The sixties, in my belief, was a decade of confusion. Some wanted peace and some wanted war. Everything from art, music to politics was looked at from a new and more liberal perspective. Heading into the 70s, people were fully ready for freedom and independence from the rigid ways of the 50s.
Within the sixties, the Vietnam war raged on, causing a divide in most people’s views. Though the one thing that everyone had in common was music! Especially when the British invaded the US…Musically I mean (laugh)
The Beatles were an English rock band that became one of the most influential bands of all time. The band formed in Liverpool England in 1960. The members : Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, captivated audiences, together and later separated within different aspects of their careers.
The Beatles parted ways in 1969, due to reasons that included the strain of superstardom, and the mysterious and suspicious death of their manager, Brian Epstein’s, but that’s an entire episode on it’s own.
The break up was also attributed to their growing resentment to their band mate Paul McCartney as he tended to take a domineering role within the band. As well as John Lennon’s abuse of Heroin and the meeting of his true love, Yoko Ono.
John and Yoko met in November of 1966 in London at an exhibition of Yoko’s art. When they met both were married to others. John was 26 and married to Cynthia, his first wife. Yoko was married to producer Anthony Cox, this was her second marriage.
Though John was a huge star, Yoko stated she didn’t have any idea who he was. Their relationship blossomed into marriage. After both divorced their partners, the two officially married on March 20th of 1969 at the British Consulate in Gibraltar. With their whirlwind romance and romantic wedding, one would think their honeymoon would be very similar.
Though, the newlyweds flew to Amsterdam instead. They used their wedding and John’s fame to stage a ‘bed-in for peace’. This would be the first of many peaceful protests the couple would organize to spread their anti-Vietnam war messages.
During this protest, the couple sat in their bed at a Hilton presidential suite for seven days. With signs in the windows protesting the war and sending messages of peace, the couple would even invite the media to the room.
During their second bed-in for peace, they stayed in bed for eight days at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, suite 1742. This is where the song, “Give Peace a Chance” was recorded. The couple would invite the media to witness their peaceful protest against the Vietnam war.
After this famous bed-in, John realized he was able to communicate with the world based on his celebrity status. He would begin communicating his ideas of how the world should be and change as well as encouraging people to change the way they thought of things in the world.
Moving on from the bed-ins, John and Yoko became more heavily immersed into activism. Rallying against the Vietnam war, expressing discontent with the deaths from the uprising at Attica Prison in New York, and expressing so much in his music. By October of 1971, John Lennon’s album ‘Imagine’ was released. This was his call for world peace.
While John Lennon and his wife’s activism were very obvious and visible, it seems to have become visible to the wrong parties.
John Lennon sang in December of 1971 at a concert that called for the release of a man named John Sinclair, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for being in possession of two marijuana cigarettes and selling them to a police officer. The concert was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan and within days of this concert, the Michigan Supreme Court released Mr. Sinclair. Lennon’s voice was powerful and many knew this. Some say including the FBI.
It is said that during the Ann Arbor concert, the FBI was in attendance. Informants strewn through the audience taking notes on him and his music. The government then began spying and monitoring John Lennon for next year.
During this monitoring the government attempted to deport Lennon from the United States multiple times.
The FBI’s surveillance of John Lennon ranged from monitoring his appearance on the “Mike Douglas Show” and at times delved deeper, for example, they monitored the whereabouts of Yoko Ono’s child from her previous marriage.
So basically while Nixon was campaigning for presidency, the FBI was watching John Lennon…
And we now know this for a fact as the FBI has released, “The Lennon Files”. Our listeners will be able to view them on our website.
The deportation proceedings continued until Nixon resigned based on the Watergate scandal. By the time Gerald Ford took office, Lennon had filed an appeal. Gerald Ford had no desire to continue the deportation. The following year, a New York State Supreme court judge overturned the deportation order. Judge Irving Kaufman made the following statement regarding John Lennon’s deportation battle.
