Doubles, Decoys and Disguises – Part 1 of 2 (… or maybe 3!)

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I’d originally intended to publish this in June last year to mark the close of a theatre-play in New York reportedly about the hiring of a double to impersonate Beatles-era Paul McCartney after he’s involved in a car-crash. Titled ‘Nowhere Man,’ it took its cue from the P.i.D. (‘Paul is Dead’) conspiracy-rumours/theories which, in whatever form they’ve come, I’ve never bought. The end of the ten-day run of the stage-production felt to me like a timely point to share a few of my reasons for this, to present a perspective, a point of view that I sense is rarely if ever highlighted or discussed when information is shared or discussed and debated on ‘Paul is Dead.’ And so I began to conduct some preliminary research in preparation for this, to add some meat (as it were) to what I already knew and what I wanted to convey here. However, as I dug and dug deeper, it slowly but surely dawned on me that this wasn’t going to be the short summary-article that I’d originally expected it to be. I was pulling out more and more branches of info, and a lot of which I wasn’t aware of and that – most time-consumingly of all – was very muddy and very contradictory. All those contradictions had to be cross-checked and back-referenced I felt, so that’s what I did to the best of my abilities. In the middle of the checking and digging I’d stop for a bit and go off researching elsewhere for unrelated articles that had to be written and published on this site, because, I felt they needed to be posted as soon as possible so as not to lose their topical flavour, and then I’d return and pick up tools again. But now at last, seventeen(!) months on, here it is.

Being based in the UK and having never been to New York let alone America, I personally never saw ‘Nowhere Man’ when it ran in 2017 from June 8th – 18th (Paul’s birthday). As a result, I thought it best to leave it to others with a better understanding of it to describe its plot for you. So, here’s what ‘Theatre for the City,’ the organisation that helped stage it, had at the time in terms of general plotline on its website:

After The Beatles stopped performing at the height of their success, some fans became convinced the singer had died in a car accident.

Rumours circulated that McCartney had crashed and the band concealed the fact, even hiring a double to keep going.

In fact, the band stopped performing and did studio work after the sounds of shouting fans began to drown out their music at concerts.

In Nowhere Man, the Beatles’ handlers, such as George Martin, the band’s arranger, and Neil Aspinall, their road-manager and assistant, orchestrate the hiring.

Intriguing that the word “handlers” is used to describe the roles of The Beatles’ music-producer George Martin and the group’s long-standing aide Neil Aspinall.18951310_10155415611237094_3093331991052238017_n

More of the plot is detailed by an individual by the name of James Wilson in a review published on the website ‘TalkinBroadway.com.’ He states:

The play begins… with a heated conversation between famed Beatles producer George Martin and the group’s high-strung road-manager Neil Aspinall. The future of the band is at stake: Paul McCartney has been in a car accident and is in critical condition. The accident, it seems, was caused by a young woman, who had been offered a lift by Paul and who subsequently went into a frenzy when she recognised the driver. Paul will need time and space to recover, of course, and in order to keep the Press and obsessed fans away, Martin and Aspinall hatch a plan to hire someone to appear as Paul coming and going from the recording-studio and for other public sightings. They decide upon Billy Campbell, a prize-winning Paul McCartney lookalike, to impersonate the singer, but he must be sworn to absolute secrecy.

Billy, a struggling musician and full-time bartender, is enticed by the money, but his acceptance means he will have to go into seclusion (in one of Paul McCartney’s palatial London residencies) and give up his own identity for at least three months. He accepts the ticket to ride, so to speak, but most difficult for the young man is cutting off regular contact with his increasingly suspicious fiancé. The plot becomes more complicated with the appearance of Michelle who has her own secret connection to the real Paul, and her boyfriend Tommy. The elaborate charade forces Billy to confront his own moral dilemma about the price of fame and the cost of not being true to oneself.

As you’ll most probably be aware, a couple or so of the ingredients in the plotlines outlined above, such as the presence of the McCartney look-a-like contest winner Billy Campbell, are pulled from the theories that first began to permeate into mainstream consciousness back in 1969 – although, in those versions of events of course, Paul is killed after he argues one night in November 1966 with his fellow Beatles at a recording-session at London’s ‘Abbey Road’ studios, storms out of the building as a result and gets into his car and crashes. In the years following the band’s split in 1970, countless other hypotheses have materialised, and especially after the internet became a widely-used part of our lives from the late ‘90s/early 2000s onwards, paving the way for the extensive variety of websites, pod-casts and blogs on the P.i.D. conspiracy that we have today. I’m not going to recount all of those in this article. Instead, I’ll note the words of Mark Devlin the UK’s leading speaker on the occult/conspiratorial elements within the music-industry. In a ‘FaceBook’ posting last year and that I was contributing to, he nicely summarised the position that he thought we’d reached with regards to the sprawling, complex web of theories, counter-theories, opinions and observations in the ‘Paul is Dead’ mystery. He said the term ‘P.i.D.’ should perhaps be changed to ‘P.A.P.’ (‘Paul Ain’t Paul’) because whilst there are a huge amount of folk who do believe McCartney died and was replaced, there are others (including myself) who are of the view, or at least suspect, that this isn’t the case, but, that he has nonetheless undergone a transformation of some esoteric nature. I veer towards the possibility that his so-called ‘death’ may, in part, be allegorical and not literal – perhaps suggesting some form of possession by a dark entity, or, with the aid of LSD, the loss of his ego (dying through Acid). I won’t expand on that idea here in this article, but some other time perhaps. So, leaving that aside for now, another school-of-thought within the P.A.P. camp is those who hold or at least sympathise with the view that Paul is indeed still alive but has employed a double (or doubles) to fill in for him at times including, perhaps, in a not too dissimilar way from the scenario that was set out in Nowhere Man. Actually, on the entertainment-casting site, ‘Backstage’ there was a page advertising for actors to come audition for the play stating that it “is designed to be a believable variation on a famous Beatles myth.” Interesting choice of words there, “myth” and “believable variation.” I’m thinking the makers of it might be PAPers. I mean, note that one of the above reviews of the stage-production mentions that McCartney has been injured in a car crash – not killed – and that the replacement has been hired to be a temporary not permanent stand-in.

In particular, to all P.i.D.ers reading this, I’m proposing that Paul McCartney is still of this mortal coil but has, perhaps, employed over the years, a temporary double or two or more in order to divert the attention of the general-public away from an unwelcome truth (such as a car accident for example) or to enable him to live a peaceful, private existence free from the attention of fans and the media. We know from the mainstream version of history (even) that well-known figures are indeed said to have used replacements for one reason or another during their lifetime, including Saddam Hussein and senior British World War II army commander Field Marshal Bernard ‘Monty’ Montgomery… And, there’s also information to show that McCartney – as well as the rest of his fellow-Beatles – used decoys years before Paul’s ‘death’ in late 1966 in order to escape the hordes of stampeding fans who were out to grab them at public appearances during the ‘mania’ phase of their early career. And how well known is that? Perhaps not enough? I do feel that, after years of having read countless blogs, articles and forum/social-media postings about P.i.D., that – and, of course, I might be wrong – a lot of people who lean towards this theory are largely or completely unaware that the band had actually been tricking the general public with stand-ins prior to the ‘death’ in 1966. Please. I apologise for any offence in that presumption. I don’t mean to offend, or to patronise, but, a lot of the info that you’ll see if you continue to read this article, I’ve never seen mentioned or presented in amongst the theorising, pontificating or commenting within the world of ’Paul is Dead.’ As a result, to me, that suggests there are a significant number sympathising with P.i.D. who haven’t done their homework on the history of The Beatles. Surely then, when all the facts and data aren’t taken into account when a theory is being formulated or discussed or presented, what does that do to its credibility? I’m not stating unequivocally that what I’ve got to offer in this two (or three)-parter is going to debunk ‘Paul is Dead.’ Oh no… far, far, far from it. No, what you’ll see, I think, is a lengthy presentation of information rarely-if-ever acknowledged within the arena of P.i.D. but that, I feel, should be perhaps even if none of it turns any amount of folk away from believing or strongly suspecting that Paul did indeed shift off this mortal coil many years ago, and, indeed, I must add here, if that’s what you think happened to him, and the info I’m presenting doesn’t inevitably result in you changing your view on that, well, that’s cool with me because what I’ve collected together for this article in all its instalments, however long and large that’ll be, will, if not encourage anyone reading it to alter/reverse what may have been a supportive or responsive attitude towards the ‘Paul is Dead’ hypotheses, or to re-asses/reconsider that position, then at least, it’ll, I hope, be an informative, enjoyable if not useful read for everyone concerned including those supportive or warm to P.i.D., who might actually, for whatever reason, find some of the info I’ve laid out to be valuable in their own line of enquiry or research, as contrary as it is to my own personal take. What this two (three?)-parter does for sure is present a compilation of rumours, reports, allegations and first-hand accounts from pre-1966, and after too, on look-a-likes, “doubles,” disguises and, as I mentioned earlier, decoys, who are said to have been used during that ‘mania’ live-touring phase of The Beatles’ career between 1963 to ‘66 in order to divert the fans’ attentions, to make them look the other way as the band made haste into or from a concert-venue or a TV or recording-studio or film-set where hundreds if not thousands of their admirers would be waiting, ready to chase after them given half the chance. Not all the methods of distraction used by the group required the need for fake versions of them as the bait though. Motor-vehicles proved to be an effective ruse according to some who were in close proximity to the band back then. In the summer of 1964 for example, Ivor Davis, then a young reporter for the UK’s ‘Daily Express’ newspaper, travelled with The Beatles to cover their tour of the US and Canada and was also the only British writer to accompany them throughout. In his book, ‘The Beatles and Me On Tour,’ he states that “decoy limos were used with great effect. Several times I was trapped in our follow-up limo, with its tinted windows, as fans swarmed all over us, threatening to overturn it because they thought they had cornered The Beatles.” Having not lived through the 1960s myself, all I have to go on are the accounts of others who did, such as Ivor, and if I’m to believe what they’ve claimed, the sheer scale of the mania and the frenzy was gigantic and sometimes terrifying and did require The Beatles to use such tactics. “I understood why they went to such extremes,” declares Davis. Remembering one particular decoy-vehicle incident, when he was being driven away from an arena in the American city of Milwaukee following a performance there by the band, Ivor writes, “scores of fans descended upon us like a swarm of locusts, rained blows on the roof of the car and almost upended us. Terrified, I waved and screamed, ‘we’re not The Beatles’ at the batterers as we rocked and rolled, but it was like shouting in the wind.” In his book ‘The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years’ meanwhile, Barry Miles, a close friend of McCartney’s in the 1960s, informs us about a chain of scenes that veered into the chaotic during the band’s tour of Australia in 1964 and that initially greeted them once they flew in to the city of Melbourne. He writes, “they arrived at Essendon Airport to a frenzied welcome from a crowd of 5,000. The crowd outside the hotel was so large that army and navy units had been called in as reinforcements when shed-barriers were knocked down and the casualties began to mount up. Their route into the city was lined by 20,000 fans, most of whom moved on to the hotel which was under a state of siege. Protected by 12 motorcycle outriders, the group neared their hotel… and were driven into a garage entrance while a dummy police-car with siren blaring pulled up at the hotel’s front-door as a diversion.” He goes on, “in front of the hotel, 300 police and 100 military battled with the crowd, cars were crushed, people broke bones, fell from trees and more than 150 girls fainted. Fifty people, many of them adults, were taken to hospital with injuries sustained in the crush.” beatlemania-1038x576Not all the decoy attempts using motor-vehicles were a success it seems. Tony Barrow, The Beatles’ Press-officer between 1962 and ‘68 – and the man credited with coining the phrase, ‘the fab four’ – is quoted as saying of the band’s concert appearance at LA’s Dodger baseball-stadium during their third tour of the US in August ’66, “we were driven to the stadium in an armoured car that was parked immediately behind the stage. At this late point in the tour I suspect that the fans’ grapevine had circulated full detail of the boys’ act, giving everyone prior warning of the songs that would end the set… By the time The Beatles left the stage and we were ready to pull away, many hundreds if not thousands had positioned themselves across our path. For two hours we were imprisoned in a team dressing-room for our own safety while extra cops came in to start clearing the hysterically boisterous crowd. The getaway-car we hoped to use was severely damaged and put out of action. Two girls even ran off with the ignition-key as a souvenir! Two further unsuccessful attempts were made to get us out using decoy limousines and the third try was equally disastrous. We were put into an ambulance that managed to crash into a heap of broken fencing, after which it couldn’t be driven any further. Extra squads of police from the sheriff’s department eventually escorted us away to safety in an armoured car.” As Barrow is quoted as saying there, it wasn’t just limos that were used as tools of distraction to ferry The Beatles away right under the fans’ noses, other forms of motor-vehicles were employed. There’s an account of the band escaping from their hotel in Miami in the back of a butchers truck during their first tour of the US in ‘64 whilst police brought decoy guitar-cases out through the front-lobby. John Lennon’s then-wife, Cynthia, who went along on that American trip, shared a similar memory of sorts in her 2005 book, ‘John.’ In it, she recalls a plot that was hatched during that visit to smuggle her and The Beatles away from the constant mania so that they could all grab some private quality leisure-time. “Our cars were followed by Press and fans every time we left the hotel, so the police came up with an original if bizarre plan: we would leave through the hotel’s kitchen entrance and travel in an enclosed meat-wagon,” claimed Cynthia. “The break-out was worth it. We were taken to a gorgeous villa next to the sea, with its own pool, where George Martin and his wife, Judy, were waiting for us. Free of the fans and the restrictions of the hotel, we partied all day, swimming in the pool and enjoying an enormous barbecue.”
By August 1966 the phenomenon that was Beatlemania and that had followed the band around for almost three years non-stop had soured. The fan adulation had been poisoned with hate and vitriol and, if accounts are to be believed, decoys and distractions were required not necessarily to deflect the attentions of an intensely adoring crowd, but in order to save the group-members from the anger and the potential violence of baying mobs. After all, this was the month that John Lennon’s ‘Beatles bigger than Jesus’ remarks were causing a furore in America and when the band were in the country on a concert-tour. Not a good combination if you value your personal safety. Most of the uproar is said to have come from the traditionally Christian-heavy deep-south of the US. Radio-DJs there were reportedly organising public bonfire burn-ins of Beatles records and the Ku Klux Klan are said to have been picketing their concerts. But perhaps the scariest moment occurred when the group were performing at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee. We’re told death threats had been made already, so when someone let off a firecracker on the stage at that gig, there was a split-second moment when it was thought it was an assassin’s gun. Lennon recalled, “somebody let off a firecracker while we were on stage… There had been threats to shoot us… Someone let off a firecracker and everyone of us – I think it’s on film – look at each other, because each thought it was the other that had been shot. It was that bad.” The tried and tested decoy ploy failed to save them from the protestors who were waiting for them at that concert appearance apparently. In ‘The Beatles Diary Volume 1,’ Barry Miles states that “decoy cars were used to fool the protestors, but The Beatles’ coach was still surrounded by hordes of Christian demonstrators screaming abuse.” Paul McCartney says in the official biography/documentary, ‘The Beatles Anthology’ that the ‘Jesus’ controversy helped convince him and his fellow band-mates that it was time to stop playing to the mania. “It made us wonder about touring,” he recalls. “It was a case of how much of a good thing can you have? How long can you sustain things? Every tour had gone great, marvellous, but we were becoming a bit fed-up anyway because we’d been at it so long – and it gets gruelling.” The Beatles quit concert-touring for good after their performance at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on August 29th 1966, the last date on their controversial and sometimes frightening North American jaunt. However, given the hairy moments that the band are said to have experienced during their fan-dodging days on tour, all in all, Ringo Starr is one member of the group at least who’s looked back on it with much fondness. In the Anthology, he says, “I found the tour madness exciting. I loved it. I loved the decoy cars and all the intricate ways of getting us to the gigs.” And those ‘intricate ways’ didn’t only call on the use of cars, trucks and also vehicles belonging to the emergency-services of course…

According to a 2014 article on ‘History.com,’ when the band were in the Washington Coliseum venue in February ‘64 for their first-ever US concert appearance, their management-team, in a bid to distract fans’ eyes for enough time to allow the group to make it to the stage, donned Beatles ‘mop-top’ wigs (a novel item of head-dress being sold across America back then as a fast cash-in on the mania). I haven’t come across any information to back this website’s claim up but I have found a relevant article on the blog ‘Mixed Metaphors, Oh My!’ which is run by US-based writer and editor Linda Lenzke. In a piece titled ‘Beach Boys, Beatles, Bob Dylan & The Byrds,’ she recalls a similar incident as described by History.com and that she herself claims to have witnessed after she and her friend went to see The Beatles’ performance at the Milwaukee Arena in September ’64. She states, “following the concert, throngs of fans raced to the entrance of the Milwaukee Arena where it was rumoured The Beatles were leaving in a limousine.” Because Linda had been situated near the back of the venue for the concert, she recounts that she “was able to quickly get in front of the mob and able to reach the limo.” However, she was in for a disappointment. “We leaned in to look in the windows and saw four ugly boys in cheap black Beatle wigs and a driver in a tuxedo. They were decoys. We were tricked. We learned later that The Beatles escaped through the back entrance in a milk-truck.” In an interview for the newspaper and website the ‘Express’ last year, none other than Michael Caine’s former long-standing movie-double, a guy by the name of Johnny Morris, explained how he’d served as a fan-diverting decoy at public appearances The Beatles made during the filming of ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ the band’s 1964 debut big-screen debut and that he’d worked on as John Lennon’s stand-in, which, the Express informs us, “usually involves taking up the star’s positions on the set or stage so that the crew can make sure the lighting and camera angles are right before they arrive.” He recalled, “whenever we were shooting on location, especially at theatres, we used to be decoys. There was always such a lot of people standing outside that The Beatles could not go through so they used to go out the back entrance and we went out the front entrance disguised as them.” Pictured below is Johnny with three of The Beatles, but, from what I can make out from the scenery and the clothes that John, George and Ringo are wearing, this was taken during location-shoots for the band’s 1965 movie, ‘Help!’…

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And on the subject of Help!, here’s The Beatles, with their stunt-doubles, during location-shoots for the movie in snowy Austria… According to info on the website ‘BeatlesBible.com,’ the hired “doubles were Cliff Diggins, Mick Dillon, Peter Cheevers and Joe Dunne,” although I can only make out three in the picture…

stuntdub

And now I’ll turn your attention briefly to a Scottish music-group who, after playing on the bill together with John, Paul, George and Ringo back in 1964 at a theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, acted as decoys for them too. “They were just back from their famous American tour… and were working on the film A Hard Day’s Night,” recalled one of the members of that band in an interview in 2010. “At the end of the night, the management asked if we would be decoys to allow The Beatles to slip out the back door. We were told to pull our suit-jackets over our heads and rush to the waiting car. When we got outside, it was bedlam, with about 5,000 screaming lassies. Never again.”
Here’s a photo of that band…ccats

Take note of the guy situated bottom left-hand corner in the above pic… Personally, I think he bears a slight resemblance to Ringo. Yeah, okay… not hugely, sure, but certainly enough I think for him to have been a convincing decoy for The Beatles in a scenario such as he found himself back in ’64, when all that was required of him was to run out of a theatre and into a waiting car, to fool the band’s expectant fans in an exercise of distraction that, dare I suppose, wouldn’t have been designed to have him getting into too much close, sustained facial contact with any of the thousands of “screaming lassies” in case he ended up being identified by them as not being who he was passing himself off to be. Resemble Ringo he might, but he ain’t no Beatle doppelganger for sure.

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And, would you believe, the moniker of this band from Scotland who decoyed for The Beatles was… Johnny and The Copycats (!)… Well, I should imagine the group chose to call themselves this as a nod to their front-man John Stewart, and it’s most certainly, certainly not a reference to stuntman and fellow decoy Beatle – a copycat-Beatle, if you like – Johnny Morris, or, as far as I’m aware, John Lennon. Yet, I can’t help but entertain the thought that, on the contrary and as unlikely as it might be, this little collection of what many would describe as ‘a set of coincidences,’ is actually part of some deliberately-designed form of occult message, whatever that might be, I don’t know. I’m just throwing this to you as a suggestion, off the top of my head, as it were. Also, the name of the previously-mentioned Ringo ‘resemble-a-like’ is Billy. The alleged replacement for Paul McCartney following his ‘death’ in 1966 was a ‘Billy’ of course – Billy (William) Campbell – a Scot. The Billy in The Copycats is Billy Cameron – I thought I’d give it a mention out of interest. Actually, the guy standing behind him in the group-photo above looks a little like The Beatles’ drummer too. Below, a better representation perhaps… His name’s Iain Lyon, by the way…

look2

You’ll find as you read on through the rest of this article in its two (or three) parts that there’s going to be a few more ‘coincidences.’ And, in case you’re interested, here’s some more links and commonalities between the two Johns’ bands… Johnny and The Copycats formed in 1962, the year The Beatles released their first record following a long apprenticeship playing the clubs in Liverpool and, of course, Hamburg, Germany where they performed a residency at the ‘Top Ten,’ this was back in the days before Ringo was with them, when the line-up of the group consisted of John, Paul and George plus Lennon’s then-fellow art-college friend Stuart Sutcliffe, and Starr’s predecessor on the drums, Pete Best. In the late Sixties, Johnny and The Copycats played at the venue too and it was whilst they were there that they were offered the chance to record and, as a result, ended up signing to EMI’s ‘Parlophone,’ the label that had been home to The Beatles from that first record of theirs in ‘62 and through to ‘68 when they moved to their own ‘Apple Records.’
Billy, Iain and their fellow band-mates split in September ‘72 after having released a number of singles that didn’t go quite far enough to make any real significant, widespread impression. However, they’ve since reformed and have resumed performing and recording.

And so… delving more now into doubles, and by that I don’t mean stunt-men stand-ins or four dodgy-looking blokes in mop-top wigs sitting in limos, or indeed members of Johnny and The Copycats, but actual people who to some degree or another bore a striking likeness up-close to one or more of The Beatles. Were they ever used during the years John, Paul, George and Ringo were touring together, when they were, in Starr’s words, using “intricate ways” of dodging the fans? I won’t have been the first to ask if such a thing occurred of course, many of you guys reading this will have speculated along similar lines. But as for answers to the speculation? Well. Myself? I don’t know, although, I now turn your attention to an intriguingly-worded question that was put to the band during a Press-conference in America on August 24th 1966, just a few days before playing San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the final date on their last ever live concert-tour. They were asked, “have you ever used or trained Beatle doubles as decoys on a…” at which point both Ringo and John jumped in quickly but quietly with the reply, “no.” Forgive me if I’m about to state the painfully obvious here, but, then again, on the other hand, maybe I’m reading it wrong but, to me, what the wording of that question is not asking is whether the band had ever escaped from fans with the help of anything that comes close to ‘four dodgy-looking blokes in mop-top wigs.’ Maybe what it’s enquiring, is whether they’d ever recruited actual people who were almost identical look-a-likes (and who, I’d like to add, could provide the potential for better, more elaborate forms of deception upon the fans of course). It really looks that way to me, you see, I think it’s fair to assume that most if not nearly all the media-journalists who were to some degree following The Beatles’ career back then would’ve been familiar by 1966 with the fact that the band had used decoys. That is, they would’ve been aware of – to put it rather loosely – the ‘four dodgy-looking blokes in mop-top wigs’/‘stuntman stand-in’-type methods of deception, the kind of fan-deflecting distraction-tricks as referenced here earlier through the recollections of those who claim to have either witnessed or experienced instances of it, whether that be according to stuntman Johnny Morris, or blogger Linda Lenzke, or former Daily Express reporter Ivor Davis and his decoy limo accounts, or members of Johnny and The Copycats. It would’ve been a fairly open secret in media-journalists’ circles. Indeed, it was actually made public knowledge prior to ‘66 in at least one mainstream newspaper report, a report that included input from one of The Beatles themselves and that you can read later in this article. So, with that in mind, why would John and Ringo be so quick to jump in with their denials at the Press-conference in August ‘66 if they were denying something that, I’ll assume, they knew was already out in the open, and that had been put there with a bit of a contribution from their band? And, any way, why would there have even been the need to ask them about this given that it was this, as I described it earlier, ‘open secret’? What’s the point in that? Well, okay, one explanation could quite possibly be because the person who’d asked the question was new on the scene and unfamiliar with all of this? But… no, I‘m not so sure. Remember how it was worded: “Have you ever used or trained Beatle doubles as decoys.” It’s not enquiring whether The Beatles had used decoys, but whether actual look-a-likes had ever been recruited and/or taught to carry out that task. And getting a bit more specific now… by the word “doubles,” was the person who asked the question referring to what we might describe a ‘doppelganger’ which, according to dictionary description is: someone who looks exactly like someone else but who is not related to that person… Double? This is a bit of a difference from getting the members of Johnny and The Copycats to pull their jackets over their heads as they run from the theatre to a waiting car. This is something that takes us into the realms of what the play ‘Nowhere Man’ was reportedly about, Billy Campbell, a man who relinquishes his home and his loved one to take on someone else’s identity and to give up his own. If, let’s say for argument’s sake, The Beatles did have access to doubles that could pull off a deception of that size for them, they wouldn’t risk jeopardising it by blabbing openly to reporters would they? Well, perhaps that’s why John and Ringo cut off that question at the Press-conference, stopped it dead before it could get into full flow. But, what prompted it to come in the first place? Where did it originate from? I don’t know, but from what I’m being led to understand, the talk amongst the mainstream media of Beatles doubles in 1966 wasn’t only confined to that one instance in August of that year. There’s a post I came across from a contributor by the handle of ‘Valis’ on the web-forum, ‘Nothing is Real: Paul Was Replaced’ and that includes what – we’re informed – is an English translation of a magazine-article printed in Dutch and dating back to “either September or October 1966.” Further on down the site’s page, there’s what I assume to be a scan of that very piece – I’ve added it below. Not speaking that lingo myself, I can’t make head nor tail of it and so I can’t tell one way or another what it’s about. Point is, according to what Valis has translated, there was a “society” in America that deployed actual look-a-like doubles of John, Paul, George and Ringo, to act as their diversions within situations where hordes of over-excited fans were expected to be present. This “society” was new to me up until researching for this two-maybe-three parter. I’d never come across any mention of it before then, and of course it is most interesting, open to any number of possible theories of an occult/conspiratorial nature. Okay, but there do appear to be just a few discrepancies here. First off, the translation refers to a Beatles concert where these decoys were present and that happened “a month ago at the Baltimore Theatre.” I did a bit of digging into this and failed to find any reference to the band ever playing any place called ‘the Baltimore Theatre,’ and no venue with such a name appears to have even existed. Yes, they did perform in Baltimore, the US city that is, on two occasions, but both times were at the ‘Civic Center’ (now renamed ‘Royal Farms Arena’). Well okay, perhaps there’s been a bit of a mis-translation on the part of Valis? Maybe the quote, “the Baltimore Theatre” should actually be read as, ‘a (and not ‘the’) Baltimore theatre,’ in other words, it’s not referring to the actual name of a specific theatre only that the band had played at a music/performance-venue somewhere in Baltimore? Yeah, but, as I mentioned earlier, there’s a few apparent discrepancies, of which this is only one. I have a question regarding the look-a-like decoys actually being present at a Beatles concert in that city “a month ago” as according to what Valis has translated from the Dutch magazine-article published in “either September or October 1966.” By my casual reckoning, all of that doesn’t add up together, because, if I’m not mistaken, the band only ever played live there in September ‘64, not ‘66. That was it. They never performed in Baltimore again after those couple of shows, both of which took place on the same day. Perhaps this piece that’s been translated has been dated wrong – it’s, lost in translation, as it were? It might have been published in October 1964? That would correlate with the part of it where, according to what Valis informs us, it mentions the look-a-likes’ attendance at the Beatles’ concert having occurred a month earlier to its publication? Well yes, when looked at like that it makes sense. Problem is though, there’s another discrepancy and, again, it‘s to do with dates. I won’t bog you down with that yet. First, take a look at the translation… It starts…

The Real and the Fake Beatles

America has its own Beatles. They look like the real ones 100%, are just as tall and behave in the same way as John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The translated piece goes on to list-out the members of this “fake” band; There’s Ron, Keith, Tim and… wait for it… Bill. Together, they are “The Beatle Decoys.”

What is going on here?

In America exists The Beatles Protection Society, also called The Beatle Bobbies, whose job it is to protect The Beatles against the hysteria and idolatry of the fans on their American tours.

Recently the society realised an amazing plan; to form fake Beatles who have to camouflage the arrival and departure of the real Beatles at their concerts.
Like a month ago at the Baltimore Theatre: thousands of fans blocked the artist-exit, waiting for The Beatles.
Suddenly Ringo Starr (a.k.a Ron Rictor) and Paul McCartney (a.k.a. Bill Davis) came outside and while they were under attack the real Beatles left through another exit.

