Monday, 17 November 2014

Godgame - A is for Apollo



Godgame: A is for Apollo Part6

I stated earlier that I believe the Pepper concept was derived from influences contained within their favourite works of literature. Could the Beatles have used John Fowles’ book ‘The Magus’ as a source of inspiration for Sgt. Pepper?


SPOILER ALERT: In the book the central character, Nicholas Urfe, is subject to a series of bizarre psychological tests designed to force him to question reality.


The plot summary, according to Wikipedia, tells us that: ‘The story reflects the perspective of Nicholas Urfe, a young Oxford graduate and aspiring poet. After graduation, he briefly works as a teacher at a small school, but becomes bored and decides to leave England. While looking for another job, Nicholas takes up with Alison Kelly, an Australian girl met at a party in London. He still accepts a post teaching English at the Lord Byron School on the Greek island of Phraxos. After beginning his new post, he becomes bored, depressed, disillusioned, and overwhelmed by the Mediterranean island; Nicholas struggles with loneliness and contemplates suicide. While habitually wandering around the island, he stumbles upon an estate and soon meets its owner, a wealthy Greek recluse Maurice Conchis. They develop a sort of a friendship, and Conchis slowly reveals that he may have collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.


Nicholas is gradually drawn into Conchis's psychological games, his paradoxical views on life, his mysterious persona, and his eccentric masques. At first, Nicholas takes these posturings of Conchis, what the novel terms the "godgame," to be a joke, but they grow more elaborate and intense. Nicholas loses his ability to determine what is real and what is artifice. Against his will and knowledge, he becomes a performer in the godgame. Eventually, Nicholas realises that the re-enactments of the Nazi occupation, the absurd playlets after de Sade, and the obscene parodies of Greek myths are not about Conchis' life, but his own.’


In the book Nicholas encounters a pair of English twin sisters, Lily and Rose, and falls in love with Lily. After many twists and turns Nicholas is finally united with Lily before discovering, having consummated his affair that he is to participate in a trial in which he is to judge his tormentors after they have delivered a withering assessment upon his emotional faculties.
McCartney - Lily Rose symbolism


One of the psychological games Nicholas is forced to endure is being told that his former lover, Alison Kelly, has committed suicide following Nicholas’s decision to terminate their relationship due to his newfound infatuation with Lily.


It transpires, however, that her death has been faked and that Alison has, in fact, become a willing participant within the godgame. The conductor of this godgame, Maurice Conchis, is an aging Magus who, at one point in the narrative, is directly compared with Aleister Crowley. 

Crowley was himself a Magus and the Magus Tarot card features Lily and Rose symbolism.

On the front cover of the Sgt. Pepper sleeve we find an aging Magus – Crowley - twin Beatles and a fake death; as depicted by the grave scene and the numerous ‘Paul is Dead’ clues. Add to this the claim that John Lennon read ‘The Magus’ around the time he was away filming ‘How I Won the War’ – immediately prior to commencing work on Sgt. Pepper – and the subsequent efforts by the Beatles to purchase a Greek island and one wonders how much influence this book may have had on the band and the Pepper concept? 


What we find when we examine the ‘Paul is Dead’ theme are a host of clues but no tangible evidence of a death. What we find when we examine the ‘Paul was replaced’ theories are a series of potential candidates for the McCartney substitute but no tangible evidence of a replacement. What we find when we examine the Sgt. Pepper sleeve are a host of characters who, in general, are either actors, writers and, or, members of secret societies.


Members of secret societies join these organisations primarily to enhance their careers and prospects and to increase their individual power. They are used to concealing this aspect of their lives and they are representative of the unelected elites who control all our lives. They are the puppet-masters who control the godgame.


Actors, by dint of their profession, are concealing their identities and are masters of illusion. Who is being portrayed on the Pepper cover, is it the actor or the part they play? They are the cast of the godgame.


Writers are storytellers, propagandists and teachers. They can create alternative realities or justify the indefensible.  They can create nonsense stories and fairy-tales; they can embed hidden and coded meanings within their work. Their words can shape history and create legends. They are the architects of the godgame.


