Charles Manson is known as one of the most notorious murderers in American history, and yet he did not personally kill anyone - that was the task of the Manson Family members. Manson, a master manipulator, influenced a substantial group of followers to do his bidding in the late 1960s. Mason's followers would do anything for their leader, including breaking and entering into Los Angeles homes and committing atrocious, violent murders.
In order to become one of Manson's select acolytes, members had to follow the Manson Family rules. The rules, which range from giving up books entirely to mandatory sex with other Family members, were assumed to be a test on Manson's part to see how far his followers would go to prove their loyalty to him. Those who were able to pass the test of rigorous rules were given the "privilege" of murdering actress Sharon Tate and four others on August 9, 1969.
Glasses, Watches, Clocks, And Books Were Forbidden
Outside of witnessing sunrises and sunsets, Family members never really knew what time it was while under the influence of Manson. Watches and clocks weren't allowed. Books weren't allowed either, not that many of them would be able to read them without squinting; Manson had also banned glasses.
According to Manson: The Life of Times and Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn, "Charlie explained that whatever the state of their vision, that was their natural way to see the world, and only natural things were good. New members were relieved of their glasses immediately; some of them developed permanent squints."
Aside from giving his Family a "natural" view of the world, keeping his followers blind in a physical sense was a discreet way for Manson to maintain control over them. Not allowing books further distanced them from the outside world, making it easier for Manson to convince his followers of his world views.
Family Members Were Told To Shed Their EgosVideo: YouTube
Manson Family members were told to leave their egos at the door - their pasts, their hang-ups, and their friends and family outside of the group no longer existed. They were in Manson's world now, and they had to work as one under Manson, who claimed to have a solution for every problem. The group of teens - most of who were from broken homes - were easily malleable and dropped their past lives without question.
“I never, ever developed a sense of who I was and where I was going and what I wanted to do,” Patricia Krenwinkel, a woman who murderered for Manson, said. “I wanted to please. I wanted to feel safe. To feel like someone was going to care for me. I hadn’t felt that from anyone else in my life.”