The Beatle Decoy’s are happy with their (double) life.
Ron, the leader, told us: “We even play the same instruments as The Beatles. Paul, I mean Keith is even left-handed just like McCartney. We even wear the same clothes.”

The fake Beatle that looks the most like the original is Keith Allison, who plays Paul.
He looks so alike that they even started a fan-club for him, the Keith Allison Fanclub.; he receives- as being Keith -1000 fan-letters a day (!).
Keith Allison used to be bass-player for The Crickets and was “discovered” by The Beatle Protection Society when he was a guest, sitting at a table, in the ‘Whiskey A Go Go (TV) Show.’
After the broadcast hundreds of people called in to the show to ask: “Was that Paul McCartney?”
The producer, Dick Clark, was also struck by the resemblance and contracted the imitation Paul for 12 episodes of ‘Where the Action Is.’

Intriguing information… Very intriguing – but, how reliable is it, if at all? Assuming that it has been translated right enough, how truthful are its contents? Did this “society” actually exist or was it a made-up story, some bizarre PR stunt to push the hopeful Pop careers of the musicians in ‘The Beatle Bobbies’ (as, I‘ll point out, Valis kinda suspects)? There’s a discrepancy with dates as well, as I mentioned earlier. This translation of what’s said to be a Dutch-language magazine-article from “either September or October 1966” can’t be because The Beatles didn’t perform in Baltimore that year as we’re being led to understand it reports. But neither can it be from September of ‘64, the only time the group appeared there. That’s due to, from what I can gather, the fact that the ‘Where the Action Is’ TV-show and the “Whisky A Go Go (TV Show)” that – Valis informs us – the piece claims the ‘fake Beatle Paul’ (Keith Allison) was said to have been recruited from by The Beatles Protection Society, didn’t begin screening until 1965. The ‘Whisky A Go Go’ reference is, actually, slightly misleading. This was a club where one of the episodes was shot that year, not the name of a television-programme. Well, that’s according to veteran song-writer Bobby Hart in his book ‘Psychedelic Bubblegum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem Into Miracles.’ He went along to the venue on the day of that shoot to see Tommy Boyce, his musical partner, perform his latest record for it. Also there visiting was Keith Allison, unknowingly on his way to becoming a ‘Where the Action Is’ regular. He’d turned up with his pay-cheque in hand, specifically looking for either one of those two guys to sign it for some guitar work he’d done on a recording-session for them. “As Tommy performed for the ‘Where the Action Is’ cameras,” recalls Bobby, “Keith and I stood in the crowd along the wall, watching from the sidelines. Well, it turns out that when the camera panned by to capture the crowd and the dancers, we were included in some of the shots. This ‘cameo’ appearance would have absolutely no impact on my own career. But Keith Allison? Well now, that’s another story. In the next few days,” he goes on, the producers of the show were “flooded with thousands of letters from all over the country. The viewers wanted to know ‘was that really Paul McCartney in the audience?’” Hart claims he then put Allison in touch with the programme’s makers who “told him… his appearance sparked the biggest fan response they ever received. When they learned that he sang and played guitar, they signed him to appear as a regular guest-member…” He was “an overnight sensation.” He “began dominating the pages of the fan-magazines and soon signed with ‘Columbia Records.’” In a 2014 interview, Allison gave a similar recollection. He claims he was desperate to get paid for that session work (“I needed to pay my damn rent, or I was gonna get evicted.”), so he needed to get that pay-cheque signed by either Hart or Boyce as soon as possible, so he went looking for them and was told they were both at “a television taping. A new show… down at the Whisky a Go Go. So I went down to the Whisky… And a stage-manager said, ‘we need butts in seats!’ So I sat down. The camera did several shots of me, about four or five seconds each.” Then later “what had happened was, they got bags of mail after that show aired…” This impromptu appearance on the TV-show, he claims, occurred in “April or May 1965.” And, below, Keith in photo-form accompanied by a similar telling of events in a magazine-article. It dates from October 1965, and it informs us that, a few months before its publication, he’d “happened one day to wander” into the Whisky “in search of a friend who was then appearing at the club.” It doesn’t reveal who the “friend” was that he was looking for, but it could well have been either Boyce or Hart. Almost matching what Allison said in his 2014 interview of being roped-in whilst at the club to appear in the shooting of Where the Action Is because “butts in seats” were needed, the article claims that the production-executive of the show “asked him to sit down” as she was “desperately in need of people to fill the club’s chairs and act as an audience for the show.”

10422351_587352674752921_4872490407343134157_n
CLICK TO ENLARGE

So, taking into account Hart’s and Allison’s personal recollections of that day at the Whisky and what came about because of it, and the fact that Where the Action Is began screening in 1965, what gives with the translation of the article Valis posted on the ‘Nothing is Real’ forum? The information in it doesn’t add up whichever way I’ve tried. Has it been translated wrong perhaps? I don’t know personally but I can’t see how, the discrepancies are perhaps too complex to have been solely caused due to that. The errors are factual, not grammatical. I’ll leave my supposing there because, as I mentioned earlier, I don’t speak or read Dutch. Now, apparently, and as promised earlier, here’s the article itself in its original, non-English worded form…

Dutch_doubleArticle66

A search on the internet for more information about this so-called ‘Beatles Protection Society’ brings up nothing except for the post on the Paul Was Replaced forum. Furthermore, with regards to Keith Allison, of the interviews I’ve read of his that are available online, he talks quite extensively about his career in the 1960s, which included session work for The Monkees, live tours with Buddy Holly’s Crickets, a regular almost weekly performance stint on Where the Action Is until it came to an end in 1967, and time as a member of the band Paul Revere and The Raiders, but makes no reference within any of them to this ‘society’ or having acted in any other shape or form as a look-a-like decoy for The Beatles – and you would’ve thought he’d talk about that, right? Well, maybe so – unless it’s not to be mentioned perhaps? Here’s a photo of him – or, is that Paul?, we’re asked – next to a photograph of John, on the front-cover of a US teenagers’ magazine dated March 1966, six months before McCartney ‘died’ in the ‘car-crash.’ Incidentally, I can’t help spare a thought for the caption on the cover that reads ‘THE REAL JOHN LENNON.’ I suppose by “REAL,” the writers of the mag are letting us know that, if we look inside the pages, we’ll get a lowdown on what makes Lennon tick, some of his private, innermost thoughts, his personality and his life away from the glare of publicity – right? But, given that this ‘REAL’ tagline features alongside the headshot of Allison, an alleged ‘fake Beatle,’ you might be tempted to conclude that this was, also, a deliberately placed subliminal suggestion about something we mustn’t really know about. (Doubles? Decoys?… Just a thought).

Teen Screen magazine March 1966

If I’d have gone ahead and read what’s been written about Keith Allison over the years without knowing what he actually looked like, I’d believe that he was an uncanny, breath-taking ringer for Paul McCartney. But, of course, I do know and, well, I don’t see it myself. Yeah sure, there’s a likeness, certainly enough for him to serve as a decoy of the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ type for The Beatles if required, but not much else. He couldn’t act as a long-term stand-in such as portrayed in the Nowhere Man play let’s say. Reports and headlines of the two men’s striking resemblance of one another are overstated in my opinion. Maybe those stories of phone-calls flooding into the offices of the Where the Action Is television-show is a myth or was a PR stunt at the time dreamt up to boost audience-ratings? Or maybe the camera that was panning that day in ‘65 at The Whisky didn’t stay long enough on Allison for the viewers to realise that, actually, who they were looking at wasn’t Beatle Paul? As Keith himself has said, “the camera… shots of me” were “about four or five seconds each.” That’s all.

Keith compilation
CLICK TO ENLARGE

I don’t know what the real deal is with regards to this ‘Beatles Protection Society,’ but just because information regarding the existence of something is scant, such as it is with this, and just because whatever info there is, and as rare as it might be, is somewhat shaky, like with what Valis has put forward, doesn’t mean it never existed. It’s worth a closer look, and if it did exist then what was The Beatles’ own personal involvement in it? I’m wondering, would the so-called ‘Beatle Bobbies’ have been – as it were – a team of outside contractors who put up their services for hire to the band’s manager, Brian Epstein, or, actually, created by him and/or his inner circle of trusted fixers and helpers, an in-house production? Either way, John, Paul, George and Ringo would very most likely have been aware of what was happening back then in some shape or form. Keith Allison is as good a place to start as any for clues or answers to the possible existence of this ‘society,’ even if he wasn’t McCartney’s – pardon the pun – dead ringer. From looking around on the internet very briefly at some of the folk who follow and comment on P.i.D., I see there’s at least one who’s suggested that, whilst the Where the Action Is star’s facial resemblance to the ‘authentic Paul’ who ‘died’ isn’t passable enough for doppelganger status, he might have been used at least as a sometime stand-in for Beatles photo-shoots. It’s also been proposed that he might have undergone plastic surgery, a fairly minor touch-up, to attain a convincing likeness for the real, but ‘deceased’ one, but that’s a possibility that I don’t personally subscribe to. However, I think it’s worth noting that on one occasion whilst looking for background info on Allison via ‘Google’ for this article, when I typed-in the name, ‘Keith Allison,’ the search-engine’s ‘predictive’/‘autocompletion’ feature suggested, ‘Keith Allison plastic surgeon’… How intriguing!, I thought. So I clicked it, and this came up… Well (!)…

Keith Allison

No, well of course it’s not the actual Keith Allison of Paul Revere and The Raiders fame, it’s a younger – much younger – Keith Allison, a British-based ‘NHS’ (’National Health Service’) plastic-surgeon …

Keith

Make of that what you will, and ‘Beatles Protection Society’ or not, there’s certainly some very interesting connections, both personal and professional, to The Beatles and Keith Allison (the musician – not plastic surgeon!). According to the website ‘Internet Movie Database’ (‘IMDb’), the Where the Action Is star “won a ‘Paul look-a-like’ contest” in 1965, a contest sponsored by Dick Clark as well as “the American teen magazine ‘Tiger Beat,’” and “The Beatles.” However, I’ve been unable to locate any info about this other than on IMDb in order to back it up. I will note however that Tiger Beat was a magazine that The Beatles’ long-time and trusted Press-officer, Derek Taylor, regularly contributed articles to sometime around the mid/late 1960s, this would’ve been from about 1964 when he’d stopped working for the band following an argument with Brian Epstein, but not after 1968 which is when he went to work for the group at their then new company, ‘Apple.’ During that period, when he wasn’t in the employ of John, Paul, George and Ringo, he was a PR-man for a number of other music-acts including The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Captain Beefheart, and, Paul Revere and The Raiders, who Allison joined in 1968 and who he’d been on personal terms with long before. He and the band had been friends and fellow recurring/permanent cast-members on Where the Action Is (Allison reportedly clocked in 90 episodes of the 459 of the show that were screened, and Paul Revere and The Raiders, 173). Another returning attraction on the show, although nowhere near as frequently as Keith, was (on 12 episodes) Peter and Gordon, the British duo who enjoyed a number of hits during the 1960s and, of course, included in its line-up, Peter Asher, whose sister, Jane Asher, was Paul McCartney’s girlfriend between 1963 and ’68. Here’s a photo of her brother (on the right) with Allison (middle) in 2015…

2015-Keith and Peter Asher

And from Allison’s FaceBook page, here’s a photo of Keith with ex-Beatle Paul – or, alternatively, depending on your point of view – it’s Faul with Keith, or Paul with ’fake’ decoy Beatle Bobbie Paul, or Faul with Faul, or whatever (take your pick)… And, incidentally, should I be suspicious that, in the image of the two, one of them has his face largely obscured from the shot, and so we don’t get a side-by-side comparison of their facial features?…

Keith and Paul

As I mentioned earlier, Keith has regularly played on stage with The Crickets. One of the founder-members of the group is none other than his cousin, the drummer, Jerry Allison – he co-wrote the classics ‘That’ll Be the Day’ and ‘Peggy Sue’ with the band’s famed front-man Buddy Holly who died in 1959, and the publishing rights of these two compositions, years after his death, were bought by, and currently in the ownership of, ‘MPL,’ the company owned by Paul McCartney, who’s often talked about the influence the bespectacled singer/song-writer had on him during his pre-fame formative period in Liverpool – indeed, as noted elsewhere on this site, the word, ‘Beatles’ (‘Beetles’) has been attributed, partly, as having been inspired by the band-name ‘The Crickets.’ In the 1980s the former Beatle produced the track ‘T-Shirt’ on The Crickets’ album of the same title. It was released as a single, and the B-side was the cut, ‘Holly Would,’ co-written by Jerry Allison (and featured on the album also).

tshirt

From his FaceBook page, here’s Keith with The Crickets sometime during the mid-Sixties. The moustachioed guy is his cousin, Jerry…

Keith with The Crickets mid sixties

According to IMDb, Keith has appeared in a number of movies over the years, and here too we see varying connections worthy of note between him and The Beatles. For one, there’s his appearance, as miniscule as it is, in the big-screen musical version of the band’s album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ Released in 1978 with – as far as I can gather – no personal input from either John, Paul, George or Ringo although their one-time regular producer, George Martin arranged and directed the music, it’s a star-studded feature partly centred around the fortunes of a small town that’s called Heartland, a wholesome, happy, peaceful place that’s then thrown into turmoil after the malevolent Mr. Mustard (played by British comedian, Frankie Howerd) breaks into the City Hall and steals a tuba, saxophone, cornet and drum, all of which have the power to make dreams come true and that were bequeathed to the local community by the now-deceased owner of them, Sergeant Pepper who, with his Lonely Hearts Club Band, had, in the past, generated so much happiness in the music they played that it even caused troops in World War I to stop fighting. As long as the instruments remain in the town’s care, humanity will live happily forever after. But following the theft, Heartland is transformed into a depraved, deprived environment, paving the way for a takeover by Mr. Mustard’s bosses, the evil music-group, ‘FVB’ – the ‘Future Villain Band’ (played by Aerosmith) – who want to poison young minds and herald in a dictatorship. Their plans however are thwarted by a young band of musicians led by the English Pop/Rock-star Peter Frampton, who stars in the film as Sgt. Pepper’s grandson who goes by the name of – here we go again – Billy. That’s Billy as in Billy Shears (‘Billy Shears,’ name-checked on the opening track of the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album and, according to P.i.D.ers of course, is otherwise known as William Shepherd, Paul’s ‘replacement’ after his ‘death’). Keith’s appearance in this movie is so small that I’m not absolutely certain where he actually is in it, and I have watched it too, from beginning to end. From what I can gather (thanks to IMDb and ‘Wikipedia’), he’s one of the dozens upon dozens of ‘special guests’ singing along at the end of the film to the reprise of the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album theme and is joined by a huge host of well-known names including Tina Turner, Donovan, Robert Palmer, and Curtis Mayfield. Below is a screen-cap from those closing scenes. Now – okay, I might be wrong – but I’ve placed a red circle around the guy I think is most likely Keith Allison. He has been known to sport a beard at times over the years (as the photo I’ve imposed into the cap shows), so – I’m thinking – that might be him. It’s the closest that I could find to a likeness to the guy from all the assorted ‘special guests.’

keith sgt.marked

keith sgt.credits

In the movie, joining Billy Shears in his band are his friends, Mark, David and Bob Henderson – played by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb AKA The Bee Gees who, at the time, were being managed by Robert Stigwood who, back in the 1960s, was approached by Brian Epstein and made a partner of his ‘NEMS Enterprises,’ the company that handled the careers of his stable of stars that included singer-entertainer Cilla Black, the group Gerry and The Pacemakers and, of course, The Beatles. It’s said that when news of the partnership began to filter out somewhere from about the autumn of 1966, it sent shockwaves and bewilderment throughout music-business/industry circles. No one was expecting this merger but, we’re told, the day-to-day running of the organisation had become too much of a pressure and a grinding chore for Epstein who wanted to relinquish responsibility and hand most of it over to someone else. According to his friend and a director of NEMS, Peter Brown, Brian offered to sell a controlling share of the company – 51% – to Robert for £500,000 and gave him a deadline of May 1967 – and later extended to September of that year – to raise the necessary funds to buy. Following Brian’s death in August however, the deal faltered and failed, largely thanks to The Beatles’ refusal to have Stigwood as their new manager. As a result, he went on his way, and took a very valuable asset with him because it was during his time at the company that he met the then largely unknown Bee Gees and started representing them, and it was at NEMS that the group’s rise to international stardom actually began (and much to Epstein’s chagrin, it’s said). When he left, they went with him. From there, Robert diversified into theatre and movies as a producer being the man behind the big-screen smashes ‘Saturday Night Fever’ (with its Bee Gees conceived soundtrack), ‘Grease,’ as well as the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ film in 1978. That same year saw the release in cinemas of his comedy-musical ‘Sextette’ starring a substantial amount of well-known names, including Ringo. Veteran Hollywood icon Mae West heads the cast playing the lead-role of Marlo Manners, a six-times-married screen-siren, sex symbol and occasional secret honey-trap for the US Government, and who, during a visit to London, inadvertently becomes embroiled in a geo-political crisis involving a world leaders‘ conference taking place at the hotel where she’s staying. Starr is Laslo Karonly, one of her numerous ex-husbands. Also appearing, to note just a few, there’s Alice Cooper (who also appears in the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ film, as the mind-controlling, brainwashing Father Sun), The Who’s Keith Moon, and – yep – the other Keith (Allison). As in the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ movie, Allison’s role in Sextette is brief – very brief – lasting around, by my estimations, eight seconds. Just below here, a scan of him in it. He’s playing a hotel waiter delivering a cake to the room of a Russian diplomat by the name of Alexei Andreyev Karansky, as played by Tony Curtis, whose back is facing us in the pic below, and who of course, is also one of the illustrious array of faces included on the front-cover of the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album, and Mae West is featured on that too, as you probably know, and, back in the 1960s, her publicist, for a short time, was none other than Derek Taylor. Incidentally, one of the songs performed in Sextette is The Beatles’ ‘Honey Pie’ from 1968’s ‘White Album.’

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Allison in Sextette

 

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Tony Curtis and Mae West, as seen on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album

While Allison has never – to my knowledge, anyway – spoken about his alleged role in the so-called ‘Protection Society’ as a decoy/‘fake Beatle,’ he’s certainly chatted in some detail about his close friendship with Ringo. Keith says he was the musical director for Starr’s backing-band, and has recalled, “he and I were like real good friends. We shared a house together for several years, off and on in the ‘70s.” Also, he claims he got to meet Lennon, McCartney and Harrison during this time through his relationship with the ex-Beatles drummer.
Here’s Ringo and Keith, sometime in the 1970s I’d guess…

ringo_allison

And here they are many years later (a pic posted on Allison‘s FaceBook page in July 2018):

July 8th 2018

Also, Allison is said to have been closely involved in the making of the 1978 one-off US TV-special ‘Ringo.’ He even appears in it, or so I’m led to understand anyway, I mean, I don’t know about you, but, having watched it myself more than a couple of times over the decades, I’m not sure where in it he shows up, but it must be brief by the looks of it… very brief. According to IMDb, he plays the part of, and I quote, “Ringo’s roadside attraction recording-engineer.” One blogger I’ve come across on the ‘net – and who’s as puzzled as me it seems as to Allison’s whereabouts in the TV-special – has scanned a shot of a person in it that might be him… Here it is…

ringo78maybeallison

For whatever reason it came to pass, it’s interesting (I think) that ‘fake Beatle’/‘decoy’ Allison had some personal involvement with the ‘Ringo’ television-show. After all, in this small-screen mini-musical in which Starr appears as, essentially, his real Rock-star/celebrity self – Ringo – he also plays the role of a character who’s his doppelganger and who replaces him. Featuring guest appearances from Carrie Fisher, Vincent Price, Angie Dickinson and John Ritter, the TV-special begins with a scene at a Press-conference where George Harrison provides us with the story’s premise. He tells us that Ringo and the double, a downtrodden loser by the name of Ognir Rrats (yes… that’s ‘Ringo Starr’ backwards), were apparently born at the “very same moment, the very same second, in the very same country – England, remarkably both children though born of different parents look exactly alike.” Said to have been based on the idea behind the 19th century novel ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ by Mark Twain and that tells the story of a young prince and a pauper who look exactly alike and who swap places as a result, ‘Ringo’ sees Rrats and Starr take on each other’s identities and, as a consequence, their respective lives also.

georgedoubles
George in the Press-conference scene with the identical baby versions of Ringo and Ognir

Here’s one if you’re into your occult symbols, another scan from the TV-special, it’s from towards the end of it when Ringo (not Ognir) performs on stage, under a pyramid. Joining him are his band, the one that Allison says he was musical-director for…

Ringopyramid

Perhaps in reference to his life during the Beatlemania years, in the TV-special, Ringo tells Ognir that he wants to swap places with him so that he can taste a carefree life away from the relentless, tiring treadmill of television appearances, concerts, recording-sessions and autograph signings. He wants to be like the regular, “average” folk who can “come and go as they please.” As George tells us at the beginning, the “fame and fortune did very little to make him happy.” Whilst I doubt that the real-life Ringo a.k.a. Richard Starkey would be willing to let go of the fortune that Harrison mentions, have there been times, especially during the Beatle years, when Starr felt as hemmed in by the fame as his fictionalised self does? Did it ever become, as he says in the TV-special, a “prison”? I have no idea who came up with the concept of the ‘Ringo’ show. It could well have been Ringo himself and based on his own life. To me, he always seemed to be the one who was most comfortable with his celebrity status within the band, but, of course, there could’ve been times when he may indeed have felt like swapping places for a bit with an Ognir. Maybe that’s what Paul – that’s the live, real, genuine – Paul McCartney has done in some way shape or form over the years when he’s seen fit? Just suppose that the 1978 TV-special was trying to tell us that in a subliminal/fantasy-fiction-type way? Is that a bit too far-out?… According to Peter Brown, who, following Brian Epstein’s death in 1967, eventually went on to work for The Beatles as Executive Director at their company, Apple, the reason the band nearly bought themselves a Greek island in the latter half of that year was in order to escape the prying eyes and the ever pervading attention brought by their fame. That’s a huge, and unusual extreme to take for some privacy. “I was in my office one day… when the Beatles’ private phone rang. It was John calling to say that The Beatles were moving out of England! The Beatles were talking about how sick and tired they were of notoriety,” states Brown in his book ‘The Love You Make.’ “John suggested they escape it all by creating their own little kingdom, like an island. On the island they would build beautiful houses and the best studio money could buy…” Following the phone-call, according to Peter, he and his team went about making the necessary enquiries to bag The Beatles an island, and soon John, Paul, George and Ringo were in Greece shopping for one. Eventually, however, they had a change of heart and gave up the idea altogether. In Barry Miles’ book ‘Many Years from Now,’ McCartney says it was “a good job” that they didn’t buy one in the end, “because anyone who tried those ideas realised eventually there would always be arguments, there would always be who has to do the washing-up and whose turn it is to clean out the latrines. I don’t think any of us were thinking of that.” One way – of many – in which all of the Beatles dodged the attentions of fans in their years together was by wearing disguises… As I mentioned earlier, there was a member of the band that had spoken publicly in the mainstream Press during the ‘mania’ period about having taken part in decoy tricks. That was George Harrison, who said he and John, Paul and Ringo had dressed up as policemen so that they could avoid any danger of getting noticed and mobbed by fans on their way to a concert that they were scheduled to appear at in Birmingham, the English city. In the newspaper report below, which I’m guessing is from 1963 (and that’s taken from the book ‘Early Beatles. In the News – Volume Four,’ a compilation of original newspaper and magazine clippings of the band from the Sixties and collected together by Colin Barratt), George says he and his fellow band-mates donned police-helmets as disguises after the van that The Beatles were travelling in on their way to the performance-venue broke down on the M1 motorway. Under the headline, ‘P-c (Police-constable) Beatles’ Dodge Those Fans, Harrison recalls that the vehicle was towed-off for repair by the British automotive recovery company, ‘RAC’ (’Royal Automobile Club’) and from there “we drove to the police headquarters in Birmingham, where they told us to put the helmets on. It was great fun.” According to the newspaper report, the band, “disguised as policemen,” were then “smuggled into a theatre past hundreds of their fans” by “wearing police-helmets and dark coats” and “taken for a ride in a Black Maria (a.k.a. police-van)… this ‘beat-the-Beatlemania’ operation was a complete success. A decoy police-van was driven down the street. Then a Black Maria arrived at the gates of the stage-door. A secret knock… and the Black Maria nipped through before fans realised what had happened”…

diguisephoto

Furthermore, in 1963, according to the book, ‘Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation’ by Rock/music biographer, Philip Norman, Ringo dressed himself in disguise before checking-in to an English hospital with ear-ache. He was “rushed to the hospital disguised in an overcoat, hat and spectacles that, as one reporter noted, ‘made him look like’” the German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht “‘being smuggled out of Germany’” during the Nazis’ reign of the country prior to and during the Second World War.

Bertolt-Brecht
Bertolt Brecht

In the book ‘History with The Beatles,’ its author, Bradford E. Loker, reports that, one evening in October 1963, George Harrison “snuck out, in disguise, and attended a Rolling Stones / Everly Brothers / Bo Diddley concert” in London. What exactly he wore to evade attention and whether his disguise succeeded or not isn‘t mentioned, but what’s striking to me nevertheless is that he’s described as having ‘snuck out’ – of his apartment I guess. He couldn’t just walk out, open and close his front-door and make his way. Whether dressed incognito or not, he had to ‘sneak.’ Such was the Beatles’ stratospheric level of fame back then, especially during those ‘mania’ years it seems, that it must have been, at times, quite claustrophobic for them, to be stifled of free movement as they might well have been. In her book, ‘John,’ Cynthia Lennon, who first met John when they were art-students together in Liverpool long before he became a world-famous Pop-star, has included such a description of the band’s celebrity that, according to her, began to enter into the realms of the manic in October 1963, sometime around the release of their fifth UK single, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and their appearance on the hugely popular British TV-show ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium.’ She recalled, “suddenly they couldn’t go anywhere without protection. Things they had taken for granted all their lives, like going to the pub, walking down the street or visiting a friend, were no longer possible. Just getting from a car to a door a couple of yards away was a major operation.” In January ‘64, she and John, and their baby son, Julian, moved into their first, real family home, a flat in an apartment-building in London, but it wasn’t long before the fans discovered their address and made their way there. “We woke one morning to find teenage girls camped on the pavement outside. After that they were always there, day and night. If any of the residents in the flats accidentally left the front-door open they would grab their chance and slip in. We’d find them camped… in the hallway, with sleeping-bags and Thermos-flasks. When I took Julian out in his pram fans would surround us, begging for a glimpse of him, and the pram would virtually disappear as they swarmed round it, clamouring, ‘oh, Cyn, isn’t he sweet? Can I touch him? Can I cuddle him?’ Or, ‘oh, Cyn where do you get your hair done? You’re so lucky to have John. Where do you buy your clothes?’ On and on it went. Most were well-meaning, and many were very young. The problem was that there were so many of them… It could be overwhelming and sometimes frightening. Inside the flat,” she recalled, she and John “were fine. With the fans down in the street below we felt safe and peaceful several floors up. But once the fans discovered us it was clear that we couldn’t stay there for long and we wondered where we could go to escape the attention.” Is it any wonder then, perhaps, that The Beatles should mask themselves in fake spectacles or whatever else just so they might get some form of, in Cynthia’s words, “escape” from the ever present crowds of fans? In the second instalment of this two (or three?)-part article, the emphasis on disguises will be expanded upon and will also, on the way, take us into the realms of what many would undoubtedly describe as ‘the weird,’ the unexplained, the slightly surreal, the uncanny (a bit) and the downright puzzling. And so, if you thought this here instalment you’ve just read had some intriguing little twists, turns and ‘coincidences’ in it, well, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Get ready for more of that and, as I mentioned right at the beginning of this in the opening paragraph, some head-scratchingly inducing info, muddy and covered in contradictions.

