Did the Beatles Promote Abortion?

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:

hitler sgt pepper

Top row

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)

Second row

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)

Third row

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”)

Front row

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.


Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.

  • 1234

    I think they’re the biggest crap inflicted on my ears.

    • Your musical intuition is well formed. Also known as common sense, which is becoming increasingly less common.

      The message of music is in the sounds, not the words. The Beatles could have been singing in Greek, the message of their music was carnal and outright rebellion against long established social norms.

      Similar to a conscience, musical tastes must also be well formed. If a child’s parents raise them to listen to this “music”, their musical intuition will be corrupted from the outset.

    • Kellie

      You are so right. My music teacher, the late Ivan Aarons was their music contractor and when they started they did not know the difference between A and B a complete nightmare. If it was not for the quality musicians who drowned their boring voices they would not have made the money they made. They also had a good Jewish accountant.

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  • markiemarie

    We’re all sinners, some repentant cause only God Knows the heart , them? us? , the people on the cover?. What’s your point on this ,that’s new?

    • George Bell

      You’re right, markiemarie, we are all sinners, but that does not mean that we should be silent about others’ sins (see Matthew 18:15-17, Luke 17:3). When we approach God with repentant hearts, he forgives our sin, but that fact does not give us license to go ahead and pursue lives of sin nor to condone the sins of others: “Neither to I condemn you; go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).

      Does the fact that we are all sinners lead you not to be horrified by the Beatles’ album cover in which they adorn themselves with the body parts of butchered babies?

      And, yes, this was news to me. I have been somewhat of a Beatles fan for about 20 years…until I read this post.

    • I don’t think this article was claiming to know the hearts of anyone. It was primarily a comment on their music and public image/personas. There’s nothing wrong with critically examining such things. Once you put yourself in public like that, you’re fair game.

      • Yes, this a not a judgment. It’s only a warning that the “message” of the most popular band in human history may not be flowing from a pure source.

        • tj.nelson

          How is that even news? Who didn’t know this before?

          • TomD

            Well, I didn’t know about the album covers. This part was new to me.

  • Dan

    Don’t forget this is the same band who has a song that goes:

    “When I find myself in times of trouble
    Mother Mary comes to me
    Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
    And in my hour of darkness
    She is standing right in front of me
    Speaking words of wisdom, let it be”

    I heard somewhere that Mr. McCartney is a lapsed Catholic.

    • Lydia

      I find those lyrics very deceiving. On the surface, they seem to show respect to Blessed Virgin. However, looking deeper into those lyrics, Our Blessed Mother is portrayed as one who is passive. “let it be,” really? That is contrary to what we believe as Catholics. When we ask for Our Lady’s help, she will come to our aid. Our Lady is most certainly not passive.

      • IAmBrianBoru

        Is “Let it be” really that much different than “Let go, and
        let God”?

        • The song is about Paul McCartney’s mother.

          “Let it be” comes from Luke 1:38. In Latin it’s “Fiat.”

          I’m not trying to defend the Beatles or defend this song (I’m not!), I just want to give them a fair trial.

          • Cathy Ceigersmidt

            Yes, apparently Paul was irritated that people were claiming it was about the Virgin Mary…

          • stpetric

            McCartney’s happy to allow the ambiguity: He says he had his mother in mind when he wrote it, but that fans are free to understand it however they like. OTOH, when he plays it in concert it’s accompanied by video images of votive-like candles burning.

          • JB

            Yes. I believe it was written about his deceased mother.

          • JMJT

            I am not so sure this song is not about both Paul’s mother and The Blessed Mother whom Protestants call “Mother Mary” but Catholics generally call by other titles such as just “Mary” or “The Blessed Mother”. Perhaps Paul protested to much . ” Let it be ” has alway brought to my mind Mary’s Fiat, and this song for me has always been a Religious one…a redeeming grace in comparison to some of the other Beatles’ songs.

        • Bhaybe Hoggett

          Let it Be is like leave it alone. Let nature take its course, There is no God.

          Mama Mary says, bring it all to Jesus.

      • Jenn

        from what I remember reading about that…it was a hallucination from cocaine or some drug…

      • Joan 3

        In my experience, Our Blessed Mother is pretty good at helping us to go to confession and to remember our sins. You are right, she is not passive. She wants to help us to be in Heaven with her and her Beloved Son, Jesus.

    • Nick

      But since “Mother Mary” sounded “too Catholic” the only way Lennon allowed it was by demanding the Let It Be Album include “Maggie Mae” (a song about a Prostitute) immediately following this song.

      • fredx2
      • Bhaybe Hoggett

        Maggie Mae could be the prostitute, Mary Magdalene

        • Ronk

          Virtually no modern scholars think Mary Magdalen was a prostitute.

    • janelle

      Paul’s mother’s name is Mary. Probably pertains to that.

      • Dan

        Thanks. I learned that in this discussion.

    • RobinJeanne

      McCartney denide that it was about the Blessed mother… he said it was a tribute to his mother.

    • StillSound

      I thought that song was talking about marijuana nicknamed Mary

      • liberalismisamentaldisorder

        right stillsound…I lived through the 60’s and mother mary was slang for marijuana…the posters above claiming it was pauls mom or Our Lady are wrong

    • hallwoman

      Harrison was, not McCartney.

    • Mark Steele

      This is a song he wrote about his mother Mary McCartney.

  • Jonathon Brooks

    I’ve never been a big fan of the Beatles, especially the stuff they did in the late 60’s and beyond. However, as they are from the “peace and love” generation, none of this surprises me.

  • Sam

    I grew up around fundamentalist Christians, specifically Baptists, and I graduated from a fundamentalist Bible college. Music is a huge issue for them. They were constantly talking about the evils of rock music and secular music in general. Books were written, sermons were preached, conferences were held.

    While I believe some of it was definitely overkill, I also think there was an element of truth to what they said, in that music has a deeply spiritual component, and much popular music is just plain evil. We are naive if we think music is neutral or harmless.

    I agree completely with you that music has played a profound role in the cultural revolution, beginning in the flapper era of the 1920s, but it was just one element of a multi-pronged attack. I think this attack/cultural revolution is merely the “decisive battle against the Virgin” spoken of by Sister Lucia of Fatima.

  • Nick

    Paul McCartney’s song “Let it Be” speaks of “Mother Mary.” He said this was about his own mom, but John Lennon said it sounded too Catholic, so John Lennon made sure that the next song on the record (British release) was Maggie Mae, a song about a prostitute. And John Lennon obviously went all out with this “Imagine” song, completely denying Heaven and Christianity. I turn the station when this song comes on.

    • Nick

      Sorry, one more thing, George Harrison became Hindu, and his most famous song “My Sweet Lord” repeatedly says “Hallelujah” (Jewish-Christian Hebrew meaning “Yahweh Be Praised”) in the chorus BUT George sings this “praise” in reference to the the Hindu false god Krishna. That’s a textbook case of pure blasphemy.

      • “Hare Krishna” is a mantra/prayer to Krishna, the avatar of the Hindu “god” Vishnu. Don’t ever chant it or say it.

        • Julie Fitzgerald


          • Julie Fitzgerald

            Nevermind. I understand now.

        • Kelsey

          don’t ever tell a person what they can or can’t do. It is not your place Dr. Taylor Marshall

      • fredx2

        It’s not blasphemy if you are not a Christian. Since Harrison was not a Christian, it can’t be blasphemy.

        • hssuzanne

          Since we are all created by the One God, who decides where we will reside in the afterlife, it is indeed considered blasphemy, whether Harrison wants to believe in Christ or not.

          • One does not need to be a Christian in order to blaspheme.

          • Bhaybe Hoggett

            (y) Like

          • Andrew

            so i am to understand that ur god demands our full submission without any questions or doubts??? there is a word for that…slavery!!!

        • Dan

          If a tree falls when we are not present “does it make a sound?” Physics
          indicates that sound waves are generated and resonates and the fact we are not there to hear it fall and make that noise in our ears or if we are deaf we can see and maybe feel the ground rumble but not hear it…that in and of itself does not mean it didn’t make a sound. It only means a person was not present to hear it or could not hear it. It generates sound waves.

          So I suggest that blasphemy is blasphemy to God and any person not repentant moves further and further away from God’s forgiveness and love. We all benefited from Christ’s passion and death to have the choice of salvation (i.e., our free will) open to us and hopefully one day spend eternity with Him in heaven.

          So even the non-Christian has the potential of being saved; however if we blaspheme and have no repentance…..

          So our attitude should not be one of as you suggest Nick that if you are not a Christian it can’t be blasphemy. It is and we should make every effort to help one find their way. If they refuse then it is their choice but we shouldn’t think it doesn’t matter unless you are Christian because it does. We should be there to help them find Christ unless they refuse then we have done what we needed to do to help others find the way, the truth and the light.

      • Andrew

        why is krishna a false god??? what makes jesus better than krishna???

    • Yankeegator

      I refuse to listen to imagine too…

  • Dan

    Someone on the blog brought up the fact that the white coats needn’t be seen as doctor’s coats. Butchers wear the same coats. I think the Beatles are making a social commentary on how our world is careless with human life. The Beatles are not advocating said position, but rather criticizing it satirically. You just have to understand their dark humor to get the “joke.”

    • tj.nelson

      They are butcher’s coats – the album cover was about butchers and was a social commentary. It was considered offensive and the album was recalled and papered over. If anything it is a creepy foreshadowing of abortion – but it was not intentional.

    • In my opinion, almost all of the stuff that gets pushed as “social commentary” contributes to the problems it’s supposed to be “commenting” on.

      • So true!

        • Sam


          Please! give some warning if you want to put up shock blog posts with pictures.

          If you are going to plaster a laundry list of those involved in the occult etc., at least accompany it with talks on the spiritual warfare. The talks on the spiritual warfare at Sensus Traditionus would have been a better link than to publish the grotesque album cover-without at least covering it up by linking to it.

          And, I am sorry, there is no rationalizing away the parade of evil on the album cover. Nor, can you make excuses for the other gross cover with dolls and gore. As an untrained layman, it is pretty evident all of there endeavors have a dark theme.

          Taylor, you have just entered into a serious subject. I don’t think you did that much of service to me by republishing these pics. Perhaps a link would be better.

          Maybe you can explore the talks Father gives at Sensus Traditionis. Your post gave the overt evil, with a quick treatment. I think links on how to approach the subject of the spiritual warfare would be in order after this post.

          If you haven’t been on the Sensus Traditionis multimedia site you should go. It took topics you have hit on, and explores them more fully such as the post on naming your guardian angel. I encourage you to look it up.

          And, please don’t plaster up occult images and gore to spark debate. I know evil is real. I get enough of it in my daily life against my will.

          Thanks for all you do.

        • Shelley Stanzel

          It’s hard to think of a better image to promote the pro life cause. Four smiling humans oblivious to the butchered dismembered humans that lie about them doesn’t seem like a picture trying to convince people that abortion is OK. The Beatles mocked their so called “Christian culture” that allowed the obscenity of abortion and carried on naturally as if nothing were amiss. Making statements that make one ponder-that is a classic Beatles tack. Remember, pro aborts at that time were claiming that the babies were only globs of tissue and weren’t human yet. This picture certainly doesn’t portray that line of thinking.

      • MarkM

        Such as the ill-informed & biased comments that I’m reading in the reponses here……

    • lightbearer33

      I didn’t remember ever seeing this cover – thanks for clarifying that it was done over….I agree with Dan…my take on it was that as the UK was debating whether or not to legalize abortion, they were making a statement that abortion is the butchering of innocent children…at least that’s how I see it…also, we have to remember that John, Paul, George and Ringo were VERY young when fame came to the – between the ages of 21 and 26…and we know that young people tend to push the envelope and rebel against anything and everything that is traditional….it was a crazy time back then (still IS a crazy time) and I think they got swept away on the fame, the money, and the new morality that was bursting out all over…Paul and Ringo are still on the earth so let’s all agree to pray for their conversions before dying and for John and George’s souls to be brought out of purgatory if they are still there.

  • cheytewa

    Thought I’d heard that Bob Dylan became a Christian – “Gotta Serve Somebody” was a Dylan song ridiculed by Lennon for its religious content. And I agree with markiemarie; maybe you haven’t heard the judgment on Catholics from some fundamentalist (and ignorant) Christians.

  • Mary

    The Beatles are an Illuminati creation; like Zuckerberg of today. The Beatles “stormed” the American landscape. Remember it was called the “British Invasion” for a reason. The thing about the Illuminati is that they like to hide in plain sight. Most of these people on this album cover are Satanists. Freemasonry/Knights Templar is now called Illuminati. International billionaires thinking about how they can take Christ out of societies. Make no mistake; the Beatles are no accidental group or band.

    • Dan

      You may be right. But I think an alternative explanation can be proposed. The Beatles were popular not because the Illuminati cause them to be, but because their music struck a chord with listeners. Even with kids today, when they hear the Beatles for the first time, there is a positive reaction. They are pleasing to the ear to listen to. The same with Zuckerburg and Facebook. We all use Facebook because it fits some human need for communication that we have, not because the Illuminati has somehow hoisted Facebook upon us.

