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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Charles Manson's I.Q.

Charles Manson scored 109 on one prison I.Q. test, when he was 16, and 121 on another a few years later. The first result is slightly above average; the second is said to be in the "high normal" range. Jeff Guinn [the author of The Life and Times of Charles Manson] doesn't identify which tests were given. Was Manson brilliant, as some have claimed? Probably not. He cobbled together his pseudo-philosophy by studying Dale Carnegie and L. Ron Hubbard. He had no sense of how to adjust his conduct, grooming habits or conversation when dealing with the Hollywood producers who might have helped him realize his absolute goal: to become a rock star more famous than the Beatles. He had no clue how to self-censor, shooting himself in the foot over and over. Even so, he proved to be spellbinding to the vulnerable.

Ann Rule in reviewing Jeff Guinn's 2013 book for The New York Times Book Review, August 4, 2013

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