Up until a couple of weeks or so before this article was published, I had no plan or intention to post anything about The Beatles and Charles Manson and, of course, their connection to each other even though 2019 marks the 50 years since the so-called ‘Manson murders.’ However, now, in September ’19, five decades almost to the month that the killings took place, here I am with a piece about that very subject. It wouldn’t have been the case had I continued thinking that I didn’t actually have anything to add to the already large and comprehensive choice of articles, podcasts, books and interviews available and that are of an alternative/conspiratorial nature. But, over a fortnight ago, I came across some contributions made by various posters on a FaceBook group that I’m a member of. These offerings appear mainly in the form of some screencaps of a couple of movies that were released months before the murders and that could be construed (and have) to be Beatles-related occult clues to the killings before they happened. These postings reminded me of some more I’d read and subsequently saved from a year or two earlier from other sections of the same page and also pertaining to the same idea. What I’ve done here is collected those scattered bits of information and shared them in an easier-to-read compilation. They were posted by contributors of the ‘Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon Discussion Group,’ a FaceBook collective dedicated to the late David McGowan, author of the seminal book, ‘Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream.’ At the end of this article you’ll find links to those pages should you so like to read them at their source and/or contribute.
I’ll point out, before getting into the aforementioned ‘clues,’ that I’m not a wholehearted subscriber to the mainstream, and let’s call it, ‘official’ version of events that led to the killings between August 8th and 9th 1969 of Hollywood actress, Sharon Tate and others by Manson’s friends and associates, the so-called ‘cult’ dubbed ‘the family.’ That is of course the narrative in which the murders of these random victims was caused by clues and subliminal messages that Charles believed he was given on songs from The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 double-LP nicknamed the ‘White Album,’ and in particular the track from it, ‘Helter Skelter,’ which he heard and saw to be an impending apocalyptic Race war between Blacks and Whites, and that the killings was the beginning of. There’s enough information out in the open that, I feel, throws doubt over this particular telling of events, including the claim that Manson was effectively told through the music on 1968’s ‘The Beatles’ to instigate the murders ahead of a racial apocalypse in which the Blacks would win but then ultimately relinquish themselves to the higher White intellect of which Charles wanted to be the ruling head of. On the contrary, there is evidence to argue that he and some if not all of his crew who went out and took part in the carnage over those two days, knew almost all of their victims well, these were not a random collection of strangers to them and this was actually a calculated drug-dealing connected hit, and covered up by the so-called ‘powers that be’ because it links into powerful, influential figures within organised crime, and well-known names in the music-business and Hollywood – Sharon Tate being only one, amongst others who have not been disclosed widely. It’s since come to light by film-actor, Michael Caine no less, that he recalls meeting Charles at a party held by The Mamas and The Papas star ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot and that was also attended by the actress and Jay Sebring, another of the murder victims. This isn’t the only time she and the man who would later be jailed for life for her killing are said to have partied in the same place. Indeed, Manson, who was a budding singer/song-writer and guitarist, was a regular at celebrity-filled get-togethers such as these, it seems, partly because he was considered in a number of quarters to be a talented artist with the potential to become a famous music-star. This led to a number of sessions at recording-studios, as well as almost joining a band backing Neil Young – who recommended him for a record-contract at ‘Reprise,’ a label founded by Frank Sinatra (more about him as we go along), and befriending Beach Boy drummer, Dennis Wilson and having one of his songs re-worked and covered on the band’s 1969 album, ‘20/20.’ All this, it would appear, somewhat contradicts another facet in the mainstream/official version of events, that being that he was deemed a less than satisfactory music-artist who, as a result, specifically chose as a destination for murder the house at Cielo Drive, the well-to-do Los Angeles address where Tate ended up dead, because it was a symbolic gesture against the music-industry elites who’d shunned him, especially, in particular, the son of Doris Day, Terry Melcher, who’d produced songs for The Byrds, and Pat Boone to name a few and who was living in the property last before Sharon moved in with her husband, film-director, Roman Polanski. It’s been argued that, actually, Charles hadn’t been spurned by the producer, both men had no gripes with each other at all. Also, the mainstream-pumped claim that the killings were caused by the cult-leader grip of a hypnotic Manson over this ‘family’ of his has been opposed – and noted briefly a paragraph or two below here.
Tate was murdered at her Cielo Drive rented home on the first night of the killings. Roman Polanski wasn’t in the house when the massacre happened, he was in Europe working on a movie. Other victims there included his friend, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger an heiress, and the previously-mentioned Jay Sebring, a hairdresser to the celebrities. On the second day, the murders took place at another LA location, this time at the residence of supermarket executive, Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. Both of them were killed and directly after this, the words ‘Death To Pigs,’ and ‘Rise’ were written on the walls of their home in blood as well as ‘Healter Skelter’ on the refrigerator door.