      • Mary

        Dan with all due respect; you are naive. The Beatles, as well as Zuckerburg were/are bank rolled by the very elite world businessmen. But don’t take my word for it; do some research. Start with the Bilderburg group. Or simply Google the question “who financed the Beatles?” or “did the CIA start Facebook?” You be the judge.

        • ristland19

          Oh Mary Thank YOu I have known this all my life, yet never have been able to express it, did you notice how their
          amazing songwriting skills stopped at a point? I also think Lennon’s death was due to the fact that he was going to expose something of this nature.

        • adrienne p

          And isn’t it just a tad Gnostic heresy to claim that you alone have this tremendous insight into All the Evil and Corruption that ever entered the world and financed it? Ultimate Conspiracy Theorists are like that. They have the Ultimate Answer. And it is ALL online as well. Believe every thing you read online. Yeah, that’s the ticket to real faith.

          • Mary

            How is it Gnostic heresy? Please explain your accusation because you have no idea how I have been personally physically threatened by real people. Faith is belief in things unseen like the wind. Can’t see it but you know its there when the flag blows. Obviously, it is an annoyance that my knowledge may not come from advance degrees. Insidently, Pope Leo XIII wrote an Encyclical on Freemasonry prior to 1900. You may want to read it. Are you saying the Vicar of Christ, Pope Leo was a heretic? Also, Pope Francis has recently stated that to clean up the Curia; the Masons have to be gotten rid. He is a heretic too? Adrienne with all do respect, you are naive and thats o.k. Not everyone can handle this stuff.

          • Mary

            Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical on Freemasonry prior to 1900. He also composed the Saint Michael, the Archangel prayer in response to a dream he had in which the Devil asked God for more power and 100 years to destroy Holy Mother Church and God granted it. Also, Pope Francis has made a statement that to clean up the Curia in Holy Mother Church “the Masons” must go. He was not talking about a surname. I think it is a projection on your part Adrienne that I have little Faith. This topic is not for the faint of heart. God does reveal things to the simple and open people rather than the learned sometimes. However, I am College educated as a RN, BSN. We live in a sick world. I hope I can help with medicine for that.

            The Sacraments; especially receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord often; if not daily. The Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet are part of His weapons of mass conversion. But make no mistake, we are at war for our own souls and for the souls of those we love. If I sound like I speak with authority it is because Jesus Christ is in me and he who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.

            So many miracles have happened in my life by all intensive purposes i should have been dead. From a fractured skull as a child to major car accident when I was 8 month’s pregnant; to recent physical threats on my security x 3. I believe Mary, the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, has protected me and my loved ones as promised to Saint Louis Demontfort if one prays the Rosary. I tend to pray without ceasing as the Bible tells us. You may call me what ever you like. Gnostism is the belief in Pagan Gods from Ancient Egypt and Babylon. I don’t worship them. Our culture does though. The goal of every Catholic is to save souls; have you read the latest encyclicals on the New Evangelization? Catholics are made for spiritual combat. Fight the good fight.

            There is no need to be afraid. If God wants us to be martyrs, He will provide the courage and the joy.

          • Mary

            I do believe much of what is online verses the nightly news. The Antichurch is just as organized as Holy Mother Church but we Have Jesus and they don’t.

          • Mary

            Adrienne you are projecting your lack of Faith onto me. Read Pope Leo Xlll encyclical on Freemasonry. Pope Francis stated publicly that to clean up the Curia; the Masons must be purged. Are Pope Leo and Pope Francis heretics? Gnostism is the worship of Pagan gods; worship of knowledge. I don’t worship knowledge, I share it and let people make up their own minds. Freemasons worship knowledge.

          • Mary

            Read Pope Leo Vlll’s encyclical on Freemasonry prior to 1900. Was he a conspiracy theorist and heretic too? By the way, Gnostism is the worship of knowledge; it is an ancient Pagan religion and the Freemasons worship knowledge; hence the symbol of G in the protractor. Adrienne perhaps your lack of Faith in Jesus as the one true God is being projected onto me. I don’t have all the answers; only God does but he does reveal things to simple humble people before he will reveal things to the proud. That is Scriptural.

          • Mary

            Read Pope Leo Vlll’s encyclical on Freemasonry prior to 1900. Was he a conspiracy theorist and heretic too? By the way, Gnostism is the worship of knowledge; it is an ancient Pagan religion and the Freemasons worship knowledge; hence the symbol of G in the protractor. Adrienne perhaps your lack of Faith in Jesus as the one true God is being projected onto me. I don’t have all the answers; only God does but he does reveal things to simple humble people before he will reveal things to the proud. That is Scriptural.

    • Kathleen Perron

      Very Interesting! More research needed!

    • Declan Kennedy


      According to Illuminati literature, as a Kennedy, I am a member due to my descent from the last King of Ireland in the days when all kings were Illuminati. Hence any comment I make must be seen as disinformation, as I “hide in plain sight”. However, I have had no contact with the secret establishment, but am convinced that belief in it leads people to bad actions.

      • Mary

        Most Freemasons do not know of the secrets; only if you are high rank at 32 order or 33 order are you in the “know.” The groups are essentially Pagan from Ancient Babylon and they are looking for the lost city of Atlantis. They are deceived by the great deceiver himself, Satan. Look up Alex Jones and California’s Bohemian Grove.

        • Declan Kennedy


          i’d agree with you on the ignorance of the freemasons, but still have doubts that they really have any secret history. As far as I can see see it is just a made up story trying to get respectability by invoking non-existent secret histories. Their practice, from what I know of it is definitely demonic. The Bohemian Grove crowd, the Bilderbergers and such like need investigation, but I suspect that the demonic aspects are to attract those with a teenage, Heavy Metal mentality. Atlantis never existed. I’d agree with you that they are attracting people to evil, or the “Dark Side” in modern parlance, but out salvation has been painfully bought and those who reject it by commission or ommission must we guarded against.

      • Mary

        President John F. Kennedy threatened to expose the secret group in our government and well he gave a speech about this and then he was murdered. Then Robert was murdered as well.

        • Declan Kennedy


          Thanks.You are on what I would see as the right track, but I still have problems with JFK’s speech to the Houston Ministers where he seemed to have denied Catholic rights in the public space. To me the problem is lack of Christian/Catholic witness and not the Illuminati/Freemason conspiracy of silence or hostility

      • Claude Couture


    • Declan Kennedy


      About a year back, I did some research on belief in the Illuminati amongst rap music fans in Africa. There is a very strong belief that the Illuminati being involved and loads of the, very convincing, YouTube videos on the topic are widely circulated on pirate dvds. However, there are two views here. One is that the Illuminati guide people to fame in return for the price of their souls. The other is that when people start getting popular, they are bought in order to gain future riches, in return for spreading the evil doctrines.

      Just in response to Dan below (apologies as I was late returning to this discussion), some of us never used Facebook and have no intention of doing so.

      • Mary

        The government has access to Facebook obviously as do many. It is thought that this is a way to scan facial features for future reference. Alliteration not intended. Rap artists who use the triangle sign and two horned hand signal are part of the system. Well, we must pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily since it is foretold in Genesis that there will be emnity between the Devil and the Women and she will Crush his head (the serpent) as he strikes at her heel. Sacraments are so vital. Bless you Declan. President John F. Kennedy wanted to expose the secret government in America and well they put an end to him and his brother, Robert. Why can we negate that the Anti church is not as organized as Holy Mother Church; we are kidding ourselves if we don’t understand this….

        • Declan Kennedy

          Many thanks Mary. By the way, you share the name with my Grandmother, Mother, sister, wife, cousins and various friends. We are communicating across widely different time zones, hence delays in replying. I’d have been a rosary prayer since I was a child in the fifties, but only discovered the Divine Mercy Chaplet last year. Powerful tools. Any further suggestions would be gratefully received.

          One of my worries about the triangle and the horn symbols are that women like Beyonce are avid promoters and I worry that this type of discussion can lead on to stuff about evil women being the spawn of the devil etc. Obviously, with your name and devotion to Our Lady, you are an opponent of that stuff, but there are maniacs out there who can read these comments and take the wrong line of interpretation. Back to the problem of understanding symbols! I’ve just added you to the list of people I pray for as I head to my night prayer. Many thanks and keep up the good work.

          • Mary

            He who is in us is Greater than he who is in the world. I am Mary Frances Guadalupe Nelson. My mother was Mary Louise; and my Grandmother Marie; pretty cool. We don’t need to be afraid; if God wants us to be saints/martyrs for the Faith; He will give us the courage. Also, the 15 promises of the Rosary by Saint Louis Demontfort (Sp?) are one that anyone who prays the Rosary will not die a violent death. Remember, Jesus cast out demons and I do believe in the coming years we will have the grace to send the spirit into the swine if you will and we will be protected. Yes, Beyonce is possessed as is anyone with pride of that magnitude. We should pray always as the Bible says; make everything we do as a prayer- work/rest/etc. Perfect love cast out fear. I’ll add you to my prayer list as well. Many thanks to you and yours. The Saint Michael prayer and Holy Water is a good way to start your day. The prayer to the Holy Spirit by Saint Bonaventure is awesome. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is the Greatest prayer aside from receiving the Holy Eucharist! Mary always leads us to Jesus.

          • Declan Kennedy


            Amazing! Our parish is Our Lady of Guadalupe in Nairobi. Many thanks for the prayers and advice.

  • tj.nelson

    You are reading too much into these covers. The Sargeant Pepper cover depicts popular cultural influences at the time – people we studied in college, entertainment figures, even the guru and Crowley were figures of interest to young people back then.

    On the second cover they are wearing butcher’s coats, not lab coats – the album cover was about butchers and was a social commentary on war. It was considered offensive and the album was recalled and papered over. If anything it is a creepy foreshadowing of abortion – but it was not intentional, much less promoting abortion.

    • I’m sorry, if you put people on your album cover, that is implicitly supporting them. Were they “figures of interest to young people back then?” Yeah, sure. That doesn’t alter the fact that many were quite evil.

      • Dan

        They were sort of like the worldly “saints” and mystics of the day: a catalog of alternative culture that had appeal for some people.

      • hallwoman

        Boy, I wonder if my literature professor at the very Catholic Univ. of Dallas in the good Dr’s hometown knew they were implicitly supporting anti-Catholic James Joyce when they made us slog through Ulysses…evil evil. This is the kind of junk thought that drives normal people from Catholic culture and even the Church.I had a family member go completely off the deep end after a few months in a “traditional” seminary. He informed me that my hyperemesis gravidarum was due to my sinfulness. Yes, my husband slugged him. We are to live in the world but not be of the world. But this discussion is something that reminds me that nuttiness is not the exclusive province of fundamentalist Protestants. I’m guessing most of the combox warriors here think Paul VI was a secret Freemason too and so on.

        • Mary

          Have you ever met a 33rd degree Freemason? Unless you have had that experience, you can only poo poo people who have. Just because you have not met a possessed person; does not mean they don’t exist.

    • JMJT

      I agree. I was in my early 20’s when these 2 Beatles albums were released and that is pretty much what I thought of the cover of “Sargeant Pepper ”
      at the time. I also agree that it was a time of young people questioning everything and open to to a lot of things one should not be opened to…fortunately some of these young people actually grew up.

      Regarding the second album cover with the butchers..yes for most people at the time I believe this was about the very controversial VietNam War, in that distant land we knew little or nothing about, to which our classmates, brothers, and intendeds were being drafted to and they
      and the local indigenous kids were being killed along with the designated “enemies”.

      If this picture was also about abortion there was not much of a “jump” to the despondent culture of death mentality that both the children killed in war and those killed by abortion were equally dead. This butcher picture is not unlike the antics of some pro-lifers who may have gone over the edge . The “late term ” or rather already born dolls were not what most people were thinking of in terms of legal abortion in those days, because the just a “blood clot” mentality was being widely advertised and most actually believed that abortion could be “safe, legal and rare” due to the advances in methods of contraception.

    • TomD

      Crowley was a figure of interest to young people back then?

      Why? What was so enticing about him?

      So the Beatles either actively promoted a Satanist or passively pandered to public interest in a Satanist. Either they led or were led. Either way it doesn’t look good.

      • tj.nelson

        Like Harry Potter today.

        • TomD

          I’m not sure there is a direct comparison between JK Rowling and Crowley.

          Putting aside all of the “magical” parts of the Harry Potter universe and certain moral absurdities such as Dumbledore’s demise, the reader will find that there is a world of good and evil there – my problem with it is that there is no REASON to be good in it, the ‘good’ people just are, which doesn’t match reality very well.
          I am not aware of one single good thing about Crowley.
          Perhaps the similarity you are looking for is the irrational desire for magical power. Certainly such a desire began with the mediums of the early 19th century and have only grown since via Crowley and Jung and others. Perhaps Rowling’s role has been to make such desires more respectable, and that would be a shame.

          • tj.nelson

            There you go TomD. Good catch there!

          • TomD

            I can’t tell if you are serious or not, based on your other comments.

            I personally like the Harry Potter books in many ways. The Prisoner of Azkaban was one of the best time-travel stories I have seen (that is a genre that can easily be mangled by being sloppy with causality). As literature they have much to like.
            But they don’t exist in a vacuum. We live in a culture that at its zenith relied on science and Christianity, and both are being undermined by major shifts to irrational thinking.