 

REFERENCE LINKS

http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net/nowhereman.html

https://www.talkinbroadway.com/page/ob/6_13_17a.html

https://www.backstage.com/casting/nowhere-man-161615/?role_id=565844

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2003/dec/16/20031216-102509-5288r/

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PzIivxkv2UkC&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=saddam+hussein+used+doubles&source=bl&ots=Oi-ME4lfCW&sig=h5FySiGxHS7aZrrSjrBusQwg3Qw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRk4mt2dXUAhXsJMAKHRYQDlI4FBDoAQghMAA#v=onepage&q=saddam%20hussein%20used%20doubles&f=false

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._E._Clifton_James

Q & A: Journalist Ivor Davis talks about touring with the Beatles in the summer of 1964

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=YuVUDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT42&lpg=PT42&dq=beatles+decoys&source=bl&ots=GP2DjBNet6&sig=N0CHkAKl-rfA3IBOZkOwozH92To&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUstb5wNLUAhWIB8AKHYzSAnY4ChDoAQgyMAY#v=onepage&q=beatles%20decoys&f=false

http://www.wingspan.ru/bookseng/diary/m08_1964.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2016/05/15/tony-barrow-beatles-press-officer—obituary/

http://martybarrett.com/killer-lineup-plus-beatles-dodger/

http://beatles-merchandise.com/earlybeatles/the-beatles-in-miami-1964/

‘John.’ – Cynthia Lennon (pgs. 183 – 184, 169 – 170, 174 – 175)

http://www.wingspan.ru/bookseng/ant/09.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=trRB-lo4qR8C&pg=PT436&lpg=PT436&dq=decoy+cars+were+used+to+fool+the+protestors&source=bl&ots=ziqmewzYUm&sig=zEsP0metJExUjZatTcMTTx08Gkk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjTlb2n8-beAhXlAsAKHQCKAVwQ6AEwAHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=decoy%20cars%20were%20used%20to%20fool%20the%20protestors&f=false

http://www.wingspan.ru/bookseng/ant/07.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles%27_1966_US_tour

http://1966myfavoriteyear.blogspot.com/2016/08/revolver-jesus-and-beatles-august-of-66.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=trRB-lo4qR8C&pg=PT436&lpg=PT436&dq=They+were+zealots.+It+was+horrible+to+see+the+hatred+on+their+faces.%22&source=bl&ots=zhvsdAESUk&sig=q7TuEMP1dF6iJLA6-MTLuLD69zA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi0vcqz2-TUAhVL7hoKHR7xDFkQ6AEIKDAC#v=onepage&q=They%20were%20zealots.%20It%20was%20horrible%20to%20see%20the%20hatred%20on%20their%20faces.%22&f=false

https://www.history.com/news/beatlemania-sweeps-the-united-states-50-years-ago

http://www.mixedmetaphorsohmy.com/2014/01/19/beach-boys-beatles-bob-dylan-and-the-byrds/

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/783755/Johnny-Morris-Michael-Caine-stunt-double-film-star-lifestyle

https://www.beatlesbible.com/1965/03/14/filming-help-16/

https://www.northern-scot.co.uk/Entertainment/Keith-recalls-its-brush-with-the-Fab-Four-9768.htm

http://www.delgin.co.uk/cats/history.html

http://www.copycats62.co.uk/page6.html

https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/page/12/

http://www.rockingscots.co.uk/Watson.htm

YouTube:  Johnny and the Copycats – Start Thinking About Me

http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1966.0828.beatles.html

YouTube: Beatles Los Angeles Press Conference 1966

http://invanddis.proboards.com/thread/2619/mention-doubles-1966

https://www.beatlesbible.com/1964/09/13/live-civic-center-baltimore/

http://www.baltimoreorless.com/2014/09/beatles-civic-center-sept-13-1964/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_Beatles%27_live_performances#1964

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Farms_Arena

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_the_Action_Is

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5mNgDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT126&lpg=PT126&dq=As+Tommy+performed+for+the+Where+Is+the+Action+cameras+Keith+and+I+stood+in+the+crowd+along+the+wall,+watching+from+the+sidelines.+Well,+it+turns+out+that+when+the+camera+panned+by+to+capture+the+crowd+and+the+dancers,+we+were+included+in+some+of+the+shots.&source=bl&ots=GFkSKdNnWw&sig=fKcn-mHov8RKCSfnoXF3uJQ-WaE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiwromd49TdAhUDTcAKHZdAAjgQ6AEwAHoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=As%20Tommy%20performed%20for%20the%20Where%20Is%20the%20Action%20cameras%20Keith%20and%20I%20stood%20in%20the%20crowd%20along%20the%20wall%2C%20watching%20from%20the%20sidelines.%20Well%2C%20it%20turns%20out%20that%20when%20the%20camera%20panned%20by%20to%20capture%20the%20crowd%20and%20the%20dancers%2C%20we%20were%20included%20in%20some%20of%20the%20shots.&f=false

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240305/episodes?year=1965&ref_=tt_eps_yr_1965

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240305/episodes?year=1966&ref_=ttep_ep_yr_nx

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240305/episodes?year=1967&ref_=ttep_ep_yr_nx

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240305/fullcredits

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240305/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

http://blog.musoscribe.com/index.php/2014/07/04/keith-allison-man-of-action-part-five-conclusion/

http://blog.musoscribe.com/index.php/2014/07/01/keith-allison-man-of-action-part-two/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/keithallisonofficial/about/?ref=page_internal

https://www.facebook.com/keithallisonofficial/

http://invanddis.proboards.com/thread/3967/keith-allison

http://invanddis.proboards.com/thread/3271

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0021456/bio?ref_=nm_dyk_trv_sm#trivia

‘As Time Goes By’ – Derek Taylor

http://www.jlindquist.com/crickets.html

https://www.mplcommunications.com/music-search?chk=a5967d8a821b7cbb5f74&showsongs=buddyholly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPL_Communications

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Allison

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crickets

https://www.the-paulmccartney-project.com/album/t-shirt/

http://beatleshelp.net/collabo/tshi.html

http://www.45worlds.com/cdalbum/cd/4628762

https://archive.org/details/BeeGeesPeterFramptonSgtPepperSLonelyHeartsClubBand1978movie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper%27s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band_(film)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078239/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

‘The Love You Make. An Insider’s Story of The Beatles’ by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines. (Pgs. 205, 207, 212, 227, 229, 241, 242)

http://www.wingspan.ru/bookseng/ant/10.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aVfWxyDrOTwC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=later+we+found+out+that+he%27d+given+stigwood+the+option+to&source=bl&ots=yWq6DzfD1G&sig=XkWsY1TJGW6qzbnfImwvi28Ijqc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiMnqbCnt_dAhUKL8AKHZT4CAUQ6AEwBnoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=later%20we%20found%20out%20that%20he’d%20given%20stigwood%20the%20option%20to&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Uzv_AgAAQBAJ&pg=PT200&lpg=PT200&dq=robert+stigwood+nems&source=bl&ots=MyBmo_6mgf&sig=kkT90tHdBTqz8fQA5gns-es9njA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjm79u-hN_dAhXkAcAKHYYVCsI4ChDoATAOegQIAhAB#v=onepage&q=robert%20stigwood%20nems&f=false

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0301/12/lklw.00.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stigwood

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078238/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

YouTube: Sextette 1978

http://www.classicbands.com/KeithAllisonInterview.html

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077071/fullcredits

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/35-years-ago-ringo-tv-special-airs/

YouTube: “Ringo”, a Ringo Starr US-TV special, aired April 26, 1978

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MRpqWHwLZNoC&pg=PT225&lpg=PT225&dq=george+harrison+disguise+police&source=bl&ots=RsvFzkxke7&sig=6Takccd5AZqayZArqf0ax7NjY1c&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi9itjUg5PbAhVMCMAKHZ8hCZs4ChDoATAHegQIARBR#v=onepage&q=george%20harrison%20disguise%20police&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2ktN0IS1vFQC&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=beatles+movies+coincidences+disguise&source=bl&ots=Be3u2C9LlC&sig=RtLXFgkaXnnfcnO8VsC29wJXgTI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjTsrzCgZPbAhXkLMAKHa_gDGIQ6AEwCHoFCAEQjAE#v=onepage&q=beatles%20movies%20coincidences%20disguise&f=false

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‘Our Interesting Times’ pod-cast chat about ‘The Occult Beatles,’ 1960s ‘swinging’ London, the counter-culture, and the Profumo scandal.

Earlier this year – in February 2018 to be exact – I, Matt Sergiou, had the pleasure of guesting on ‘Our Interesting Times,’ the regularly updated series of pod-casts about all that is conspiratorial in this messed-up old world of ours, and as hosted by Tim Kelly. He’d invited me on to chat about an article I posted here on ‘The Occult Beatles’ back in that same month… You might remember it? Titled ’Scandal in a Small World,’ it’s a lengthy piece centring largely around the so-called ‘Profumo affair’ of 1963, that headline-hitting Cold War-flavoured scandal involving the-then British Secretary of State for War John Profumo, a Russian military man (and spy) Yevgeny Ivanov, a high society osteopath and “pimp,” Stephen Ward, and his “prostitute,” Christine Keeler. Her death in 2017 at the age of 75 got me reflecting on the huge impact that historians tell us she and this affair had, not only in the bringing down of the UK Conservative Party Government of that time, but also the birth of the sexually permissive ‘swinging Sixties,’ an era that was also helped into being with Beatlemania, which broke into mass consciousness in Britain at precisely around the same time as the Profumo scandal… Accident, or design? Given that we’re told British culture was turned upside down by these events and heralded in the decade that apparently saw a major disintegration of traditional family and societal values and mores and, more to the point, is believed or at least suspected to have deliberately been designed to do so as part of some grand social engineering plot, well, that’s why I ask. Following Christine’s death last year, I went about looking to see if there were any more significant connections between her and The Beatles. You can check out what I discovered (if you haven’t already) in the link below, it’ll take you to the aforementioned article…

https://theoccultbeatles.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/christine-keeler-scandal-from-a-small-world/

As well as chatting about the Profumo affair and its connections in one way shape or form to The Beatles, during my guest-spot on Our Interesting Times, Tim and I also discuss, in his words, “the peculiar milieu of popular musicians, entertainers, politicians, spooks and gangsters that came to be known as ‘swinging London.’” The ‘swinging’ era of Sixties London eventually morphed into the so-called ‘counter-culture’ bringing with it LSD, hippies and psychedelia. Now, most reading this, I’m quite sure, are familiar with the work of David McGowan and his research into the US/Laurel Canyon scene of the 1960s and his contention that most of the bands and music-artists from that were part of a social engineering plot backed by the intelligence services, military, Government, and the supposed ‘elite’ bloodline families. In recent times, and initially inspired by his findings, I’ve dedicated most of my time into looking deeply into the UK counter-culture (predominantly, London) to see if it has any parallels with that. I mean, surely, if such a plot existed in America then it would have been the same in Britain which was, after all, a massively major cultural influence in the so-called ‘western world’ during the Sixties? As I mention in my pod-cast chat, this is an area of research that I first began to look in to not that long ago and at a time when I was considering a revamp of ‘Conspiro Media,’ the parent-site of The Occult Beatles and that I first went online with in 2011 with the aim of looking into the dark, occult world of music, movies and TV. By 2016, I’d grown disillusioned with the direction it was taking and wanted to focus more of my time on 1960s counter-cultural London, to the point that I began to seriously consider putting it out to pasture, and indeed, that was my mindset back in February this year when I appeared on Our Interesting Times, and I say as much to Tim during our pod-cast chat. However… since then, I’ve had a bit of a rethink. My delving in to the history and the events surrounding Sixties Britain is a major project for me, there’s years of work ahead, but I now intend to use both Conspiro Media the site and its accompanying ‘FaceBook’ page predominantly as a platform for what I have to share. Any way!…
If you like, you can listen to my chat with Tim below, either via ‘YouTube’ or ‘Podomatic’…

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/tkelly6785757/episodes/2018-02-19T09_42_10-08_00

Check out Tim’s site, Our Interesting Times, in full, here:

https://tkelly6785757.podomatic.com/

 

The Egypt Connections, and, I Spy the All-Seeing Eye…

Ever seen this photograph before? I hadn’t until I stumbled across it on the ‘net not that long ago and, upon seeing it, just felt that I had to share it here for your interest and perusal. Significant to most due to it being the last said photo to have been taken of Ringo Starr and John Lennon together before his assassination, it is, of course, notable also for the T-shirt he’s wearing…

Johnill

According to the websites I’ve seen it posted on, the photo originates from sometime circa late 1970s. 1979 according to some, 1978 to at least one other. Presumably, it would have been snapped in New York where Lennon had been residing for the majority of that decade. Anyway, there it is, emblazoned across his T-shirt, that notorious old pyramid and eye pic. Okay, I’m assuming that most folk who come reading here, perhaps you yourself, will need no mention from me about the darkly-occult/conspiratorial elements this symbol is said to represent, so, do forgive me. Please don’t think me as patronising if you’re familiar with that, but for the sake of any newbies reading this, I’ll just summarise very quickly through the words of David Icke – from one of his numerous books on the alternative history of the world, ‘The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy (and how to end it)’ – what, essentially, it’s about.
So, as seen on the American one dollar bill, the pyramid with the detached capstone with eye dubbed the ‘Eye of Providence’ and/or the ‘All-Seeing Eye,’ a prominent symbol within Freemasonry…

francmasonerie

“The pyramid and the All-Seeing Eye, or pyramid with the capstone missing,” Icke states, is a “major Illuminati symbol… The pyramid is the pyramid of control and the eye represents ‘the watchers,’ or at least that’s the symbolism on one level.” He doesn’t elaborate too much into any other levels of this symbolism but I’ll hazard a guess and presume what he means in part by that is that not any one symbol is necessarily an emblem exclusive to a negative/dark-side such as ‘the watchers,’ but can be seen and/or used for/by the positive too. A very good case in point, the eye, within certain cultures, far from it being deemed wholly a motif of and for the ‘Illuminati’ and suchlike, is thought to ward off the ‘evil eye’ of envy. I know this from my own background, British-born to Greek-Cypriot parents, both Greece and the nearby island of Cyprus are hugely influenced by Christianity and the church in one way shape or form, deeply ingrained as they are in the fabric of everyday regular life, but, juxtaposed with, what at least one priest I know personally who hails from that part of the world would, I’m sure if I were to put it to him, declare is ‘Satanic,’ and that is, the popular, daily presence of and high regard for eye symbolism. Walk into a shop or someone’s house, or step into a taxi-cab and there, amongst one or two icons of Jesus and/or the disciples and a ‘Holy Saint of someone or other,’ you might see a round, mostly blue-coloured gemstone-like ‘evil eye’ hanging from a wall, or a rear-view mirror. They’re not there to signify or celebrate darkness, but to deflect it. Within Greek-Cypriot homes and communities they’re used to keep at bay the negative, damaging, ill-wishing vibes of jealousy be that from a work-colleague, or indeed a friend or relative. Available in many sizes and forms, you can wear the eye too, as a necklace or a bracelet or wristband for example. I have one, small it is, like a shined-up pebble and that sits on my desk next to my computer where I type these articles up. This is it…

eye

Not wanting to put words into Icke’s mouth, but, a symbol, such as the pyramid and the eye, is, on one level, dark, negative, malevolent, and on another, light. Positive. The direction it can ultimately take between the two is for the person armed with the emblems to determine. A knife in one man’s hand might be used to murder another, whilst in the possession of someone else it’s slicing loaves to feed and provide sustenance. It’s not the knife at blame but the person holding it. It’s about the intent. With regards to Lennon and that T-shirt, the question is (as far as I’m concerned anyway) what was his intention? Again, for any newbies, from David Icke, “the All-Seeing Eye is… in the symbol of the MI5 wing of British Intelligence. The All-Seeing Eye is the symbol of the American television network, ‘Columbia Broadcasting System,’ better known as ‘CBS’… In 2002, the deeply sinister ‘US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’ (‘DAARPA’), the research and development arm of the Department of Defense, launched the ‘Information Awareness Office,’ a propaganda operation with the potential for mass-surveillance. It chose a familiar symbol – the pyramid and All-Seeing Eye. There are so many I could point out, but if you are new to this you’ll be able to see them all over the place now…”IAO-logo It’s a symbol of course that, in one shape or form, has been massively prevalent, a mainstay even, within the music-world whether it be in album-cover artwork, or the logos of record companies and labels or in the videos that their bands and solo artists appear in. If we’re to believe what some of Lennon’s detractors have claimed, such as author, researcher and self-proclaimed ‘former intelligence-agent-turned-whistleblower,’ John Coleman, that The Beatles were controlled and steered by the All-Seeing ‘watchers’ in order to corrupt the Sixties youth generation of the western world, then maybe, yeah, John chose to wear the symbol as a subliminal badge of honour, allegiance and obedience to his masters, as so many famous musicians have done both past and present. On the other hand, this is a guy who during the late 1960s and early ’70s used his powerful, influential profile to speak out and protest in criticism of what ‘the Establishment’ – or as it was known back then amongst the young, ‘the man’ – had inflicted upon the world and he was seemingly such an outspoken and proactive campaigner against the Vietnam War that US President Nixon actively conspired to have him deported from the United States whilst the FBI collected a file on him, monitored his live shows and the content of his music-recordings and even tried to set him up in a drug-bust. Britain’s MI5, it’s claimed, was monitoring him too. As far as I’m aware, in all the years that Lennon spoke out against ‘the man’ in countless newspaper/magazine/radio/TV interviews he never mentioned ‘Illuminati’ or ‘pyramids of control’ or the ‘New World Order,’ however, when he did speak out against the forces who conspire against us, he often (IMO) got it pretty bang on point. There are countless quotes I could add here to illustrate this, but here’s just a couple. In 1966, he’s said to have opined, “the trouble with government as is it is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them. All they seem to want to do – the people who run the country – is keep themselves in power and stop us knowing what’s going on… I’m not saying politicians are all terrible men. It’s just the system of government that I don’t like. It’ll be hard to change.” In 1968, he declared, “I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends… I think they’re all insane…” These are quotes that resonate deeply today, decades after his death, and that were uttered years before the mass-internet,  long before the emergence of the ‘alternative’/conspiracy-site media and the digital-age ‘Truthers,’ who, in one way shape or form, echo his words. Lennon, in some respects, was a prototype of all of them. In his book ‘Come Together. John Lennon in His Time,’ Jon Wiener, the historian and journalist who staged a successful decades-long legal battle to have the FBI release its secret documents on John, features a quote by Robin Blackwell. He’s a former editor of ‘Red Mole,’ a short-lived British ‘revolutionary’ newspaper of the early ‘70s, and he recalls that, at that time, the-then former Beatle “was setting up a project with a not-very-well-assorted group of people who were into alternative technology, alternative media, alternative politics and lifestyles.” However, it never came to pass. Lennon was also a fan, financial supporter of and personally acquainted with Mae Brussell one of the early conspiracy researchers, she’d been at it since the days of the JFK assassination, when today’s veterans such as David Icke would barely have been out of wearing short-pants. Also, Paul Krassner, a major mover and shaker in the Sixties counter-culture in the US is said to have spoken to John back in the early ‘70s about the possibility that many of the leading singers and musicians who’d died up to that point in time had been taken out, murdered by ‘the man.’ He told Lennon about his “theory that, with all the political assassinations, there were also cultural assassinations. I was wondering what he thought about the possibility that the deaths of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix… may have been made to look like suicides, because they were rebels and role-models on the crest of the wave. John said, ‘no, no, they were just going in a self-destructive direction.’ A few months after that, when things must have gotten really heavy with him, he reminded me of that conversation and said, ‘listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident.’” John is said to have made that warning to Krassner some time in 1972 when the FBI / US Government was hot on his tail. Lennon, by many accounts, was a voracious reader and seeker of knowledge in a wide range of topics from world affairs and politics to philosophy, religion and the occult. He might not have spoken openly about ‘the Illuminati’ or the ‘pyramid of control’ whilst in the glare of the media’s attention, but, of course, that doesn’t prove he was ignorant of such things. His associations with the likes of Krassner and Mae Brussell might add credence to this possibility, and John’s T-shirt, by my estimations, may very well suggest this too. He was comfortable enough to wear it again a year or two later. Below, a scan of a page from the website ‘Wornfree.com’ and that features a photo of John from, it’s claimed, 1980. From what I can see, it was most probably taken by now-veteran photographer to the Rock-stars, Bob Gruen. The blurb next to it and that gives us some background on the contents of the tee concludes that Lennon probably bought it “for a laugh” as if (I assume) he thought the whole Illuminati connotations of it ridiculous. Whatever, some might find it sadly ironic, if not inevitable given his biting outspokenness against governments, the military and so-called world-leaders, that it wouldn’t have been too long after this photo was taken with him wearing it that he met his end at the behest of ‘the watchers.’ (CLICK TO ENLARGE)…

1980tee

Far from Lennon buying the T-shirt “for a laugh,” he may have been drawn to it because it appealed to his apparent interest in ancient knowledge and history. Here’s a photo of John and Yoko Ono in Egypt by the pyramids in, I’m guessing, the late ‘70s some time (?)…

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Below, an excerpt from ‘Lennon in America: 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries’ by author Geoffrey Giuliano. In it, he details what’s said to have went on when John and Yoko visited Egypt in 1977 and became involved in “a clandestine archaeological dig.” The trip came at a time when the Lennons had begun to “seriously” invest their finances in art, and “while the centrepiece of several valuable paintings was a Renoir, the bulk of their investment was poured into Egyptian artefacts. Relics included a skull, an infant’s breastplate, and a seven-foot lion statue.” Indeed, Ono herself has spoken of her interest for collecting Egyptian antiquities, and which she does, not only because they make a sound financial investment, but also for their “magic power.” In 1980, she said, “to make money, you have to spend money. But if you are going to make money, you have to make it with love. I love Egyptian art. I make sure to get all the Egyptian things, not for their value but for their magic power. Each piece has a certain magic power.” In the excerpt below, Giuliano also mentions a man by the name of Sam Green, an old friend of Yoko’s and “a flamboyant globe-trotting art-dealer… the black sheep from a privileged family… The son of illustrious professors, Green was an ingratiating personality who sought out the company of celebrity millionaires” including Greta Garbo and, it might interest you to know, a member of one of the ‘Illuminati bloodline families,’ Cécile de Rothschild. According to the family’s own website, she was a woman who “inherited many Rothschild passions: motoring, haute-cuisine, yachting, wine, gardening, golfing and painting. Aged 13, she was given by her father Cézanne’s ‘Les Baigneuses,’ and this item formed the basis of her considerable collection which included a number of works by Picasso.”

According to Giuliano’s book:

Sam Green learned from one of his colleagues about a clandestine archaeological dig being conducted in Egypt to unearth an ancient temple. The project, however, needed funding to complete the excavation. When Green relayed this news to Yoko, she could barely wire the money to Cairo fast enough, and began planning a visit to the site. Lennon, too, excited by the prospect of an intercontinental hunt for artefacts, couldn’t wait to get on the plane… John plunged enthusiastically into his sketchbook, drawing romantic Egyptian deserts dotted with camels and Bedouins. He purchased the proper wardrobe, got himself a new passport photo… At the same time, Yoko and Sam Green were finalising the details of a complicated plan to sidestep the Egyptian authorities. Because Egypt’s ancient national treasures were under assault by international art poachers, its governmental authorities instituted safeguards to protect these sacred gravesites, and even resorted to aerial searches to catch would-be raiders. John, eavesdropping from the next room on Yoko and Sam’s conversation, was thrilled to hear that accompanying them would be a cache of potent marijuana…

Arriving in Cairo, the Lennons checked into the ‘Nile Hilton.’ John took a nap before venturing into the city to purchase a wardrobe for the excavation. He ran into Thomas Hoving, former director of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, who was in Cairo on his own expedition for art. An enraptured John spent his first night exploring one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the great Cheops Pyramid, built by Pharaoh Khufu, founder of the Fourth Dynasty, around 2680 B.C. Afterwards, he took in the nightly Giza light-show extravaganza, a gaudy commercial tourist attraction he enjoyed thoroughly.

The next day Lennon awoke energised and refreshed. An ardent history buff, he enthusiastically toured the pyramid at Saqqara, which he found even more fascinating than the Cheops site. As he explored the underground chambers, he ran his hands across the hieroglyphics and marvelled at the intricacy of the ancient artwork on the stone walls. Coming upon an open sarcophagus, Lennon was unable to resist the temptation and recklessly tore off a scrap of material as a souvenir. Only later did he wonder if his blasphemous action had incurred the mummy’s curse; he was worried enough to call an emergency meeting with one of Yoko’s mystics.

While Lennon was exploring various sites, Ono was finalising details for the proposed visit to the illicit excavation. The more intent she became, the more Green feared her presence might cause problems. An internationally known celebrity couple wasn’t likely to go unnoticed by the Cairo authorities. Green used Thomas Hoving as a means to discourage Yoko’s plans. He concocted a story that the renowned art director had gotten word of their scheme for obtaining artefacts and stood prepared to alert the authorities himself unless all parties left Egypt immediately. Marlene Weiner, Yoko’s psychic du jour, confirmed the imagined threat, telling her that a certain assertive six-footer they’d meet in Cairo should be avoided. It wasn’t clear if Green encouraged her to make this statement… She (Yoko) was concerned enough to abandon the plan. Surprisingly, John wasn’t all that disappointed by the abrupt turn of events. He had already had his fill of Egypt and was more than anxious to go home.

In the book ‘John Lennon: A Biography,’ Jacqueline Edmondson, its author, notes that John, according to what Sam Green recalled, “believed he had lived” in Egypt “in a previous life.” As you might be well aware, in past articles on both this website and its parent, ‘Conspiro Media,’ I’ve shared the thoughts of veteran symbologist, Robert Richard Hieronimus Ph.D. who suggests that, whoever came up with the band-name, ‘The Beatles,’ may have been unconsciously inspired to do so by the lure of ancient Egyptian motifs, such as the insect, the scarab beetle. He says, “the beetle is actually – in ancient Egypt – a very, very sacred symbol.”

Egyptian god Khepri
Khepera

That’s because it was likened to the “ancient Egyptian beetle-headed god, Khepera, who represented the rising or morning sun. Khepera was among the original creation gods in Egyptian mythology… The scarab was held as a symbol of resurrection and fertility as beetles were believed to be the incarnation of Khepera. There is no reason to believe that whoever came up with the name ‘The Beatles’ was consciously intending to link their name with the Egyptian god of rebirth, but conscious or not, they chose a name which reflected what they were to accomplish – the act of creation. Later in life, John Lennon is reported to have become interested in world mythologies and especially in Egyptian magic. He may have begun to realise that symbols carry psychic energy even when they have not been consciously selected. Some might say synchronicity (meaningful coincidences) played a role in the naming of the most revered Rock and Roll group in history. Like attracts like.” You can read (and hear) more of Robert’s analysis about this (if you haven’t already) in this link:

https://theoccultbeatles.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/back-on-board-the-yellow-submarine-and-getting-submerged-in-symbolism/

According to what The Beatles themselves have said publicly about the origins of the band name, well, it’s a bit confusing and muddled in places because each member that’s spoken about it has recounted a different version of events to the other – but what they are all unanimous on is that it was derived, possibly, from ‘beetles.’ Indeed, for a time, in their earliest days, they did call themselves, The Silver Beetles. Some of the credit for this has been attributed to Stuart Sutcliffe, John Lennon’s friend from his art-college days in Liverpool. According to George Harrison in the official Beatles biography/documentary ‘Anthology,’ “it’s debatable where the name came from. John used to say that he invented it, but…” he went on, “there was The Crickets, who backed Buddy Holly, that similarity; but Stuart was really into Marlon Brando…” There’s a movie in particular Brando starred in, 1953’s ‘The Wild One,’ which follows the exploits of American motorcycle gangs ‘BRMC’ (‘Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’) led by Johnny Strabler (Brando) and the ‘Beetles’ whose head was Chino (played by Lee Marvin). Harrison recalled, “in the movie The Wild One there is a scene where Lee Marvin says: ‘Johnny, we’ve been looking for you, the Beetles have missed you, all the Beetles have missed you.’ Maybe John and Stu were both thinking about it at the time…” Interestingly, as an aside, one of the characters in the film is called ‘Gringo.’ However, there does appear to be a bit of a glitch in George’s account, because, the movie wasn’t released in the UK until 1967. Back in working-class Liverpool in the 1950s, before the days of internet and home-videos and DVDs, neither Harrison or his fellow band-mates would have been able to access it, unless of course they had friends in the motion-picture industry (highly doubtful, right) or physically went overseas to see it. According to McCartney, “it was John and Stuart who thought of the name. One April evening in 1960, John and Stuart announced: ‘Hey, we want to call the band The Beatles.’ We thought, ‘hmm, bit creepy, isn’t it? – It’s all right though, a double meaning.’ One of our favourite groups, The Crickets, had got a dual-meaning name: cricket the game, and crickets the little grasshoppers (we‘ve spoken to The Crickets since, and found that they hadn‘t realised that we had a game called cricket. They never knew they had a second meaning.)” For his part, John recalled, “I was looking for a name like The Crickets that meant two things, and from crickets I got to beetles. And I changed the BEA, because ‘beetles’ didn’t mean two things on its own. When you said it, people thought of crawly things and when you read it, it was beat music.” In the very early days of The Beatles’ fame the band did indeed adopt the beetle as part of their image, as this logo from their drum-kit shows. It ‘s said to have been designed by a Liverpool sign-writer by the name of Tex O’Hara…

logobeetle

And here’s Ringo seated behind it, February 17th, 1963…

1963-February 17th-

Thebeetles

There’s beetles imagery again to be seen in The Beatles’ debut big-screen movie ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ from 1964. Here’s a scene from it…

A Hard Day's Night (The Beatles Film) - YouTube

After I came across the photo of Ringo Starr and John with his eye and pyramid T-shirt, my original plan for posting it up here was to keep it all really plain and simple, just to share the pic and add maybe a small, brief couple of paragraphs with a bit of background info and some of my passing thoughts on it all. But then – call it synchronicity if you like – I found myself coming into contact with breaking events in the news of a Beatles-related matter and that have, to some degree or other, connections and connotations to ancient Egypt and pyramids. As a result, I’ve included them here too, it seemed like the logical thing to do because it adds more depth, perhaps, to the possible significance behind what John is wearing in the photo. And so, what happened is, one afternoon as I was contemplating how to get this article together, miles away in London, Paul McCartney was outside ‘Abbey Road Studios,’ the place of course where The Beatles recorded most of their music (and that was known at the time as ‘EMI Studios’). He was posing for a photograph on the zebra-crossing outside, the one made famous (as well as occult-icily notorious) by The Beatles after they walked across it for the cover of their album ‘Abbey Road.’ I came by the photo (and video) that same day, July 23rd (2018), when it was published in a brief article on the news-site, ‘MailOnline.’ It reported that, “Paul looked in great spirits as he headed out to the crossing to strike a pose on it – 49 years after the famous album cover was shot in the same location. The legendary musician was back at his old stomping ground for a secret gig…”

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Being that I was working within a ‘pyramid’ frame of mind at the time, upon looking at the article, I was instantly reminded of the fact that the ‘Abbey Road’ album was originally going to be called ‘Everest,’ a title, it’s claimed, that was inspired by the brand of cigarettes regular Beatles and EMI Studios recording-engineer, Geoff Emerick smoked at the time.

everest

According to a quote I picked up from ‘The Beatles Encyclopaedia: Everything Fab Four,’ and that is itself credited to an interview with renowned Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, McCartney claims the idea behind Everest came about because the band “were stuck for an album title, and the album didn’t appear to have any obvious concept, except that it had all been done in the studio and it had been done by us. And Emerick used to have these packets of Everest cigarettes always sitting by him, and we thought, ‘that’s good. It’s big and it’s expansive.’”

