The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman
Four Star Review of Nikolas Schreck’s The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman(2011) from Metal Impact (France)
“The Manson File, as brought to you now by Camion Noir, is much more than a revised and expanded edition of Nikolas Schreck’s “The Manson File,” which appeared in the late 80s. Former member of the gothic / industrial experimental combo RADIO WEREWOLF, Schreck has never ceased to try to establish the truth about the ‘Manson Family’, and the grotesque fraud of the trial of leading Spahn Ranch figures, conducted, it should be remembered, in the absence of Manson, whose choice to serve as his own legal representative was denied numerous times by the court … The work accomplished by Schreck is titanic. The book’s sheer number of pages might dissuade the potential reader. But no lesser length would suffice to present the complicated ins and outs of the case presented here in so logical and irrefutable a manner. And when you immerse yourself in the narration of facts, it becomes impossible to deny them. The Manson File is a spider web designed to trap any flies of lies that have gathered in the last forty years. … Each character, each story has its own rationale, and even if we can get lost in this labyrinth of truths, and the characters’ names get tangled, everything becomes clear in the end, and the puzzle is reconstructed. … If the proponents of the hackneyed Helter Skelter theory have preferred from the outset to focus on a small group of culprits, the affair of the Tate/LaBianca killings is shown here to have involved a huge number of direct and indirect protagonists, many of whom were illustrious figures of the dying sixties scene. But the main responsibility for this hypocrisy that the American justice system has called a “trial” for four decades, is without a doubt Vincent Bugliosi, who masterfully played this parody knowing he was cast in the best role…. Throughout the book’s long development, Nikolas Schreck strives to reveal every aspect of the many different stories concerning the character of Manson. Far from trying to make a martyr of him, and far from trying to present him as a saint sacrificed on the altar of dissimulation, he is content to present him just as he is, with all of his philosophies and his contradictions, as the criminal/ philosopher he has always been. The mere fact of presenting Manson’s words verbatim is indicative of the author’s desire for truth. As one who has communicated many times with the most famous prisoner in America , he knows who he’s dealing with, and does not disguise his thoughts to give birth to an uproarious and highly praiseworthy work. After reading this book, we’ve encountered a Manson who is always funny, annoying, disturbing, contradictory, but above all fascinating. The man who could have been a beacon of freedom in thought and action ended up imprisoned for life because of meeting the wrong people at the wrong time. … The Manson File is divided into several sections, distinct but complementary. It’s evident that the author tried to understand all the different aspects of Manson’s personality, the episodes of his life and his encounters, and to understand all the nonsense presented at his trial in the late 60s. Charlie is presented in turn as an influential musician of integrity, a shaman as defined by authentic Indian cultures, but also as a criminal who has spent more time in prison than in freedom, and never felt as safe – physically and intellectually – as in that cell. As I said previously, his trajectory is transcribed faithfully, without any attempt at “romanticization” if I may be excused this neologism, and when the language requires, Manson becomes the simple car thief or pimp he’s always been. … The image reflected in this book is a hundred leagues away from the buffoon embittered by the lack of recognition of his peers, and the cult leader eager for blood and vengeance against the establishment. Schreck puts center stage the real culprits of the case, the demented Charles “Tex” Watson, who has become a repentant “good Christian” supported tooth and nail by a procession of fans, star hairdresser and notorious drug dealer Jay Sebring and his friend / sidekick / nemesis “Voytek” Frykowski, friend to Roman Polanski, the husband of the late Sharon Tate, and especially updates the tenuous links between Hollywood, the Mafia, the American prison system, the Pentagon, the CIA, and U.S. Secret Service. What might seem from afar to be yet another conspiracy theory as seen from outside proves entirely credible in these pages and sends shivers down your spine. Thus, the comparison between the mock trial of the Cielo Drive murders and the catastrophic Warren Commission Report is logically proven as a concealment of facts that can on no account be revealed to the light of day. That The Manson File names Dennis Wilson, Sammy Davis Jr., Kenneth Anger, Mama Cass or Anton LaVey is not especially surprising. More so is the appearance of Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy, “Lucky” Luciano, Jean Harlow or JFK. And the strength of this book is that it manages to establish these connections between these different figures as distant by their rank as their spatiotemporal situation, without falling into the lowest kind of grotesque sensationalism. And once the big picture is put together, the evidence is shown all too clearly to the reader. … Please note, I am not saying here that we must accept all of Nikolas Schreck’s arguments and conclusions, and it will suit each reader to form his own opinion. But after forty years spent swallowing the “politically correct” versions offered up the former protagonists of the case, whether defendants, prosecutors, former cops and even simple figures of the establishment at the time, The Manson File’s luxurious “Apocalypse Edition” comes like a breath of fresh air, and most importantly, a door to a truth … This detailed study, which is never content with a simple surface survey, or a simple research work on materials already available, scrapes tirelessly into the deepest reaches of Hollywood’s second Golden Age … Read The Manson File …”
The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman
Revised and Expanded Apocalypse Edition, by Nikolas Schreck
Reviewed by Tony Dickie of Compulsion Online
At the turn of the century it seemed that Live Freaky, Die Freaky written by former Beach Boy session musician and investigative journalist, Bill Scanlan Murphy would be the book to explode the Manson myth and detail the actual events that lead to two nights of murder in what’s become known as the Manson murders. Murphy, a close confidante of Dennis Wilson, was first to seriously consider a drug angle to the case. Ill health and other circumstances saw to it that Murphy’s book never made it to print. Schreck, a friend and associate of Murphy, picks up on and expands many of the tenets of Murphy’s theory. It should be noted that this isn’t Nikolas Schreck’s first study about Manson. In 1988 Schreck edited the original version of The Manson File, a collection of Manson writings, letters, testimony, artwork, stories and lyrics compiled by Manson supporters including Boyd Rice, Adam Parfrey, John Aes-Nihil, Nick Bougas. This was the first publication to feature Manson’s thought uncensored, and it was regarded by many as an apologists take on Manson. Schreck followed this is up in 1989 with the interview documentary video Charles Manson Superstar, featuring an interview with Manson, while incarcerated in San Quentin, one of the many institutions Manson has spent since time in ever since his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment for commanding disciples of his cult to commit murder in what’s now known as the Manson murders. Except, as Schreck reveals in painstaking detail in The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman, this was never the case. And over the course of 900 pages Schreck posits a compelling case, compiled from over 20 years of research. It’s a scenario that entwines the Mafia, the swinging Hollywood scene and the film industry. Lurking behind it all is a Mafia money laundering scheme. A grand scale scam which lead to the financing of the Hollywood Paramount studios which, according to Schreck, was under investigation by the FBI at the time of the murders.
Public opinion on the so-called Manson murders has been largely based on Helter Skelter: The True Story of The Manson Murders written by Vincent Bugliosi, the Prosecuting District Attorney. In it he paints Manson as a vengeful cult leader who ordered his band of brainwashed followers to kill. The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman exposes Bugliosi’s “helter skelter” theory as an elaborate whitewashing of the facts revealing the motive for the murders to be a typical drug trade slaying between rival factions in the seedy Hollywood scene. The shady relationship between the criminal underworld and Hollywood circles, which revolved around the illicit drug trade is revealed for the first time. Even the chronology and order of who died when at the Tate house, according to Schreck, is wrong. With three victims already dead, there was a second trip back to the house, to clear-up any incriminating evidence and to plant misleading clues. Schreck confirms that Manson was present on the second visit, when Frykowski and Folger were killed.
