ATWA (an acronym for Air, Trees, Water, Animals and All The Way Alive) stands for the uncompromising ecological mandate propounded by Charles Manson. ATWA names the interrelated life support systems of the Earth. Charles Manson and his associates, most notably Lynette Fromme and Sandra Good, use the term to name the forces of life which hold the balance of the Earth.
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Manson was paroled in 1967 and found a welcoming environment in the burgeoning counterculture. Together with a small retinue of disaffected young people, he took flight from the "madness of the cities" and established a communal colony at Spahn Ranch in the Santa Susana mountains outside of Los Angeles, California. The group began to make survivalist forays into Death Valley in order to scout out more remote areas of the desert, and in September 1969 some members attempted to thwart nearby road developments by deliberately setting an expensive piece of earth-moving equipment on fire. This early act of eco-terrorism occurred a number of years before the concept would be popularized by Edward Abbey, Dave Foreman, and other environmentalists.
Lynette Fromme and Sandra Good
In the years following Manson's conviction and imprisonment for conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people, Lynette Fromme and Sandra Good became increasingly active in their efforts to raise awareness of the present system's failure to properly steward the Earth.
In 1975, Lynette Fromme was found guilty of the attempted assassination of then-president Gerald Ford. While questioned in custody she was asked why she had pointed the gun; she stated, "I stood up and waved a gun (at Ford) for a reason, I was so relieved not to have to shoot it, but, in truth, I came to get life. Not just my life but clean air, healthy water and respect for creatures and creation." In August 2009, Fromme was released from federal prison after serving 34 years.
Sandra Good was imprisoned for 10 years for conspiracy to send threatening letters to corporate executives unless their corporations ceased polluting the environment. After her release in 1985, Good led a campaign against International Paper Co. in defense of Lake Champlain.
- Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature edited by Bron R. Taylor (Continuum, 2005, ISBN 9781843711384)
- Charles Manson - Love Letters to a Secret Disciple by Sy Wyzinski (Moonmad Press, 1976, ISBN 0917918010)
- Charles Manson Superstar documentary directed by Nikolas Schreck (Music Video Distribu, DVD Release Date: 2002)
- Desert Shadows: A True Story of the Charles Manson Family in Death Valley by Bob Murphy (Sagebrush Press, 1999, ISBN 0930704290)