Sinister Forces

A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft
Book Three
The Manson Secret

Peter Levenda

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Sinister Forces

A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft

Book Three: The Manson Secret

Peter Levenda

TrineDay Walterville, Oregon

Sinister Forces—A Grimoire Of American Political Witchcraft: The Manson Secret

Copyright © 2006 Peter Levenda. All Rights Reserved. Collage artwork©2006 TrineDay

TrineDay PO Box 577

Walterville, OR 97489

Levenda, Peter

Sinister Forces—A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft: The Manson

Secret / Peter Levenda ; with forword by Paul Krassner — 1st ed. p. cm.

ISBN 13—978-0-9841858-3-2 (acid-free paper)

(ISBN 13) 978-1-936296-79-8 (ISBN 10) 1-936296-79-9 SF3 EPUB (ISBN 13) 978-1-936296-80-4 (ISBN 10) 1-936296-80-2 SF3 KINDLE

1. Political Corruption—United States. 2. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—MK-ULTRA—Operation BLUEBIRD. 3. Behavior


United States. 4. Occultism—United States—History. 5. Crime—Serial Killers—Charles Manson—Son of Sam. 6. Secret Societies—United


1. Title


First Edition

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the USA

Distribution to the Trade By: Independent Publishers Group (IPG) 814 North Franklin Street Chicago, Illinois 60610 312.337.0747

For Judith McNally


The sinister is always the unintelligible, the impressive, the numinous. Wherever something divine appears, we begin to experience fear.

—Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig

Table of Contents

Title Page Copyright Info Dedication Foreword Prologue

Section Five Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen Chapter Nineteen Chapter Twenty Chapter Twenty One

Section Six

Chapter Twenty Two Chapter Twenty Three

Epilogue Acknowledgement Bibliography Index



by Paul Krassner

The history of civilization is the history of warfare between secret societies.

—Ishmael Reed

In 1971, I began to write an article, “The Rise of Sirhan Sirhan in the Scientology Hierarchy,” for my satirical magazine, The Realist. Then, in the course of my research, a strange thing happened. I learned of the actual involvement of Charles Manson with Scientology. In fact, there had been an E-Meter at the Spahn Ranch where his “family” stayed. Suddenly, I no longer had any reason to use Sirhan Sirhan as my protagonist. Reality will transcend allegory every time. So, although I had announced that I was going to publish that article, I started investigating the Manson case instead. Nevertheless, Scientology sued me for $750,000 for just those nine words — whoops, there goes the whole petty cash account—but I chose to fight them on 1st Amendment grounds, and they eventually dropped the suit.

I corresponded with Manson, visited his female killers in prison and—in a classic example of participatory journalism—took an acid trip with family members Squeaky Fromme and Sandra Good. Ed Sanders’ book, The Family, mentioned that Los Angeles police had discovered porn flicks in a loft at the crime scene, the home actress Sharon Tate shared with her director husband, Roman Polanski (in London at the time of the murders). And yet, the prosecutor in Manson’s trial, Vincent Bugliosi, denied in his book, Helter Skelter, that any porn flicks had been found. It was possible that the police had in fact uncovered them but lied to Bugliosi.

I learned why when I consulted San Francisco private investigator Hal Lipset, whose career had been the basis for The Conversation, starring Gene Hackman. Lipset informed me that not only did Los Angeles police seize porn movies and videotapes, but also that individual officers were selling

them. He had talked with one police source who told him exactly which porn flicks were available—a total of seven hours’ worth for a quarter-million dollars. Lipset began reciting a litany of those porn videos. The most notorious was Greg Bautzer, an attorney for financier Howard Hughes, together with Jane Wyman, the former wife of then-Governor Ronald Reagan. There was Sharon Tate with Dean Martin. There was Sharon with Steve McQueen. There was Sharon with two black bisexual men.

“The cops weren’t too happy about that one,” Lipset recalled.

