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Unraveling the Meaning of Marilyn Manson's New Teaser Video

Marilyn Manson's new teaser video, by which he announced his new record label Nuclear Blast and introduced us to new music after nearly four years, is also rich with imagery and symbolism in its brief one minute and ten second duration. It's not clear if this teaser is complete in itself or just a portion of something else to come, nonetheless I observed a possible explanation as to what we may be looking at, and I wanted to share my thoughts and open it up to criticism so we can arrive at the truth. From what we have gathered so far, we know that Manson is bringing back the imagery of the Tryptich ( Antichrist Superstar , Mechanical Animals , Holy Wood ), with a special emphasis on the revolutionary theme of Holy Wood , since a parallel is being drawn to what inspired its creation (Manson being blamed for inspiring the Columbine shooters, the cancelation of his tour that ensued and his ultimate comeback) with Manson's current troubles of accusations against him and his s

The Vampiric Nature of the Accusations Against Marilyn Manson

When Marilyn Manson was first named and accused of domestic abuse and sexual assault on social media in February 2021, and I read through the various statements against him, my suspicions immediately arose when they started using common language and describing something similar in style to how Bram Stoker slowly but ultimately reveals in his novel Dracula that Dracula is a vampire preying on and controlling his victims. And when the court complaints against Manson were being made public months later, and you can even see it in Evan Rachel Wood's documentary Phoenix Rising, they went even further in narrowing down every aspect of their relationship to Manson as them gradually realizing he was a monster and he was someone they needed to escape from.

For those unfamiliar with the novel Dracula (though I'm sure everyone knows the basic story), here is a brief summary to help you understand how it unravels:

Brief Summary of Bram Stoker's Dracula

In Bram Stoker's horror novel Dracula, Jonathan Harker is an English solicitor acting as an estate agent, who journeys to Transylvania and encounters the mysterious and ominous Count Dracula, who wishes to move to London and finalize a property transaction through him. Initially, Count Dracula receives him warmly and hospitably, despite Harker's observations of certain peculiarities going on in the castle. (Keep in mind, the novel is written in the form of various journal entries, so when we read Harker's observations and descriptions, he is gradually coming to a realization of what is really happening around him.) Soon enough, Harker realizes he has been made a prisoner by his host, who is revealed to be a monster of some sort (he doesn't know he is a vampire until it is later revealed to him through Professor Van Helsing).

This is how Harker describes it when he finally realizes and accepts he is Count Dracula's prisoner:

"The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner! When I found that I was a prisoner a sort of wild feeling came over me. I rushed up and down the stairs, trying every door and peering out of every window I could find; but after a little the conviction of my helplessness overpowered all other feelings. When I look back after a few hours I think I must have been mad for the time, for I behaved much as a rat does in a trap. When, however, the conviction had come to me that I was helpless I sat down quietly — as quietly as I have ever done anything in my life — and began to think over what was best to be done. I am thinking still, and as yet have come to no definite conclusion. Of one thing only am I certain; that it is no use making my ideas known to the Count. He knows well that I am imprisoned; and as he has done it himself, and has doubtless his own motives for it, he would only deceive me if I trusted him fully with the facts. So far as I can see, my only plan will be to keep my knowledge and my fears to myself, and my eyes open. I am, I know, either being deceived, like a baby, by my own fears, or else I am in desperate straits; and if the latter be so, I need, and shall need, all my brains to get through."

For nearly two months, Jonathan Harker was imprisoned in Dracula's castle, left alone to wander the lonely castle by day in complete isolation, and warned not to wander the castle at night, which is when Dracula leaves to feed on kidnapped children, and the Brides of Dracula wander about waiting to feed. Harker, who only is allowed to speak with Dracula during this time, also has a dangerous encounter with the three seductive Brides of Dracula, whose designs on him are only thwarted by the intervention of the Count. He promises to give Harker to them after his business deal is concluded and gives them a "wiggling bag" (presumed by Harker to be a human child) to appease them. Dracula leaves for England and abandons Harker in the castle as a meal for his vampire brides, as he promised them. But Harker escapes the castle, and makes his way back to his fiancée, Mina, in England, though suffers a nervous breakdown in Budapest due to his encounters with the vampires.

When Dracula arrives in London, he begins stalking Lucy Westenra, Mina's best friend, who has left for Budapest to help her fiancée Jonathan in his recovery from the nervous breakdown. Lucy meanwhile becomes very ill. Professor Abraham Van Helsing is sent for, and he determines the nature of Lucy's condition, but refuses to disclose that she has been bitten by a vampire and will soon be among the undead. When Lucy dies, several children are reported as missing. When it is revealed that Lucy is now a vampire, she is killed by Van Helsing and three others in a manner suitable for a vampire. When Mina and Jonathan return to England, an investigation begins to hunt down and kill Dracula. It is not until Van Helsing reveals that Dracula is a vampire that everyone else understands it be so.