          • tj.nelson

            I thought your comment was good – so I was just ‘throwing my hat in’ as it were, because the Aleister Crowley stuff is a rabbit hole – he was a complete nut case and possibly possessed – I doubt his influence is as great as people like to think.
            The association with the occult – or it’s influence at the time was a cultural trend. Ouiji Boards were popular, astrology, psychics, etc.. Books and films, such as Rosemary’s Baby. Department stores even hosted psychic fairs for teens. Hence, out of curiosity people were led from one thing to another and found Crowley, and Madame B. and Theosophy and a whole lot of stuff which paved the way for Eastern mysticism – all of this New Age stuff continues to influence culture and Catholic education today. The better focus would be to root it out now, rather than sensationalizing dubious revelations about who or what motivated Lennon and McCartney.
            My real issue with this post is the inaccuracies about the Beatles and the exorcist style sensationalism embedded in the post and comments, and the dumb inclusion of powers such as the Illuminati and sensationalist videos like “They sold their soul to the devil”! The fundamentalists and charismatics have all vetted this stuff before, culminating in record and book burnings. It’s all simply drama.
            It’s just such a strange juxtaposition – esp. in light of todays first reading wherein John writes: “We know the whole world is under the power of the Evil One.” – 1 John 5
            You strike me as knowledgeable and rational, so I’m sorry if my comment sounded snarky.

      • Declan Kennedy

        His books were in the public library that I used to visit in the late sixties.

  • IAmBrianBoru

    I like Taylor Marshall, particularly as a guest on radio programs, but the descriptions of the people on the SPLHC album cover are a little puzzling to me.

    W.C. Fields – Comedian/Actor, Alcoholic; Marlon Brando – Homosexual, Actor; Marlene Dietrich – Bisexual, Actress, Singer… Really? What gives?

    In that time period W.C. Fields was hugely popular and remained so for another 15 or 20 years. Now, you can only rarely find one of his movies on TV.

    If Brando is described as homosexual (while fathering children) and Dietrich is bisexual, what’s the criteria determining their sexuality?

    I’m not defending any of the people on the cover, but this article seems to be too much of a stretch, not unlike a Protestant inserting nonexistent understanding of scripture passages to explain their Biblical exegesis.

    • You can nitpick with a few of the descriptions, yes, but I think the overall argument still holds: popular music has become more and more given over to occultism.

    • It’s not nitpicking their sexuality. They openly discussed their sexuality. For example, Marlon Brando (the Godfather) was very open about it:


      • fredx2

        Not in 1967, he wasn’t. He was just popular at the time, a sort of rebel in Hollywood, which of course drew the avant garde crowd.

  • Chuck Smith

    At that time there was a round of jokes(In very bad taste) called dead baby jokes. I have heard that was the reason for the butcher cover.Which sells for a very high price for its rarity. Paul’s Mother , Mary,died of breast cancer when he was a young boy.

    • IAmBrianBoru

      I remember those
      jokes and actually had them come to mind when I read this post.

    • IAmBrianBoru

      I remember those jokes and that is what came to
      my mind while reading this post.

  • Rebecca

    I am 65 year old female/wife/mother of two adults/ devout Chritian& Catholic.
    I enjoy your blogs.They sre refreshing & real.I have to disagree on this point. My opinion is that taken out of the context of the social/ political climate of the times one can read in all kinds of sinister meanings. Trying to ferret out hidden meanings in photos fro decades past seems not to be the most prudent use of time or energy.

  • The only thing I found strange was your judgement/label of Edgar Allen Poe as a “dark writer.” Seriously? He was a major player in the American Romanticism literary movement, a movement set to evoke strong emotions from the reader.

    Also, Oscar Wilde was received into the Catholic Church and was administered the Last Rites right before his death.

    I’ll step off my literary soapbox and leave you with this quote:

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

    • Rick Evans

      Dion Dimucci spoke at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Defending the Faith Conference in 2012. Devout Catholic with an inspiring testimony!

  • janelle

    They lost me when they got into drugs. They just thought they were cutting edge like Lady Ga Ga does now wearing the meat dress. Anything for attention in show business, I guess.

  • Jake0282

    You deem this evil? Seriously? I mean the cover is disgusting, but their music is timeless. Don’t go all southern baptist on us and think that smart human beings who happen to be catholic can’t distinguish the difference between true evil and people who have a differing opinion on life and the world.

    • Dan

      I would agree. Even if I can’t agree with everything in Lenin’s (or the others’) philosophy, that doesn’t make it evil. I’d like to think that the Beatles were people of good will, despite their faults.

  • Pingback: Did the Beatles Promote Abortion? - BigPulpit.com()

  • catholicmom

    Dion is a faithful Catholoc. Facebook him!

  • Cathy Ceigersmidt

    Thank you, Dr. Marshall, for bringing this to the attention of people such as myself who had NO idea about such evil being depicted in their later album covers. We’ve had the “Abbey Road” cover hanging in our upstairs loft since we moved into our new home four years ago. It’s coming down tonight. I read John Lennon may have changed his political ideology to conservatism before he was murdered. Hopefully that was the case. Prayers for his and George’s souls and Paul and Ringo.

  • Yankeegator

    Both Laurel & Hardy were both Freemasons as well I believe…

  • Catharine

    I remember when John Lennon made his ridiculous statement about the Beatles being greater than Jesus Christ–I was about 12 years old at the time. The Southern Baptists immediately (and correctly) caught the drift of what was being claimed, called the Beatles in general, and John Lennon in particular, an Antichrist, and had public record burnings. This was in the Deep South. In northern Illinois, the so-called faithful and devout Roman Catholics were somewhat embarrassed and chagrined that their hyper-conformist offspring were much more worried about “being cool” than about taking ownership of their faith.
    The Beatles never really impressed me that much–they always seemed to be about as phony as a $3 dollar bill. I never purchased a single album of theirs. They always struck me as being “plastic people” interested only in themselves and their own money and their own popularity. Their music and lyrics now seem completely trite and dated.

  • Catharine

    As far as the album cover is concerned, what is the difference between a butcher of babies and an abortionist? They both exterminate innocent human life (in the womb) by similar gruesome methods–decapitation and dismemberment. Instead of being a “healing profession,” modern ob/gyn’s make money by dispensing chemical contraceptives (which by the way are highly carcinogenic–just ask the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society), sterility, and abortion. Vanity Fair just had an article in last month’s issue about 3rd & 4th generation birth control methods which cause death in the young women who take them, by causing blood clots which travel into the lungs, the heart and the brain. There is a blurring of the lines here–the Beatles wound up being prophetic after all.

  • Michele

    I rewrote the lyrics for myself.

    Imagine we’re in heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    Green grass below us
    Above us clear blue sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living in The Way…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    One religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

    Imagine All know Jesus
    The Savior, Christ the King
    Sin of the past forgiven
    Sins of the past washed clean
    Imagine all the people
    praying for the world

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  • Carlos X.

    Geesh. The Beatles have been frequently accused of embedding secret messages in their materials. Many have supposed that the cover of “Abbey Road” bore a heavily disguised message to fans that Beatles member Paul McCartney had died. Charles Manson thought the songs in the “White Album” contained instructions to him to kill people. As a Beatles fan thoroughly familiar with their music, I can say that when they wanted to advocate for something, they came out and said it. Over the years, they spoke out on countless issues, including the Vietnam war, the British-Irish conflict, women’s lib, drug regulations, vegeterianism, land mines, Bangladesh, civil rights, you name it. Their usual strategy was typified by Lennon taking out billboards saying “War Is Over If You Want It.” They were hardly subtle or subliminal. (Also, I find it very telling that none of them ever went on to advocate openly for abortion when it would have been entirely acceptable in their crowd to do so.) As L’Osservatore Romano concluded in an April 2010 appraisal, “They may not have been the best example for the youth of the day but they were by no means the worst. Their beautiful melodies changed music and continue to give pleasure.” It continued: “Forty years later the Beatles still astound with their originality and they are a consolation against the continual assault on music lovers by the record industry.” As for the Butcher Cover (those were butcher frocks, not doctor smocks (in the UK, the NHS hospital forbids white coats for medical staff), George Harrison has said that he thought the photo shoot was “was gross, and I also thought it was stupid. Sometimes we all did stupid things thinking it was cool and hip when it was naïve and dumb; and that was one of them.” I see no reason not to take him at his word.

    • MikeL

      The “Butcher Cover” album, “Yesterday and Today,” was only released in the US, and was intended as a commentary by the Beatles against their America record company because they were upset at how their albums were being butchered by the record company (songs dropped or placed out of their intended order). This used to be pretty common knowledge; I’m disappointed by all the uninformed negative speculation here.

      • mike

        Yes, I was looking for someone who would bring this up. Just what I thought – common knowledge. I’m not defending any of their character choices for the cover – but they are, as advertised, “lonely hearts”.

        • hallwoman

          Thank you Mike and MikeL. I am a fan of both the Beatles and Dr. Marshall but this “critique” of album covers (!) Is kind of out there. I actually own a copy of the butcher “Yesterday and Today” album. Perhaps Dr. Marshall is too young to have been around at that time. Yes it was about how Capitol Records ‘butchered’ their work. And if you watch the video of Lennon’s famous “Jesus” commentary you can see John Lennon’s exasperation with the craziness of the fans making musicians like themselves bigger than even Jesus. It was at the time that they gave up on touring because the fans were drowning out the music with hysterical screaming.
          All of this hand wringing and tsk tsking about the “evil Beatles” is ludicrous IMHO. It strikes me as akin to internet stories that claim dump trucks and not planes struck the Pentagon on 9/11. Ridiculous to anyone who was around at the time.
          And as a mom I am glad my 20 something kids grew up liking the Beatles rather than their generation’s junk music. Go after Kurt Cobain for gosh sakes. I think Dr. Marshall just lost me as a reader….

          • Declan Kennedy

            I just voted this up, and then I read the last bit. Don’t give up on reading Dr. Marshall. He is always stimulating and the discussions are interesting unless abusive people start posting. I am not abusing your overall point, as I agree with you about the problems of interpreting symbols. Some people denounce Catholics claiming that the fish symbol shows that they are really worshipping some old Babylonian God.

      • tj.nelson

        Slap to forehead! Of course! Thanks for adding this.

  • dlivac

    The sickest thing about this entire commentary is your ridiculous analysis. You are obviously a right wing tea bagger and religious fanatic willing to make outragious statements to prey on the bigoted biased and ignorant so you can sell some books.

  • fredx2

    I think you have too much time on your hands. The assembled people on the cover of Sgt Pepper are nothing more than a collection of faddish celebrities that liberals considered prominent at the time. Yeah, Alastair Crowley is a bit out there but the rest are movie stars, pseudo intellectuals etc that were popular at the time. The other cover did not make people think at all about abortion when it was released, in fact it was not released in the US. It was just weird 60’s abstract crap.

  • David Thomas

    At least Dion DiMucci reverted to the Catholic Faith. I hear Oscar Wilde returned to the Church too.

  • Kathleen Perron

    Well I do know the song “Lucy in the sky with Diamonds” was suppose to stand for LSD.

    • lspinelli

      No! It was the title of a painting that Julian gave to John. He came up with the title, at only four years old.

      I’m really mind boggled by the misinformation on this thread!

      • tj.nelson

        Me too! And the illiminati comment is way over the top!

        • hallwoman

          At my Catholic boarding high school in 1976 there were students who were advocating a purge/pogrom of nuns and staff that might have been secret communists. Yes, too much time on their hands. Too Catholic for the pope. The readers of this blog need to get over themselves. I’m really disappointed to (again) find that whenever Catholics gather online half of them will be totally bonkers. So some of you just knew those Beatles were satanists? Really?!? My gosh….

          • TomD

            I find that half the people online anywhere are bonkers – at least! I think a site is decent if only half are sane.

        • TomD

          Yes, the Illiminati comments are weird, but there was one small virtue in them. I had never heard of “The Bohemian Grove crowd” and so I looked up “Bohemian Grove” on Wikipedia. The quotes at the end of the article by Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon on the White House tapes had me laughing!

  • ana ormonde

    I have never seen this cover. I am appalled at it. This was a sort of brainwash of the people in my view. I think they are really evil to have posed for this. Ring looks sick and his body language tells me he did not agree with it. But one out of four is not enough. I went to a retreat once and the priest mentioned they were evil and they stood for Satan. Now I understand.

  • hssuzanne

    The Beatles are the most overrated moment in the history of music, and that is saying a lot.
    The NKOTB of the Boomer generation, they hit at the exact right time and place to somehow become whatever the cultural icon it is they are, with half assed songs and little else.
    I eagerly await their irrevelence. The millennial generation hasn’t swallowed the John Lennon/ Beatles kook-Aid from all I have seen and read thank goodness and this article further underlined the damage this band can inflict. Gahhh.

  • Beatles fan

    At the time they professed they were anti-Christ. So why is this surprising? If you dug a bit deeper you would have found that Ringo has now found God and now lives a Christian life. Paul also seems to be spiritual in his older years going by the lyrics of his 2001 song ‘Freedom’, in which he sings that freedom is “a right given by God”. I think the rotten egg in the group who badly influenced the others was John. He seemed like a very disturbed and evil man, right up to his death.

