Cease To Exist: The firsthand account of the journey to becoming a killer for Charles Manson
Cease To Exist: The firsthand account of the journey to becoming a killer for Charles Manson
Hoekstra, Chaplin Ray
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Condition: New, UPC: 9781083079879, Publication Date: Thu, August 1, 2019, Type: Paperback ,
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6Just included in the Los Angeles Times' "Making sense of the Manson family murders" reading list

An impressionable 22 year old kid from a small town in Texas comes to California like many thousands of others: to seek the freedom, good times, and easy living that the culture of the decade promised. After bumming around for a time, enjoying his new freedom from parents and a heavily Methodist small town, he picks up a hitchhiker on Sunset Blvd: Dennis Wilson, drummer of The Beach Boys, who invites him back to his home where there is a party going on. At the center is a gentle, charismatic hippie with a guitar, singing to a crowd of Hollywood's elite who all seem entranced by this man's every word.What he didn't know was that this guy named Charlie -whom the Hollywood jet-set embraced as a purveyor of good dope and easy girls- was a violent psychotic with extraordinary abilities for seduction and an apocalyptic vision of himself as Jesus Christ.

Within eighteen short months, the young Texan would slaughter seven innocent people in cold blood for his guru Charles Manson in some of the most infamous crimes of the last 100 years.
This is the first person account of descent into the madness of the Manson Family, directly through the eyes Manson's 'right-hand man' -and murderer of all seven of the Tate-LaBianca victims- Charles "Tex" Watson.

Through 'Tex' Watson's eyes, readers will experience the Manson Family from a perspective that is not only authentic, unique, and chillingly close, but which sheds unexplored light on the social and political climate of the times and its contribution to the conditions that made such an unthinkable thing almost inevitable.

Following the 'turn on, tune in, drop out' credo of the day, young Charles was on a quest for pleasure and freedom over the hard work and Christian values of his parents. On his own in LA, he was relatively easy prey for a charismatic cult leader dishing out plentiful psychoactive drugs and an army of young girls, along with frequent hints that he is perhaps the Jesus Christ that Watson's parents had pushed him to find. Meeting Charlie Manson and his 'Family' through a major celebrity -drummer Dennis Wilson- made the situation all the more enticing.

This is the Manson saga from a unique perspective; one that is brimming with heretofore only partially known or entirely unknown facts, and which doesn't have to fictionalize anything or employ gimmicky storytelling to remain engrossing. It provides insight into seductive the promises of Manson and the adolescent fantasy world he created before turning to murderous hatred against the establishment. .

At its heart, it's the cautionary tale of a young man's downward spiral to self-annihilation as he gets caught up in the times -and the events that forever changed those times. On this journey readers will encounter a series of historical pop-culture figures, bizarre counter-culture characters and events, and will witness firsthand the death throes of the most dynamic, exciting, and influential decade in American history. It also offers a front seat view to the turning point in Manson's pivot from peace and love to enraged vengeful blood lust: the perceived theft of Manson's song "Cease to Exist" by The Beach Boys.

Originally released by a Christian publisher in the '70s under the title "Will You Die For Me?" the book remains -along with police-procedural "Helter Skelter"- by far the best account to understand the tragic events of August 1969.

Charles Watson does not receive any benefit from this book other than the hope that others will look at his story as a cautionary tale, and not go down the path that destroyed the lives of seven human beings, arguably along with his own.

"Charles "Tex" Watson is perhaps Manson's best piece of work, going from high school track star to knife wielding maniac in 18 LSD and belladonna soaked months"-John

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