Charles Manson may be dead, but the dangers of cults and personalities like him still remain.
Ian Haworth, author and General Secretary of Cult Information Centre, an organisation that aids cult members in escaping, spoke to UWS News regarding the death of one of America’s most notorious figures.
He issued a warning that healthy minds are the most vulnerable to the tactics people like Manson and others use to add to their ranks.
He described those methods saying: “These leaders use techniques like hypnosis to make people more susceptible… There are 26 of these techniques, like hypnosis and diet, which is meant to deprive people of nutrients and keep people fatigued, and before you know it, you’re already too deep.”
Haworth spoke of how his own indoctrination into a cult started with a promise of stopping smoking: “I thought, well, if I can spend a hundred quid up front, I’ll make my money back in six months… over the course of four days, and hypnosis, I was completely given over.”
Manson brainwashed five people to brutally murder film director, Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, three of her friends and a teenage girl, to incite a race war in 1969.
Manson believed that The Beatles were talking to him through their music, leading the murderers to write ‘Helter Skelter’ in blood on the walls of Tate’s home.
When asked about Manson’s endgame of race war Haworth said: “Yeah, that was his plan and it doesn’t make sense, but then, it doesn’t have to. The end result isn’t as important as having people under your control.”
His organisation describes five characteristics of cults to help people identify whether they could be vulnerable to or in contact with cult indoctrination:
- It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members
- It forms an elitist totalitarian society.
- Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma.
- It believes the end justifies the means in order to solicit funds recruit people.
- Its wealth does not benefit its members or society.
Haworth has used his own experience to help many people escape these damaging organisations, giving lectures about leaving cults and his own experiences.