On the 50th anniversary of the “British invasion,”
the world is feting the fab four.
Instead, we revisit envangelist David Noebel who had
the prescience to condemn their influence back in 1965.
We look at Noebel through the eyes of a Leftist who
ridicules him as a right-wing bigot and “red baiter,”
a typical Communist tactic. However, reading between the lines,
we believe Noebel was definitely on the right track.
Music is a mind control weapon.
“Noebel is compelling because he’s intelligent, coherent, and well-researched, despite being absolutely paranoid and utterly mad.”
(Beatles ridicule opposition to abortion)
If you’re like me, you can’t resist a good piece of moral panic red-baiting propaganda, especially when it’s directed at a social phenomenon that seems so chaste by today’s standards. As luck might have it, I recently came across the 1974 opus, The Marxist Minstrels: A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music, by the good Reverend David A. Noebel.
Evangelical tracts denouncing rock ‘n’ roll, especially as related to either homosexuality or “race mixing,” aren’t hard to find if you scour antique shops in middle America, but as something of a connoisseur of the genre, I have yet to find a piece of literature that so succinctly combines the collective fears of old, white, crazy, Christian dudes.
David Noebel, ordained in 1961, started his illustrious career with the above pamphlet, Communism, Hypnotism, and The Beatles. He saw the rise of Beatlemania as the result of Communist indoctrination via hypnosis (yup, just like the title), a thesis he developed more thoroughly in his 1964 book, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution: An Analysis of the Communist Use of Music, the Communist Master Music Plan. The book transitioned from The Beatles to folk artists, focusing on Bob Dylan, his colleagues, and their earlier influences. This is at least slightly more understandable, when one considers the political leanings of the folk movement, frequently with explicit anti-racist, pro-labor lyrics.
The Marxist Minstrels: A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music however, synthesizes all of his previous work, citing children’s records, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll as being part and parcel to some elaborate integrationist, free-love, Communist conspiracy.
As a rock ‘n’ roll propaganda collector, I’m used to trudging through a lot of this stuff, and the majority of it is incoherent ramblings–the sort of thing you’d read in a madman’s personal manifesto. Noebel is compelling because he’s intelligent, coherent, and well-researched, despite being absolutely paranoid and utterly mad. Aside from some inconsistent use of the Oxford Comma, he has a clear, if discursive thesis: rock ‘n’ roll is turning kids into gay, Communist, miscegenators.
Some of his “evidence” is fascinating. For example, Alan Freed’s “payola scandal”–who was paying him to play all those rock ‘n’ roll records to unsuspecting teenagers? Communist record companies invade the airwaves by bribery, infecting the youth with music that is “”un-Christian, mentally unsettling, revolutionary and a medium for promiscuity.”
He cites psychological studies, sociological statistics, numerology, etc. to scientifically “prove” the moral degradation incited by popular music, causing everything from sky-rocketing “illegitimate” birth rates to sexual rioting. Lots of sexual rioting. The appendices are incredibly dense and well-cited.
What follows his strange assessment of rock ‘n’ roll is an (actually, semi-accurate) account of the American Left, including some background of the American Communist Party and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Then of course, Noebel posits that folk artists were inspiring the youth to instigate a race war. He believed acoustic musicians like Malvina Reynolds (her “Little Boxes” is the theme music to Weeds) and Pete Seeger were instructing white students to join with “radical groups of Negro racists” so that they might revolt and achieve racial dominance in America. The weirdest part of all this is that by 1974, integration was (at least, on paper) complete.
The folk artists who were most explicitly leftist or Communist weren’t a particular focus of pop culture, The Beatles had already long been broken up, and he never quite explains how these two very distinct fan bases are somehow connected (except that they’re obviously both very Communist). One can only imagine the lovely psychosis that The MC5 would have brought him.
Noebel is still living today, and I recommend checking out his extensive collection of YouTube videos and blog, if you’re looking for a laugh. These days, he’s much more on the “Obama’s a Socialist” train and decrying “Warmism” (Noebel’s evocative name for climate change) than he is into denouncing rock ‘n’ roll. Hell, even Paul Ryan loves Rage Against the Machine.
Still, his older words bring an odd comfort, when we read his treatise on rock ‘n’ roll, comparing it to a children’s record that supposedly contained subliminal messages only audible when the record is played in reverse; “the noise that many of our youth call music is analogous to the story tape played backwards. It is invigorating, vulgarizing, and orgiastic. It is destroying our youth’s ability to relax, reflect, study, pray, and meditate, and is in fact preparing them for riot, civil disobedience, and revolution.” Dear god, I hope so.
YouTube - David Noebel on Bob Dylan and Joan Baez
also by Noebel, A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music
First Comment by Dan:
President Kennedy was murdered two months after my seventh birthday. The Beatles were introduced on the Ed Sullivan Show about two months later.
I retain cinemagraphic recall of those events as if they were yesterday. I would be an old man before I’d realize that the children were traumatized first by the removal of prayer from public school, Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, the assassination a year later. The breakdown of faith, security, and leadership was too strategic to be coincidental. In the mind of the 60′s children God and the President were killed, and the Beatles came to save us.
It must be understood that the media complex was already so tight that anyone trying to warn us like Noebel was jammed. Children’s “church” was already television and LP records, and pulp magazines.
Who needs to prove the messages were subliminal? Lennon openly blasphemed Jesus Christ, saying the Beatles were more famous than Jesus very early on – within the first year of their arrival. “Beatlemania” was hype. Their costumes and famous hairstyles were created by their homosexual handler Brian Epstein. The appearance on the pretend-’Conservative’ Ed Sullivan show sold them as clean and harmless. The gay apparel and faggy haicuts were excused by them being “foreigners”. Almost immediately they took youth on a ‘magickal mystery tour’ to promiscuity and drugs.
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