Content Warning: This article about Marilyn Manson discusses sexual abuse and domestic violence. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
When Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood identified Marilyn Manson as her alleged abuser on February 1, it sent much of the music world into a state of shock. However, as more alleged abuse survivors came forward, one after another, the majority exchanged all-knowing glances.
From Game Of Thrones star Esmé Bianco to Sarah McNeilly and at least three others, Marilyn Manson’s treatment of women was largely dismissed in the past as being part of his esoteric, freaky stage persona. His treatment of women has long been publicised, often by Manson himself. Even his own tell-all memoir, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, had glaring clues when it wad published in 1998.
In the book, the American Anti-Christ Superstar detailed his life from childhood as Brian Hugh Warner, right up until the early ’90s, just before the height of his music career with his #1 record The Golden Age of Grotesque in 2003. As those who have read the book will know, all the signs were there, glaring us in the face as we palmed most of them off as concocted stretches of the truth.
Fact: The co-author of The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, Neil Strauss, was treated for sex addiction in the mid-2000s.
Below are just a few quotes from The Long Hard Road Out of Hell that are much more jarring in 2021.
The time when Manson and Trent Reznor* allegedly physically and sexually assaulted an inebriated woman in the 1990s:
Well, what we did was we pulled a trick that I’ve become quite famous for. It is pouring a large glass of tequila for your adversary, or your victim, and then pouring a large glass of beer for yourself and pretending that yours is tequila also. You convince them to drink down their large glass until they vomit and pass out and are left to be tormented. A similar trick had been done to me when I was young.
So the trick worked, as it always does, and Kelly and her friend were drunk and running around the lawn where Sharon Tate’s friends had been murdered. They jumped in the pool and somehow I was convinced to join them. That’s something I don’t like to do because I don’t know how to swim. So I was in the pool with this sea bass, I suppose you could call her. By smell she was some sort of porpoise fish-woman, and by sight she looked like a water behemoth. Trying to create some sort of entertainment for everybody, I said, “Why don’t we play Guess Who’s Touching You? We’ll put a blindfold on you and try to figure out whose hands are on you.” So Trent and I take this sea bass back into his living room. The other girl had since passed out and was hopefully drowning in her vomit.
We blindfolded the sea creature. No, I think we just wrapped a towel around her head, which also covered up her face and made us both feel better. Not that her body was any greater than her face. It was all terrible. I grow ashamed of myself right now as we speak of this.
So we started squeezing her nipples and prodding around her genitals and what-have-you. We were laughing because we were both drunk, though not nearly as drunk as she was. In the background a Ween album was playing, “Push the little daisies and make ’em come up…” as me and the young Trent Reznor poked our fingers into the birth cavity of a bizarre fish lady in search of some sort of caviar. But what we ended up finding was a mysterious nodule—maybe it was white fuzz or a piece of corn—that she had on the outer region of her rectum. It horrified us and we looked at each other with disgust and shock. But we knew that we must continue with our debasement of this poor unsuspecting person. So I found a cigarette lighter, and I started to burn her pubic hair. Though it didn’t hurt her, it didn’t help things smell any better than they already did. Unfortunately, there isn’t any real climax to this story other than I think that she wanted to cuddle with someone and we both ran.
*Note: This has since been denied by Reznor.
Marilyn Manson’s knowledge that his influence has dark repercussions:
I walked away exhilarated by my success, because there’s nothing like making a difference in someone’s life, even if that difference is a lifetime of nightmares and a fortune in therapy bills.
Manson on how those he used should be “happy”:
Anyone I may have used should feel happy that they even had a use. It’s better than being useless.
Manson on hating people he once cared for:
Not only are love and hate such closely related emotions, but it’s a lot easier to hate someone you’ve cared about than someone you never have.
On becoming a “monster”:
I was becoming the cold, emotionally crippled monster I always wanted to be, and I wasn’t so sure I liked it. But it was too late. The metamorphosis was already well under way.
On illegal activity:
I’ve always been paranoid about the police, because even when I’m not doing anything illegal I’m thinking about doing something illegal.