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‘Everest’… A fan’s impression posted online

But, as “good” and “expansive” as it might have looked to them, and as attracted to the pyramid imagery of the idea as they might well have been, McCartney, according to the official Beatles documentary, ‘Anthology,’ claims that the band “never really liked that, but we couldn’t think of anything else to call it. Then one day I said, ‘I’ve got it!’ – I don’t know how I thought of it – Abbey Road! It’s the studio we’re in, which is fabulous.’” That’s not exactly how it’s reportedly remembered by one of the studio-team working on it. John Kurlander was an EMI Studios employee at the time and was assistant-engineer on the ‘Abbey Road’ album. The Beatles might have “never really liked” the Everest idea, but according to what he’s quoted as saying, they did talk of actually flying to the mount itself to take cover-photos for it. “It was around July, when it was very hot outside, that someone mentioned the possibility of the four of them taking a private plane over to the foothills of Mount Everest to shoot the cover photograph. But as they became more enthusiastic to finish the LP someone – I don’t remember whom – suggested, ‘look, I can’t be bothered to schlep all the way over to the Himalayas for a cover, why don’t we just go outside, take the photo there, call the LP Abbey Road and have done with it?’ That’s my memory of why it became Abbey Road: because they couldn’t be bothered to go to Tibet and get cold!” McCartney’s “secret gig” at Abbey Road Studios that the MailOnline article references featured a “star-strewn guest-list” including Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom and the singer Kylie Minogue and rapper Stormzy. The set-list was a combination of Beatles, Wings and solo numbers as well as brand new songs from his forthcoming album, which is to be titled, ‘Egypt Station.’ Here’s a graphic for it…

egyptstation

Out in September, Egypt Station’s imminent release was announced on Paul McCartney’s birthday – June 18th – following a series of cryptic posts of symbols and Egyptian-themed graphics on his ‘Twitter’ page in the preceding days. It began with a doodle…

Tweet1

Then a few days later… This:

Tweet2

And this:

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Then a day later – June 18th – this:

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And then, finally, this

Just over a month after the announcement, McCartney spoke about the album at some length during a live onstage Q&A with broadcaster, musician and front-man of Brit band, Pulp, Jarvis Cocker. Paul said, “what I thought was – these days, you know – you got the big stars like Beyonce, Taylor Swift… Their songs are – in a way – a collection of singles – they’re all great commercial tracks – but it doesn’t kinda roll through like a Pink Floyd album used to. And so I thought, well, I can’t compete with that kind of Taylor Swift thing… So, you know… maybe what I can do is just do a sort of what used to be called a ‘concept album.’” On McCartney’s official website, he’s quoted as saying, “I liked the words ‘Egypt Station.’ It reminded me of the ‘album’ albums we used to make… ” He told Jarvis Cocker that the album begins “with a station noise, so you’re sort of in a station, and then a choir swells out of that, so it’s like Heavenly Station now – you’re trippin’ dude. And then it goes into the first song.” From what I could gather at the time of posting this article, the songs on the album – two of which I’ve heard – shared no common theme, lyrically that is, to suggest they were part of “a concept.” Indeed, according to McCartney’s official website, what ties all the unrelated tracks together is the idea that they’re all connected – to a music-journey, from one ‘station’ to another: “True to the inspiration behind its title, Egypt Station’s 14 songs combine to convey a unique travelogue vibe. Between the opening and closing instrumentals ‘Station I’ and ‘Station II’, each song finds Paul capturing a place or moment before transporting the listener seamlessly to the next destination. Stops along the way include an acoustic meditation on present day contentedness (‘Happy With You’), a timeless anthem that would fit on virtually any album of any McCartney era (‘People Want Peace’), and an epic multi-movement closer clocking in at seven minutes with a song suite structure harkening back to the days of Paul’s previous combos (‘Despite Repeated Warnings’). The result is a kaleidoscopic journey through myriad musical locales and eras, yet firmly rooted in the here and now…” The title, ‘Egypt Station,’ originates from a lithograph of the same name that McCartney created back in the late 1980s. He told Jarvis Cocker, “I did a painting, it had Egyptian iconography in it ‘cos I like that kind of thing – and just to remember it, I called it ‘Egypt Station,’ ‘cos it had sort of Egyptian things…” And here it is…

paul-mccartney-egypt-station-1988_01

Any way, after painting it, according to Paul, “I never thought any more of it, but people quite liked it, and, I was looking at it one day and I thought, ‘quite a nice title that – Egypt Station.’ So I thought, ‘well, that could be the new album’s title… the painting could be the cover.’ So, that’s where it started, and then we got some really good art-directors who took it somewhere.” And here’s Egypt Station, the album-cover…

paul-mccartney-egypt-station_01

As for the actual lithograph and the inspiration behind it, Paul told Jarvis Cocker, “the thing was, I like kind of looking at reference books, history books often for old symbols. So, on the cover of Egypt Station… I’ll often see statues or Aztec, that kind of… So, I like those, and if I like the image, I’ll put it in the painting and just put other things in it, there’s a guy in there who’s definitely not Egyptian – and I’ll just mess it up so it kind of becomes kind of like a little surrealist composition.” On the website ‘McCartneyart.com,’ he gives more details about the symbols he was inspired by for the lithograph. He claims that his “original inspiration” was drawn from looking at a picture “with Egyptian symbols and shapes” from “a reference book on Egypt.” He goes on, “I was interested in the way they drew sunflowers, so two appear on the left and on the right. It was a nice shape, so I took that and then I also love the way they symbolise trees. I like the way they reduce a tree to just some very simple symbols.” I might be seeing it wrong but the lithograph/album-cover also shows the horned features of what looks like might be either an onyx or a ram, both of which are ancient Egyptian symbols, with the latter, of course, having been in some shape or form quite a prominent feature in McCartney’s post-Beatles recording career. His second album following the band’s break-up was ‘RAM,’ which was credited to Paul and his then-wife, Linda.

RAMcov

Aside from the album’s title and its front-cover – which was photographed at McCartney’s farm in Scotland – the only other reference to a ram of any type is the track, ‘Ram On.’ The lyrics, to me, don’t mean anything…

Ram on, give your heart to somebody
Soon, right away, right away
Who’s that coming now, they’re coming
Who’s that coming now, now, baby?

McCartney’s reported to have said the album-title came to him one day as he was driving. “I remember driving… and deciding that ‘Ram’ would be a good title for the album, then the picture came, and you can ‘ram’ a door down, and a ‘ram’ is a male, like a stag. It just seemed like a good word.” In 1977, six years on from RAM’s release, Paul brought out an instrumental, orchestrated version of it, but did so anonymously. Titled ‘Thrillington,’ it was credited to the ram-headed Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington…

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Although McCartney is said to have overseen the recording of the album (indeed, he was the producer) he didn’t play on it, and Percy Thrillington was the fictional character he and his wife Linda created to be its star – no one was to know it was a Paul production. In the run-up to its release, the couple paid to have short Press-reports printed in the ‘classified’ sections of the newspapers about what ‘Thrills’ was up to. “Percy Thrillington has been persuaded to prolong his stay in Paris as he finds the springtime atmosphere most conducive to creativity,” read one. “Percy Thrillington, despite excesses on both social and business time, hopes to lend his support to today’s daffodil ball,” read another, and so it went on. According to the sleeve-notes of the album, Percy was “an enigmatic figure” who was born in Coventry, England in 1939 then “wandered the globe” as a young man, studied music and “gained expertise in conducting and arranging as well as the marketing end of the music business.” But his “long ambition” was to form his own orchestra and to record, which he did “after he met Paul McCartney who helped Thrillington secure a recording-contract.” It wasn’t until many years later, at the tail-end of the 1980s I‘m led to understand, that McCartney began saying anything in public about his role in the creation of the ‘Thrills’ character. He’s reported to have commented that it was “one of our madcap publicity schemes.” The actual orchestrator of ‘Thrillington,’ a man who’d been hired by Paul after previously working with producer Phil Spector as an arranger on the Beatles’ 1970 album ‘Let It Be,’ was Richard Hewson. He’s spoken in not very glowing terms about the credit for the RAM reworking going to Percy Thrillington over McCartney. “I wasn’t totally for it.” He thinks that maybe Paul “felt it was a better way to show his crazy ideas, but if he’d released it as ‘Paul McCartney Orchestral’ or something, it might have sold much better, because it didn’t sell very well… It’s a mystery that I’ve never quite figured out why he did it.” Well, there’s all sorts of mysteries surrounding the former Beatle, that’s for sure. He’s quoted as saying, “you could say that Percy Thrillington was Richard Hewson, or just a fictitious leader of a band that never appeared anywhere. We’ve put out some weird and wonderful things like that occasionally.” Then, interestingly, he reportedly went on to say, “we would put clues into songs about certain things, because if people are going to play mind games with our lyrics then we can play mind games with them.” Is “we” referring to Paul with Linda, or, Paul and his fellow Beatles, or both? Anyway, “Thrillington was one of those” in his catalogue of “mind games.” Many of course have held the Percy Thrillington character up, what with his ram’s head, as yet another occult clue connecting McCartney to ‘Satanic’ sympathies, and the horned deities Moloch and Baphomet are often illustrated as examples of this. But, I’m going to return specifically to Robert Hieronimus’s contention that either one, some or all of The Beatles were consciously or subconsciously attracted to ancient Egyptian motifs relating to rebirth / creation. We’ve already taken a look at the said significance of both the scarab beetle and Khepera in this. But, I’ll suggest… what about the ram, which has featured often enough in McCartney’s work for it, I think, to be mentioned and considered here? For example, maybe – just maybe – part of the “mystery” that Richard Hewson claims he can’t figure out behind the apparent importance to Paul of Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington can be explained by another ram-headed figure, the ancient Egyptian god, Khnum…

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Khnum, like the beetle-headed Khepera, is regarded a god of creation. He’s the creator of human-beings, the bringer of life. He’s been described as the maker of the ‘cosmic egg.’

egg
Paul’s ‘Back to the Egg’ album with his band, Wings. 1979

In the book ‘The Egyptian Hieroglyph Metaphysical Language’ by Egyptologist Moustafa Gadalla, we get a direct connection shared between Khnum, the ‘cosmic egg,’ as well as the beetle, which was, in Robert Hieronimus’s words, “a very, very sacred symbol,” because scarabs roll large balls of dung to lay their eggs in, and that eventually hatch with their young from there, a behaviour that Egyptians saw as an act of spontaneous self-creation hence its association with the life-giving sun-god, Khepera who “was said to be self-created, born of his own substance.” In his book, Moustafa Gadalla notes the significance of this particular species of insect through his translation of Horapollo Nilous:

To signify… birth… or the world, or Man, they (Egyptians) draw a scarab… dung-beetle_mgr-8468ssit takes some cow-dung and makes a round ball of it, very much in the shape of the world. Rolling it with its hind legs from east to west, it faces the east, so as to give it the shape of the world, for the world is borne from the east to the west.

Gadalla adds:

The Universal Bubble is egg-shaped and therefore the universal bubble is also called the Cosmic Egg.

Egyptian texts refer to Khnum as the one who:

“made the cosmic egg.”  

Khnum represents the Cosmic Egg and all creation within it, as affirmed by references to his attributes in the Egyptian text as being: 

– The modeller
– Governor of the House of Life – being the Cosmic Egg
– Maker of heaven and Earth, and the tuat, and water and the mountains
– The maker of things that are
– Creator of things that shall be 

… the Cosmic Egg has same definitions as the ram-headed Khnum. Khnum is therefore almost always depicted next to or within the Cosmic Egg.

Khnum is, from my understanding, strongly associated with ancient Egyptian solar symbolism. According to one account I’ve read, he‘s described as being “soul of the sun-god,” Ra. The beetle-headed deity Khepera is allied with this sun-god too. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, in Robert Hieronimus’s words, “Khepera… represented the rising or morning sun.” He was the “Egyptian god of rebirth.” In his book, ‘The Secret Teaching of All Ages,’ the mystic, scholar, author and 33rd Degree Freemason, Manly P. Hall states, “Ra, the god of the sun… As the creator of the universe he was symbolised by the head of a scarab and was called Khepera, which signified the resurrection of the soul and a new life at the end of the mortal span. The scarab was the emissary of the sun…” Khnum is said to represent the nocturnal manifestation of the sun before it rises again the next day with Khepera. Below, a representation of what I understand to be the ancient Egyptian god, Nun holding up the barque (boat / barge) of Ra – and in the middle, the beetle…

Egyptian-God-Ra-SolarBoatNun

Incidentally, with regards to Ra (pronounced: ‘Rah’), in 1977, the same year as the release of ‘Thrillington,’ its anonymous orchestrator, Richard Hewson, formed a studio project that would go on to enjoy a Top 10 UK hit single in the 1980s with ‘Clouds Across the Moon.’ He called it the RAH Band. According to his official website, he chose this name because he “was lucky enough to have the initials R.A.H. (Richard Anthony Hewson).” He doesn’t go into why that’s “lucky” for him… Nothing to do with ancient Egyptian symbolism, is it? I can only wonder.

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sunnysideup

Also (below) from the ‘Back to the Egg’ album, inner-sleeve artwork from the vinyl edition. I have no idea what it is, or where it was taken – perhaps maybe the roof of a church or cathedral?… But, what’d’ya think… Sun symbolism?…

innersleeve

‘Back to the Egg’ was Wings’ seventh and final studio-album before they split, and was recorded with an all-new line-up of the group. Released on the back-end of the Punk explosion and amidst the rise of New Wave, listening to it, you can hear these influences. There’s a hard-Rocking element to it, perhaps the hardest from all their recorded output as a band since forming in 1971. McCartney is reported as saying in 1979, “it was just a sort of back-to-the-beginning kind of feeling for us while we were making it. We were sort of trying different things, while we were making it, and that seemed to sum it up – Back to the Egg. A back-to-square-one kind of thing, you know?” Back to square one – back to the egg – complete with a band line-up of fresh members – the dawn of a new day, the rising of the sun. Rebirth – although they would part ways and split within a year or two later… to pinch a phrase from another Beatles blogger, Paul, from then on, was no longer a “Beatle with Wings” (beetle with wings).
Manly P. Hall states, “because of its relationship to the sun, the scarab symbolised the divine part of man’s nature. The fact that its beautiful wings were concealed under its glossy shell typified the winged soul of man hidden within its Earthly sheath.”

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Included in the cover-art of the RAM album is a photograph of two beetles copulating…

Rmbeetle.jpg

Given that at the time of RAM’s release in 1971 McCartney was involved in a legal dispute against John, George and Ringo to have their partnership formerly dissolved, was continuing to exercise his hostility towards Allen Klein the notorious New York music-biz boss who’d become business-manager of The Beatles after he was voted in by all the band except Paul (who refused to sign with him), and was bickering in public with Lennon, some have commented that the copulating beetles pic was a deliberately-placed metaphor alluding to the bad vibes and sense of betrayal that McCartney was likely feeling. According to author Christopher Sandford in his book, ‘Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s,’ the “nature-photography library-shot of two beetles copulating” on the RAM album-cover “was interpreted in various ways: fucking Beatles, fuck The Beatles, fucked by The Beatles, Paul insists that its inclusion was purely accidental. ‘It was just a funny shot,’ he protests. ‘A photograph of two beetles shagging. I mean, that had to get on the cover. Then afterwards, you go, ‘oh, but they were beetles.’ To me they were just a couple of ladybirds or something. I swear to God I didn’t think about that. The thing is, whatever you do gets interpreted. And I don’t see half of it coming.’” Maybe Paul ‘didn’t see it coming,’ but – given the legal, personal and financial turbulence that he was getting from his strained relations with his ex-Beatles – one can’t be blamed for interpreting the copulating beetles as his reaction to this. There is, in Sandford’s words, a “fuck you” connation to RAM. Some of the songs on it, lyrically, are perceived to have been written as digs aimed at McCartney’s estranged partner, Lennon (most notably ‘Too Many People,’ ‘Dear Boy,’ and ‘3 Legs’). Also, the album’s title can be construed as an aggressive one if we’re to believe that it conjured up in Paul’s mind the picture of ‘ramming a door down.’ In the official mini-documentary, ‘Ramming,’ when he talks about how the word, ‘ram,’ came to him, he says, “Linda and I were travelling through Scotland… As I’m driving I’m just thinking… and I just hit upon the word, ‘ram.’ It’s a strong, it’s (a) male animal. And then there’s the idea of ramming – you know – pushing forward strongly. Very short, very succinct kind of title.” He was drawing a line in the sand and moving on – solo. Same as Back to the Egg, perhaps RAM should be regarded, symbolically, as a rebirth / a re-creation?… The ram in action. Recalling the previously-mentioned song ‘Ram On’… There’s an interesting idea put forward by the guy behind the website ‘Beatlesbible.com,’ that the track’s title might relate to a pseudonym that McCartney had used previously in the past. He’d adopted it briefly in his pre-fame Silver Beetles days after the band were booked to back a singer by the name of Johnny Gentle on a concert-tour of Scotland in 1960, a major achievement for the group who‘d struggled to get any big breaks. Paul says, “now we were truly professional, we could do something that we had been toying with for a long time, which was to change our names to real show-biz names… George became Carl Harrison after Carl Perkins, John was Long John… ” Paul became, Paul Ramon. “It’s French,” he’s recalled. “Ra-mon, that’s how you pronounce it.” Okay… but how about seeing it as: ‘Paul ram on’? Nine years later, in amidst the dying days of The Beatles, during the squabbles and the fall-outs, McCartney adopted the pseudonym again, this time to be used as a credit on a song he’d guest-played on titled ‘My Dark Hour.’ It was by the American musician/song-writer Steve Miller and released on his 1969 album titled, in case you’d like to know this, ‘Brave New World.’ Is Paul Ramon an A.K.A. for ‘ram on,’ RAM, the ram?… All and the same? Whether intended or not, in whatever variant these words have appeared, they have been a source of expression for him, from his days as a struggling teenage Silver Beetle and then out the other end of the Beatles’ split in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

Thrillmc

Okay, you’re now pretty much travelling on the last leg of this article, and, at this point, I’m going to take you down what I think will be a bit of a humorous route for some reading this, here’s some more about the ram-headed Khnum The Creator, or, more to the point, a fellow ancient Egyptian creation deity who’s closely associated with him, a female, described – depending where you look in your research – as his consort and/or his counterpart. Her name was Heqet (Hekat), goddess, it’s said, of life-giving and rebirth (here we go again) and she too was represented in the form of a human’s body with an animal’s head – that of, a frog – she was worshipped in the form of a frog(!). Anyone old enough to remember this from 1984?…

frogmac

Alright, stop sniggering… Released as a single back in ‘84, ‘We All Stand Together’ by Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus is – yes indeed – not only considered a very embarrassing, deeply low-quality point in his musical catalogue, but a source of much making fun of at his expense (but it did get into the British Top Ten singles chart reaching Number Two – twice!). If you’re too young (or lucky) never to have heard what all the ribbing’s about, you can listen to the song below. It was featured in the animated short ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ starring the vintage comic-strip children’s character Rupert Bear – you’ll see him in the vid, it’s actually a scene from the film which was released in cinemas back in ‘84, a one-off production produced, financed and partly written by McCartney.

Okay… yeah… thing is, I have actually considered the esoteric aspects of this video… Heh, heh.. now you’ve seen it all, eh? An occult analysis of the Frog Chorus. However… think about it… the song probably did get a lot of the listening public all bewildered at the time of its release with them wondering what the hell possessed McCartney to record such a thing. Okay, sure, it was the song from a kid’s film, so people shouldn’t have expected a Rock/Pop masterpiece, but, why frogs? The ‘Rupert Bear’ stories, since they began back in the 1920s, have featured a wide array of regular characters in animal form such as Edward Trunk the elephant, Bill Badger the – well – badger, and Willie the mouse, to name a few, but rarely (if ever) anyone of a froggy or toad-like demeanour. In the ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ film-short however, the story revolves almost entirely around Rupert and lots and lots of frogs – there’s hardly next to no sight of his usual cast of friends – with the exception of less than a minute’s-worth of an appearance of a couple of them in passing. So here’s Rupert, on the big-screen for the first time ever (as far as I’m aware), and his regular co-stars are almost nowhere to be seen. But… there’s lots and lots of frogs. What possessed McCartney indeed? Well, not stupidity I’m sure, and ancient Egyptian symbolism translated through a modern children’s cartoon isn’t far-fetched as a possible explanation for it all, is it?… I mean…

The ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ film-short – which lasts around 12 minutes in length – follows one particular day in the life of Rupert, when he goes off for a walk in the countryside and accidentally discovers a cave leading to a secret world inhabited by talking frogs. He sneaks in and, with the moon having risen, he watches the ‘Frog Song’ spectacle, a musical extravaganza that only takes place once every couple of hundred years, and which is the actual full performance of ‘We All Stand Together’ as seen in the video above. During this rarest of rare events, the frog queen and king rise out of the water…

heqet2
Heqet

Heqet is symbolically connected to the Nile, as is Khnum, who’s also been dubbed “the king of frogs.”
The 19th century poet and writer and researcher of ancient Egypt, Gerald Massey, states in his written work ‘Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World’:

The frog was a lunar type… The name of the frog in Egyptian is Ka, whence the Lunar Lady, who was represented as a Frog, is designated Mistress Heka or Hekat, who was consort of the Solar God Khmun-Ra. An inscription in the ‘British Museum’ tells us that under one of his titles Khmun was called “the King of Frogs.” There is no proof, perhaps, of his being a Frog himself, but his son, Ptah, had a Frog-headed form, and his consort, Hekat, is the Frogess. Khmun-Ra is the nocturnal sun, and Hekat, his consort, is a representative of the Moon that transforms in the lower hemisphere, as the tadpole emerges from the waters in the form of a frog…

Below, a screen-cap from a scene from the ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ film. It’s from the bit after the so-called ‘frog king and queen’ emerge from the water. I’ve also added the pic of Heqet within it for comparison…

froggod-

Heqet has also been linked to the beetle-headed Khepera.

Heket, an Egyptian goddess of water and fertility. by Khristine Anja page
Heket, an Egyptian goddess of water and fertility.. by Khristine Anja Page

In the book ‘The Coffin of Heqata (Cairo JdE 36148): a Case Study of Egyptian Funeray Culture of the Early Middle Kingdom,’ its authors Ah and Harco Willems write, “there is… an analogy between the mysterious birth process of the frog (Heqet) and that of the scarab (Khopri / Khepera). The Egyptians believed that both were born spontaneously from the Earth. As a result of this self-generative aspect, the gods came to be understood as creators and as such as being involved in the process of solar (re-)birth. The coupling of Khopri and Heqet finds an interesting parallel in a regeneration amulet depicted in a Kushite relief of King Arnekhamani. It shows a scarab bracelet with frog’s legs.”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no wizened expert when it comes to ancient symbols. I have a basic understanding and its that which guides me in putting together articles such as this one. So, as a result, there could be a lot I’m missing in my analysis – that’s certainly the case with regards to the ‘Rupert’ film. Any way… moving on now…

You’ve probably seen the pic below before (?). It’s the coat of arms that was granted to famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin in 2004. He was knighted by the UK’s Queen Elizabeth in the late ‘90s and, yep, it’s got beetles on it…

 

georgecrest

Assuming that those insects on the arms are meant to represent his close connection to The Beatles, I really don’t know why he chose only to feature three on there, although I am aware that some supporters of the ‘Paul is Dead’ theory/conspiracy have suggested it’s a clue hinting at McCartney’s ‘death’ in 1966. Also, for whatever reason, one of the beetles on there, is slightly larger than the other two.
According to the website ’CollegeOfArms.gov.UK,’ here’s what the coat of arms represents, but there’s no explanation for the apparent ‘missing beetle/Beatle’ or the larger one:

Arms: Azure on a Fress nebuly Argent between three Stag Beetles Or five Barrulets Sable.

Crest (upon a Helm with a wreath Argent and Azure): A House Martin proper holding under the sinister wing a Recorder in bend sinister mouthpiece downwards Or.

Badge: A zebra statant proper supporting with the dexter foreleg over the shoulder an Abbot’d Crozier Or.

And, so I’m led to understand, the words at the bottom of it, ‘amore solum opus est,’ translate to, ‘all you need is love.’

It was in 2001, if I’m not wrong, that McCartney was granted his coat of arms by, according to BeatlesBible.com, the previously-noted “College of Arms, part of the royal household. McCartney had originally applied for the coat of arms in 1997, the year he was knighted, but the death of his first wife Linda from cancer in 1998 delayed its design and approval.” Pictured below, “the coat depicts a guitar held by a Liver bird, a reference to his musical career and his Liverpool roots…” You might not be able to see it with a casual glance, but if you focus and look, according to the BeatlesBible, “the shield, featuring two black curved emblems, is divided in two” and “the resulting four shapes” resemble “beetles’ backs,” they “symbolise McCartney and his fellow Beatles…” A page on the website of ‘The Heraldry Society’ describes it as: “The four bits of beetle-back made by the flaunches, represent the four Beatles.” The motto at the bottom of the coat of arms, “ECCE COR MEUM (‘Behold My Heart’) refers to the oratorio written while his first wife Linda was dying.”

paul-mccartney-coat-of-arms

So there you have it, of his own volition, McCartney, through the imagery of his coat of arms, has aligned his family name in a most permanent fashion to the beetle, insect of inspiration for ‘The Beatles’ and a highly revered deity of ancient Egypt. Whether its inclusion is a reference in some degree or other to its occult associations to rebirth and creation, who am I to know, I‘m just some bloke blogging, so, there’s not much else I can do but offer up, as I’ve done in this article, some photos, album-art, words and names for your consideration. I do suggest though that what you should take into account if you choose to consider what I’ve posted is, McCartney’s comments during his Q&A with Jarvis Cocker when he spoke about the inspiration behind his Egypt Station lithograph. He said the images on it were derived from reference books he enjoys reading on ancient symbols, including Egyptian iconography because, “I like that kind of thing.” If that’s true, well, I’d lay money that, as he was flicking through the pages, he would have come across the figure of Khepera who was after all, in Robert Hieronimus’s words, “a very, very sacred symbol.” So, whether you believe McCartney has consciously been paying homage in his work to this deity or not, I’m of the view that he is fully aware of him, he has come across him. When that might have occurred, I don’t know, was it during the 1980s when he created his lithograph, or in his ‘ramming’ days of the 1970s, or back in the beginning when he was Paul Ramon of The Silver Beetles? Get an answer to that and you might find it to be a welcome clue if you’re of the opinion of or suspect that, yes, McCartney was indeed aligning himself with ancient gods of creation and rebirth. The same applies to John Lennon. He too I’m sure would’ve had knowledge of deities such as Khepera even if he wasn’t consciously drawing inspiration from them – after all, if nothing else, not only had he visited Egypt and its pyramids, but his wife was a collector of its antiquities for their “magic.”