A year ago, I spoke with Neil Sanders, a well-known researcher and also a passionate aficionado on the subject of Manson. In 2017, he collated all his years-long knowledge-to-date into his book, ‘Now is the Only Thing That’s Real: A Re-examination of the Manson Murders, Motives and Mythos.’ He told me that the ‘Helter Skelter’ claims put forward in the murder-trial by the prosecution, led by Vincent Bugliosi, was “nonsensical.” For a start, why did the killers stop killing after that two-day spree? Why didn’t they carry on if the point behind it was to spark an apocalyptic Race war? Also, “why didn’t they leave some more obvious sort of evidence that would suggest that it was Black people that were doing these crimes? There is a suggestion that they left water-melon rinds… this was possibly to try and connect them with Black people, and various elements of the graffiti that was left could of have been connected to the ‘Black Panthers,’” such as, perhaps, the word, ‘pigs,’ which was widely used by the Black Panther political organisation during the late 1960s as a derogatory term to describe the police. “But,” Sanders says of Manson’s murderers on those two nights, “you know what they could have done! They could’ve phoned up and said, ‘I saw two Black guys running down the street… they were covered in blood.’ Or anything! They could’ve left a manifesto. It basically didn’t make sense. Also, basically, the Helter Skelter theory didn’t actually come into fruition until the trial.” It was, he told me, the creation of a witness for the prosecution, Paul Watkins, an associate of Manson’s crew but not directly involved in or arrested for the murders. “Basically he made himself a witness for the prosecution to get attention. That’s really what he wanted, he wanted to be interviewed on the television, he wanted to write a book about his experiences, he wanted to get some of the clout or kudos or whatever it is that he got from being a public figure. He essentially came to Vincent Bugliosi with this whole concept of Helter Skelter. The only problem was, basically, the idea of the Race war… and even some of the sort of more supposed cult aspects of Manson believing that he was the reincarnation of Jesus, believing that he was elementally connected to the Devil and suchlike that – that wasn’t Charles Manson. That was a cult-leader that existed years and years before in Box Canyon (LA), the exact same story was basically appropriated to this particular person. Krishna Venta. Krishna Venta was essentially a cult-leader… Essentially everything that was appropriated about ‘the family,’ and the concept of this Race war, was taken from the life and times of Krishna Venta. Now this is a book that was available, that was in the possession of Paul Watkins when he went to Vincent Bugliosi.” The words, ‘helter skelter,’ to Manson who’d spent most of his adult life in and out of jail on a variety of petty crimes and with his most recent release from prison back then taking place in 1967, did actually have some personal resonance, but not to do with a Race war or as a prompt to go out and commit murder. Neil says, “do you know what ‘Helter Skelter’ actually was in the concept of Manson lore? Essentially it was a word that meant confusion. It meant – you know – the world’s like in helter skelter, it’s all spiralling round and out of control, and Manson attributed this to the fact that basically he’d been in and out of prison… He’d had ten years out of society and you know how fast things move on when you’re sort of away from this, so by the time he came out of prison in 1967, as far as he could see, the world was going at a million miles per hour and so this frantic song ‘Helter Skelter’ and this phrase sort of seemed to sum up that confusion.” It was also the name of a gambling den that Manson had assembled at the ‘Spahn Ranch’ in Los Angeles, a former movie-set for westerns owned by a blind guy by the name of George Spahn who allowed Charles and his friends to move into and live at. “What ‘helter skelter’ really was… he set up an illegal gambling operation – a nightclub in one of the outhouses and he’d written on the door ‘helter skelter is coming down fast’ and this was how people knew this was where the gambling place was. We know this to be true because police raided the Spahn ranch and charged George Spahn with basically allowing illegal gambling operations to go on on his property. So we know that to be true. But basically this evidence was taken and mashed together with the testimony of Paul Watkins – which was the story of Krishna Venta, appropriated to Charles Manson – and that’s where the Helter Skelter theory came from.” Neil argues that the murders were the culmination of an illegal drug deal gone wrong and involving an interconnecting web of people including some of the murder victims. For example, Jay Sebring, who was Sharon Tate’s ex-boyfriend, had been operating “a side-line” next to his celebrity hair-dressing. “It would appear that basically on the side of this – ever since his youth, really – he’d always dabbled in… selling hard drugs to his clients – and this was confirmed by people like Steve McQueen’s wife – Neile McQueen… One of the major clients Jay Sebring had was Frank Sinatra… And it was through the sort of introduction – through Sinatra – that Jay was able to get in touch with people like Peter Lawford and Dean Martin and various other people like that – and Sammy Davis Jr. – all of whom were rather fond of the ole drugs… Yeah, Jay Sebring was dealing cocaine.” However, if “Manson was in town,” Sanders claims, Dean Martin, according to one of his “very good friends,” would get his cocaine from him instead because “Manson’s was better.” Manson “was blatantly moving drugs… ” Also, Rudi Altobelli, the man who owned the Cielo Drive home that Sharon and Roman rented and who’s said to have been a manager of Hollywood actors such as Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, was mixed up in drug deals too according to Neil. “He was dealing marijuana and he claimed to be connected to the Mafia and also there was a gentleman that was sort of like connected to the property… who became again a witness for the prosecution that was moving huge amounts of Iranian hash in and out of the properties, so, again, it’s all very, very, very dodgy… Every person you look at was involved in drugs…” Such as Polanski’s chum, Wojciech Frykowski, who was the boyfriend of fellow murder-victim, Abigail Folger. He was dealing, says Neil, and it was a tainted, bad batch of drugs he bought for selling and known as ‘fairy dust’ (MDA) that ultimately led, Sanders claims, to the murdering-spree after he sold some of this to a member of Manson’s collective and one of the convicted killers, Tex Watson. According to “various interviews with Manson,” in the years since, “they knew Wojciech and Jay. Tex… interacted with Jay on a professional level. And the suggestion has also been made that – in the interim period after Terry Melcher moved – it was arranged by Rudi Altobelli for Tex Watson to move into the guest-house at the back and look after the place for the time. So they were intimately, intimately – they had intimate knowledge of the property. At the trial, Terry Melcher admitted that both Tex and Manson had been at his house several times. And so again, this idea of a random hit is nonsense, they knew who was gonna be there, they knew the property and there was a very definite reason that Tex actually went there.” Furthermore, Manson and his collective called in on the LaBianca household that bloody night because Charles wanted to get his hands “on a little black book” on behalf of Frankie Carbo, a Mafia figure who he’d first come to know in prison. “Frankie Carbo was connected to gambling and various other enterprises like that. One particular gambling enterprise that Frankie Carbo was involved with was Leno LaBianca. It came out in reports after the death of Leno LaBianca that apparently he owed as much as $30,000 to Frankie Carbo – personally. Which was, again, one of these strange threads that seems to run through this story.” Neil, paraphrasing Manson speaking in a media-interview years after the murders, said, “I went in there and I said to Leno, ‘don’t move otherwise your dead. I’ve come here for the little black book. Frankie Carbo wants the little black book.’” Sanders quotes Charles as saying, “I didn’t know Leno LaBianca. Leno knew Frankie Carbo and I know Frankie Carbo.”
