I have read several books about Charles Manson and some claim Manson’s worldview was inspired by Sci-Fi author, Robert Heinlein’s novels (specifically “Stranger in a Strange Land”). Some books refute the link but the most recent one i’ve read “Murder Mayhem Music” I believe is its title says that Charles named one of his children Valentine Michael after the hero of the above Heinlein novel. So there either is a link or there isn’t, anyone know more on the subject??
Stranger in a Strange Land could be seen as a picture of the whole free love/1960s bohemian lifestyle, with Valentine Michael Smith being the guru and everyone else being his followers in the religion he created. The religious symbolism was a huge boost in that area.
If Manson identified with that lifestyle, even if he most certainly did not follow it, he could have taken that book to heart very easily. Just like he took the White Album to heart as a symbol of his race war.
“An idea is not responsible for fools who believe it.”
Heinlein’s book has been blamed for more nonsense over the years than is really reasonable. Manson grabbed a bunch of stuff that was laying around the cultural milieu, the aforementioned “Helter Skelter,” “Stranger In A Strange Land,” and some others. So, to answer the question…is there a link: yes. Is it a causal link?: no.