The New York Times stated that Manson first got interested in Scientology while he was incarcerated in the McNeil Is land Penitentiary in Washington (Scientology has recruiting programs for prisons). From another report, Manson received about 150 hours
of Scientology counseling in prison and at one point went psychotic
. "Charles was very preoccupied with this new thing called Scientology", one of his friends from prison has told. "He thought that it could do something for him."
Manson himself has told that he learned the methods very quickly, because he had not been programmed in advance. Manson had lessons in Scientology by three of his cell mates. One of them, Lanier Palmer, was "Doctor of Scientology."