Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brian Hugh Warner

Brian Hugh Warner

Life span development looks at the biological, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that occur over the span of someone’s life. Personality refers to types, traits, and differences in individuals. This is a brief look at Brian Hugh Warner. Brian Warner was born to Barbara and Hugh Warner of “Canton, Ohio” on 5 January 1969. At the age of five Brian is put in Heritage Christian School in Ohio. This is the beginning that formed the Brian Hughes most people know as Marilyn Mason. The Christian school Brian was attended instilled fear and terrorized him about the evils of Satan.

The Christian school disillusioned Brian about Christianity. In his autobiography, “The Long Hard Road out of Hell”, (1998) Brian notes that he never excelled in school. He believed that most of his education was self taught after classes, where he would role-play, read books about Jim Morrison, write poems, short stories, and listen to records. He found music to be healing and for him music had no rules or judgment; he was accepted for who he was. In about the tenth grade Brian convinced his family to let him go to public school and after graduation in 1987 his family moved to Florida.

In Florida, Brian attended Broward Community College and majored in journalism and theater. Brian was the entertainment editor for the college newspaper. Upon completion of college Brian began working at Fort Lauderdale’s 25th Parallel magazine as a music journalist. Brian formed his band originally named “Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids” in 1990. He and the other members of the band used amalgam for their names by taking the name of a super model and of a serial killer. Marilyn Manson has been an issue of controversy since starting his band. The environmental influences in Brian can be seen in moral psychological development, his family and social support help with his growth, adjustment and personality theories of cognitive and humanistic theory; the paper will conclude with a theoretical approach to Brian’s behaviors and achievements.

Environmental Influences

In the fight of nature versus nurture Brian influence is environment. Going to a Christian school, which taught damnation for sins, only made the oppressed child turn against organized religion (Manson & Strauss, 1998). Brian was brought-up with both of his parents. They were not church going people but thought Brian would receive a better education from the Christian school. At the age of 16 he also found his grandfather’s secret stash of porno magazine, another environmental influence that can be seen in Brian as he ages. Brian notes that he did not excel in school but thought the time he had alone was more educational for him. During the stage of his life where more physiological, cognitive, and behavioral changes occur, Brian was exploring his sexuality. He notes in his biography (1998) that him and his cousin would steal pages from their grandfather’s secret stash of adult magazines and hide the pages under rocks in the drive way. Moral development is seen in Marilyn Manson along with support from his family.

Moral Psychological Development and Social Support

Moral Psychological development defined by Kohlberg has three levels. The first is preconventional where the person avoids punishment to obtain rewards. I believe Brain has trouble with this stage of development. He had an AC/DC album confiscated by an irate teacher. The second stage is of conventional standards. This level suggests that a person will meet moral standards learning from others, avoiding disapproval, and maintaining law and order Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2005). This is another area that Marilyn Manson has shown he does not comply with the norm of standards set by others. In a performance in Michigan, Manson was arrested for lewd conducts on stage.

In an interview on O’Reilly Manson states, (2001):

It's always about being yourself and not being ashamed of being different or thinking different. I try and take everyone's ideals, common morals, flip them around, make people look at them differently, question them, so that you're not always taking things for granted (Marilyn Manson, para. 6).

The final stage of Kohlberg’s moral development is the post-conventional level. This level morality centers on abstract, carefully considering principles. Brian or Marilyn does seem to believe that he needs to take careful consideration for principles. His father and mother attend his concerts and support him as an individual. Although the world may not agree with Marilyn Manson, his appearance, or his image, his family is there for him when he goes to concerts, and when he is being interviewed. He has their support and has had them through his life. Which personality theories best describe Marilyn?

Personality Theories

Marilyn can be seen in cognitive theory and humanist Theory. Cognitive-social theories argue the importance of encoding, personal value, expectancies, competencies, and self-regulation Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2005). Cognitive-social theory is also about personal value and the importance a person attaches to various or potential outcomes. Manson wanted to be a rock singer but the outcome of music has called controversy. Marilyn has shown competences dealing with this controversy. During the Columbine incident Marilyn made a statement about how he was used as a scapegoat and blamed for the children’s actions (Gorgan, 2009). Marilyn also can be seen in humanistic theories as this theory focuses on distinctly human personalities. Humanistic theory also deals with a person-centered approach, and true self. The true self is a person who is untainted by the demands of those around them Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2005). Manson does not have a need to explain why he is who he. He does not believe he needs to change to make the world happy. He does not put blame on others for his action; he is true to himself and his beliefs. Each theory represents Marilyn Manson because the theories talk of how a person approaches his or her life and the way he or she sees him or herself in his or her environment. They differ in the approach that they take cognitive on how his music defines him and humanistic on how he defines himself. A theoretical approach to Marilyn will help with understanding his behavior and beliefs.

Theoretical Approach

The theoretical approach to Brian Warner aka Marilyn Manson is hard to pinpoint. He can be seen in Kohlberg’s moral development. Marilyn’s way of thinking was changed during school with thoughts of damnation that never came to pass. He can been seen in cognitive-social theories with his non-conforming approach to what is considered norm and speaking up for himself in a world that wishes to use him as a scapegoat. Manson is also represented in the Humanistic theory as he has grown and developed his image, not changing his beliefs because society is unwilling to accept him. With the school and lack of concern for his education, Brian became the person whom he was warned about.


In conclusion regardless of what a person thinks about Marilyn Manson he is who he, wants to be. He has taken a life of strict Christian beliefs from a school and turned these into an image that makes people question and think differently then what is considered norm. Even though all of society does not agree with Marilyn Manson, his family supports him and his decision. His parents can be seen in the audience of talk shows, and at his concerts. Humanistic and cognitive theories can be seen in Marilyn as he stands for his beliefs and does not conform to society. Brian Warner is Marilyn Manson and he is a person who is true to himself.


(2001). The O'Reilly Factor. Fox News. Retrieved from,2933,32588,00.html

Gorgan, E. (2009). Life and Style Music News. Softpedia. Retrieved from

Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2005). Psychology (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Manson, M., & Strauss, N. (1998). The long hard road out of hell. New York, New York: Regan Books.

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