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Transcript of Ronald Reagan Jr.

Interview with Charles Manson

Date of interview: 1991
Source of interview: You Tube
Transcribed by Gina Judd July 5
Note: This is for my own research, and is not an official transcript put out by the producers or the
subjects in the interview itself, that is why certain comments I add opinion or thoughts. For my
use, I do my absolute best to accurately transcribe what is said. GJ.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Do you sit in your cell?
Charles Manson: Inaudible
Ronald Reagan Jr: Yeah. Do you get out of your cell and roam?
Charles Manson: Im in a little square box about from there to there, not very big.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Is that where you get your exercise?
Charles Manson: If you want to call it exercise. Its not really exercise, they just got this
excuse. See they got these excuses and they play you off like their doing
something but theyre not really.
Ronald Reagan Jr.: Where do you have your meals, in your cell?
Charles Manson: In my cell, yeah. Im forced to trust it rather I like to eat from other
peoples hands or not.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Yeah?
Charles Manson: Im holding the trust of California in my stomach.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Uh, you get a lot of letters. I know that. They said you get a lot of mail
here. Do you get letters from family members?
Charles Manson: What are family members?
Ronald Reagan Jr: Well people you use to hang out with. Sandra Good I know moved ...
Charles Manson: Sandys a good person, shes a wonderful human being. She did ten years
in prison trying to stop the chemicals being poured on the land. Dont
think she did it for me, she did it for herself to improve the world we live
Ronald Reagan Jr: You hear from her though
Charles Manson: Yeah, yeah. We write back and forth shes alright.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Do you make friends in prison? Is that possible? Do you have friends in
prison? How do you define a friendship?
Charles Manson: I live by Gods law. I treat everyone just like I would myself. If you treat
me right Ill treat you right. You spit on me then I got a spit coming.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Do you ever feel like you are in danger? You were once a - a fellow
inmate once set you on fire once in a previous state.
Charles Manson: Laughs
Ronald Reagan Jr: Do you ever feel like youre threatened when your in prioson?
Charles Manson: No not really.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Yeah. Not here I guess because youre...
Charles Manson: What set me on fire was a thought
Ronald Reagan Jr. Laughing I thought it was gasoline (it was paint thinner dweeb)
Charles Manson: No it was an Indian, from India. You remember the next day the head guy
of India was shot and killed?
Ronald Reagan Jr: I didnt realize that was the same day.
Charles Manson: Look it, look it, look it. Im not on a local level.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Youre on an international level?
Charles Manson: Im on a world level three times around. I know why the Queen wears the
three stripes in her hat, and I know why she goes to Kentucky to get her
horses. There isnt any thing I dont know from here to the IRA. I know
who gets bombed and why those seventeen people starved themselves in
Belfast. Thats because I live in Cell 17 because those are angels that fly
in my world. To me those are 17 machine guns. Laughs. Yeah, yeah,
Ronald Reagan Jr. If you hadnt grown up institutionalized as you said since you were ten
years old what do you think would be different now for you?
Charles Manson: Well, I havent grown, and I dont think I ever will.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Alright well if you hadnt spent a lifetime in prison, from the age of ten
how do you think things would be different now?
Charles Manson: Id be dead.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Yeah?
Charles Manson: Yeah. Prison saved me a lot of times. This is not a bad place to be.
Prison is like a monastery. You come and get your stuff together,
straighten out your hand, you get another chance to start all over and get it
Ronald Reagan Jr: Do you think people get rehabilitated in prison?
Charles Manson: Well sure.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Yeah? How does that happen?
Charles Manson: You have to do it inside yourself. You have to figure out whats wrong
with you.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Yeah, but do you need a prison to do that? (They use to have mental
hospitals for that before your dad came along)
Charles Manson: A prison helps. Like a lot of times, let me give you this, like veterans
raised me. The men that were in the second world war were cottage
supervisors when I was a kid. They taught me how to play handball, they
taught me how to box, they taught me how to be honest with myself. They
taught me a whole lot of things that are really pretty good. Uh I fought
against them for years and I didnt really understand until I conquered
myself, they told me that the only guy Im fighting is me. Im my own
worst enemy, when I get that straightened out then I can touch somebody
else, but in order to do that sometimes youve got to go through hard
knocks and youve got to go through the hard part. Another words how
you gonna go to heaven unless you danced in hell? I mean how you gonna
know it? How you gonna feel good unless youve felt bad? It runs both,
different, you know...
