Manson and Other Charlatans
Watching Charles Manson gives one a sick feeling of revulsion. He attempts to manipulate an interviewer into feeling empathy, appearing to allow them to enter his world, knowing by their presence that they want to see inside his mind, and then he suddenly slams the door when they try to peep inside. For Manson, these mind games seem to be a method of control, a not so discreet game to boost his own feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. He is a looser, and he knows it. Still, because of the interviewer's very presence, he has gained something.
I was struck by how common Manson's pathology is. He is a garden variety sociopath, albeit a very hardened, incorrigible one. I have seen his thought processes before....They are not unique. The denial, the manipulation, the evasion, the refusal to directly answer questions, the deflected responsibility, the word salads and the mumbo jumbo bullshit that so many professionals call a disease. It all allows the sociopath an excuse for bad and criminal behavior. If there is any truth to anything that Charles Manson claims, then it is that the whirly-gig performance of the incarcerated criminally insane prisoner and psychiatrist keeps them both fed. To me, it all appears to be a cantankerous waltz with madness, a grinning monkey pumping a squeezebox and tapping his foot to the side.
As nurses, we must interview patients. I suppose this is why I do not handle psychiatric patients well. I would probably handle them fine as a corrections officer, but I usually fail as a nurse. I see right through their bullshit, and I do not accept any of it. I hold them responsible for their actions and inactions. I have absolutely no empathy, and they know it. I believe the best thing that could happen to them is productive work digging potatoes in the fields of a farm labor supported mental hospital. Let them be a message to society.......If you don't want to be placed there, then act right. If you can't figure out how to act right, then here's a shovel asshole!
My wife is a psych nurse, and God knows I love and respect her for it, but I have no idea how she can put up with the loads of crap that comes out of some of these people's minds. They don't want to "get better". The psychosis is a defense mechanism, an adaptation for survival. I do not pity them. I used to have to tolerate them occasionally. Thank God I now only have to say "Breathe deep," do my job and roll them out and into the care of another nurse before they wake up.
And some kids think Manson's a hero. Idiots.