A race war was predicted by Charles Manson, a scenario which he dubbed “Helter Skelter”. Based on his bizarre interpretations of Beatles lyrics, Manson concluded that black people would wipe out the rest of America’s population – all except Manson and his Family, who would be hiding in the desert. The black victors, Manson felt, would realise that they were incapable of ruling and so the Family would be able to take over the nation.
Manson had come to believe that Armageddon was imminent, in the form of race war, and believed he was destined to be the ultimate beneficiary of it. Manson viewed race war as imminent, describing it as Helter Skelter, “all the wars that have ever been fought, piled on top of each other.” He told his followers that this was imminent, but that there was a secret underground world reached by a hole underneath the desert, where they would wait out the war in bliss. He described this many times, and it was a part of their communal belief, so much so that they stocked up supplies and searched for the hole prior to the crimes. Blacks would win the war, but be unable to run the world through lack of experience, and the Family would therefore emerge and run it for them as a benevolent autocracy with Manson at the head of this new world order. The war would be triggered by “some black people coming out of the ghetto and doing atrocious crimes… killings… writing things in blood.” However, by summer 1969, Manson was heard to say that blacks did not know how to start its role in this war, so he would have to show them.