November 25, 2009

"My hero is Gandhi. I'm an extremely non-violent, peaceful person and a vegetarian. I don't even kill bugs."

Protests Matthew Roberts, 41, who has recently learned that his father is Charles Manson. He's considering calling the murderer who raped his mother:
"If I did talk to Charlie on the phone, I would say, 'I truly understand what it's like to be you, more than anyone could ever imagine on so many levels.'”
On so many levels...

85 comments:

Scott M said...

"Charlie" ???

chickenlittle said...

Honest to blog Althouse, did you find this searching for the Manson Family Circus?

knox said...

Despite his revulsion Mr Roberts has been exchanging mail with Manson

Despite his adoptive father telling him “nothing good” would come of discovering who his real parents were, Mr Roberts used a social services agency to locate his mother, Terry.

"I'm not nuts but I've got a little bit of it,” Mr Roberts said.


This guy is an idiot.

AllenS said...

I looked at Matthew Roberts' picture. He might have some issues.

WV: joins

Eerie.

MadisonMan said...

Does the Nut fall far from the tree?

Scott M said...

If you find out you live in the same neighborhood as this guy, I suggest you start researching your state's Castle law statutes asap.

I would also hide any written material in your house that contain Beatles lyrics.

chickenlittle said...

It just occurred to me that in a nordic culture, he could call himself Matthew Charleson.

MadisonMan said...

The article on this from The Sun -- linked to in Althouse's link -- is far more entertaining than the linked article from the News in Australia.

But nothing could have prepared him for being told his dad was... serial killer CHARLES MANSON.

I imagine that being read by the famous voice-over guy who died earlier this year.

Seriously, though, this man went through life for 40+ years, and NOW all of a sudden he's lost, just because of the sperm that made him? Biology is not destiny.

Scott said...

Shades of Minority Report.

Ron said...

Maybe he could team up with Dad, Paul, and Ringo to cover "Helter Skelter."

#1 with a bullet, baby!

EDH said...

Too bad he didn't learn sooner.

"Career Day" at school would have been a hoot.

john said...

How does one get "raped during a drug-fueled orgy"? I can't picture it.

rocketeer67 said...

What a nut.

His dad is Charles Manson, which he can't help. But his hero is the truly weird Gandhi?

k*thy said...

I guess I'm reading this a lot different than most of you. Maybe it's because I can relate to nut not falling far from the tree. Knowing you're all too similar to someone so broken and messed up is plenty of a burden for anyone to carry. Seems he's doing his best to not go down that same road. It's really all anyone can do.

bearbee said...

"They were products of the Fifties and I didn't relate to them. My biological parents were products of the Sixties and I take on a lot more of those characteristics."

Obviously children and parents aren't 'products' of the same generation.

Mason was born in 1934....hardly a 'product' of the 1960's.

rocketeer67 said...

Seems he's doing his best to not go down that same road. It's really all anyone can do.

Step 1: Listen to your adoptive father when he tells you "NO GOOD CAN COME OF THIS QUEST."

MadisonMan said...

By the way, I thought this was going to be a commentary on the State Dinner last night. Guess not.

traditionalguy said...

The adopted child seeking its birth father or birth mother is a wounded person on a quest that will not end until the parent is discovered. The discovery is usually a great disappointment compared to dreams; yet they keep on trying to find something there. If the dad turns out to be rich, then he usually refuses all contact to preserve his reputation and his family wealth from a poor person "only seeking money". But if the mother or the father is alive and poor, then they will latch onto the seeker to incorporate them into their neediness only as a resource. Seldom does this work well for either the seeker or the sought by resulting in love and hugs and finding peaceful closure.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
class-factotum said...

That's the hardest thing of all - feeling love for a monster who raped my mother.

I'm checking my rulebook for "Must love sperm donor who raped mother" and I just can't find it. It's not here next to "Must be grateful to adoptive parents who watched all my Little League games." Maybe it's in the section by "Must appreciate adoptive mother who cleaned me up and changed my sheets after I vomited three times that night when I had the flu when I was two."

The Drill SGT said...

what John said...

I detect some potential for revisionism from Terry after Manson is convicted.

