From a Christian Viewpoint
Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
"For changing people's manners and altering their customs, there is nothing better than music" (Shu Ching, 6th. Century BC).
The bible narrates that when the Judean king Saul went into a rage, his court attendants would call upon young David to play on his dulcimer (an ancient musical instrument) for the king. The melodious and soothing sounds calmed the king to his normal self. Even in those ancient days, people were aware that soft melodies had a calming effect on a person's disposition. On the other hand, contemporary music like rock and roll particularly "heavy metal" creates the exact opposite effect on the listener: quiet people are driven to violence, rage and malice. Rock and roll appeared approximately 40 years ago. Over this period, the development of this music headed more and more toward sexual lust. David Gergen characterizes this evolution in the following way: "The difference between the music of yesterday and that of today is the leap one makes from swimming in Sports Illustrated to the centerfolds of Hustler" (USA Today, Oct. 11 1985).
Rock music has become a global cadence that has attracted hundreds of millions of devotees. To many young people, rock music and its more violent variation "heavy metal" has become their lifestyle, where perversion, use of narcotics, violence and nihilism (denial of all reality) is encouraged. In this pamphlet, we will say a few words about the general meaning of music in the spiritual life of a person. We will then quote the opinions of psychologists, doctors and public figures regarding the influence of modern rock music on the youth, in particular on sexual and violent behavior. We will then expose, from a Christian standpoint, anti-Christian, occult and even satanic elements in some forms of rock music. Finally we will how parents can assist their children to recognize the serious consequences of the influence of such music.
The Power of Music.
Music is one of the most inspirational forms of fine art. In its rhythm, melody, harmony and dynamics, its variety of sounds, shades and nuances, music transmits a never-ending gamut of feelings and sensations. Its power is contained in its ability to by-pass reason, penetrating straight into the soul, into the subconscious, and to manipulate a person's feelings. Depending on its content, music can evoke the most elevated and noble feelings, such as assisting in creating empathy for prayer or produce quite the opposite, by arousing the most sinful and base desires.
Since time immemorial, melodious music had accompanied prayer and service to God. (Genesis 4:21, 31:27; Exodus 32:18, Judge 11:34; Ecc. 2:8). King David, was endowed by God with outstanding poetical talents and composed many inspirational prayers-psalms, accompanying them with his dulcimer. Upon his subsequent elevation as King of Israel, David introduced the singing of psalms during church services and appointed regular singers and musicians for this responsibility. Because of their great popularity, the psalms of David became an inalienable part of the church services not only those under the Old Testament, but also carried over into the Christian Liturgy. Having been embelished (mainly by Russian composers) many psalms of David adorn our Church services. The Holy Scripture encourages tranquil singing that creates a prayerful mood. For example, Apostle James counsels: "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms." Apostle Paul gives similar advice: "teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (1 Samuel 16:16-23; 2 Samuel 6:5-23, 22:1; 1 Chron.6:31; 2 Chron.29:25; James 5:13; Ephes.5:19; Col.3:16).
Contemporary medical experiments have established the beneficial influence of peaceful classical music in the recovery process of patients. This has been expressed by Dr. Clyde L. Nash Jr. a surgeon with the St. Luke Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Another doctor, Dr. Mathew H.M. Lee, director of Rusk Rehabilitation Institute at New York University Medical Center, said the following: "We've seen confirmation of music benefits in helping to avoid serious complications during illness, enhancing patients' well-being and shortening hospital stays." "Of course" says a musical therapist from Cleveland Deforia Lane, "music is not a magic, but in a hospital or at home, for young people or older ones, it can be a potent medicine that helps us all" (See "Music's Surprising Power to Heal," in Readers Digest, Aug. 1992). This article also contains other documented facts about the benefits of calm music. Several years ago, some American journals carried articles relating to experiments on the influence of music on plants. These experiments determined that peaceful music helped in the growth and development of some bushes and flowers while violent music made them wither. In Germany some farmers started to use calm music during milking. These experiments show that not only humans react to music.
