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Charles Manson: Influential Cult Leader

Cult leader and murderer, Charles Manson died at 83 by natural causes on Nov. 19, after being admitted to a hospital in Bakersfield, California. Although Manson’s death is a timely end for some, the Manson Family Murders is still considered one of the biggest cultural events of the 1960’s.

Having orchestrated murders through a cult consisting of youths and adults alike, Charles Manson put himself on the map in both pop culture and psychological studies. Not only was Manson responsible for some of the most brutal murders of Hollywood celebrities, but a legion of followers who took his word as law.

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Many say that Charles Manson and the cult murders still retain their motivations in recent times. Showing beliefs of white supremacy and Nazi propaganda, Manson’s ideology echoes in the sociopolitical climate of today.

Charles Manson: A Maniac to Many, a Hero to Some

As a cult leader, Manson’s influence was powerful and threatening during his trial and sentencing. Having garnered over hundreds of followers, Charles Manson still had a lasting impact on several groups.

This obsession still reigns true, as a number of sympathizers of the cult leader could be seen in the number of tweets, memorial videos and tributes flooding the internet. Here is just one example:

Of course, the idolization of infamy has remained a strange subgroup of minorities, yet plenty are inspired by the cult leader’s ideas of racism and bigotry. One example is from an organization of Neo-Nazis: the U.S.-based AtomWaffen Division.

Following the news of his death, Division deemed him “a great revolutionary”, a “warrior of truth”, and a “hero”. Although there are more groups who had likely considered him as such, there are plenty who have respect for Manson’s admiration in music.

Music of a Cult Leader

Listeners of Manson’s musical endeavors also gave way, removing his atrocious acts from what talent he had. Daron Malakian, the singer-guitarist of System of a Down, expressed his mourning over the death of the cult leader.

Malakian posted on Twitter how he was “very sad” over the cult leader’s death, and saw his music as a major influence in a number of the band’s songs. Bloggers and critics alike condemned his tweet, which he would later defend, citing that his music has been used as covers for a number of bands like Gun n’ Roses.

Lay The Cult Leader to Rest?

It appears even after so much suffering Charles Manson had caused, followers from all walks of life want to do more than preserve the man’s integrity. A GoFundMe page was even started to raise money for Manson’s funeral but was later taken down by the website.

Unfortunately, the internet broods people who would like to see the cult leader have a proper burial, and the argument on how to dispose of the body is still ongoing. But through all of the questions and concerns on those who feel Manson should rest in peace, there are still victims who must continue to deal with old wounds in the process.

Cult Leader

Debra Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate (one of Manson’s murder victims), recently told PEOPLE magazine that for 48 years Manson and his convicted cultists — Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and now-deceased Susan Atkins — have been a part of her life.

She told the Daily News that she believed Charles Manson would always be behind bars, but she made it her life’s work that his followers don’t get out.

“I sit across from these monsters many times a year, and I know very clearly they’re still capable of heinous acts,” Tate said. “For that reason, I’ve dedicated myself to seeing they stay right where they are until they draw their last breath.”

Whether it be musical genius, hero or martyr, he has shaped the minds of a surprising amount of people. Media has only made him a public face turning into a gold rush of books, merchandise, and documentaries. For someone so famous, and yet so sinister, it is hard to pinpoint the blame to a bunch of would-be followers if companies churning out cult leader movies are making millions from them.

About Jarek Martinez

Born in Chicago, Illinois, a journalism major with plenty of hope for his future and career. Reporting and photography are improving every day, but writing is the passion. The drive. Avid movie watcher and media guy. Also minoring in legal studies and applying for paralegal certification. A big dog person as well.

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