Not only does Schreck dispel Bugliosi’s theory he concludes that the real motive was suppressed. It is these aspects that were underplayed, time shifted and intentionally excluded that make Schreck’s book so compelling, and ultimately convincing. The myth that the victims and perpetrators were unknown to each other is exposed as a smokescreen. Manson and Watson knew exactly who lived at Cielo Drive; Schreck makes known that both Manson and Charles Watson (the key protagonist in all of this, according to Schreck) had frequented the Cielo Drive house and were known to Tate and the other victims, as members of the same drugged-up party circuit centring around Mama Cass Elliot’s dope house. The story that these were random killings is revealed to be the lie, which many suspected it to be.
The true nature of the relationship between the Manson group and the victims revolved around drug deals. Sebring was “Candyman” to the Hollywood milieu and Frykowski was one of many dealers to the Manson group. Steve Parent, the first to die on the night of the Cielo Drive murders isn’t as innocent as he has been painted either. Neither were the La Bianca’s, who were to die on the second night’s killing spree. Leno La Bianca was up to his neck in mob debts, while his wife, Rosemary, was a regular supplier to Sebring and Frykowski, and was known to have dealings with Charles Watson. Schreck concludes that the only innocent victims in all of this was Sharon Tate and Abigail Folger, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time as their drug-addled boyfriends conducted a drug deal that went badly wrong, with fatal consequences.
The usual lists of characters play their role but Schreck also introduces a number of other players from the Hollywood milieu such as Steve McQueen (who was due to pick up a drug order from the Cielo Drive residence on the evening of the murders and then feared for his life due to his intimate knowledge of the key players), Van Dyke Parks (whose innocent appearance at the Cielo Drive house would take on a greater significance), to a number of other Hollywood and Canadian drug dealers along with a number of Polish immigrants, with relevance to the Manson case, close to Roman Polanski who were sucked into Mafia and FBI related activities.
Key to all of this was Joel Rostau, a shady mob figure, whose name was mysteriously excised from the trial and subsequently from Manson history. It was Rostau who dropped off a consignment of cocaine and mescaline to Sebring and Frykowski on the evening of the murders. Informed by the Cielo Drive dealers that they were in need of LSD for a big transaction later that night, Rostau raced across town to his regular supplier, Rosemary La Bianca, who was unfortunately out of town. With an impending trial for unrelated mob activities, Joel Rostau was executed before he could reveal the connections between Cielo Drive, the La Bianca’s and the Manson group. If Rostau’s name is unfamiliar to those well versed with the Manson case, the same can’t be said of Terry Melcher, the music producer and son of Doris Day. According to Bugliosi, it was Melcher’s initial support and then rejection of Manson’s musical career that resulted in the revenge killings at the Cielo Drive residence. Not only does Schreck fully elaborate on Melcher’s plans to record Manson for Capitol Records, his research reveals that Melcher while resident at Cielo Drive allowed Watson and others in the Manson group to live in the guesthouse. Interesting as that is, it is the appearance of another LA musician that really sheds light on the case. Just after Rostau arrived with his order of drugs for Frykowski and Sebring, the young songwriter Van Dykes Park knocked on the door of Cielo Drive looking for Terry Melcher, who had moved months earlier. Why, according to Schreck, is this important? Well if Van Dykes Park was confused about Melcher’s whereabouts, then why not Manson too? Park’s confusion about Melcher’s whereabouts was co-opted by Bugliosi and shifted onto Manson, to further bolster his revenge theory for the Tate slayings. Schreck goes further, though, arguing that Park’s presence was intentionally omitted as Park could also provide evidence that Rostau, a known mafia drug dealer, was present at the Tate residence on the night of the murders. Even on the basis of these few examples from The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman, it’s clear that Schreck’s research is in-depth, wide ranging and casts serious doubts about the accepted version of events.
The central role of Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson in the chain of events that lead to murder is fully explained for the first time. It was Dennis Wilson that championed the musical talent of Manson, setting up recording sessions and bringing Manson to the attention of the Beach Boys (who backed up Manson on some of those now missing tapes), and introduced him to Greg Jakobson and Terry Melcher, who planned to release Manson’s music on Capitol Records/ Brother Records, after introducing him to the public via a film that would capture the communal activities at Spahn Ranch. More significantly, it was Dennis Wilson that brought together all the conditions that resulted in the slayings. Wilson would forever be plagued by guilt which drove him to drink and drugs with reckless abandon. In one of Schreck’s more surprising revelations it seems Wilson’s relationship with Manson went far beyond just drugs and music though.
Even the togetherness of the so-called Manson Family was shown to be a lie. Manson’s so called “right-hand man” Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, wasn’t a regular fixture at Spahn Ranch, preferring his home in the Hollywood hills where he ran his small scale drug operation. The blame for the botched robberies that lead to murder is laid squarely at the feet of Charles ‘Tex’ Watson. Four months prior to the Tate slayings, Watson instigated a botched drug robbery at the home of Joel Rostau and his girlfriend – who just happened to be the secretary at Jay Sebring’s hair salon – which predated and mirrored the Cielo Drive murders. Despite the LAPD being aware of this, Schreck makes clear that, once again, these details were never aired in the courtroom or mentioned by Manson or the other defendants.
You might wonder why the defendants never came clean. Susan Atkins, whose big mouth blew open the case and whose fanciful confession serialised in newspapers worldwide and published as The Killing of Sharon Tate – a book which kickstarted the whole Manson publishing conveyor belt – was offered immunity from the death penalty if she agreed to testify. Likewise the other defendants Krenwinkel, Van Houten were pressurised into agreeing to be brainwashed cult killers to fit with Bugliosi’s theory. Manson, who was raised in institutions and prison for most of his life, adhered to the prison code of not snitching, effectively signed his own death warrant with his unwillingness to tell all. Furthermore, the legal establishment ensured his silence by taking away his rights to testify, and when Richard Nixon, the incumbent President, declared Manson guilty long before the trial ended meant there was scant chance that Manson would ever receive a fair hearing.
In his desire to seek out the truth Schreck gives light to evidence that was never considered by the courtroom, witnesses that were never called, and highlights the inconsistencies between sworn testimony and later retellings that key figures have made over the years in interviews, biographies and subsequent TV docu-dramas. Just on the basis of this, the number of revisionist “facts” should be a cause for concern for even the most hardened believer of Bugliosi’s book.
In short, Schreck’s convincing thesis contends that Bugliosi’s “helter skleter” theory was an elaborate cover-up aimed to suppress the real reason for the murders. If the truth was told, then the links between Hollywood and the Mafia would have been exposed, and in the process a number of Hollywood careers would have been curtailed, while an ongoing FBI investigation – which had the drug dealing antics at Cielo Drive and at the La Bianca residence under surveillance – into a Mafia operation, which saw proceeds of a Kennedy airport scam laundered through drug dealing and which lead directly to Paramount Studios, would have been blown. The collusion between the Hollywood, the mob and the FBI – who clearly botched this sting operation – ensured the truth would never be told. Whether Bugliosi was an active participant in this collusion is never confirmed.
The amount of detail Schreck sets out makes it difficult to summarise. But The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman, goes way beyond the Manson murders touching upon Hollywood sex rings, orgies at Elvis’ house and implicates the role of the Genovese Mafia whose connections stretched back to Manson’s prison cell dealings with Alvin ‘Creepy’ Karpis, to his involvement in Bugsy Siegel’s death right up to the Cotton Club murders. While Jay Sebring’s star studded hairdressing career which acted as a front for mob money laundering brings into its orbit such Hollywood stars as Yul Bryner, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the affair between JFK and Marilyn Monroe. Veering as it does from the criminal underworld to the higher echelons of US politics, although credible, it does, at points, edge into the realms of conspiracy theory. This may superficially weaken Schreck’s viewpoint somewhat but Schreck’s book goes into detail into how all these strands combine, something that this review can only hint at.