Whilst I might not be sold exactly on Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter claims, I’m certainly not opposed to the idea that the song, and the album it came from, might have served as some form of mind-control trigger to Manson’s collective if not to him too. As I’ve already set out through the words of Neil Sanders, The Beatles’ music did have some resonance for Charles in some way shape or form; The aforementioned track’s name was used as the header-banner for a gambling-den of his, and it also encapsulated what he thought of the world he came out of prison into in 1967, right in the middle of the counter-cultural explosion, the so-called ‘summer of love,’ when the sounds of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ were filling the air. Also, it’s said, a house he and his friends rented for a time had a yellow-coloured exterior throughout, so they dubbed it the ‘yellow submarine.’ For their part, members of The Beatles have never suggested publicly having any willing influence in the killings of course. Ringo, for one has said of the slayings, “it was pretty miserable, actually, and everyone got really insecure – not just us, not just the Rockers, but everyone in LA felt: ‘Oh, God, it can happen to anybody.’ Thank God they caught the bugger. It was upsetting. I mean, I knew Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, and – God! – it was a rough time.” What he says there got me to start thinking that maybe a reason for the murders was indeed to instil insecurity as well as fear into the Hollywood movie-star community of LA, to give them a Mafia-like warning not to get too large with the drug-dealing, re; Sebring, and others in that celebrity clique, just in case they got as arrogant as to think their fame guaranteed them safety from any reprisals or punishments handed out to so-called lesser mortals who’d got too ambitious? And yes, in case you weren’t aware already, Ringo did indeed know Sharon and Roman. He knew them socially and he’d also starred in the 1969 big-screen release, ‘The Magic Christian’ with the director, who appeared in a brief cameo in it – and this brings us to the screencaps I plugged at the beginning because they’re attached to two movies, the aforementioned film being included in that pair.
Incidentally, none of these pics are the exact ones from the ‘Weird Scenes’ FaceBook page. Some are my own scans of those I saw there and others are completely mine, and as inspired by what the posters in that group shared originally. Also included, some comments and perspectives from me on what I see in these at this point in time as well as some screenshots from other films I’ve come across myself and a few additional pictures too. Many of these caps and photo-pictures that I’ve collected for you here are certainly, for me, personally, intriguing for the occult symbolism I think I have seen in them. As I mentioned right at the start, given that the images I saw on the ‘Weird Scenes’ FaceBook page are from films released months before the so-called ‘Helter Skelter’-sparked slaughters in August ‘69, some people will (and have) viewed them as clues to that future, bolstered of course by the fact that the husband of one of the murder-victims-to-be is the director of one of these and in the other is a star of it along with a member of the band that recorded the title song of the killings, and there are other people, from both movies, who in some way shape or form are linked to the Manson saga.
Someone else Roman and Sharon knew, or at least had met more than once was Yoko Ono. In November 1966, the couple attended her art-show in London at the ‘Indica,’ the gallery and avant-garde book-shop partly funded and built by Beatle Paul and headed by his then-girlfriend’s brother, Peter Asher, and also by Barry Miles, a long-time associate of McCartney’s of course, and John Dunbar. This was the event where Lennon says he first met the-then still-largely-unknown Japanese artist, his future wife, although this is doubted by some commentators and researchers, as you may indeed know already. He certainly attended the premiere of The Magic Christian in London with Yoko and Roman, but Sharon wasn’t there because this was in December 1969, she’d been murdered only four months earlier.And here’s some actors playing John and Yoko for a brief few seconds in a scene from The Magic Christian…The other movie in the two from the ‘Weird Scenes’ group that I’ve got the previously-mentioned screencaps for here is the Roman Polanski-directed ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ released in 1968 in the US and, so I’m led to understand, January ’69 in the UK, just a couple of months before filming began on The Magic Christian apparently. It stars Mia Farrow as Rosemary, a young married woman who moves into a new apartment with her jobbing theatre and TV actor husband. There they meet an elderly couple who live in a neighbouring flat in the building and a friendly, close relationship begins among them. Eventually, she realises that the old pair, underneath what I would describe as their almost grandparent-like, kindly exterior, are secret Satan worshipers, a realisation that is brought to her attention from a book bequeathed to her by someone who’s grown suspicious of them – and who dies soon after. Rosemary has become pregnant by this time with her first child, and she becomes increasingly scared for her unborn baby’s safety in the midst of the elderly couple’s presence, not helped in the slightest by the fact that the old man – who goes by the name of ‘Roman’ – is actually not who he says he is, but the son of a publicly vilified Satanist, initially brought to her attention by the bequeathed book, and titled, ‘All of Them Witches.’As she leafs through the book, we then see her stop at the page of, who I assume was a witch, a lady by the name of Prudence.
“Dear Prudence,” John Lennon sang on the White Album track of the same name of course, and written about none other than a sister of Mia Farrow’s, Prudence, after the two women resided with The Beatles in India in early 1968 at a meditation retreat hosted by the guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Actually, another cut from the LP, ‘Sexy Sadie,’ was originally planned to have been named, ‘Maharishi,’ following allegations made about his behaviour towards a female member of the residents on the Indian visit. It was only after George Harrison suggested John, the writer of the song, change it to something different, offering up the title we now have, that it was altered, so we’re told. It’s been reported by a few news sources on the web, that Mia Farrow is said to have claimed that it was she who was at the centre of these allegations after the Maharishi had “grabbed and groped her in his cave.” McCartney has given a different account, but with some small similarity. In ‘Many Years from Now,’ a biography of him written by Barry Miles, he tells the author, “it was a big scandal.” Lennon, who, along with Harrison, stayed on at the retreat in India after the other two Beatles had left earlier, eventually “stormed back” home because of the allegations regarding the guru. John visited Paul at his house in London after returning from his trip and brought him up to speed with the accusations. McCartney recollects being told that “Maharishi had tried to get off with one of the chicks. I said, ‘tell me what’s happened.’ John said, ‘remember that blonde girl with the short hair? Like a Mia Farrow look-a-like? She was called Pat or something?’ I said, ‘yeah.’ He said, ‘well, Maharishi made a pass at her… He’s just a bloody old letch just like everybody else.’”
