhhh!" It was really a weird tape, kind of a morbid tape.

SECONDS: What are you doing these days, besides music?

MANSON: I've got so many projects that I'm getting involved in. I'm inventing a Hobo Suit....

SECONDS: What’s that?

MANSON: A Hobo Suit is one suit of clothes, and then you never have to buy another suit of clothes as long as you live. In other words, you've got a suit of clothes and you can just get up on the road and go. You never have to worry about clothing rooms or clothing stores or nothing. It's got elk skin pants and a shirt, with a pouch like a pocket book that you can throw over your shoulder that you can use to keep your knife, your sharpening stone, your needles, some thread--you know, enough to police your Hobo Suit, to keep it in one perspective. Then you don't ever need another set of clothes, you don't ever have to worry about nothing you can just get up on the road with that.

SECONDS: And elk skin will last a lifetime?

MANSON: Yeah. It'd be like your skin. You just get in the shower once in a while, scrub it down, then run around the block two or three times and you'll be right there. Just give it a bath like you give yourself a bath and it should last you forever.

SECONDS: What else do you work on?

MANSON: I've got other kinds of little projects going. I've got these little plaque projects I'm doing--I put Family people's pictures on these little wooden plaques and then I finish 'em down, and people that have trailers, they put them on the wall in their trailer.

SECONDS: Sort of like folk art?

MANSON: Yeah, and then I've got a couple of guitars I've restored, I mean they're really tremendous. I got one from Spain that's hand-made and I've restored it and I did a painting--I painted the damn thing! It looks like modern art, like something that don't have wheels that should have wheels! It looks pretty cool. This is a strange place; the only thing they've got here is a hobby shop. They don't have no program at all, for anything. They don't have no gymnasium, no auditorium....

SECONDS: They're not even having you run in circles outside?

MANSON: Well no, they don't even have that. All they got's a little square box with one basketball court nobody plays in, a weightlifting bar--and not too many people lift, and then they've got a little hobby shop about the size of the toilet, and everybody works out of there. They make boats, paintings, a little jewelry, a little Pop Art, like you said. You know what I was told yesterday? I can't use my name anymore --I cant sign my name anymore!

SECONDS: They don’t want you autographing?

MANSON: They don't want me signing my name. They say that my signing my name is causing too much trouble. It's making too much money. I'm not after no goddamn fucking money! I'm just trying to play on and go back into whatever I was doing before. I had a world I was working in before. I knew all this before. When I got out last time, I knew it was all a bunch of rotten apples. But I didn't figure I was any better than the worst of them, or any worse than the best. It's the same fucking thing, it's just a pile of shit anyway, so why not try to grow some flowers in it? That's when I got out, and I went through these other things, and then I got trapped up in these kids of the Sixties. But I'm not a kid of the Sixties; I'm a kid of the Forties. Bing Crosby was my hero, not Elvis Presley. I never even liked Elvis Presley he was a rhinestone to me, he wasn't a diamond, that's for damn sure.

SECONDS: What are you conveying with your music?

MANSON: I'm not really an entertainer. I'm a hobo more than an entertainer. 'Im like Woody Guthrie, you know I just rap and talk about ATWA, and bullshit...tell poems. 'Im not a Hippie; I'm a Beatnik. I was doing this, beatin' on bongos and shit, before the Hippies came into play. So I got a lot of weird old poems that are not in books, and I've got a lot of chants and tongues that kind of passed down from generation to generation.

SECONDS: What did you think of Rock and Roll? Your stuff isn't really anything like it.

MANSON: I was into Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell--Hobo Music, Hillbilly Music. Not Country Music, like all those fake Willie Nelson motherfuckers. It's just a bunch of assholes.

SECONDS: They’re just selling an image now.

MANSON: I think a guy called Hitler said it: It 's a Jewish problem. Because everything we get going, they'll end up selling it to us. As soon as Hank Williams died, they bought his guitar and gave it to Bobby Dylan, then they told the world that Bobby Dylan was actually Hank Williams, and that he'd been up on the road and that he was a hobo. And they bought up a whole bunch of these I love you babies in my big brass bed, and gave him the songs and put him up as a star, you dig, and they sold the image of Hank Williams through Zimmerman. It's the same thing they've done all the way down the line, every time one of us dies they just buy up the graveyard and sell it back to us. Every time we make a mistake and back up they just move on in, 'til they end up running it. They're slick motherfuckers, they're running it.