What we find when we examine ‘The Magus’ is a protagonist, Nicholas, who is little more than a mouse on a wheel, or a monkey in a cage. He is being experimented upon and constantly observed. He fails to grasp this reality because he refuses to accept that he is not in control of his own destiny. Nicholas is in pursuit of what his heart desires and thus fails to heed the warnings of the Magus as he assumes that his own concept of reality must be correct; however, reality can be distorted.


One may assume that the then 25 year old Lennon drew certain parallels with Nicholas and his own life; a mouse on a wheel who lives under constant observation and scrutiny and for whom reality is distinctly blurred.


If we assume that he obtained the book from the Indica bookshop immediately prior to his being ‘set-up’ with Yoko – his Lily – by the self-same Indica crowd then a clear ‘Magus’ parallel is established.


Add to this a clearly documented dissatisfaction, at this time, with life as a Beatle and the possibility emerges that the Sgt. Pepper cover, and the subsequent Beatle allusions to the death of Paul, are the Beatles’ attempts to create and play their own version of a godgame.

In this version, the secret society members are representative of the Beatles’ own management; the source of the band’s dissatisfaction. The actors are representative of the Beatles in that they appear on the Sgt. Pepper cover, not as themselves but in costume. The writers are representative of the Indica/Fraser crowd and the mentoring role that they provided the band. They are demonstrating that they, and therefore the Beatles, are aware of the bands manipulation and this they prove but constructing the deliberate conceit of the ‘Paul is Dead’ construct.


In the book Nicholas is a pawn in a chess game, exactly as Alice was in ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’. He cannot engineer a winning outcome because he does not know he is in a game and he does not accept he is being manipulated. When he finally realises, at the games seeming end, that he is the victim he begins to miss the attention that had previously been lavished upon him. 


John Lennon has become aware that his life is also a game and that he too is being manipulated; however, just like Alice, John has transmogrified from a pawn into a Queen. He can now control the game. 


The ‘Paul is Dead’ theme that the Beatles engineered is a similar concept. It is an alternate reality; an ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ world or a nonsense ‘Jabberwocky’ style poem. The Pepper cover provides codes to be cracked and clues to analyse. It is not possible to solve these riddles though until one realises that this is a game to be played.


For the average fan that is happy and content to simply listen to and enjoy the album there is nothing to investigate. ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ is a Beatle album and, however great that album may be, is no more or less than an addition to the band’s canon. 


For those who wish to delve further, those who wish to immerse themselves in all things Beatles then there are these mysterious clues placed on the Pepper cover and the subsequent Beatle releases. Clues, that when finally deduced, lead the fan to the troubling and horrendous conclusion that McCartney has died and that the band covered it up by replacing him. Trouble is, like Nicholas Urfe, the fans cannot accept the truth because, if story is not true, then why do the clues exist?


So, can we be certain then that the Beatles did create the 'Paul is Dead' myth?


The February 1967 ‘false rumour’ article that appeared in the Beatles Monthly Book was a seed and from it would grow the ‘Paul is Dead’ myth. It is proof that the Beatles conceived the ‘Paul is Dead’ concept. The ‘false rumour’ article appears to have been entirely fabricated. If rumours were flying around Fleet Street then none of them made it into print, indeed without this snippet we would have been none the wiser. Furthermore, none of the protagonists – with the exception of Robert Fraser’s mysterious lover cum man-servant who provided more detail to the tale in 2000, presumably for a quick pay-day – ever elaborated upon, or indeed mentioned, the incident again.

Having sown this seed the Beatles expected the first green shoots of life to appear that summer with the release of Pepper. From here on in great efforts were made to embed clues within subsequent Beatles releases until the ‘Paul is Dead’ story finally exploded in 1969.


By then, even though the band was on its last legs and the clues would have to continue via their solo releases, the pieces were now all in place for the game to be played. 

