I recently did a little study on the Beatles. This post looks at the intellectual poison behind two of the most famous Beatles album covers in Beatles history – one of which seems to depict an eerie abortion scene. But it all began with my Hindu neighbor. I recently noticed a photograph of a Hindu guru in my neighbor’s office.
(If you receive this post by email, make sure to click “display images” because you’re really need to see these photos!)
“Who is that man?” I asked.
“That is Paramahansa Yogananda. He came to America and taught the similarities between the teachings of Christ and Hinduism.”
I knew I had seen and heard of him before. After a couple of weeks, I remembered reading somewhere that he was one of the dudes on the Beatle’s album cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearst Club band (3rd from the right, 2nd row from top).
That got me thinking. “Yeah, George Harrison was all into Hinduism and Hare Krishna. That makes sense. But I wonder. Who else was on the album cover for Sgt Peppers?”
However, when I studied the “who’s who” of Sgt Pepper’s, I was horrified. Here’s a list of who is on the cover.
Adolf Hitler was removed from the at the last moment due to protest from the record label:
Sri Yukteswar Giri (Hindu guru)
Aleister Crowley (Satanist, pansexual, and occultist)
Mae West (occultist, actress, sex idol)
Lenny Bruce (early obscene comedian, drug addict)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (composer, Socialist, new-ager)
W. C. Fields (comedian/actor, alcoholic)
Carl Gustav Jung (occultist, psychiatrist)
Edgar Allan Poe (dark writer)
Fred Astaire (actor/dancer)
Richard Merkin (artist)
The Vargas Girl (erotic painting by artist Alberto Vargas)
Huntz Hall (actor)
Simon Rodia (designer and builder of the Watts Towers)
Bob Dylan (singer/songwriter, occultist)
Aubrey Beardsley (illustrator)
Sir Robert Peel (19th century British Prime Minister)
Aldous Huxley (writer, eugenist)
Dylan Thomas (poet)
Terry Southern (writer)
Dion Dimucci (singer/songwriter)
Tony Curtis (actor)
Wallace Berman (artist)
Tommy Handley (comedian)
Marilyn Monroe (sex idol)
William S. Burroughs (homosexual, killed his wife, promoter of narcotics)
Sri Mahavatar Babaji (Hindu guru)
Stan Laurel (actor/comedian)
Richard Lindner (artist)
Oliver Hardy (actor/comedian)
Karl Marx (atheist, founder of atheistic communism)
H. G. Wells (socialist, eugenist, author, advocate of the “World State”, open critic of Catholic Church)
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (Hindu guru)
James Joyce (Irish poet and novelist, self proclaimed “enemy of Catholicism”)
Anonymous (hairdresser’s wax dummy)
Stuart Sutcliffe (deceased former Beatle, alleged to be homosexual)
Anonymous (hairdresser’s wax dummy)
Max Miller (early obscene comedian)
A “Petty Girl” (erotic image by artist George Petty)
Marlon Brando (homosexual, actor)
Tom Mix (actor)
Oscar Wilde (homosexual, writer)
Tyrone Power (actor)
Larry Bell (modern sculptor, artist)
Dr. David Livingstone (missionary/explorer)
Johnny Weissmuller (Olympic swimmer/Tarzan actor)
Stephen Crane (author of Red Badge of Courage) – barely visible between Issy Bonn’s head and raised arm
Issy Bonn (comedian)
George Bernard Shaw (atheist, socialist, eugenist)
H. C. Westermann (sculptor)
Albert Stubbins (English footballer)
Sri Lahiri Mahasaya (Hindu guru)
Lewis Carroll (author, alleged pedaphile)
T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”)
Wax model of Sonny Liston (boxer)
A “Petty Girl” (erotic image by George Petty)
Wax model of George Harrison
Wax model of John Lennon
Shirley Temple (child actress) – barely visible behind the wax models of John and Ringo, first of three appearances on the cover
Wax model of Ringo Starr
Wax model of Paul McCartney
Albert Einstein (physicist) – largely obscured
John Lennon holding a French horn
Ringo Starr holding a trumpet
Paul McCartney holding a Cor Anglais
George Harrison holding a piccolo
Bobby Breen (singer)
Marlene Dietrich (bisexual, actress, singer)
An American legionnaire
Wax model of Diana Dors (British sex symbol, actress)
Shirley Temple (child actress) – second appearance on the cover
The Intellectual Background for the Beatles
When I was a teenager, Sgt Pepper’s just look like a cool album cover. After formally studying philosophy for a few years, I now realize that the album cover is a collage of intellectual poison.
Aleister Crowley? Really. As in Black Sabbath’s “Mr Crowley.” Nuts. The Sgt Pepper collage is mostly an assembly of occultists, political socialists, eugenists, homosexuals, and sexual provocateurs (plus four Hindu gurus).
So I started looking around at their other album covers and I re-discovered this album cover from the Beatles: Yesterday and Today released on 20 June 1966. That was just one year before Sgt Pepper’s, which was released on 1 June 1967. Take a look. If you’re getting this post by email, be sure to click “display images” in your email browser/client so you can see the photos:
The Beatles’ Yesterday and Today “Butcher Cover”
The four Beatles are wearing white doctor’s coats covered with flesh and decapitated babies. John looks mildly pleased. And Paul looks happy, even delighted. Ringo looks depressed (“Am I really doing this?”). George Harrison looks straight up evil. I feel like George is giving me the bird with a dead infant’s head.
This is just gross.
Pause. What did this represent in 1966? John Lennon said it was a commentary on the Vietnam War. But I don’t see what physician smocks with dead babies has to do with the war. Yes people are dying in each, but still. Kinda weird.
For what it’s worth, the Parliament legalized abortion in the UK with the Abortion Act of 1967 on 27 October 1967. Abortion was being hotly debated in the United Kingdom when this photo was taken.
My conclusion is that there is something really dark about the Beatles. It’s not just a happy “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da Life Goes On” quartet. There is something sinister here. This album cover just screams it. It’s not normal.
I used to think that the great “evil minds” infecting the 20th century were men like Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michael Foucault. However, I think the biggest wrecking ball of Western culture might have been resting in every American’s record collection (or iPod) – John, Paul, Ringo, and George!
Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.” – John Lennon on 4 March 1966 (about 3 months before the “butcher baby” album cover)
Question: I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections on the Beatles. What about the lyrics? You can leave a comment by clicking here.