And where does this leave Manson? As Schreck concludes he remains a car thief, pimp, drug dealer but he’s not as Bugliosi would have us believe a mastermind of a killer cult, at best he is an accessory to murder for his knowledge and involvement in the Hinman, Tate and La Bianca killings. It’s probably worth stating that Schreck was part of the industrial-goth outfit Radio Werewolf and performed in pro-Manson shows during the eighties. He’s still in contact with Manson – in fact, when Manson was caught with a mobile phone in his cell, Schreck was one of those on his call list. Yet Schreck doesn’t gloss over his more unsavoury attributes. I’d suspect that confirmation that Manson was present on the second visit to the Cielo Drive residence would surely prove irksome to Manson. So it’s fair to say that The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman, isn’t another whitewashing. Nikolas Schreck (and his wife Zeena) have previously blown the lid on the true life of (Zeena’s father) Anton LaVey, the former High Priest of the Church of Satan, so he’s not one to hide from the truth.
It’s important to state that The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman isn’t a true crime book; though it does develop all the different strands, using all the available evidence, testimony, transcripts and interviews together with material that’s never made into the public arena, into a cohesive whole to explain what he believes was the true motives and chronology of the murders. In many ways The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman brings things full circle, expanding on his philosophy which along with his music appealed to the initial members of the Manson group and enamoured Dennis Wilson to approach Terry Melcher who wanted to promote the philosophy, the communal living and the music of Manson as an entire counter-cultural package. Apart from the 1970 Rolling Stone interview, R.C. Zaehner’s Our Savage God and Schreck’s own original version of The Manson File – along with the ATWA sites – it’s rare to find Manson’s true thought appear in print. Schreck does a commendable job in outlining Manson’s philosophy, while analysing groups and individuals, both musical and political, who have used Manson as a vehicle for their own ends. Schreck concludes that most in their own ways have based their beliefs on Bugliosi’s fictionalised version of Manson – which is just as misguided and deluded as the countless Manson detractors who base their views on similar sources.
Schreck provides a comprehensive account of all the tenets of Manson’s philosophy. His spiritual philosophy is examined, from within a mystic tradition and as self-taught ‘mystic’, formed from a Christian upbringing that marred his troubled childhood to the years spent in isolation in prisons and institutions. Schreck argues that Manson should be viewed in the Shamanic tradition, and this can be seen in his nature mysticism – given form in his ecological activist movement ATWA – and in his psychedelic explorations and rapport with animals. Schreck delves further into Manson’s affinity with the Gnostic god Abraxas. In doing so, Schreck brings clarity to Manson’s spiritual outlook, where others have been stuck with the image of a hippie cult leader, cribbed from a number of sleazo inputs.
With sections on books, films, featuring numerous writings from Manson and appendices including a full transcript of Charles Manson Superstar and a comprehensive round-up of Manson’s music releases, The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman provides an informed take on the entire Manson industry, with an illuminating take on Charles Manson, separating the man and his thought from the myth built up over the decades by the rehashing of the same old misinformed stories. It is Schreck’s own study of the motives for the murder that make The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman so essential though. The amount of information he packs in a book that’s just shy of 1000 pages is staggering. Bringing together the results of 20 years research into the Manson case Schreck slowly weaves together all the differing elements to build a solid and convincing case. It’s probably way too late to change public opinion on Manson but by putting the information out there Schreck clearly shows there is another angle to the case, one that has been hidden to the public for over 40 years. The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman is an important book, not only does it go some way to explaining why much of this information has been actively withheld, it put its forward a believable scenario for public scrutiny and supplies enough leads for others to investigate further. If there’s a criticism, it’s the lack of an index to cross reference the amount of information provided. But that’s a minor quibble as The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman acts almost a reverse image to Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter book and for that alone it deserves to be read. It’s by far the most comprehensive and most balanced book on Manson I’ve read, and I’ve read many. The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman deserves to be regarded as the definitive book on Charles Manson and the murders attributed to his group. If you thought you knew the true story of the Manson murders or thought you knew Charles Manson, Nikolas Schreck will make you think again.
Le Dossier Manson: Mythe Et Réalité D’un Chaman Hors-La-Loi
Review from Metal Impact
“Le groupe américain MÖTLEY CRÜE reprend à son compte le morceau des BEATLES « Helter Skelter », sur son album Shout At The Devil. On peut supposer que ce choix fut dicté par des raisons musicales, qui représentaient un plus en termes de ventes. Le fait que le groupe affichait alors une imagerie satanique de pacotille, et qu’ils ignoraient sans doute toute l’histoire cachée sous ce titre offre un parallèle saisissant.
Eté 1968 : Irrité par une chronique du dernier single des WHO, Paul McCartney décide de composer la chanson la plus bruyante possible, qu’il appellera « Helter Skelter ». Il l’interprète avec le groupe en studio, et Ringo Starr déclarera que ce titre résultait « D’un état de crise de nerf total. Tout est parti de la ligne de basse de Paul. ». Les paroles de la chanson sont en rapport avec un parc d’attraction, d’un grand huit plus particulièrement. C’est à ce jour le morceau le plus violent des BEATLES.
29 Mars 1971 : Charles Manson est condamné à mort au terme d’un des procès les plus coûteux de l’histoire de la justice américaine. Son bourreau, Vincent Bugliosi, procureur, publiera quelques années plus tard un livre basé sur l’histoire des meurtres de Cielo Drive, intitulé Helter Skelter. Toute son argumentation et le développement de l’ouvrage reposent sur le fait que Charles Manson, selon lui, était un gourou très dangereux ayant manipulé les cerveaux de pauvres hippies perdus, afin de déclencher une guerre raciale entre blancs et noirs. Cette action révolutionnaire lui fut dictée inconsciemment par l’écoute de plusieurs morceaux des BEATLES, et leur interprétation distordue, dont « Helter Skelter », que l’on retrouvera écrit en lettres de sang sur l’une des scènes de crime.
Charles Manson. « L’homme qui a tué les sixties ». « L’homme le plus dangereux du monde ». Considéré depuis des décennies comme le tueur en série le plus « démoniaque » de l’histoire du crime, ce petit bonhomme aux multiples facettes voit sa légende ramenée à la surface une fois de plus, mais pas une fois de trop. S’il convient de faire le tri dans la production pléthorique d’éditions consacrées à son histoire, et d’éliminer dès le départ les redites, les assimilations faciles et les raccourcis, il faut admettre que Manson reste le « criminel » qui aura suscité le plus de fascination chez les auteurs. Fascination morbide pour les uns, culte absurde chez les autres, fascination économique et basse flatterie d’Ego chez la plupart, il n’en finit pas de voir son passé étalé en première page des quotidiens à sensation, et le combat mené par une faction déterminée pour empêcher sa libération conditionnelle en dit long sur le pouvoir toujours intact du chaman.
Le Dossier Manson, tel qu’il vous est présenté aujourd’hui par les éditions Camion Noir, n’est rien de plus qu’une édition revue et complétée de « The Manson Files », paru à la fin des années 80, par Nikolas Schreck. Ex membre du combo gothique/indus expérimental RADIO WEREWOLF, Schreck n’a eu de cesse d’essayer de rétablir la vérité à propos de la « Famille Manson », et de la grotesque supercherie qu’a représenté le procès des principales figures de Spahn Ranch, conduit, il convient de le rappeler, en l’absence de Manson, dont le choix de se représenter lui-même fut refusé de nombreuses fois par la cour.
