Dear Marilyn Manson:
Yesterday I watched Evan Rachel Wood’s documentary, Phoenix Rising, on HBOmax. As a longtime fan of yours, I did not want to believe her. I truly did not. Unfortunately, I very much did.
Normally, I’m inclined to always believe women when they speak out against their abusers. However, I know we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes people lie. And I really wanted to believe that Evan Rachel Wood was one such liar. I’d always thought she’d seemed a little strange, which is why I’d thought that you’d made such a great couple. I wanted to believe that she was a vindictive liar with ulterior motives. But I was clearly wrong. Perhaps her and her friend really did impersonate FBI agents or whatever you’ve alleged when they approached some of your other victims but even if that is true that does not mean that she isn’t telling the truth about you and what you did to her. Again, I found her accusations about you compelling and I suppose they were very much in line with other unsavory things that we’d already known about you. For example, I seem to remember you bragging about several shocking and disgusting things you did to people in your memoir. I could be mistaken but I believe there is a story about you lighting a woman’s pubic hair on fire. I remember being horrified by some of the things that I read in your book but I thought you were just telling an odd story or two for shock value since shocking people was always one of your greatest skills. Unfortunately, I now have to believe that every awful thing you bragged about in that book was true.
Watching Phoenix Rising was completely devastating for me. Partially because I felt so bad for Evan Rachel Wood and your other victims and partially because I had always admired you and had put you high up on a pedestal in my mind. I really cannot stress enough how much I did not want to believe her. Now I don’t think I could ever listen to one of your records ever again. In fact, I think I might even have to burn them.
I think the thing that upset me most about Phoenix Rising was the story Evan told about when we she went back to you and you made her kneel on a kneeler while you whipped her with a Nazi whip and how you did so in part because she is Jewish. How you whipped her so hard and so many times that she disassociated before her body jerked so hard that she broke your damn kneeler in two. While the majority of the things you did to her are truly unforgivable, that was the one that will haunt me the most. I can’t think of a more revolting hate crime.
I don’t mind telling you that I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Because of this, I recognized all the signs and symptoms in Evan and have no doubt that you have traumatized her for life, although it’s my hope that you will face some sort of criminal prosecution for your misdeeds and that you will ultimately end up behind bars where you belong and then she’ll finally be able to obtain some peace in this world again and can truly begin to heal and move forward.
It’s tempting to sit here and write out a list of the worst things that you did to Evan in order to make as many people as possible aware of what a monster you are but those are her stories to tell. Instead, I will simply encourage everyone reading this to watch Phoenix Rising.
I understand that the FBI is currently investigating you. I can only hope that the stature of limitations hasn’t expired in some of your victim’s cases because you no longer deserve your freedom. The things you did to Evan alone should send you to prison for the rest of your life. You are sick and, dare I say, every bit as evil as you ever claimed to be and I do not believe there can be any redemption for you. I would advise you to get sober and seek out proper psychiatric medication and therapy but I don’t think it’s possible for someone who’s crossed so many of the disturbing lines you’ve crossed to ever redeem themselves. If you have any remorse at all, you would stop lying about things and write your victims a public apology.
I am not a fan of what ring-wing idiots like to call cancel culture because what most call cancel culture I just call natural consequences. When creeps like you and Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein are revealed as the truly evil people you are it’s only natural that people will renounce you and your art. To that end, I would like to see you lose everything. You do not deserve another record deal. Promoters should refuse to book your concerts. Spotify and other platforms should deplatform you. You lost your right to have your art appreciated when you started abusing people. Which I suppose is to say that you never should have had a record deal to begin with because it seems you always treated those around you like disposable garbage, such as the many roadies who frequently had to clean up your many messes.
Words really can’t say how much you’ve disappointed me. And I was a very loyal fan of yours from the beginning who always defended you even when you did some truly despicable things that I personally found disgusting. I told people that you were holding up a mirror to society and revealing it to itself and that you were a misunderstood genius. Honestly, I thought you were fucking brilliant. I was wrong. You were a demented monster and you were simply showing us that all along.
editor and publisher, Love is Pop
former contributing editor to LiveWire and Lollipop Magazines