    • JF

      There is evidence out there that John had a conversion to Christ near his death.

  • Fr. Mark

    there is a lot of stuff on the occult influences of Beatles and other rockers in the video:
    ‘They Sold their souls to Rock -n-Roll’. Well worth the watch.

  • edith

    I grew up in the 60s and we saw defiance as power and existentialism ruled our behavior. We were wrong. But let’s be clear we were formed in schools that had teachers who embraced liberalism in their formative years. Each generation if left unchecked adds to the mess. The good news is Jesus can set you straight. Pray for this generation, who are their leaders? Pray for Truth to be their guide.

  • bdlaacmm

    Still the best rock group of All Time.

    I think this article is reading wa-a-a-ay too much into things. As to the gross “Yesterday and Today” album cover, I recall reading at the time of its release (yes, I am that old) that it was a protest against how their music had been “butchered” by the record labels. The cover of that album which most people recall is the far more tasteful image of them posed around a large steamer trunk.

    The Beatles are like many other artists whose work I admire, yet find the person (or persons) to be less than admirable. Wagner comes to mind – love his music, but have to admit he was an anti-Semitic bigot.

  • Baby

    thats why they vanished into oblivion..no place in the christian world!!

  • Don’t stop there. It is a great misfortune to all of us but with research it gets even more ugly. I was weaned on the Beatles and loved them dearly. Digging deeper one finds this is just the beginning.

  • Matthew Jay

    I’m a 56 year old baby-boomer. I knew back in junior high there was something seriously dark about the Beatles as they’d “progressed.” Their early stuff was pop rock and mostly fun. That changed in the late 1960’s. Whether it was due to hard drugs, the hard life of constantly being on tour, the influence of Hinduism, or something else, the Beatles changed. Their work grew mysterious and shrouded with eerie messages. However, their popularity only continued to grow – which in turn, encouraged them to continue down that dark path. Sadly, they influenced an entire worldwide generation with the misbegotten philosophical underpinnings of their music.

  • Declan Kennedy

    Dr. Marshall,

    While agreeing with you on the “Sergeant Pepper” cover, it caused controversy at the time it out, due to the dodgy characters portrayed. One of the first films I remember seeing was “Hard Days Night” when it first came out. Everybody, including Grannies, loved the Beatles in those days, except those who thought they were too commercial and preferred the darkness of the Rolling Stones, who did do some truly Satanic stuff. I’d never heard of the Yesterday and Today album until I read this. It seems it was only a North American release. I can remember my mother asking me not to buy “The ballad of John and Yoko” as it was blasphemous (“Christ you know it ain’t easy …they’re going to crucify me”). I didn’t buy it and thought “Imagine” was rubbish, but by then I was into the Who. Pete Townshend was a follower of Meher Baba, another Indian guru, but still wrote some great songs. (They played “Won’t Get Fooled Again” at the concert for 9-11. The relatives who brought up my mother in the thirties used to only listen to classical music and would not allow Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong to be played in the house. Still, I love their music but accept that jazz had its origins in bars and brothels and that Paul Robeson was a communist. I’m conflicted on this issue as I agree with an earlier poster about Wagner being a horrible man, but writing great music.

    Thanks for warning us of these dangers, but interpreting symbols can be tricky. I can remember a colleague explaining to me why Catholic bishops were really worshipping the Babylonian fish god due to their mitres. The cross is a scandal, but the cross in the hand of a Pope or in the hands of a heavy metal musician have different meanings.

    Apologies for going on so long.

  • Lynne

    In the book, “Get Us Out of Here” (an interview with Maria Simma, Preface by Fr. Salvo Barbaric of Medjugorje – highly recommended reading), Maria, who was unaware of who John Lennon was at the time, was told by the Holy Souls that John Lennon was in Heaven. She said, “He was murdered by a fellow who at the time suffered a possession, and who later, while in jail, was freed by a good Priest praying a deliverance prayer from outside the walls.”. Let us not forget how merciful Our dear Lord is. We do not know what transpires between Him and the soul at the moment of death. Pray the Chaplet of Mercy every day for the souls of the dying.

  • daisy

    My father was an alcoholic so I’m probably too sensitive but what was with the description of W.C.Fields? Yes, he drank but that didn’t make him evil. As for the Beetles, they were largely disgusting in their personal life and yes, they did let it show and it influenced a bunch of darn fools.

  • Mary Griffin

    I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s absolutely loving the Beatles. To be honest, much of their music still sounds great to me, but I no longer listen to them. There is no doubt in my mind that they were motivated by the devil. I read a very interesting book, “The Lennon Prophecy” which gives evidence that this could very well be true, that Lennon made a pact with the devil, selling his soul in exchange for becoming the biggest group in Rock and Roll. John Lennon hated religion, and especially hated Catholics. In the aforementioned book, the author recounts one incident when the Beatles were in Hamburg, and Lennon literally urinated on a group of nuns passing below him on the street.

    The Beatles truly changed our world, and it was all diabolical.

  • Debbie Edwards

    I’m a relatively recent revert/convert ….recently the words from this Beatles song struck me as being pro choice : “Lady Madonna, children at your feet …wonder how you manage to make ends meet. Who finds the money, when you pay the rent. Did you think that money was heaven sent.”

  • Maldos9

    Let it be

  • William D.

    What a crock! That the Beatles liked to tweak social mores and conventions is hardly news. To make them out to be evil is ludicrous. The inaccuracies in this diatribe are to numerous to list completely. Aleister Crowley, while perhaps not the guy you would have wanted your sister to spend a weekend with, was never a Satanist. He was an explorer of the occult, and introduced yoga to the west. Then Edgar Allan Poe is dismissed as a “dark writer” (whatever that means). Several figures are trashed by being labelled “homosexual.” Give me a break. Doesn’t this writer have anything better to do than to try to diminish the reputations of the Beatles and a host of others by such a smarmy article? What a waste.

    • disqus_xp4GYx7DZk

      Crowley was absolutely a satanist…research what he and Jack Parsons got up to. His experience summoning DEMONS in the desert of Bou Saada. I could go on and on. Read about whom he thought made the BEST sacrificial victims for ‘magickal workings’. HINT: They’re pure and innocent. And to dismiss claims that AC was a satanist by saying he was, into the ‘occult’ rather than satanism is ridiculous semantics. There is nothing ‘Christian’ about the ‘occult’, IS there???

  • Alice Seidel

    The Beatles were the biggest thing in the world in the 1960s. Nothing compares today with what they stood for and how they influenced young people in that decade; I know this because I was one of those young girls crazy for them! The cover was very indicative of culture back then; don’t read too much into it. If they were influenced by anything, the Beatles loved their money and what it bought them. I don’t believe they were too interested in changing the world. As their money opened up doors for them, such as Eastern philosophy and meditation and all that crap, coming from them it looked so good! Then there was the drug scene, and then they broke up, and then there were none!

  • itsmike

    The real reason for the butcher block cover (and this has been written about time and again, and mentioned by Beatles themselves): Note the differences between the American and British albums. This is because of profiteering on the part of the American label, Capitol. The butcher block cover was a comment on what they thought Capitol was doing to their albums.

  • Rosie

    This makes me ill. Right before Christmas my daughter’s third grade class put on a program. Of course it was not centered around religious Christmas songs or even secular songs of the season. Oddly, they did a performance based on various Beatles songs. I guess they didn’t want to offend any non-believers. I was born in the 70’s and wasn’t aware of all of the controversy surrounding the Beatles other than it involved their hair, drug use and Yoko. I see it was much more sinister than that. What a disappointment-not entirely for me but also for them to have a bunch of sweet 3rd graders singing their songs in a totally innocent way.

  • Matthias Dransmann II

    True, the Fab 4 have been used by the “system”, had to follow the agenda… you know the story about Paul got rolled over in a car “accident”, then being replaced by an actor, the 3 others sidekicked hiding secret messages on recordings after that. Possibly John wanted to get out… got shot… ok, all just theories… but thats how investigatons go and I’m always looking for the narrow gate.

  • Revert52

    Flash! John Lennon was a sinner!!! I hope you didn’t waste too much time researching this 50 year old news. Here and I was just about to thank you for the good piece you did on overcoming bitterness, and now you come up with this!!?? George acknowledged that the picture was a stupid stunt and was done to protest the way their record company was slicing and dicing the tracks on the album in ways they did not approve (Yesterday & Today, old and new, get it?) In the end, John Lennon’s personal assistant spent a lot of time running to book stores buying books on religion for him at his request. John was a seeker. The Vatican has forgiven them and recognized them for their artistic talent. We should all do the same.

  • Nat

    What about ‘Hey Jude’? Ive seen a documentary film of George, being attacked by a young white blonde male adult holding the spear of St. Michael (statue), in his own home.Was this just another proganda?

  • Will

    Absolutely. I have avoided their music for years after “discovering” it as a young teenager. I do not like for my wife to play it in the house nor for my daughter to hear it. The main theme of the Beatles is rebellion and revolution.

    Also note at this exact same timeframe is when Our Lady of Zeitoun first appeared. She is re-enacting the Flight to Egypt and warning of the Massacre of the Innocents. It all coincides with the developed nations of the world allowing abortion.

    Just as the original flight of the Holy Family into Egypt was necessitated by an act of mass
    infanticide, these apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Egypt began to appear amidst the backdrop of what was the beginning of the greatest act of infanticide the world has ever known – the legalisation of abortion. The year in which the apparitions in Zeitoun first occurred was a pivotal moment in process behind the legalisation of abortion. The Abortion Act in the UK came into effect during April 1968, the same month the apparitions began to take place. This year also saw President Lyndon Johnson’s Committee on The Status of Women publishing a report calling for a repeal of all abortion laws in the US. The implementation of the UK Abortion Act was the major turning point in international abortion law, and was soon to be followed by a host of other nations. By mid-1969 ten US states had loosened their abortion laws, including Colorado, North Carolina,
    California, Georgia, Maryland, Arkansas, Kansas, Delaware, Oregon and New Mexico. Abortion on demand was eventually established after the US Supreme Court deemed individual state bans on abortion to be unconstitutional following the Roe v Wade case in 1973.
    In France, women seeking an abortion began to travel to the UK to have the procedure after the Abortion Act came into effect in 1968. The relative ease of travelling to the UK to procure an abortion would lead to France revising its own abortion laws, and abortion was finally legalised in
    France in 1975.
    Therefore the appearances of the Virgin Mary in Egypt occurred at the exact moment the floodgates in abortion law had been opened. Was this a heavenly response to the blood of millions of innocents crying from the ground? (Unveiling the Apocalypse p201)

  • Revert52

    Nat, I have seen that picture also. It may have been from a statue left behind from the Salesian sisters who owned the abbey that George bought for his home. One of George’s famous quotes was something like “We must first know God. All other things can wait.” I say give him and the others a break, quit pointing fingers and go help the poor (perhaps in Bangledesh 😀 )

    • Nat

      what if God for them is the Devil himself?

      • Revert52

        What if? Where are you trying to go with this? Half of them are dead!

  • Spinmamma

    I don’t think they were promoting abortion–I think they were doing the opposite–more in your face this is what abortion is. . While this group was incredibly arrogant, I think they were more looking to be profane and provocative. I think you are giving them way too much credit for intellectual prowess. they were looking for the most titillating group of misfits they could find to be in the Lonely Hearts Club.

  • RG

    Well why make the trouble of making this list? The lyrics of John Lennons “Imagine” seems pretty evident… it is generally known that the Beatles could be situated in the left and progressive of the political spectrum
    Some further remarks: .. I think that the especially references to Hinduism are a somewhat generalizing and simplistic. Hinduism has many different aspects, between the mentioned above “Hare Krisha’s” and Mahavatar Babaji/Paramahansa Yogananda/Yukteswar Giri there are many differences. And neither of these’s two groups can be described as being representative for “hinduism”.
    Further, Carl Jung has been a big influence on New Age, but if this warrants to label him an occultist? I would disagree, since you make him here appear like someone like A. Crowley. Jung on the other hand had even a friendship with a catholic priest.
    I also wonder what warrants Mae West’s labeling as occultist?

    • TomD

      It is well documented in Richard Noll’s The Aryan Christ that Jung was for at least a decade heavily involved with the occult. The book is controversial, but I found it to be well researched and footnoted. It is definitely NOT a conspiracy theory tome.

      • RG

        Well if Jung can be categorized as occult depends if you call his interest in the ancient mysteries as occult; Personally i think some people use the label of ‘occult’ just too easily, . Personally I do not consider occult a fair description for Jung. Sure he was no catholic and he was a pantheist and influenced by eastern religions and philosophy’s . Buy was he an initiated member of secret societies? Did he fancy himself a wizard or did he try magick spells? These things I would expect of someone that is called an occultist. And as far as i know this was not the case for Jung.

  • Elbie

    I’m sorry but this. Is. NUTS.

    • TomD

      As the song says “It’s provocative! No it’s not, it gets people going!”

  • Dave G.