However, we have to play the game backwards. As in ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ we are in a reversed world and we can only begin to play once the Beatles have finished assembling all the clues. Having done this we are doomed to arrive at an incorrect conclusion as we are playing with loaded dice. Whereas the Magus wants Nicholas Urfe to think his girlfriend Alison Kelly is dead, so do the Beatles with Paul McCartney.


Fred LaBour, the journalist whose story in the Michigan Daily really broke the ‘Paul is Dead’ rumour, readily admits that his article was a hoax. He speaks with pride of how he invented many parts of the rumour, such as the claim that a Scottish orphan named William Campbell replaced McCartney. LaBour stated in an interview: "I made the guy up. It was originally going to be 'Glenn Campbell,' with two Ns and then I said 'that's too close, nobody'll buy that,' so I made it William Campbell."


Just as with Nicholas in ‘The Magus’ we can only arrive at the correct conclusion once we accept that this is a game, not reality.


Those that believe that Paul McCartney did die in 1966 will continually misinterpret the clues as evidence. Paul McCartney did not die, nor was he replaced; however, all those clues are real and they do exist because ‘Paul is Dead’ is what the Beatles wanted us to believe.


So, in the same way that large swathes of the population continue to believe that we truly possess a real choice simply because two political parties exist, or, that if people are seeing UFO’s then this must mean that the amazing technology involved has to be of alien origin. This not proof of either of these things, however, it is proof that we believe what we are being told.

Nothing is real is the primary aspect of Lennon’s masterpiece ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. 

Remember this song was originally written for inclusion on Sgt. Pepper, however, it actually appears on the Magical Mystery Tour LP but it was originally conceived when Lennon was away filming ‘How I Won the War’. This is exactly the same time that he is reading ‘The Magus’; perhaps these lyrics are pertinent?


“Let me take you down, cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about….
….Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see….
… Always, no sometimes, think it's me
But you know I know when it's a dream”.



This is what I believe Apollo C Vermouth meant by his many postings; Sgt. Pepper was an attempt to create a nonsense game whereby its players would slowly uncover clues to reveal that  the Beatles had invented a false reality whereby the 'mop-top' Beatles were dead and had been replaced by the 'real' Beatles a.k.a. 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'.

This 'new' band being the sum of all its previous parts but now 'illuminated' in the way of the world.

In support of this suppsosition I shall include one final tale to this collection. This one concerns, Isaac Asimov, the science fiction writer. According to Wikipedia:

“In December 1974, former Beatle Paul McCartney approached Asimov and asked him if he could write the screenplay for a science-fiction movie musical. McCartney had a vague idea for the plot and a small scrap of dialogue; he wished to make a film about a rock band whose members discover they are being impersonated by a group of extraterrestrials. The band and their impostors would likely be played by McCartney's group Wings, then at the height of their career. Intrigued by the idea, although he was not generally a fan of rock music, Asimov quickly produced a "treatment" or brief outline of the story. He adhered to McCartney's overall idea, producing a story he felt to be moving and dramatic. However, he did not make use of McCartney's brief scrap of dialogue, and probably as a consequence, McCartney rejected the story. The treatment now exists only in the Boston University archives”.

Which is curious, why would Paul McCartney wish to commission a movie about a rock band being replaced?

The plot to the uncommissioned work “Five and Five and One” is the story of six extra-terrestrial, parasitic, energy beings that crash land their space ship on Earth and are forced to take drastic measures to survive: copying the identity of a rock band, with the goal of brainwashing the entire world.

Where might he have got the idea?
It seems an almost direct extension of the Pepper concept;
"I thought it would be nice to lose our identities, to submerge ourselves in the persona of a fake group."

Why would Apollo C. Vermouth, whoever he may be,  provide all this additional detail and background information without ever confirming that 'Paul is Dead' is real? Unless, of course, it is not, it is just part of the game. The replacement scenario is needed because it is vital to the 'there are two Paul McCartney's' theme which is symbolic of the 'Looking Glass' godgame that they have created.


What if you wrote a book and nobody read it? I want to be a paperback writer...
Apollo 


A is for Apollo