“The courts will not condone selective deportation based upon secret political grounds,” Lennon’s four-year battle to remain in our country is a testimony to his faith in this American dream.”
John Lennon was finally given his green card in 1976…
The timing of the entire deportation issue shed light on the reason it occurred in the first place. The FBI had a profile stating that Lennon was heavily involved in activism dating back to 1969, though, they did not formally open an investigation on him until January 1972. This would also be the year that Nixon would run his re-election campaign. The FBI finally closed its investigation one month after Nixon was re-elected.
Many strongly believe that John Lennon and Yoko Ono posed a threat to President Nixon. Turning the attention of the American people directly towards the government wouldn’t allow for corruption. This is a heavy belief in many conspiracy theorists’ minds. John Lennon was monitored, stalked, and possibly murdered solely based on his activism and agenda for world peace.
On December 8th, 1980, as John Lennon was leaving his apartment building, The Dakota alongside his wife Yoko. At this time he signed a copy of his album Double Fantasy for a fan named Mark David Chapman around 5:00pm. Then headed to the Record Plant for a recording session.
After the recording session John and Yoko returned back to their apartment building in Manhattan at 10:50 p.m. As they exited the limousine and began walking through an archway of the apartment building, gunshots rang out. The fan that John signed an album for earlier in the evening… Mark David Chapman. He shot John Lennon at close range. Five shots were fired, four hit Lennon. Twice in the back and twice in the shoulder. John Lennon was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital in the back of a police cruiser. By 11:15 pm, he was pronounced dead.
Mark David Chapman did not flee the scene after the shooting. Instead he remained there reading the controversial novel The Catcher in the Rye, until police arrested him. Chapman had cited the book as his manifesto.
If you’ve never read the novel, it details two days in the life of the main character Holden Caulfield. He’s a confused 16 year old who was recently expelled from prep school. He feels adults are phony. Struggling with depression, the novel ends with Holden finally claiming he is happy with indications that he is in a mental hospital for treatment.
John Lennon’s shooter claimed he identified with the character Holden in the book. When police arrived and arrested Chapman, they had found that he had written the following in the book.
“To Holden Caulfield, From Holden Caulfield, This is my statement”
And at the end of that statement, he signed Holden’s name. When in police custody, he claimed a huge part of him was Holden Caulfield and the other part of him was the devil.
Chapman was obsessed with the novel and was quite offended by John Lennon’s atheism. Chapman was Christian and saw Lennon as a phony just as Holden perceived adults in the book. He felt he was saving children from Lennon’s godless ways.
Well… this is one theory.
Oddly enough, this novel has been tied to many celebrity murders. There was John Hinkley Jr., who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan and was in the possession of the book. And Robert John Bardo, who murdered Rebecca Schaeffer, was in possession of the novel when he murdered her. And some will say that Lee Harvey Oswald owned a copy of the novel when he shot Kennedy.
That falls in line with the theory of mind control based on the novel. Conspiracists will say that a line in chapter 21 is used to hypnotize and control the reader. A bit like The Manchurian Candidate. The line is:
“It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to.”
Conspiracy theorists have said that once a selected person is ‘activated’, by reading the line they go on to kill their intended target. Which aligns with why Chapman opened the book and began reading it after he shot John Lennon. They don’t know what to do with themselves after the task is carried out.
Another novel written by Richard Condon. A political thriller if you will, published in 1959. The plot follows the son of a prominent U.S. family active in politics. He is brainwashed into becoming an assassin. The novel discusses this character being unaware of being chosen as an assassin.
So basically, one of the theories is that Chapman was brainwashed by the CIA to be an assassin and ordered to take out John Lennon and was only ‘activated’ after reading that particular line in Catcher in the Rye.
Exactly… I guess we’ll never really have the answers. Was Nixon threatened by Lennon’s messages of peace? Was Mark David Chapman a brainwashed assassin or just a mentally ill fan?
Though some things never change… in our current time we see corruption, surveillance, and spying. And those who speak against it and spread peace are silenced…