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Lynette "Squeaky" "Red" Fromme
Q: I feel like I want to ask something about your relationship with Manson and the Family, not in any detail, but again, I’m aware that there have been all kinds of allegations in the press that it was a really crazy, hedonistic trip.
A: Right. This is people’s desires and fantasies. This is another thing that I’m under, that he’s under.
Q: Can you give me just a brief overview of your relationship with Manson and the Family, so that I can say I covered it in case anyone asks?
A: Who would ask?
Q: Well I don’t know, but I’m sure a bunch of this has been seen at times by people as though this was an extension of certain beliefs on your part, that got started in the time you were with the Family and so forth. I don’t know what to ask, it just seems like it’s a big chunk in your life between 18 and the present time that I don’t really know anything about from your own lips… As to how your life went in the intervening 8 years.
A: That again would take a great deal of explanation, because of what you’ve read. I’d have to counterpoint.
Q: I’m not assuming anything I’ve read is accurate, rest assured. Can you kind of give me a synopsis of what happened between 18 and now? Is that possible?
A: Well, as much as I feel that I am legally obligated; I don’t feel that I’m legally obligated to say anything. I can say that, like most people during the late 60s, we did a lot of traveling around; we did a lot of meeting people. We were not hedonistic, or solely the thought of being out only for the pleasure. We were concerned about what was going on, what people were thinking, how people were being treated, and we found dozens of young people out in the streets. Some people were taking care of themselves fine, others of them were being abused by any number of people who found out that they could just swoop in to San Francisco and pick people up. And, it was my feeling to offer these people a place to stay. For example, it was me who went out and found a young run-away girl one day, who didn’t have a place to stay and said, “come on home with us”. And subsequent to this, young people would come to our house and say “can I stay here?” And we’d say, “you can stay here, but you’re going to have to be quiet, you’re going to have to respect the place, and if you just want attention from your parents, and if you’re going to take drugs, you can’t be here, because we don’t do that. You can live in the back, you can live in the woods if you want. We’ll see that you’re fed, that you’ve got food. We’ll see that nobody hurts you.” We ran into a number of young people who told us that their parents were abusing them. One girl in fact, who later testified against us, called us up, told us her dad was beating her, and she was crying, [asking] would we come and pick her up. Of course we’ll come and pick her up. We did not have sex orgies, and drug orgies, or cult meetings, or hanging Christ in effigy, or pretending Charlie was Christ, or anything of that nature. This all comes out of people’s imagination. We were actually very healthy. We found out that by giving to eachother and supporting eachother and building eachother up, and realizing that there is a joy in giving, there is a purpose in being able to serve eachother – we found great satisfaction.
- Lynette Fromme, September 21, 1975 (Source: Recording of evaluation for trial)
“In wanting to believe that people were willing to change we lost our lives. In wanting to believe that nine murders were enough; for Christ sakes, for God sakes, what more do you want? For them to put it all on Manson is criminal.”
- Lynette Fromme, 1992 (Source: Michal ben Horin interview)
What, do you feel, is most misunderstood about Manson?
One thing people don't understand is "now". Most minds think from A to B to G to 0, or hold goals and ambitions to keep them going. The prosecutor and other writers were highly ambitious, so they say that Manson aspired to be a singing star. That's foolish to anyone who saw him pass up, time after time, the chance to become one. The producers wanted him to come to the studios by himself. He got a bunch of unprofessional kazoo and spoon playing dropouts to go with him. He said, "What fun would it be without all of us together?" Those were different times. What people don't understand is that he wasn't looking for attention, which is part of one reason he got so much of it. We wanted to know what he had.
- Lynette Fromme, 1987 (Source: Sandy’s old site)
The Family speaks about the Spahn Ranch raid, 02/06/1970
Lynette Fromme: Nobody was even fighting, so they didn’t have much to do. When they found Charley a big hubbub between the officers started. And they said things like, “So this is Manson!” And we heard his name echo through the big throng. He didn’t put up any resistance at all, but three of them were on him immediately and had his hands behind his back. They pulled his arms way up marching him in front of everyone.
(Source: LA Free Press)
There were many women around. We all had a relationship with each other that was very strong. And all of our minds kind of hooked up. We rejected the society. We rejected marriage because we didn't like what our parents had. We looked at our parents' marriages and we said "You know, if I'm going to say I pledge my life to you till death, then I'm not going to leave." We rejected paying taxes when we didn't know where those tax dollars were going. We wanted to know what is it being used for? I know lots of young people felt that way. They wanted to know what is this war for?
