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BOOK REVIEWS: "The Sgt Pepper Code" and "The Beatles Book of Revelations" by Redwel Trabant

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BOOK REVIEWS: The Sgt Pepper Code (2013) and The Beatles Book of Revelations (2013) by Redwel Trabant (eBook via Amazon Digital Services)

As a certifiable Beatles obsessive, I’ve read most of the books out there on Liverpool’s Fab Four, both collectively as a band and books on the individual members.

And with a band as big and popular as The Beatles, is it any surprise that rumors, theories and wild conspiracies surround John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr?

The biggest, of course, is the “Paul is Dead” (PID) theory. This is the idea that Paul McCartney died in an automobile accident in the fall of 1966 and was replaced by a doppelganger like figure nicknamed “Billy Shears,” as noted on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released the following year.

One of the best websites on PID is Plastic Macca, run by Tina Foster, whom I interviewed on the radio a few years back. She has great information. Check out today's post here, on Paul McCartney's 72nd birthday.

There are a number of books on that subject, some better than others (as there are books on the real reason John Lennon was assassinated – check out Fenton Bresler’s insightful Who Killed John Lennon? for more information).

And in the Internet age, the Beatles conspiracies have spread ever further than ever, with mysterious conspriacists like “Iamaphoney” and others keeping the conspiracy dream alive.

And that brings us to Redwel Trabant (an anagram?) the author of two recent Amazon eBooks The Sgt Pepper Code and its follow-up, The Beatles Book of Revelations.

Kicking off with a quote from (Rosicrucian) Sir Francis Bacon: “If we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and we are patient with them, we shall end in certainties.”

Trabant lets us know that 1967’s Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is full of clues which he calls “The Sgt Pepper Code” the “Rosetta Stone that will allow you to tap into the Holy Grail of Beatle mystery and symbolism.”

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? After all, look at the album cover for starters. A treasure trove of coded symbolism and messages.

In the first book, Trabant takes the reader on a wild ride where that famous album was essentially used to unravel a most extraordinary riddle.

There are chapters on the creation of the Sgt Pepper’s album sleeve and how with the Beatles in the middle, surrounded by famous figures, is really a funeral scene and information on the album cover was a hint at the band’s initiation into the realm of secret knowledge, which was coming into play by 1965 with the film and album Help! and was fully realized with the culture-changing Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“Could it be the Beatles are urging us to seek hidden wisdom?” asks Trabant.

As mentioned, Bacon is connected to the Rosicrucians and has been said to be William Shakespeare.

“That the Rosicrucians, who are based on or descended from the Knights Templar, can be seen as a model and forerunner for all manner of other organizations, most notably, perhaps, the Freemasons, is well documented. That there should be eleven Freemasons, three 33rd-degree Freemasons, three OTO members and two Golden Dawn members on top, of course, of the Legionnaire of the Order of Buffaloes depicted on the album cover and something of a pattern begins to emerge.”

Indeed. With a total of 87 figures and items on the cover, including Carl Jung (discoverer of synchronicity), Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, Doors of Perception), Bob Dylan, actress Diana Dors, writer Lewis Carroll and many others with odd connections to esoterica, including Aleister Crowley.

And referencing Jung, Trabant notes that “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is full of synchronicities.”

The songs play a role, from “Lovely Rita” to “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”

At this point I should mention that Trabant does not buy into the PID theories, calling them “a hoax, it is a conspiracy theory.” So, one knows where he stands on that subject. But as for his findings, well, he is simply asking a lot of questions – “Could it be …?” “Or could it be…?”

Yes, Redwel Trabant’s book is full of speculation and conjecture. Is this important album a statement about a coming New World Order and/or the origins of Colonial America?

With the second installment, Beatles Book of Revelations, Trabant continues his speculation and conjecture and leaves the reader asking plenty of questions.

The author does touch upon the questionable John Coleman book The Committee of 300, which posits that the Beatles were “brought to the United States as part of a social experiment which would subject large population groups to brainwashing of which they were not even aware.”

I disagree with this finding. There is plenty of evidence that John, Paul, George and Ringo (and Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best) worked hard in Liverpool and Hamburg to fine-tune their musical craft, not making them a part of an LSD/MK-ULTRA-fueled “Aquarian Conspiracy.”

Nevertheless, there is something eerie and Crowleyan about the Beatles interest in backwards messages “I buried Paul” on “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “Paul is dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him,” from “I’m So Tired,” “Revolution #9” with “Turn me on, dead man,” or even “We’ll fuck you like Supermen” at the end of  “A Day in the Life.” Backmasking was embraced by many 70’s and 80’s rock bands and became a bit of a scandal, getting PMRC types’ panties in a knot. Why did they do this? A wicked sense of humor? A keen interest in the dark arts? Something else? Trabant sees messages in the codes left behind or the mirror image, for instance, of the drum skin on Sgt Pepper’s.

McCartney – the one-time “cute Beatle” definitely comes across as the most sinister of the four, whether or not you agree with him having been replaced in 1966 or not.

Trabant breaks down a lot of the post-Pepper albums, noting “I Am the Walrus” from Magical Mystery Tour and the Shakespearean references to death, particularly with Lennon’s inclusion of lines from King Lear.

There is the question of whether or not covert operations were involved in certain Beatle songwriting techniques, a desire to brainwash the public via Alice in Wonderland trigger words and phrases.

As the Beatles once sang: “It’s all too much.” I know, I know. Delving into these sorts of issues complicates things. Nevertheless, there is something strange about the Beatles beyond the usual stuff most fans know about the band – their rise and fall. What really happened during those crazy years – and what may still be going on. Redwel Trabant may actually be on to something, even if I don’t agree with all of his speculation and ultimate conclusions. It makes for interesting reading, regardless.

This writer gives both books 3 Rusties.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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