The Myth of Helter Skelter by Susan Atkins

I found this site, late one night (I’m not totally sure how I even landed there) and was riveted by it for way too long. This site used to contain a rough draft of a book started by Susan Atkins (of Manson Family fame) and her husband, attempting to explain what really happened leading up to the Tate-LaBianca murders – that while Helter Skelter was used as a motive to finally convict Manson and his family members, it was really just one in a long line of manipulation techniques that he used to get people to do what he wanted.

Historically, Manson has been looked at as this mind controlling genius that somehow got a bunch of kids to attempt to enact his ‘end of the world’ scenario – one that he truly believed. This extremely well written article shows Manson for what he really was: a paranoid, self-centered, sociopathic, master manipulator, who after shooting a man who he thought was a Black Panther manipulated those around him to enact murders that he thought would throw the Black Panthers off his trail and keep them from coming after him – in other words, he was trying to save himself by sacrificing those around him.

Most interestingly, this write up explained many things that have confused people for years – including why the Tate-LaBianca murders seemed so “random”. This article was the first explanation of the reasoning behind the randomness of the acts that actually makes sense, as well as explaining some of the things Manson did in order to gain control over his followers.

This is the most rational, thought out explanation of the Manson crimes that I have ever read, coming from someone who had an intimate role in some of the most horrific and publicized murders of all time.   Interestingly, her role wasn’t what we all thought it was.

Hopefully, it helps take away some of the mystique and fascination that some young people still have for him today.

I’m disappointed that she had to turn to christianity to prove her point.   Most of her later years were spent writing letters to Christians.    I think that was probably because of how society looked at her – it could have been the most extreme way to get acceptance in her eyes. The world may never know.

What was apparent to me was the logic in the explanation offered in this text.   Well worth the read.

Notes:

Susan Atkins is suffering from terminal brain cancer and was recently denied parole after submitting a request for “compassionate release” due to her illness.

Related Links:

Update September 25, 2009

Susan Atkins has died at the age of 61.

Update May, 2014:

Here is the updated link to the book, which you now have to pay for. Totally worth the price. Finally a book that lays out the “randomness” of the end of the summer of love. These murders killed a generation.   The Myth of Helter Skelter, by Susan Atkins.

Walla-Pa-Looza Benefit In McHenry County for American Cancer Society

A friend of mine, Craig Wallace, has assembled a bunch of great volunteers and friends to put on a charity benefit called Walla-Pa-Looza. The event is a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society and will be held on August 1, 2009 from 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm at the Johnsburg Community Club in Johnsburg, Illinois. $5 gets you in the door and children under 12 are free. There will be a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, ticket raffle and other activities throughout the day.

You can find a host of information at their web site, walla-pa-looza.org, including an opportunity to become a sponsor of the event if you are a local business.

The event will feature four bands that have contributed their time and talents:

The thing that blows me away about this is it started out with Craig just wanting to have a party on his one acre lot. He, his wife, and a friend started talking about the economy and how it would effect charities – and that got the ball rolling. They decided to do something about it.

It’s definitely a worthy cause. I know I’ve lost people to cancer, as I’m sure many of you have as well. Jonna and I will definitely be donating and attending – and I would encourage anyone local in McHenry County to do so as well. I would also encourage local business to visit the sponsor page to find out how you can help and get some advertising out of it to boot!

Make sure to visit their web site to get more information and, if you are so inclined, donate (by the way, they support Paypal donations – so if you’re not local you can still donate to the cause!). Their goal is to raise $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. Let’s help them blow this goal out of the water.

Hopefully, we’ll see you there!

By the way, Walla-Pa-Looza also has a fan page on Facebook. Become a fan today!

The Fate of the SVK Tutorials

Chia-liang Kao, the developer and maintainer of the SVK Distributed Version Control System posted a message to the mailing list on May 28th of this year declaring the end of development for the SVK tool.

I know from statistics that the tutorials on this site have been at least helpful, but am curious as to whether I should take them down or not given the fate of the tool. I myself have moved to Git, which has really good integration with Subversion.

So I’m asking you. Do you want the tutorials to stay, or can I get rid of them?

Piloting Git in a Subversion Environment

We’re looking to implement a pilot of Git to familiarize the team with the tool and introduce them to the more flexible workflow that Git supports over SVN. Because we support concurrent lines of development, we would like to forego the usual way of using git with SVN (each developer clones a branch of the repository and commits there) and try to implement a pure git experience using an intermediate “project repository”. The idea behind this repository is as follows:

  • We clone the main subversion repository using git svn
  • An empty project repository is created on the server and the Subversion clone is pushed to this repository (its an additional remote).
  • The development team clones the project repository and proceeds to do development in their own clones. Periodic pushes to and pulls from the project repository keeps each developers master branch up to date, from which they can rebase their local branches.
  • Periodically (probably daily), the originating SVN clone is ‘svn rebased’ and the new changes pushed to the project repository. These changes will be pulled by the developers on the next pull from the project repository.

In picture form, the workflow looks something like this:

Envisioned Pilot Process

Nevermind – StackOverflow ruined it for me.

Feeding The Multitudes with Unbuntu Linux Christian Edition

Photo by rbieber

I found a reference to the Ubuntu Linux Christian Edition site from the Unix and Linux Menagerie blog and just had to download it and try it out.

This is my stupid attempt at humor. Christian geeks will get it, I hope. I actually downloaded it because I’m interested in the filtering that comes as part of the distro.