One of those convicted for participating in the Tate killings was Susan Atkins, nicknamed and addressed by Manson and the collective as Sadie Mae Glutz, and, it’s said, Sexy Sadie. Before leaving the scene of the killings that night, she wrote the word ‘pig’ in Sharon’s blood on the front-door of her Cielo Drive home.
Here’s Roman Polanski beside that door…
In The Magic Christian film, Peter Sellers is Sir Guy Grand, a supremely rich and powerful man, and Ringo is a homeless person who’s then adopted by him and named, Youngman Grand (a ‘man son’?), and there’s a scene where we can see both of them relaxing in their family home, Starr’s character sits and plays some music on a woodwind instrument and his new father toys briefly with a balance-board and also strums on a harp, and on the TV there’s what appears to me to be, maybe, some kind of news-bulletin, as all we’re shown are images of protests, demonstrations and public unrest, perhaps as a reference to 1968, an intensely turbulent year that saw Race-riots in the US, anti-Vietnam demos, the near collapse of the French government over in Europe after students and striking workers joined forces, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. I assume this because we get shown a banner with “’68” on it. This is preceded by the words, “VOTE PIG.”
Other ‘pig’ references are made in the film. There’s a scene where Sir Guy dons a pig mask and pokes his head out of a train-carriage window as he speeds away from the station, and sticking out of his mouth is a hot-dog that he got from a street-vendor without paying for it.
Later, he hands the mask over to a policeman (perhaps, not surprisingly) after he and Ringo’s character are stopped for speeding…
According to the mainstream, Bugliosi-pushed Helter Skelter theory of Manson’s, the ‘pig’ motif in the murders was inspired by the George Harrison-penned White Album track, ‘Piggies.’ Its writer has been quoted as saying the song is a “social comment.” In The Beatles’ official fiftieth anniversary book for the double album that was re-released in 2018, it describes the composition as “evoking what he saw as the inequity of the class-system, he depicted the lives of little piggies and bigger piggies.”
Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse,
Always having dirt to play around in
Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt,
Always have clean shirts to play around in
In their styes with all their backing
They don’t care what goes on around
In their eyes there’s something lacking
What they need’s a damn good whacking
Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat the bacon
For Charles, the references to piggies in George’s song stood for “anyone who belonged to the establishment,” or so Bugliosi claimed he was told by those who knew Manson. For example, the music-producer, Gregg Jakobson – yet another top-level record-industry figure who had known him – is quoted in Vincent’s best-selling book, ‘Helter Skelter,’ as saying that the line in the lyric about ‘what they need’s a damn good whacking,’ was “the Black man was going to give the piggies, the establishment, a damned good whacking,” according to Charles. The apocalyptic Race war that the murders were aimed at beginning, Bugliosi claimed, would be to the benefit of what Manson deemed to be the ‘true Black race,’ “who Manson identified at various times as the Black Muslims and the Black Panthers.” According to Tex Watson, quoted in Vincent’s Helter Skelter book, these Blacks would set off a violent conflict of White against White following the “mass paranoia” and panic that would come from the killings in a “rich piggy district” of LA such as Cielo Drive – it would be the ‘hippie liberals versus all the uptight conservatives.’ In The Magic Christian, something else that we see coming from the TV in the Grand family residence as Sir Guy and his new son relax, is a news-bulletin on ‘Crufts,’ a real-life and long-running dog-show in Britain, although the television-report isn’t factual of course, but an occult clue it might be, you might think. It begins with scenes of a man from West Africa by the name of Mr. Umbongo being forced into the back of a police-van as he raises his arm and makes the ‘Black power’ fist sign. It turns out his entry in the event, that is described by the presenter of the TV-item as “a new breed of dog… a curious cat-like creature” and called the ‘Congo Black dog’ or ‘Big Fang,’ had gone “absolutely berserk,” at the show, engaging in a mass killing spree of its fellow entrants, “and it’s reported that the dog was actually eating an unspecified number of its fellow entries.” This was no dog though. Its “poodle-type coat” as described by the television-reporter wasn’t its natural appearance, it was a disguise that came off to reveal a black panther…
As mentioned earlier in this article, the ‘pig’ slogan was often used during the late 1960s by the Black Panthers to describe the police. A prominent and leading member of this revolutionary organisation was Eldridge Cleaver. Now, in the Magic Christian movie there’s scenes with Sir Guy Grand and Youngman onboard a luxury cruise-liner called the ‘Magic Christian,’ hence the film’s title I s’pose, although all is not what it first looks like it is on the ship, a realisation that takes a bit of time to transpire with its guests and also us the viewers, but when it does, we realise that actually it’s a mock-up situated in a warehouse. Nevertheless, in a most surreal fashion – in keeping with the entire movie that, for me, is a bit too obscure with its plot delivery and its humour, although I’m guessing it’s an anti-corporatist, capitalist, consumerist satire – pandemonium befalls what the passengers at this point have yet to discover isn’t a ship, although I’m not exactly sure what the cause of the chaos is as we get all sorts of images coming at us, for not only do we see the captain being attacked by a vampire (played by famous ‘Dracula’ actor, Christopher Lee), but also a couple of guys in dinner-suits on motorcycles forcing themselves down a corridor in the guests’ quarters, water pouring in to the place, and a gorilla making off with a briefcase (huh?). As panic ensues and passengers rush to find safety dressed in life-jackets, we can see graffiti that’s been strewn across the interior of the so-called ship, various slogans including the ones below that, to me, look slightly similar to the blood-smeared words left behind by Manson’s friends and associates. The person standing on the right there in the picture of course is Ringo (Youngman)…
Another of the red-smeared words we can see during these panic-stricken scenes is included in a sentence that can only be seen partially as it’s on a wall that moves and doesn’t stay in shot long enough for it all to be shown to us, although we do get… “CLEAVER”…
Moving on… towards the end of the movie, Sir Guy Grand and Youngman conduct a hugely elaborate challenge on passers-by in London by filling an industrial-size vat to the brim with blood, urine and animal excrement and then throwing piles of cash notes into it and successfully inviting members of the congregating general public that are passing next to the spectacle to climb in and have it if they want it (and as sung in the theme of one of the songs in the film, the McCartney-written, ‘Come and Get It’ performed by the ‘Apple Records’ band, Badfinger). The name on the truck that delivers the stinking, disease-ridden contents used for the challenge reads: ‘Slaughterhousing Ltd.’