Le travail accompli par Schreck est titanesque. Et même si le nombre de pages de l’ouvrage peut rebuter il est vrai le lecteur potentiel, il n’en fallait pas moins pour que les tenants et aboutissants de l’affaire soient présentés de manière logique et irréfutable. Et lorsque l’on s’immerge dans la narration des faits, il devient impossible de s’en extirper. Le Dossier Manson est une toile d’araignée destiné à prendre au piège toute les mouches du mensonge qui n’ont que trop volé depuis ces quarante dernières années.
Ce livre est tout sauf un dédale de noms et de faits présentés à la hâte dans le but trivial d’une exhaustivité de façade. Chaque protagoniste, chaque anecdote à sa propre raison d’être, et même si parfois on se perd dans ce labyrinthe de vérités, si parfois les noms des personnages s’emmêlent, tout devient évident au final, et le puzzle se reconstitue de lui-même.
Si les partisans de la théorie éculée du Helter Skelter ont dès le départ préféré se focaliser sur un groupe restreint de responsables, l’affaire des meurtres Tate/LaBianca implique un nombre faramineux d’acteurs directs et indirects, et dont la plupart furent des figures illustres de la scène agonisante des sixties.
Mais le principal responsable de cette tartuferie que la justice américaine se plait à appeler « procès » depuis quatre décades, est bien sur Vincent Bugliosi, qui a mené de main de maître cette parodie comme un acteur sachant qu’il tenait là son meilleur rôle.
Nikolas Schreck, dans son long développement, s’efforce de relever chaque approximation inhérente aux différents récits concernant la personnalité de Manson. Loin de tenter d’en faire un martyr, loin d’essayer de le faire passer pour un saint sacrifié sur l’autel de la dissimulation, il se contente de le présenter tel qu’il est, avec ses philosophies, ses contradictions, comme le criminel/philosophe qu’il a toujours été. Le simple fait de présenter ses paroles in extenso est révélateur du désir de vérité de l’auteur. Lui qui a tant communiqué avec le prisonnier le plus célèbre des USA, sait à qui il a affaire, et ne travestit pas ses pensées pour accoucher d’une œuvre tapageuse et racoleuse. Manson, après la lecture de ce livre, est toujours aussi drôle, agaçant, perturbant, contradictoire, mais surtout, fascinant. L’homme qui aurait pu être un phare de la liberté de penser et d’agir s’est retrouvé enfermé à vie du fait de mauvaises rencontres, au mauvais moment. Et du coup, représente pour des millions de personnes le diable incarné, à cause d’un gâchis sanglant dont il ne fut aucunement responsable directement, et de quelques prises de positions aussi radicales que rédhibitoires.
Le Dossier Manson se décompose en plusieurs parties, distinctes mais complémentaires. Il était évident selon l’auteur qu’il fallait essayer de bien cerner les différents aspects de la personnalité de Manson, les différents épisodes de sa vie et de ses rencontres, pour bien comprendre tout le non sens qu’a représenté son procès à la fin des années 60. Charlie est donc présenté tour à tour comme un musicien intègre et influent, un authentique chaman tel que les cultures indiennes l’ont défini, mais aussi un criminel qui a passé plus de temps en prison qu’en liberté, et qui ne se sentait jamais autant en sécurité – physique et intellectuelle – qu’en cellule. Comme je l’ai dit précédemment, son parcours est retranscrit fidèlement, sans aucune tentative de « romantisation » si vous m’excusez le néologisme, et lorsque le langage le requiert, Manson redevient un simple voleur de voitures ou le maquereau qu’il a toujours été.
L’image renvoyée dans ce livre est donc à cent lieues du baladin aigri par la non reconnaissance de ses pairs, et encore plus du leader de secte avide de sang et de vengeance envers l’establishment. Schreck replace au centre des débats les vrais coupables de l’affaire, le dément Charles « Tex » Watson, depuis devenu « bon chrétien » repenti et soutenu bec et ongles par un cortège de fans, le coiffeur de star et dealer notoire Jay Sebring et son ami/comparse/Nemesis « Voytek » Frykowski, proche de Roman Polanski, le mari de la défunte Sharon Tate, et surtout met à jour les liens ténus entre Hollywood, la Mafia, le système pénitentiaire américain, le Pentagone, la CIA, et les services secrets US. Ce qui peut ressembler de loin à une énième théorie de la conspiration du silence vu de l’extérieur revêt toute sa crédibilité à l’intérieur même de ces pages et fait froid dans le dos. Ainsi, le parallèle entre la parodie de procès des meurtres de Cielo Drive et le rapport catastrophique de la commission Warren s’établit comme une preuve logique de la couverture de faits qui ne devaient à aucun prix apparaître en pleine lumière.
Retrouver dans Le Dossier Manson les noms de Dennis Wilson, Sammy Davis Junior, Kenneth Anger, Mama Cass ou encore Anton LaVey n’a rien de spécialement étonnant. Le sont plus ceux de Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra et sa fille Nancy, « Lucky » Luciano, Jean Harlow ou encore JFK. Et la force de ce livre est d’arriver à établir les connexions entre ces différents protagonistes aussi éloignés de par leur rang que leur situation spatio-temporelle, sans tomber dans le grotesque et le sensationnalisme de bas étage. Et une fois le portrait global reconstitué, l’évidence n’apparaît que trop clairement pour le lecteur.
Attention, je n’affirme pas là qu’il faut prendre tous les arguments et toutes les conclusions de Nikolas Schreck pour argent comptant, et il conviendra à chaque lecteur de se faire sa propre opinion. Mais après quarante ans passés à avaler les versions « politiquement correctes » d’anciens protagonistes de l’affaire, qu’ils soient d’ex accusés, procureurs, ancien flics, voire de simples figures de l’establishment de l’époque, Le Dossier Manson, dans sa luxuriante « Apocalypse Edition » apparaît comme une bouffée d’air frais, et surtout, une porte vers une vérité, à compter qu’il n’y en ait qu’une…
Cette étude fouillée, qui loin de se contenter d’une simple enquête de surface, d’un simple travail de recherche sur les documents déjà disponible, racle sans relâche les poubelles de bas fonds du Hollywood du second âge d’or, que bon nombre d’orphelins de la gloire ont déjà cloué au pilori des rêves sombres et autres overdose de promesses fatales.
Car Le Dossier Manson n’est rien d’autre qu’une autre vérité possible. Tout du moins une somme d’éléments pouvant mener à cette même vérité. L’histoire des Etats-Unis étant déjà constellée de faux témoignages, de dissimulations grossières, et de rapports plus que tendus et récurrents entre la CIA, la Mafia, et le « Gouvernement » (Les affaires Kennedy et le rôle de Marilyn Monroe, la guerre froide, la crise de Cuba, la prohibition, l’entrée en guerre en 1941, j’en passe et des plus obscures…), il n’est pas difficile d’adhérer à la thèse de Schreck, même partiellement, tant les interconnexions entre la Mafia et Hollywood sont d’une lénifiante évidence, l’argent du trafic de narcotiques ayant plus d’une fois financé les studios hollywoodiens, et colmaté bien des brèches.
Alors Manson. Que reste-t-il de lui au final ? Qui est-il réellement ? Aussi sordides furent les meurtres de Cielo Drive et ceux du couple LaBianca, ils n’emportèrent pas avec eux que les victimes directes des crimes, mais aussi le destin de bon nombre de satellites gravitant dans leur entourage, et surtout, l’innocence dorée d’une jeunesse de la contre culture qui rêvait d’autre chose, d’un monde de liberté, de joie et d’amour. Manson n’a jamais tué les sixties. Les sixties sont mortes d’overdose, mais pas médicamenteuse, celle d’avoir cru en un pays, celle d’avoir cru que l’on pouvait changer le monde. Le seul meurtre dont Charles Manson s’est rendu coupable, c’est d’avoir été la figure emblématique involontaire d’un spectacle navrant d’enterrement de seconde classe.