And it’s on the subject of pyramids, actually, that I’m wrapping this article up now…

When news of McCartney’s new Egypt Station album was beginning to surface on the ‘net, someone I know brought my attention to one of the symbols that Paul was posting on social-media in the run-up to its official release-date announcement. Here it is, an image that was pointed out to me because it reminded them of something that they knew would’ve struck me…

paul-mccartney-come-on-to-me-960x960

I didn’t notice it, I didn’t click until it was spelt out for me, but, that symbol… Well, it don’t half look like the logo for this website’s parent, ConspiroMedia (!) and as devised and designed by myself and artist, Robbie Allen (I gave Robbie some ideas and a theme and he ran with it with gusto)…

Final Conspiro Media

Now… I for one am not going to suggest for one minute that it was an inspiration for McCartney and his design-team behind the Egypt Station album, but… there it is.

 

 

UPDATE (September 4th):

Over two weeks on from posting this article and I’ve stumbled across some brand new data published in the public domain that, certainly, deserves to be added to this analysis…

With Egypt Station just a few days away from release now, the promotion ahead of it has been regular, and on August 14th, a series of symbols were posted to McCartney’s Twitter page, sixteen in total to be exact, one for each track on the new album. I’ve screen-capped the ones that I think might be of particular interest to you… and I’ve saved the best, most telling one for last. Up first though, here’s the one for the song ‘Caesar Rock’…

Caesar Rock

Track 15, ‘Station II’…

Station II

And finally, for the track ‘Confidante’… what do we have here?…It’s a beetle of course along with that pyramid-type (ahem – Conspiro-ish) symbol. But what’s most striking to me is that it’s making reference, specifically, to the scarab, not merely as just an insect, but as the ancients regarded it, the sun-god…

scarab confidane

To anyone looking at this right now who’s not sold on the idea I’ve outlined in this article, that McCartney is, either consciously or not, identifying with and channelling into ancient Egyptian symbolism, well, yeah, okay, the album’s called ‘Egypt Station’ so maybe it should come as no shocker that he’s picked out old sun symbols from Egypt to include in the artwork such as the scarab (in other words, there’s nothing deeply significant to see here), but, this ain’t nothing new, not really. After all, where did the title of this fresh collection of songs come from in the first place but his own lithograph dating back thirty years or so, and of course, the beetle also features on his coat of arms and inspired the name of that band he used to be in. Add this to all the other stuff I’ve highlighted in this article from his life and career and, well, maybe this idea deserves the time for consideration at least.

 

 

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http://www.feelnumb.com/2011/03/16/john-lennon-and-ringo-starr-last-photo-together/#lightbox/0/

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Twitter: @ChrisShawEditor Last known photos of John Lennon with Paul McCartney (1974); George Harrison (1974); & Ringo Starr (1979)

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http://archaeologicalmuseum.jhu.edu/the-collection/object-stories/ancient-egyptian-amulets/scarabs/

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=hfcxDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=Moustafa+Gadalla+scarab+beetle&source=bl&ots=IxkO8NB-Le&sig=wiDzWnDb25zKJEBaXW5CBrKyhro&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiNnM-Pj9fcAhUGCcAKHaqECbkQ6AEwC3oECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=Moustafa%20Gadalla%20scarab%20beetle&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QPQxDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT166&lpg=PT166&dq=khnum+made+the+cosmic+egg&source=bl&ots=Qmpz0VBoPO&sig=EuTgwgFSboZPGI7RvZGvA7M7LLs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj8sLTiwdfcAhWpIMAKHSjJAksQ6AEwAXoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=khnum%20made%20the%20cosmic%20egg&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=N-mTqRTrimgC&pg=PA153&lpg=PA153&dq=khepri+sun&source=bl&ots=pznoFiptn-&sig=MwDb7pZ4c7N3Xgjkv4_QwnkJGGg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjmscmKr9ncAhWCKcAKHUN3A604FBDoATABegQICRAB#v=onepage&q=khepri%20sun&f=false

https://www.britannica.com/topic/ancient-Egyptian-religion/The-Gods#ref559389

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=I1LCAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT32&lpg=PT32&dq=khepera+sun&source=bl&ots=ItPvRCkP_5&sig=fIie0T8EJ41743ie3TJv3U6OmJo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjGpYzirdncAhXQX8AKHSaaCZk4FBDoATAEegQIBhAB#v=onepage&q=khepera%20sun&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tBpQAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT191&lpg=PT191&dq=khepera+solar&source=bl&ots=PakUHEvaqa&sig=a1YUo2pKHN8CsdP2E98X6b2qib8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiUwcbOqtncAhVIJMAKHZ3zA784FBDoATAIegQIBRAB#v=onepage&q=khepera%20solar&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iImjAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT29&lpg=PT29&dq=khepera+solar&source=bl&ots=Iuc3aRC_Yz&sig=ZjixfIGfkh4v6DkYByWJ0FU7Tn8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwihuPLAqdncAhVIK8AKHdwMCd44ChDoATAEegQIBhAB#v=onepage&q=khepera%20solar&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5z3CAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT128&lpg=PT128&dq=ra+khepera&source=bl&ots=gohx3GhL9c&sig=wiIhkoAKdeSGscNpCtp3zFRvCHY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjW1pn1pNncAhWsI8AKHZ-aD1s4MhDoATABegQICRAB#v=onepage&q=ra%20khepera&f=false

http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/ehh/ehh23.htm

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RFkoDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT119&lpg=PT119&dq=khepera+ra&source=bl&ots=Uo-rNsAh7q&sig=IMYnYupNq9pdi7q7pjF0qxX1tmY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi1la66_djcAhXLK8AKHWliDZA4ChDoATAGegQIAxAB#v=onepage&q=khepera%20ra&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FDSab8rWZScC&pg=PA227&lpg=PA227&dq=Initiates+of+the+Egyptian+Mysteries+were+sometimes+called+scarabs;+again,+lions+and+panthers.+The+scarab+was+the+emissary+of+the+sun,+symbolizing+light,+truth,+and+regeneration.&source=bl&ots=l-jhU174cI&sig=ssnXzXktgXioYQPj4k3z-Xqz5mg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjCvout89ncAhWoCMAKHX4DDvkQ6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=Initiates%20of%20the%20Egyptian%20Mysteries%20were%20sometimes%20called%20scarabs%3B%20again%2C%20lions%20and%20panthers.%20The%20scarab%20was%20the%20emissary%20of%20the%20sun%2C%20symbolizing%20light%2C%20truth%2C%20and%20regeneration.&f=false

http://www.the-cage.org/parket.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EkzSBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=khnum+solar&source=bl&ots=1Fj5rYyiMd&sig=T0Ci8Ydeu-F8FGTpoH_Ganfx0Ds&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjwktimtNncAhWIAcAKHZY4CNs4ChDoATAHegQIBRAB#v=onepage&q=khnum%20solar&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QcBYAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=khnum+solar&source=bl&ots=AeIx_5HmMR&sig=zl9bPufI22T0tlak2PrqDV2aye8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjwktimtNncAhWIAcAKHZY4CNs4ChDoATAIegQIABAB#v=onepage&q=khnum%20solar&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=N-mTqRTrimgC&pg=PA154&lpg=PA154&dq=khnum+underworld&source=bl&ots=pznoG9spp2&sig=PGB8BlvyWQeb_3cJNsuIjZk20Z8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibguaN3tncAhWIAsAKHRuvCDo4ChDoATAFegQIBhAB#v=onepage&q=khnum%20underworld&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OcU7YPeE5yoC&pg=PA445&lpg=PA445&dq=khnum+sun+barque&source=bl&ots=1A6kzohHCr&sig=WDVUxsmxtekPHSXucgZjJbzWM3A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiPqJe76NncAhUHCsAKHVcaBRI4ChDoATAFegQIBRAB#v=onepage&q=khnum%20sun%20barque&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AWSGAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA295&lpg=PA295&dq=khnum+sun+god&source=bl&ots=zfCgF0xnV6&sig=k3dZQBpifW0C2A4P445WRwvjYW0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi3mp3h7NncAhULCsAKHb2JA-Q4FBDoATACegQICRAB#v=onepage&q=khnum%20sun%20god&f=false

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_mythology

therahband.com/latest-news.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Anthony_Hewson

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/wings-back-to-the-egg/

http://www.feelnumb.com/2012/04/24/paul-mccartneys-ram-album-included-a-photo-of-two-beetles-mating/

https://www.beatlesbible.com/people/paul-mccartney/songs/3-legs/

https://www.beatlesbible.com/people/paul-mccartney/songs/ram-on/

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q6u8BQAAQBAJ&pg=PT44&lpg=PT44&dq=ram+beetles+fucking&source=bl&ots=_biwOaGcZ2&sig=2-Tk_0tM3ra1ibTzOmgaZEw4050&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiU0KKMy9vcAhUCyoUKHZusBt4Q6AEwBnoECAQQAQ#v=onepage&q=ram%20beetles%20fucking&f=false

YouTube: ‘Paul and Linda McCartney: Ramming – The Making of RAM – Documentary’

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eDKEKy5JJbIC&pg=PA82&lpg=PA82&dq=heqet+rebirth&source=bl&ots=EvH0PHQ-rp&sig=sbXk-uCEgPwXiozPRnzixG5sJBs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimvPDq497cAhWOVsAKHUfOAI04FBDoATAHegQIAhAB#v=onepage&q=heqet%20rebirth&f=false

https://www.beatlesbible.com/1969/05/09/paul-mccartney-plays-drums-steve-miller-my-dark-hour/

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PXFmDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=heqet+rebirth&source=bl&ots=UBmI1RaGlI&sig=gwEL4uvg6CFYFf1lstpjW5kvSFQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiyjfjB497cAhXEDsAKHd_qBdY4ChDoATAJegQIBBAB#v=onepage&q=heqet%20rebirth&f=false

http://www.academia.edu/4568948/Creation_Accounts_of_Genesis_and_Khnum

http://jguaa.journals.ekb.eg/article_2800_403dfdefe3fc7a9f2856535f8e290e70.pdf

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EkzSBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=khnum+frog&source=bl&ots=1Fj5tUFkPc&sig=4xv18LMqIayBH_nWFO6hwC7JK4c&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiy08Kjo97cAhVoD8AKHWu2BnEQ6AEwEnoECAQQAQ#v=onepage&q=khnum%20frog&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3hgGNb6wM2kC&pg=PA140&lpg=PA140&dq=khnum+frog&source=bl&ots=RcPct1hCgf&sig=DdVaAqunD9D6CGhMuh8lbSUYuwI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjc-5Hro97cAhXRTsAKHVXhBwc4HhDoATABegQICBAB#v=onepage&q=khnum%20frog&f=false

http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/glossary.aspx?id=180

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_All_Stand_Together

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_and_the_Frog_Song

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Bear

YouTube: ‘Rupert and the Frog Song (Featuring Paul McCartney’s ‘We All Stand Together’)’

http://archaeologicalmuseum.jhu.edu/the-collection/object-stories/ancient-egyptian-amulets/ram-headed-god/

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ihru1lancxMC&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=khnum+nile&source=bl&ots=ZN3o204eMO&sig=hIHSttvf2E2Z0ITJ0VhuYovTdIg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiQtN-Hjd_cAhVMLMAKHc8EC7o4FBDoATAIegQIAhAB#v=onepage&q=khnum%20nile&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2fMiG2dGPpYC&pg=PA114&lpg=PA114&dq=heqet+rebirth&source=bl&ots=WnqRZGcb3u&sig=_VhwbTshwPyIAu9ooOVdY8kG96Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjyxcr95N7cAhWBN8AKHX3NDOY4KBDoATAFegQIBhAB#v=onepage&q=heqet%20rebirth&f=false

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Martin#Arms

https://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/news-grants/grants/item/66-george-martin

http://invanddis.proboards.com/thread/2630/sir-georges-coat-arms

https://www.beatlesbible.com/2002/12/31/sir-paul-mccartney-receives-coat-of-arms/

https://www.theheraldrysociety.com/articles/sir-paul-mccartney/

 

Back on board the Yellow Submarine, and getting submerged in symbolism.

Tickets are now on sale ahead of the imminent return to the big-screen of The Beatles’ 1968 animated movie, ’Yellow Submarine.’ To mark its 50th anniversary, it’ll be shown in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on 8th July. That’s the month it’s set to hit theatres in the US too, although no exact day has been announced apparently. From what I can gather, details at this point in time regarding its release in America are a bit sketchy. Regardless of when it’s out though, we’re being promised an all-improved visual and sonic experience of the film, should we go see it. According to the Beatles official website, ‘Beatles.com,’ audiences will get “glorious surround-sound with the groundbreaking animation presented in stunningly re-mastered 4k. Looking and sounding better than ever before…”

The Beatles - Yellow Submarine

Now, forgive me if you know this already, but, for the benefit of any that don’t…
In the film, an underwater paradise by the name of ‘Pepperland’ is invaded by the music-hating Blue Meanies who, with their helpers the ever faithful ‘terrible flying Glove’ and the Apple Bonkers, transform it from a colourful land of happiness into a grey, barren, depressing and inhospitable environment. Determined to restore it to its former beauty and to rid it of its captors, a sailor by the name of ‘Old Fred’ escapes from there in a yellow submarine and then travels to Liverpool where he successfully persuades John, Paul, George and Ringo to hop on board, to join him on his return and help him end the invaders‘ rule. The sub then embarks on a surreal journey going through the Sea of Time, the Sea of Science, the Sea of Monsters, the Sea of Nothing, the Foothills of the Headlands, the Sea of Holes and the Sea of Green before arriving in Pepperland where, eventually, the reign of the Blue Meanies and their helpers is brought to an end through a combination of positivity, Love and the musical talents of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Below is the official trailer for the ‘new, improved’ version of the film…

An official ‘FaceBook’ page about the movie’s oncoming release can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/yellowsubmarinethefilm

And, if you’re in the UK or Ireland and would like to find out more about ticket availability and bookings in your area, then click here:

http://www.yellowsubmarine.film/

Given that the movie’s about to be re-released, I thought it might be quite a good idea, and, above all, timely, to post-up a chat I recorded in 2012 with symbologist Robert Richard D. Hieronimus Ph.D. about the occult symbolism that he can see permeating throughout the film. The conversation was published on my ‘YouTube’ channel ’ConspiroTV’ and my blog ‘Conspiro Media’ to coincide with the issuing back then of Yellow Submarine on DVD and Blu-ray. You can hear it further on down the page. First though, here’s the article that came with it – this is a slightly edited, revamped version for 2018:

In 2002, artist, author, researcher and radio-host Robert Richard Hieronimus Ph.D. released the book ‘Inside the Yellow Submarine: The Making of The Beatles Animated Classic.’ Dubbed “an indispensable companion to the movie,” it not only features exclusive interviews with all the principle creators of the film and an intricate account of the details behind the making of it, but also a unique analysis of the esoteric, symbolic aspects within the movie itself. In fact, the occult archetypes that Hieronimus believes are bubbling beneath the Yellow Submarine’s waters are what initially sparked his interest in the movie. Given his life-long devotion and interest in symbols and ancient knowledge it should hardly come as a surprise either. In 1969, he founded the ‘AUM,’ America’s first state-approved school of esoteric studies which granted certificates in the occult sciences, mystic arts and religious metaphysics. In 1981, he received his Ph.D. for the doctoral thesis, ‘An Historic Analysis of the reverse of the American Great Seal and It’s Relationship to the Ideology of Humanistic Psychology.’ Furthermore, his research on the Great Seal of the United States has been used in the speeches, literature and libraries of the White House, the US State Department and the Department of Interior. A member of “a number of secret societies,” robert-hieronimous-credit-stuart-zolotorow3his expert knowledge and understanding of symbols and the occult has led to regular TV appearances in a number of documentaries and/or news-shows on the BBC, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the SyFy Channel and FoxNews (to name a few). He’s also an artist, having established a long career as a muralist and painter. His occult and symbolic murals include a 2,700 square-foot work known as ‘Apocalypse,’ which was completed during 1968-1969 at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Another of his works, the ’Historic Views of Baltimore 1752-1857,’ is now housed in Maryland’s War Memorial Building…

Speaking exclusively to Conspiro Media, Hieronimus talked about the impact the Yellow Submarine movie had on him after first watching it back in 1968. He said, “when I started to see all of the symbols in the film… I thought to myself, ‘these Beatles are brilliant! They are Multi-Levelled, they’re Multi-Consciousness, and it seems to me whoever it was… that thought up this movie was multiple genius!’”

In an article on his website 21stCenturyRadio.com, Hieronimus explores some of the symbols in the film and any possible hidden meanings:

The very title of the film can be seen to represent the act of creation, or creativity. Throughout history Yellow has been used to symbolise the sun, fire, spirit or mental activity. It represents an active, outer-directed, centrifugal force, or masculine energy, expansion. Submarine could be considered a symbol for matter or the body. It is necessarily linked to the symbol of water, which throughout history has been considered representational of lunar or feminine energy. It is a passive, intuitive, centripetal force. The submarine is also something that dwells within, hidden and internal rather than external and obvious. By combining the two words “Yellow” and “Submarine”, one can see a pairing of opposites or a balance between spirit and body, sun and moon, or a uniting of male and female, which is an obvious symbol for the act of creation that produces a unity or oneness.

BEATLES AND BEETLES
There is an ancient Egyptian beetle-headed god, named Khepera, who represented the rising or morning sun. To the Egyptians, the beetle or scarab was an all important symbol of profound meaning.

Egyptian beetle-headed god, named Khepera

Khepera was among the original creation gods in Egyptian mythology, and like the rising sun with which he is identified, he was said to be self-created, born of his own substance. The scarab was held as a symbol of resurrection and fertility as beetles were believed to be the incarnation of Khepera. Beetle amulets were worn to attract the power of this god and secure his protection.Khepera is also shown as the “generator” god with a beetle-head seated in the phantom or “spirit” boat, like the “Sunboat of Ra”, the Egyptian Sun God. Many other deities also had their “spirit” boats. Note the parallel between The Beatles afloat in a “Yellow Submarine” and the creator god Khepera with a beetle-head seated in a “spirit” or Sun boat.

There is no reason to believe that whoever came up with the name “The Beatles” was consciously intending to link their name with the Egyptian god of rebirth, but conscious or not, they chose a name which reflected what they were to accomplish – the act of creation. Later in life, John Lennon is reported to have become interested in world mythologies and especially in Egyptian magic. He may have begun to realise that symbols carry psychic energy even when they have not been consciously selected. Some might say synchronicity (meaningful coincidences) played a role in the naming of the most revered Rock and Roll group in history. Like attracts like.

THE HERO’S JOURNEY: SEPARATION, INITIATION AND RETURN           
The storyline of Yellow Submarine lends itself easily to a comparison of what Joseph Campbell referred to as the “Monomyth” or the Hero’s Journey. There are three stages to the Monomyth that are used to describe the evolution of the hero: separation, initiation and return. During separation, Campbell explains that the individual rejects the social order and retreats inward or regresses. He reassesses his beliefs and moves toward the centre of his being. The second stage of initiation marks a clarification of his difficulties and an encounter with dark and terrifying forces. The candidate is victorious over them and feels fulfilled, harmonised, and whole. In the third stage of return, the hero is reborn into the physical world and applies the knowledge he has gained to the world he lives in. He rejects his self-serving and self-centring tendencies and shares his “treasure”, or new awareness, with the rest of society. The hero has become self-actualised, and he dedicates himself to a task outside of himself, serving society.

THE YELLOW SUBMARINE FOLLOWS THE HERO’S JOURNEY  
Separation: The yellow submarine with Fred aboard leaves Pepperland (from a pyramid-like launch-pad) in search of help.

They travel to Liverpool, which can be translated as “the pool of life”, where they are joined by four more heroes and they embark for Pepperland, completing the separation stage. 

‘Old Fred’

Initiation: The now five heroes must pass through the seas of illusion, symbolising the selfish desire worlds of sensations, passions, instincts and the beast within. In Nowhere Land they encounter the Boob who fixes the engine and joins the team, bringing the number of heroes up to six, suggesting a reference to humanities sixth sense.

It is the balance of energies and its six member crew that allow the yellow submarine to travel safely through the seas of illusion and escape from the vengeance of the Blue Meanies.

‘The Boob’ fixes the Yellow Submarine’s engine as Paul looks on…

Return: The sub returns and brings music and love back to Pepperland, where the heroes transform their enemies into friends.
They share their new awareness with the rest of society by combining music with the words: “All you need is love.” Ageless wisdom teachings and creation mythologies from all around the world describe how life was formed in the universe through a cosmic sea. The yellow submarine can be seen as a vehicle that travels through the ethers of these waters. It achieves its goal by one person going out in the sub into the world of matter, leaving the beleaguered paradise, the utopia of Pepperland, and going into the physical world, obtaining help (The Beatles and The Boob), then returning to share the wisdom gained by the experience that “all you need is love” and music. While not the conscious intention of its Co-Creators or Lennon and McCartney, it could be why this film appeals so strongly to so many of us.

You can read Hieronimus’ article in its entirety here:

http://www.21stcenturyradio.com/YS/symbolmythointerp.html

As the closing paragraph of the above article suggests, Hieronimus isn’t wholly convinced that The Beatles played an active role in implanting occult symbols or hidden meanings into the film. He told ‘Conspiro Media,’ “the truth was, they had nothing to do with it. All they did was create four songs because they were required to – to put in the film. They were never really interested in this film until they got to see some of the final work and then they fell in love with it. And then they wanted to be involved, but it was just too late to put their real stamp on it from that standpoint.”

What about the movie’s producer, Al Brodax or director, George Dunning? Can they offer any explanation for some of the movie’s most intriguing images, such as the Mayan/Aztec-type pyramid with its yellow submarine capstone? Or what about the team of writers and animators? Did they consciously set out to create a film with hidden meanings and esoteric imagery? Well… apparently not. All the key crew members have maintained there was no deliberate attempt to implant hidden allegorical themes within the movie. Yellow Submarine art designer Heinz Edelmann told Robert Hieronimus during interviews for his landmark ‘Submarine‘ book, “I knew that part of my subconscious would go into these things, but I chose to disregard that. I simply did not want to know what’s happening. I mean, otherwise, I couldn’t have done the work. I simply chose not to know what subconscious influences and things went into the work.” Animation director Bob Balser told Hieronimus, “many times it’s very interesting when somebody does something, and they have somebody else look at it, and freely see or analyse it. I know that a lot of little kids look at Yellow Submarine and just love it. It works on so many levels… it was a synergy between all of these creative people coming together. It’s something I never really thought about until this moment…” But what about the movie’s animation director, Jack Stokes? What was he suggesting when he told Hieronimus, “I don’t think there’s any different (meanings). There are one or two little types, I suppose you might say, in there…“ Was he implying that there may indeed have been a few conscious attempts to include hidden sub-texts within the movie? He continued, “it’s kind of an adventure story. I mean, the first part was basically a travelogue, and the second part was an adventure story. If you would like to think about ‘Lord of the Rings‘, or something of this sort, it’s really, basically, the same thing.” Interestingly, it’s been widely reported that The Beatles were so keen to appear in a movie version of Lord of the Rings, that they approached the director of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ Stanley Kubrick, to take on the project, but he’s said to have dismissed their idea as ‘un-filmable’ due to the immensity of the story. So I’m informed, John Lennon was a great fan of the Space Odyssey film, which was released in April 1968, just three months before Yellow Submarine.
Hieronimus – in the main – doesn’t believe that the team behind the making of the Yellow Submarine were consciously attempting to communicate an esoteric message via the use of occult symbology. In a 2008 article for ‘Octopus’s Garden’ magazine he wrote, “is it unfair to interpret symbolic meaning in The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film when most of the co-creators swear there was no time for such deep thinking? Perhaps. And yet, interpret we always seem to do with the Beatles, as if we can’t help it. It is my contention that a force greater than those who co-created Yellow Submarine, greater even than the Beatles, was at work on this project.”

Of course, it’s no big secret that The Beatles were interested in esoteric subject matter. The song ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ from their ‘Revolver’ album was inspired by the Timothy Leary book ‘The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead,’ and George Harrison wrote ‘The Inner Light’ after reading passages from the Chinese classic text ‘Tao Te Ching.’ It’s widely known that John Lennon was a voracious reader. He’s said to have had an interest in a wide variety of subjects including ancient history, religion and the occult. During the 1970s, he visited the pyramids of Egypt.

When it comes to The Beatles and the occult, it’s perhaps not too much of a stretch to suggest with some certainty that most culture commentators and historians within the mainstream have given the impression that the band were first introduced to the esoteric by the well-to-do intellectuals and spiritual gurus they came into contact with from the mid-’60s onwards, once worldwide fame was assured. However, I think there’s strong evidence to indicate that, actually, their fascination with ancient mysteries and the occult goes back much further, back to their days in Liverpool when they were still struggling, penniless young musicians barely out of school and when the word “Beatles” was yet to be uttered. How or where, at such an early age, did they acquire such knowledge and how does this connect (if at all) to the occult symbolism in the Yellow Submarine movie? The details surrounding this intriguing and overlooked episode in the Beatles’ story is discussed in the Conspiro Media chat with Robert Hieronimus as well as some of the occult symbols hiding in plain sight within the film. He also talks about his long and often rocky dealings with The Beatles’ company, ‘Apple,’ and the friendly and fruitful relationships he’s forged over the years with some of The Beatles’ trusted inner circle including the band’s long-time PR man Derek Taylor and famed record producer Sir George Martin (who contributed the introduction to Robert’s celebrated Yellow Submarine book). He relives the night when he successfully assembled together most of the original crew members of the movie for a 30th anniversary reunion TV special at the BBC’s legendary Maida Vale Studios, and he also talks about the “genius” of Yellow Submarine art designer Heinz Edelmann who died in 2009. However, the interview begins with memories of his early days as an album-cover and poster designer with ‘Elektra Records’ when he shared his knowledge of occult symbols with some of the biggest names in Rock music history, including Jimi Hendrix.

** The conversation was recorded on June 26th 2012

Check out Hieronimus’ website, 21st Century Radio, here:

http://21stcenturyradio.com/

 

 

REFERENCE LINKS:

https://www.thebeatles.com/news/yellow-submarine-returns-cinemas-across-uk-ireland-and-us-summer

http://wogew.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/yellow-submarine-heads-for-us-theaters.html

http://ew.com/movies/2018/04/03/yellow-submarine-return-to-theaters-50th-anniversary/

https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/8280617/the-beatles-yellow-submarine-movie-theaters

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Submarine_(film)

http://21stcenturyradio.com/bobbio/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Richard_Hieronimus

http://www.21stcenturyradio.com/yellowsub/index.html#ys

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow_Never_Knows

http://www.beatleswiki.com/wiki/index.php/The_Inner_Light

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Inner_Light_(song)

http://amroali.com/2015/05/when-john-lennon-and-yoko-ono-tried-to-loot-egypts-ancient-treasures/

http://deadline.com/2014/07/peter-jackson-the-hobbit-stanley-kubrick-the-beatles-810912/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Kubrick%27s_unrealized_projects

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/stanley-kubricks-1974-psychedelic-lord-of-the-rings-project-starring-the-beatles.155592/

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=s7MUAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA1012&lpg=PA1012&dq=The+movie+should+be+shown+in+a+temple+24+hours+a+day+john+lennon&source=bl&ots=slGdlOSOIG&sig=6mOBb7W7xsHUwTIVbwDJE-xJ5zw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwje1fWxisraAhVJNMAKHb7PAkMQ6AEwBnoECAAQXw#v=onepage&q=The%20movie%20should%20be%20shown%20in%20a%20temple%2024%20hours%20a%20day%20john%20lennon&f=false

 

Coming soon; book-launch on the occult, esoteric and ‘spiritual’ aspects of The Beatles…

Well, I thought I’d post-up the following information regarding a forthcoming Beatles-related event taking place in Ireland in case you or any one you know might want to go along – after all, it appears that the topic of the day will be very much attached to the band’s occultic/“esoteric” and ‘spiritual’ leanings and influences on culture… So then… lifted directly from the page http://www.huntmuseum.com/event/behind-wall-illusion-religious-occult-esoteric-world-beatles/, here’s what’s scheduled to go down:

Beatles-Invite5

BEHIND THE WALL OF ILLUSION – THE RELIGIOUS, OCCULT AND ESOTERIC WORLD OF THE BEATLES

Sunday 8th April 2018
THE LIMERICK WRITERS’ CENTRE
is pleased to announce the launch of:

Behind the Wall of Illusion – the religious, occult and esoteric world of the Beatles

It will be launched by Prof Eoin Devereux of the University of Limerick

Sunday 8th April 3.00pm at The Hunt Museum, Rutland Street, Limerick

Part of what makes The Beatles so special is that no matter how much you know about the band already – no matter how many times you’ve listened to their songs, no matter how many books about them you’ve read, no matter how much trivia you know, no matter how long you’ve analysed them – there are always new things to learn.