Another blogger I’ve come across (from ‘The Blog of Caverns’) has noted that there’s a few seconds during the scene where Ringo’s character is relaxing with Sir Guy by the TV that’s reminiscent with a very short moment from another film, one first released two or so years earlier titled, ‘Eye of the Devil.’ In one, Youngman Grand is looking through the harp that his new father’s been playing, and in the other a young boy also looks through one…
The writer of The Blog of Caverns has no interpretation for what these two similar shots might mean from an occult perspective when paired together and judged as a picture, and neither have I, it’s just that, in a wider perspective, the image of the young boy is taken from a film starring Sharon Tate, and furthermore, it’s a film the screenplay of which is said to have been partly-written by Terry Southern, the author also of The Magic Christian movie and the novel from which it came. He’d made his name in the mid-Sixties following his writing work on Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Dr. Strangelove.’ In 1967, he appeared as one of the favoured faces on the Sgt. Pepper album-cover, and in 1968, Ringo had a role in the big-screen interpretation of the writer’s book, ‘Candy.’
In Eye of the Devil, the child we see through the harp is the son of Philippe, the head member of the de Montfaucon family dynasty that, we’re told, stretches back more than a thousand years. When his father (played by David Niven) is called back to the ancestral home to assume his hereditary role in a grand occult ritual, his unknowing wife follows him there by car with their boy. There, outside in the courtyard, once making her arrival, a flying arrow suddenly lands right next to her on the ground, and pierced through it is a dead dove. It has been shot down by Christian de Caray, a young man with close ties to the Montfaucon family. Later, his sister, Odile, played by Tate, gives it as an offering during some form of ritualistic gathering of people in hooded robes inside the house. Maybe I’m stretching it here, but I’m mentioning it nonetheless, and leaving you to make up your own conclusion, but, given that the Manson killings are often interpreted as a death knell to the so-called Sixties ‘hippie dream’ of love and peace, was the killing in the film of the very bird that typified this ideal symbolically to many millions of people, a suggestion of that? A week after Tate’s murder came the ‘Woodstock’ festival, complete with its now iconic dove emblem…
I think it’s also perhaps of worth to add the scan below, a poster from 1968 complete with a dove, as well as a black panther, and “CLEAVER”…
Eye of the Devil is based on the 1964 book, ‘The Day of the Arrow.’ Having not read it, I’ve no idea whether the moment with the dove being speared is in it, or if it was added in the screenplay, perhaps by Southern. It’s reported that the film, Tate’s first starring role in a big-screen release, was going to be titled, ‘13.’ I presume this is because, in it, Philippe’s wife discovers that her husband has volunteered himself to be sacrificed in a black mass in accordance with a long-held occult tradition in his family. It is referred to as, the dance of the twelve.
These twelve are apostles, plus one, the God that they worship, making thirteen. Sharon Tate’s last movie in which she starred was a comedy released in 1969, some months after her death, and originally called, reportedly, ‘12 + 1.’ It was later renamed ‘The Thirteen Chairs,’ and in it, her character is romantically involved for a brief time with a guy who’s a hairdresser. At the end of it, he discovers that a growth-lotion he’s invented for follicly-challenged men has made him millions, the film closes with this fortune-making potion exploding, literally, and landing over his head transforming his appearance from a clean-cut demeanour into something looking a bit like… well… Manson?…
According to the movie database site, ‘IMDb,’ some versions of The Thirteen Chairs / 12 + 1 have this final scene re-edited in order to remove the Charles Manson-looking image. Perhaps it’s just too close to call for some who’ve seen it. In the film, the hairdresser, Mario, flies over to England from New York, where’s he’s based, to collect an inheritance from a dead aunt who lived there and where he first meets Sharon Tate’s character, Pat, who works in an antique shop. It’s situated in a small village that in real-life is called Lavenham, in the English county of Suffolk, East Anglia. Its main square, also referred to as its market area, had not that long previously been the location for the 1968 horror, ‘Witchfinder General,’ starring Vincent Price and based on the historical figure, Matthew Hopkins, a witch hunter in Britain in the 17th century. Reportedly, one of the stars in the film, Ian Ogilvy, was told that the shooting of a particular scene, in which a woman accused of being a follower of the dark arts is burned at the stake, had actually, in reality, unlocked forces of the so-called ‘supernatural’ into Lavenham, a village that’s been the topic of stories and witness claims of ghosts and other hauntings and such experiences. The actor, who plays the part of an anti-royalist fighter during the English Civil War in the movie, is quoted as saying that, the day after filming the scene with the burning, “several inhabitants of Lavenham who had taken part in it and lived around the square, said ‘you should have heard the clanking and the crying and the screaming last night.’ That we’d ‘woken a lot of the ghosts up’ and they were quite serious about this. ‘There was a terrible, awful noise of wind, screams and moans.’” A few months after the film’s release, in February 1969, its director, Michael Reeves died aged just 25, the victim of what we’re told was an overdose of alcohol and barbiturates. One source I’ve come across on the ‘net about this makes a point of noting that his body was found on February 11th, two days before the Roman festival of Parentalia, “the purpose of which was to honour the dead.” A week after the movie-maker’s cremation I’m informed, that same month, shooting began on what would become The Thirteen Chairs, Tate’s last big-screen outing of course. In December ’69, John Lennon and Yoko Ono turned up to the village on a snow-filled day, to make their own film, an 18-minute-plus piece that they titled ‘Apotheosis.’ It shows them being launched off into the sky from the market-place in an orange-coloured hot-air balloon. The short follows its journey as it goes beyond the clouds.
