In 1969, a handful of murderers entered the home of a Hollywood celebrity. They were instructed to enter her home, destroy everyone inside and to make it as “gruesome as possible”. The group was led by a man named Charles Watson, who was given instructions from his leader to invade the home and murder its residents. The late sixties were a time of peace and love. Unfortunately, for Sharon Tate and some of her friends, not everyone was interested in the peace and love being offered by the generation.
The Manson Family was made up of a handful of confused, deranged and vulnerable individuals who may have found better paths to enlightenment had they not met Charles Manson. Some of the family's members were latent psychopaths waiting for reasons to fulfill their hateful desires, while others were just lonely, young, and naïve. Charles Manson offered them something chess club or girl scouts couldn't. Charles Manson offered his minions a spiritual path to enlightenment. With that, he made them believe they were destined to fulfill a higher purpose.
What we're seeing today with the radicalization of seemingly normal Canadians is what America saw with the Manson Family. The only difference is that the ideology and spirituality offered by radical Islamists is more wide spread. Radical clerics and imams are capable of achieving what Charles Manson did, but on a much larger scale.
Helter Skelter And Jihad
Charles Manson's racial apocalypse was very similar to the religious apocalypse of modern jihadists. Manson predicted a vicious race war in the United States between blacks and whites. He called this doomsday war “Helter Skelter”. Modern mujahideen view themselves as being in a “struggle” against forces that are aligned against Islam. They call this struggle “Jihad”. To some more radical Muslims, the Jihad is a Holy War against anyone who is not a Muslim.
Unlike Islam, Charles Manson's religion existed on a much smaller scale and was localized to a borrowed ranch in California. Just like Charles Manson, radical clerics and imams in Africa, the Middle East and North America are recruiting vulnerable, latent psychopaths to follow through with their homicidal plans. Instead of killing celebrity pigs, radical Islamic gurus are using a bastardized version of Islam to kill and murder Jews, Christians and anyone who isn't sympathetic to their vicious Jihad. Radical imams are at war with infidels, just as Manson was at war with pigs.
Both imams and Manson have convinced their followers that there was a greater purpose and that they were soldiers in a war. They were all promised salvation or paradise. The crimes at Fort Hood and in Ottawa were committed by radicals who took advice and listened to the promises of similar radicals like Anwar al-Awlaki. They may have been disconnected, but their sources of inspiration were the same. They were united under the idea of jihad, just as the Manson Family was united under Helter Skelter.
Charles Manson was never convicted of murder. He was imprisoned and sentenced to death for “conspiracy to commit murder”. Although he claims to have committed murder, no evidence exists to suggest that Charles Manson ever killed anyone. Instead, Manson convinced others to kill for him. Because California briefly decided to do away with capital punishment, Manson narrowly escaped execution. He continues to rot in California's Corcoran State Prison, where he still receives loving letters from his fans.
The Power Of Spirituality
Spirituality gives people hope in something more. If their dogma dictates that their spiritual beliefs make them more superior than others, they can end up believing that murder is justified. The Manson Family believed they had a higher and more meaningful destiny than the worthless pigs they were going to murder. To the Manson Family, the pigs were the problem and they were steering society in the wrong direction. There was a race war coming and the Manson Family was going to survive. Because Charles Manson knew the secret codes in the song “Helter Skelter”, he and his family had an advantage. Charles Manson was a prophet.
During drug induced sermons around camp fires, Manson would seduce his young, impressionable pupils. He convinced them that the Beatles' White Album had spoken to him. He had a wisdom that couldn't be matched.
Manson's influence was so powerful that in 1971, a former family member and a group of her friends robbed a surplus store in California and stole over 100 rifles. Their plan was to hijack a plane and kill one passenger every hour until Charlie was released from prison. Yes, that's right. They were going to hijack a plane and kill for their saviour.
The Manson Family would go on to be involved in a presidential assassination plot and handfuls of other deranged objectives. For such a small group of people, their ability to follow through with sinister plots was astonishing. It was their faith in Charlie and his prophesies that kept them united and capable.