    I have to say… as a musician/artist, these kinds of posts drive me absolutely batty. Much of what needs to be said about this picture has been said with accuracy (butcher coats…commentary…etc….). Not a promotion of abortion. But since when do we as Catholics start acting like fundamentalist Christians (rock music is from the devil, Christians can only listen to one kind of music, etc…)??? Whether we like the music of the Beatles or not is irrelevant. But given that pure GARBAGE that has been thrust upon our ears over the decades, to suddenly lump the Beatles in with the trash is just ludicrous.
    Do I agree with everything the Beatles said or sung about? No, of course not. Just like I don’t agree with everything our beloved Church has done over the centuries. But it doesn’t mean i’m going to abandon the Church! Nor do we need to abandon the Beatles simply becasue John said stupid things or they put some questionable characters on an album cover. That to me is as insane as saying don’t listen to Mozart because he was a hugely flawed character. Who cares??? His music was brilliant and touches us deeply. And as a musician, that’s how I feel about the Beatles as well.
    Art finishes what nature cannot bring to completion. And it’s natural for us as human beings to express ourselves artistically. I don’t know anyone who can listen to the art of the Beatles and call it sinister or negative in anyway. This is just plain silliness.

    • Dave G.

      Oh and PS…. “Mr. Crowley” is not a Black Sabbath song, it’s an Ozzy Osbourne song. Yes, Ozzy was the former singer for Black Sabbath, but you really need to get your facts straight when posting these things… sheeez…..

      • lspinelli

        One more thing, if you know what the song’s really about. It isn’t celebrating Crowley’s life at all, rather a commentary on what a sad life he led.

        Mr. Crowley, what went wrong in your head?
        Oh, Mr. Crowley, did you talk with the dead?
        Your life style to me seemed so tragic
        With the thrill of it all
        You fooled all the people with magic
        You waited on Satan’s call.

    • Jose Tomas

      You are absolutely correct.

      This kind of fundamentalistic nonsense is what gets Christians a bad name.

  • Joan Elizabeth

    I loved the Beatles and everything English back in the day. But now as I matured in the Faith, I would say the Beatles were very highly groomed to take the next step in destroying the innocence of youth that started with Rock and Roll in the 50’s to be continued through to future iconic bands that glorified immoral behavior to the ‘latest’ star that gets down and dirty while performing.

    My son bought me an IPOD at Christmas and downloaded some Renaissance music and opera. He wanted to know if I wanted some Beatles. I said no. He was shocked since this was ‘my music’.

    The fact is I am no longer naive about their success with their new sound and image.

    • Dave G.

      Can you please name me one concrete example of how the music of the Beatles (not Lennon or the others’ solo stuff after the Beatles) negatively influenced anyone? Opera?? Have you ever actually LISTENED to what is being said in Opera?? Talk about negative influence… it’s always lyrics about scandal, murder, scheming, and so forth. I love how we always say music from the 50’s on destroyed the youth but then propose that we listen to ‘older’ music by musicians/composers who may just well have been WORSE characters than any popular musicians today.

      • Jose Tomas

        “La Traviatta” means “The Whore”. The heroin of Verdi was a prostitute. I’ll wait until anybody here condemns the “bad influence” of Verdi, but I will not hold my breath.

    • Dave G.

      oh… and if the Beatles were the ‘next step’ in destroying the innocence of youth and continued through to today, then why aren’t ALL musicians immoral, etc.. since we were ALL influenced in some way by the Beatles? How is it that someone like me, who has listened to the Beatles for 40+ years not an immoral, disgusting, socialist, [insert whatever here]? These lines or reasoning never stand. If the innocence of youth is lost, blame it on the parents, NOT music, because according that kind of reasoning, shouldn’t we ALL be people of questionable character since we have all listened to music from the 50’s and later in some way, shape, or form? It simply doesn’t add up my friend.

    • Revert52

      Innocence of youth!!?? Remember Bill Haley’s:
      Tear down the mailbox, rip up the floor
      Smash out the windows and knock down the door
      We’re gonna rock, rock this joint
      Then there was the Vietnam war, the assassinations of the 60’s, etc. etc. Then the Beatles came along and ruined it all!

  • John Mercer

    Wow! Sergeant Pepper’s was the very first first album I ever purchased…it all felt so very subversive and exciting to a young kid brought up in a strict Pentecostal world that frowned, DEEPLY, on such worldly “music”. I loved that album because it was more than just pure pop music…it was a CONCEPT album. It dealt with ideas that flowed in a more or less unified way and you just knew it was IMPORTANT. Yes, important in a friendly open armed manner. As long as Paul McCartney was around there would be humour interlaced with all the mysticism and Days in the Life. Also, we provincials in the backwater colony of Ontario were thrilled that Paul was wearing the crest of our provincial police on the sleeve of his powder blue uniform. Canada had arrived! Of course there were all the controversies around John’s comments about Christ and rumours of Paul’s death. I figured it was all show biz. I played that album hundreds of times imbibing deeply of the spirit of the age. Of course that album led to the purchase of many others, but I always knew that none of them held the ultimate meaning…I never drained the cup of Kool Aid.
    It’s been about ten years since I entered the Catholic Church. From the time of my youth I have listened to and become immersed in many genres of music. Both inside and outside the Faith and I have found a great deal of pleasure in most of them. But lately I have found myself listening almost exclusively to the timeless strains of Gregorian chant, Latin Masses, classic requiems, songs of adoration to the Virgin Mary because I’m kind of like that merchant who having found the Pearl of great price decided to sell all his other stuff and go for the real thing. Also this music leads me to a posture of prayerfulness and the ever expanding realization that there’s too little time left to be concerned about peripheral matters. Let’s face it, there is very little of profound value to be gleaned from any popular music. And it’s all going away.

    • Dave G.

      John… Can you please list some specifics in what you listen to (gregorian chang, latin masses, classic requiems)? I would like to dive deeper into these forms of music for the reasons you stated but wouldn’t even know where to begin!

    • Dave G.

      John… Can you please name some specific Gregorian Chants, Latin Masses, and classic requiems that you listen to? I would like to dive deeper into this music for the reasons you states but have no clue where to even begin! Thanks!

      • John Mercer

        Hi Mike

        Here are some on the playlist:

        “Mass” a 2cd collection from Erato, excerpts from Palestrina to Durufle.
        “Mater Eucharistiae” from De Montfort Music
        “Mysteries Beyond” from Delos
        “Chant” from Angel
        “Agnus Dei 1&2” from Erato
        “The Latin Mass” by The Quire of Voyces…I downloaded this from iTunes
        “Early Music, Palestrina, Allegri” from Naxos

        Access your way into iTunes. Once you find one cd that interests you it will lead you into a world of music you never knew existed.

        Hope this helps.

        • Dave G.

          John…Thanks so much! Greatly appreciated!

  • Jose Tomas

    OMG! What can I say?

    This is so ridiculous, on so many accounts, that I am out of words…

    I have been tempted to enroll in your Theology Academy, but let it go mainly out of lack of time. After the initial deadline went by, I was somewhat sad for having lost the opportunity.

    Now, after this post, I am relieved that I did not enroll. Do you really think that this shallow “analysis” is compatible with the New Evangelization?

    Look as the ridiculously distorted characterization of the people at the album cover. You lost me when all you had to say about Oscar Wilde was “Oscar Wilde (homosexual, writer)”. Why not describe him as (writer, Catholic convert)? Did you read his “De Profundis”? Of course not… If you can label him this way, it is probable that you read nothing by him.

    There are several other mischaracterizations in your list, but for me this one sums them up. Other people also pointed them up.

    I had already taken issue with your very very shallow take on what “Joy” means to a Christian, pointing to the fact that your interpretation was liable to induce angst in many people, like Christian depressed people. Seems like you Bible lacks the Lamentations of Jeremias or the Book of Job.

    There are several other amazingly ridiculous charges in your post, but fortunately for me, several other commenters pointed them out.

    I don’t know if you posted this to get a surge in your page views, but if I were you, I would examine my conscience about whether the ends justify the means.

    BTW, “Let it be” are the words of Mary: “Let it be done unto me according to your word”. Trying to construe this as “passive” is beyond ridiculous, probably blasphemous.

    As other people said, it seems you are with too much idle time to spare. You seriously think that this kind of fundamentalistic, conspiratory theorist, attitude helps advancing Catholic thinking? Do you really think Aquinas would write (or support) such trash?

    Now, perhaps you are only trying to be sarcastic, like the gal who defended the theory that “Thomas the Train” was a subliminal defense of Satanism. In that case, I am sorry to say that you failed abysmally.

    • John

      I’m surprised to see Huxley listed as a eugenist. I thought Brave New World was an anti eugenics book.

      In any event, I am disappointed to see the two to three word descriptions of the people on the cover. It seems to put people on the evil side based on a shallow analysis.

      I am a member and I’m not going anywhere because I’ve learned so much in such a short time.

      • Jose Tomas

        Yes, as if people could be described in two words. Shallow, shallow, shallow.

  • Froilan

    Taylor, you really need to start reeling it in a little bit. I generally like your topics, but every time you have new things to discuss I notice more and more that just does not seem right. Firstly, why do you put Bob Dylan in the category of Occultist? You failed to mention Jewish and Evangelical Christian in his history of devotion. Many have become a Christian due to Bob Dylan’s religious experience.

    Also, I don’t buy that the Beatles were evil. They were a product of their day, and many traditional Catholics today know that that “day” soured a lot of truth up to our present day. They are not evil as much as they are misguided and lost. I would say that Ringo is more outspoken today about his Christian faith and speaks out against Lennon’s negative views of religion.

    Taylor, please give more consideration to what you are posting. It comes across as over-zealous and maybe fundamentalist.

    • hallwoman

      Yes this reminds me of people who won’t let their kids trick or treat because it’s a satanic holiday….

  • Jen S

    First, I never liked the Beatles, never liked their music (at 43, I’m too young for them!). I would say, though, that simply because they had certain people on their album cover does not mean that they condoned their behavior, philosophies, or effect on the world. I find it hard to believe that anyone in mainstream pop culture would publicly condone Hitler, for example. However, given the philosophies of most in the entertainment industry who – despite communism ending over and over again in genocide – insist that it is a good and worthy economic system, or who don’t recognize in their own worldviews a bent towards socialism and communism, perhaps they did admire all these people and what they taught and did. HOWEVER, considering the further evidence of the dead baby album cover, yes, I think it’s pretty clear what they or at least their handlers were promoting and celebrating.

  • Peacemaker

    Very disappointed in this article by Taylor Marshall. It is not well researched. Fewer posts and higher quality please. I am a member of the New Saint Thomas Institute and not happy to see this in my mailbox.

  • mike

    I was very surprised to see that only maybe 2 people responded that the butcher cover was done because this is what the Capital label was doing to their albums to make more releases in the US: they were “butchering” their “babies”. Tasteless and disgusting, but that’s the (pretty well-known) reason. I’m not defending the choices of people on the album cover – of course, they really were pretty much a bunch of “lonely hearts”.

    • lspinelli

      Thank you for posting this, Mike. I’m a long time Beatles fan, and I was shocked that people didn’t know the real reason they did the Butcher cover. They were tired of Capitol, their US distributor, chopping up their EMI releases. “Yesterday and Today”, the “album” that originally carried the Butcher cover, was a mishmash of songs from no less than three different albums: “Help”, “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver”. The Beatles made very different artistic statements on those three records, and they didn’t like that Capitol was messing the records up without their consent.

      My 12 you daughter and I – she’s also a big Beatles fan – were discussing this just this morning!

      As for the Sgt. Pepper cover, they wanted cool people and intellectuals on it. They were still kids (Paul turned 25 that year, and George was just 24) when they made it. Who didn’t think Oscar Wilde was cool when they were an English lit major?

      • Jose Tomas

        I think that anyone who does not think that Oscar Wilde is “cool” needs a thorough recalibration of his literary taste.

    • Revert52

      Precisely! “Yesterday and Today”, mixing old songs & new songs. Yes it was stupid, which they admitted. But it does not sink to the depths of what they have now been accused of nearly 50 years later!

  • Christian

    Interesting that James Joyce (pictured in the St. Pepper group) detested Catholicism but loved Catholic Philosophy.

  • RobinJeanne

    I loved listening and singing their song when young and even now till this. We were too poor to buy albums so I never really saw the covers. i have never seen the one with the dolls and from this day on I will never listen to their music. I gave up drinking Mt. Dew because they are part of the Pepsi company that was on the list of companies that support embrionic stem cell research… I will forsure give up the beatles.

  • sequax

    Convert here. Studied Occult for 20 odd years of my (former!) life. Let’s clear up some confusion about Aleister Crowley. He publicly proclaimed himself to the the antichrist and/or an avatar of Satan. Some folks insist that it was just “a joke”, but if you’ve ever read his works, you will see that is a dubious claim. His particular occult researches were about “becoming as gods”. I leave it to people of good will to draw their own conclusions about THAT. He also wrote a book of goetia (I will not capitalize it), which is a grimoire about “controlling” fallen angels.

    This is not just some “harmless” or misguided new ager. A group I knew in high school studied his works and went down a very dark path. I shouldn’t talk about what happened, but it turned into a life or death situation in at least one occasion, and proved to me that possession is not an abstraction or some outdated notion. I was fully convinced of the supernatural presence of evil in the world thanks to all that. Keep in mind I wasn’t even Christian at the time, and had started my association with full intent of keeping an open mind.For all I know Crowley had some kind of deathbed conversion– I hope that’s the case.