The renowned philosopher Plato (427-347 BC) considered that God had implanted human beings with a propensity to create and integrate sounds not in any haphazard fashion but under the harmonious influence of the spiritual world (Ion 534D, E, Republic). Aristotle (384-322 BC) noted the importance of music in the occupation of educating children. In his "Politics," he wrote that the influence of music is so great, that its various forms and genre can be classified correspondingly to the influence on a person's character. The 6th century musician M. S. Bothius wrote: "Music is part of us, and it either ennobles or degrades our behavior" (De Institutione Musica). A.W. Tozer noted: "If you love and listen to the wrong kind of music, your inner life will wither and die" (The Closing of the American Mind, New York: Simon & Schuster, pp. 68-81).
Dr. Howard Hansen, former director of Eastmont School of Musical had his following commentary published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (ch. 99, page 317): "Music is a curiously subtle art with innumerable varying emotional connotations. It is made up of many ingredients, and according to the proportions of these components, it can be soothing or invigorating, ennobling, or vulgarizing, philosophical or orgiastic. It has powers for evil as well as for good." Music is not only a form of amusement but to a certain degree a "sermon." It is an immutable expression of the composer's outlook on life and can be a strong weapon for good or evil. God inspires composers with good intentions and through their music influences peoples' spiritual moods. Satan too endeavors to achieve this through people that have turned away from God.
Although every person has a right to maintain a personal taste in music, one should still apply sound sense when objectively evaluating musical compositions. Every Christian must have the ability to differentiate between what is chaste and what is depraved in music, as well as in films, the fine arts and literature. Frequently, a mixture of good and evil can be seen in these various branches of the Arts, while Christian convictions should give the ability to draw the line of distinction between the two. It is this religious feeling directed by the Holy Scriptures, that appears as a faithful guide for the Christian.
Power of Rock-and-Roll.
Contemporary composers of rock music all agree that their creations have immense power (The majority of facts and references quoted later, have been drawn from the book The Facts on Rock Music, John Ankenberg and John Weldon, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon USA 1992). For example, Frank Zappa wrote in Life magazine: "The ways in which sound affects the human organism are myriad and subtle... the loud sounds and bright lights of today are tremendous indoctrination tools" (Life magazine, June 28, 1968). Slash, the lead guitarist of the Guns n' Roses declares, "I mean, this is serious. It's my music affecting the lives of people you don't even know, which is definitely a scary thing. To have that much power" (Eric Holmberg, The Hell's Bells Study Guide, Gainesville, Fl Reel to Reel, 1990). One of the first distributors of rock music, Hal Ziegler wrote in the 50's "I realize that this music got through to the youngsters because the big beat matched the great rhythms of the human body. I knew it and I knew there was nothing that anyone could do to knock that out of them. I further knew that they would carry this with them the rest of their lives" (Life magazine, June 28, 1968).
Parents should not ignore the enormous influence of rock music on their children. A person's system of values is formed during childhood and adolescence.
Psychologists that specialize in the field of music's influence on humans are unanimous in their warnings concerning rock music. Noted psychologist John Kappas, showed that people "are truly susceptible to conscious messages on a record and that excitation and melancholy can be created by music/sensory overload... `Any time you overload the mind, the person becomes very suggestible. They will take in anything that you suggest at that time because they have no defenses against it. People can walk out of concerts in a hyper-suggestible state ... Music has a tendency to defuse thinking and create moods. And in turn, the messages seep in" (Ted Schwartz and Duane Empey, Satanism: Is Your Family Safe? Gran Rapids, MI, Zondervan, 1989 p. 151-52; Allan Bloom, "The Closing of the American Mind, " N.Y. Simon and Schuster, 1987, pp. 68-81).
Doctors are concerned about rock and roll's negative influence on youth. Recent research, concluded that young people from a very early age must work out standards of behavior that equate with the standards of adults. In this context, music a powerful stimulus in a young person's life has gone in a precarious direction. The words of some songs, satiated with immoral and violent content, enters into open conflict with the precepts of the adult generation, regarding restraint and sensible behavior. Doctors must take into account the importance of music in the lives of youths and utilize their musical tastes as indicators as to their emotional and mental health. (Elizabeth F. Brown and William Handee, "Adolescents and Their Music: Insight into the Health of Adolescents," Journal of the American Medical Association, 22/29th Sept. 1989, page 1659).
