Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Beatles, the O.T.O, Terry Knight and Detroit

Press: “What about this campaign in Detroit to stamp out the Beatles?”

Paul McCartney: “We're starting a campaign to stamp out Detroit.”

At first these seem to be four random headings. But dig a little deeper and there appears to be an entire series of connections.
On the cover of the Sgt. Pepper record cover, the LP that spawned a whole host of clues for the Paul is Dead movement, is an image of the great beast himself, Aleister Crowley. Crowley was a major protagonist of the O.T.O.  (Ordo Templi Orientis or Order of the Temple of the East) and indeed, when in 1919 Crowley first published the legendary Blue Equinox, it was his first attempt to publicise the principles and aims of the O.T.O. and its allied order the A.A. 

Aleister Crowley's The Equinox features the eye of horus on it's cover. McCartney has used an image of his eye as a logo - an upside down eye of horus.

Furthermore, "Is Detroit heaven?" Crowley asked his field organizer, Charles Stansfeld Jones. It certainly seemed so at the time: Bookman Albert W. Ryerson was selling Crowley's books and publishing the latest installment of The Equinox. Several prominent Masons were interested in establishing the Lakes Region of Ordo Templi Orientis. Jones was in high demand teaching classes on magick and Thelema. But things turned suddenly sour. When slow sales dragged the Universal Book Stores into bankruptcy, the activities of the O.T.O. were luridly thrust onto the front pages of the daily news. The Equinox was declared obscene and all copies impounded. The O.T.O. "love cult" was blamed for everything from broken homes and Hollywood's wild parties to the mysterious murder of film director William Desmond Taylor. The above is a quote from a book entitled ‘Panic in Detroit: The Magician and the Motor City’ by Crowley biographer Dr Richard Kaczynski.

Indeed, the Blue Equinox Oasis is an O.T.O. lodge based in Detroit.

In 1968, Detroit DJ and musician Terry Knight claims he was invited to watch the Beatles record at their Apple HQ. He further claims that he witnessed Ringo Starr walk out of the band during the recording of ‘Back in the USSR’ and then on the aeroplane home, wrote his record Saint Paul. 

It is a source of debate as to whether or not the song is about the alleged death of Paul McCartney or is simply an ode to the break-up of the Beatles. What is certain though is that upon the records release in May 1969 it appeared on the Beatles Capitol records label and was credited to MacLen Music. MacLen music was a vehicle by which John Lennon and Paul McCartney published their songs in the US. Saint Paul has the unique distinction of being the sole non Beatle song to have been credited to MacLen.

Later that same year the Paul is Dead mystery really sprang into life when students began ringing into a radio DJ claiming that not only was Paul dead but that if you played certain tracks from the White Album backwards clues would be revealed. The DJ discovered a formerly indecipherable mumbling from John Lennon at the end of "I'm So Tired" could now clearly be made out as the literary Beatle moaning "Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him." Also, the oft-intoned words "number nine, number nine" from Lennon's music concrete opus, "Revolution #9," miraculously transformed into the eerie phrase "turn me on dead man" when spun counterclockwise.

The name of this DJ was Russ Gibb and  when he asked the student how he knew this he revealed that he had heard of the clues from some ‘musicians’. Now where was the DJ based? No less than Detroit, Michigan, the home of musician and DJ, Terry Knight!

Coincidence or birthplace of a Beatle conspiracy, you decide?

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