Ronald Reagan Jr: When you were first imprisoned you were on death row, your sentence
was commuted in the early 70's. How did you feel though, before that
Charles Manson: I knew that my sentence would be commuted.
Ronald Reagan Jr: You knew that all along?
Charles Manson: Well sure.
Ronald Reagan Jr: So you werent afraid of execution (in California? Funny. And again we
can thank your daddy)
Charles Manson: I knew it when I was standing in the courtroom. See uh each man knows
when he wants too. Each man knows when he must know. When you are
pushed in position to know. I stood in the courtroom and a told the judge,
Man Im dead in this. What I meant by Im dead in this, is I dont have
no thought in none of that. Thats the generation of the sixties. Im not a
generation of the sixties, Im a generation of the thirties. I played on the
same ball club that your old man made movies of in Virginia. The VMI
with natural ridge when I was a little kid in 1950 before the Korean War
started, I was in the little Federal Boys Camp. Everyone thinks I just
came on the set in 1969 because Im little and I look young so they felt I
was young but I was an old man when I got busted. Im an old man now
but I was still an old man then.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Should you be in prison at all, should you have been in prison?
Charles Manson: Well, see to start with prison was originally started as a farm and if you
liked the person who came in your courtroom you gave him another
chance to be reborn and enter into a right way of life. Prison was not built
to punish people, it was built to help people. Thats why theyre called
peace officers. But sadistic ding dongs got in there and wanted to make it
in to be the shadows of what they thought and the incompetent and the
inadequate need to punish someone so they feel better. So its like in
reform school they use to lay me down and beat me with leather straps
until I couldnt walk. I use to think, What did I do wrong? and for years
I would think I was wrong, that I did something wrong, and then I seen
that it wasnt that I did anything wrong, they beat me so they showed the
next kids what not to do. Another words prison is in the mind, most of the
people that work in the prison are more imprisoned then the people they
inaudible. They just got their kids in prison. They got the poor people in
prison, they got people who have no money in prison. Uh I dont
understand what prison is anymore.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Hmm mm. Would you like to get out of prison?
Charles Manson: Uh, Id like to get out of handcuffs. Another words I cant buy no illusion
of carrot on the nose. Another words you do what I say and I might do
this; and then I do what you say and you never pay me. I go through
Vacaville and I carry Vacaville on my back for 18 years and they promised
me a mainline. Three doctors took me off Category J and took me off high
violent potential. I go back to San Quentin and inaudible go high violence
so they can sell this thing to the public that theyre selling to the public, so
they can have more income taxes and build more prisons and convince the
public in their eyes as if theyre doing the right thing and telling the public
that theyre doing good, but theyre doing more crime. Were creating the
crime thats eating us up. Were creating it with our media, were creating
it. Criminals are our children. We dont want to face that but the
criminals are our children (because cops dont want to work solving real
crimes, so they target the young and dumb who were not taught their
rights in school and take advantage of their ignorance).
Ronald Reagan Jr: Time to interrupt with another lame question because crazy Charlie is
starting to make too much sense. Lets say tomorrow they come to you
and say, Charlie we made a mistake you dont belong here, were letting
you go. Whats your first move once youre out the door?
Charles Manson: Go where?
Ronald Reagan Jr: Theyre going to let you go.
Charles Manson: Oh. Id probably get myself a motorcycle.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Where would you go?
Charles Manson: Put a couple of sleeping bags on it and just walk around. Go? You cant
go anywhere, everywhere you go youre always there, Im in the universe,
how you gonna move the universe? laughs I mean where are you going to
go? Youre here, if you go back to LA and you sit down youre still here.
Anywhere you go youre always there. You cant get away from Ireland.
Loud music sound (probably indicating a commercial break)
I lived in Mexico City with a bullfighter and he was teaching me how to
fight the bulls. He had just came back from Spain with a beautiful a
woman and she had three beautiful daughters and it was in a Villa in
Acapulco and I was trying to dive off that cliff and I busted my head and I
was locked up in this little room and they had a little parrot. They treated
me like I was somebody they gave me respect and I taught that parrot how
to say, mother fucker. He was very staunch and upstanding you know.