And below, Lavenham market-place as seen in 17th century form, from the earlier-mentioned burning at the stake scene of Witchfinder General…
And here’s Sharon from 12 + 1. It’s taken from a scene in the antique shop she works at and, as we can see from looking out that window, the building she’s in looks out over Lavenham’s market-place area, for example, note the Tudor building behind her and the three-roofed construction next to it, same as in the screencap above.
The Tudor building again… here’s John and Yoko being launched from their balloon in the market-place…
On the subject of the Magical Mystery Tour, Jessie Robins, the lady who plays the part of Ringo’s aunt, Jessie, in the film, would have been seen on the screen earlier in 1967 with the release of ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ movie in which she co-stars with Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski, who also directed it…
Let’s go back to Rosemary’s Baby when Mia Farrow’s character, Rosemary, is looking through the All of Them Witches book… It informs her about a pungent-smelling substance, and this reminds her of a neck-penchant gifted to her by her elderly neighbours and who claim that the unpleasant odour emanating from that is a herb they call ‘Tannis Root.’ But is it? Reading the page in front of her, the bad smell that it describes is a fungus, a spongy matter used in rituals and worn on charms, and called ‘Devil’s Pepper.’ It’s the Devil’s pepper, then, or, looking at it this way too; The Devil’s pepper… The Devil is (Sgt.) Pepper.
The neck-penchant had previously been worn by another young lady, formerly homeless, who was then taken off the streets by the elderly couple, who subsequently took her in as a member of their family. Rosemary meets her briefly in the laundry of the apartment building where they both live and called, the ‘Bramford.’ It’s a fictional name and the outside location shots of it were – as you’ll most probably know – the ‘Dakota,’ where John Lennon lived for most of the 1970s, and where Yoko still resides to this day.
And here’s Rosemary, with her husband beside her, as they stand within the doorway of the Dakota, where Lennon would meet his death twelve years later.
And thanks to the earlier-mentioned ‘Blog of Caverns’ site, I’ve seen – I think – an interesting Dakota-themed link of screencaps of, some might say, a prophetic nature… Below is the actor, Laurence Harvey appearing briefly in The Magic Christian…
And here he is (below) in the 1962 film, ‘The Manchurian Candidate,’ starring as a mind-controlled assassin-in-waiting, this is a scene that was filmed, according to The Blog of Caverns, on February 12th of ‘62, almost two years exactly to the day before John, Paul and Ringo (George was ill) would stand on, what you might get to thinking, is almost exactly the same spot. Photographed on February 8th 1964, there in the background behind them you can see, what I’m led to understand, is the Dakota (outlined in the red square I’ve added), where Lennon would be gunned down by his very own mind-controlled killer…
I’ll add that the role of the mind-controlled man’s mother in The Manchurian Candidate is played by Angela Lansbury, perhaps best-known for her long-running stint as the crime-solving murder-mysteries author, Jessica Fletcher, in the ‘Murder She Wrote’ TV-series. The actress’s daughter, Deirdre, when she was a teenager, used to spend a lot of time with Charles Manson’s ‘family,’ and it’s said also that her mother went as far as to write a note for her stating that it was okay for the youngster to travel with them. And, just noting also that another star of the movie was, yep, Frank Sinatra. Later on in the Sixties he married Mia Farrow, for a short time, and is said to have served her with divorce papers whilst she was on the set of Rosemary’s Baby. And it’s to that film I now return…
The close friendship that looks as though is going to grow between Rosemary and the young lady she’s met in the laundry doesn’t happen because tragedy strikes. One night not long after, the elderly couple are walking towards the entrance of the apartment building. Beside them is a parked-up white Beetle…
As they get closer to the building, they see a commotion going on. There’s police, there’s a congregation of members of the public, and there on the ground is the dead body of the young woman who’s fallen out of one of the apartment’s windows (accident, pushed, suicide?). There’s another white Beetle, right next to her, splattered in blood, just about on the very spot where Lennon met his death in 1980…
Need I mention the next photo, what with its white Beetle, and John, the Beatle in white? This photo for the cover of the ‘Abbey Road’ album of 1969 was shot on August 8th, the day of the ‘Tate killings’…
One of the tracks on the album, ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,’ is, apparently – judging by the lyrics – the fictional tale of Maxwell, a serial-killer. The song also makes reference to “Rose and Valerie”… There’ll be more about rose, the flowered variety, later.
MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER (lyrics)
Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical
Science in the home
Late nights all alone with a test tube
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine
Calls her on the phone
“Can I take you out to the pictures
Joa, oa, oa, oan?”
