Member of the Family

Member of the Family

My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties

Book - 2017
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At age 14, I became one of Charles Manson's Girls. At 17 I helped put him in prison. This is my story.

At fourteen Dianne Lake--with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them--became one of "Charlie's girls," a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century's most notorious criminals and life as one of his "girls."

Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse as the harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson's true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and the group acid trips, to the Beatles' White Album and Manson's dangerous messiah-complex, Dianne tells the riveting story of the group's descent into madness as she lived it.

Though she never participated in any of the group's gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Dianne was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family, and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution's case against them. With the help of good Samaritans, including the cop who first arrested her and later took her into his home, the courageous young woman eventually found redemption and grew up to lead an ordinary life.

While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying and fascinating chapters in modern American history.

Member of the Family includes 16 pages of photographs.

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062695574
Branch Call Number: 209.092 Lake
Characteristics: viii, 384 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour)
Additional Contributors: Herman, Deborah 1958-


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Dec 22, 2017

An interesting study of the development of the personality of someone who joins a cult. The neglect and abuse suffered by Dianne Lake by her parents made her vulnerable to a messianic leader, con man and pimp like Manson. Interesting that like other former members of the Family, including Tex Watson and Susan Atkins, Lake has become a born-again Christian. They've exchanged one cult for another.

Dec 11, 2017

I found this to be a very well written book. Very detailed in what had transpired in her life after her parents abandoned her after introducing her to drugs. Some of it was very shocking but when you consider the madman that was brainwashing them, not so. The only disappointment for me was that they rushed the ending. Not much was mentioned about the murders and the trial. It seems as if they rushed to finish the book - there could have been so much more to tie up the story. Glad to see that Dianne went on to have a normal and productive life.

AL_KATI Nov 27, 2017

A tough read, emotionally draining, but utterly absorbing. A must-read if you are interested in the Manson Family, especially if you'd like to read about it from someone in the inner circle.

Nov 27, 2017

An interesting read. This book was written by one of the Manson Family members that wasn't involved in the murders. I did find the most shocking part of some of her stories about the "activities" she was doing was the fact she was 14 when she did them. I guess it's not a total surprise she ended up with Manson considering it was her own parents that introduced her to weed and acid.

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