Il n’a tué personne. Pas plus qu’il n’a ordonné à quiconque de le faire. Il était juste là, à ce moment là, à traîner avec les mauvaises personnes au mauvais endroit. Ses mots ne seront pas compris tout de suite, il nous faudra beaucoup plus de recul encore pour en saisir toute la substance. Son seul tort fut de se foutre de tout, et de tout le monde.
Lisez Le Dossier Manson. Ensuite, regardez de près une photo de Charles Manson, et vous verrez.
Qu’il n’est rien d’autre que le miroir de nous-mêmes, comme il s’est tant plu à le dire, depuis tant d’années.”
41/2 Stars rating–Metal Impact
Demons of the Flesh: The Complete Guide to Left Hand Path Sex Magic (Zeena Schreck, Co-Author)
”The definitive guide to sexual alchemy … Demons of the Flesh is a complete and thorough presentation of the history and techniques of radical self-transformation and enhancement through the practice of sacramental sex. The book is divided into three main sections covering the better known Eastern Tantric practices, the hermetic Western methods and a tutorial on the practical application of the methods described. The nature of magic is clearly stated by the authors in the very first chapter, as they introduce the reader to the Vama Marga Tantra of India:
‘It is a keystone of our understanding of magic’s underlying identity wth maya that magic is not a comfortable niche to be settled into forever. Instead it is a transitional vehicle, a means to an end. Magic can be the awakening agent that frees its practitioner from certain illusions, allowing the flash of insight that transcends all philopshical inquiry. Through magic, the mind can learn that there is not one indisputable reality. There is an endless multiplicity of realities…the direct confrontation with Maya that sorcery allows might be said to be magic’s primary objective. It is this confrontation that permits the sorcerer to viscerally understand how deeply his or her shifting subjective overlays influence that which he or she perceives – an understanding that may hasten the transformation of human sentience to divine consciousness.’
They also emphasize the need for ‘hands-on’ instruction, so to speak. Book-learning can only take one so far in these matters … The Schrecks have been around the block a few times, and have more than a few pithy things to say about the Western tendency to exploit this phenomenon for petty personal gain. They offer an excellent critique of Aleister Crowley and the various museum-piece fraternities dedicated to preserving his legacy. … There are numerous admonitions and warnings scattered throughout Demons of the Flesh, especially as regards the kind of parasitic explotiation that was Crowley’s specialty.
This is the Schrecks’ most refined and accomplished work. Meticulous research, extensive citations of original source documents and a modern, witty approach including the latest clinical research on the physiological effects of these practices enliven this book and place it on the top of the reading list for anyone interested in the subject. It presents not merely history and technique but a worldview and a way of life, a path to personal liberation much needed in a world that increasingly resembles the ‘Black Iron Prison’ of Philip K. Dick’s less pleasant revelations. Extreme conditions require extreme responses.” Alan Cabal, New York Press
”I have been reading the most enjoyable book, Demons of the Flesh: The Complete Guide to Left Hand Path Sex Magic, by the fabulously named Nikolas and Zeena Schreck.
Among much fascinating material, the Schrecks present a very plausible thesis: that Christ was in fact the model of a left-hand path sex magician. ‘Here was a magician who scandalized tribal elders by violently repudiating all the laws of orthodoxy and declaring himself a god. He teaches his followers that “the kingdom of heaven is within you,” and consorts with outcast elements of society. He claims to be self-deified and instructs his students that they can also become as gods – much like the Tantric bodhisattva. ‘
The ‘fallen woman’ Mary of Magdalene: ‘Her presence at the turning points in the myth of Jesus support the theory that she is his hidden initiatrix, the female power who grants him his magical abilities. MM stands below the cross when he endures initiatory death; it is she who goes to his tomb to perform the rite of annointing the corpse, and she is also the first disciple to discover that his body has vanished. Finally, of all his disciples, Christ chooses to reveal his resurrection to her. If we read this tale as the fragmentary remnant of a carefully conceived initiatory myth encoded with magical symbolism – rather than as a historical chronicle of “true” events – MM’s prominent position in the allegory becomes clear.’
Any taint of sex magic was of course purged in the next centuries, but can be found in other accounts: ‘Roman and Jewish opponents of the early Christian sect, for example, routinely characterized the disciples of Jesus as practicioners of a love cult whose rites included feasts that culminated in sexual promiscuity. Christ’s teaching of unconditional Agape (Greek for “love”), was often presumed to include a mystical transubstantiation of sex not dissimilar from that practiced in Tantric group rituals.’
The Schrecks then look at the Nag Hammadi material and the Gnostic Gospels, such as The Gospel of Mary, which indicate lost and expurgated sexual rites.
‘The Gnostic texts repeatedly state that Mary of Magdalene grasps some core mystery of Christ’s teaching better than any of his male disciples. She is referred to as “the woman who understood completely” and “the annointer” — Jesus praises her as the disciple who most deeply comprehends his instruction. Indeed, it seems that the female initiates in Christ’s circle all possess some secret knowledge that the males are lacking. Mary is only the foremost of seven female disciples who are said to be ‘strong by a perception which is in them,’ an advanced state of consciousness that the twelve male disciples readily acknowledge, although not without envy.’
The Gnostic metaphysic of early Christianity is a complete inversion/reversal of what became Christian doctrine: They deified the feminine principle (Sophia – hence the term , Philosophia, love of Sophia) and saw Jahweh as a malevolent demiurge. ‘It’s unlikely that modern Christians will enthusiastically embrace the notion that Jesus and his original followers worshipped the being now despised under the name of “Satan” as a benevolent female snake-deity, while vilifying the being they currently know as “God” as a malignant demiurge.’ Mary Magdalene was his consort, shakti, initiatrix. Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open Your Head and 2012.