Eventually Terry relented and revealed that Mr Roberts' father was Manson, who she claims raped her in 1967 after she had succumbed to his manic charisma.

knox said...

Just saw the photo of Matthew. Going out on a limb here, but there are steps he could take not to look so much like his Darth Vader...

pm317 said...

...I don't even kill bugs.

That line reminds me of the last scene in Psycho where as a fly lands on the back of his hand he says that he will not squash the fly to make others think "he won't even kill a fly!"

PatHMV said...

Fascinating that mankind has learned nothing in the past 2500 years... since Oedipus Rex was written.

Are there any stories anybody's heard where somebody in a position similar to Matthew's pushes and pushes and pushes to uncover long-hidden family secrets, over the strong objections of those who know the secrets, and good comes out of it?

Robert Cook said...

"But his hero is the truly weird Gandhi?"

What the--?!

Do you think Ghandi is some sort of obscure kook, revered only by hippies and cultists? Ghandi is one of the great figures of 20th Century history, and he influenced many others who worked for the independence of oppressed peoples, the Rev. Martin Luther King very prominently among them. Ghandi's tactics of non-violent resistance were a key tactic of King's crusade for civil rights. There's a statue of Ghandi in Union Square Park here in New York City, and he was portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the movies.

Your bonkers comment is equivalent to dismissing Thomas Paine or Mother Theresa or, well, Martin Luther King as "truly weird."

Shanna said...

How does one get "raped during a drug-fueled orgy"? I can't picture it.

I was sort of wondering about the rape bit. Wasn’t his mom one of the groupies?

Step 1: Listen to your adoptive father when he tells you "NO GOOD CAN COME OF THIS QUEST."

Seriously. It would be really creepy to find out Manson was your father and I can understand talking to him once to confirm or something…but does he really need to carry on an email conversation with him? Especially if he signs everything with a swastika? Weird.

And the whole "I love Gandhi" thing is just his way of trying to say he's not his father. Which, we kind of know. As long as you don't run around setting up cults and murdering people I think you'll be good.

MayBee said...

"They were products of the Fifties and I didn't relate to them. My biological parents were products of the Sixties and I take on a lot more of those characteristics."

Yeah, Bearbee, that line stuck out to me as well. I think biologically his brain has some of the characteristics of a drug-fueled orgy.

Bissage said...

Gee, I don't see what Mr. Roberts is getting himself all worked up about. I sure wish my dad was a celebrity with a big penis.

Shanna said...

Bissage, I was thinking this guy could make some serious money over this revelation. It's creepy, but potentially lucrative! Otherwise, who cares. We are not our parents.

pm317 said...

Robert Cook, good for you to set the record straight on Gandhi..(except for the typo in his name, :))

AllenS said...

Gandhi was one of the greatest friends of Nazis because the Indian activist and the Third Reich shared a shared a common enemy in Britain.

So, he's got that going for him.

Robert Cook said...

pm317: Ooops! Thanks for correcting me.

AllenS said...

Here's a great quote from Gandhi on South African natives that he called Kaffirs: “whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

Robert Cook said...

AllenS seems to think that the eccentric view of a contrarian historian somehow impeaches Gandhi's accomplishments for his people, and that remarks by Gandhi that seem intolerant, even bigoted, similarly erase those achievements.

Newsflash: people are people and are imperfect. Martin Luther King was a serial philanderer, so his cause for civil rights was obviously a sham, and his accomplishments counterfeit. Thomas Jefferson kept slaves and slept with some of them. Obviously, Jefferson was a fraud and a rapist whose memory should be excoriated. I'm sure George Washington even occasionally told a lie.

Word Verification: "gandi" (no lie!)

AllenS said...

You're the one who said: "Do you think Ghandi is some sort of obscure kook?"

Sometimes he sounded like one.

Musollini made the trains run on time.

Robert Cook said...

AllenS: your reply is a non sequitur.

class-factotum said...

Not only that, but Mussolini did not make the trains run on time.

Jon said...

@ traditionalguy:

My own weird adoption story: About 10 years ago I learned I was adopted- my parents were probably never going to tell me, but I found out by accident. The adoption agency eventually located my birth mother for me, and she sent them a letter in response saying she wanted no contact with me ever. Then, just a few days later, due to an apparent bureaucratic error, I received a copy of my original birth certificate. So I know who my birth mother is, she doesn't know that I know, and I have never contacted her. I have no idea who my bio-father is, but at least I am pretty sure it is not Manson.

chuck b. said...