SECONDS: What happened with your music back when you got out in 1967?

MANSON: When I went to Hollywood they offered me these positions and I told them, "No, no." And then they want to pick who's gonna play in my band, and who's gonna do this, and I told them, "No, I cant". So then the Jew told me, he said, "As long as you're in this town you'll never get no music out". In other words, they want to control the music. I'm not a racist kind of guy; I never thought one way or another what a guy is, but then I see how the Second World War has made people racists whatever racist is. We're all for ourselves to start with, so that makes us racists. I've got to be for me first. And then I look and see, what the fuck am I? And then I say, well, I'm Irish, so I've got to be with that first. If I'm not with Irish first then how the fuck can I ever be with anyone else? I've got to be with me, and I've got to be with green.

SECONDS: You start at home and move out from there.

MANSON: Yeah, yes sir! But it's hard to get home and straighten 'er out... I've been lost for 700 years, just floating around in space. I didn't know where I come from or go to I never even thought about it until it was thrown on me to think about it. In other words, at the end of your life you look off into the gas chamber and say, "What am I going in here for? What am I giving my life up for everyday? What is this all about?" And then when you figure it all out you've just got to be what you are.

SECONDS: What did you think of Dennis Wilson from the Beach Boys?

MANSON: I liked him. And he cheated me.

SECONDS: They did one song of yours, Never Learn Not to Love.

MANSON: There's more than one song; they stole a bunch of my shit. Here's what he did: I told him, "I sure like this house". He said, "I'll give you this house if you help me write some songs, and teach me how to play the way you play". He said he wanted to make an album on his own, and I said, "Okay, Ill help you". He said, "Consider this house as yours", and then I said, "Well, what are you going to give me for that song?" He said, "I'll give you this Silver Cloud". So he gave me the Rolls-Royce, and I said, "Where's the pink slip?" He says, "I've got to get it from my business manager. It's in the company's name". So he was always getting it from his business manager, and then I would go up to his business manager and say, "Hey, when you gonna pay me?" And his business manager'd say, "You better leave me alone, I'll call New York, I'll call New York!" he was an Italian. And they didn't want to pay me. They owed me that house and they owed me that car, but they didn't want to pay me.

SECONDS: They never gave them to you?

MANSON: Fuck no, they didn’t give me shit.

SECONDS: Didn't Dennis Wilson give you a motorcycle?

MANSON: No, Neil Young gave me that.

SECONDS: Did you actually hang out with him?

MANSON: Sure, why not? I hang out with all them people, that's my neighborhood. I lived in Elvis Presley's house, man. He ran me out of the yard. I got mad at him, I was going to to throw some rocks at him, ‘cause I thought he was an idiot, an egotistical fucking punk. I never liked him even a little bit, but everybody else always kow-towed to him because he was rich and everything. But to me that don't mean shit. I don’t give a fuck how rich you are, I'll bust you up anyway.

SECONDS: Was there anyone else you ran into back then?

MANSON: Frank Zappa. He's a no good, thieving motherfucker! I knew a lot of those guys.

SECONDS: Tell me how the LIE album came about.

MANSON: A guy come up to me and I've got a tape. He said, "Gimme that tape and I'll make an album". I told him, "Man, I don't give a fuck about none of that shit". He said, "Can I have the album, can I have the tape?" I said, "Go ahead, take it on". So he went on with the tape and he made an album called LIE.

SECONDS: That was Phil Kaufman?

MANSON: Yeah. Now, he went into the record company and told the dude, "Look, I'll give you a nickel for each record you press". The guy made 600,000 copies. He paid the guy a nickel on each one, a nickel on something. I forgot what the fuck it was, a nickel on the dollar, a nickel on the album, or something like that. But he got 600,000 copies in the back of his car, and he went off and he sold 'em for something like five dollars a piece.

SECONDS: He just drove around selling the records?

MANSON: No, no--he put an ad in Easy Rider magazine. And in the Free Press. So he sold 600,000 at five dollars a copy. 600,000 five dollar bills is what? Thats a nice piece of change. And all he had to do was farm out five percent here, six percent here, two cents on the dollar for that--he gave everybody a little bit of the action and he ended up with a big fucking hunk of change--sent me a picture of a Rolls-Royce over in France talking about, "You wouldn't blame me for doing what you would do?" And I told him, "No, I sure couldn't".