But as she’s getting ready to go
A knock comes on the door
Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
Came down upon her head
Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
Made sure that she was dead
Back in school again Maxwell plays the fool again
Teacher gets annoyed
Wishing to avoid and unpleasant
Sce, e, e, ene
She tells Max to stay when the class has gone away
So he waits behind
Writing fifty times “I must not be
So, o, o, o”
But when she turns her back on the boy
He creeps up from behind
Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
Came down upon her head
Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
Made sure that she was dead
P.C. Thirty-one said, “We caught a dirty one”
Maxwell stands alone
Painting testimonial pictures
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Rose and Valerie, screaming from the gallery
Say he must go free
(Maxwell must go free)
The judge does not agree and he tells them
So, o, o, o
But as the words are leaving his lips
A noise comes from behind
Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
Came down upon his head
Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
Made sure that he was dead
Whoa, oh, oh, oh
Silver hammer man
In 1973, Lennon released the solo album, ‘Mind Games’…
Well, yeah, here’s a promo pic for the Rosemary’s Baby movie…
If I’m not mistaken, John’s Mind Games album was released around the time he’d separated from Yoko and ventured off for over a year with their employee, and his girlfriend, May Pang. She’s reported to have recalled one particular night after one of his drink and drugs-fuelled benders, when he was tied to a bed to contain his violent anger, that he was “shaking with rage, he attacked the four-poster bed and was doing his best to break loose one of the posts. ‘It’s Roman Polanski’s fault!’ he screamed. ‘Roman Polanski is to blame for everything.’ We had met Roman Polanski at a few parties, but John had never expressed any anger toward him. I watched as he systematically began to demolish the room.” As far as I’m aware neither Lennon or anyone else has ever publicly explained the reason why he singled out Polanski for his verbal outburst that night.
What I’ve also picked up from the Rosemary’s Baby movie are scenes where I am left with the impression that we’re getting rather subtle prompts to pay attention to a book – not the earlier-noted All of Them Witches though – but one that we see but no mention is made of…
It’s difficult to make out what it’s about from that angle there, so I rewound the film a few seconds and got its title, or at least some of it… ‘Yes I Can’…
Later in the movie we see it close-up on Rosemary’s bookshelf after her husband places All of Them Witches there too, horizontally, just above it, and it’s, ‘Yes I Can. The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.,’ the famous US entertainer who was also a friend of Frank Sinatra’s of course and a member of his ‘Rat Pack.’
We can see it again a few minutes later, and it got me to thinking, upon seeing Sammy Davis Jr’s name getting shown, that the US entertainer was, for a time, a said member of the ‘Church of Satan,’ and the book’s appearance in the movie may indeed be a veiled reference to this occult organisation. ‘Yes I Can’ is his life-story, part authored by him, and it was published in 1965, when Rosemary’s Baby is partly set and with the rest of its plot going into 1966. In the film, Rosemary and her husband attend a New Year’s Eve party at the elderly couple’s flat and where, at the stroke of midnight, old man Roman announces a toast to, “1966. Year One!” This is what Anton LaVey, founder and head of the Church of Satan had declared back in the 1960s. To him and his followers, 1966 was “Anno Satanas – the first year of the reign of Satan.” According to the organisation’s official website, Polanski’s 1968 horror “was a metaphorical as well as a very real offshoot of LaVey and the Church of Satan,” and, “LaVey… attended advance screenings” of the movie, “set up by the studio’s publicity-department to elicit his observations” of it, and he’s also said to have played the part of the Devil in it, in the scene where Rosemary is raped, although all this has been denied in some quarters. LaVey was also a musician and a stage performer hosting his own live occult-themed (and topless) shows, and it’s said that a topless dancer, none other than Susan Atkins a.k.a. Manson’s Sadie, performed in his nightclub revue, ‘Witches’ Sabbath.’ As for Sammy Davis Jr., he has been attributed with more than one quote about the Church of Satan, for example, there’s a reported excerpt from what’s credited to be a newspaper advance, and planned for inclusion in his 1980 memoir, ‘Hollywood in a Suitcase,’ but later edited out of the final edition in which he’s claimed to have recalled, “it was a short-lived interest, but I still have many friends in the Church of Satan. I say this to only show that however bizarre the subject, I don’t pass judgement until I have found out everything I can about it. People who can put up an interesting case will often find that I’m a willing convert.”
More quotes attributed to Sammy Davis Jr. on his Church of Satan relationship have been featured elsewhere, in an article in the newspaper, the ‘Scottish Daily Mail.’ Credited to recollections from another of his autobiographies ( – yes – another), titled, ‘Why Me?’ The piece explains “how in 1968” he first came into contact with the organisation after “he ran into a group of actors, one of whom said: ‘Hey, man, there’s a party, you wanna go?’” He knew or at least sensed these guys were Satanists, and this intrigued him, we’re told. “I was curious, evil fascinated me. And I wanted to taste it. I was ready to accept the wildness, the rolling in the gutter, and having to get up the next morning and wash myself clean.” The article mentions that LaVey warned Sammy not to get involved unless he was willing to commit. “I wanted to have every human experience,” the singer is quoted as declaring. “All someone had to tell me was, ‘don’t do it,’ so I had to do it.” At the party that night in 1968, the Scottish Daily Mail explains, “everyone wore hoods and masks – and there was a girl ‘stretched out and chained to a red velvet altar.’ When he asked what was going on, someone replied: ‘This chick’s going to be sacrificed.’” The article goes on, “one of the hooded leaders of the ritual mock sacrifice was Jay Sebring…”
I documented all this years back in a previous article on my site, ‘Conspiro Media.’ There, I quote Davis as saying he found Sebring to be “a little weird,” and that the “hairstylist unsuccessfully tried to entice him over to view his specially-built dungeon and his collection of torture weapons.” Of the murders of Jay and Sharon, I quote him as saying, “LA, the slaughter of her, Jay Sebring… and others I used to run with. I knew had I been in LA and there was a party at Sharon’s I’d been there. But something had saved me. Everyone there had at one time or another been into Satanism, or, like myself, had dabbled around the edges of it for sexual kicks… That was our crowd.” Neil Sanders, for one, has noted to an extent the sexual, or more to the point, pornographic element of this “crowd,” and inundated as it was with famous names from movies and music, and Manson also “was certainly filming pornography.”
