Wednesday, November 19, 2008

25. "5 to Die" by Jerry Le Blanc and Ivor Davis (1970)

5 to Die, by Jerry Le Blanc and Ivor Davis, which was one of the first (if not the first) book to be published following the Tate/LaBianca murders contains two passages regarding the Fountain of the World. (Krishna Venta is never mentioned by name in this book.) The two passages regarding the Fountain are as follows:

1. On page 82 of the book, it says:

One day, Manson was driving down the winding Box Canyon Road after a visit to the Fountain of the World religious cult, a monastic type of religious order a few miles from the Spahn Ranch. On several occasions Manson had said he wanted to move in and run the Fountain of the World.

2. Then on pages 98-102, the contents of which are addressed in my book based upon interviews with former Fountain members, it says:

Manson was a frequent visitor to the religious cult in Box Canyon and took his band along to Saturday night skits and for “musical sessions,” although Fountain members were terrified of him and his girls.

“Fountain of the World-Dedicated to Peace Through Love and Service” says the fifteen foot, ornate yellow stone memorial perched on a hill above the retreat. Their credo is that all living things are precious and the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” refers to animals and insects as well as human beings.

The community is tucked away in a tree shrouded roadside deep in the rocky boulder strewn canyon eight miles from the ranch. Some 20 men, women and children live there and frequently Manson took his bus up to the Fountain. Members wear long, light grey monks’ habits and the men often wear their hair long and in braids.

They live in comfortable wooden dormitories on a well landscaped and maintained area that looks like something out of “Tales of The Vienna Woods” - crazily paved pathways, gnarled old elms and buildings with heavy oak doors and leaded picture windows.

In the past, Fountain members had fed Manson and his girls, but in August 1969, three girls, including Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkle, asked if they could move in and abruptly were turned away.

Early one morning, grey haired Mrs. Ann Todd, who had entertained them in the past was told the Family girls were waiting in the Fountain’s community center, a long, low wooden building which also served as offices and a reception area. The girls sat waiting on the polished oak benches. They looked dirty and unkempt, and reminded Mrs. Todd of frightened animals. She was a little scared.

’We’ve been told to come and wait here,” Susan told Mrs. Todd and Sister Nekona, a short stocky woman in her early sixties who serves as one of the elders at the Fountain of the World.

Sister Nekona was blunt: ‘We’ve been hearing bad stories,” she told the nervous girls, “there’s a lot of talk about stolen cars and guns and we’ve heard that neighbors near the ranch have been complaining to police about your behavior.’’

It was almost as if Susan Atkins hadn’t heard. She shrugged her narrow shoulders. ‘We have been told to stay here,” she repeated doggedly.

“I’m sorry," said Sister Nekona finally. ‘You’ll have to leave. We are a humanitarian group but we know some of The Family have been arrested for stealing cars. It is against our rules to harbor anyone running away from the law. There are children here, you how.”

But she might as well have been speaking to a stone wall for all the notice the girls took. They stayed until Mrs. Todd warned, “I’m calling the police if you don’t leave now.”

Suddenly Susan flared up. “You’re pigs-the worst pigs I have ever seen,” she screamed. The three girls burst into a strange song as they left.

“It was something about piggies,” said Mrs. Todd to her inquiring, 17-year-old daughter Virginia. “I couldn’t understand all the words.”

The plump, spectacled teenager was intrigued by the Family but she didn’t like Charlie; he scared
her. He was always staring at her and asking her to come with him to his bus and hear him play guitar.

The other girls talked about how they worshipped him, but she was too scared.

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