    Who wasn’t into socialism back then. I’m surprised they didn’t have Stalin or Che Guevara. Don’t even talk to me about Yoko, and her blasphemous Christmas diddy. Let me give you a hint. It’s not about starving children in Africa or even western decadence.

    None of this surprises me. What bothers me more is when Catholic Churches use Beatles melodies *during mass* as an expression of worship. One place played “Lucy in the Sky with DIamonds” during the Agnus Dei. *headdesk*

  • Patricius

    The cover of Sgt Pepper was designed by the British Pop Artist Peter Blake and probably says more about HIS interests/obsessions than it does about those of The Beatles. In fact it is very much of a piece with Blake’s earlier work of which the painting “On the Balcony” and his- later- poster for the Royal Academy Summer exhibition of 1975 represent very similar examples.

  • Jose Tomas

    I am so enraged by this post that I am going to do something I very rarely do: post a second message which is not an answer to something I posted before.

    Thanks, Taylor, for ruining the efforts of so many Catholics who struggle day after day in this secularistic society to defend Catholicism against the charges of obscurantism.

    What did you intend to achieve with this post?

    How many people do you think will react like this: “Geez, wow, I liked the Beatles, but now that I read this post, it is clear to me that this is unacceptable and sinful to hear their songs! I am going to burn their albums right now!!!”

    And how many people do you think will react like this: “Well, I was considering Catholicism, but after reading this, I have to agree with my atheist friends, Catholicism is for bigoted stupid morons.”

    Do the math, Taylor!

    This will probably be your most linked-to post in the history of your blog. Unfortunately, 99% of those links will come from atheist sites, as a pristine example of Catholic idiocy.

    • lspinelli

      You know something? I could make a HUGE list of all the eeeeeevil stuff I listened to and/or read in my college classes. None if it turned me away from the Faith. None of it led me to do anything stupid. God gave us a lump of gray matter that He expects us to USE and DISCERN. This is very bad discerning on Dr. Marshall’s part. It’s something I expect to see on sites like “Godlike Productions” or “Alex Jones’ Prison Planet”, the likes of which I just can’t take seriously.

      • hallwoman

        Yes and yes. How sad that Dr. Marshall has gone off the beam. It is very hard to argue that Catholicism is the normal person’s Christianity when junk like this gets traction. How sad….

  • Katharine

    There is a more rational way to discourage the consumption of the Beatles than delving into conspiracy theories and the like. The fact that they were at the forefront of the cultural revolution that stripped the West of its Christian morality is reason enough to avoid them.

    This article doesn’t appear to be well thought out Marshall. Frankly, I think it makes you seem foolish.

  • faustinaagatha

    Just type in “Laurel Canyon” into Google. It turns out that pop/.rock scene was a very small world at the time and bound up with the “outlaw” set of Hollywood such has Dennis Hopper. There is some dark aspects to if for sure. Now the Beatles were not really involved in the Laurel Canyon Scene but the hippy trippy mindset of their later albums is similar. It is all about better living through chemistry and looking down on your elders while simultaneously living a life of dissipation and VD.

    Take this from a slow learner who has taken decades to learn these lessons. Sequax is right.

    • hallwoman

      Brian Wilson was a part of the Laurel Canyon crowd too yet no one here is accusing the Beach Boys of satanism! How shocking! I hear that a lot of people sin. I guess we should all climb into priest holes and brick ourselves in so we can be purely pure. No sinning riff raff allowed….Remember what Chesterton said about his umbrella in the back of various churches. (Go look it up). Do we really want to be all nice, like say, the Methodists? Now THEY support abortion. Let’s be clear about what REAL evil really does.

      • Jose Tomas

        Besides Pelagianism, Albigensianism is another heresy which is growing quite a following nowadays.

        • faustinaagatha

          I should think the Albigensians would fit in quite well with the Rock scene, You know we are just spirits so what we do to our bodies doesn’t matter. But don’t reproduce because humans pollute the planet.

      • faustinaagatha

        Er did I say anything about excluding any one? Of course Christ welcome sinners. Of course John the Baptist needed to come first. The point of the Laurel Canyon reference is that even “Mellow bands” were part of a scene that revolved around drugs and free “love” and hedonism. The adding LSD to the mix made it seem like it was from God. Not that hedonism now and then isn’t fun.

  • Ted

    John Lennon was a confirmed Satanist and that is a fact. Think about the most popular song played after his tragic death. Does the line “Imagine there’s no Heaven” sound familiar – if anyone asks Jesus in prayer for the truth you will be led to it. The smoke screen of satan is clearing and people are starting to wake up out of the fog just in time for judgement day!

  • Ted

    I think pride is definitely at the root of so much blindness. Most people were fooled for quite a long time. Don’t be ashamed if you liked the group or for the fact that you really never realized how evil they were. Most of us didn’t but once you receive the Grace from God to wake up to the truth embrace it humbly and share courageously the truth you have been given. This is a way to please Jesus Christ who is our God and the only God. The only one who truly loves us each one as if we are the only person he came down to die for. Call out to him and thank him for his love.

  • Ed Mouse

    Using religion to spread hate is the devil’s work.

  • geekborj

    In the end, we should continue to pray for them. The issue is evil and not the souls infected by them. May God continue to lead us all to heaven especially those who are in most need of His mercy!

  • Mark A

    I grew up loving this music. Unfortunately, you don’t need to look to far on the internet to find the music business and entertainment has a lot of occult ties. If you step back and look you may notice that music and entertainment has become an idol for many. Better to err on the side of caution. and reduce then eliminate anything that would draw your attention and love from Jesus Christ

  • stpetric

    Those are butcher smocks, not lab coats, and this photo would have no bearing to speak of on English abortion politics. It was only for release in America because there is no counterpart to the album “Yesterday and Today” among the Beatles’ English releases. The Beatles’ label in America, Capitol Records, typically put 12 tracks on each album, while the English LPs typically had 14 cuts. So Capitol “butchered” the albums the Beatles’ actually produced, and this cover was their protest. Up until Sgt Pepper the Beatles’ American albums are completely different from their English ones: different titles, and different tracks sequenced differently.

  • anne

    we were young and stupid that’s all I can say. I used to really like the beatles music that is until I found out about the underlying messages etc. of course I found out too late in life what the heck was being influenced by their music. Of course people change. I honestly think they were marketed that way. (by Satanists in the music industry)

  • Vee

    Could it be that they were just young and rebellious, and being “smart-asses?” There was a great deal of cynicism back then too and it was cool to be cynical and sarcastic. And it was cool to be always “searching.” I look back on my younger years and I shake my head at what I thought was cool and hip. I thought I was so enlightened, but I didn’t know squat. The Fab Four were very intelligent, as reflected in their music. But intelligence doesn’t equal sophistication. I wouldn’t worry too much about whether these guys were evil or not. There are too many current challenges to meet.

  • chronovisor

    i think all 4 sold their souls, all of them have been miserable human beings beyond the hype the media has promoted and yoko ono, the “5th beatle” is an avowed occultist

    • hallwoman

      Really! You were there?

      • chronovisor

        really REALLY! what you want to know?

        • hallwoman

          To accuse people (who cannot defend themselves) of SELLING THEIR SOULS TO THE DEVIL, is very serious. This is to engage in judgment that belongs to God alone. The kind of nonsense displayed on this thread will cause people who were considering conversion to Run Away From Those Nutty Catholics. As the child of converts I watched my parents defend the one true faith to family, friends, door-knocking Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses. But never did I anticipate that I would have to remind other catholics that judgement belongs to God alone. The absurdity and excessively poor scholarship that Dr. Marshall has wrought is very serious. It has encouraged people to indulge in the most hateful, and twisted false logic I have been sadly exposed to in many years. If this kind of garbage is what the Dr.’s St. Thomas group produces then I am glad I opted to pass on it. I will pray for all of you. You need prayers very badly.

          • chronovisor

            really halloweenwoman? do some research, john lennon has stated numerous times his fondness for the occult, his wife is a devout occultist, and anyone who would purposely urinate out a window onto nuns while they were living in germany IS demonically INFLUENCED! and it’s weaklings like you that has left the catholic church and it’s bishops impotent to the broader culture, “oh don’t be so judgemental, play another guitar song at mass, etc etc” oh go buy a joel osteen book

          • hallwoman

            get a grip. You don’t know me. I am a mantilla wearing daily Latin Mass communicant and you presume to know my soul, just as you presume to do God’s job in judging others. I have listened and read every available interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the past three days and found no evidence that he was an occultist or satanist. Produce your evidence for all to see. Accusation is easy, proof is not. If you want to lay weak bishops and folk Masses at my feet then fine. You are looking for a scapegoat and you found one in John Lennon and his wife and me, a total stranger to you. You need a target for your rage so I must be the lucky winner in the lottery of your wrath. You presume to judge me and judgement belongs to God alone. Just for the record, I don’t tolerate Koombya guitars at mass and don’t tolerate weak-spined priests or bishops but I also know that Christ will not abandon His Church. No matter how many musicians put tasteless covers on their albums, the Church will prevail.

            But the mischief wrought by this dunderheaded “scholarship” of Dr. Marshall’s is just the kind of discord that satan loves to see. And satan is certainly enjoying the work he’s accomplished through the many comments on this thread. From “satanic urination” to the selling of souls for rock and roll fame, you’ve gotten your whole world view defined very neatly just by looking at two album covers from fifty years ago.

            Honestly, this discussion disgusts me because it gives people a chance to pass judgement on issues and people of which they have no personal knowledge. You are SO CERTAIN that you know the state of other’s souls (including mine!). And no, I don’t read Joel Osteen. My mother suffered through a childhood in a protestant orphanage and I have little patience for any form of protestantism masquerading as Catholicism. How dare you judge me or anyone else on a forum like this. If you knew me personally it might be a different matter, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME. I would not presume to judge the state of YOUR soul, but I will say a prayer for you tonight. Let’s end this ludicrous discussion and all take a deep breath and examine our consciences.

            Our Lady of Perpetual Help pray for us who have recourse to thee.

          • chronovisor

            yawwwn, i think thou protest too much.

  • DoTheRightThing

    The Beatles were human entertainers, just like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, etc. They had good and bad inclinations, and up until about 1965 the Western culture’s moral guardians were standing guard, preventing as best they could the demeaning of the culture by requiring only indirect, obscure references to illicit behavior (e.g., Elvis’ song “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” crooned, “Shall I stay? Would it be a sin?…”) But these barriers were relaxed by Western society about 1965 and the floodgates of permissiveness began to be opened, increasingly infecting the larger society. The human interest in base actions and emotions have been with humanity since the Fall. The Beatles are just one step in the long staircase of Western decline. And almost all of us have had a hand in the decline – at least I have. As St. Paul wrote, “All have sinned.” But it is good for Dr. Marshall to point out how a particular cultural icon has significant unChristian aspects. Honestly, after I, by God’s grace, was able to see the evil side of the secular culture, I began seeing it as far back as I looked at secular culture: through music, film, literature, theater, visual arts. It is our job to inform those we know and may be able to influence of these significant flaws and failings of the secular culture so they may,God willing, be aware and avoid the evil they contain. Thanks for the article, Dr. Taylor!

  • Revert52

    “(I) was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people … “ He found them “walking around shining like the sun” Thomas Merton in Louisville, March 18, 1956.

    You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Mt 22:39

    “We’re the brightest objects in the sky. There but for the grace of God go you and I. Do some good before you die.” – Paul McCartney, “Everybody Out There” 2013.

    Say the word and you’ll be free
    Say the word and be like me
    Say the word I’m thinking of
    Have you heard the word is love?
    – John Lennon

    Then she opened up a book of poems And handed it to me
    Written by an Italian poet From the thirteenth century.
    And every one of them words rang true And glowed like burnin’ coal
    Pourin’ off of every page Like it was written in my soul from me to you
    – Bob Dylan “Tangled Up In Blue” (The poet was Dante)

    Fr. Robert Barron really likes Bob Dylan’s music, which is how I know about this lyric meaning. By
    your logic, should we avoid Fr. Barron?

  • Bhaybe Hoggett

    Music is the Demonic Tool Satan Uses. He is after all a Choir Master.

    I just wanted to know when the Band Started, what year…. Does their starting also start the year of Contraceptives and Pills etc .. just trying to relate these things.

    • Revert52

      Actually, they got started about the same time as Vatican II. Hmmmmm!!

