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How the Beatles Changed the Culture of the Western World
Pastor General’s Report – December 12, 1980
How the Beatles Changed the Culture of the Western World

News coverage virtually equal to a Presidential assassination. What was it that changed life-styles and social Values of America?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

On Tuesday night, December 9, I tuned in to the Walter Cronkite evening news. I was shocked – almost dumbfounded! I had been up late the night before, near midnight, and turned on TV just before going to bed. A special news update announced the murder of Beatle “star” John Lennon. To me it carried no significance. I never was a Beatle fan – nor a “rock” fan. I had dismissed it from my mind.

Then next night, Tuesday, on Cronkite’s 5:30 evening news on the Tucson CBS channel, the newscaster I had regarded as “top” in the field shoved aside all news about the Polish crisis, Soviet possible intervention, the war between Iraq and Iran and the threatened war between Syria and Jordan, and started on a long news story of a one-man murder that had occurred after his news program the night before.

I wasn’t interested, but due to amazement that the great Cronkite was giving it so much time on national television, I stayed with him. When more than half his half-hour was past, I flipped over to NBC Nightly News. They had not yet come to the Lennon shooting apparently, but in about one minute they did, and announced a whole special program to come on about the “rock” murder later. Nevertheless, NBC still gave it considerable time in the remainder of their regular nightly news. To get something different I turned to the public television channel for the MacNeil-Lehrer Report – always a long, solid national or international-interest subject. But sure enough, here, also, this John Lennon was stealing their show – although they turned it into a more serious discussion about whether the nation should make gun sales illegal.

In disgust, I left TV, but at 10 p.m. tuned in for the LOCAL news. It was all eulogizing the “rock” “musician.” A local Tucson crowd of 2,000 had flocked to Reid Park bandshell to leave roses, and mourn for their dead idol. The local station had a lot about the “man and his ‘music’” (I had never thought of it as music, but a loud raucous SQUAWK and SCREAM with a fast beat – just an irritating noise).

Pardon me, please! Perhaps I never had any musical education, although I have played the piano since eight years old. I must have been terribly misled, for I supposed that the singing of a Caruso or a Galli-Curci of my father’s time or a Pavarotti or Beverly Sills, or an Arthur Rubinstein of our day produced music. I guess I’m terribly out of date. I have heard roosters make a loud raucous squawk when being captured for a Sunday dinner when I was a boy, but just never had been “educated” to call that “music.”

When as a boy I worked one summer in a flour mill, to the constant “beat” of the machinery till it nearly drove me crazy, I somehow never realized that was “music.”

Please bear with me in my ignorance.

I do remember, when I was in England at the college just before the mid-60s, the “Beatles” were breaking into public notice. They had a new “way out” style, with an idiotic mop-topped hair style, with hair covering the forehead to the eyebrows, the ears, and longer hair in the back of the head. The forehead is the seat of intellect – the mark of intelligence instead of animal non-intelligence. They started the style of male hairdo to turn evolution into reverse – man was becoming dumb brute animal.

Then followed the era of the hippies, men wearing real long hair like females.

Even the president of the United States had adopted a hair style combing hair down over about half the forehead.

Of the Beatles, Lennon seemed to be the “brains,” and his boyhood and life had been troubled and disturbed. He was seeking something that would satisfy. He even delved into religion and politics. But he was influenced by eastern psychedelic and demon influences. His voice was the most gritty, raucous and hard, angry, driving, determined of the group. Yet he became like mild putty in the hands of his Japanese wife. In later years he became the househusband, tending the child and house duties while the dominating wife supervised investments and business matters.

In his search for something that would satisfy his troubled mind, he went into things mystic and psychedelic – not realizing they were Satan influenced. He got out albums with nude covers.

In a way the Beatles started this modern trend in a new Satan-influenced lifestyle of a degenerating culture and sense of social values. But John Lennon was the mind-leader in this.

It picked up what had been started by Frank Sinatra, when teen-age girls ran screaming half out of their minds for his autograph. It was revived and intensified by Elvis Presley. Then the Beatles delivered Satan’s knockout blow to any public sense of social values in the world.

The hippie fad followed. Down went morality, rising triumphantly was promiscuous sex, “pot,” drugs, divorce, broken homes.

The world will deify and worship one who can start humanity on such a downward plunge. Lennon left a fortune, managed by his Japanese wife, of some $230 million – but THAT’S OK with the public – as long as he was in “Show-Biz” and leading a misguided humanity further into Satan’s way of life.

Lennon even made the statement at one time that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. He had MILLIONS – untold MILLIONS of worshippers.

Of course the fact a former “mental patient” shot him – gunned him down deliberately – is to be abhorred. But was not Satan playing his role there? Is it not possible, if not a certainty, that the killer is demon possessed? What did the demon that may be in him have to do with the psychedelic demoniac spirits John Lennon was flirting with? There was something in common. The main eight-column headline in the Tucson Daily Star said, “FIXATED FAN LOVED HIM, AND KILLED HIM.”

This world is fast losing all sense – if it ever had any – of true social values. The lower the standard of social values, the more popular they become in a misguided and deceived humanity.


Just one! It’s time we all pray, “THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” And put our hearts and energies in our prayers as disciples, like this now dead “hero” put his into the raucous loud squawk and scream with the “fast beat.” The world can put real energy into the things of Satan. Can’t we put some real energy into our prayers?

How seriously do we really WANT God’s Kingdom to come? Let’s put some ENERGY into our prayers for it!