Tom Snyder’s Interview – Part2
Tom: You don’t want to be anybody’s leader do you?
Tom: Never did want to be anybody‘s leader?
Manson: No. Don‘t like attention.
Tom: Mmmmhmmmm. Then why do you
Manson: Most insecure people need attention. I don’t
Tom: I was just going to say then, if you don’t want attention, why do you keep, why all your life have you kept waving your arms saying “Hey look at me”?
Manson: That’s what I’ve been doing all my life?
Tom: And besides the son from your marriage, you’ve got, what, four other children somewhere?
(Note from CharlieManson.com: The number of children is likely incorrect.)
Manson: Oh I don’t, uh, uh, think I’ve been uh, uh, uh, responsible for as much as you people want to lay on me.
Tom: Well how many children do you have Charles?
Manson: How many children do I have? Uh, I don’t know, I’ve got lots of children, man. Uh, in fact sometimes I even think that you’re a child.
Tom: But you just said you don’t have any children, you don’t have any family in the context of the Ranch. I’m talking about children that (sighs) are your, uh, natural children.
Manson: How many are my natural ego?
Tom: No, children.
Manson: Oh children? I would divide one child from the other?
Tom: Alright, somewhere out there, somewhere there’s at least one son that we know of that is your child, who’s probably about 25 or 26 years old right now.
Manson: Is that right?
Tom: Yeah. Look into that camera. What do you say to that kid? What do you say to your son out there, who’s watching his old man on television. Maybe the first time he’s ever seen his old man with his face all carved up and his eyes glowering. You talk to that kid, what are you going say to him?
Manson: You gotta catch it on your own boy. The train’s hard. The road’s ruff.
Tom: And that’s it?
Manson: That’s all I knew. That’s all anyone ever told me.
Tom: How do you feel about spending the rest of your life in prison?
Manson: Well, we’re our own prisons. We 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. Get out on the main line, play some tennis, walk around, make the chow a little better, you know. And then there’s the possibility the preacher can teach me something, because the preacher, the reverend is, is quite a guy. And I’m finding they got two or three doctors here that got a lot of sense. I mean as far as I’m concerned they got a lot of sense in my world, you know. And I’ve tried to shake two or three of them, but they, they’re pretty smart. And uh. then they got some uh, pretty good inmates here, trying to get out and work their lives into a decent sort of way. Trying to promote harmony. Pull ourselves together and be right and do right and have the understanding of what it is in a congenial form for world peace. There’s a lot of people working for world peace.
Tom: You scared to die?
Manson: (pause) Sometimes I feel I’m a-scared to live. Living is what scares me. Dieing is easy. Getting up everyday and going through this again and again is hard. See I’m carrying a heavier thought, see, the thought I’m carrying is very heavy. Like I’m on a football team, and everybody’s, and, and I’m a little guy, I don’t have no supp, I don’t have no home team. You got all the home, I got one, one uh cheerleader (chuckles) or one uh, uh coach. See you got me in a disadvantage because I’m on your ground see. So, and this is your street I recon, you got the cameras and the money and the things. But you can believe me that um, Bugliosi has you on a rib, and all them guys that sold you most of that stuff, sold you a bunch of things that weren’t uh, weren’t real. Not to me. We used to have games we would play on the movie set. We would take on different people. I’d be Riff Raff Rackus, Steve would be John Jones, just a-come in from Minneapolis and driving a truck. And we’d just take other people, and play act other people. And then we lost track of who we were. (chuckles) And it went off into other dimensions and levels of thought and understandings and comprehensions that were beyond most people minds, functions, computers, data. So, um, all I did was watch and learn everything I could from everybody I ever met. Then when I got out of prison I just walked around. I didn’t tell nobody to do nothing. I said do what you want to do. (inaudible) Don’t tell me what to do. I don’t like people telling me what to do. I just come from place where they told me what to do all my life, you know. I want to find out what to do for myself, you know. Never did. Not yet. But I was gonna take a trade, one of these days. Maybe learn to be a welder or something. (long pause) ‘Til I can get to the front gate anyway.
Tom: They got you involved in this whole drama where people got killed. How did you get involved in that drama?
Manson: Well I was borned illegitimately that put me on the other side of the law. I’ve been an outlaw ever since I was borned. I went to reform school when I was about 10. And I learned to box and cry, and I learned to do all the things that you do in reform school. And then I went to , uh, I escaped there a bunch of times and I went to prison. And I learned everything that you do in prison. And I talked to all the guys and asked them everything they knew, and they told me all the things they knew. And then I went to the end of it and then old man would be ready to die and he’d say “Well son, un, sincerity is the best gimmick remember that.” and I say “Alright, be sincere, that’ll win it?” He says “That’s it.” Sincerity and honesty he said will do it, it’ll trick ’em every time. (laughs) I said “Well, sincere and honesty, I’ve never tried that. I’ve tried everything else but maybe I’ll try sincere and honesty.” So then I looked in a book and it said “The wages of sin is death.” Now I figured well, I don’t want to die, so maybe I have been sinful here. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I’ll take a look at my life and say “well, I’m gonna change it and start all over.” You know, and I know I go to God and say “Hey man, are you gonna forgive me?” And he’s gonna say “What do you do? You gonna forgive you? What you come to me for? Forgive yourself man, don’t be botherin’ me.” You know, and I think well he must be a big mighty god, man. He just, you know, he ain’t got time, you gotta make an appointment or something, you know. So I see the whole aspect of the whole trip for children to play, you know, then I get stuck in the game of playing the goat here, or the lamb, or the, the some other trip. I was a teddy bear, then I was the goof ball, whatever, and uh, what is the real one, where is the real one. I don’t know where the real one is. He’s in a nut ward somewhere.