      • hallwoman

        No they started playing as a group as teenagers around 1960 well before Vatican II (and I knew someone would eventually connect them with the “unholy VII just as sure as sure as Godwin’s Law in the secular blogospgere, some wingnut in the Catholic blogosphere will bring up Vatican II as the genesis of every evil known to man–how very predictable and tiresome). Remember that Paul VI is Blessed as is John XXIII and JPII.
        As far as the strip club reference goes, the Beatles played in Hamburg in a dive in the bad part of town. And so what? Guilt by association, or are all of you without sin?
        You guys are grasping at ANYTHING that might explain their popularity from Vatican II to the Pill to satanism. Not one person has mentioned the obvious–their music was wonderful. No that doesn’t fit the agenda here. As I stated before, we as Catholics have bigger problems than analyzing the album covers of a music group from some 49+ years ago. All this agitation over what??? What??
        Madness seems to have gripped all of you. I have spent most of my adult life doing sidewalk counseling and not one woman ever mentioned the Beatles as a reason for considering abortion. But this ridiculous thread is indicative of why Catholics as a group are losing the culture wars. You all sound like lunatics. If you’re all invested in the horrors of popular music then you are missing the larger point. Will you be spouting off about the “satanic” Beatles when we are silenced in the Public Square by the odious HHS mandate? Will you be going on about John Lennon selling his soul when we are fined for wearing crucifixes in the workplace (or worse)?
        Put your efforts where they will do some good. Stop this nonsense. I’m in my 50s and I’ve had a bellyful of “Illuminati” “evil Vatican II” “Freemasons in the Vatican” etc etc from the Tridentine mass crowd, and please don’t start on me with ad hominem attacks, I love the Latin Mass just for the record.
        If you all want to spend your time feeling self satisfied because Taylor Marshall in his convert’s zeal has shown you a previously missed evil, then go back to your desert hermitages where the culture can’t “pollute” you. You can leave the heavy lifting of evangelism to the sane people. There’s a lot of work to be done and people who think I Want to Hold Your Hand, That Boy and Penny Lane must be the work of satanists are never going to convert anyone. I’ll pray for the good doctor and the rest of you too. You all need some help. I hate to say it but I fear Dr. Marshall handed you all a good occasion of sin and shame on him. Shame.

        • Revert52

          Rest assured … my connection to VII was totally tongue in cheek. Satirical. On the other hand, VII took a couple of years to get organized, which started not long after Pope John XXIII was installed in the pontificate in 1959. I rest my case! (Again, in jest!)

  • Izler Lobo


    • hallwoman

      “It is said” …well that certainly is definitive. Gee, I’d bet some other internet historian genius said that huh? Sorta like “Senator when did you stop beating your wife?” or even “Aren’t Catholics cannibals”.
      I know one thing that will be said for certain: “boy, those moronic Catholics even go after the Beatles!”. Dr. Marshall, I hope you will learn a hard lesson from this foray into “musical satanism”. Here we Catholics are fighting for the very preservation of our right to practice our own religion in our own institutions and you start a culture war over your twisted view that the men who gave us some of the happiest music in the last century were really really really evil. My gosh sir, your priorities need revision.
      I see eye to eye with you on the beauty of the Latin mass but didn’t know that meant I was keeping company with a total nutjob and his kooky fringe followers. I will pray that you use your pulpit more wisely in future (though I won’t be reading anymore and I suspect I won’t be alone in my decision).
      Now I’m jusr going to pop on the headphones and cue up my favorite Beatles album: Rubber Soul. Somehow that title seems apopros tonight. Oooo sooo wicked….

      • Jose Tomas

        I prefer Abbey Road 🙂

        Now, seriously, I am a fluent Latin reader, love Gregorian Chant, can read a bit of koine greek and all, but this kind of nuttiness is what makes me stand as far as I can from most traditionalist groups.

        I suppose every group of people includes stoooopid people, but that a widely read and respected blogger (and a PhD at that!) can afford, in the present situation – with the HHS Mandate about to be discussed at the SCOTUS, with persecution and mockery piling up and all – I say, that the craziest nuts among us be given by him the platform to display to the wide world their craziness is just, well, stoooooooopid!!! A tactical blunder as ever there was.

        If I were an anticatholic strategist, I could hardly come up with a more effective strategy to make Catholics look as a bunch of kooks.

        I can almost hear them say: “If we let Catholics have their way, they will go as far as outlawing The Beatles!”

        Really a shame, Dr, Marshall…

      • lspinelli

        My personal favorite is Revolver. Heck of a name, but it’s a pun. One, of course, is the gun. The other is how fast a record spins on a turntable.

  • William Neal Fancher Jr

    I never liked the beatles, its members or their music.

  • Lizzie Lenard

    Speaking from England (and also being old enough to remember the Beatles when they first became famous), Catholics here do not refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Blessed Mother. That is a title I have become familiar relatively recently through reading the internet and have come to the conclusion that it is a translation from another European language into English – from German perhaps?

    In England the title used is Our Lady.

    The words “Mother Mary” to me always sounded like the name of an old nun. What or who the song was about I never had a clue nor did I care. Never have been able to stand them.

    They started their career playing for months on end in strip clubs in Hamburg. Says it all.

    • William Neal Fancher Jr

      I was told the song “Mother Mary” was about his earthly mother in their household. can not confirm however. lol

      • italylover2004

        It’s not Mother Mary – it’s Let It Be

        • William Neal Fancher Jr

          Yes, I stand corrected on the song title. I should have written “the song lyric mother Mary.”

    • TheRani

      “Mother Mary” referred to Mary McCartney, Paul’s mother.

  • Al

    Taylor, I luv ya, I think you are a genius. You an inspiration to me and to many. I feel you have a bit of a stretch here because, the butcher cover is more of an indictment against abortion than for it.

    I grew up in that time, I was in a popular band and anything “edgy” was cool. I would look to the ones behind the Beatles, for they were probably older and more responsible for the design and direction. the Beatles were to take, especially after Epstein’s death.

    I don’t doubt the influence of the diabolical, but feel in many ways, they were duped, as were many other cultural icons of the time.

    I pray everyday, with what happened to Paul VI after V2, doesn’t repeat itself with Francis…

    Keep up the splendid work !


  • Jose Tomas

    As mentioned by many before, that album cover was about their records being butchered by the US distributors. If Dr. Marshall had done his research properly, he would have discovered that.

    Poor scholarship.

    But even if that information was absent, indicting the Beatles for “promoting abortion” using such a crass, gross, gory picture is not an indictment about their evilness. It would be accusing them of being incredibly stupid (which they obviously were not).

    When was the last time you saw pro-choice people using pictures of butchered babies to support their cause? Did you EVER saw something like this? If I were an abortion promoter, the last thing I would come up with was displaying such disgusting pictures, unless I were really really stoooopid.

    • Maria

      Jose Tomas, the album cover is more than stoooopid…! It’s sick.

  • TomD

    I think that this thread has to be one of the most divergent that I have ever seen.

    I think that Dr. Marshall is asking a legitimate question: given the push in the 1960’s toward legal abortion, was the Beatle’s choice of an album cover in some way influenced by this push, and in turn did the cover itself influence this push?
    My opinion (FWIW, since I have no evidence) is that:

    YES, the Beatle’s choice of cover was in part influenced by the changing mores of the 60’s toward abortion. The stated reason, that Capitol was “butchering” their music, may or may not be true but really has no bearing, because the Beatles could have viewed the label company as abortionists of their work. And,

    NO, the cover probably did little to influence the changing mores. It probably reinforced the views that people already had, pro or con, nothing more.
    I don’t see how it is possible to determine the Beatles motives in any of this.
    I think there could have been a fine debate on the “does the art reflect the culture or does it determine it” meme. We had a bit of that. But most posters went into a lot of tangents, some of which are interesting but a few are loony, and some unfairly tag Dr. Marshall as a loon for just asking the questions that brought out the loons. What a day!

  • ron a.

    I was 21 when these guys hit America. Never liked them! Perhaps it was Elvis; but, more likely, it was intuition.

  • Agnello Fernandes

    The book “The Unseen Hand” by Ralph Epperson explains it all.

  • givelifeachance2

    “The photo session that produced the cover shot took place on March 25, 1966.” Ironically the feast of the Incarnation.

  • TK

    As someone who was born and raised in the greater Metroplex, this blog post is disappointing. This business of finding a reason to get upset and cry Catholic “foul” was really common the DFW area when I lived there. (I left in my 30’s.) I didn’t even realize it until I read this post and it reminded me of experiences I had in my younger years.

    Troops returning from Vietnam were called “Baby Killers”. As a military wife, I have to wonder if The Beatles weren’t standing in solidarity with the returning soldiers. I think that case could be made as well.

    All that said, John Lennon in particular was a lunatic.

    Sometimes it’s best just to let the gray area alone. While I do think this thesis is reasoned well enough, it still comes across as alarmist. In an area ruled by militant, Catholic-hating evangelicals (a fair description of DFW in my mind), it’s only prudent to guard one’s credibility.

  • Oldsoul

    I recall holding the “Butcher” album in my hands, as a 14 year old fan I began to question decency AND sanity of the group. Although unique to their US fans in terms of sound and style, they had been masterfully reinvented by Brian Epstein, who transformed them from a grubby rocker band to a rather clean cut bunch of blokes. Drugs and exploration of quasi mystical, esoteric practices, their music and imagery became more exotic, obscure and intriguing to their fans. But none of the Beatles were seriously intellectual. Their faddish opinions and social commentary, particularly that of egoistic Lennon, still makes me cringe.

  • beatle fan

    The Beatles were the profoundest popular music phenomena of the last century, with a significance far above their own intelligence. They were primarily having a great deal of FUN poking ignorant society in the eye. Satire is the most effective cure for our society’s sins. There are no Illuminati. Here’s a little more of Ozzy:

    “Mr. Charming, did you think you were pure?
    Mr. Alarming, in nocturnal rapport?
    Uncovering things that were sacred
    Manifest on this Earth?
    Conceived in the eye of a secret
    And they scattered the afterbirth?”

    (This is a lamentation and condemnation, not a celebration.)

    “Mr. Crowley, would you ride my white horse?
    Mr. Crowley, it’s symbolic of course..
    Approaching a time that is Classic,

    I hear maidens call
    Approaching a time that is Drastic
    With their backs up against the wall..”

    (This is about the coming terrible Judgment of us all, and of Mr. Crowley.

    This song is holy. It brings me to prayer.)

  • maryjane

    Read Rev 9-2:12. Locusts is another name for beetles. By the way, the Beatles did want to name their band after the word beetle, but another band had that name already. “Their chests were covered with what looked like iron breastplates, and the sound made by their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing into battle.” The “iron breastplates” may be interpreted as the electric guitars used by the rock bands. The Beatles opened the door to the new sound and culture of rock and roll.

  • Karl Erickson

    I don’t like the Beatles msyelf, but I think the generalizations in this article are a little…shallow. I also take exception with the dismissive characterizations of the people whose images were used on the cover. People should not be simply dismissed on account of possibly being homosexual or occultist. There is redemption in Christ, after all. (As an example, read Joseph Pearce’s account of Oscar Wilde’s conversion.) Lastly, the cover was not designed to promote abortion, but to make some kind of a “statement” on the Vietnam War. It’s disgusting, but let’s at least look at it in context of the times, folks.

  • marygar

    I think looking back at the 60’s and seeing what our society has become today, as a result, of our rock culture, I have to agree the Beatles were used by the dude the Rolling Stones sung about. He laid a trap for the Beatles. Guess his name?

  • KateGladstone

    Since Shirley Temple’s on there twice, is she doubly evil? If so, I eagerly await your enlightenment re the double evil of Shirley Temple.

  • Sam


    Overall, this was too much. Link to future photos like this please. Yes, you can try to rationalize away the disgusting, grotesque album cover, but to an uniformed layman, it is overtly evil.

    You only gave a short treatment of the subject. I suggest the talks on Spiritual Warfare at Sensus Traditionis to accompany this article. The battle between good and evil rages around us, and it takes a variety of forms.

    The bottom line is: Taylor, you presented what appears to a blog post that begins to look at the spiritual warfare, but the treatment is short. Many of your readers are alienated by the idea that something many take for granted may have actually been tainted by the devil. It is staring you in the face!!! If it were a butcher commentary, why are there dismembered doll parts everywhere???? What kind of butcher shop would you find that in?

    Eastern Mysticism is very dangerous spiritually, and you should avoid it. Again, I would recommend the Sensus Traditionis website talks to learn more so that you can be better informed on basic church teachings on these matters.

    I suggest that you look more at Sensus Traditionis. The talks on the spiritual warfare are huge. I learned so much. It has helped me to grow in my faith. And, yes, I know evil is in the world, but God’s power is unmatched.

  • marygar

    Don’t want to make light of a serious situation. Pray for their souls, they were used. Rev. 9:2-12. Locusts is just another name for beetles. The word beetles was changed to Beatles because there was another band using that name already. “Their hair was like women’s hair…….their faces were like men’s faces……their chests were covered with what looked like iron breast plates, and the sound made by their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing into battle.” Long haired men making noise with their guitars changed the world’s Christian culture of respecting God’s Holy Temple. Our own bodies no longer were the temple of the Holy Spirit. It became cool to divorce ourselves from the moral laws of God.

  • Kelly Wing

    I’ve been a Beatle fan and self-proclaimed scholar for 30 years. Based what I have know, 1) The “Butcher” cover had one pressing in England but then was removed and covered with a more simple pose of them sitting on suitcases. I don’t think it made it to the US; 2) I have never read anywhere that as Beatles they verbally spoke out for or against abortion. They commented on war & peace, drugs, taxes, dishonest politicians, women’s liberation. If I had to guess, the cover would be arguing against abortion witht them mocking abortionists; 3) While the Sgt. Pepper cover contains several shady characters, the Beatles did not intend to endorse the beliefs espoused by those characters. They liked being provoctive. I have not read anything about any Beatle engaging in any occult activities.
    While I enjoy their music, I cannot say I support the vast majority of their socio-political views. I think they were impulsive, idealistic dreamers but lacked a moral compass to think and act correctly.

