The untold truth of Marilyn Manson

Born Brian Hugh Warner, Marilyn Manson rode his third album, Anti-Christ Superstar, to the top of the charts, becoming the most controversial rock star on the planet at the same time. Possibly due to Manson's, to put it lightly, controversial nature, there have been many urban myths about him, but we've dissected all this fiction, and uncovered the true untold story of Marilyn Manson.

The Columbine shooters didn't even like him

The biggest controversy Marilyn Manson has ever been associated with is the Columbine High School shooting of April 20, 1999. Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, walked into their school armed with guns and bombs. By the time they were done, 15 people died — including the shooters — and 30 more were injured.

The massacre shocked the United States, and Manson quickly came to represent everything wrong with pop culture. According to some religious groups, and even some media outlets, Manson's music had somehow encouraged Harris and Klebold, two outcast Goth kids, to shoot up their school because they were being bullied. Due to the controversy, Manson was forced to cancel several tour dates, and he was picketed at the shows he did play at.

What's really remarkable about Manson getting the brunt of the blame is that, in the years since the massacre, we've learned that Marilyn Manson had no discernable effect on either shooters' lives. According to Dave Cullen's exhaustive investigation, which resulted in the aptly titled book Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold weren't bullied outcast Goths who obsessed with Marilyn Manson. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that either Harris or Klebold listened to, or even enjoyed, Marilyn Manson's music. In reality, Harris and Klebold were obsessed with German industrial metal; specifically KMFDM and Rammstein. Essentially, what the Columbine shooting came down to was that Harris was a psychopath who wanted to hurt and kill as many people as he could. He used terrorist recruiting tactics to get Klebold, a depressed and suicidal teenager, involved in the mass murder. Then, after Harris and Klebold were dead, they couldn't be blamed and held responsible, and Manson unfairly became a target for people's outrage because many people found him offensive before the massacre.

That time he went out of his way to meat a devoted fan

In 1994, Marilyn Manson and his band were in a Miami recording studio with Trent Reznor, recording some B-sides for "Lunchbox," a single off Marilyn Manson's debut album. During the session, Manson invited a groupie to the studio, who happened to be a deaf woman. When she came to the studio, Manson ordered her to remove her clothes — when she did, Manson and Reznor put raw meat, such as bacon and ham, all over her body, took pictures and recorded some video. Then, Manson directed the groupie to do things to two of his bandmates, Twiggy Ramirez and Madonna Wayne Gacy, at the same time. Other things happened, which we won't describe, and when it was all nearing a conclusion, Gacy yelled, "I'm going to come in your useless ear canal!"

While that was depressing enough, the sexual escapade didn't end there. After Gacy had finished, the groupie was showering and both Ramirez and Manson urinated on her, and then threw raw salmon on her. Manson then wrote about it in his biography, Long Hard Road Out of Hell, because you don't get to be Marilyn Manson by apologizing about anything.

His early stage show

Marilyn Manson first really shocked mainstream America with Antichrist Superstar's anti-Christian messages and themes. When the follow-up, Mechanical Animals, was released in 1998, the album cover featured Manson wearing a latex suit that made him look like a transgendered alien. People lost their minds, and major retailers refused to sell it.

However, all of this is pretty tame if you compare it to the band's early days. In his autobiography, Manson said that their early shows featured an actress who looked like she was pregnant, and she would iron a Nazi flag. As their show progressed, the woman's act evolved as well, and she would give herself a fake abortion on the ironing board. That just sounds lovely, doesn't it?

His oddly specific sexual habits

That story about how he removed one of his ribs to perform fellatio on himself is just that … a story. But that doesn't mean his real sex life is vanilla. Plus, for a guy who claims to be incredibly shy, he's rather braggadocious about what he's up to between the sheets. In a Rolling Stone feature from January 2015, Manson says that he has sex five times a day, with a maximum of 10 sessions. He also claims that he dated a porn star who broke up with him because he wanted to have sex too much. That's like an Olympic swimmer dumping you because you really enjoy the beach.

While Manson brags about his sex drive, he says that the sex has to be in a dark room, with black sheets, and their underwear can never can go further down than their ankles. His reasoning is both weird and oddly sensible: he's worried that the house will catch fire, and he wants to have some clothes on in case he has to get out of the house quickly.

His sexual assault case

On July 30, 2001, Marilyn Manson was playing a show at the DTE Energy Theater, in a suburb of Detroit. Manson was performing while only wearing a thong and pantyhose — at one point in the show, Manson focused his attention on a security guard named Joshua Keasler. Manson apparently spit on Keasler's head, then wrapped his legs around his head, rubbing his genitals against the back of Keasler's head and neck.

A few weeks later, Manson learned Keasler's sense of humor drew the line at actual criminal behavior, as the rock star was arrested for felony fourth-degree criminal sexual assault. He pleaded no-contest to a misdemeanor charge and paid a $4,000 fine. He also settled with the security guard for an undisclosed amount (ie, probably a lot).

