Friday, February 10, 2017

Communism, Hypnotism, and The Beatles

About 5 years ago, I came across this cover of a pamphlet from 1965, entitled "Communism, Hypnotism, and The Beatles".

I thought it was humorous & ridiculous, so I've had it sitting in my emails, but never posted it. Recently, on BoingBoing I saw more about this weird convergence between the rise of rock n' roll and the "Red Scare".

BoingBoing posted a link to a PDF of the full pamphlet, and also a YouTube video with an audio version & lecture by the author himself, David A. Noebel (who sounds like a really fun guy...).

The Beatles are definitely my favorite band, and I believe they were geniuses who were unparalleled in music history. They were a huge influence on my Dad, when he was a kid in the 1960's. The first band that he joined emulated the style & sound of The Beatles. He exposed me to the amazing catalog of music The Beatles produced when I was very young. So, I grew up appreciating the wide range of styles & creative depth of their work. 

Therefore, when I hear people like Noebel talk about the music of The Beatles as 'subversive', 'communist infiltration' or 'mind control', I immediately feel revulsion at the simple-minded dismissal of their artistic brilliance.

After reading the pamphlet, his main premise appears to be that The Beatles music "hypnotizes" the listener through specific beats and other harmonic effects that alter the nervous system. Yeah, well, no shit! The purpose of music is to effect the nervous system and the energies of the body. Where Nobel goes off the deep end is to claim that The Beatles music was specifically engineered by communist scientists, to warp the minds of the Christian youth & destroy Western culture.

Back in the Dark Ages of the presidency of George W. Bush, I used to get pamphlets by Lyndon LaRouche denouncing Bush, Cheney, & their neoconservative cabal. He also denounced The Beatles, claiming they were part of a Satanic social engineering program. This was something I just couldn't jive with, regardless of how much I agreed with the rest of his rhetoric against the corrupt government and elite.

These old-school, uptight jerks are just looking to divide everything into a simplistic view of "good" vs. "evil".  They are always looking to find an enemy in things they don't agree with. It also seems that they cannot comprehend the forces that move artists to create work that resonates and moves the masses. They dismiss this powerful creative influence as "mind control", that must be orchestrated by some nefarious, behind-the-scenes puppet masters.

Now, I'm not saying that there are no people or groups attempting subversive or downright evil influence through art & entertainment. There are definitely people with manipulative and even malicious agendas in control of various aspects of society. However, I think it's ridiculous to say that The Beatles were controlled by such a motivating factor. If anything, they were actually trying to open people's minds and break the cultural programming that so many other forms of media perpetrate.

They definitely helped expand my own mind to new ideas & modes of creativity. They are one of my biggest inspirations and have been a positive influence on countless people, especially musicians, spiritual seekers, and other artistic personalities. To say they were some kind of malevolent and corrupting force is just ignorance of the worst kind.

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