In Sean MacLeod’s new book on the Fab Four, Behind the Wall of Illusion – the religious, occult and esoteric world of The Beatles, he takes us not only behind their music and personalities but examines the phenomenon that was the  Beatles and puts them into perspective as heralds of a new age and conscious development of mankind.  You will be surprised, shocked and excited as you read how the Beatles expressed a modern take on the ancient Greek god Dionysus; the symbolism behind the song ‘Yellow Submarine’; why the Beatles’ long hair cultivated spiritual connotations, and much more.

Sean MacLeod is a singer/songwriter/musician, author, music producer and lecturer from Dublin, now living in Limerick, Ireland.  Sean has been writing and producing music for more than twenty five years. This is Sean’s third book on the music industry. His previous books Leaders of the Pack: Girl Groups of the 1960s and Their Influence on Popular Culture in Britain and America (2015) and Phil Spector: Sound of the Sixties (2017) received critical acclaim.

It is available to buy online at http://www.limerickwriterscentre.com and from all usual outlets.
For further details: Dominic Taylor; Tel: 087 2996409; E: limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com

 

 

Christine Keeler. Scandal from A Small World…

 

Christine Keeler. Scandal from A Small World banner

Christine Keeler, who died a couple of months ago (Dec ‘17) at the age of 75 and who was, in 1963, the showgirl and “prostitute” at the centre of a Cold War-flavoured scandal thanks to her liaisons with a top-ranking British politician and Russian military-man, is not only considered widely to have contributed to the bringing down of the UK Conservative Party Government of the early ‘60s as a result of it, but to have been a harbinger and personified symbol of what came directly after; the ‘swinging Sixties.’ keelerShe’s been described as the first shot in the cultural youth explosion in music, fashion, cinema, photography, and, sexual permissiveness. Back then, when Britain’s media first began to report publicly on claims Keeler had been having sex with the British Secretary of State for War as well as a Soviet naval attaché and alleged KGB spy, the country was still, it’s said, living in a black & white, gloomy, buttoned-up and stuffy post-World War II existence. The decade had yet to enter the technicolour era of mini-skirts, the pill and ‘free love.’ In a 2013 documentary, Mandy Rice-Davies, an old showgirl friend of Christine’s and who became embroiled in the scandal as well, said of those days back in the early Sixties when the swinging was yet to begin, “if I fancied somebody (and) somebody fancied me – we went to bed… I felt I was part of the vanguard movement into the more liberal future.” When she and Keeler were first making waves in the British media back in those black & white days of ‘63, Beatlemania, another part of that “vanguard movement” that Mandy said she belonged to, was in its first flushes… That ‘swing’ in the Sixties that Christine, and The Beatles, are credited with ushering in was about to happen. But is that where any connection to her and the band, or the scandal, ends? I did wonder that as I reflected on her death a couple of months ago of the lung disease COPD, and prior to getting to work on this article. I’m aware that in the centre of this world that swung, Pop-stars, fashion-models, and film-actors not only partied and rubbed shoulders with politicians, royalty, the aristocracy and gangsters, but young showgirls. With that in mind, how likely is it that Christine knew The Beatles personally, and if so, to what degree? This is what I asked myself prior to putting this piece together for the website.
And so, I did a bit of digging and it became apparent fairly soon on in and throughout the remainder of my search too that both Keeler and the band were indeed inhabitants of a small world.
Below, are the results of what I discovered, interspersed with a condensed account of the scandal, how it came to be, and the characters involved as well as some of the other people who were close in contact with them. I think it’s important to include all this, especially for the benefit of anyone reading this who’s unfamiliar with what is said to have happened back then. There is merit in highlighting this scandal given its magnitude and its nature, and which has yet to be resolved (if ever). If we’re to believe what occurred, it touched into almost the very heart of what we’ve been led to understand secretly goes on in the world of the controlling, so-called ‘elites,’ the Establishment. If The Beatles were connected, then I feel it’s worth taking a look at it. This website is, after all, about the ‘hidden’ elements of the band and its members.
As you’ll find, the so-called ‘Profumo affair’ and its protagonists and bit-part players, whether alleged or otherwise, makes for an intriguing if not all-none-too surprising mix. There’s an adulterous politician, one or maybe two spies, a member of the aristocracy, and at least a couple of the British royal family. Also, throw in some freemasonry (possibly), occult rituals (possibly), and references to magick.

The roots of the scandal, depending on what source you read, reach back to 1961 or 1959, when Christine was working as a showgirl at a club in Soho, London with Mandy Rice-Davies. It’s there Keeler was introduced to Stephen Ward an osteopath in the city and whose clients included, we’re told, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and American industrialist Paul Getty.

Stephen Ward
Stephen Ward

The son of a vicar and public-school educated, “Stephen… was erudite and witty with an easy charm: By the standards of the day, he was also dangerous: He loved the company of women and took not a blind bit of notice of the prevailing moral code,” Mandy once recalled. Christine eventually moved in with Ward and they divided their time between living in London or a rented cottage within the grounds of the Cliveden Estate situated in the English county of Buckinghamshire and belonging to William Waldorf Astor II, 3rd Viscount Astor of the Astor dynasty, one of the ‘elite’ bloodline families. He was a friend and a client of Ward, who was living in the waterside property for practically free of charge. “Stephen paid Bill Astor only £1 a year in nominal rent. In return, Bill got the talent of Stephen’s hands, which had first cured him after a hunting accident in 1950,” claims Keeler in her 2012 autobiography, ‘Secrets and Lies.’

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Ward’s cottage at Cliveden

Although she and Stephen lived together, her relationship with him was, she often claimed, platonic. Almost like a marriage without the sex. “I was used to men liking me but there was a subtext which involved me getting my clothes off. The difference with Stephen was that he wanted me to sleep with other people… Powerful people. Stephen Ward was a spymaster who befriended hosts of prominent and powerful people in the British Government, aristocracy… With associates, he lured many of them into compromising situations.” On the weekend of the 8th and 9th July 1961, Ward and Christine attended what’s said to have been a dinner-party at Bill Astor’s main Cliveden residence. It was there she met the British Secretary of State for War, John Profumo. Most accounts of this event you’ll come across declare that it was Stephen that introduced them. But this is not the version you’ll read in the foreword of Secrets and Lies. It claims the “introduction was made by Astor.”

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John Profumo

The married cabinet-minister is said to have been attracted greatly to Keeler on their introduction and eventually the two embarked on a short-term affair, usually meeting at a flat she shared with Ward in London. During the same period, Christine, it’s said, had also been involved in sexual relations with Yevgeny Ivanov, a senior Russian naval attaché at London’s Soviet Embassy. He too attended the Cliveden weekend, and met Profumo there. Anthony Summers, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and author of the book, ‘The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward: Sex, Scandal and Deadly Secrets in the Profumo Affair,’ has been quoted as suggesting that MI5, at that time, “quickly identified Ivanov as a Soviet intelligence-officer using diplomatic cover, a common practise worldwide.” Yevgeny was a good friend of Ward’s and regularly attended parties at the osteopath’s cottage, and, flat in London, which is where the Russian initially became acquainted with Keeler and Rice-Davies… A triangle connecting a showgirl, a British Government minister, and Soviet spy had been created. This was a Cold War-era political and national-security scandal in the making.

Eugene Ivanov
Yevgeny Ivanov

According to the book The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward, some weeks prior to the Cliveden gathering, Ward said to Ivanov during a conversation, “what would happen to a Russian in Moscow who had an Englishman for a friend?” His friend replied, “oh, he’d be visited pretty soon by the Secret Service, just like you will be here.” Stephen dismissed this. “Nonsense,” he said. The Russian retorted, “oh yes you will.” And – the book goes on – indeed he was. Within a week of that prediction, on June 8th – exactly a month before the weekend gathering at Cliveden took place – “Ward received a telephone-call from the (British) War Office asking the osteopath if he would mind meeting ‘our Mr. Woods’ for ‘a little chat.’ ‘Woods’ was Keith Wagstaffe, an MI5 officer working for DI(a) Operations, a section of the counter-intelligence branch. Wagstaffe in turn then called Ward… Before calling, Wagstaffe had read an informant report noting that Ward ‘was… inclined to be against the government… At some time or other Ward had been declared bankrupt, and he is also believed to have been involved in a call-girl racket.’ Ward agreed to meet with Wagstaffe, and the two men lunched together in Marylebone (London). Wagstaffe openly acknowledged his affiliation to MI5. He said his people had ‘noticed’ Ward’s friendship with Ivanov. When Ward asked whether they had any objection, Wagstaffe replied, according to Ward, ‘none at all…’ Wagstaffe wanted to know what sort of questions the Soviet attaché had been asking, Ward recalled. ‘I put his mind at rest at once. Ivanov had never sought any guarded information.’ Wagstaffe told him, ‘if anything should happen that you feel we should know about, I want you to contact me immediately.’ Wagstaffe’s contact-report read: ‘Ward… was completely open about his association with Ivanov… Ward asked whether it was all right for him to continue to see Ivanov. I replied there was no reason why he should not. He then said that, if there was any way in which he could help, he would be very ready to do so. I thanked him for his offer and asked him to get in touch with me should Ivanov at any time in the future make any propositions to him… Despite the fact that some of his political ideas are certainly peculiar and are exploitable by the Russians, I do not think he is of security interest, but he is obviously not a person we can make any use of.’” The book’s author argues that, on the contrary, Ward probably was “of interest” and had been deliberately, and unwittingly, brought together with Ivanov in the first place by British intel services in a meeting not of pure chance but design. The two are said to have been introduced to each other over lunch in January 1961 by Colin Coote not only then-editor of the British broadsheet the ‘Daily Telegraph’ but, it’s claimed, a secret-intelligence officer. Anthony Summers has suggested that Wagstaffe’s previously mentioned contact-report had been “doctored” in the wake of the Profumo scandal in order to distance MI5 from any active involvement with Ward. Also, the agent’s lunch with the osteopath was, effectively, a bluff to fool Ivanov. “Not to have contacted Ward at this point,” the author argues, “would have seemed a suspicious omission… because it seemed the natural development Ivanov had in fact predicted.” Geoffrey Robertson, a British/Australian QC who’s looked into the Profumo scandal, has stated that MI5 had indeed recruited Ward. Furthermore, “there is evidence that the reason MI5 recruited Ward was to help ‘turn’” Ivanov. “A high-level decision was taken by its officials in early June 1961 to ask Ward’s help, at least to keep an eye on Ivanov to defect.” Stephen “later reported to them some details of the relationships between Profumo and Keeler and Ivanov and Keeler. Ward was being useful to the security-services, which were seriously considering a ‘defection’ operation, and MI5 has now admitted, in its ‘authorised’ history published in 2009, that Ward was being used by the (British) Foreign Office as a back channel to pass information through Ivanov to the Soviets.” However, the details surrounding the scandal and the events leading up to it have never been entirely clear. This is due to the fact that many of the official documents connected to it have never been released publicly and other ones have been locked away in an embargo that – at the time of publishing this article – will last for another 46 years (this has resulted in speculation as to the potentially explosive contents in these documents, explosive enough, perhaps, that they might threaten the very stability of Britain’s so-called ‘ruling classes,’ bringing about damaging consequences on the current government and those higher up as well as the outing of prominent, world-known – and still-living – public figures). Additionally, some people’s versions of events differ to others’. For example, if we’re to believe what Keeler has claimed, then it would appear that Ward wasn’t working with MI5 to have Ivanov ‘turned’ as Robertson has stated, but was seeking to attain, in a classically covert fashion, secret Government information from Profumo. In an article on the news-website ‘MailOnline’ from 2013, and which was published with Christine’s participation, it’s said, “Ward asked her to find out ‘through pillow-talk’ with Profumo, when nuclear warheads were going to Germany. Furthermore, she contends that Profumo’s briefcase was stuffed with ‘sensitive’ information which Ward was able to filch while she distracted the War Minister in the bedroom. Ward, she further claims, set her up with Ivanov so that she could be blamed for transmitting the secrets if word got out.” Christine has also been quoted as saying, “I was a spy and I am not proud of it, the truth is that I betrayed my country.” So, what was Ward? A KGB agent – working with, perhaps, Ivanov. Or was he MI5? Or maybe he was both? Furthermore, assuming Keeler’s claims are correct, could it be the secret data he wanted her to steal from Profumo wasn’t either for the British or Soviet governments necessarily, but for his own, to give to the highest bidder? One source quoted in Anthony Summer’s book and who claims to have been close to Ward at that time, has suggested that Stephen’s covert activities were at the behest of his landlord and client Bill Astor, a former Tory MP and then-serving member of the House of Lords. Meanwhile, some researchers believe the osteopath was working to actively discredit Profumo and, in turn, the British Conservative Government, thus paving the way for the eventual General Election victory of the Left-wing Labour Party in 1964. It has been said by some of those who knew Ward that his political views did veer to some degree or another towards socialist/communistic ones. If that is true, it could be possible that Stephen was, as I mentioned earlier, working with Ivanov covertly in some capacity. Concerns surrounding Ward’s relationship with Yevgeny were, we’re told, brought to the attention of John Profumo long before the scandal went public. British civil servant Sir Norman Brook, it’s claimed, met with the politician some time in mid-1961 and warned him that he should be careful of his association with the osteopath as it was feared he was passing on information to the Russian. Following this warning, it’s said the Government minister broke off his affair with Keeler in a letter that, ultimately, would contribute to his downfall just under two years later and that’s been dubbed, the ‘darling letter.’ Part of it reads:

Darling,

In great haste because I can get no reply from your phone – alas something’s blown up tomorrow night… Blast it. Please take care of yourself…

Love J.

So then… Wondering when references to The Beatles are going to get a look-in in this narrative?… Well… Not long now… Hang on…

For a time, Christine Keeler left Ward to become mistress to his friend, the so-called ‘slum landlord’ of London, Peter Rachman who, she claims, bought her “perfumes, nightgowns and jewels.” In ‘Secrets and Lies,’ she states, “his name was a dark shadow over London in the late 1950s and early 1960s. R-A-C-H-M-A-N spelt notoriety. Part of his legacy was to the English language. ‘The Concise Oxford Dictionary’ defines Rachmanism as: ‘Exploitation of slum tenants by unscrupulous landlords. From P. Rachman, London landlord of the early 1960s.’ Peter charged enormous rents for the properties and if there were problems the utilities would be switched off or the drains blocked. He had contacts in the Tory Government including one minister, Ernest Marples, who tipped him off about property.” It’s been claimed his properties were akin to hovels with damp-affected rooms, and – according to an accusation I’ve come across – at least one flat without a toilet. It’s also said if tenants fell into rent arrears they would be persuaded to leave by such means as itching-powder or dead rats left in beds. Eventually, Keeler left Rachman, at which point Rice-Davies became his girlfriend… But was Rachman as unscrupulous and ruthless as he’s been made out to be? He died in November 1962, it’s said, of a heart attack, and just months before the Profumo scandal hit, and which he was connected to by the media thanks to his relations with Christine and Mandy. In 1979, the biography ‘Rachman’ was published, but it wasn’t as damning an indictment as its author, Shirley Green, thought it would be when she first began writing it. In a BBC radio-documentary, she says, “I was in fact quite self consciously trying to think up a nice commercial subject… and I thought, everybody likes to read about a villain – and that’s when I thought of Rachman, and then it just didn’t work out like that because I couldn’t back-up any of the really horrendous stories with any sort of fact. The only tenants I found, had liked him… He let people go without paying the rent – he’d wait until they could pay him, and a man who worked for the estate-agent where Rachman bought many of his houses said Rachman was too soft to be a landlord.” Additionally, the police reportedly investigated Rachman in 1959 for intimidating tenants but couldn’t find any evidence. That’s not to say of course that he was an innocent. Men in positions such as Rachman’s know how to cover their tracks, and that’s what we could be looking at here. However, is it possible that the much-touted reputation of ‘slum landlord’ that has lived on after his death and that the media are said to have pumped-out during the Profumo scandal was a deliberate attempt at discrediting, not only his reputation, but that of Christine’s, Mandy’s, and his friend, Stephen Ward in a bid to cover up/diminish and/or keep public attention deflected away from the involvement in the affair of a Lord, a Government minister, and the British intelligence service? During my research into this article, I came across a blog that claimed Rachman used to have a tape-recorder under his bed at the house he shared with Rice-Davies during the early 1960s. I haven’t been able to corroborate this piece of information, but it did get me to thinking… Why would he do that? The only reason I can come up with is that he was using it to collect ‘pillow-talk’ that could then be used to blackmail, for whatever purpose. Furthermore – I’ll ask – is it possible that Mandy – or indeed Christine – were recorded whilst in bed with Rachman talking about Ward, or Profumo, or Ivanov, or Astor? And, if these claims on the blog are true, what happened to the tape-recorder, and was his death in late 1962 a natural one… or was it helped along in some way to silence him, perhaps in anticipation of the oncoming scandal?

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Mandy Rice-Davies and Keeler

The reason I’ve focused on Rachman here a little is because one of his so-called ‘henchmen’ was the Trinidad-born Michael de Freitas. In ‘Secrets and Lies’ Keeler states, “he was typical of the nastier of Peter’s men; he would carry out orders without question. Michael was a nasty piece of work, a real head-case. He could intimidate you just by being in the same street.” He’s also said to have been a pimp and a property landlord of his own – and, more interestingly for me – he was a key figure within the UK counter-culture of the 1960s working, socialising and liasing closely with the likes of Paul McCartney’s old friend Barry Miles who – during that decade – founded the avant-garde book-shop and art-gallery, ‘Indica’ with Marianne Faithfull’s then-husband John Dunbar as well as Peter Asher brother of English actress Jane Asher who also, of course, was, at the time, the long-term girlfriend of the aforementioned Beatle – who often funded and publicised the Indica (… More about the Ashers later). During the 1960s, de Freitas changed his name to Michael X launching himself as Britain’s equivalent to America’s Malcolm X. But not everyone was convinced. Barry Miles’s former wife, Sue recalls, “Malcolm (X) was probably hot stuff and for real; Michael was a pretty snaky character and he liked frightening people, he specialised in it. Michael wasn’t trying to address himself to the Race issue at all. He was trying to be a big frightening Black man, which he did quite successfully.”

Michael_X
Michael X

In 1970, he took part in a publicity campaign with John Lennon and Yoko Ono at his ‘Black House’ building situated in Holloway, North London. Launched, it’s said, in 1969, he’s quoted as saying at the time that it was hoped it would act as a “cultural centre where things like a cinema and theatre will happen. There we hope to show the people of the host community what we are really like through our theatre…” Now, there is much that can be written about Michael when it comes to his connection to the Beatle and the counter-culture, but I’ll save that for another time as there’s a lot I’ve yet to still uncover and learn, and much of what I do already know isn’t relevant to this article. I’ll focus here instead on the basics and not veer too far off the Profumo affair. In February ‘70, the newly head-shorn John and Yoko appeared in front of TV and newspaper reporters with Michael and handed over to him a bag of their cut hair so that it could be auctioned to raise money for his Black House, which is where, on the building’s roof, the handing over ceremony took place for the media, and as can be seen in the pic below…

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How did this meeting on the roof first come about?… According to the book ‘There’s a Riot Going On’ by Peter Doggett, and written with the co-operation of Yoko and The Beatles’ long-time and trusted PR-man Derek Taylor, “on several occasions in early December 1969, the receptionist at The Beatles’ ‘Apple’ headquarters announced an unexpected visitor for John Lennon…” It was Michael X, who by that time had changed his name yet again, to Michael Abdul Malik. Lennon gave him £10,000 “as advance against the royalties for a book that would be entitled ‘A Black Experience.’ There is no sign that either party ever expected the volume to be completed. According to the Black House treasurer, Terry X (A.K.A. Terry Radix), Lennon laid his hands on a substantial sum in cash, which Terry and Malik collected in a brown paper bag from Yoko at Apple’s office in Savile Row (London). After paying overdue wages to his Black House staff, Malik appears to have pocketed the remainder for his personal use.” In late January ‘69, Lennon informed Malik that he and Yoko would be visiting the Black House in February. “Then he instructed his Press-agent, Derek Taylor, to alert the national papers… Taylor and his Apple assistant, Richard DiLello, duly accompanied the Lennons to the Black House on February 4th 1970. The party climbed up to the Black House roof, where they waited for journalists to arrive. Lennon produced the bag of hair that he and Yoko had collected… and held the contents triumphantly above his head. Malik’s voice faltered as he told the Press that he would have preferred to ‘keep and cherish’ the couple’s hair, but that he intends to auction it. He hoped to raise funds for his organisation which, he claimed, required £120,000 to maintain its community presence.” No money was raised from John and Yoko’s hair. “After auctioneers ‘Sotheby’s’ and ‘Christie’s’ refused to handle the sale of the hair, Malik planned to divide it into thousands of minute portions, each artistically presented in a gift-box. But nobody at the Black House had the patience to carry out such a scheme, and the Lennon’s offering soon lay forgotten on an office shelf. Three days after his abortive PR exercise, the Lennons accompanied Malik on the popular BBC TV programme ‘The Simon Dee Show.’ It was Malik’s only exposure to the mainstream, and it won him few converts. Not that Lennon was abashed. ‘We’re going to do a poster with him, a John and Yoko poster,’ he explained in mid-February. ‘It will have Black and White is beautiful on it, and try to hustle a bit of bread for him. But mainly PR is the thing, showing that Black is beautiful’…” The book later goes on to claim that in late 1970, Malik “nagged” Lennon for “more cash… to stave off the… physical collapse” of the Black House. John and Yoko “discovered that the root of the problem was vandalism, carried out by some of the youths for whom the centre had been intended.” According to a quote I’ve found on the blog ‘DarkestLondon.com,’ and which is attributed to the highly regarded biography of Michael by author John L. Williams (and a book I certainly intend on purchasing and reading soon), “as 1969 turned into 1970, it was becoming obvious that whatever the Black House was, it was not an inspiring oasis of peace and love in the midst of grimy North London. Instead it was an intimidating establishment used as a base for various kinds of illegal activity.” In ‘There’s a Riot Going on,’ Derek Taylor is quoted as saying, “there had been stories of humiliation and torture at the Black House, but I in those times wouldn’t believe anything bad of a ‘radical.’” The book goes on, “similar tales had reached the Metropolitan Police, and Malik was summonsed to appear in court in February 1971, to answer charges of intimidating several former associates.” From what I can gather, this serious brush-in with the authorities relates to the so-called ‘slave collar affair’ which is reported to have involved a Jewish businessman by the name of Marvin Brown who was said to have been enticed to the Black House and made to wear a spiked slave collar around his neck as Malik and his associates threatened him to extort money. For me, the details surrounding this incident and its aftermath are somewhat sketchy, and by that I mean I’ve been unable to locate solid and verifiable enough data as to the exact dates relating to it all although – it’s true – Michael did appear in court to answer the allegations, but much earlier than February ’71. Now, bear with me here because this gruesome episode does connect to Lennon… With regards to a timeline, I’ve come across a page from the stock-photography agency website ‘Alamy’ that reports on the ongoing ‘slave collar’ court-case and quotes the date, June 6th 1970. It also states that the prosecution accused Malik and his gang of making Marvin Brown “wear a slave collar” after which they proceeded to “march him in a room like an animal in an agricultural exhibition… Malik and about 25 to 30 coloured men mocked the businessman…” According to DarkestLondon.com, the incident occurred in April of 1970. It states:

A young Black American actor called Leroy House had been to work at a central London cleaning agency, but after various deductions the pay he received was less than he was expecting. Hearing the complaint, Michael assembled three men from the Black House and went to ‘Clean-A-Flat’ cleaning company in Newburgh Street. They demanded £3 from the owner, 25-year-old Marvin Brown, and when he said he didn’t have any money on him, Michael picked up a bunch of files from his desk and said he could have them back if he came to the Black House with the £3. Brown called the police, and they headed down to the Black House.
Backed up by some 25 Black House regulars, Michael told the police to leave as they didn’t have a warrant. Left alone, Brown decided to pay the £3. Instead, Michael told him to come back in 30 minutes, and when he did, a court was assembled – some 30 Black men and Black and White women – and demanded Brown make amends for the way Black people had been treated throughout history. Brown protested that as a Jew, he was also part of a persecuted minority – but no-one was impressed by this. Instead, they put a spiked slave collar on Brown, and marched him round the room until he burst into tears. When some of the women protested, his ordeal stopped and he was given his files back, but Michael then wanted him to pay a fine for bringing the police with him. Brown handed over all the money he had with him – £13… He was then released. The police were waiting outside and Brown told them about his ordeal.
A week later, 50 policemen burst into the Black House and arrested everyone who’d been there during the original raid on Brown’s office. All facing trial, Michael decided to flee to Trinidad…

Malik fled to Trinidad in early 1971 after, it’s said, Lennon paid his bail money. That’s a claim that’s been attributed to ‘The John Lennon Encyclopaedia,’ a book compiled by journalist Bill Harry, an old friend of John’s from back in Liverpool where they attended art college together and shared the same flat. If it’s true that the by-then former Beatle did indeed pay for his release, then I must ask; did he know Michael was going to escape the trial once he was let go temporarily on his guarantee, because if he did, that – if I’m not mistaken(?) – classifies Lennon as aiding & abetting. According to a newspaper report I’ve come across dated July 1971, a British judge ordered Malik’s immediate arrest after “he failed to show up in court.” Months earlier, in April 1971, Peter Doggett writes, John and Yoko, following a trip they made to the Virgin Islands, spent a couple of days with Michael in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad. He’d set up a new centre – or, what most reports on the internet describe as a ‘commune’ near there on a country-estate he’d leased called ‘Christina Gardens’… It was here, in early 1972, that police unearthed the freshly-buried body of his cousin, Joseph Skerritt and another person during an investigation, reportedly, into a fire that had burned down Malik’s house. Their unearthing led to his arrest, and later that year, he was found guilty of murdering his relative and sentenced to death by hanging. The other corpse was that of Gale Benson, a young, White Englishwoman and the daughter of a former British MP. She’s also said to have been a follower and supporter of the ‘Black Power’ cause, hence her association with Christina Gardens. However, Michael’s associates and henchmen, it’s said, believed her to be an MI6 spy working undercover to destroy their movement. As a result – and on Malik’s orders, allegedly – they killed her by stabbing her repeatedly then pushing her into a shallow grave and burying her alive. When Joseph Skerritt heard about the killing, he attempted to blackmail them, demanding money for not going to the police. In response, we’re told, his cousin Michael led him to a deep pit that had been dug on the property and stabbed him to death before having him buried there. QC Geoffrey Robertson – who was mentioned earlier on in this article for his investigation into the Profumo affair – was a young, newly-qualified lawyer back then and one of his first assignments was representing Malik in the battle to have the death sentence on him overturned, a battle that lasted for about three years or so… And – once again – Lennon was there to help. He and a number of other high-profile figures including, it’s reported, Leonard Cohen, William Burroughs and Dick Gregory became a part of ‘The International Committee to Save Michael X.’ On July 16th 1973, John and Yoko issued a Press-release that stated: “Abdul Malik free spirit and visionary… is scheduled to be hung any day now it is too late to weigh the merits of his innocence or to deny his guilt we know him as a friend and brother. We ask you to do whatever you can to save this man… All life is sacred and there is no room for hatred.” According to Peter Doggett’s book, Lennon also offered to auction off a piano that he’d written several Beatles songs on in a bid to raise money for Malik’s defence… But it was all to no avail… He was hanged in May 1975.
There is speculation that Malik’s execution was used to cover up his involvement, perhaps, in something far bigger than the murder of his cousin, something that connects to the higher echelons of the Establishment. This perhaps has been fuelled by the claim that a Government file on him has been locked up until 2054… Is Lennon featured in it? At this point, I’ll turn the attention to a most fascinating and entertaining British film titled ‘The Bank Job.’ Have you seen it? Released in 2008, it’s a fictional dramatisation of a real-life bank-robbery that occurred in Baker Street in London in September 1971. The robbers are reported to have gotten away with a stash worth millions of pounds, and that they thieved from safety deposit boxes… But, is there actually more to this incident than just that, the official-flavoured version of what we’re told occurred? Written by popular TV-comedy and drama writers Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais, the film connects the heist to the British Secret Service, the illegal porn industry, a member of the House of Lords, as well as Gale Benson, and Malik who, in fact, is one of the central characters in the movie’s narrative. Actor, Jason Statham plays the role of the robbery-gang’s leader. Together, he and his crew tunnel into the bank and raid the boxes for money only to find – to their complete surprise – that a couple of them are filled with sexually explicit and incriminating photographs of Establishment figures. They also find a photo seemingly taken in a street of Michael X standing next to John Lennon (not a ‘real life’ photo mind you, but the movie-makers’ depiction of one, with the roles of John and Michael played by the actors Alan Swoffer and Peter de Jersey respectively). What’s not noted in the film is that pictures of child pornography were found… Well, that’s if we’re to believe what one of the former robbers has anonymously claimed decades after the incident. In an interview in 2008 for the British newspaper/website ‘The Mirror,’ the unnamed source says that he and his fellow gang “realised we had a lot more than we’d bargained for” when they opened up one of the boxes. “What was most disturbing was the child pornography we found. We were disgusted and left it in their open boxes so police could trace the owners.” In 2016, the “close confidante” of a notorious robber who claims to have taken part in the Baker Street heist but who’s never been arrested or charged for it, is reported as saying in The Mirror that the gang “found photographs of a famous (Tory) politician abusing children. The gang were disgusted and left them lying on the floor of the vault for the police to find but nothing was ever done.” Indeed, it’s reported that, days after the robbery, a D-notice was issued, a Government order that forbade the Press from reporting on certain events. A most unusual move for a bank-heist, unless of course some if not all the information in The Bank Job, plus the claims of the alleged former participants in the robbery, are true?… Do you smell a cover-up reaching to the highest heights of the British Establishment? 814p8NIiD-L._SY445_
In the film, the robbers are shocked to discover that they’ve been duped into orchestrating the bank break-in by the Secret Service who’ve implanted an undercover mole within the gang and who’s been tasked with retrieving incriminating photographs of – as it’s described in the film – “a certain royal princess.” The potentially explosive pictures are found stored in a safety deposit box belonging to Malik who’s using the photos as a blackmailing bargaining chip to ensure his immunity from prosecution in Britain for his criminal activities, and also to guarantee his safe return to Trinidad. Unfortunately for him, the authorities get hold of the photographs and, at the end of the film, we see Michael being arrested for Gale Benson’s murder whilst a British Secret Service operative orders the burning down of the house at Christina Gardens.
It’s perhaps no surprise to you that the ‘certain royal princess,’ but whose name isn’t actually revealed in the film, is Queen Elizabeth II’s sister, Margaret. This allegation has been widely speculated on in the mainstream media over the years and, according to an article in The Telegraph from 2008, Ian Clement was personally told about it prior to getting to work on the movie by an individual by the name of George McIndoe who claims to have met at least two of the Baker Street robbers. Meanwhile, the links made in The Bank Job to Malik and the Secret Service are, the writer says, “all conjecture… But what is curious is that I have seen something that says that Michael X’s file is buried until 2054, which is extraordinary. I mean, what the hell he had that was keeping him out of jail, and which was so important that they don’t want it known about… well, it boggles the mind. Even if it was photographs of the royal family, you’d have thought that that wouldn’t have had such a long after-life. But certainly the connection (to Princess Margaret) is a fairly obvious one. And while we’ve become so used to royal scandals since then, in 1971 it would have been a much bigger deal. There was a lot of sensitivity because of the Christine Keeler affair and they didn’t want another scandal dancing around like that. That’s the theory, anyway.”