There’s the sex-tapes “that basically turned up at Cielo Drive. These were ones that were initially denied to have existed… what actually happened was that the LAPD found a load of these tapes and were trying to sell them to a detective called Hal Lipsett on the black-market.” They “included Mama Cass in an orgy” with Hollywood stars including “Warren Beatty…” and, it’s said, The Magic Christian’s Peter Sellers and also Yul Brynner who has a cameo in the film would you believe, as a drag-queen serenading Roman Polanski who’s drinking in a bar situated on the so-called cruise-liner that’s featured in the movie, and as mentioned here earlier.
It’s in the scenes that come a few minutes after this, when the pandemonium has broken out on the so-called ship and the blood-red graffiti is strewn across its interior, that’s when I saw something whilst watching this movie that tied into a train of thought I’d formed prior to viewing the film but that I’d placed to the back of my mind, categorising it as of not much consequence. It’s in relation to that bar where Polanski sat drinking and that not long later is subjected to the chaos. The words, ‘SPEED KILLS’ have been painted where Roman had been sitting – you can see a bit of it in the cap below, and there near the floor someone has painted – or so I’m guessing – ‘a rose is a rose.’ Along with the images of a black panther, a ‘Prudence,’ the Dakota, white Beetles, the Devil’s pepper, and all the others I’ve highlighted in this article, I wonder whether ‘a rose’- of the flowered variety or otherwise, for example, I’ve already mentioned briefly in passing “Rose and Valerie” of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer – is another to add as a possible occult clue or suggestion. My train of thought had originally been sparked by a couple of scenes in Rosemary’s Baby (… indeed… Rose-mary). Before I get into that, here’s that cap from The Magic Christian…
In Rosemary’s Baby, Rosemary returns to her flat one day after having been out, to see a vase of roses sitting before her, a gift from her husband. She walks over and smells them. There are more of these placed around the apartment. Now, for whatever reason, as I watched this, I felt as though these have been included in the film as some kind of veiled/hidden message because hardly any mention is made about them. The flowers don’t affect the course of the plot in any way shape or form, but something got me to feeling that they were being given centre stage in a very subtle and occult way. This particular scene actually opens with the roses. They’re right up in front of us on the screen, and the surrounding room in the apartment from which Rosemary will appear is in the hazy distance…
‘Stop and Smell the Roses,’ the 1981 album from Ringo…
Later, Rosemary and her husband hold a party at their apartment and a friend who turns up for it brings with him a bunch of red roses…
She takes them into the kitchen and hands them over to another guest who takes a sip of her drink (below) whilst Rosemary goes and gets a vase. The two women talk to each other, keeping the film’s narrative moving and the roses are not mentioned hardly at all, but they remain in the scene as the central visual point…
After the party has ended, there amongst the mess left behind by the guests in one of the apartment’s rooms, just about the only thing left standing and untouched is the vase of roses, meanwhile, Rosemary and her husband argue, the flowers merely there – again – as a silent image…
I dunno, maybe I am reaching too far here. As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t have added the above caps to this article had I not seen the earlier noted ‘a rose is not a rose’ scene in The Magic Christian. Furthermore, I can see another possible occult message in the form of a ‘rose’ in this film. Sir Guy Grand meets with his corporation’s board of directors, all of them with a red rose in their lapel.
He sacks them all and orders them to leave behind them on the desk as they make their way out their pencils, and the roses…
The rose is a deeply symbolic motif in occult thinking with ingrained connections of course to Freemasonry. There’s also a breed of beetle that’s called, Rose Chafer. It’s mainly green in colour and, according to the website, ‘The Wildlife Trusts,’ the “adults feed on flowers, particularly Dog Roses…”
As has been mentioned in great detail in past articles here on ‘The Occult Beatles,’ this insect, especially the type known as ‘scarab,’ was a much highly revered deity during the ancient days of the Egyptian empire and, I think, it’s not too fanciful to ponder on the possibility that – either consciously or otherwise – this might have been the root behind the name, ‘The Beatles’ – although this has never even been hinted at let alone admitted publicly by any member of the band of course.
So there you have it. Even if you don’t buy into the ‘Helter Skelter’ theory as the cause for the killings by Manson’s associates back in August ‘69, or indeed, even if you hold the view that there were no so-called ‘Tate murders,’ and that the whole thing was a staged non-event, a fake (as postulated, most famously, by the researcher, Mile Mathis), none of this erases any of the content that’s set within the images I’ve collected together to show you in this article, it makes no difference to that.
After all, if indeed occult clues or suggestions were deliberately added into the movies I’ve highlighted here, I would suggest that it would have mattered not if ‘Helter Skelter’ was a real murder-plot, or if Sharon Tate was actually killed. Either way, it could have/would have been complimentary to whoever/whatever was behind putting them there.
Below, the links to the threads on the ‘Weird Scenes’ FaceBook page that inspired me to compose this here article. Thanks to them!…
‘Helter Skelter. The Shocking Story of the Manson Murders’ – Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry.
YouTube: John Lennon on Charles Manson and putting subliminal messages in Beatles songs.
Rosemary’s Baby: https://archive.org/details/S23TB
The Beatles official 50th anniversary box-set book (published, 2018)
YouTube: The Magic Christian (1969) – Ringo Starr, Peter Sellers
YouTube: Eye of the Devil 
YouTube: The Thirteen Chairs: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtUlM0OM4B2Wr72HC4zYnqA
YouTube: Witchfinder General
YouTube: John and Yoko: Apotheosis filming report.
YouTube: John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Apotheosis movie 1970
Scottish Daily Mail: Sammy was a little devil