What a sad story. That how it strikes me anyway.

Then that map of Los Angeles in the embedded Sun article really cracked me up.

AllenS said...

class-factotum: your reply is a non sequitur.

pm317 said...

AllenS is entitled to his opinion which I am sure is formed after long years of research into Indian history and life story of Gandhi. Or he may just be repeating sound bytes acquired from reading certain blogs and repeating them here. But I myself having come from the land of Gandhi and knowing a thing or two more than sound bytes, will wonder at their immense gall. Nothing seems sacred to some people as in if you don't know enough about something STFU.

Cedarford said...

Gandhi is like Gorbachev. Far more popular in the West as a noble icon - than in his own country.
In India he is properly blamed for badly handling Independence and allowing Partition and mass massacres of Hindis and the ongoing mess in Kashmir to happen...along with ill-advised socialist ideas.

==============
As for Gandhi on Kaffirs and hoping HItler would bring the Empire to an end...he was hardly alone.
Lots of people in the 3rd World looked at the Axis the same way we looked at blood-drenched Stalin "The enemy of my enemy is my friend for now". Condemn the Arabs, Indians for being supportive of Hitler? Condemn the US for getting in bed with the mass butchering Soviets, then..

And East Asians were the backbone of the economy in southern African countries. And were part of the general anti-colonialist movement there, thinking that if the Europeans got expelled, they would have a better deal in the new black-brown coalition. Of course what happened was indolent blacks got guns and promptly began expelling all East Asians in turn...a rather bitter pill Indians, Bengali Muslims, and Pakistanis are still digesting.

Jeremy said...

Gee, maybe Ann should start a thread for contributions relating to what an asshole Gandhi really was.

rocketeer67 said...

Your bonkers comment is equivalent to dismissing Thomas Paine or Mother Theresa or, well, Martin Luther King as "truly weird.

Gandhi: anti-semitic, anti-democratic, slept with young naked girls his entire life to "prove" his asceticism. Yes, weird.

Also, for your future reference, having one's a statue erected in New York City is not definitive proof of normalcy.

William said...

As world historical figures go, Gandhi was a gentle soul. Nonetheless he had an enthusiasm for for giving enemas to young girls that even Polanski would consider a tad creepy....Our parents are mythic figures, and never more so then when they are absent. We tend to think of their pasts as predictive of our futures. Sometimes we endeavour to avoid the prophecy, but even then the avoidance is part of the mythology. I'm thinking of Obama and his studied wish to be a good family man in contrast to the example of his father. This man's gentility is predicated on his father's violence.

Jeremy said...

Rocket-Balls - "Gandhi: anti-semitic, anti-democratic, slept with young naked girls his entire life to "prove" his asceticism. Yes, weird."

And let the trashing of Gandhi begin!!!

Jeremy said...

AllenS said..."I looked at Matthew Roberts' picture. He might have some issues."

Does anybody else see this as being rather ironic?

pm317 said...

Gandhi is like Gorbachev. Far more popular in the West as a noble icon - than in his own country.
In India he is properly blamed for badly handling Independence and allowing Partition and mass massacres of Hindis and the ongoing mess in Kashmir to happen...along with ill-advised socialist ideas.


Allowing partition?! Read some history. Jeesus, what is with these ignoramuses spewing these things? I am outa here..

Jeremy said...

pm317 said..."Read some history."

Before posting?

You're kidding, right?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

About 10 years ago I learned I was adopted- my parents were probably never going to tell me, but I found out by accident

Leaving Ghandi out of it...

This is a really tough call that those of us who were not adopted will never have to face.

Torn between many choices.

To leave it alone, like the Step Father warned. Probably the best advice.

To try to find and be wonderfully rejoined with your biological parents and find a second family of biologically related cousins, aunts, uncles etc. A dream come true.

To find and be rejected. So sad.

To find and discover something horrible about your biological parents.

To try and find and make your adoptive parents feel bad, discarded and unloved.