SECONDS: He's selling a book about himself now.

MANSON: Yeah, he's got a book and he's over in Nashville. He's still riding on my music, he's still riding on me. All these guys are riding on me...

SECONDS: How did Phil Kaufman get in contact with you?

MANSON: I was in jail with him for a long time. He was cool in jail, he was alright. A lot of the guys are alright in jail 'cause you can touch 'em and you can bust em up if they're not alright. You can get ahold of them. But as soon as they get out and they feel like you can't get ahold of em, you can't get your hands on them, then they can do anything they want. So it's a whole different game. In here, I have guys that I get along with well, they're perfect. But get 'em out the gate, man, as soon as they're out the gate they'd steal my eyes and teeth if they could.

SECONDS: Would you say you play music just for yourself?

MANSON: I play for the experience of--the feeling of--because I like playing it it makes me feel good. And if the other people don't like it, I really don't care. I'm doing it for how I feel. I can't say that someone else's approval hasn't got something to do with it, but not that much. I like doing it, and then once it's done, it's gone. I'm not laboring with yesterday. Yesterday went on down the river. I don't think of too much tomorrow, I can pretty much live on today. So I just try to have a good day and play music and be in harmony in everything I do. I try to stay out of the bullshit and confusion of other people, if I can...

SECONDS: But they'll try to rope you in every time.

MANSON: Yeah, they do. Sure they do.

SECONDS: Misery loves company.

MANSON: Sure, sure it does. So I just play, and trip, and try to stay out of the way of these--I've got a big old jealous snake on me, you see. If I look cool, or I get the attention, then other people don't like that. They want to be the one; everybody wants to be the one. Remember that song: ‘’Everyone that is the one is looking for the door / And if you are the one my friend, you don't need to look anymore / And if you are a two, you know there’s no place to go / Reckless hate we cant use, let it go.’’ That's pretty much the same thing. Everybody wants to go through that one door; everybody wants to be that door. And if you see a bunch of little puppies being born; how little puppies will bowl each other over to get to you and they're stepping on each others heads to establish the pecking order.

SECONDS: Who's going to get that nipple.

MANSON: Yeah, and it's always a selection of who's going to be stronger, or better, or taller, or louder, or sing better whatever. And as you and I sit here arguing with each other or squabbling over who's going to do the music, the Jew is paying Michael Jackson to do it.

SECONDS: You saw who he married, didn’t you?

MANSON: Yeah, well, he's breeding it all into: goodbye, Moynihan see you later, we don't need your kind anymore! In a country that says We don't like the White males, doesn't that tell you something? Who's controlling the opinion to decide that we don't like the White males and we only want the White pussy? In other words, whose mind are we in?

SECONDS: What’s the situation like where you are now?

MANSON: The way this place works is that everybody wants everybody below them, and then they all feel like they're superior. Anytime in any shape or form something rises above them, they all feel like they're a bunch of insecure little kids running around, playing cops and robbers with uniforms on. They really don't know what they're doing, because the people that set up this shit already retired. Its a Mickey Mouse watch, is what it is. It's just a form that was set by the people who died; they're already dead. They set it with necessity, they didn't set it with anything positive, they just set it because they had to, and then it went on to something else. And the only way you can get over it is you gotta create situations where they have to change. You've almost got to go the point of death to get any kind of change and then its only for a second, before it closes right back up. It's like a big mechanical beast that runs on numbers and money.

SECONDS: Are you receiving any letters?

MANSON: No. I can't deal with it. What happens is, it's like you send me a picture of a goat. And then they get here and they say to me, "What are you doing with a picture of goat?" I say, "Well, it was sent to me from a friend". They say, "Well, Section 4453, Supplemented in '39, Made in '42, says: you're not allowed to have pictures of goats". So then they take my picture of the goats and they pass a rule. And then the rule sits out on the launch pad here, and they start making rules to everyone. Then they go around to everybody, they shake everybody's cell down and they take all the pictures of goats, and goats are disallowed all over the place. Well, that puts heat back up on me, then everybody that lost their goat looks over to me and says, "What the fuck, you're causin' us to lose our goat". So I have to carry that shit back through all these fuckin' inmates, and most of them don't have the I.Q. of 39. And then the administrators, they go off drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and making more stupid things up to torment people. It's crazy, but that doesn’t matter because there's no one there anyway. Not really. No one I can find, no intelligent life forms. You see, here's the irony of this whole thing: if I were the emperor of the world, I'd start with you because you let it happen. The reason you let it happen is you let these guys work for you. These people represent you. You're paying these people to do this, and then when they do it to me you say, "Oh, well, I wish there was something I could do", and then you go right on back to doing the same thing that you’re doin', in other words, you hold this insanity up, you watch it on TV...

