Cult chief Manson says world is doomed
Published 20/04/2011 | 05:00
Charles Manson (above) and Sharon Tate (below), who was murdered in 1969
Charles Manson, the leader of the cult that murdered the actress Sharon Tate, has broken a 20-year silence in an interview from his prison cell to warn the world of the dangers of global warming.
Showing no remorse for the crimes for which he was condemned 40 years ago, 76 year-old Manson chose to express his views on Barack Obama and environmental doom.
In a series of rambling interviews from his jail, the man who brainwashed members of his commune known as The Manson Family into killing eight people on two nights in August, 1969, described himself as a "very mal hombre".
Among those murdered in the killing spree was Tate, the wife of the film director Roman Polanski, who was eight months pregnant.
Referring to the crimes for which he was sentenced to death, a penalty later commuted to life imprisonment when California abolished the death penalty, Manson said: "I live in the underworld, I'm very mean, I'm a very bad man." But he went on: "I am a martyr. But I am also a victim. And a performer. I am everything and I am nothing."
During the interviews with Spain's 'Vanity Fair' magazine, he said: "You have to accept yourself as God. You have to realise you're just the Devil just as much as you're God, that you're everything and you're nothing at all."
Manson refused to discuss whether he still posed a danger to society ahead of a parole review next year, but instead warned of a "greater danger" -- that of global warming.
"Everyone's God and if we don't wake up to that there's going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we're doing bad things to the atmosphere," he said. "The automobiles and fossil fuels are destroying the atmosphere and we won't have air to breathe.
"If we don't change that as rapidly as I'm speaking to you now, if we don't put the green back on the planet and put the trees back that we've butchered, if we don't go to war against the problem . . ." he added.
He went on to describe Mr Obama as "a slave of Wall Street". "I think Obama is an idiot for doing what he's doing," he said, in his first published words since the late 1980s. "They're playing with him."
At his trial in 1971, the court heard that Manson set up a commune in the desert where he demonstrated hypnotic control over his devotees, the majority vulnerable young women, driven by drugs and sex.
He ordered his followers to commit the murders in the warped belief that it would provoke an apocalyptic race war, which he called Helter Skelter after The Beatles' song that he interpreted as a coded prophecy of such a conflict.
Manson, a hardened racist who appeared in court with a tattoo of a swastika crudely carved on to his forehead, believed that he and his followers would lead the survivors of the war that ensued. (Daily Telegraph, London)