“Demons Of The Flesh”, mittlerweile das vierte Buch, das den Namen Nikolas Schreck auf dem Umschlag trägt, ist laut Untertitel “the complete guide to Left Hand Path Sex Magic”. Abgesehen von der Tatsache, dass ebensolche Sexualmagie allein durch persönliche Erfahrung “komplett” wird (darauf weisen die Autoren mehrmals nachdrücklich hin), ist die Fülle des hier auf knapp 400 Seiten gesammelten Materials tatsächlich höchst beeindruckend. “Demons Of The Flesh” teilt sich – nach einem sinnigerweise “Foreplay” genannten Vorwort – in drei Bücher: Das erste widmet sich natürlich der sinistren Strömung und tantrischen Tradition in dem Land, das man wohl als erstes mit einer unverfälschten vama-marga-Überlieferung in Verbindung bringt, nämlich Indien. Herr und Frau Schreck führen uns ein in Theorie und Praxis tantrischer Rituale und erhellen den geschichtlichen Hintergrund dieser magischen Strömung in der indischen Kultur. Buch Zwei überbrückt Tausende von Kilometern mit Siebenmeilenstiefeln und befasst sich mit der Magie von Eros und Sexus im Abendland. Zuerst werden dem Leser Schlüsselbegriffe wie Magie, Initiation und Theurgie ausführlich erklärt, denn – wie man im Order of Sekhmet (Zeenas Orden, früher im TOS) lehrt – “was nicht artikuliert werden kann, kann auch nicht verwirklicht werden” (S. 123). Danach gelangt man über die orientalische Tradition der sakralen Prostitution und gnostische Theologie zu einer sehr eigenen Lesart von Jesus Christus als linksseitigem Sexualmagier mit Maria Magdalena als heiliger Hure bzw. shakti, in Parallele zu Simon Magus und seiner Helena … Das ist nicht bloß eine blasphemische Verzerrung seitens der Autoren, die sich seit jeher mit teuflischer Lust “Ketzereien” widmen, sondern wird unter Anführung gnostischer Texte durchaus stringent untermauert. Durch die Machtentfaltung der christlichen Kirche bricht die Tradition sexueller Initiation im Westen erst einmal ab, weshalb “Demons Of The Flesh” Jahrhunderte überfliegt und erst bei der magischen Renaissance des 19. Jahrhunderts wieder zum Halten kommt. Von da an werden die verschiedenen sexualmagischen Thesen und Strömungen anhand biographischer Skizzen ihrer wichtigsten Verfechter dargelegt: Namen wie P.B. Randolph, Gurdjieff, Maria de Naglowska, Gregorius (Fraternitas Saturni) und Reuss (OTO) dürften jedem esoterisch Interessierten irgendwie geläufig sein und machen deutlich, dass zumindest in diesem Zeitraum die Geschichte der Sexualmagie immer auch die Geschichte der “allgemeinen” Magie ist. Dann folgt ein Kapitel, das besonderes Augenmerk verdient: über Aleister Crowley nämlich, den man gemeinhin am ehesten mit rituellen Orgien in Verbindung bringt. Für viele überraschend wird die These der Schrecks sein, dass Crowleys Anwartschaft auf den Titel “Adept des Pfades zur Linken Hand” durchaus Zweifel aufwirft, was vor allem an To Mega Therions “engstirnigem viktorianischem Konzept” (S. 245) und seiner Misogynie liegt – das Wesen des vama marga ist hingegen von höchster Wertschätzung des weiblichen Prinzips gekennzeichnet. Weit besser als Crowley selbst schneidet sein amerikanischer “Schüler” John Whiteside Parsons ab, der in der Welt des Okkultismus durch das “Babalon Working” bekannt wurde und den Autoren aufgrund seines spektakulären Todes bei einer Laborexplosion (er war Raketentechniker) als “James Dean der Sexualmagie” (S. 247) gilt. Danach werden erotisch-magische Konzepte bei modernen Esoterikern wie L. Ron Hubbard (!), Robert DeGrimston (The Process) und Kenneth Grant untersucht. Kapitel über die Church of Satan und den Temple of Set fehlen übrigens, was aufgrund hier nicht näher zu erläuternder persönlicher Differenzen kaum überrascht … Nach diesem historischen Überblick folgt mit Buch Drei ein “Crash-Kurs für das Kali Yuga”, also der praktische Teil für den angehenden Initianten. Auch hier wieder das warnende Wort, dass alle Lektüre und rationale Erwägung das eigene Erfahren und Erleben in keiner Weise ersetzen können. In diesem Sinne wird alles erläutert, was dem Adepten bei seiner erotischen Initiation von Hilfe sein könnte – Tipps zur Auswahl von Lehrern und Partnern, zu autoerotischen Übungen, magischen Orgien und rituellem Sadomasochismus gibt es zuhauf. Der praktische Wert des reich bebilderten Buches beschränkt sich nicht auf das heterosexuelle Modell, sondern bezieht gleichgeschlechtliche Magie ebenso mit ein wie Verkehr mit dämonischen Wesenheiten … Das alles wird, man höre und staune, sehr bodenständig und mit einer gesunden Prise Humor abgehandelt. Auch dank letzterem wird “Demons Of The Flesh” zu einer angenehmen und überraschend untrockenen Lektüre und einer Studie, die neben der “Metaphysik des Sexus” von Julius Evola – dem das vorliegende Buch übrigens zugeeignet ist – zu den besten ihrer Art gehören dürfte. Amor vincit omnia -Nikolas und Zeena Schreck wissen das nicht erst seit gestern. Andreas Diesel, ZINNOBER Magazine
”Occultists who endorse the concept of aeons (periods of magical or psychological significance) might agree with the authors that we are currently living in the Kali Yuga – an era of violence, strife, deceit and the breakdown of morality and order. Whereas many individuals might give up and seek salvation in self-deception, cynicism, consumerism, or escapist and immature notions of fulfillment in ‘life after death’, the Tantrick initiate revels in this apparent chaos and seeks to use it to his own ends – namely to realise his own divinity. … The left hand path addresses the needs of those who seek enlightenment in the here-and-now; not in some uncertain mythical enlightenment supposedly conferred by abnegation of the senses. Such an approach explicitly denies embracing the status-quo or conventional beliefs and morality. For this reason, the left hand path is one of the most feared, reviled, misunderstood, and potentially exciting spiritual paths available for individuals brave and self-aware enough to understand and embrace it. Demons of the Flesh provides the most comprehensive survey of the left hand path currently available. Despite the prurient hype on the back cover, it is more concerned with using sex as a means of both liberation and self-deification than simply trying out every sexual technique for physical gratification. The authors clarify that the sex magician should differentiate between his carnal activities and the use of sex for sacred or magical purposes.The book provides a thorough overview of the left hand path in all its manifestations, from its origins in the India of several thousand years ago to its current form. It covers the fundamental principles of working with the ‘feminine daemonic’ or Shakti principle (in the Tantrick cosmology, the universe is seen as the divine coupling of Shiva, the male principle, and Shakti, the female principle – the resolution of polarities); the defiance of convention; and the possibility of becoming the god of one’s own universe. The feminine principle is described in all its myriad forms, from Venus like sensuality through to the dark destructiveness of the Kali, Inana, Ishtar, Astarte and Babalon archetypes – temple prostitutes, blood sated hags and aggressive warriors latterly manifesting as the Valkyries of Nordic mythology. Many a Wiccan eyebrow may be raised when contemplating the Goddess in all her guises; and some readers may find speculation that Jesus Christ was a sex magician of the first rank, aided in his rites by the prostitute Mary Magdalen difficult to accept. The Tantrick path is of necessity elitist, necessitating standing apart from the pashu herd. The savvy magician realises he springs from the herd himself, initially bound by the accident of his birth, his subsequent upbringing and the morals of the society around him. He seeks to liberate himself consciously and subconsciously from this conditioning. Demons of the Flesh provides extensive and detached analysis of many of the illuninaries who brought Tantra to the West, notably P B Randolph, the misguided H P Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, the Fraternitas Saturnite, the O.T.O., Crowley, Jack Parsons, Kenneth Grant, Ron Hubbard and many others. Lesser known figures such as Georges Bataille and Maria de Naglowska are also given their due. Intriguingly, certain figures, such as Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, who did much to break convention and advocate sexual freedom for magical purposes, are downplayed. The analysis is trenchant and fascinating – indeed, many sacred cows are not merely slaughtered but turned into psychic fast food for the delectation of the Tantrick truth seeker. Aleister Crowley is depicted as something of an inadequate, seeking to supplant Christianity with his (heavily Christianised) Thelema. Magicians should consider whether the misogynist Beast 666, with his endless financial problems, petty bitterness and other character defects, offers a fitting role model. Far more interesting trailblazers include rocket man Jack Parsons. Parsons’ celebrated Babalon Working resulted not only in the arrival of the ‘elemental’ Marjorie Cameron, but potentially the release of energies resulting in the Atomic Bomb and the counter-culture of the Sixties. Kenneth Grant famously said that Parsons opened a door and ‘something flew in’. … Grant, (protégé of Crowley who took Thelema in a totally different direction and who was also responsible for creating the legend of Austin Osman Spare, himself a pretty effective sex-magician), comes across as one of the most avid (though not always the most lucid) exponents of the left hand path and the feminine daemonic.The book is nicely presented with many excellent and relevant illustrations (it’s a shame the book’s budget didn’t stretch to colour in this respect), and for the most part superbly written. .. the slightly academic and far from histrionic approach works well in tackling what for many could be difficult reading. The last three chapters cover the practicalities of sex magical practice; group workings and orgies; and Sado-Masochism. These are not simply ‘just add water’ techniques and rituals, but provide scope for further investigation. … The magician of the left hand path is exhorted, Socrates-like, to know himself and understand his beliefs and desires. This cannot be achieved by slavishly following any occult ‘authority’, no matter what their reputation. … In summary, an excellent and illuminating book, likely to remain the definitive work on the subject for many years to come. Of necessity, it covers strong stuff. Those of a conventional disposition have been warned.” Blonde-to-die-for (UK)
Flowers from Hell: A Satanic Reader
”The Devil, as Nikolas Schreck brings home in his fascinating and scholarly introduction to Flowers From Hell – A Satanic Reader, represents not only a triumph of the imagination but, more importantly, the triumph of imagination. Old Nick, as we know from his serpentine solicitations towards Eve, has always represented choice over blind obedience, knowledge over ignorance. No wonder, therefore, that artists have long sought to tap his creative muse. The Bible, you heathens may be surprised to learn, is somewhat sketchy on His Satanic Majesty; it was only with the development of the organised church that Christianity required a symbol of utter malevolence to represent the binary opposite of utter good. Inevitably artists and writers have worked on the old man with a relish, which Schreck’s judicious selection illustrates beautifully, bringing together literary behemoths and the odd Satanist for a whistle-stop tour of imagination’s darkest regions. Encompassing, among others, Milton’s seminal Satan, the fallen warrior hero angel beloved by the Romantics, Dante’s desolate Inferno, ‘All hope abandon ye who enter here’ and Aleister Crowey’s cognoscenti viewpoint along with illustrations from the likes of Albrecht Durer and Gustave Dore, this edition proves that as well as the best music, The Devil also has the best books.” Sleazenation.
