In their efforts to ascribe to Manson some sort of supernatural connections, many books and sources claim a link to Scientology. the Process Church and even the O.T.O. This of course amuses me no end. While Charlie clearly borrowed some philosophy from Scientologists he met in prison, the desire to link all the whacked out kooks out there back in the day is pathetic.
From an O.T.O Website:
Before Charles Manson (b. 1935) visited the 'parties' open to outsiders held at Solar Lodge meetings, he had had a rather chequered occult history. He is supposed to have first become interested in Scientology while he was incarcerated at the McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington (Scientology has prison recruiting programmes). There it is said that Manson received about 150 hours of Scientology counselling. After his release from prison, he went to Los Angeles, where it is claimed that he attended several Scientology events where Hollywood stars were guests, including possibly the dedication ceremony for Scientology's first 'Celebrity Center'. Manson was undoubtedly eager to meet celebrities to further his musical ambitions and find someone to produce his guitar-playing; it is known that he contacted one of the Beach Boys, and Doris Day's son.
There are hints that not long after this he became involved with the Solar Lodge, and may also have had links with 'The Process', a Satanist-oriented group which had originally broken away from Scientology; Scientology itself had early connections with Crowley's O.T.O., in the form of L. Ron Hubbard's association with Jack Parsons.
So what exactly did Manson do in the Solar Lodge? As witnesses have reported (see above), Brayton began putting on "profane parties" to draw in recruits from the public, attracting people to the idea of a special, semi-secret organisation which performed magical rituals, and which involved "sex and strange doings and good drugs and groovy people." About fifty outsiders were involved, including Hollywood figures like Jerry Kay, who had been the art director on the film 'Easy Rider'. Kay left the Solar Lodge around August 1967, having done little more than take the 'Oath of a Probationer' [an A.'.A.'. "degree"]; the one thing he took with him on his departure was a copy of the 'Book of the Law', which he decorated with illustrations, and later sold.
The most famous guest at Brayton's parties was Manson, who, like Brayton, believed he was the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley.
The scandals surrounding the Solar Lodge happened at the same time as the Manson 'Family' was committing the murders of Sharon Tate and her friends - seven people in all - in August 1969; and both sets of events took place within a few miles of each other. This, and the similar occult backgrounds of Manson and Brayton, made the tabloid press leap to the conclusion that there must be a direct connection between the Manson murders, and the O.T.O.'s 'boy in the box' scandal - a highly tenuous connection, to say the least.
But there is one more dependable, if unusual link between the characteristics of the 'Family and Brayton's Solar Lodge, and other O.T.O. groups. One member of Manson's 'Family' called Robert (or Bobby) Beausoleil lived together with celebrated underground film-maker and occultist Kenneth Anger. Before he became embroiled in the Manson affair, Beausoleil had acted the rôle of Lucifer in Anger's film 'Lucifer Rising'. While imprisoned as a result of the murders, Beausoleil occupied his time in composing a musical score for the film. Kenneth Anger was also instrumental in founding Anton LaVey's 'Church of Satan' - and LaVey played the rôle of Satan in Roman Polanski's film 'Rosemary's Baby'; Sharon Tate, one of the Manson murder-victims was Polanski's wife.
Let's all say this together shall we? "Charlie Manson was a five foot two prison bitch who had been in prison more than he had been out. He knew psychological games he learned in jail. He had no coherent philosophy at all. He never thought he was the reincarnation of anyone. He didn't borrow from various other groups- many groups at the time shared a belief in the end times. This kind of bullshit gives Charlie WAY more influence and power over the Sixties and his 'Family' than he ever had."