SECONDS: Everyone's holding it up.

MANSON: I'm not saying you personally, guy. When I say you, I mean you as a goat. You as the you that's in all the other yous. Me and I and my mes are on this side of me, you know were not doing that. Were probably worse than that. They're probably a hell of a lot better than we are. Because I would put 'em in the gas chamber. I wouldn’t give no probation, that's for damn sure. I certainly wouldn’t be feeding a bunch of people that I didn’t need to feed, and wasting all kinds of my money. I wouldn’t waste my money on this insanity. So probably they're doing a better job than we would do in relation to human concern. But still, its you the Joe Public, John Jones, honest Citizen Kane, whatever, that's doing this because you're allowing these people to do this. All your public servants that used to be serving the public, they're public leeches, they just leech on the public's stupidity. And then they sell the public any fuckin' thing. You watch TV occasionally, don't you?

SECONDS: Every once in awhile.

MANSON: And you see how really far out it is?

SECONDS: I'm always more amazed every time I turn it on.

MANSON: Well, what we should be doing is making the films. I mean, if we're supposed to be the intelligence, then why aren't we laying the patterns out for them, rather than them layin' the patterns out for us? In other words, they've got all kinds of games that they play back to you, and you don't have enough sense to see through it. We should have been out of here a long time ago, and we should have had this thing rolling years ago. The only reason we haven't is because everybody wants to be an individual. No one wants to give up their individual for the collective base. You know, if you don't have a collective atmosphere towards some unity of something for some reason, then you’re just a total blob, jellyfish, or whatever.

SECONDS: It was a bad day when everyone decided they were individuals.

MANSON: Yeah, yes, yes. It was probably some king years ago didn't want to bother with somebody, so he just told them, "Yeah, go be an individual, leave me alone!"

SECONDS: I had a dream the other night that you got out on leave for a day and built this incredible go-cart out of two shopping carts and a wooden pallet, and you were zooming around the room.

MANSON: That was my dune buggy! You wouldn't believe that dune buggy I had. It was one of the most fantastic instruments I've ever seen. It was so good that when I got done with it I looked at it, I looked at the world, and then I got a fucking torch and I cut it to pieces.

SECONDS: You destroyed it?

MANSON: Yeah, so no one else could ever look at it and get it in their dreams. In other words, I know the power of the dream. See, I build something, and I only let my friends see it, and then I destroy it. If other people see it, then they can ride in it too. But now on top of it, I have a raven, in a market basket. And I raise this little baby raven as I'm building the buggy, and everywhere I go with the buggy, the raven flies right over the top of it. I've got it all camouflaged down, no one can see it, and I live in the shadows in the bushes with it, up and down the old mule roads and stage-coach roads. And then, when everyone sees it, I say, I cut this dream off. I don't want no one else in it. Whooosh, I run a circle around it, put it on a pipe, smoke it and offer it up to the Great Father. That ranch was a magic place, man. I knew it was coming to what it was coming to because the water was dying.

SECONDS: Are you ever bored in there, or do you keep busy?

MANSON: Boredom is your best friend, you know. Because when you get real bored you get real creative. I sat in a cell for about ten years with nothing. Tearing a sock apart, making little bugs out of it, making little dolls. And thinking about the way things go, and how the dust piles up, and whose car is in what parking space, and whose wife had an abortion. And then pretty soon I get to looking through everybody's mind and I'm sitting over there with the cats on the fence, and the dogs, and the bugs and then the spiders go by and wave at me. You dig what I'm saying? Because I slow down so much that I don't even move. My mind is not moving, I'm not going anywhere, I'm not coming from anywhere, I'm just stop. My mind is on stop. And then its like you've got this little creative thing that comes in. You start making up things that have never been before, and thoughts that have never existed. And you begin to see the frontiers of the mind are really... like twenty-five years change in a wall.

SECONDS: Can you get anywhere near that by taking a hit of Acid?