“What a good idea! A Satanic Reader which samples some of the major infernal texts from the renaissance to the present … The illustrations are appropriate and plentiful … But the most outstanding aspect of this timely volume is Schreck’s thirty page introduction, which is a model of precise, assured scholarship without an ounce of excess verbiage, or the type of wooly circumlocution of which the typical Left-Hand Path occultist is so fond. In the wake of Schreck’s previous book from Creation (The Satanic Screen) this comes as further confirmation that Nikolas Schreck is without dount the most cogent commentator working in the ‘satanic underground’ at the present. Headpress.
”The appropriately named Nikolas Schreck provides the scholar of the Fallen Angel with a selection from some of the greatest literary minds of all time in an attempt to show the growth of Old Scratch as a character. As Schreck rightly points out, Satan isn’t really mentioned much in the Bible: instead the Devil as we know him has evolved from the minds of authors throughout history. Schreck gives us a collage of deranged monks, scientists, decadents and (most worryingly) a single MP … Schreck has chosen well, including some rare and unexpected gems. … Schreck doesn’t take the Devil over-seriously … Schreck has also chosen a series of artworks to break up his text: these are all excellent, and illustrate Schreck’s ‘development of Satan’ almost as well as the readings. … an excellent reader … anyone who wants to trace one of the most enduring of all characters over the past 700 years would do well to run out and buy this book. A Devil of a good read. Rating: 9 out of 10. Steve Penn. Fortean Times
”I have both collected and/or read just about everything available in the English language on Satan & Satanism. … it didn’t take me long to realize that the preponderance of such material was puerile, Christian-hysterical, and/or simply an emotional vent for frustrated or guilt-obsessed pundits. .. As I came to be something of an ‘expert witness’, at least, in this field, I lamented the absence of a really discriminating anthology of such writings – by an editor with not only an orientation similar to mine, but with the literary genius to overview such works, for better or worse, with exactly that enlightenment which the Prince of Darkness both symbolizes and imparts.
All existing collections lacked anything close to such a metaphysical backbone. … Therefore your Flowers From Hell is not only a masterpiece in itself, but in my personal experience serves to close a literary wound in my side that has bled well-nigh as long as Amfortas’. For this healing too I am grateful! Where your Introduction is concerned, I am by now no stranger to either your eloquence or your scholarship, hence was not in the least surprised at its competence. The need for such a thoughtful analysis is all the greater because of the twin assaults upon the dignity of the Devil over the past twenty years from adolescent counterculture grotesques on one hand and fundamentalist sex/crime lunatics on the other.
We are all familiar with Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible: its social splash, its uneasy juggling of Satanism and atheism, its presentation of a Satan who seemed as much con artist as demigod. In its more fiery polemics it was as much of a hood ornament for Satanism as it could be, but in the last analysis it fell far short of its ambitious title.
While you chose a more Baudelairean name for your book, I daresay it is in its essence the Satanic Bible as it truly and inevitably wanted to be written. What more need be said?” Michael A. Aquino, Flowers From Hell: Open Letter to the Author, Scroll of Set
The Satanic Screen: An Illustrated Guide to the Devil in Cinema
”Nikolas Schreck insists that movies have long been the devil’s domain, and a perusal of The Satanic Screen: An Illustrated Guide to the Devil in Cinema suggests he may be right. Schreck’s treatise is an exhaustively researched exploration of film’s longstanding association with and portrayal of all things Satanic …
Schreck’s work provides an authoritative account of the changing face of the Devil in film. … ‘Charming rogue with impeccable manners, slavering monster of bestial aspect; seemingly innocent child; seductive woman; unseen metaphysical force: these are only some of the contradictory depictions of the Devil offered by Satanic cinema,” writes Schreck. ”Tracing the evolution of the Satanic archetype on film, one quickly discovers that no character has inspired such wildly different interpretations.” …
Schreck diligently examines these cinematic portrayals … and his reflections prove both entertaining and insightful. Perhaps most perceptive is the author’s assertion that the Devil’s distinctive filmic faces are an artistic reflection of ‘the rapidly changing pendulum of the 20th century’s societal back and forth between transgressive impulse and safe coservatism.’ … Consequently, Schreck’s examination of the Devil’s evolution on screen is ultimately a depiction of Satan’s cinematic regression.” Paul Armentano, Creative Screenwriting
”Written with complete authority, the volume displays an impressive understanding of the Black Arts throughout. Although the text is studious, it is never less than approachable, whilst the well-chosen stills provide plenty to fascinate the eye. All told, a devilishly good read.” Howard Maxford, Film Review.
”Schreck’s The Satanic Screen provides the ideal, heavily illustrated guide to the Devil’s numerous incarnations throughout the past century of film-making, referencing not just the obvious Hollywood mainstream … but Kenneth Anger, Twenties German expressionists and even hardcore Seventies porn … The scope of Schreck’s cinematic research aside, his broader knowledge of the occult and the significant influence of Aleister Crowley makes for a highly informed study.” Simon Goddard. Uncut.
”This is the perfect evil film buff’s companion. A bit like a black dog in book form.” Loaded.