  • Pingback: Logos & Muse | On How Not to Talk About The Beatles()

  • donna

    you should take time to watch they sold their souls for rock and roll. I know the former business manager of stones, reed, bowie. They were all involved in satanism at some time. Not all people on cover of sgt. pepper are evil Aubrey Beardsley was a Catholic convert a remarkable man by all accounts. Many of these characters feel to day they are cursed. Beatles just disgusting. they left the ashram of Mahrashi when he tried to sexually assault Mia farrow.

  • donna

    you should take time to watch they sold their souls for rock and roll. I know the former business manager of stones, reed, bowie. They were all involved in satanism at some time. Not all people on cover of sgt. pepper are evil Aubrey Beardsley was a Catholic convert a remarkable man by all accounts. Many of these characters feel to day they are cursed. Beatles just disgusting. they left the ashram of Mahrashi when he tried to sexually assault Mia farrow.

  • Melanie

    I am so glad I threw away every Beatles and pop music recording I had years ago when I started reflecting on what messages were being pushed into my brain, not to mention my kids’ brains :o, listening to top 40, pop music etc. Beatles lyrics, like most of the rest, were focused on idolizing sex/lust/gonads and selfishness: not good messages to be listening to! And then we wonder why a good part of our society can’t pull it’s head out of the toilet and think????!!!!

    I only listen to Christian Music or Chant or some Classical – it’s so uplifting. Pop music is depressing as it is so self-focused. Self focus is the best recipe for being depressed.

  • Victor

    Gee Doctor Marshall, I don’t think that I’ll ever be finished trying to dissect all of this post in this life time but long story short, I want to thank you for trying to educate me but I’m just going to let our learned honest leaders as yourself study all of this and then maybe after I learn more, I might comment before GOD (Good Old Dad) takes me home.

    In the mean time and as I’m sure that like me and others, you know by now that time can be pretty mean! Anyway, I’ve never really knew much about “The Beatles” while they were famous cause I was a poor teenager serving High Mass and “IT” would be easy for me to blame them for having stolen a few dollars from our Catholic church at the time cause truth be known, I’ve never really knew much about them until now but I did enjoy their music especially the song “Let “IT” Be”. 🙂

    I did check out a little about James Joyce from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and learned that James Joyce was an Irish poet and novelist, self proclaimed and an (“enemy of Catholicism”).

    Longer story shorter, I also learned that there were some who sympathized with James Joyce after his death saying stuff like: One friend witnessed him cry “secret tears” upon hearing Jesus’ words on the cross and another accused him of being a “believer at heart” because of his frequency in church.
    For example, a guy named Gibson argues that Joyce “remained a Catholic intellectual if not a believer” since his thinking remained influenced by his cultural background, even though he dissented from that culture.

    I better close by saying that “Nothing is Impossible for GOD! Right? 🙂
    God Bless Peace

  • LynnPaul

    The baby butcher cover was directed at Capitol Records. The English versions of the previous Beatle albums usually contained several more tracks than the USA versions. These tracks were kept by Capitol Records until they had enough to make an album of them. The babies in the picture represent the previous Beatle albums which were “butchered” by Capitol records.

  • fRED

    “All those years ago…” Thank you for discussing LP record albums that are over 45 years old. Very relevant. When do you think you’ll get around to dissecting some of today’s cultural influences (e.g., Katy Perry’s performance on the Grammy Awards)?

    This post was a real turnoff. It attracted my attention but the logic is so twisted it significantly undercuts your credibility across the board. And so many ignorant (about the Fabs) comments chiming in so self-righteously. Very sad and scary. No wonder the politicians ignore us.

  • Gregory Peterson

    I take it that the word “nuanced” is not in your vocabulary.

  • ohnothimagen

    As a Beatles fan of 50 years and a born again Christian for 36 years; I would like to point out that you may want to know what you are talking about before you express your opinions. I was directed here by a thread on a Beatles site about this blog; you are doing wonders for bringing people to Christ, in one comment you are described as, “sick” in another by a Christian who is “offended” by what is being posted here.

    The Butcher cover: The Beatles showed up at the photo shoot; it was the photographers idea. The Beatles did think that it made a statement about what Capitol Records was doing to their LP’s; the company cut tracks from the LP”s they recorded and made other albums from them; including, “Yesterday and Today” which was never an LP that they put together.

    Let It Be: Mother Mary was always Pauls mother and originated in a dream he had of her while being stressed over the breakup of the group. In an interview he was asked about a faith connection and he said that he had many fans who thought that it was the mother of Christ and that he did not have a problem with them seeing the lyrics from that perspective.
    I wonder, has anyone here ever listened to Pauls Classical work? ” Ecce Cor Meum” would be a great place to start.

    Johns Comment In 1966: I think that one could argue that he was right. And to the shame of those of us who call ourselves Christian; but live as hypocrites. John at one point just before his death sought out a Christian organization and repented for what he said and sought out the way to salvation. Having listened to unpublished recordings, it saddens me to say he may have fallen short. There was a spiritual struggle going on at the time before John was murdered; months before his death I felt lead by God to pray for his salvation.

    Sgt. Peppers: You will be surprised that I have little to argue here; except that while some of the people on the cover are people that they admired, others are there as historical figures only. It should also be pointed out that they are at the site of a grave marked by the word, Beatles.

    The Beatles: Four human beings influenced by American music who took that sound and made one distinct to themselves. As others before and after did; though perhaps not to the extent of influencing the culture as they did. Timing is everything in this world; November 22, 1963 JFK murdered in Dallas, hours earlier in the UK the Beatles second album was released; the LP would two months later be the first US LP on a major label. The sixties turmoil was the wave that these musicians moved on; they didn’t cause Vietnam or the deaths of great men; like us, they responded to it and as a result wrote the background music to it.
    In an interview when it was over, John commented: “We were just four guys who made it really, really, big” That is it, four guys sinners all; just like us. They did things irresponsibly as I have.
    Two are gone and in love I pray for Paul and Ringo.
    You who are without sin; go ahead and throw your stone. The Beatles are a big enough target.

  • applejam101

    This is amazing! and totally off the wall. I believe in God and Christ, but what most of you are writing is scary. The Beatles were entertainers. Period.
    The album cover was a joke. Laugh at it. or don’t Your choice. No abortion was intended or implied.
    The quote of Lennon saying “They are bigger than God” was taken out of context. Read the whole interview before passing judgment…oh wait…passing judgment is what God does not humans…or do you forget.
    Remember “he who is without sin, cast the first stone”.
    There is one God. Whether you call him God, Allah, Jehovah, Vishnu, Odin, Zeus, or the thousands of other names he was given, he is still God. Let him pass judgment…and until then enjoy the Beatles music. They were a gift from heaven.

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  • OgniR

    These are all opinions of course. The Beatles have always been the target of something or another based on someone else’s truth. You can take any Beatles song and twist into something that you feel is “the truth” and turn it into something its totally not, based on your perspective. The people with weak minds here, are of course going to listen to you…brain washing is a true gift. Jim Jones is a prime example of that.

  • OgniR

    One more thing…a big thanks for posting the outtake from Yesterday and Today! Very cool! The title itself sounds evil! Beware 😉

  • MarkM

    The “Yesterday & Today” cover has nothing to do with promoting abortion, & in fact was never used in the UK, because that album was never released in the UK. Capitol Records, (the American distributor of Beatles albums & singles), had the habit of leaving tracks off the Beatles albums they released in the US, (as compared to the UK Beatles albums), so they could compile a “new” Beatles album in the US at times, comprised of those unreleased in the US tracks. When it came time for a photo shoot for the “new” album, the Beatles, already annoyed at Capitol’s chopping up their albums like that, posed for the “butcher” cover in protest of Capitol’s machinations, send the photos to Capitol, who didn’t even pay attention to what was sent. The album was released, butcher cover & all, & until people started complaining about the “disturbing” image on the cover, Capitol paid no attention to it. When asked about this, the Beatles explained their reasoning for it, & that’s when John Lennon made his comment about it being in protest of the Vietnam War as well. The image does evoke what war is about, so I don’t understand why you can’t make the logical correlation there & automatically made a knee jerk connection that has nothing to do with it.

    By the way, I’m not a Beatles fan, though not for all the ridiculous reasons you & many people commenting on this have brought up, but Beatles fan or not, I do know a lot about music & music history & I am intelligent enough to do something as simple as basic research before spouting off wrong & illogical opinions. Perhaps doing that yourself in the future will make you look less foolish.

  • MarkM

    Fascinating. When exposed to factual information that was in no way offensive, you delete it since it didn’t correlate to what you chose to read in an album cover image & spin some ludicrous screed about. I’m sure you’ll delete this as well, so on this note, I’ll leave you & your group of small minded intellectually stunted, (here’s a hint; a PhD doesn’t mean you’re capable of cognitive thinking), to your own ignorance.

  • Jenn

    and to think…I used to like their music….oh brother….

  • Joan 3

    I was born in 1949, raised in an ana-baptist Church with my grandparents, then lived with my divorced mom who wanted more joy in her life, and sometimes found it in the wrong places. I was a fan of the Beatles when they first became popular in 1964, I was 14 years old. I was 18 when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club albumn came out, and I did not like it. I was deeply disappointed in the Beatles and in Rock and Roll. I did not know what was happening to the world, which I thought would become better, it was getting worse. I joined the Catholic Church in 1972, after losing my mom, and I was confused about the teachings for 25 years, so I was seeking more Protestant theologies but I returned to the Church in 1997 when I understood the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. I have since been studying the teachings of the faith and now I can put words on why the Beatles were so dismaying to me. They are in the world, and of the world… the butcher picture is horrifying. I did not realize how depraved they had become. They are in my prayers.

  • Mary Martha Pazos

    Albeit, the album cover with the baby pieces is gross; however, I don’t see it as promoting abortion, but rather the opposite. It shows up the abortions as butchery.
    On the other hand, the cover of Sgt. Pepper is definitely anti-establishment, pro-drug, and pro-homosexuality. Also, many of the songs are pro-drug, both in lyrics and in psychodelic sound effects.
    What a pity that so much talent was misdirected.
    Now if you really want to know their intentions, it’s possible to ask the surviving Beatles.

    • turn2

      The “butcher cover” may not directly promote abortion, but there’s no way it logically can been seen as opposing it, not in a million years. Yes, it simulates the butchery of babies–born or unborn–but the key for me is the facial expressions.

      What’s the proper expression to have if one sees a hacked up infant? Horror, right?

      But the four Beatles, who not only see the carnage, but are also literally wallowing in it, look like they’ve just been told a joke. So what we have here is an inappropriate reaction to a situation or cognitive disconnect.

      I’d agree with you that the Beatles may not have had the intention of promoting abortion, but it’s still quite possible that that may have been the subconscious message gleaned from the cover by many of their fans.

  • Sheelagh Hanly

    I never liked the Beatles when everyone else thought they were the bees knees; I used to like Cliff Richard and various other singers. I never could put my finger on why I didn’t like them.

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  • KateGladstone

    Since Shirley Temple appears *twice* on the album cover, does she represent a _double_ dose of poisoned Beatle evilness? If so, precisely how?

  • A Pearson

    The Beatles were revolutionary among the youth during my time. In the Philippines were I grew up during the Beatles era, I experienced seeing parents being brokenhearted because their teenagers/young children were hooked on drugs, losing the Catholic Faith, being disobedient and rebellious, having abortions, looking like the Beatles with carefree irresponsible attitude and hippie ways. Beatles had a lot to do with these. It broke my heart to see all of these happen in my former country that was known throughout the world as THE ONLY CATHOLIC COUNTRY IN ASIA. Now, the Philippines is any other secularized, modernized country with callous Catholics-staying in the church for the sake of family traditional without really knowing and embracing their Catholic Faith.
    Twenty five years, ago, I met GEORGE HARRISON at work somewhere in Southern California. He was a close friend of my former boss.. He and his wife would go to the office every other day for that whole month. Within the end of the month George was requesting his friend to arrange for me and George to go out for a date. I refused because he was a married man and I remembered the horrible damaged they had done to the youth in the Philippines and throughout the world and how so many parents grieved over their children’s prodigal ways. I am so proud of myself to refusing to have anything to do with him. Thank you to the Blessed Trinity, Our Blessed Lady and all the angels and saints for protecting me!

  • jvru2

    I remember having this album, I enjoyed pretty much all the tunes on this album, however my did not have the pictures you denote.

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  • Jake Jagas

    Great article! I know it’s really after the time it was published, but could I get a reference to how Bob Dylan is an occultist? Thanks!

  • anniefitz

    Because of the Beatles I now assess lyrics before I fall for the song and end up mindlessly singing. The lyrics of “Take me to Church” are horrifying. I wondered if the subject matter was a black Mass. It made my blood run cold.

  • Joe

    Considering the gross nature of the picture of butchered babies, it might be considered an anti abortion statement.