Years ago someone shared with me (after I accused her "helicopter" painting of being merely egotistical) that she once thought that helicopters were tracking her movements.
At the time, I hadn't heard of such a mental phenomenon before. After being reassured that I wasn't just a "mere helicopter"--one of many--circling her and that the painting had nothing to do with "suitors," I was assuaged. (Talk about my own egotism!) And didn't think about helicopters any more.
This Sunday, though, while returning books at the library, I randomly picked up the latest book on Manson ("Charles Manson Now" -- poorly organized, but thoughtful); by Marlin Marynick, a 40-something psychiatric nurse whose own frightening early visions after his mother's suicide led him to seek meaning in the philosophies of other "dark visionaries" such as Manson. Marynick ended up meeting with Manson at Corcoran Prison several times in the past couple of years. And in his quest to learn more about Manson, he also came across figures peripheral to Manson today: Stanton LaVey (yes, that's his real name; grandson of Satanist Anton LaVey), and Matthew Roberts, probable biological son of Manson (former med student, now a DJ in Los Angeles).
Stanton LaVey, stereotypically, does see many Satanic/universal patterns in the Tate murders/conspiracy to target Manson that continue to reverberate today. And he's right in the middle of it:
"...That's why they don't want me talking to you, or anybody. But, at the same time, they can rely on the fact that everyone thinks I'm about ninety percent crazy."
I had no idea who "they" could be. I didn't press for details.
"There's a helicopter overhead, everywhere I go," Stanton insisted. "They follow me around. There's always a helicopter over me -- I kid you fucking not."
Unlike Stanton LaVey, who's milking his famous connection and presenting himself as a far-out, bad-ass Satanist with "impeccable" lineage, Matthew Roberts is a much lower-key, much more intelligent, thoughtful guy whose mother is known to have slept with Manson in the '60s in California when she was a teen; Roberts looks exactly like Manson, though Manson has refused a DNA test in the case. While I was kind of rolling my eyes at the dumb braggadocio of the Stanton chapter, the author's interview with Matthew Roberts was more interesting to me:
He [Roberts] told me he thinks schizophrenia is a condition through which a person's mind advances enough to see the relativity of all things. Synchronicity will then seem to increase in that person's life to such a degree that he is left with the dilemma of deciding whether to believe he is the creator of his life's events or merely the observer.
I think I'm hyper intuitive and I think that ties in with the schizophrenic thing quite a bit because, ultimately, if you are synchronously experiencing things as a function of intuition, then you are simply living the life you are supposed to live, whether that's being in the right place at the right time or actually predicting things. A schizophrenic believes that he's predicting events, that he's creating reality.
And RE the helicopters:
I told Matthew about Stanton's experience with surveillance, his belief that helicopters follow him everywhere. "Really?" Matthew asked. "I moved into a friend's house for a while and he told me that helicopters flying overhead went crazy; he hadn't experienced them that way until I moved in. All of a sudden they were flying right over us; it literally felt like they were going to land on the roof..." I asked Matthew to interpret this bizarre experience. He explained that, with thermal imaging technology, every person on the planet is visible from space. "Everyone lights up like a firefly," he said. "This might be my ego, or delusions of grandeur, but I believe I glow very bright. I do think they track me; maybe they think I'm some sort of threat."
What's most interesting to me is: Why THAT PARTICULAR mental phenomenon? How does THAT thought-pattern arise? There's obviously a basis for it. Not just a random "nutty" idea in one person's head. (Well, it IS a "random" idea when one experiences it alone. When other accounts start to show up and be documented, though, a more universal pattern starts to emerge.)