MANSON: Yeah, all of those things serve a purpose if you know how to work it right. If it's properly used, all those things help. You can use them for good or you can use them for bad.

SECONDS: They're tools.

MANSON: Yes sir, they are. Yes they are.

SECONDS: But a lot of people are so closed up in their personality, they're like a metal jar, and you're never going crack it, they can't change.

MANSON: You want the way? You see, I don't want to give you something that would break the law--In other words, if you've got a coffin, a casket, and you put four-point restraint gear inside of it, and then you gaffle somebody down in it, and you put a mouthpiece in their mouth so they don’t bite their tongue, and then you just hold them on four-point restraint for a few days, you'd be surprised how much that'll change your mind. How much your mind will slow down to that. They have that in the Nut Wards here. If you get too out of line, they'll run and swarm on you. And they swarm you, knock you down, then they'll take you over and then they strap you down on this fuckin’ thing. And when you get strapped down on there, it really gives you a helpless feeling it gives you a feeling of going through a lot of changes, and it really does a lot of good for you. I know, it sounds crazy, but it really does a lot of good for you. Its good for the mind. It slows the mind down. It shows you another perspective of yourself. You scream and holler, and go through all kinds of emotional things but that emotional thing is actually your enemy. All those emotions that you have are actually woman, man shouldn't have all them emotions. Those are more or less mother-induced. Mother gives you those and before you're ten years old you're locked in with all that petty-minded, small-minded stuff. The one thing I like about the Hebrew religion is they've got a little trip where the boy comes into man. In their religion when the boy comes up to a certain point he leaves his mother and goes into his father. Have you got a good education?

SECONDS: I dropped out of school when I turned sixteen.

MANSON: I went to reform school after third grade, for setting it on fire. My uncle was a Hillbilly and told me: "Stay out of schools and keep your own mind". If I go in a school I break out in a sweat. Most schools teach you: See Jane. See Spot. See Spot is a dog. Run Spot. Run Jane. All those things that are not really true. Because this room is a Spot, and everything's a Spot, and everything is Jane, and we're all dogs as much as dogs are. In other words, everything is one. And then you leave your head and find out that your head is not really your head, but the head of somebody that fought in the battlefield before you were born. In other words, those procedures were set when the guy got out of jail this morning, you dig? And he was teardrop, I tattooed a little teardrop on my eye when he got out. And I seen him get out, I seen him make parole and he had his little bag full of stuff. And I talked to the guy, I walked back and forwards on the yard with him, and I told him what he should do and what I wanted him to do and what needed to be done. And I gave him a highway to go on, gave him a mind and a soul, gave him a heart, and I gave him eternity there in his spirit. And I told him that we've got a thousand years that were looking at here. Its not just a day or two in some media controlled by some monkeys in a zoo; were talking about a millennium a whole thousand years that our mind must think in order to become new, like a baby, because this last millennium is ending. So we must come with the rebirth of something, or they'll be nothing left, because the people that set this millennium weren't really that bright. They were riding on horses and wagons. They weren't looking at technology and space travel. So we, as intelligent life forms as it were, as it should be that way have to begin to realize our true value and worth to this Universe, because if not for the Earth, why would the Sun even shine? Because we need this experience to complete other experiences that are truly more vast and of greater proportion than us, but we are a part of god. And we must realize we're a part of god.

SECONDS: You speak a lot about time.

MANSON: I don't know whether you realize it, but now don't have no time. And you could do something now, and it's still the same now as it was a hundred years ago. In other words, time is a game that's played with money. It hasn't got anything to do with anything but win and lose. It doesn't have any survival in it. Surviving is a game all by itself, and the only time you lose is when you’re dead. And you can't lose because there's no such thing as death, not if you're with god, you dig? So all the martyrs of the heart, and all the Waffens of the dark, are still here. I mean they're right here as soon as you wake up and look at them and say, "Oh Wow!" It's all the guys who gave their lives because they believed in honor. And you say, "Wow, how could I turn my back on that?" I've got to look at it. It wasn't in my generation, and it wasn't in my time, but I've got to look at those points of now that were left behind by those people who gave their lives, who stood up and fought, and died, for what was true and right, even though they didn't win, or lose but win and lose is just another game. When a guy says, "What I'm telling you now will last a thousand years, whether you kill me in the morning, it doesn't matter what I'm saying will be here in a thousand years." There's no way you're going to get away from that and that's the way it is. And it's still there, in my mind, for a thousand years. And then that guy behind me I tell him, and he puts a tattoo on, he's got a tattoo, and it's gonna be there with him for a thousand years, too. In other words, were here for a thousand years. This millennium is us coming; were coming, and we started before we were born. So that's what my sound is about.

