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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Cipriano

Charles Manson's 'Coercion Cocktail' Recipe

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Manson once said, "You can convince anybody of anything if you just push it at them all the time…especially if they have no other information to draw their opinions from."

This day, August 9, marks the 50th anniversary of the dramatic and heinous Tate Murders that took place at 10050 Cielo Drive. The slaying was carried out by members of Charles Manson's cult, notoriously called, "The Family."

Among the victims were Voytek Frykowski, the pregnant Sharon Tate, 18-year-old Stephen Parent, famed hairstylist Jay Sebring, and the heiress to the Folger coffee giant, Abigail Folger.

August 10 will be the 50th anniversary of the second Manson murders of an older couple on 3301 Waverly Drive. "The Family" reportedly drove around for four and a half hours looking for the perfect home to strike.

Top Row, Voytek Frykowski; Sharon Tate; Stephen Parent; Jay Sebring. Bottom Row, Leno LaBianca; Rosemary LaBianca; Abigail Folger

While these are the victims most discussed, there are 30 more victims, turned perpetrators, that the mainstream media has forgotten. They are the young, impressionable, and broken hippies that Charles Manson coerced and brainwashed over two years, turning them into killing machines.

Members of Charles Manson's cult, "The Family"

How did one man come to hold so much power over other human beings; power, that helped Manson weaponized his followers into becoming extensions of himself to carry out his wishes without ever having to get blood on his hands?

Let's look at the sheet.

Young Charles Manson

To begin, Manson already had the internal makings of a career criminal. He never knew his father. His mother was a sex worker and petty thief continuously in and out of jail. He was bounced around and raised by relatives in America's coal country.

This laid the foundation for an unstable household which would've contributed to Manson's feelings of alienation and future juvenile delinquency. As he got older, Manson followed in his mother's footsteps and spent a majority of his young-adult life in prison.

This trend of life behind bars would haunt him until his death in 2017.

After one particular sentence was completed, he was released at the age of 32 during the Summer of Love in 1967. He had no outside life or aspirations, and no family to go to. With a guitar in hand, Manson made his way to the hippie heartland of San Francisco. As a lost soul himself, he attracted runaways and hitchhikers by the sound of his musical strumming on sidewalk corners.

It wasn't long before 14-year-old Dianne "Snake" Lake met the convict, and fell madly in love with him.

Manson realized that he could use these "Broken Wing" girls floating around California for sex and status in the neighborhoods. After 6 short months, Manson seduced 6 girls, and as their "Family" was growing, he'd use the girls to get the attention of other men to string them along as well.

Sex was the first ingredient to the Coercion Cocktail that Manson was mixing.

To begin, members of "The Family" had to cast away any inhibitions about homosexual behavior. Manson persuaded the group of runaway hippies to "connect on a deeper level" so any and all boundaries slowly became nonexistent.

FBI Criminal Profiling Pioneer John Douglas reported from interviewing Manson years later, that Manson would have the members talk to him during sex. He would ask about their deepest insecurities and listen intently. From the hippie's perspective, they felt like they were getting closer to Manson by sharing and confiding in him. But, Manson never reciprocated by divulging his insecurities.

Instead, Manson was simply creating a mental portfolio of every person's weak points and would use those Achillie's heels against them to shape their psyches into his liking.

The second ingredient to Manson's brainwashing was pure isolation.

A year and a half after the Summer of Love, "The Family" was 30 strong. They hit the road for Los Angeles and planted roots on Spahn Ranch. The owners of the land agreed to let them stay as long as the women worked as ranch hands.

Spahn Ranch

It was in that remote location that Manson put his followers under the dome of his influence. They had no access to the news, calendars, or even clocks. Manson was their only source of information, and he was able to tell them anything he wanted.

Many of "The Family" members recall that Manson began his godliness preaching and prophecy during their time on Spahn Ranch. He looked like Jesus, and all he had to do was act like it.

One of the cult followers nicknamed Gypsy said in an interview following Manson's sentencing that he'd often make quick side comments about dying on the cross.

Gypsy also reported, "He'd say things like, 'I died once already, I'm not getting killed this time' and it was often enough to make you believe it."

He also alluded to the mere power of his last name -- believing that Manson meant that he was the 'Son of Man' and therefore, the son of God.

The final ingredient in Manson's coercion cocktail was heavy and consistent hallucinogenic drug use.

There seemed to be an endless amount of marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, and other psychedelics on the ranch. After the members were arrested, it was reported that they were taking acid trips multiple times a day, every day, for nearly six months.

During those acid trips, Manson was in charge of dosing the drugs. He was a master at this and knew just the right amount to give so that everyone had other-worldly experiences, but were still cognizant enough to be impressionable.

It was during those trips that his followers believed to see miracles, like Manson bringing a bird back to life. Manson also professed to having visions while on hallucinogenics that included a deadly race war which he called "Helter Skelter" inspired by the Beatle's popular record.

10050 Cielo Drive

The most prominent vision was that of the senseless massacre that he would orchestrate on Cielo Drive taking place only three months later. His henchmen and women left the victims with 102 stab wounds and 3 bullet holes collectively.

Manson burrowed his way so deeply in the minds of his followers that he convinced a pregnant "Family" member, Gypsy, to be the one to stab the pregnant actress, Sharon Tate, to death.

If that doesn't send chills down your spine, nothing will.

Another member, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme said,

"When somebody needs to be killed, there's no wrong, you do it and move on."

Fromme went on to attempt to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford in 1975, inspired by Manson's messages.

Dianne "Snake" Lake who was 16 at the time of the murders, was diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after being arrested. She was sent to a mental rehabilitation facility originally for 90 days, but was admitted for 9 months. Dianne told doctors that Manson infested her brain.

"It was like he was in my head telling me to turn left, turn right, shut the lights off and close the door. He was always there," she said.

Charles Manson's "Family" is quite possibly the most extreme example of the psychological concept of groupthink. Psychology Today defines this as is a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in a dysfunctional decision-making outcome.

I believe the saddest part about this story is that after FBI Profiler John Douglas met with Manson, Douglas concluded that Manson never even believed the delusions he was spouting to his followers.

Everything he said was calculated, falsified, and all meant to brainwash other people into being murder machines.

This makes him the epitome of a monster.


This anniversary should be spent honoring and remembering the victims of the California brutal killings, as well as the members of "The Family" who were vulnerable and endured psychological torture for Manson's personal enjoyment.


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