When I left that parrot was flying up and down the hallways saying that
curse word. Ive always felt bad about that.
Ronald Reagan Jr: Whats the best thing thats ever happened to you in your life?
Charles Manson: I dont really have all that in my mind. Its pretty much all balanced out.
Its all what I make it. Let me ask you a question before we go any further.
Do you think in your mind from you, not from what somebody else said
but do you think that Ive done something bad, that I should be ashamed of
and feel guilty about?
Ronald Reagan Jr. I dont know. I honestly dont know what youve done and what you
havent done. So its really not for me to judge. I know youre here and to
most people that suggests that you must have done something pretty bad,
obviously I know all about the Tate LaBianca murders and that case, but
uh its not for me to judge exactly what youve done. I dont have the reel
of your life.
Charles Manson: Okay, Ill open up another chamber for you. Im looking at you and I
dont see no fear or guilt in you. So I would think that you have done very
much that youre ashamed of.
Ronald Reagan Jr. No...I dont think so.
Charles Manson: Okay. Im not blind I can see that. Now Ill tell you this, Leno LaBianca
was killed for a black phone book with all the numbers in it. The phone
numbers that controlled the music market. Sharon Tate and those people
were killed because Terry Melcher broke a contract and sent three
orientals with hatchets over to kill somebody else. He didnt directly do
that. What he did was, he sent his mothers man over to the put the light
out in another chamber. Another you raised man up in the music and
everyone wants to say, Well mine is better than his! and What are you
doing up on my stage? Who controls and who controls what on this
set? and Who is the man on this set? Clark Gable? or Where is your
fear? or How does your heart beat upon this alter, when you see Sharon
Tates body laying there all naked and murdered, dead? Do you think I
had something to do with that? That was the alter that had nothing to do
with me. It was the turnaround of the whole world it was the Aryan
woman that was being brought up from the head for Rosemarys Baby.
They was the cult. Did they tell you about all the film that they got with
the dogs and the children that came out when the black and white, when
Yul Brynner and Peter Sellers paid $30,000.00 to get the video tapes back
that they had done with the pornography where they was gobbling on each
others knobs in the closet with Sharon for Sharon beautiful Sharon? Ill
give you something that maybe beneficial to your awareness. A guy
comes from the University of Southern California into the criminally
insane ward and he said, Im your doctor I am here to help you. I says,
Okay, I inaudible help. He says, Okay what happened in so and so,
how do you do such and such, how does it work for so and so, and when
you go through it, how does your mind buh buh buh buh buh... and I said,
If you come to help me, why are you asking me the questions? He got
his valid information and if I dont give him information hell send this
guy with a big syringe to drug me down out of my head to where I cant
stand up?
Ronald Reagan Jr. That stuff happens in prison?
Charles Manson: Happens? What do you thinks been happening to me for the last twenty
years? You people are just completely unaware of yourselves and what
your doing.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Youve been tortured in priosn?
Charles Manson: Ive been beat, Ive been burnt, Ive been drugged, Ive been misused in
every direction for whatsoever, its got a new book that just came out thats
just totally full of insanity. I cant get to a telephone, anybody can write a
book and say anything they want about me. Anybody can get on the tv and
say anything they want, its okay, its okay because Im already down and
Im handcuffed and they see Im helpless so they feel like they can get
away with that. But as soon as Im un-handcuffed you watch the Sellecks
and the Hansons. You watch all them Murphy Browns and all them
Rose OConnors. You watch all them start running. You watch them start
running when the devil gets loose.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Well if the devil gets loose what do those people have to worry about,
(another brilliant question from the mental midgets son).
Charles Manson Theyre own conscience.
Ronald Reagan Jr. You made it sound like youd go after them.
Charlie Manson (has to explain what a metaphor is to a presidents son) When the devil
gets loose, you know, the devils inside of you man. Each guys got his
own little devil and thats the doubt and fear that youve got inside
yourself. Theres already people outside who see me in the fire every
night. Theyre running in all kinds of different directions but only because
they did me wrong. Then there are other people that knows that they
didnt do me no wrong and I didnt do them no wrong. Im just sitting
here going, Duht dut dut.over on the hill man. I aint done nothing. I
aint done nothing but play the guitar.
