26 March 2019

The Beatles - communism, sex and mental disease, by David Noebel

David Noebel (b1936) is an evangelical Christian leader and the founder of Summit Ministries in Colorado in 1961. He saw the rise of Beatlemania coming from Communist indoct­rin­at­ion via hypnosis, a thesis he developed in his book, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution: An Analysis of the Com­m­unist Use of Music & the Communist Master Music Plan (1964). The book transitioned from folk art­is­ts and their earlier influences, to my beloved Beatles. Con­sidering the polit­ic­al leanings of the folk move­ment, with its explicit anti-racist, pro-labour lyrics, he argued the music was turning kids into gay, Communist, inter-breeders.

In the mid 1960s Noebel wrote several pamphlets that condemned rock and roll music and pop culture - as a Soviet plot to brain­wash American teenagers. His pamphlet Communism, Hypnot­ism and The Beatles (1965) included some of these claims:

David A Noebel
Communism, Hypnot­ism and The Beatles,

“The Communists, through their scientists, educators and ent­er­tainers, have contrived an elaborate and scient­ific technique directed at rendering a generation of American youth useless, via mental deter­ior­ation. The plan involves condit­ioned re­flexes, hypnotism and certain kinds of music. The results, destined to destroy our nation, are precise and exacting. Little wonder the Kremlin maintains it will not raise the Red flag over America — the Americans will raise it themselves. If the foll­ow­ing scientific program destined to make our children mentally sick is not exposed, mentally degenerated Americans will indeed raise the Communist flag over their own nation. 

Younger children are not the only ones being tampered with by Communists. Our teenagers are also being exploited: 1. To create in them mental illness through artificial neur­os­is; and 2. To prepare them for riot and ultimate revolution, to destroy our American form of government and the basic Christ­ian principles governing our way of life. 

Four young men, noted for their tonsils and tonsure, are help­ing to bring about this exploitation. When the Beatles conducted their “concert” in Vancouver, 100 persons were stomped, gouged, elbowed and otherwise assaulted during a 29-minute performance. 1,000 were injured in Melbourne. In Beirut, fire hoses were needed to disperse hysterical fans. In the grip of Beatle fever, the teenagers weep, wail and experience ecstasy-ridden hysteria that has to be seen to be believed. The Beatles’ ability to make teenagers take off their clothes and riot is laboratory tested and approved. It is scientifically labelled mass hypnosis and artificial neurosis… 

The music isn’t an art form, but a very destructive process. Teenage mental breakdown is at an all-time high and juvenile de­lin­quency is nearly destroying our society. Both are caused in part by emotional instability which in turn is caused in part by destruct­ive music like rock and roll and certain kinds of jazz. But no mat­t­er what one might think about the Beatles, the results are the same: a generation of young people with sick minds, loose morals and little ability to defend themselves from those who would bury them 

Throw your Beatles records in the city dump. We have been unashamed of being labelled a Christian nation; let’s make sure four mop-headed anti-Christ beatniks don’t destroy our children’s emotional and mental stability and ul­timately destroy our nation. 

Indoctrination began for American babies via Communist educational records with titles like Muffin in the Country, via the Children's Record Guild which was subsidised by Moscow. The history of rock and roll went still deeper, to the heart of Africa, where it was used to incite warriors to such a frenzy that neighbours were cooked to carnage in pots! The music was a designed reversion to savagery!

Thousands of rioting teenagers overran law enforcement. Beatles mania was a Communist conditioned response, mass-hypnotising thous­ands of American youth. The Beatles' anti-religion statement (“we are more popular than Jesus Christ”) showed how they incited juv­en­ile delinquency, venereal diseases, teenage suicides and paganism.

Hot Jazz put people in mental hospitals; it very closely res­embled the music of primitive savages, harsh, ear-splitting percussion music, which inflamed, intoxicated and brutalised. In a pitch for Christianity, he wanted to remove the offending "mentally contam­inating products."

His pamphlet The Beatles: a Study in Drugs, Sex and Revolution (1969) fol­l­owed.  Here Noebel developed a theory that the backbeat in rock and roll has an effect on the cere­bro-spinal fluid, causing a cessation of forebrain activity; thus the primal, animal parts of the brain could take over. Music like this would speed the downfall of America, by hyp­notising the kids into having sex and eventually embrac­ing Communism.

Leaving David Noebel aside, The Beatles would have broken up in 1969 anyhow. But Noebel made their group life in the USA so miserable, their final live foreign concert was in Aug 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

David A Noebel
Rhythm, Riots and Revolution,

Did this extreme, religious subculture have any impact in the USA? Did anyone believe that the hysteria taking place among youth was playing right into the hands of America’s enemies? Yes! Noeb­el’s influence in conservative Christian circles was considerable: he had undesirable records banned from radio stations in the Deep South, had con­certs disrupted and he was partially responsible for the later culture wars (against feminists and gay activists etc) after the Cold War faded. David Noebel and others defined the World­view Con­struct. He has authored books and scholarly papers on the subject of Western Civilisation’s moral and spiritual decline, and integ­rated Biblical and scientific creationism in university text books.