We've seen it all before. History seems to repeat itself. More precisely, human behaviours repeat themselves. Every so often, a person or idea comes along to seduce the masses. We can only imagine how wide spread Helter Skelter would have been if Charles Manson had the resources that modern jihadists have today.
There isn't much difference between the Manson Family and modern jihadists. In fact, there is a healthy number of parallels between the two. Unlike most religions, both have found ways to justify murder. The same happened to Christianity. The key difference between Christianity's reign of terror is that it came to an end. Islam is only slightly younger than Christianity and its reign of terror seems to be intensifying and growing with globalized communication.
Since history repeats itself, we should find some solace in knowing that the spread of radical Islam can be stopped. History is riddled with the destruction, defeat and reformation of homicidal movements. All we have to do is look at some of the things that helped stop the violent reign of Christianity and Nazism. One was reformed – one was destroyed. The reason Christianity was saved is because it had peaceful tenets, while Nazism was based solely on segregation and violence. Christianity was bastardized, while Nazism was already born a bastard.
Stopping jihadism can't involve criminalizing an entire religion. If Islam truly has peaceful tenets, the ones who live by them will stand up to fight for the future of their religion. If Islam has no peaceful tenets, it'll be destroyed.
Radical Islam won't be defeated by political correctness or our reluctance to acknowledge the true source of terrorism. At the same time, it won't be defeated by outlawing forms of speech, thoughts or ideas. It was ideas and speech that reformed Christianity. It was the spread of more positive ideas and new, radical concepts that formed America and Canada. Letting opponents of radical Islam speak is one of the most important weapons against terrorism. Whether they are Muslims themselves, or Christians or even bigoted atheists – it's vital to let them all speak.
Doing What's Necessary
New and better ideas will win the masses. They always do. Honesty and free speech will destroy the regressive ideals of jihadists. At the same time, it's important to give ourselves the ability to track and monitor active jihadists to prevent murder. Everyone wants freedom over fear. To end the fear, we'll have to do away with our reluctance to accept the fact that Islam houses more terrorists and murderers than other current religions. Instead of giving away freedoms at home, we should prevent jihadists from entering our country. Recognizing a jihadist involves recognizing his religion.
Recognizing homegrown jihadists also involves recognizing their religion. There are currently a number of radicalized mosques operating in Canada in the very same way as other tax exempt churches and synagogues. The main difference is that some of these mosques are receiving money from radical Islamists in other countries, while their imams are preaching hatred, bigotry and even murder.
Allowing radicalized mosques to operate in Canada is a disservice to Muslims across the country. Furthermore, it puts all of us in danger. The source of homegrown terrorism isn't Islam alone, it's radicalized mosques. Those mosques happen to operate under the umbrella of Islam – not Christianity, not Judaism, not Atheism. Every radical mosque is like a Spahn Ranch, converting latent psychopaths and churning out potential murderers.
Normal, peaceful Muslims in Canada have already done their part by reaching out and encouraging mosques and imams to better vet new converts. Syed Soharwardy, a Calgary imam, has encouraged all imams to look for signs of radicalism and to reject and report such behaviours to police. It was the Muslim parents of three Somali girls in Toronto who reported them to police, notifying them of their intentions of joining ISIS in Turkey and fighting with jihadists.
Canadian Muslims are active in protecting their religion from its inevitable demise under radical jihadists. Canadian authorities need to do their part. Allowing imams in Canada to speak freely, even if they're jihadists, should be a part of the battle plan. Let them speak so we can identify their intentions. Properly vetting new Canadians, even on religious grounds, is also important. Forget about political correctness and the fear of being labelled a bigot. Canadian Muslims have begun vetting new Muslims, just as Canadian authorities should begin vetting new Canadians. As for radical mosques operating in Canada without consequence, Canadians should be asking why their government has allowed them to continue operating under the same status as churches and synagogues, while knowing what they know about them.