On Sunday, mass murderer Charles Manson finally received the trip to Hell he earned long ago. The world universally condemned his life’s work — as, of course, they should, given that Manson’s followers were responsible for nine murders in 1969 alone, that one of his followers attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford, and that he hoped to initiate a race war through “Helter Skelter,” a strategy of chaos and death.
The universal hatred of Manson is revisionist history. There was a small but significant element of the radical left — people who are now praised in academia and on the political left — who praised Manson fulsomely. Among them: Bernardine Dohrn, of the Weather Underground. After the Manson family slaughtered fully pregnant Sharon Tate, Dohrn reveled, “Dig it, first they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!” No wonder she felt that way: at a Weathermen “war council” in Michigan, the Weathermen Underground preached Manson’s race war message. Dohrn spent over two decades teaching law at Northwestern University Law School, and her husband, Bill Ayers, is one of the more famous radicals of the 1960s-cum-professor at University of Illinois.
As Vincent Bugliosi reports in his book, Helter Skelter, it wasn’t just Dohrn:
The underground paper Tuesday’s Child, which called itself the Voice of the Yippies…spread his picture across the entire front page with a banner naming him MAN OF THE YEAR. The cover of the next issue had Manson on a cross. Manson posters and sweat shirts appeared in psychedelic shops, along with FREE MANSON buttons.
Leftist social activist Jerry Rubin stated, “I fell in love with Charlie Manson the first time I saw his cherub face and sparkling eyes on TV … His words and courage inspired us.”
Manson had connections in the music industry, too. Manson was friendly with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Neil Young knew him, and said that he liked Manson’s songwriting, but that it was a “little out of control.” Young later added, “It was the ugly side of the Maharishi. There’s this one side, the nice flowers and white robes and everything. And then there’s something that looks a lot like it, but just isn’t it at all.” The New York Times acknowledges that the Manson family were “viewed as heroes by the extreme wing of young revolutionaries.”
Manson was one of the most evil people on Earth. But the fact that so many people on the Left fell under his sway because he mouthed platitudes about race and class demonstrates that lengths to which human beings will go to justify the atrocities of people they consider to be their political allies.