Renfield is Count Dracula's deranged, fanatically devoted servant, helping him in his plan to turn Mina into a vampire in return for a continuous supply of insects to consume and the promise of immortality. Throughout the novel, he resides in an asylum. Eventually Renfield reveals to Mina the intentions of Dracula, and warns her to flee, and for this Renfield is killed by Dracula. After Dracula learns of the plot against him, he takes revenge by visiting - and biting - Mina at least three times. Dracula also feeds Mina his own blood, dooming her to become a vampire should she die. The rest of the novel is about preventing Mina from turning into a vampire and hunting down Dracula to kill him, which they do.

Marilyn Manson Accused of Basically Being Like Dracula

As one reads Bram Stoker's Dracula, one observes that Dracula grooms his victims, isolates them, controls them, manipulates them, deceives them. He is described as preying on children, consuming blood, sleeping during the day and only seen at night. While he kidnaps and kills the children to consume their blood, he turns women into vampires to be his brides. He even "traffics" in Jonathan Harker to use him to get to England and then to feed him to his brides.

Marilyn Manson has been known for years to prefer to live within an environment that is generally considered strange and dark. Numerous interviews refer to this, especially from between 2007 to 2015. When interviewers describe this environment, they often do so playing up to his vampire-like persona, especially when it is added that he prefers to stay awake all night and sleep during the day. No one has ever talked about this in a negative way, rather it added to the mystique and the atmosphere surrounding his dangerous persona. That is, until recently. The recent allegations against Marilyn Manson have taken advantage of these descriptions that surrounds him in his home/workplace environment. The court complaints of his various alleged victims read as if they were Bram Stoker himself describing Dracula's victims realizing who he really is.

One of the common features of the complaint's against Manson (particularly by Evan Rachel Wood, Esme Bianco, Ashley Morgan Smithline, Chloe Black and Ashley Walters) is that he groomed his victims with promises of work, whether it be in modeling, acting or photography (Jonathan Harker is also lured into Dracula's castle by purchasing an estate from him). He is usually described as charming in the beginning (just like Dracula initially takes care of Harker's every comfort), and slowly over time turning into a monster (as Harker realizes after being imprisoned in the castle and seeing him crawl like a lizard up and down walls). But before this realization takes place, they observe that he isolates his victims from friends and family in his dark and cold residence (like Harker was isolated in the castle), he brands them with similar tattoo's or blood drinking or even biting (as Dracula does with Jonathan, Lucy and Mina), locks them in rooms when he is with other women, disorients them and doesn't allow them to know if it is night or day, keeps them up for days, doesn't allow them to sleep or eat, drugs them and rapes them while unconscious (controlling every aspect of their life like Harker was by Dracula for nearly two months). Some accusers, like Evan, Esme and Bianca Allaine Kyne, even accuse Manson of trafficking and pedophilia (which is basically what Dracula does to feed himself and his brides). Meanwhile, Manson has a cult-like following and uses so-called friends and assistants as "flying monkeys" to help him in his nefarious ways (like Dracula used Renfield).

Manson's accusers want us to think that he is indeed vampire-like in real life and that it is not a persona, that his external home and workplace environment is a reflection of his internal character. For example, his external environment is cold and dark, because he is a cold and dark person on the inside (Harker describes Dracula's skin as being cold and pale as if he were dead). The accusers go even further to describe this environment as not only a manifestation of his internal reality, but it is designed to disorient his victims to the point where they lose all sense of reality. However, these descriptions are nothing more than a literary device or horror movie trope which the reader can sympathize with because they are familiar with these scenes which have become such a cliche. Even if there is some kernel of truth behind some of these allegations against Manson (such as sleeping during the day and staying awake at night), when you read them in the complaints as accusations, it is quite easy to notice that the facts have been exploited and manipulated to make Manson sound as menacing and monstrous as possible, just like Bram Stoker tries to do over the course of his novel with Dracula. Then when the monster inside Marilyn Manson is revealed, there is no escaping him. And when they do finally escape, they suffer their own forms of nervous breakdowns (PTSD, Depression, Repressed Memories, etc.), though they don't realize why until several years later after it is revealed to them through therapy (like Professor Van Helsing does with the victims of Dracula).

Whether or not such comparisons were deliberate, I don't know, the point is that these images are in the subconscious of most people familiar with the basic story of Dracula, and they were especially exploited by the media during the time Manson was with his accusers. In an interview with New York Magazine published on August 17th 2007, which was when she was dating Manson, Evan Rachel Wood says she was obsessed with Dracula after watching the 1931 version, to the point where she changed her hair style because of it. She said: "The other day, I watched the old Bela Lugosi Dracula movie, and I became obsessed. I went out and completely did the twenties smoky eyes, deep lips, and crazy hair." This was also around the time she described her bloody kissing scene in Manson's music video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses" as romantic: "At the end of the video, we're kissing and it's raining blood--and for me, that was one of the most romantic moments of my entire life." One can only wonder if similar thoughts were floating in the minds of the other accusers when they were in a relationship with Manson, or if it was imagery inspired by Evan during her meetings with the various accusers before they issued their statements. But it all comes down to creating the right atmosphere to change our perceptions of someone and gradually revealing them to be a monster, like Bram Stoker brilliantly does in his novel.