And so, we find ourselves back with Christine Keeler and the Profumo affair – but the links to the royal family don’t stop here… As well as being a talented and popular osteopath, Stephen Ward was a sketch-artist who’d drawn portraits of a number of well-known figures including, it’s said, the actress Sophia Loren, and – ironically – Harold Macmillan who was Prime Minister at the time of the scandal and of course, who many believe, later relinquished his premiership as a consequence of it. Someone else who posed for a drawing was Princess Margaret, as did her father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

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Stephen Ward’s portraits of Princess Margaret (1961) and Prince Philip

I’ve been led to understand that, back in the 1960s when the mainstream media’s coverage of the Profumo affair was at its height, at least one newspaper published allegations that controversially linked Ward to the Queen’s husband, citing that they were both members of the exclusive ‘Thursday club,’ a small group of men who, it’s said, met regularly and socialised together at a restaurant in Soho, London. The actors David Niven and Peter Ustinov belonged to this set as did musician Larry Adler, and, the Kray twins. Remember those documents I mentioned earlier related to the whole Profumo affair and that have been embargoed for 40-plus years? I wonder if any of the above is noted in them? Daily-Mirror-24061963In 2012, the British newspaper/website ‘The Express’ published allegations it claims to have received from Soviet intel agents that both Princess Margaret and her father were being spied on by the KGB during the 1960s. It’s claimed “intelligence was gathered on Prince Phillip via society osteopath and artist Stephen Ward, who boasted of a 15-year friendship with the Prince…” In her autobiography ‘Secrets and Lies,’ Christine Keeler claims that “Stephen told me how he and… Prince Phillip had all visited nightclubs together in the 1940s. They were quite wild times and it was thought to be a little delicate for Prince Phillip when Elizabeth became Queen, according to Stephen. He had no time for Phillip and would always put him down in conversation for he hated the Establishment.”

Princess Margaret, The Beatles 1964 - Hard Day's Night premiere
Princess Margaret and The Beatles in 1964 at movie premiere of ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’

In October 2013, it’s reported that a Russian TV-documentary was set to be screened that would claim Ward’s friend Yevgeny Ivanov had taken possession of some “scandalous” photographs of Prince Phillip at the Thursday Club during the 1950s as part of the KGB’s bid to discredit the British royal family. I haven’t seen the programme unfortunately as I’ve been unable to find any information about it on the internet, with the exception of an article from the MailOnline which claims the photos “were taken in the 1950s by the Duke’s close friend and fellow club member, photographer Baron Nahum. According to the programme… Soviet spy Yevgeny Ivanov used a special camera to take copies of the photos from an album in the possession of Stephen Ward… who was also associated with the club.” And if you want to mix fact with, we’re told, fiction, and as we did earlier with The Bank Job, Last year, the British biographical TV-drama miniseries on Queen Elizabeth II and titled ‘The Crown,’ featured an episode centring on the Prince’s connection to Stephen Ward. I haven’t seen this either, so – again – I’ll rely on the MailOnline which claims there’s one “fictitious scene” where “the Queen confronts her husband about the nature of his relationship with Stephen Ward… Elizabeth – played by (actress) Claire Foy – is also shown conspiring to keep details of Phillip’s involvement out of the public domain.” As the scandal begins to break in public in 1963, “rumours begin to grow that a ‘mystery man’ photographed with his back to the camera at one of Ward’s parties is Phillip.” An idea as to what the Prince may or may not have participated in at one of Ward’s parties can be described by Christine Keeler who, in ‘Secrets and Lies,’ recalls, “Stephen could always sense people’s sexual tastes – and egg them on, make them go further than they might have otherwise. Stephen knew all the Masonic handshakes and he said that at some of the parties the girls would just wear leather Masonic aprons. Some of the women Stephen was involved with were heavily into sadistic sex and there were ‘black magic’ parties, which were really just an excuse for group sex sessions.” Whether they were “an excuse” or not, the veteran British entertainer Michael Bentine, a former member of groundbreaking comedy-group The Goons, and someone who is said to have known Ward, claims in his 1984 book ‘The Doors of the Mind,’ that he met the osteopath backstage in the dressing-room of a show he was appearing at in the West End of London. “He was obviously connected with some sort of magical or esoteric group,” he recalls, “but to me he didn’t fit into the conventional frame of spiritualist or psychic researcher. I picked up, through his covert references, that he was more inclined towards ritual magical practises than towards straightforward paranormal awareness and its development for healing in which, as a successful physiotherapist, he would be thought likely to specialise. His involvement in black magic was later confirmed by Dom Robert Pettitpierre, the late exorcist of the Church of England.” He goes on, “most people have only the vaguest ideas of what a ‘ritual magical society’ is like, probably because the material they have read in this context has been mainly sensationalised rubbish.”
Someone else who’s said to have met Ward is, Brian Epstein. This is a claim that’s been made directly to Redwel Trabant of the highly recommended blog ‘Beatles Conspiracy’ “by someone who claims to have been there.” So the story goes, the Beatles’ manager first came into contact with the osteopath in the very early 1960s during a visit to London, after having travelled down from Liverpool briefly “trying to hawk” the-then largely-unknown band around to record-companies in the capital. The website’s author states that, “on the face of it this seems to be a very strange suggestion,” and then asks, “why would The Beatles manager be introduced to, or think it worthwhile to meet Stephen Ward the osteopath? Well, Ward was no ordinary osteopath, having treated Ghandi, his list of patients grew to include Winston Churchill, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Prince Phillip, Lord Astor… Ward was a society fixer. If you wanted a girl, or indeed a boy, Ward could not only arrange it but, should it be required, sort out a venue, outfits, accessories and take a commemorative photograph as well. Ward was the archetypal wedding planner for the rich and famous only without the wedding. Indeed, MI5 described Ward as ‘being the provider of popsies for rich people.’” Given that homosexuality in the UK was illegal prior to 1967, gay men such as Epstein had to be discreet when seeking out sexual pleasures for fear of arrest and public scandal. Ward, theoretically, as a well-connected “fixer,” could provide Brian with what he wanted and with little to no risk of detection from unwanted quarters. On the other hand, considering that Stephen appears to have been either, and, or, a KGB/MI5 agent who also attended sex parties and, in Keeler’s words, “lured many of” his associates “into compromising situations,” I suppose it could be argued that Ward may have had the inclination to secretly monitor Epstein on behalf of his intelligence contacts as he’d done, allegedly, to Prince Phillip, John Profumo, and Yevgeny Ivanov.

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Brian Epstein

Similar to the rise of The Beatles, the Profumo affair didn’t break out into mass-public consciousness until 1963, although in both cases, the seeds of that attention were being sown in 1962. In the summer of that year, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison entered ‘EMI’ studios at Abbey Road in London for their maiden recording-session there, and Pete Best, their long-serving drummer, was sacked and replaced with Ringo Starr, and it was also during this time, it’s said, that the first printed reference was made in the media on what would become the Profumo scandal – although it was a vague and cryptic one. It’s reported to have been published in a column in a magazine called ‘Queen,’ and titled, ‘Sentences I’d Like to Hear the End of.’ I’ve been led to understand by a couple of sources on the internet that – and, to quote one of them – Keeler, Ivanov, and the British Secretary of State for War were “beginning to be the subject of gossip.” This indeed appears to have been a small world. According to the book ‘Beautiful Idiots and Brilliant Lunatics: A Sideways look at 20th Century London’ by author and blogger Rob Baker, the article in the magazine was “written… by the associate editor, Robin Douglas-Home, a nephew of Lord Home, the Foreign Secretary at the time.” In October 1963 as the Profumo scandal laid waste to reputations and careers, Lord Home took over as Prime Minister from Harold Macmillan after he resigned, reportedly, due to ill health. I’ll also note briefly at this point that the aforementioned associate editor was a friend of Princess Margaret, and for a brief spell during 1967, her lover. He died 18 months after she ended their affair in a reported “suicide.” In the ‘Beautiful Idiots’ book, Rob Baker states that Robin was a “part of Princess Margaret’s social set. Home, who always kept his ears close to the ground, was exceedingly well-placed to hear any society gossip,” such as what was rumoured to be going on with Keeler, Ivanov, and Profumo. The aforementioned magazine-article in Queen and alluding to the gossip stated: “… called in MI5 because every time the chauffeur-driven ‘Zil’ drew up at her front-door, out of the back-door into a chauffeur-driven ‘Humber’ slipped…” This, writes Barker, “sent shockwaves” through the British Government and London’s (and indeed, Britain’s) newspaper capital, Fleet Street, although to almost everyone else “it was no more than a fragment of a sentence and utterly incomprehensible and innocuous…” The reference in the piece to “a chauffeur-driven Humber” is most likely referring to the ministerial car that Yevgeny Ivanov is said to have been driven around in. According to the book ‘Unholy Joy: A Short History of the Profumo Affair’ by author and TV producer/director John Lawton, two days after first having sex with Keeler, Ivanov visited her flat and took her out for a drive “around London in the chauffeured ministerial Humber.” However, it was a shooting incident outside a flat in London belonging to Ward in December 1962 that resulted in the gossip being catapulted into the mass, mainstream consciousness. Johnny Edgecombe, a young West Indian who earned a living as a driver for jazz musicians and who was Keeler’s girlfriend for a time, turned up with a gun outside Stephen’s and began firing it at the front-door when Christine wouldn’t let him in. Eventually, he was arrested and charged with intent to kill her. The incident attracted the attention of the newspaper and TV media and, it’s said, reporters began to camp outside Keeler’s flat in the hope of an exclusive interview. She claims a friend of hers at the time by the name of Nina Gadd and who “had been feeding the gossip-columns and called herself a freelance journalist,” sensed an opportunity “to make a killing” here and brought the unsuspecting Christine into contact with a reporter from a national newspaper who offered to buy her story on Profumo as well as the ‘Darling letter’ he’d sent her, despite her reservations about going public with his identity in the Press. She was assured that his name couldn’t be printed and he’d be referred to instead as “an anonymous Government minister.” And so, she went ahead and made a deal although, ultimately, nothing was printed because Ward, it’s said, intervened and had it stopped with threats of legal action. The newspaper also returned the ‘Darling’ note to the minister via his solicitor – but kept itself a copy of it too! “Soon,” states John Lawton, “copies of the copy began to pass around Fleet Street.” By March of ‘63, the hushed rumours were an open, public secret and Profumo was forced to make a statement to the House of Commons about his alleged relations with Keeler, Ward, and Ivanov who – it’s interesting to point out – was called back unexpectedly (they say) to Russia in January of that year as the black clouds of scandal were beginning to form in Britain. The minister admitted to having met Yevgeny at Bill Astor’s weekend gathering at Cliveden, and to being a close acquaintance of Ward’s and, to a lesser extent, Christine’s, but denied that he and she were involved in any “impropriety.” Stephen backed-up the politician in the media, perhaps assuming (or hoping) that his old Establishment friends would, in return, defend him from the scandal-hunters… They didn’t. He was arrested and then stood trial in July ’63 on pimping charges including, so states Geoffrey Robertson in his book ‘Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK,’ for “living from the immoral earnings of Christine Keeler, a ‘common prostitute’…” He was also indicted for allegedly doing the same with Rice-Davies. The QC believes “Ward was charged with crimes for which there was no evidence that he or anyone else had committed. Ward was made a scapegoat for the Profumo affair which became so toxic for the Macmillan government. He knew that Profumo had lied to Parliament about his relationship with Keeler… ” Much of what Robertson lays out there has been echoed by Phillip Knightley, co-author of the 1987 book, ‘An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward.’ In a 1989 TV documentary he said, “I have it on very good information, that at a meeting that was held in early 1963, the Home Secretary, Henry Brooke, said at this meeting, ‘somebody must be responsible for all this.’ So, the word got around that the Government wants a scapegoat in this case. The Commissioner of Police was present at this meeting and he thought, ‘well, maybe there is something we can charge Ward with? Maybe Ward is guilty of breach of the Official Secrets Act?’ And he looked at that and there was nothing there and then he looked… he asked around the police in Ward’s own area – Marylebone – and there on file at Marylebone police-station was a lot of anonymous complaints that Ward had been running a call-girl racket. Now that was untrue – untrue in the sense that you imagine a call-girl racket to be providing girls for money. Ward didn’t provide girls for money. Ward introduced willing young ladies to gentlemen who were interested in them.” Keeler shared this view pretty much. She maintained throughout her life that she wasn’t a prostitute, and Mandy insisted that she herself had never been pimped off by Ward for money either. In a 2014 article for the MailOnline, in which she accused the trial of being “vindictively rigged” against him, she also argued that he was charged for “a tawdry crime he did not commit.” She then went on, “I think that the Government was eager to shift attention away from security risks… and on to the shenanigans of the ‘fast set.’ There could be no better way of doing this than by putting Stephen’s louche lifestyle on trial.” Keeler concurred. She once said, “I know the truth and it is far more shocking than what the public has been fed by the British Establishment. Sex was a game – spying was a serious business. Far better that the Establishment be caught with its pants down than involved in stealing secrets – that was the thinking. Far better for the public to be titillated by aristocratic misdemeanours…” So, an orchestrated smoke-screen was set up to shift the public’s focus away from other more infinitely important but hidden aspects of the entire affair, and Stephen was the unwitting sacrificial lamb that was chosen to make this happen. On July 30th, following the judge’s summing up of the trial, Ward went to the flat of a friend’s where he was staying and reportedly attempted to kill himself with a drugs overdose. He was taken to hospital. The next day, as he lay comatose, the trial continued in his absence and reached a verdict of guilty on two counts; Count 1, that he lived on the earnings of Keeler and (Count 2) Mandy Rice-Davies. On August 3rd, Stephen died after never regaining consciousness.

Ward being taken to hospital
Ward being taken to hospital following his overdose

Veteran British TV reporter Tom Mangold was working at the ‘Daily Express’ newspaper at the time, and he was a friend of Ward’s. He claims to have been at the flat shortly before he took the overdose. He’s said, “Ward killed himself having been targeted by a vindictive State seeking a scapegoat for Profumo’s behaviour. Fearing contamination, most of his many ‘friends’ deserted him, and British intelligence agencies who had been happy to use him failed to speak up in court. Ward was a broken man when he took an overdose… ” Geoffrey Robertson states that Ward “had attempted suicide, because (as he said in a note), ‘after Marshall’s (the judge’s) summing up, I’ve given up all hope.’” Mangold claims that during his visit to the flat, Stephen handed him one of the many notes he was writing to friends and associates, and which the reporter didn’t realise till sometime afterwards were suicide letters because, as he’s recalled, he didn’t read his “till later.” One of them, he’s said, read, “delay resuscitation as long as possible.” This is, I must remark, most odd, that is if we’re to take seriously the reported claims of an alleged “MI6 asset” by the name of Lee Tracey who, in recent years, is said to have claimed that the British intel services had Ward murdered with an enforced overdose. If this is true, then Mangold’s version of events regarding the night of Stephen’s overdose is, to put it mildly, way off course. The allegations were published in an article in 2013 in The Telegraph by Neil Tweedie…

… The wrong done to Ward may have been much worse than being made a scapegoat. Accounts of his end contain the standard ingredients: a man deserted by his erstwhile friends, alone in the early hours as disgrace beckons; a desperate succession of suicide notes written and addressed to recipients; a bottle of pills; the only “decent thing” left to do.

Could there, however, have been another ingredient – Stanley Rytter?

Rytter was a ‘deniable,’ a freelance operative for both MI5 and MI6… An intelligence colleague of his has gone on the record to claim that, in a deathbed confession, the Pole admitted that he murdered Ward to ensure his silence.

“It was decided that Ward had to die,” says Lee Tracey… “Stanley Rytter is the one who killed Ward. I know because he told me. Rytter told me he was paid to kill Ward. He convinced Ward that he ought to have a good night’s sleep and take some sleeping pills. He let Ward doze off and then woke him again and told him to take his tablets. Another half an hour later or so, he woke Ward again and told him he’d forgotten to take his sleeping pills. So it went on, until Ward had overdosed. It might sound far-fetched, but it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. Once the victim is drowsy he will agree to almost anything.”

Ward, says Tracey, knew too much. For years, he had cultivated the high and mighty of British society, supplying friends with girls, not for money but for the kudos of moving within such circles. Politicians, aristocrats, even royalty, all attended Ward’s gatherings, some of which involved sadomasochism. 

That the death of Ward was convenient for Britain’s social and political elite is beyond doubt. Reputations remained intact that might otherwise have been destroyed in a flurry of disclosures about the sexual adventures of the great and good. The intelligence services, meanwhile, were rid of a potential embarrassment. Ward had been their man, a source of useful information on the peccadilloes of MPs, peers, diplomats and others. But when the Profumo story exploded, MI5, the domestic security service, and MI6, the foreign intelligence service, both involved with Ward, ran for cover.

… Tom Mangold… knew Ward well. He… dismisses out of hand the notion that he was murdered, pointing to the numerous suicide notes penned by the osteopath.

However, there is a discordant aspect to the night of the supposed self-administered overdose. Some time after Mangold’s departure, Bryan Wharton, a Daily Express photographer, was asked to meet Ward at the osteopath’s flat in Bryanston Mews, not Mallord Street in Chelsea, where he was staying. There, Wharton found Ward engaged in writing a letter to Henry Brooke, the home secretary. It was full of names and Wharton managed to get a shot of it. Ward, he said, was “extremely upset” and insistent that Wharton should be at the Home Office at 7.30am the next day to photograph him delivering the missive. There was another man there. Wharton left Ward some time after midnight and delivered his pictures to the Express. They subsequently disappeared.

Just for the record, Geoffrey Robertson believes that those in the corridors of power were nervous because Ward had been “threatening to expose the truth.” Just one example, in March of 1963, Stephen had reportedly written to opposition Labour Party leader Harold Wilson stating that Profumo had lied.

Meanwhile, in this seemingly small world, we see the name of Peter Rachman popping up again…

Rytter was a former employee of Polish intelligence who had escaped to Britain during the war. He sometimes used journalistic cover to mask his activities, and also worked for Peter Rachman… the most notorious racketeer landlord in post-war London. 

Peter_Rachman
Peter Rachman

It was Rachman, says Tracey, who recommended Rytter to Ward. The latter was living in “abject fear” at the time of his trial and was persuaded that he should have a minder.
“Bumping people off was not Rytter’s forte,” says Tracey, who spoke with the dying Rytter in 1984. “He could be boastful. But why does a man who knows he is dying lie about something like that? What has he got to gain?” 

Tracey was not alone in believing that Rytter had “assisted” Ward’s death. Another associate of Rachman, Serge Paplinski: “Stanley was there with Ward on that last night. He always said that Ward was poisoned.”

It’s perhaps also worth noting at this point the words of Michael Bentine the previously-mentioned Goon Show star who, during WWII was, as is widely reported, a member of RAF intelligence and MI9 which was a department of the War Office between 1939 and 1945 and that was tasked with facilitating escapees of British prisoners of war and enabling the return of allies who succeeded in evading capture in enemy-occupied territory.

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Michael Bentine

In Anthony Summer’s The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward, the entertainer is quoted as saying, “a Special Branch friend of mine told me Ward was ‘assisted’ in his dying. I think he was murdered.” Bentine, according to the book’s author, “declined to be drawn further” on this allegation.

During Stephen Ward’s trial in the summer of ‘63, Mandy Rice-Davies appeared in the court-room as a witness. When one of the barristers put it to her that Bill Astor had denied ever having been involved with her, she famously replied, “well, he would, wouldn’t he?” He died in 1966 and his son, William, succeeded him as Viscount. In the 1970s he married Annabel Lucy Veronica Jones. She had a daughter from a previous marriage and whose name was Samantha, the future wife of now former British Prime Minister David Cameron. In May 1965, The Beatles filmed on location at Cliveden House for their second big-screen movie, ‘Help!’ As Paul McCartney has since recalled, the scenes in it where we see them at Buckingham Palace were, actually, shot at the Astor residence in, it’s said, the French dining-room.

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From the movie, all four Beatles leaning out of a window of what’s supposed to be Buckingham Place but is actually the Astor house
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A scene from the ‘Buckingham Palace’ segment of the film which was in actual fact shot within the walls of the Astor residence

“We shot a sequence where we’d used the house, pretending it was Buckingham Palace,” recalled McCartney in 2008. “I’m not sure the Queen would have allowed that. I’d been out there with the Beatles and we met Lord Astor and he was on his last legs. I remember him offering us all oxygen. He was saying: ‘Do you want a bit?’ I think we did have a quick whiff.” It wasn’t long before they did get inside the Palace of course. In October of ‘65 in fact, when they went there to receive their MBEs.

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John, Paul and George during the filming of Help! standing by the Cliveden residence pool where Keeler was introduced to John Profumo almost four years earlier

Aside from Cliveden House, it’s said the woodlands area of the Astor estate was used for Help! too. The scene in the film where The Beatles appear in a spoof cinema-ad (or, ‘intermission’ as they called them back then) was, I’m informed, shot on a spot known as ‘Bluebell Wood.’ Blink and you’ll miss it though:

As it turns out, Cliveden House had been used for film-location shoots years prior to Help! In 1952, its exterior was shot for the movie ‘The Card’ starring Alec Guinness, and, since 1965, the residence and/or its grounds has been seen in the TV drama series ‘Mr. Selfridge,’ the 1966 British comedy flick ‘Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head,’ 2004’s ‘Thunderbirds,’ and the 2015 ‘Disney’ outing ‘Cinderella’ – to name some. McCartney returned there too. Sometime during 1969/’70, he and his then new wife, Linda, would venture off out of the hustle and bustle of London and the pressures of Beatledom to find solace in quieter surroundings, such as Cliveden. In 1942, the main residence was donated to the cultural preservation organisation the ‘National Trust’ by the Astors although the family continued to live there until 1966 after which, the gardens were opened to the public. “We would go on visits to places like Cliveden, where Linda photographed me with Heather, Linda’s daughter, who became our daughter,” McCartney recalled in 2008.

Somewhere else where McCartney chose to unwind during the 1960s was the ‘Ad Lib,’ a nightclub in London said to have been one of the city’s celebrity hang-outs during the early to middle part of that decade. Christine Keeler was also a regular there. It became a favourite haunt of hers in the years directly after the Profumo scandal when, in Britain, her face was just as famous as any Pop musician of the day. “Ever since the Profumo affair, I have never known if a man was capable of loving me for not being Christine Keeler,” she states in her autobiography ‘Secrets and Lies.’ “It’s like being an heiress except I had inherited the flotsam of folly rather than a fortune. It meant I never had to buy a drink at the Ad Lib club, which became the centre of my social life. It was loud and popular and everybody seemed to be someone or was trying to be.” It was there, in 1965, that Keeler says she got up close and very personal with Ringo Starr. “I kept going to the Ad Lib and one night ended up dancing with Ringo,” she claims in Secrets and Lies. “The Fab Four were the biggest thing in the world and we were great curiosities on the dance-floor. Which is why we ended up in bed together the next morning…” Christine’s boyfriend at the time, a guy by the name of Freddy who, incidentally, was a nephew by marriage to Charlie, older brother of the dreaded Kray twins, walked in on Ringo and Keeler as they were in bed together that morning. “If it had been anyone else but a Beatle I think he might have bashed Ringo about,” she’s claimed. “As it was, he was so taken aback when he saw it was Ringo in bed with me that he did nothing, just stood there gawping. Ringo made a break for it – and broke my banister as he went.”

In the years just prior to her death, Keeler had been, we’re told, living in hard times. The huge amounts of money earned from newspaper stories back in the day reportedly all gone, she was said to be residing in sheltered accommodation in South London.

Keeler pictured in 2013
Keeler, pictured in 2013

Mandy Rice-Davies fared far better. After Ward’s trial, she accepted an offer to sing in German cabaret and took up with a half-Italian, half-French baron by the name of Pierre Cevello. Later, she moved on to Israel and married businessman Rafael Shaul. Together they opened ‘Mandy’s Discotheque,’ which is said to have become the centre of nightlife in one of the country’s largest cities, Tel Aviv. The two eventually divorced. During the 1980s, she appeared in a number of movies including 1986’s ‘Absolute Beginners,’ a film that also starred David Bowie. In 1994 she played a guest-role in an episode of the hit UK TV sitcom ‘Absolutely Fabulous.’ She got wed again in the 1980s, this time to Ken Foreman, a wealthy businessman and she lived a life of luxury in the English stockbroker belt. Mandy died in 2014 from cancer. She was 70 years old.

Rice Foreman
Mandy with her husband Ken Foreman

As for John Profumo… Just weeks after he’d appeared in front of the House of Commons and denied any “impropriety” with Keeler, he resigned as a cabinet minister, admitting that he’d in fact lied to Parliament about his relationship with her.