His strange collection

Marilyn Manson's persona is an act, but Manson is the first one to admit that he is a genuinely weird and crazy guy. With that being said, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that Manson is the collector of some truly odd things. Some of his notable collectables, that he definitely owns, include a clown painting done by serial killer John Wayne Gacy, old prosthetic limbs, vintage lunchboxes, the skeleton of a four-year-old girl, the skeleton of a man who was over seven feet tall and used a wheelchair, and an unused can of Zyklon B, a chemical used by the Nazis to exterminate Jewish people.

This brings us to the rumors surrounding what other items Manson owns. According to a lawsuit from former bandmate Madonna Wayne Gacy, besides the two aforementioned skeletons, Manson also has Nazi wall tiles and Nazi carpets. He also supposedly has African masks made out of human skin. Manson has denied owning the Nazi memorabilia, and there's no evidence that he does have it. As for the skin masks, let's hope he doesn't own those.

Does he have a drinking problem?

Marilyn Manson is no stranger to alcohol and hard living. In the early days of the band, he drank whiskey, which led to him cutting himself on stage — that left his torso terribly scarred. Then, on New Year's Eve 1999, Manson found absinthe, the alcohol that would become his drink of choice. At the time, Manson thought that the world could be coming to an end because of Y2K, so he went to the south of France to hang out with his new friend, Johnny Depp. Supposedly, they went around Prague and bought every case of absinthe, an aniseed-flavored liquor that's stronger than most alcohol. Usually, the proof is 45-75% alcohol by volume (ABV), compared to whiskey and vodka, which are usually around 40% ABV. Manson instantly enjoyed it and it became his staple alcohol. In 2007, Manson released his own brand of absinthe called Mansinthe, because he was drinking so much of it. However, he said he didn't drink his own brand, because it was too strong (it is 66% ABV).

In 2015, Manson said that he had to stop drinking Absinthe, because too much of it makes someone "poor and crazy," and he didn't want to become poor and crazy. That's kind of scary because, according to Celebrity Net Worth, Manson is worth $25 million, yet he was worried that drinking absinthe would put him into the poor house (especially considering he could probably get his own brand at cost). Regardless, it seems like Manson was admitting that alcohol was a problem and, instead of quitting drinking, he switched to vodka. In fact, Manson said that, consuming marijuana and vodka is "sober" for him.

While on tour in 2016, Manson's drinking became a problem three times while he was performing. While this could have just been written off to rock star behavior, we should point out that Manson is 47 years old, and he's been a professional musician for 22 years. If you've been a professional that long, and you're that age, but you're still so drunk you can't do your job, that is never a good sign.

His mother's mental illness

Growing up, Manson said that his mother hovered over him a bit. Originally, he thought it was just because he was sick and in the hospital a lot. As a child, he said that he thought he had contracted pneumonia six times, and that he had weird allergies to things like eggs and fabric softener. It was only years later that Manson found out that he was never really sick, and his mother suffered from Munchausen by Proxy syndrome. This is a form of child abuse where a caregiver — in this case Manson's mother — makes up or causes an illness/injury for someone in their care.

Manson has always been fairly quiet on the subject. He's only talked about it twice in public, both times fairly briefly. He doesn't even mention it in his autobiography. Manson says that his mom, who passed away in May 2014 after a long battle with dementia, had a history of mental illness, and he doesn't know how far back the Munchausen by Proxy went.

Smoking bones

In 1995, Manson and his band were living in New Orleans — according to the man himself, most of their time in the Big Easy was spent at bars and graveyards. At some point, his bassist, Twiggy Ramirez, started collecting bones from neglected graves. Apparently, when the band moved out of New Orleans, they left a bag of bones under a mattress in the apartment they were staying in.

However, they didn't leave all the bones behind. During a tour stop in Los Angeles, Manson said that he saw some "Hollywood type" people he didn't like, so he convinced them to smoke some chips of human bone he put in a marijuana pipe. Manson also took a hit, and said that it smelled awful and it gave him a horrible headache. When asked why he would smoke human bones, Manson has always responded, "Why not smoke human bones?" Good point, Marilyn Manson. Good point.

Marilyn Manson's grandfather and HIS weird collection

Marilyn Manson is a lanky, pale guy with long black hair, and he wears more cosmetics than half a dozen tween girls learning how to apply makeup. When Manson broke into the mainstream, there were much more frightening metal bands out there, (like Cannibal Corpses or Mayhem), yet Manson struck fear into the hearts of millions because he just seems like a genuinely creepy person. This has prompted several interviewers to ask what led him down this dark path. Manson claims that his private Christian high school education played a big part, but another big influence was his grandfather, Jack Warner.

His grandfather apparently had a private den where he kept a strange collection of old condoms, weird sexual aides, and an odd and disturbing collection of pornography, which included recordings of bestiality. Manson found this den when he was 12, and began to explore it. By 13, he would supposedly sneak down to the basement where he would watch his grandfather, who had a tracheotomy and wore lingerie, masturbate to one these videos. His grandfather used the sound of model trains to cover up the sounds that he made while doing it. Manson wasn't so much disgusted as he was simply fascinated. He said that he looked at his grandfather then as if he were a monster, which is how he feels the world looks at him today.