”The Satanic Screen represents a pioneering effort to document the manifestation of the devil in cinema. Schreck, a widely accepted occultist authority, lends credibility and a palpable enthusiasm to the release, boasting both sound scholarly approach and aficiandos’s flair … Dancing in the shafts of light thrown from seventeenth century ‘magic lanterns,’ Schreck asserts, were the seeds of Satanic cinema. … Schreck commands an admirably discerning focus upon these obscure and masterful origins of the genre which include the nascent German film industry, nourished by its rich heritage of gothic and romantic influence, and wastes few words on ready-to-eat modern efforts … ”As I’m convinced that the homogenized sterility of the 1980’s and 1990’s culture marked a dismal nadir.” …
As much a study of the synergy of art and life, The Satanic Screen plays close attention to the omnipresence of occultists and the Black Arts as the book is driven to sociological as well as aesthetic ends. Schreck notes, for example, that ”Rosemary’s Baby became a blue print for the occult renaissance of the late 1960s” Brutally honest appraisals invite both levity and critical thinking …
Ample production stills, posters and illustrations garnish the text which is most readily aimed at film students or those with occultist interest, though the appeal to audiences expands with solid sociological shadings. Straying beyond the safety of mainstream features, The Satanic Screen deftly walks the cloven path of the devil in film…” Karen A. Wyckoff, Foreword.
”The definitive study of Satan and Satanic themes in film is Nikolas Schreck’s The Satanic Screen: An Illustrated Guide to the Devil in Cinema. The book also pays careful attention to the subliminal Devil-themes of the war years, the 1950s’ ‘atomic age’, etc. … elegant writing style carries the reader pleasantly through even discussion of less-than-memorable films … depth & breadth of research, particularly into the early/obscure works.” Michael A. Aquino
”The Satanic Screen is a wide-ranging work, covering Lucifer’s incarnations across all genres, from silent cinema to harcore porn. It enters into intelligent debate without cloaking its arguments in an obfuscatory fog of critical jargon, shrewdly analyzing how Satan’s mercurial image … reflects the changing mood of the times … Nikolas Schreck is impressively well-read, with a knowledge of the occult to match his knowledge of cinema. He’s unearthed plenty of enlightening anectodes about the making of the films, and influences on the film-makers are skillfully mapped out. But it’s the way the author’s prejudices leak onto the page that really bring this book alive. He doesn’t make any attempt at impartiality, which lends your reading experience the flavour of a one-to-one conversation.” Four Stars. Ian Berriman, SFX
”I have your wonderfully informative book, The Satanic Screen here at the office and have used it often when we’re airing and promoting movies where the Devil gets star billling.” Pamela Castellano, American Movie Classics .
”Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated, The Satanic Screen is a detailed exploration of Beelzebub’s celluloid century. … Schreck’s views on benchmark films are contentious – The Exorcist is little more than a laughable ”bible-thumper” and The Omen is ”concealed Christian propaganda masquerading as a mainsteam movie.” A cut above the usual dessicated genre studies. Rated Four Stars. Hotdog. Tom Parker Bowles
”Nikolas Schreck conjured up an amazing collection of stills and posters from these movies, essentially bringing them all back to life … An elegant text full of useful information traces the evolution of the character, his victims, and his associates. Essential reading for school shooters.” Juxtapoz
”Schreck is good on the 1960s and 1970s, a time when, he says Satanism was as much a part of the scene as Eastern mysticism and Edwardian clothes … Wonderful stuff. ” The Sunday Times (UK).
”In this unique and exceptional overview of his satanic majesty’s many film appearances, two things struck me immediately: first, the level of sophistication … and second, the research. … Interspersed throughout are poignant comments on the nature of the Left Hand Path that will no doubt sail over the heads of the general public reader. I was impressed in particular with the analysis (a la Paine’s Hierarchy of Hell without the shallow atheism) of how each era’s ‘take’ on Satan is a mirror and definition of the age … Even those who claim not to be a movie person will be amused. Schreck’s comments on the many Rosemary Baby knock-offs are more entertaining than the films themselves. … Run … do not walk … to your independently owned and operated bookstore and pick up the book. Essential reading.” Walter Gallo. The Scroll of Set.
”Th Beast and the silver screen have been partners since ecclesiastics condemned the magic lantern as an infernal device. Taking this first alarmist combination of fact and fiction as its starting point, The Satanic Screen examines the devil on film from the incarnations of Mepisto-Melies to the millennial hysteria of Schwarzenegger’s End of Days … Schreck details the larger than life and times (and rumored film set visits) of real life celebrity satanists Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey … The Satanic Screen is encompassing, its critiques refreshingly irreverent.” Phil Gomm, Bite Me
The Manson File
”The Manson File … is a concerted effort to present new angles and new possibilities. It is very probably the most accurate and truthful book about Charles Manson ever published, and in addition to the author’s attempts to redress some of the largest misconceptions about Manson and ‘The Manson Murders’, it unveils a selection of Manson’s writings, drawings, letters, and poems, previously unseen.” Blitz Magazine
”The best, most balanced book on Charles Manson … So much has been written about Charles Manson, and so much has been written badly, or for the wrong reasons, that this volume comes like a breath of fresh air … an accurate and sensitive picture of the arch-fiend Manson. The Manson File contains much more than I can express here, but noticeably it transmits a feeling of freedom and defiance that the ‘grey forces’ in this world will find hard to understand.” Stephen Sennitt, NOX Magazine
”The Manson File provides the same kind of sick fascination as its subject … Not an exploitation book: it’s an earnest attempt to explore the bewildering totality of the Manson phenomenon … This makes for very entertaining reading …While the material presented does not try to vindicate Manson as simply a misunderstood acid casualty, it does show that the image of Manson is made up of what people have projected onto what he actually is … With an annotated guide to books and movies on Manson and the Manson legend, and commentaries by Manson associates from disparate parts of the social spectrum, this book is a serious reference guide to a repulsive and titillating subject …” Carolina Gonzalez, San Francisco Bay Guardian
”Grab a copy of The Manson File, a compilation of Mansonmania … Leaving no stone unturned, author Nikolas Schreck also exhumes several outlandish coincidences that have thus far escaped the attention of even the most devoted Manson mavens … Scary!” New Times
”The Manson File is composed of words from and about Manson that were left out of public scripture and broadcast … an interesting group of interpretations that contain more accuracies than other books.” Lynette Fromme
”I started looking at The Manson File and those memories of the time all came back. I could hardly put it down.” Wade Williams, Producer, The Other Side of Madness
”A great collection of the wit and wisdom of Charles Manson.” New York Press
Contributions to Other Books, Publications and Court Proceedings
”Atom Age Antichrist” in The Bad Mirror
Essays on the suicides of Douglas Cammell and Adolf Hitler in Straight to Hell: 20th Century Suicides
”Art and Crime” in Art That Kills.
Art, poetry and Werewolf Order texts in NOX: The Black Book –Infernal Texts
Anton LaVey: Legend and Reality – A Special Issue of SYZYGY: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture. Vol. 11, ©2002, Academic Publishing, editors J.A. Petersen, E.D.Oliver, J.R. Lewis, M. Alisauskiene. The only authorized publication of this privately published fact sheet written for distribution to journalists who contacted the Schrecks for comment after LaVey’s death. It was later placed without permission on the Internet.
”Radio Werewolf Indoctrination” (co-author Evil Wilhelm) in Apocalypse Culture.
Richard Ramirez’s Final Statement to the Court Before Sentencing (co-authored with Richard Ramirez, Zeena.)
Articles and essays for internal publications of the Radio Werewolf Youth Party (1985-1988), Werewolf Order (1988-1999), Temple of Set (1995-2002), The Storm and Sethian Liberation Movement (2002-Present).
Liner notes essay for Charles Manson’s recording Horsefly available from http://www.atwaatwar.com/horsefly.html
— Nikolas Schreck has also worked anonymously as a translator from German to English and as ghost writer and editor —