Charles Manson’s impact on cults in American society

I believe one of the legal implications of this case is that Charles Manson and his “family” influenced the ideas of cults in American society. Jeffrey Toobin stated, “In the decade that followed the Manson murders, the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst, in Berkeley, and Jim Jones’s People Temple, in San Francisco, transfixed supporters, more than 900 of whom committed mass suicide.” Charles Manson showed the world that people could become criminals, just by influencing their lives. Toobin also claimed that, “Our fascination with Stockholm syndrome and brainwashing owe much to what the world saw in the Manson case.” I agree with Jeffrey Toobin’s statement about how the Manson Family influenced and increased people’s interest with these topics. Manson believed that he was above the law, and since he did not actually commit the murders himself, he thought he would not serve any time.

Charles Manson passed away November 19, 2017. Even though he has passed, his legacy will be with American history and culture forever. Manson is typically described as a hippie, but he was not. Charles used the hippie culture to seek out helpless women to control. He has changed the way people think of hippies from that era, due to the horrible crimes that took place. Aja Romano claimed, “Beneath all of Manson’s theatrics, his bizarre ramblings, his controlling behavior and violent outbursts, his real cultural impact lay in his ability to make his run-of-the-mill petty crimes and all too common control and dominance of women seem like something larger than life.” Men worshiped Charles for his ability to control women. He was an extremely talented manipulator. Manson received his legacy through the attention he received in the media, which also led to books, television shows, and even movies. Even though Charles Manson has passed away, his legacy will live on forever in pop culture.

Although Charles Manson created a name for himself, as well as a legacy, I do not believe that him and his “family’s” crime effect our daily lives. Manson’s crimes do not have an actual effect on how we vote. The only people that were affected by these murders, in terms of voting, were the people who committed the crimes themselves. I believe that this also does not affect where we go to school as well. Charles Manson’s crimes would not affect where we go to school, unlike crimes that happened at a school. For example, the Columbine school shooting would deeply affect where we attend school, since the crime took place at a school. This crime could possibly impact where we live though. All of Charles Manson’s “family” murders took place in California. I believe that some people might avoid the areas that these crimes took place, but this would not cause people to avoid California all together. There have been crimes all over the country and world. According to the FBI Crime Clock in 2015, “A murder occurred every 33.5 minutes.” So, if people tried to avoid living in places where crimes have been committed, everyone would have nowhere to live.

There are copious amounts of laws against murder. Murder is a class 1 felony and can result with life imprisonment or even death. There are 31 states in the United States that allow for the death penalty. In some cases, those states will choose against the death penalty to study the criminal being charged. Charles Manson was allowed interviews for articles, and even television while serving his sentence in prison. While in prison Manson received over 100 violations (St. John, Paige and Branson-Potts, Hailey). “Over the years, he has been cited for assault, repeated possession of a weapon, threatening staff, and possessing a cellphone,” claims Paige St. John and Hailey Branson-Potts in an article for the Los Angeles Times. In my opinion, I think that these laws are effective at putting criminals and murderers away, but it does not stop people from committing these crimes. As horrible as it is to say, I truly don’t believe that murder will ever be able to be stopped. Murder has been around for centuries and was actually a part of early cultures and religions. I do believe however, we can diminish the total amount of people being killed each year. The other main topic in Charles Manson’s case is the cult. In the United States of America, cults are technically legal, due to the First Amendment in the Constitution. Cults are protected by the First Amendment because the amendment states that we have religious freedom and the right to assemble peacefully. Although it clearly states “peacefully assembly” that does not mean every cult or group is peaceful. For example, groups such as the KKK are protected by the First Amendment.

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