Ronald Reagan Jr. How is the real Charles Manson different from the Manson thats
portrayed in the media?
Charles Manson: I think Im a little worse?
Ronald Reagan Jr. You think so? In what way?
Charles Manson: Well Im more real then they say. They make me into be a lying phoney.
They make me into being subject to what other people think. Im not
really subject to what other people thinking. Im subject to my grandfather
and my grandmother and the Bible and the cross. I believe in Christ, I
believe in the Bible and I believe in my Father who are in heaven,
hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is
in heaven. I am a child. Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the lord my
soul to keep and if I die before I wake I pray the lord my soul to take.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Since you brought it up and its not our intention to really rehash the Tate
La Bianca, thats not why we are here. But, since you brought up religion
and Christ, what do you think that Christ would have thought about what
went on in Sharon Tates house and the LaBiancas house?
Charles Manson: We all have Jesus within us.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Did Tex Watson have Jesus within him when he was sticking a knife and a
fork into Leno LaBiancas stomach?
Charles Manson: Tex didnt have any choice. Tex was trapped in his mothers mind. He
had to do what he did.
Ronald Reagan Jr. He was a slave to his upbring?
Charles Manson: He was a slave to society. He had to do what he had to do because thats
what he was thrown into by the world he lived in. Like any convict will
tell you, I walk the line. I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I walk
the line. I walked with Tex, but when Tex took out his knife and he went
out for so and so, I said, Excuse me, I have to go to the canteen and get
myself an ice cream. I walked that line all my life, Ive walked that line
in San Quentin, I walked that line in Folsom, Ive walked that line in
Levenworth, Ive walked that line in Alcatraz, Ive walked that line in the
federal prisons. When you walk the line in the penitently and somebodies
got a knife and theyre headed for someone, the best thing you can do is
tell them, Look man I wouldnt do that if I was you. and if he says, Im
going to do it. then you say okay and get out of his way, because thats
his life and its got nothing to do with you.
Ronald Reagan Jr. You seem to be suggesting that Tex Watson and I dont mean to pick on
him just particularly, but anybody who does crimes, who kills people and
does horrible things that they dont really have a choice. That theyre the
product of society.
Charles Manson: Do any of us have a choice? Do you believe in God (no Charlie, his
family prayed to Jeanne Disxon the astrologer)
Ronald Reagan Jr. No, I dont.
Charles Manosn: Okay. Do you believe in yourself?
Ronald Reagan Jr. Well, I think therefore I am. So what Im wondering is what about
freewill? Tex Watson had no responsibility for himself?
Charles Manson: What about freewill. What about freewill?
Ronald Reagan Jr. Well yeah, what about freewill?
Charles Manson: When I was from ten to twenty one, I use to ask if I could have my rights
and they said youre a juvenile you dont have no rights. Get over there
and shut your mouth, boy. Then theyd hold me down and beat me until I
couldnt walk. So, why cant I do that?
Ronald Reagan Jr. So turn about is fair play huh?
Charles Manson: Well youve got permission to do it to me.
Ronald Reagan Jr. Well Im not interested in...
Charles Manson: Well, Im saying. Im saying. If what you do to your children, your
children are going to raise up to do what? I mean you get back what you
put out is that right or wrong? If you dont believe in God you believe in
the balance of karma, the balance of your own will. The balance of what
you know to be true. You know, whatever you do is on you. Youve got
to be judged by your own God. Dont judge me man, behind what Tex
did. If you kill somebody, you kill yourself. If you live by that gun and
you live by that knife and you kill by that gun and you kill by that knife,
then you got no turns coming at the bets table if its your turn to die by that
Another loud music break
Ive played a lot of music. Ive played the kind of music that is um
beyond the music that youve probably heard. The music I play is
powerful and its frightening, and its almost what some would call
demonish and devilish almost as Druids would be on the alter of. I have a
certain following that are committed to the world, and the earth balance of
what we call ATWA: The Air, Trees Water Animals. Were not
committed to people because we understand that people are not really
worth our commitment, because they dont serve any function except the
self-important trips that they get on or whatever.