There was reportedly a video of Cass Elliot from The Mamas and The Papas in an orgy with Yul Brynner, Peter Sellers and Warren Beatty. Coincidentally, Brynner and Sellers, together with John Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas, had offered a $25,000 reward for the capture of the killers. I always felt these executioners had a prior connection with their victims. I finally tracked down a reporter who had hung around with police and seen a porn video of Susan Atkins with one of her victims, Wojciech Frykowski. When I asked Manson about that, he responded: “You are ill advised and misled. [Victim Jay] Sebring done Susan’s hair and I think he sucked one or two of her dicks. I’m not sure who she was walking out from her stars and cages, that girl loves dick, you know what I mean, hon. Yul Brynner, Peter Sellers…”

Manson was abandoned by his mother and lived in various institutions after he was 8 years old. He learned early how to survive in captivity. When he was 14, he got arrested for stealing bread and was jailed. He was supposed to go to reform school, but instead went to Boys Town in Nebraska. He ran away from Boys Town and got arrested again, beginning his lifelong career as a prison inmate, and meeting organized crime figures who became his role models—and future contacts. He tossed horseshoes with Frank Costello, hung out with Frankie Carbo, and learned how to play the guitar from Alvin “Creepy” Karpas. Eventually, he was introduced to Scientology by fellow prisoners while he was at McNeil Island Penitentiary. He needed less deconditioning than his cellmates, who had spent more time in the outside world. One of his teachers said that, with Scientology, Charlie’s ability to psych people out quickly was intensified so that he

could zero in on their weaknesses and fears immediately. Thus, one more method was now stored in his manipulation tool chest.

When Manson was released in 1967, he went to the Scientology Center in San Francisco. Family member “Little Paul” Watkins, who accompanied him there, told me, “Charlie said to them, ‘I’m Clear’—what do I do now?’ But they expected him to sweep the floor. Shit, he had done that in prison.” In Los Angeles, he went to the Scientology Celebrity Center. Now this was more like it. Here he could mingle with the elite. I managed to obtain a copy of the original log entry: “7/31/68, new name, Charlie Manson, Devt., No address, In for processing = Ethics = Type III.” The receptionist—who, by Type III, meant “psychotic”—sent him to the Ethics office, but he never showed up.

At the Spahn Ranch, Manson eclectically combined his version of Scientology auditing with post-hypnotic techniques he had learned in prison, with geographical isolation and subliminal motivation, with sing-along sessions and encounter games, with LSD and mescaline, with transactional analysis and brainwashing rituals, with verbal probing and the sexual longevity that he had practiced upon himself for all those years in the privacy of his cell. Ultimately, in August 1969, he sent members of his well-programmed family off to slay Sharon Tate and her unborn baby, hairstylist and dealer to the stars Jay Sebring, would-be screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski, and his girlfriend, coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Revenge for a drug deal gone sour.

Ed Sanders wrote, “In the days before his death, Sebring had complained to a receptionist at his hair salon that someone had burned him for $2,000 worth of cocaine and he wanted vengeance.” On Friday evening, just a few hours before the massacre took place, Joel Rostau—the boyfriend of Sebring’s receptionist and an intermediary in a cocaine ring—visited Sebring and Frykowski at the Tate house to deliver mescaline and coke. During the Manson trial, several associates of Sebring were murdered, including Rostau, whose body was found in the trunk of a car in New York.

The next night, Manson accompanied his followers to kill supermarket mogul Leno LaBianca and his wife. Ostensibly, they were selected at random, but a police report showed that LaBianca was a heavy gambler. He

owed $30,000 to Frankie Carbo’s organization. I asked Manson about a little black book he was supposed to get from LaBianca. He wrote back, “The black book was what the CIA and a mob of market players had, Hollywood Park [race track] and numbers rackets to move in the Governor’s office legally.”

Ed Sanders and I were on a panel at the University of Missouri, where he stated, “In the course of my research in Los Angeles, it became evident that Robert Kennedy was killed by a group of people including Sirhan Sirhan.” In The Family, he had written, in reference to the Process Church, to which Manson had ties, “It is possible that the Process had a baleful influence on Sirhan Sirhan, since Sirhan is known, in the spring of ’68, to have frequented clubs in Hollywood in occult pursuits. He has talked several times subsequent to Robert Kennedy’s death about an occult group from London which he knew about and which he really wanted to go to London to see.”

Since the London-based Process Church had been an offshoot of Scientology, this looked like it could be a case of satirical prophecy. I was tempted to return to my original premise involving Sirhan, but it was too late. I had already become obsessed with my Manson research. I recalled that, in the summer of 1968, while the Yippies were planning for a Festival of Life at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, some zealots from the Process cult visited me in New York. They were hyper-anxious to meet Timothy Leary and kept pestering me for his phone number. The Process, founded by Scientology dropouts, first came to the U.S. from London in 1967. Members were called “mind benders” and proclaimed their “dedication to the elimination of the grey forces.”