In his book The Closing of the American Mind, sociologist Allan Bloom expressed his concern regarding the influence that rock music has on children, teenagers and students. Dr. Bloom confirms that young people who have immature ideas about sex, will not be able to develop normally. On the contrary, rock music bombards them with messages of adult sex and even deviation, pushing them into corrupt sensual behavior. They adopt these tendencies when their understanding is still developing. In the opinion of Dr. Bloom, rock music in the American culture undermines the parents' authority with regard to the moral upbringing of their children (Bloom Closing of the American Mind, pp. 73-76).
One school specialist with vast experience in dealing with difficult children confirms: "The influence of rock music continued to surface in my counseling sessions with students. Time after time I saw them pattern their actions after the immoral behavior of their rock stars. The kids showed their allegiances by the vocabulary they picked up, the song titles printed on their book jackets, by the posters they hung on the walls of their rooms at home, by the music they listened to in their cars, and by the clothes they wore" (Media Update, Nov/Dec 1989, pp. 2-3).
School consultant and specialist in rock music Al Menconi, stated: "The sad thing is that the majority of "Christian" kids I come in contact with have a stronger commitment to their music than to Jesus. Music is the language of today's generation... I thought I understood peer pressure until I observed it first hand with my 12-year-old daughter, Ann. The pressure on her to conform to Bon Jovi Guns n' Roses Bobby Brown Madonna George Michael lifestyles is unbelievable... Every day kids identify who they are by their rock stars. Their heroes influence their values. And their values influence who they are. Today's young people don't listen to rock music, they experience it. It is their identity" (Media Update, Sept/Oct 1989, pp. 1-2).
A very instructive source of documented data can be found in a collection of interviews on MTV "Rockumentary" of leading rock groups. Here the self-destructive lifestyle of the leading figures of rock can be seen in all its clarity abuse of narcotics, sexual permissiveness, alcoholism, nihilism, hedonism, insubordination, anarchism and predilection towards occultism. For example, on Aug 3, 1991 the musicians of Motley Crew acknowledged their debauched lifestyle, which has become normal for them. Their lifestyle had degraded them to such an animalistic level that they eventually realized quite clearly that they would need to decide on one of two courses: either change their lifestyle or prepare for death Unfortunately, far too few understand this, while the self-destructive lifestyles of rock stars continue to infect the youth.
The influences of some forms of rock music are so serious that many states in the USA require that all potentially dangerous records and cassettes carry an authoritative evaluation of their contents. (Howard C. Nielson, member of Congress, letter dated April 19, 1990). Some 19 states are considering laws requiring the necessary warning to the user to be carried on the album. Organizations like the National Parent Teacher's Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the US Surgeon General, have voiced concern over the negative influence this type of music has on children and adolescents. Legislation submitted to the House of Representatives provides a useful summary of what people are concerned about:
In principle, whichever way a person treats rock music, one cannot deny its domineering influence on the world view and behavior of the young. Video-rock, their concerts and journals are powerful sermons that are hungrily absorbed by teenagers. In the next few sections we will outline facts concerning the influence rock music has on the feeling, behavior and religious frame of mind of our youth.
Rock and Sex.
Facts reveal that rock music stimulates casual dissoluteness. In "US News and World Report" of March 19, 1990, it is reported that currently there are: 13 rock groups named after male sexual organs, 6 named after female sexual organs, 4 named by variations of the word "sperm," 8 named with words linked with abortion, 1 named after a disease of the womb. There are additionally 10 groups named in honor of various sexual acts while the names of 8 groups include swear words against mothers.
Contemporary rock music is saturated with elements of cohabitation outside of marriage, infidelity, sadism and masochism, homosexuality, rape and necrophilia. Often rock music encourages sex with anyone you like. From the late Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" to Queen's "Body Language" to George Michael's "I Want Your Sex" to Madonna's "Chemical Reaction" to White Snake's "Still of the Night" and to the lyrics of Prince and endless others the theme is the same: promotion of sexual licentiousness.
