One of the most Famous Cultist Leaders – Charles Manson

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Charles Milles Manson was a cult leader that instructed his followers to commit hanse acts of murder against multiple people around California. Charles Manson always lived around violence and crime since he was very young; knowing this, it brought out some possible ideas for why he became one of the most famous murderous cult leaders in the world. The two most influential theories that may have played a part in the making of this criminal is the Differential Association theory and the Social Bond Theory.

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Both of these theories revolve around his troubled childhood and lack of parental care.

One possible reason Charles Milles Manson became who he we know him as today is due to the Differential Association theory. The Differential Association theory is defined as “Differential Association theory is a criminology theory that looks at the acts of the criminal as learned behaviors”. Charles Manson fits this definition. He grew up never knowing his father, which as a young boy, is a central part of growing up. Mason’s father, Colonel Walker Henderson Scott Sr., who was in the army, and a known con artist, ran off when Mason’s mother was pregnant. He told her he had “army business” to attend to and never came back. A few years later, his mother, Kathleen Maddox, was sent to prison for robbing a man named Frank Martin; she was sentenced to five years in prison. Charles was sent to live with his aunt and uncle across the country in McMechen, West Virginia. His uncle also robbed a man while he was living with Charles. Charles Manson’s family structure at a young age was completely destroyed, he had no father or mother due to his parents behavior issues. Once his mother got out of jail she re-entered his life. Although, her criminal record did not end there, she got arrested for grand larceny a little while after returning home. After seeing his mother, and hearing of his father committing crimes, he grew to learn this was how people are supposed to act. He eventually moved again and rented his own room in Indianapolis. He supported himself by burgling stores and robbing grocery stores and one casino. Manson started his life of crime because, as the Differential Association theory suggests, he learned these acts from his mother, who was a known to rob people/steal cars. Manson began his life of crime by repeating the same acts of crime as her… He grew up knowing crime and that was his understanding of how to get through life.

As said before, Charles Mason never knew his father, and for a good part of his life, lived without his mother. Social Bond Theory is the idea that forming personal relationships are one of the most significant aspects of human developments that stops us from committing crimes. Due to the fact that Charles Manson never even had a relationship with his father, and a very lousy one with his mother may have been a huge reason he started committing crimes. The only interaction he had was his mother was her teaching him about committing acts of robbery.

Charles Milles Manson has been called one of the most famous cultist leaders in the world. He committed numerous acts of murder through the brainwashing of young Californians who were unfortunate enough to fall into his trap. However, he started his early life learning crime from his family, more specifically, his mother and uncle, who both committed a number of robberies. The first thing Manson did after moving out of his uncle’s house was commit robberies throughout Indianapolis in order to survive. He grew up thinking this is how someone like him makes a living in life. With the absence of the two most important people in a child’s life, his mother and his father, he grew up without a warm loving nest for him to grow as a respectable person, leaving himself vulnerable for the life of a criminal.


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One of the most famous cultist leaders - Charles Manson. (2019, May 06). Retrieved from