When the circumstances are right, everything becomes a dance. And then, there's this communication that happens on earth between the animals and the people. And when you're in the woods, when you're some place like the redwoods— when you are in the presence of a thousand year old, or three thousand year old tree that's as big as a house, it puts you in your place. When it came to animals, he wanted to know "What are you and what do you do? He didn't say those words, but more or less, he looked at each animal as an interesting creature and he wanted to know how it lived and what it was here for. And everything has that purpose, that nice, circular balance of plant life, of animal life. We have a planet that needs all the help it can get and people are not number one, you know.
I wanted a courtroom. I wanted to put my people in court and let them say what they did. Bugliosi, the district attorney on the Tate-LaBianca cases, had put out a book. There were a lot of falsehoods in that book and it was a distorted view of our purposes, helter skelter and all... wanting to start a race war—that's a joke. A race war's been coming for years and years. So for them to put it all on Manson is criminal. But the other people, the other races of people know. And all that I say, with regard to that, is I believe it's natural. I believe that it is natural to like yourself, to look to others that look like you. And it's good. Other races should not be looking to white people for images.
I have no respect for people who don't have respect for what gives them life. And that's earth. You know, earth first. That's Manson's first woman.
He can get right up to you and affect you in a way that maybe you've never been affected before. Because he can scare the shit out of you, turn around, walk away, and turn back and be somebody else. And he can show you a way to become connected with birds and animals and trees and things like that. He shows you by his actions. He doesn't tell you. He doesn't preach it. He wasn't a preacher. He didn't teach us these things. He just lived them . And that was more than we had seen from anyone else. And as far as leaders go, I'll go with that, you know. He didn't ask me to call him God. We thought that was really funny. You think we'd be with somebody we had to call God?
People want evil. In order for there to be a good, there has to be evil. People want it. I don't happen to need scary things chasing me around. I don't want my dreams full of that. I want to see what's here. I want to discover the country. I want to take a look at it.
.... it was a unanimous type of a decision. And it was... we didn't vote on it or anything. We had become one mind. And it wasn't Manson's mind . We had become another, something that goes beyond the individual, I don't know what to call it.
And I will explain that this way. I picked up a pair of scissors in the ranch house and I'm thinking "I don't need these" so I put them down. I walk in circles. Finally, I pick up the scissors and leave. And I get down where the movie set is and one of the girls stepped out of a saloon. She said, "Thank you". It was not abnormal for us to understand and know each other's thoughts from a distance. Then we realized this is what human beings can do. All of us, you know. And we weren't sure we were worthy of it. And we had to deal with religion and you know, were we worthy, Religions teach otherwise. Well, why not? What else would God have us be but worthy? So then, to accept this and to go on, we saw so many things that I don't talk about them.
He can dance. He likes to dance. And it comes from feeling. And if he touches you, then it spreads. And then, people start behaving differently . And they become more, I guess, just poised.
I think it's coming back around again. I think kids are dissatisfied and they're... they all, kids are always dissatisfied, but I think that they're coming back to natural things again, It's hard because half of it's been taken away from you already. Kids tell me all the time, "Well, you know, it may not be here by the time I'm an adult" They say, "I don't know if I'm gonna have children or not." We're a continuum. As human beings, we' re supposed to see into the future. When you hear those Indians down in Brazil talking about their kids and their grandkids, it's warming. I want them to win. I don't want them to be slaughtered. I want them to win.
I was sitting behind lots and lots of people when Charlie walked into the courtroom and he was asking the judge to be able to retain his voice. He wanted to defend himself and not have someone else up there talking for him who didn't know him. And the people were wanting to see what he was about, what he had to say. They were on the edge of the seats, and the reporters were writing down things and suddenly, very suddenly, the judge banged the gavel and he said, "This is my courtroom, Mr. Manson, and I make the rules here." And it was obviously an attempt to gain back the attention of the people 'cause everybody jumped. Everybody felt like they had been reprimanded . And that's supposed to be the "big dad" up there. I'll give him that respect if he gives my land and water and air that respect. I mean, there should be judges, like Solomon, wise people to be in the middle of disputes. But don't take my attention and then just point me toward money and tell me that's the only thing that's right.
I mean, when people kill, they have to be willing to be killed. And the women involved in this, and the men at the time, they were. They were. So whatever they say about Charlie, it can be a reaction to something. I don't know. They are under much more pressure than I have ever been.
I just know that there are a lot of young people who want to follow him, so they follow what they read in the books. It's not right. We didn't take heroin. No way. You won't get me to touch that. Or Cocaine. And I've had to write letters to young people saying we didn't do that because they wrote me and they tell me, "Yeah, it's cool. I take these drugs and all. . . "
How could you let an elephant be extinct? How could we allow elephants to be taken off the earth? We can't do that.
- Lynette Fromme