I can understand the need to know for medical reasons and just plain curiosity. But remember what they say about curiosity....killed the cat.

What would I do? How would I deal with the consequences? I don't know. So hard.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Gah...... Gandhi

knox said...

AllenS said..."I looked at Matthew Roberts' picture. He might have some issues."

Does anybody else see this as being rather ironic?

Does anybody else see this as being rather ironic?

rocketeer67 said...

I hardly think it's "trashing" Gandhi to note that he was weird. In addition to being a "gentle soul" per William, and being a positive influence on peaceful resitance movements in the 20th century, he said many, many things that were horribly bigoted (they don't just "seem" that way) and he had strange attitudes about cultivating and demonstrating sexual constancy.

He wasn't a God, and I will not revere or refer to him as if he were. HE. WAS. WEIRD. Remember, as Robert Cook says: people are people and are imperfect.

And pm317, coming from the land of Gandhi, you of all people know full well how ambivalent many - perhaps most - Indians are about his life and the impact & influence he had in immediate post-colonial India. I'll view Gandhi exactly as Americans view their own founders - flawed humans who accomplished admirable and worthy things, and occasionally screwed up badly along the way.

traditionalguy said...

Jon and DBQ...Someone told me that an adopted person must have special value to have been attacked by an abandonment experience at birth. I am not adopted, but I have helped others in the Church go thru their intense need to know. God is the Father from whom all fatherhoods derive their authority; and He does find families for his prescious ones to be placed into. I wonder sometimes why God loves orphans so much, but He does.

Robert Cook said...

"I'll view Gandhi exactly as Americans view their own founders - flawed humans who accomplished admirable and worthy things, and occasionally screwed up badly along the way."

And yet no American would ever react to another's reverence for Thomas Jefferson or Martin Luther King as their hero with the statement, "Your hero is the truly weird Thomas Jefferson/Martin Luther King?"

Your statement was a dismissal of Gandhi as being nothing more than the sum of his most imperfect and human, (i.e., least sympathetic) traits. One admires public figures for what they accomplish in service to their country or humanity, (or, if they are artists, for their art), not for who they may be in their private lives.

mccullough said...

I think it's fun to take historical figures down a few notches.

We've gone after Columbus, the founders, especially Jefferson, and now we're on to the minorities.

Rev. King liked to fuck fat white women and was a plagiarist. He was also a communist. Bobby Kennedy was right to wire tap him.

Gandhi was a bigot and drank his own piss (literally).

Doesn't mean they weren't very brave men with good souls and ideas.

ricpic said...

Your bonkers comment is equivalent to dismissing Thomas Paine...as "truly weird."

Actually, Robert Cook, Thomas Paine was weird. He lived for permanent revolution, like you, and had no interest whatsoever in the well-being of the non-political millions, who stand no chance of living decent lives in his and your fever dream utopia.

EDH said...

This just in...

Matthew Roberts' father was actually actor Steve Railsback.

Never mind.

wv-"uptexa" = Tex Watson's cellmate's idea of a good time

rocketeer67 said...

And yet no American would ever react to another's reverence for Thomas Jefferson or Martin Luther King as their hero with the statement, "Your hero is the truly weird Thomas Jefferson/Martin Luther King?"

Never spent time in a college history deparment, have you?

Gandhi. was. WEIRD.

(And RC, I have to say that feeling you hit the bait and tug on the line is even more invigorating than bass fishing.)

traditionalguy said...

Gandhi took on the British Empire without guns. That took some weirdness on his part. Normal people are not that crazy. The historical uprising of Indian democrats after WW II happened just in time to make Gandhi look smarter than he was. England was losing its Empire all at once from 1947 to 1951 and Gandhi figures were not needed by that time.The British turned to him as a non-violence preacher for their own reasons after not needing him in the 1920s when he tried his style of revolution without success.

Paddy O. said...

"Even Jesus was not a perfect human being..."

Oh sure, start a religious controversy now...

What's interesting to me is that there are all kinds of ways of responding to this from various theological camps.

Strong conservatives would argue that he was perfect, and would try to explain away the faults as not really happening or have been interpreted wrong.

Liberals would say, "Doesn't matter, we can pick up the good lessons and embrace his fallen humanity."

