The Following: Analysis Sources

783 words - 4 pages

“The Following”
Summary of the Source
Charles Manson is a concise maniac who led a cultural cult that killed based on Manson’s “prophetic” message in the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.” He believed that there was going to be a war between blacks and whites; the blacks would execute the whites. Manson and “The Family” would be safe throughout this war because of their underground safe house. However, after winning this war, blacks would not have the knowledge of how to rule properly, therefore, the remaining white people would take over with Manson as the head of the new world. When this did not begin, Manson and his many followers or “family” that also believed in “Helter Skelter” helped him to kill well-known people in hopes that it would start the race war. Manson connects to a few theorists’ definition of religion, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim. Manson identified more with attitude toward religion, while his followers demonstrated Durkheim’s theory better. However, Manson’s view was not a clear match for Eliade’s view of religion.

Analysis of the Source
Emile Durkheim “believed religion was the very cement that held society together.” His view of religion was all about community, while Manson’s followers were the community. “The Family” became a cult-type society and according to Durkheim, each society has its’ own rituals that strengthen their dependence on the society. Manson’s followers had to prove to Manson that they were dedicated to him by taking part in horrendous acts of violence leading to murder. Durkheim might say that the killing was a ritualistic act in their self made society. “For Durkheim, religion and society are inseparable and –to each other virtually indispensable” (Pals 86). Perhaps the reason “The Family” followed with blind abandon was collective effervescence. As Durkheim described, Manson and “The Family” would be much like the ancient societies that did not rely on moral individualism, but what was agreed to be right or wrong amongst the group with what he called “collective conscience.” The collective conscience of “The Family” was not based on moral ethics of modern societies, but on what Charles Manson deemed to be right.

Max Weber believed that individuals shaped society and vice versa. Manson changed society by killing people to start the race war against blacks and whites. Weber saw that different social...

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