SECONDS: I saw an inscription on a building over in Germany that read: He who lives awake will never die.

MANSON: Yeah, yeah, that's it! In 1944 I set the school building on fire. My Uncle Jess was a Confederate, and he did not fucking believe in the Yankees or in going to none of the damn Yankee schools. He lived in the hills of Kentucky. My cousins name was Wormy--he died in the Nut Ward because he refused to read and write. We wouldn't go to school. We wouldn't join an Abraham Lincoln, and we did not surrender. Even though the people in the Confederacy were told they surrendered, we did not surrender. And the reason we didn't is because you can't surrender your soul. The soul wont let you. So the next generation, he killed nine hogs. He cut the throats of nine hogs and he gave me one of the tails, put a bucket on my head, and he beat the bucket with one of the other tails, and told my mother, "Take this boy down to the city and let him go. He'll deal with it". So when she took me to the city, that's when they tried to make me go to school. And I said, "No, I won't go to school". At seventeen years old, in Petersburg, Virginia, I whipped a lieutenant I beat knots on his head with a bucket. And they said, "Get this devil out of here, we've got to send him to prison!" I went to prison at seventeen years old.

SECONDS: For fighting with this guy?

MANSON: Not for fightin’ with this guy, but for whipping everybody up to that point! I done whipped everybody. They beat me up when I was little and I cried, and then Brother Thomas, an Irish monk in Boys School, took me over and took me in the boxing ring and showed me how to fight. Another Irish monk took me over and showed me how to play handball. So I learned how to play handball and I learned to fight, but they seen I wouldn't go to school and I wouldn't stand in Confirmation line. So at thirteen years old, I escaped the Monks hood and stole the bicycle, went over and took all the nickels, all the dimes, all the quarters and all the pennies. I took it all the way up to a dollar; now I've got a dollar running in Confederate money. Thats why I was tryin' to get that witch to put the goddamn Confederate money up on the block, take some Confederate checks and get a Confederate bank, and start up a goddamn Confederacy again. They're still there I mean, the graves are still there. Go over and look at your graveyards; see all them brothers and fathers that died for you. And then say, Hey man, Charlie's just in one grave. Look at all these other men they went a lot further than I went. I went as far as I could for my brothers, my sisters, my soul, my family, my horses, my ducks, my chickens-- but I haven't surrendered my motherfuckin' word. I haven't went up and snitched on anyone. In other words, they told the Waffens: you surrender your word, you submit to us, and well let you live. The Waffens said no, we can't submit our honor, hang us! And there's six thousand heads. I'm talking from six thousand heads, man. I've got six thousand motherfuckin' heads coming from this thought. In other words, I just didn't come in here and wake up; I woke up and came in here. I got out after twenty-two years of this hell. I did twenty-two years all across this fuckin' country. I'm Central Intelligence in the United States Navy, if there is such a thing as the United States Navy, unless Tom Selleck fucks it all off for a goddamn black helicopter pilot's dick. So that comes back to that one of these days all that are men are going to have to stand up and be men, or they're going to have to lay down and go with whatever that other dream is, I don't know. I'm just trying to work on my lizard, you know? I've got some lizards out in the desert and I'm trying to work on my mind, my thought, my center, the way I am. I'm not trying to make any money or beat anybody or compete, or compare, or be anything. I'm not trying to lead or follow or do nothing but have peace on Earth. And that's what that thing on my forehead is, its a peace symbol. One world.

SECONDS: It's not a peace like most people would think, is it?

