Charles Manson biopic writer grew up in cult that used LSD to brainwash people, spoke with 'spirits'
Guinevere Turner, the screenwriter on Charles Manson movie titled 'Charlie Says', opened up about her strange experiences growing up in Mel Lyman's cult in the late 1960s
The Hollywood screenwriter who wrote the screenplay for the new Charles Manson movie titled 'Charlie Says' has revealed that she grew up in a very bizarre cult where she was raised to believe that they would be "picked up by spaceships and taken to Venus".
Guinevere Turner’s latest film tells the story of Charles Manson who brainwashed many young people and took a handful of them on a two-day killing spree which left nine people — including pregnant actress Sharon Tate — dead.
Turner has as also written screenplays for films such as 'American Psycho' and 'The Notorious Bettie Page'. It is evident that Turner's writing is inspired by the experiences that she has had.
Turner was born into the Lyman family cult which was started by Mel Lyman in Boston in 1966.
Mel Lyman, just like Charles Manson, was a musician.
Turner's mother decided to join the cult in the year 1968 when she was an unwed and pregnant teenager.
Turner revealed, "It was an insular existence. I had no contact with anybody out the Family. My whole world was inhabited by people I had always known. I was homeschooled and never saw a doctor," reported Mirror.
"My reality included LSD, government cheese, and a repurposed school bus with the words ‘Venus or Bust’ painted on both sides," she added.
Turner also recalled how she lived separately from her mother, like all the children in the cult, and witnessed how Lyman would use drugs to brainwash his followers—around 100 adults and 60 children.
She shared how it was common for Lyman to give a follower LSD "and then have everyone come at them in an attempt to become more of a continuous part of a collective."
"If you do a lot of acid and have someone just talking at you and talking at you, you can imagine that... For anyone who’s done acid, you have a really hard time holding on to what’s real."
Turner also spoke about how the group would talk with spirits via an ouija board and how the cult's houses in Los Angeles, Kansas, and San Francisco were full of notebooks which contained transcriptions of the conversations which the adults had with the spirits.
"We kids were allowed to talk to only one spirit, Faedra, and sometimes after dinner, we’d gather around the board to summon her," Turner shared.
"One night, one of the questions was: 'What does Guinevere need to learn?' The answer came back that I was a lazy little girl. After that, I cleaned every ashtray in the compound for weeks, ashamed but also secretly thrilled that Faedra even knew who I was," she continued.
Lyman had also convinced members of the family that they would be taken in spaceships to Venus, the planet of love, in 1974.
Turner recalled the day that the cult had been waiting for; the day they would be picked up by aliens. "We children were told to put on our favorite clothes and pick one toy to bring on the journey. We sat in the living room all night, listening for the hum of the UFOs," she shared.
"The prophecy’s failure didn’t make anyone believe in Mel Lyman’s wisdom any less, though. We were told that the spaceships hadn’t come because our souls weren’t ready," she added.
When her mother decided to leave the cult, Turner was also kicked out given the cult's rules.
After leaving, she "had to consider some irrefutable truths".
"I grew up under the reign of a charismatic, complicated leader who was constantly issuing new rules for living."
"True, Lyman never ordered his followers to kill anyone, the way Charles Manson did. But, if Lyman had asked, I’m pretty sure that they would have complied," she continued.
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