Profile: Cult Leader Charles Manson

By | August 8, 2018

[August 8, 2018]  It was a hot summer in 1969 when I was delivering newspapers in Abilene, Texas, a neighbor told me about a massacre in California.  Later police determined the murders to be by an unheard of cult and lead by a man named Charles Manson.  I remember it clearly, almost like it was yesterday.

“From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment.” – Charles Manson, American criminal, cult leader

The year 1969 was a violent year with protests against the U.S. for its participation in the Vietnam War.  Soldiers were being attacked by peace protestors, riots occurred often during the summer months, and college students disrupted classes and joined many of the protests.

Forty-Nine years ago today, August 8th, 1969, Charles Manson’s cult members murdered five people in movie director Roman Polanski’s Beverly Hills, California home.  Two days later the group murdered two more people in their home.  The savagery of the crime shocked the nation and a criminal icon was created. 1

Our interest here is what the leadership characteristics were that allowed Manson to lead his cult members to murder:

  • Highly charismatic and especially good at attracting young, socially-stunted adults
  • Cunning, manipulative, and intimidating
  • Quick-tempered with poor self-control
  • Believed he was Jesus (this gave him special insight into the future)
  • Believed a race war was coming and tried to help it begin (Manson claims this was the reason for the murders)
  • Thought that rules did not apply to him
  • Mentally disturbed (diagnosed with paranoid delusional disorder and schizophrenia)

Charles Manson died in prison in November 2017.  He will be a legend for many for years to come because of his personality.  Manson was a leader, just the wrong kind to use his talents for good.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

19 thoughts on “Profile: Cult Leader Charles Manson

  1. Kenny Foster

    Wow, Manson was indeed a crazy man. You can give me all the psychobabble explanations you want but this is a man that should have been put down long before he told his followers to murder people.

  2. Bryan Lee

    Lots of good comments today. What I like most about the readers of Gen. Satterfield’s blog is that you guys recognize evil when you see it and offer no excuse for it. Unfortunately, most people today will offer excuse upon excuse (like Manson terrible childhood) to explain away and excuse his evil behavior.

  3. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    I think Manson spent more time in federal prison than anyone else in US history. You guys can fact-check me but he deserved the electric chair. Unfortunately the taxpayer paid his way for all those decades. It would have been better if he had met his fate in the electric chair … zap! End of problem.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Too funny Bill. Zap!
      Manson deserved to suffer. He was evil personified and no amount of excusing his behavior is acceptable.

    2. Dale Paul Fox

      Spitting my coffee through my nose this morning, Bill, when I read your post. But, seriously, you are right.

  4. Janna Faulkner

    Charlie Manson, a cirminal dressed in plain sight.

  5. Max Foster

    Jose Luis noted this below but I wanted to expound upon it. The 1960s and folks like Charles Manson were examples that did not reflect well upon the United States. It was a dark time. We had, what today we would call violent social justice warriors, rioting in the streets over the U.S. operating to destroy communism. Everyone who ever studied communism knows its black history of violence. I would suggest more articles on this topic. Communism provide “security” and that is why people love it so much. Plus, you get to control your neighbor.

  6. Doc Blackshear

    Good way to highlight those who use their leadership abilities in evil ways.

  7. Scotty Bush

    Manson was a nut. The fact that anyone would follow this man is beyond my imagination. That must mean that there are more nuts out there who will follow any nut with a big mouth. Kinda reminds me of those in the West who think Joseph Stalin was a great man who progressed the Soviet Union and Communism.

  8. Jerome Smith

    I’ve always argued that this man and others like him who create “cults” are what gives religion a bad name. Of course, it is not the only thing but extremists, regardless of what they do, are giving somebody a bad name. In this case, religion.

  9. Albert Ayer

    A lot of parallels between Manson’s time and today. Both the 1960s and the late 2010s are accepting of violence to meet leftist ideological ends.

    1. Eric Coda

      Socialists … where the end justifies the means (including violence).

  10. Ronny Fisher

    Charles Manson is an icon in symbolizing the 1960s, hippies, the anti-Vietnam War movement, and freaks.

    1. Maureen S. Sullivan

      Yeah, I agree. I remember it well.

    2. José Luis Rodriguez

      It was not a good time for America.

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