Deb said...

Back in the USSR
You don't know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the USSR, yeah!

Remember how much we loved that song, Hel?
Poor Noebel.

Hels said...


The Beatles were taking the mickey, I think. Chuck Berry had sung Back in the USA, the archetypal piece of American nationalism in song. But by 1968, there were so many desperate anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, the Beatles were spot on with their music. And much loved.

Parnassus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parnassus said...

Hello Hels, There have always been crackpots like Noebel. Back in the 19th century, the waltz was considered wicked and corrupting. Later, ragtime, jazz, women bobbing their hair, etc. all had their detractors.

As for the screaming fans of the Beatles, they too have a long history, probably going back to antiquity. Liszt had mobs of screaming, fainting female fans, and there was a long list of such idols in the 20th century, including young Frank Sinatra and Elvis, even before the girls got around to the Beatles, who however, did seem to reach some sort of apex.

I much prefer the method of satire to puncture exaggeration, pretension, or even hidden agendas. Here are a few contemporary reactions to the Beatles that put them into perspective without being so virulent:

Four Preps--Letter to the Beatles:

Donna Lynn--My Boyfriend got a Beatle Haircut:

Bill Clifton--Beatle Crazy:

p.s. It turns out that 25-cents for an autographed Beatles photo wasn't such a bad investment!

bazza said...

“Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.” - Michel de Montaigne.
Noebel's pamphlets read like the output of the very society that he believed were out to get us. No Noebel Prize for him!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s justly Jocular Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hels said...


totally agreed. Satire is a much more humane way of dealing with exaggeration and attack. And it causes smiles, not tears.

But satire is useless unless a] the sympathetic audience understands how satire works and b] the unsympathetic audience feel it has to modify the attacks. Wherever we have seen the righteous telling the rest of the community how to think and behave, the righteous have been louder, and impervious to ANY alternative views eg Joseph McCarthy and his Senate Subcommittees.

Hels said...


the more open thinker does not pretend to have the answer to every question in life, true! So if Noebel had said that adolescents were more likely to wear long hair, have sex before marriage and use drugs because of the Beatles, the open thinker might have examined those possibilities seriously.

But to suggest that the Russians were carefully promoting mental illness in Boise Idaho through artificial neur­os­is was silly. And that the Russians wanted to have effect on American cere­bro-spinal fluid, causing a cessation of forebrain activity, was even sillier.

All of which would not have mattered, had Noebel and his colleagues not had a serious impact.

Andrew said...

We should not remain ignorant about such people who wield influence but really, what an idiot, albeit a dangerous one. 1,000 injured in Melbourne? I have never heard of that. Yes, plenty of hysteria but long term harm? No.

Hels said...


an idiot, but a dangerous one.. exactly. I thought the Beatles were most vulnerable to attack because they were foreign. But "The Marxist Minstrels: Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music" (1968) attacked Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie etc, years after their most popular era. Joan Baez in particular was devastated by the attacks on her income, sex life etc.

I hope you are correct that there was no long term harm.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hels - interesting to read about ... but not for me. Bazza's quote by Montaigne is so true:
“Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know."

I'd never heard of Noebel ... rather unsettling to put it mildly.

I think I'll leave it here - cheers Hilary

Hels said...


I also had never heard of David Noebel. I was trying to find out why the Beatles last tour of the USA was in 1966, the peak time of their success. People suggested it was because Lennon had said "We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first – rock 'n' roll or Christianity". As a result, The Ku Klux Klan crucified Beatles records, conservative religious groups publicly burnt Beatles records and numbers of tickets sold at Beatles concerts went down and down across the USA.

Noebel's books, pamphlets, newspaper articles and radio interviews seemed to pull it all together.

Woofwoof said...

I can understand how the mass hysteria of the young female fans would have seemed very shocking, maybe even demonic to many people. There were similar things going on in the early seventies with the teeny boppers but then it seemed to go down another notch. The fans of the many boy bands since the 1990s don't seem to have the same level of hysteria. I wonder what it was that caused so many young girls, who are normally restrained and not forward in their behaviour towards the opposite sex, suddenly to throw all caution to the wind and behave so hysterically towards a bunch of average looking young men with guitars? I can't believe it was just hormones.

Hels said...


Good point. If teenage girls have basically the same hormones in every generation, the social environment of the early 1960s must have been a very different one from later decades. The sniff of freedom was in the air.

The girls' hysterical response to the Beatles might have been unexpected by their parents, teachers and clerics, but perfectly explicable by every 17 year old girl in the world. I was not a screamer, but I knew _every_ word of every song they sang in the early mid 60s!