Given that many of the official documents on the Profumo scandal have never been released to the public and remain locked away, it’s no surprise that there’s questions, speculation and theorising as to what actually went on. Was Stephen Ward a spy, and if so, for whom? The KGB? MI5? Both? Or neither? Was he – as many believe – a scapegoat – a patsy – for those high up in the echelons of power and control? And if he was, what was it that the Establishment was (and is) hiding from us by throwing him to the lions? I can’t help thinking that, perhaps, we’ll never know, even when some of the secret official documents will have their embargoes lifted in decades from now (and that many of us reading this in 2018 won’t be around to see then). One thing’s for sure, the prominent characters within the Profumo scandal were largely made up of tenants of a small world that’s closed off to ordinary, everyday folk. A world inhabited by figures in politics, the aristocracy, and royalty. Sharing it with them were Keeler, Ward, as well as The Beatles and the likes of ‘slum landlord’ Peter Rachman, and Lennon’s friend, Michael X who, let’s not forget, has reportedly had his official file embargoed until 2054. You do have to wonder why. As Ian Clement, the co-director of the previously mentioned movie ‘The Bank Job’ has said, “what the hell was so important that ‘they’ don’t want it known about?” The robbery occurred at ‘Lloyd’s Bank’ in London’s Baker Street, approximately just one mile from Cavendish Square, the location of Ward’s osteopathy practise and about 0.6 miles from his flat in Wimpole Mews, and where the gun incident occurred with Keeler and Johnny Edgecombe. Small world indeed. Just a three minute walk from this apartment is Wimpole Street where the Asher family lived back then. Paul McCartney moved in there in 1963 sharing the abode with his then-girlfriend Jane, her brother Peter, and the parents, Margaret and Richard who was an eminent doctor and who for a time was a consultant physician at the mental observation ward at the Central Middlesex Hospital in London. He also authored a paper in the 1950s titled – interestingly – ‘Respectable Hypnosis.’ In it, he reveals that “I have used hypnosis as an ancillary method of treatment in general medicine… I have devoted one out-patient session a week to it. From this experience I am learning a little about its use and limitations.” It’s been alleged that Richard was involved in secret MK ULTRA-type experiments with widely reported ‘Tavistock Clinic’ psychiatrist Emanuel Miller, and the notorious ‘brainwasher’ Dr. William Sargant. This is according to an anonymous claimant on the previously mentioned website, ‘Beatles Conspiracy.’

image
Paul and Jane Asher circa 1965

With regards to Asher and Ward, there’s no documentation or evidence to suggest in any shape or form that they knew each other or ever met, but it’s possible that they did given that they were both medical men living and working within close proximity of each other. As you may be aware, Richard, same as Stephen, also died prematurely as a result of “suicide.” I won’t go into it too much here, but the circumstances surrounding his death are, to me, a bit odd. Reported missing by his family in 1969, his dead body was discovered a week later in, of all places, the basement of their Wimpole St. home.
According to a quote on the popular website ‘Aangirfan,’ Ward “was involved in the Monarch mind-control programme, designed by the security services to create mind-controlled politicians, assassins and sex slaves. The prostitute Christine Keeler often said that ‘Ward controlled her.’” Stephen-Ward-with-Christi-001I have absolutely no idea how accurate (or true) this allegation relating to Ward’s connections to MK ULTRA and his ‘handling’ of Keeler are, but it’s perhaps worth noting that she did carry some possible tell-tale signs of Monarch mind-control. For a start, she’d been sexually abused as a child, by her stepfather. Or so she claimed. In Secrets and Lies, she states, “when I was 12, mum had to go to hospital for a couple of weeks. My dad tried to kiss me.” He had some ointment that “he managed to rub… onto my breast, as I had a cold. He asked me to run away with him… as he didn’t love my mother. I never told my mum, but I was terrified and slept with a small knife under the pillow from then on. And I never got over that fear of him… ” Ward, if we’re to believe what’s been alleged, groomed Keeler, ruled her life. When he first met her, she was still a teenager, a working showgirl from a tough, cash-strapped background. He took her on and introduced her to powerful, influential and famous figures for sex.

To illustrate further just how close in vicinity some of the characters in this article lived and/or operated within, here’s a ‘Google Map’ (accompanied by my crude handiwork) of the small walking distance from Baker Street where the Lloyd’s bank job took place (top left-hand side), to (further to the right) Wimpole Street the home of the Ashers, and next to it, Wimpole Mews where Ward had a flat. Cavendish Square, the location of Stephen’s osteopathy practise, is at the bottom of the map…

small world map - drawn over

Meanwhile, the Ashers’ Wimpole St. home is just 2.7 miles from the Tavistock Clinic. ‘Tavistock House’ is 1.2 miles away, and the ‘London School of Economics’ is 1.7 miles from their house.

Wimpole Street, Tavistock House, LSE map - drawn on version

Just how entwined was this small world that linked Christine Keeler, Stephen Ward and Bill Astor and members of the British royal family to Michael X, and, The Beatles? Was it loose and random, a community made up of pure chance, or was there some design to it? Many reading this will no doubt suspect there was a purpose behind it and that it wasn’t accidental.

Mandy Rice-Davies 1963
Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963

The popular blogger Henry Makow, in a 2008 article titled ‘Profumo Affair Exposed Masonic Control,’ opines, “Stephen Ward was an Illuminati agent whose job was to undermine the Conservative Government to make way for Harold Wilson’s Labour Party. Most likely the ‘Profumo Affair’ was planned and staged.” Well, if that’s true, consider it like this… Assume that the open sexual permissiveness and all the other liberal ideals and lifestyles that came after the Profumo affair, first with the ‘swinging Sixties’ and then the so-called ‘Hippie’ movement – and underpinned all the way by The Beatles whose fame rocketed in the immediate wake of the scandal – was always intended to be just one of the aims? Is it coincidence that the band’s rise from virtual unknowns in 1962 to national household names across Great Britain during 1963 coincided almost in unison with the simmering, then bubbling, then explosion into mass consciousness of the Profumo affair? It dissipated and fizzled out fairly soon enough whilst John, Paul, George and Ringo rose ever higher, taking with them in their role as representatives of the new Sixties generation, the values and motifs that it stood for, such as the ‘swinging’ sexual permissiveness that Keeler and Rice-Davies have been attributed with introducing to the mainstream culture of that decade. Now, working on the assumption that this was design and not accident, changes would have to have been made in order for it to have all been able to happen in the first place of course, and by that I mean events and situations would have to have been orchestrated and/or manipulated. People would have to have been moved around, such as the elderly figures of Harold Macmillan and Alec Douglas-Home who were classed as the old guard of a Britain past.

Macmillan - Home
Harold Macmillan and Alec Douglas-Home pictured in 1963

It would’ve been essential, perhaps, to have Macmillan and Douglas-Home conspired out of action so that they could then be replaced by the younger, media-savvy Harold Wilson, who schmoozed publicly with The Beatles and was Prime Minister when they received their MBEs… This was, maybe, an earlier, black & white and unrefined version of what future Labour PM Tony Blair would adopt in the 1990s for his ‘Cool Britannia’ phase when he courted the likes of Noel Gallagher of Oasis at No. 10 Downing Street.

The Beatles and Harold Wilson in 1964
The Beatles with Harold Wilson, 1964

In order to herald in to 1960s mainstream culture the, as Mandy-Rice Davies described it, “vanguard” movement of free love, one would need a Wilson to sell it, not an old fogey like Macmillan who during that time was being lampooned by Britain’s new and burgeoning political satirists including comedian Peter Cook and the magazine he financed, ‘Private Eye.’ Was this part of the plan too? As its then-editor said in a 1989 TV documentary, “the satire boom was really very much based as a kind of personal attack on Macmillan who’d been Prime Minister for a long time and had developed into this sort of almost caricature figure… And he was a kind of a focus for mimics and all this kind of thing.” As an interesting side-note, Jane Asher is a share-holder of Private Eye. Additionally, Emanuel Miller, the Tavistock psychiatrist who’s alleged to have participated in MK ULTRA-type experiments with the actress’s dad, was the father of Jonathan Miller. He was a co-member of the 1960s satirical comedy-group ‘Beyond the Fringe’ alongside Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and, of course, Peter Cook. Furthermore, just like his father before him, he’s a fully-qualified doctor, and who trained under, would you believe it, Richard Asher. This is indeed a small world, and with eyebrow-raising connections to mind-control and social-engineering perhaps.

1197475f217a271a419caaaf88ef91cfa7e4c96b
‘Beyond the Fringe’; From left to right: Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and Jonathan Miller

Was it possible that hidden forces conspired to bring down the Conservative government in order to replace it with a Prime Minister equipped with the ability to assist in the ushering in of a counter-culture of mind-bending/damaging drugs, occult literature, philosophies and art, and the breakdown of old family values? I don’t know. Having casually perused the history of Wilson’s tenure as PM in the 1960s, I‘m not convinced this was the case… but I wouldn’t rule it out either. If there was such a plot, then it’s highly likely The Beatles would have been factored into it, with or without their knowledge. As for their associations with Cliveden House, Bill Astor, Keeler and her acquaintance Michael X (via Peter Rachman)?… Whether all or some of these connections were merely down to pure chance – the random result of living in a small world, or, on the other hand, hints of some sort of cabal hidden away from plain view and intent on bringing about mass social change? … Well, because I’m unable to locate an answer, I’ll leave that question hanging… Make of it all what you will.

 

 

REFERENCE LINKS:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/05/christine-keeler-obituary

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/05/christine-keeler-former-model-at-heart-of-profumo-affair-dies

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30547066

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/christine-keeler-key-figure-in-britains-most-notorious-sex-scandal-dies-at-75/2017/12/05/ded4712a-d9fc-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.355b59e3e225

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2102814/Christine-Keeler-I-enjoyed-sex.html

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15704711.Obituary___Christine_Keeler__showgirl_and_central_figure_in_the_Profumo_affair/

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/profumo-resigns-in-sex-scandal

https://www.scotsman.com/news/profumo-affair-the-scandal-that-changed-a-nation-1-2920869

https://www.newstatesman.com/node/193882

Documentary: ‘Sex, Lies & A Very British Scapegoat’

http://www.stephenwardthemusical.com/sites/default/files/files/pdfs/Stephen%20Ward%20Education%20Notes.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Ward#Society_osteopath

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2554825/The-Establishment-drove-Stephen-Ward-suicide-says-MANDY-RICE-DAVIES-They-insist-didnt-plot-say-wouldnt-they.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Astor,_3rd_Viscount_Astor

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profumo_affair#cite_ref-30

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yH_wAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT11&lpg=PT11&dq=christine+keeler+murrays+1959&source=bl&ots=BoTCF7So8A&sig=iAEna__gKC7Z9qkepx9-Aqvjjnw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjmhOnS-4rYAhUI0xQKHSL8Agc4ChDoAQgmMAA#v=onepage&q=christine%20keeler%20murrays%201959&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=abwBAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT92&lpg=PT92&dq=ward+received+a+telephone+call+from+the+war+office&source=bl&ots=Qo1K6gqeVB&sig=r29Ga2zzSMXRI2GQREgm5iM-J-s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiG-cfnpZDYAhUGBcAKHRnKAawQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=ward%20received%20a%20telephone%20call%20from%20the%20war%20office&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mA-uAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT96&lpg=PT96&dq=stephen+ward+reported+to+mi5&source=bl&ots=rd4aeXuPxM&sig=OiVw-HHOMTChXyeUllyck6RwC_c&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiog6Tuk5DYAhWIKcAKHWLGD0IQ6AEIYTAJ#v=onepage&q=stephen%20ward%20reported%20to%20mi5&f=false

Documentary: ‘The Scandal Story’ (1989)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/is-this-why-the-profumo-file-is-still-secret-9039205.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_Ug4AAAAQBAJ&pg=PT61&lpg=PT61&dq=rachman+dark+shadow+over+london+in&source=bl&ots=Dls-eO9pVn&sig=fpQHnB9jTxH7lmYE2o821e733yE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_-YHEqZrYAhUELMAKHTyIBpIQ6AEIKjAB#v=onepage&q=rachman%20dark%20shadow%20over%20london%20in&f=false

https://archive.org/stream/JohnProfumo-ChristineKeeler/bowtie2c_djvu.txt

https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/sex-lies-and-the-profumo-affair-230261.html

YouTube: ‘RACHMAN HOUSES – SOUND’

http://www.nhh50.com/?people=tom-vague-on-race-riots-and-ruthless-rent-collection

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Rachman

BBC Radio 4 documentary: ‘The Real Rachman – Lord of the Slums’

https://julesbirch.com/2012/10/24/revealing-the-real-rachman/

http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/2008/03/marylebone-mandy-rice-davies-peter-rachman-and-magic-alex/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_X

http://www.nhh50.com/?people=tom-vague-on-black-power-in-notting-hill

https://darkestlondon.com/2013/06/17/michael-x-and-the-black-house-of-holloway-road/

https://www.redpepper.org.uk/A-tale-of-three-Michaels/

‘Days in the Life. Voices from the English Underground. 1961 – 1971.’ Jonathon Green (1988)

‘There’s a Riot Going On.’ Peter Doggett – pgs 328, 331, 332, 333, 392, 393, 524

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uCXgbGszH0wC&pg=PA89&lpg=PA89&dq=the+international+committee+to+save+michael+x&source=bl&ots=V5AOVGF-JN&sig=afLKIllHpfHBUGRFTtbL2aUZKrA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjG0PLH-J7YAhVdF8AKHdmMCoEQ6AEINzAE#v=onepage&q=the%20international%20committee%20to%20save%20michael%20x&f=false

‘The John Lennon Letters’ – Edited by Hunter Davies. pg 248

‘New York Times’ news-report, May 17th 1975: ‘Militant Is Hanged by Trinidad After Long Fight for Clemency.’

https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/08/28/royalpaedo-dot2dot/

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/3671166/Revisiting-the-riddle-of-Baker-Street.html

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bank_Job

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200465/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

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http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hatton-garden-heist-leader-found-7196229

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=abwBAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT90&lpg=PT90&dq=stephen+ward+artist+sketch&source=bl&ots=Qo1L3eo5ZC&sig=Q-ANw-HmDfhb_LAWWCljdE0BjbM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwim1s2tgKTYAhUoI8AKHTcCDJc4FBDoAQgtMAE#v=onepage&q=stephen%20ward%20artist%20sketch&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KPR0pB9UCS4C&pg=PA186&lpg=PA186&dq=stephen+ward+artist+sketch+royal+family&source=bl&ots=sX0N0hTvJw&sig=IQh0yzo-0b1T8k6VldBObbB8JLc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC7uL0gKTYAhUFCcAKHakUCl04ChDoAQhSMAg#v=onepage&q=stephen%20ward%20artist%20sketch%20royal%20family&f=false

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http://www.dougiethompson.com/christine-keeler-vanity-fair.htm

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https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mA-uAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT98&lpg=PT98&dq=stephen+ward+arrested&source=bl&ots=rd4beSzQpO&sig=nZ6MXtJ_zaExyZBAt640zh_teyA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj68prM-avYAhWKI8AKHQxCBjs4ChDoAQheMA4#v=onepage&q=stephen%20ward%20arrested&f=false

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/5/newsid_2660000/2660375.stm

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/stephen-ward-s-trial-was-disgraceful-there-can-be-no-justification-for-it-9937083.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_Ug4AAAAQBAJ&pg=PT12&lpg=PT12&dq=I+know+the+truth+and+it+is+far+more+shocking+than+what+the+public+has+been+fed+by+the+British+Establishment.+Sex+was+a+game+%E2%80%93+spying+was+a+serious+business.&source=bl&ots=Dls0bLfo2v&sig=GCUmByd5-_VHIsaqZTzZlUbmMWU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1r8_o_63YAhVJJMAKHZJACggQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=I%20know%20the%20truth%20and%20it%20is%20far%20more%20shocking%20than%20what%20the%20public%20has%20been%20fed%20by%20the%20British%20Establishment.%20Sex%20was%20a%20game%20%E2%80%93%20spying%20was%20a%20serious%20business.&f=false

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/stephen-ward-wasnt-murdered-i-was-there-8990737.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10488686/The-Profumo-Affair-It-was-decided-that-Stephen-Ward-had-to-die.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bentine

http://www.thegoonshow.net/cast/michael_bentine.asp

http://www.uk-ufo.org/condign/histfoo2.htm

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pyv7UIBojboC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=michael+bentine+intelligence+officer&source=bl&ots=cm4MGOEUHV&sig=AdgwDVZr9QbMNI3z6oKw459MWCk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiL0eu024PZAhWJKcAKHRw2Cmk4ChDoAQgrMAE#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fZ-LL5h-rW4C&pg=PT135&lpg=PT135&dq=michael+bentine+intelligence+officer&source=bl&ots=4jpC43BPgm&sig=M3a973uGrsXnKLsZhVohma_6SVg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiL0eu024PZAhWJKcAKHRw2Cmk4ChDoAQhAMAY#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://www.specialforcesroh.com/gallery.php?do=view_image&id=7655&gal=gallery

http://www.self.gutenberg.org/articles/eng/MI9

https://wimpolemuse.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/chapter-17-just-like-that.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Astor,_4th_Viscount_Astor

http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1965.0510.beatles.html

https://www.clivedenhouse.co.uk/the-house/timeline/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliveden_House#Film_and_television

http://www.reelstreets.com/films/card-the/

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden/features/photography-and-filming-at-cliveden

http://www.reelstreets.com/films/carry-on-dont-lose-your-head/

http://www.reelstreets.com/films/thunderbirds/

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/solobeatlesphotosforum/10-may-1965-uk-cliveden-house-abbey-rd-studios-t6849.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2N53-a3FafQC&pg=PA210&lpg=PA210&dq=the+beatles+cliveden+intermission+bluebell&source=bl&ots=m7JgMHilpp&sig=FLElMTHNbw-MCbR56_W1AxmbX1A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjh4oCRzuDYAhWCYVAKHZrDD8oQ6AEIRzAJ#v=onepage&q=the%20beatles%20cliveden%20intermission%20bluebell&f=false

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden/features/cliveden-and-the-national-trust

http://www.wingspan.ru/bookseng/myfn/bmiles03.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2N53-a3FafQC&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=paul+mccartney+ad+lib+club&source=bl&ots=m7JgMIhpxj&sig=LAs6dVe4FzMDGlu3JrSgEX2WpjI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRr5628eDYAhVJDcAKHar1CO4Q6AEIZTAM#v=onepage&q=paul%20mccartney%20ad%20lib%20club&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_Ug4AAAAQBAJ&pg=PT215&lpg=PT215&dq=christine+keeler+ringo+starr&source=bl&ots=Dls-9L9m_t&sig=2ENo5l631jSH8CcTnHTrbvFLOLU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi7kOub8orYAhXIWRoKHeb6BJ44ChDoAQg9MAQ#v=onepage&q=christine%20keeler%20ringo%20starr&f=false

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/what-happened-christina-keeler-after-11646956

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4728919/christine-keeler-dead-profumo-affair-chair-photo/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2401524/Former-model-Christine-Keeler-71-unrecognisable-50-years-Profumo-affair.html

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/scottish-daily-mail/20141220/281767037573460

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4605794,00.html

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0723578/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2883076/Maggie-Mandy-improbable-friendship-Thought-Profumo-temptress-Mandy-Rice-Davies-no-secrets-left-s-startling-yet.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11303169/Mandy-Rice-Davies-obituary.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Asher

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1983233/?page=2

https://www.rsm.ac.uk/media/1394213/015_-_richard_asher__1912-1969__a_celebration_3rd_nov_2014_-_24_jan_2015.pdf

http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4434570/Asher-Respectable_hypnosis.pdf

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OP_OBAAAQBAJ&pg=PT70&lpg=PT70&dq=emanuel+miller+tavistock&source=bl&ots=0OY8g0hGSD&sig=gqu91EOUriVCV6mxfUhHYPSe_h8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjqp86Bi4bZAhUJBsAKHXeMA24Q6AEINDAC#v=onepage&q=emanuel%20miller%20tavistock&f=false

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00754177808254988?journalCode=rjcp20

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=spOxzrifZjcC&pg=PT1311&lpg=PT1311&dq=emanuel+miller+tavistock&source=bl&ots=C8HtvU06HH&sig=cj6vzuZHyqzIcHK7ao-Fy4Kl3yw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiir8nbjIbZAhWJAcAKHd2UADU4ChDoAQhrMBA#v=onepage&q=emanuel%20miller%20tavistock&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ssc8DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT63&lpg=PT63&dq=Clinic+under+Dr.+Emanuel+Miller&source=bl&ots=wCUwQ5xRd1&sig=WDDRZ5j_1s82NAkurkzoAoko7eg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjtgrnIkYbZAhUResAKHZvsDJcQ6AEIRDAG#v=onepage&q=Clinic%20under%20Dr.%20Emanuel%20Miller&f=false

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RLyaCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA231&lpg=PA231&dq=emanuel+miller+child+guidance+tavistock&source=bl&ots=9zlmlKDTEw&sig=z6vtkV3AsHXy-vIZXZIE1Y4d1zI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0mfKdkobZAhXKI8AKHUtpBToQ6AEINjAD#v=onepage&q=emanuel%20miller%20child%20guidance%20tavistock&f=false

‘The Glasgow Herald’ newspaper, May 3rd 1969: ‘Dr. Richard Asher Found Dead.’

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yH_wAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT34&lpg=PT34&dq=christine+keeler+when+i+was+12+mum+had+to+go+to+hospital+for+a+couple+of+weeks&source=bl&ots=BoTGHaXp0y&sig=ra_6ORcwYSOyhvtyuPLv4d86vjI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWmsuonIbZAhXGC8AKHcOPDK4Q6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=christine%20keeler%20when%20i%20was%2012%20mum%20had%20to%20go%20to%20hospital%20for%20a%20couple%20of%20weeks&f=false

 

http://www.rense.com/general82/dm.htm

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/ian-hislop-my-20-years-at-the-eye-421312.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/satire-didnt-die-97122.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Miller

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/dr-jonathan-miller-clever-is-as-clever-does-46979.html

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/03/jane-asher-my-family-values-gerald-scarfe-peter-pan

 

 

 

 

Eye Never Knew…

eye1

It’s true… as the title of this short article states, eye (ahem!) didn’t know until a few weeks ago (circa November 2017) that John Lennon had a so-called ‘psychedelic eye’ built into his swimming pool at ‘Kenwood,’ the mansion in the English county of Surrey where he lived during much of the Beatles years with his then-wife Cynthia and his son, Julian. The first time it came to my attention was during a random surf on the internet whilst looking for something completely unrelated to the band or its members, then there it was… a ‘YouTube’ video of an unedited news-report courtesy of ‘Thames TV,’ a now defunct regional provider of television for London and immediate surrounding areas. In it we see the-then present owner of the house – “a Swedish businessman” (unnamed) – standing in the waterless pool hosing down the mosaic of the eye. We’re then shown clips of him peeling off part of the “28,800 separate tiles” in readiness for them to be reassembled “and mounted in an intricate aluminium frame” for exhibition in Liverpool in August of ‘85. Just for the record, this account of events differs somewhat to the well-respected blog/site ‘Kenwood’ which claims that the mural was removed for another reason. So it goes, “back in 1985, the decision was taken to remove the eye due to its rapidly deteriorating condition; apparently if they had left it in the pool, within ten years the whole thing would have been wrecked beyond redemption. So out it came…”

Lennon swimming pool psychedeilc eye1
Lennon’s ‘psychedelic eye’ prior to its removal in 1985

Whatever the reason for its removal, the mural did reportedly go on display at a location in Liverpool known as the ‘Festival Gardens’ in 1985.

You can watch the TV news-report here:

I think what fascinates me the most about this is that the psychedelic eye is – from what I can gather – the most blatant form of occult symbolism I’ve seen connected directly to Lennon… it’s verified, and it’s by no means subtly suggestive… it’s ‘in your face obvious.’ What’s not so obvious are its origins. According to a number of websites and other sources I’ve come across, the mural was designed by John himself, although no verifiable link, reference or direction towards where this claim actually originates is provided. This is most frustratingly taken to its limit on ‘Wikipedia’ which declares that the McCartney biography ‘Many Years from Now’ authored by old Beatles friend and former ‘60s counter-culturalist Barry Miles features a line in it, on page 397, about “the mosaic” being “based on the Eye of Knowledge (the Third Eye)” and “which was part of the teachings of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,” the Indian guru who for a time during 1967 and ‘68 drew John, Paul, George and Ringo towards his teachings in transcendental meditation and eastern mysticism. Well, I turned to my own paperback edition of the aforementioned book to cross-check this ‘Third Eye’ claim only to find that it wasn’t in there. There’s no references to mosaics or eyes to be seen – psychedelic or otherwise – not on page 397 or anywhere close to it. I dunno… either I’m the owner of an early version of Many Years from Now which, perhaps, has since been reprinted with new, additional passages, or Wikipedia is publishing false, non-existent information.
What’s also not clear is in what year exactly the mosaic was constructed although I’d guess it was sometime between 1966 and ‘67 when The Beatles were, to some degree or other, connected to the-then burgeoning 1960s counter-culture, a culture which was aligned to occult influences whether in the form of eastern mysticism, or Crowley, Timothy Leary, the I-Ching or whatever.
There is a bit of a clue to the timeline perhaps in the photo below of John sitting by the eye. I’d guess (judging by Lennon’s hairstyle and clothing) this dates from some point in ’67…

Lennon by the pool

It should also be pointed out that the origins of the moniker, ‘psychedelic eye’ are unverified. I myself don’t know for sure whether it was John’s idea to call the mosaic that or the mainstream media’s in its retrospectives.

In an unusual turn of events, the mosaic reportedly went missing after being exhibited at the Festival Gardens in the 1980s. In 2011 a number of news websites stated that the mosaic had been gone for almost a couple of decades but was back in the hands of its two owners, Bernie Cochrane a – depending which source you read – TV and/or music producer and/or promoter, and the previously mentioned unnamed Swedish businessman – and who remains so in all the reports I’ve come across of this event. What’s said to have happened is, the eye never turned up for display at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital following the closure of the Festival Gardens in 1987, but no one seemed to notice. Cochrane is quoted as saying, “when we were asked if we wanted to lend it to the hospital, I was touring in the Soviet Union and my associate was busy doing his own thing. We arranged for it to be transferred and just assumed it got there. We were both very busy, it wasn’t something we thought much about. I met up with him again in 2005 and said we should do something with the eye. When the hospital said it had never got there, it was a bit nervy…” Nervy – and, perhaps, odd if not unusual. Apparently, a Polish-man by the name of Wladek Reszcynski – and better known as ‘Butch’ – had taken the mosaic from the derelict site of the Festival Gardens which he’d been asked to clear. Thinking the mural to have been abandoned, he stored it in a field he owned and in 2002, he exhibited it at Liverpool’s Albert Dock in the ‘Beatles City’ museum. A legal dispute as to its ownership is said to have taken place between the Pole and Cochrane and his unnamed Swedish associate, who both claimed Wladek had stolen it from them, although the police declined to pursue this as they deemed it to be a civil not criminal matter. In July of 2011, the two parties settled in court for a fee of £27,000 and the returning of the mosaic to its original owners.
If you’re a regular and interested follower of matters pertaining to the world of The Beatles, and especially of the esoteric/occult variety, you’ll perhaps regard the nature of the unusual, odd and mysterious events described above as nothing but what you’d come to expect from this band and its history. It just goes with the territory.

It’s said that Lennon also designed a mosaic for George Harrison and his swimming pool, an enlarged reproduction of one of John’s crazy, satirical yet quite often twisted cartoons from his 1964 poetry-book ‘In His Own Write’ (but I don’t know which one). For whatever reason, a ‘psychedelic’ or ‘Third Eye’ was the other choice. Whether it was influenced by the counter-cultural winds that were blowing, or from times earlier back in the Beatles’ years (or a bit of both), I don’t know. Mystery pervades this image. Perhaps Lennon was inspired to draw the ‘Eye of Knowledge’ by George who, according to widespread, conventional wisdom, was, after all, the guy during that point in time who was most heavily into esoteric philosophies and teachings that lean towards this symbology. On the other hand, who knows? Maybe John designed the eye for purely aesthetic reasons? Maybe ‘the esoteric’ doesn’t come into it? In whatever case, I think it deserves its slot in ‘The Occult Beatles.’

Any one with any additional information that might shed some light on this image and its origins, please do feel free to share. It’d be most appreciated.

 

REFERENCE LINKS:

http://kenwoodlennon.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/psychedelic%20eye

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/missing-john-lennon-psychedelic-eye-3370065

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/music/lennons-magic-eye-unveiled-3558460

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/mcs/lfs/docs/110803LCHF30Aug.pdf

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/9213895.John_Lennon_mosaic_recovered_after_44_years/

http://www.mosaicmatters.co.uk/news/news_Lennon.htm

http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/leisure/daysout/14737150.Owner_of_John_Lennon___s_historic_Psychedelic_Eye_is_putting_art_on_display/

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=16h6ju_-5dYC&pg=PT91&lpg=PT91&dq=john+lennon+eye+swimming+pool&source=bl&ots=iENlt3ybjE&sig=WdbhyyZtrv1eQaV9V4kh3VUkWZA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5_OXSpe3XAhUhB8AKHRQiCh04ChDoAQgmMAA#v=onepage&q=john%20lennon%20eye%20swimming%20pool&f=false