Dawkinsistas would say Jesus was evil.

I would suggest Jesus was perfect, but our understanding of what it means to be perfect is faulty, caught up with all kinds of other social and religious dogmas.

Gandhi was far from perfect in any sense. But he was brilliant. He was a master strategist who knew his context and knew his enemy, and exploited his enemies best qualities for the sake of his goals. He shamed the Christians by being a better at their standards than they were, reminding them of who they should be.

He was sort of anti-Alinsky, one might say.

rocketeer67 said...

Gandhi took on the British Empire without guns. That took some weirdness on his part.

So, which part do you think was most integral to his confrontation of the British Empire: the pee drinking, the girl-cuddling, the racism, or the anti-semitism?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh sure, start a religious controversy now...


LOL. Well since it is Thankgsiving; I'm on vacation and I'm waiting for the pies to come out of the oven, I have time.

I would suggest Jesus was perfect, but our understanding of what it means to be perfect is faulty, caught up with all kinds of other social and religious dogmas.

I was taught, long long ago, through Catechism and picked up in general readings, something along these lines.

Jesus doubted and even denied the will of God at the very end of his trial on the cross. That in his 'human' incarnation he wasn't perfect and that no person is perfect, but that there is forgiveness for the imperfections of the human condition when we truly repent and attempt to correct our errors.

However, in the spiritual, as embodiment of the holy spirit, he was perfect and that this is what we should strive to achieve.

The imperfections and doubt of God and his purpose reflect the humanity of Jesus give hope that we too can surpass and rise above those imperfections and achieve the perfection of the soul.

So back to Gandhi (or any other human idol). No one is perfect and we all have our sins, faults and errors. To deny this is to attempt to put humans on a level with God.

Bissage said...

Hey look, my grandmother was once at a cocktail party where Gandhi ate a bunch of yarn and then crapped out a turd wearing a sweater so that’s a giant of a man by any reasonable standard.

traditionalguy said...

Rocketeer 67... none of the above. My point is that he was a PR hero for his 1920's jailings and hunger strikes and marches. He was a cartoon figure representing an exotic and ascetic non-violence by Hindus as a war tactic. That he was screwed up is part of the package of real people having real problems that seems important as slander of Perfect Men and Women, but has nothing to do with the fall of the British Empire. Love him for his courage or hate him for his stubborness and Hindu attitudes to sex as a power tool. Be my guest.

Freeman Hunt said...

The man doesn't look like he has issues to me. He looks like a DJ which is what he is.

If I were adopted, I would want to find my biological parents. I would just want to know what they were like.

The adoption agency eventually located my birth mother for me, and she sent them a letter in response saying she wanted no contact with me ever.

I find that profoundly sad. Sorry it happened.

traditionalguy said...

DBQ...I am home early with Holiday schedule adjusment frustrations. So to get a religious discussion going I will posit that: Jesus having a human mother and a God Father by the Holy Spirits spiritual conception was the first of the new God Man Race. The failures attributed to him are having human emotions. That was a feature and not a defect, as we say. By being human and subject to temptations and human emotions His sinless conduct could be credited to his disciples that accept by faith His substitionary identification with them as sinful men/women on the Cross where he died destitute, abandoned, rejected, beaten, cursed and filled with everyone's sinfullness,and also in his joyous ressurection from the dead three days later because he was Righteous which by faith brought us with him sharing His righteousness. Hebrews says that this sacrifice done by the Eternal Spirit also works for us living today; and that only the blood sacrifice of the Blood of God would do the trick to cleanse us from all unrighteousness...and since Jesus was the first God Man he had the Blood of God to offer for us as our High Priest. So I for one see no problem in Jesus having human emotions. His anger and discouragement at some people ( meaning the Religious people who hated and murdered and robbed others)was a proper response and not a sin. If he had been a floating spirit without human emotions, like the Gnostics taught, then his Sacrifice on the Cross would have been of no effect. BTW, all of this theology is contained in the Apostles Creed which Christians recite regularly as true.

rocketeer67 said...

Love him for his courage or hate him for his stubborness and Hindu attitudes to sex as a power tool. Be my guest.

Thanks. If it's okay with you, I think I'll do both.