In January 1968, they became the Process Church of the Final Judgment, a New Orleans-based religious corporation. They claimed to be in direct contact with both Jesus and Lucifer, and had wanted to be called the Church of the Process of Unification of Christ and Satan, but local officials presumably objected to their taking the name of Satan in vain. The Process struck me as a group of occult provocateurs, using radical Christianity as a front. They were adamantly interested in Yippie politics. They boasted to me of various rallies which their vibrations alone had transformed into

riots. They implied that there was some kind of connection between the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and their own mere presence on the scene.

Bernard Fensterwald, head of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations, told me that Sirhan Sirhan had some involvement with the Process. Peter Chang, the district attorney of Santa Cruz, showed me a letter from a Los Angeles police official to the chief of police in San Jose, warning him that the Process had infiltrated biker gangs and hippie communes. And Ed Sanders wrote in Win (Workshop in Nonviolence) magazine, “[W]ord came out of Los Angeles of a current FBI investigation of the RFK murder, the investigation growing, as the source put it, out of ‘the Manson case.’ Word came from another source, this one in the halls of Government itself, that several police and investigatory jurisdictions have information regarding other murders that may have been connected to the Robert Kennedy shooting: murders that occurred after RFK’s. A disturbing fact in this regard is that one agency in the Federal Bureaucracy (not the FBI) has stopped a multi-county investigation by its own officers that would have probed into such matters as the social and religious activities of Sirhan Sirhan in early ’68, and into the allegations regarding RFK-connected murders.”

In 1972, Paulette Cooper, author of The Scandal of Scientology, put me in touch with Lee Cole, a former Scientologist who was now working with the Process Church. His role was to provide information on Scientology to the Process. I contacted him and flew to Chicago. We made an appointment to visit the Process headquarters. The Process men were dressed all in black, with large silver crosses hanging from their necks. They called each other “Brother” and they had German shepherds that seemed to be menacing. The Brothers tried to convince me that Scientology, not the Process, was responsible for creating Manson. But what else could I have expected?

Charles Manson’s real family consisted of con artists, pimps, drug dealers, thieves, muggers, rapists and murderers. He had known only power relationships within an army of control junkies. Charlie was America’s Frankenstein monster, a logical product of the prison system—racist, paranoid and violent—even if hippie astrologers thought that his fate had been predetermined because he was a triple Scorpio. A psychiatrist at San

Quentin Prison told me of an incident he observed during Manson’s trial. A black inmate said to Manson, “Look, I don’t wanna know about your theories on race, I don’t wanna hear anything about religion, I just wanna know one thing—how’d you get them girls to obey you like that?” The reply: “I got a knack.”

Actually, Manson told me, “I only picked up girls who had already been tossed away by society.” And he would fill that void. After having lived behind bars most of his life, he ended up in the Haight-Ashbury area in the Summer of Love. Oh, those luscious runaways. And so he began to explore and exploit countercultural values.

I was gathering piece after piece of a mind-boggling jigsaw puzzle, without having any model to pattern it after. The evidence indicated that members of the Manson family had actually but unknowingly served as a hit-squad for a drug ring. Manson had instructed the girls to do whatever family member Tex Watson told them. When Manson was charged, Watson was also charged, but federal authorities held Watson in a Texas prison with no explanation—not even his own lawyers were allowed to see him—while Bugliosi prosecuted the Manson trial in California. In order to find Manson guilty, the jury had to be convinced that Charlie’s devils were zombies who followed his orders without question. In order to find Watson guilty, the jury had to be convinced that he was not a zombie and knew exactly what he was doing.

Conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell put me in contact with Preston Guillory, a former deputy sheriff, who told me, “We had been briefed for a few weeks prior to the actual raiding of Spahn Ranch. We had a sheaf of memos on Manson, that they had automatic weapons at the ranch, that citizens had complained about hearing machine-guns fired at night, that firemen from the local fire station had been accosted by armed members of Manson’s band and told to get out of the area, all sorts of complaints like this. We had been advised to put anything relating to Manson on a memo submitted to the station, because they were supposedly gathering information for the raid we were going to make. Deputies at the station of course started asking, ‘Why aren’t we going to make the raid sooner?’ I mean, Manson’s a parole violator, machine-guns have been heard, we know there’s narcotics and we know there’s booze. He’s living at the Spahn