MANSON: Well, there ain't but one peace, soul and that's god. God is peace. He's Bodhisattva, hes Gagalaka, he's all that, you dig? They ask me about the Hindus, and I said, "The Hindus a good houseboy." He's always been a good houseboy, but how could he be anything else? That's the only thing he could be, because he couldn't create a seat to sit in. He comes and says he's Lord of the Universe sittin' in a chair, and I said, "What are you doing in that chair?" "Oh, I'm sitting". And I said, "Man, the Great White Brotherhood had to show you how to build a chair, you stupid fuckin' monkey! Get out of my goddamn chair!" He ain't got no right to sit in that chair. I said, "Have you ever invented anything? Show me one thing you invented!" And then I point to a 747 flying by, and say, "Look at that!" Oh, what a god put that one in the sky! If a Pharaoh came by and seen a 747 flying by, he'd look at those Pyramids and hide his face! You know, the mind is the mind it takes no shadows to see through. I mean, if you could see somebody as great as great was great, you'd see how bad those motherfuckin’ Nazis were. They had a form of government that could have ruled the world and put order into everything and put it in perspective, and put the trees back, and put the atmosphere back, and put the sky back, and put the fucking nature back, you dig? They could have fixed the planet, and it's sad that they took them off the play, man, because that was the best team in the game. The other teams will all fall down. It's like, you come and you beat me up, and you make me say what you want me to say but that don't make you right. Just because you beat me up don't make you right. I don't look up to tough guys as being right, and I don't look up to fear as being right. You can kill a thousand motherfuckers, and pour 'em off, make 'em bleed all over me, and that's not going to change my mind about a motherfucking thing. I've got my own mind, and I'm keeping it. I've got my own mind my Uncle Jess gave it to me when he killed that pig and said, "Here boy, here's the tail". So I'm down at the bottom of this goddamn fucking world holdin' this pig's tail. And I've got this fucking bucket on my head. And I'm doing exactly what my Uncle Jess told me to do. And he's in his graveyard, over there in Duke University, I think. He was a paratrooper in the Second World War. He fought for his country. So I have respect for all the brothers that have been veterans. I tried to get in the Army; they wouldn't let me in. I have respect for all uniforms, whatever they be, a uniform's a uniform.

SECONDS: You refer a lot to the Third Reich.

MANSON: Well, there's no way you can't wake up to it, the soul can see it. Just one look is all it took. I mean, you seen it, you seen all those guys dying for something. I remember when I was a kid, I used to listen to the TV, and I used to think what the Jews was telling me was true. And then later on I began to wake up and I think, "Why are these guys going off and doing this for?" They say, "Well, this maniac wanted to take over the world". Why'd he want to take over the world? What is the world, I mean, how's the world going, and how are all these thoughts coming, and how do they correlate in the mind? Where's the mind going, what is the world, and who is this guy? What does he want to take the world over for? In other words, all these thoughts that are in my mind are coming in the minds of everyone that's on the same road I'm on. And sooner or later were going to have to wake up to what were doing, and who we are, and what this is all about. And then when we do, we see that its all in our mind, and then you hear some guy saying, "Hosannah! Hosannah!", and you see two or three more guys getting crucified over on the road, and the butcher man running up and down, and someone's looking at you with a little baby, talking about how he wanted to drink the blood of somebody's saint, and then other wars are going on in the comic books, all them guys screaming and yelling, and all that insanity going to Heavy Metal --It's all coming to a proportion of where there's gonna be one mind on this planet Earth. There's gonna be one mind, one computer, one money, one government, one peace, one Earth one. That's the only way there's gonna ever be life on Earth, it's got to come to the One. And those guys were way out in front, going to the One--before we were born they were already fighting for the One. They were already struggling for the One. So when you come to the One, you'll find the Dalai Lama, or the Bodhisattva, sittin' there for five thousand years; you'll find all the holy men that are really holy men, sitting there grinning, going, Ommm. All we wanted was peace on Earth, man, but you guys are the ones who made us take our shovels and turn 'em into guns. We were all with the shovels trying to fix the Earth, we weren't trying to destroy it. Were trying to tear that goddamn pornography up, and start all over, and put some decency back in our children, and put some God back in our churches, and put some stuff back in the right way to do things that should be in a perspective for a group to live in. I mean, you’ve got two choices: anarchy and destruction, or order and life. And you can have order and life like a beautiful symphony, because we have a capacity to put the mind in order because we have the mind and the intelligence to do so. We don't need anarchy--that's primate, that's animal.

SECONDS: How many people out there still have a soul?

MANSON: There's only one soul; there's little bits and pieces of it. There's only one Sun. We all come from the Sun all the energy, every molecule, everything we've got comes from the Sun. The Sun's god. Thats why the swastika was always on the Sun.

Interview with Charles Manson by Michael Moynihan for Seconds Magazine.