Elliott A said...

@traditionalguy

According to the scripture God also has human emotions. He is pleased at his creation, and he is angered by human failings, and even by angels who he dressed down for their rejoicing as the Red Sea waters closed on the pursuing Egyptians. If God has emotions, they cannot be failings. The failing would be to act sinfully as a result of the emotion.

traditionalguy said...

Elliott...Well said. God must love emotions since he created women as his crowning act of creation to make all the good creation he had made for Adam's home into a much better place.

ricpic said...

Gandhi didn't waste his precious bodily fluids on those young gurls.

ricpic said...

Don't blame the Jews for what happened to Jesus. They just asked the Romans to lean on him a little. It was the Romans. No subtlety at all, those people.

Penny said...

"Biology is not destiny."

Maybe not, but in this case, Manson and Roberts have a shared environmental influence in southern California. Why else would they show that map???

He really should move to the heartland.

traditionalguy said...

The funny thing is that Jews are not really attacked for killing Jesus, rather they are attacked for producing Jesus the Messiah. The best line that I ever heard by a Jew about Jews being blamed for killing Jesus was, "Don't blame me. I have an alibi; I was in Philadelphia." Everybody there that day did not know what they were doing or why they were doing it, as Jesus's prayer of forgiveness reminded his father.

Penny said...

"They just asked the Romans to lean on him a little. It was the Romans. No subtlety at all, those people."

And to think I was laughing about a turd in a little purple sweater before you showed up ricpic. Funny!

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny - "Liberals who want to denigrate Jefferson usually refer to his slave owner status (which is a true condition) with no consideration of how things were culturally normal at that time."

Where do you come up with this insanity?

Since when are liberals denigrating Jefferson...because he owned slaves?

And you base this on what...that last bottle of booze you slugged down?

The only real criticism I've ever heard regarding Jefferson was related to his fathering of a child with slave...and there hasn't been much of an uproar over that either.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Where do you come up with this insanity?

Good try...poor deflated troll.

pst314 said...

"Gandhi didn't waste his precious bodily fluids on those young gurls."

LOL!

pst314 said...

Robert Cook, here's another weird fact about Ghandi: He believed that Europe's Jews should passively allow themselves to be exterminated. There definitely was something weirdly extreme about his pacifism.

pst314 said...

"Since when are liberals denigrating Jefferson...because he owned slaves?"

Have you been sleeping under a rock for the last 20 years? I even heard that back in the 70's.

pst314 said...

"Thomas Jefferson kept slaves..."

Kept slaves, yes. But opposed slavery and did not free his slaves only because his estate was in debt and his creditors would not have allowed him to give away his property when he owed them money.

"...and slept with some of them."

It has been claimed that he slept with Sally Hemmings (sp?) and fathered a child by her. Genetic analysis shows shared genes which make this possible, but not proven. And his brother had a reputation for sleeping with slaves which seems to make him a more likely candidate. But of course it's all still uncertain and may always remain so.

jeff said...

why must you bring facts and logic into this? Also Gandhi thought England should submit to Germany and not fight back. (in addition to the Jews freely marching to the camps as mentioned above) Felt that would give both the moral high ground. The question is, what if Germany had colonized India. would anyone ever have heard of Gandhi?

Penny said...

There's a turkey, browning in my oven.

NOW wtf do I do, Dr. Chip?

Penny said...

Tick tock...

Andrea said...

I'm adopted, and I've never wanted to find my biological parents to "find out who I really am." I already have an identity, thanks. And I already had a good set of parents -- the ones who adopted and raised me. I don't resent my "real" parents either, or feel rejected. Maybe it's because I always knew I was adopted -- my parents were proud of the fact, rather than hiding it like some shameful secret. Most of the stories I've heard about these adoptees searching for their parents have come about because they found out they were adopted at a later age -- usually when they were in their teens, a time when kids are most vulnerable to identity crises.

Oddly enough, it's when kids are in their teens that parents feel it's the right time to tell them all sorts of horrible revelations, like "Honey, it's time you knew your father and I are into bestiality. We'd like to introduce you to the new member of our family -- Beatrice the goat!" Why do parents do this? And then they wonder why the kid joins a cult and starts doing crack.