, Research Paper
Although power should be used with virtue by those with those with good intentions, many of the world’s most powerful people use power in ways that purposefully harm other people, the most famous example of this case being Adolf Hitler during World War II. More generally, this includes some past (and present) members of the Royal families, some political leaders as well as a few religious leaders who have used their power to manipulate those lower than them in social status.
An example of a power-abusing “religious” leader is Reverend Jim Jones who initiated a ritual suicide to protest racism and fascism. Although in his own mind he had food intentions, to save the world from the Armageddon, he was insane and in the overabundance of power, he was able to kill more than 900 people. It is unclear whether Jim Jones had committed suicide at the ritual or was shot by another, so it is uncertain to say that he had any intentions to die also. Although his protests were for good moral purposes, it was wrong of him to use his status as chairman of the Housing Authority and award receiver to gather extra followers to join the suicide. Here he had overstepped the line to abuse the power he was appointed by putting other people’s lives at jeopardy. Being in his position, he was most likely aware that he had many supporters believing in him who would gladly follow his lead. It is at this point where he chose to abuse his power by taking advantage of the people who had the most respect and admiration for him.
Charles Manson is an example of a cult leader who abused his power, however with intentions very unlike Jim Jones’. Charles Manson wanted revenge for all the wrong he had encountered which is much more selfish and very different from Jim Jones.
Charles Manson had experienced a very bumpy childhood being the son of a teenage, bisexual, alcoholic prostitute. Being shuffled between homes of relatives and orphanages, it is not surprising to see that his criminal activity sprouted from a very early age. Manson’s incredibly charisma attracted many hippies and he managed to earn himself s reputation as god-like in the eyes of many beautiful girls. When Manson and his “Family” settled down in Spahn Ranch he was able to sleep with a different girl each night. Not only this, but he had the power to make his Family members murder whomever he was unhappy with. In fact, the Family members were often more than happy to commit murder is it pleased Charles Manson. The Family used particularly gruesome methods of homicide and one woman had even contemplated carving an unborn baby out of the body of a murdered woman, as it would have made Manson proud.
Charles Manson managed to brainwash his followers and make them worship like a god. He abused power severely by ordering his Family members to kill people, often random, for his satisfaction. Being in his position, he could have prevented all the murders however he chose not to, and never hesitated to even discourage them.