Former Charles Manson cult member Dianne Lake describes the horror of being raped, beaten with leg chairs and isolated by convicted murderer

Daily Mail, UK/March 17, 2018

By Minny Yvonne Burke

Former Charles Manson cult member Dianne Lake revealed the horror she experienced as a teenager while a part of the convicted murderer's 'family.' 

The widowed mother-of-three told The Sun that she was beaten, raped and kept isolated from the outside world during the two years she was one of 'Charlie's girls'.  

'Manson was your typical commune leader, played a guitar, very charismatic, everything circled around him. The girls adored him, he was playful, he was funny, he was just fun. That's how I remember him at 14,' Lake told the outlet. 

'It wasn't always that way – unfortunately it changed, I had got very caught up in the cult thing by then.' 

 Lake, who joined the cult in June 1968 when she 14, said some days at Mason's home were 'normal' and consisted of them cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. Other days involved heavy drug use and going on 'weekly shops', where they wound go dumpster-diving for food. 

'When some of the girls had children it was about taking care of the kids, or sitting around taking acid or smoking pot, and singing Charlie's songs,' she said. 

'I don't know how he became this God like figure. He had this ability to weave together this whole story. I believe he did believe he was a Messiah. He got us to believe it.'  

Some of the girls would even commit heinous crimes for Manson. Members Patty Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins killed people at Manson's command, including pregnant 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate. 

Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme attempted to assassinate president Gerald Ford in 1975. Lake, now 65, never participated in any of the murders. 

'I wouldn't have killed for him - I don't think I had it in me,' she told The Sun. 

Lake said the worse experience for her was when Manson would beat her. She said he would sometimes hit her with the leg of a chair and an electrical cord. She also said Manson would rape her and force her to engage in sexual acts she was uncomfortable with. 

'He raped me - but I was lonely, I wanted to belong. For the most part it was consensual. But because of my age he took advantage,' she said. 

'We were isolated. I wasn't supposed to get my picture take or look out the window. He had us very controlled and were isolated from our parents. He really separated us from everything we had known before. Charles became the Boogie Man – the evil guy of the world.'  

 Lake, a retired special education teacher, shared her memories of being in the cult in her book Member of the Family  

Manson died last November at the age of 83.

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