Evidently, the elements of profligacy contained in the majority of rock compositions are disguised so that they can be offered as something attractive. Simultaneously with and parallel to this, there is a total degradation of the understanding of woman, mother, virgin, bride. They all become objects of unbridled, animalistic sexual lust. For example: "Eat Me Alive," "Dungeon of Pleasure," "The bitch is bound and helpless, she is screaming for more. That sweet and innocent girl is really hard core" and similar titles extol sexual ecstasy, where a deviate appears with a gun and forces others to perform what he desires. So as not to embarrass the reader, we will buy-pass various other passages documenting this facet of rock music. (John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Rock Music, Harvest House Publishing House, Oregon 1992, pp. 13-14).
Allan Bloom is quite correct when he asserts that "rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire not love ... but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored ... rock gives children, on a silver plate, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up ... Young people know that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse ... Never was there such an art form directed so exclusively to children... The words implicitly and explicitly describe bodily acts that satisfy sexual desire and treat them as its only natural and routine culmination for children who do not yet have the slightest imagination of love, marriage or family. This has a much more powerful effect that does pornography on youngsters., who have no need to watch others do grossly what they can so easily do themselves. Voyeurism is for the old perverts; active sexual relations are for the young. All they need is encouragement" (Bloom, Closing of the American Mind, pp. 73-74).
Aconcert held by the group "Guns N' Roses" (July 2, 1991 in St Louis, Missouri) ended when the enraged mob of 2500 youths staged a riot, resulting in 60 of their numbers being injured. The journal Rolling Stone informed that the participants in this concert, "developed into a furious uncontrollable mob, hurling bottles, destroying seats, ripping apart bushes, breaking and setting fire to instruments This riot continued for over an hour before a squad of special police arrived to restore order. (Rolling Stone, Aug. 22, 1975 p 15). This type of violence is far from being an isolated incident.
Sometimes, this type of frantic behavior at rock concerts leads to killings. In a town called Jefferson-Township, (New Jersey), a youth named Thomas Sullivan stabbed his mother, Betty-Ann, to death in the basement of their house. Setting fire to the divan with the aim of destroying the house and killing his father and younger brother, he ran outside and committed suicide by slashing his wrists. All week long before this carnage, Thomas had been humming a rock song about blood and killing your mother. Police later established that Thomas was a talented student, outstanding sportsman and had belonged to the Scouts. He began to dabble in "hard metal" rock music and, before committing his crime, he confided to his friends that Satan appeared to him and ordered the killing of his family.
Different forms of violence are on the increase in rock music. For example in a song titled "I Kill Children" by rock group Dead Kennedy we hear "I kill children, I love to see them die. I kill children to make their mothers cry. I crush them under my car and I love to hear them scream. I feed them poison candy and spoil their Halloween. I kill children, I bang their heads in doors. I kill children, I can hardly wait for yours." In the album "Hell Awaits" the band Slayer has the lyrics: "No apparent motive. Just kill and kill again. Survive my brutal slashing. I'll hunt you till the end."
Iron Maiden's mascot is "Eddy" a dead man who kills with great delight. According to Satanist and brutal murderer Richard Ramirez (the "Night Stalker"), it was AC/ DC's song "Night Prowler" that became part of his motivation to murder 30 people. He said the song gave him "inspiration. "Night Prowler" contains the stanza, "No one's gonna warn you, no one's gonna yell 'attack!' and you can't feel the steel until it's hanging out your back, I'm your night prowler."
One study revealed that of the 700 most popular songs of "heavy metal," 50% speak of killings, 35% of satanism and 7% about suicide. Sheila Davis, professor of lyric writing at New York University, is convinced that "better give serious attention to the content of pop songs and to evaluate not only what lyrics are saying to society but, more important, what they may be doing to it" (USA Today, October 11, 1985, p. 10).
The National Council of Churches published their findings that the growing aggressive behavior of youths appears as the direct result of the violent content of contemporary films and music (USA Today, Oct. 11, 1985).
Parallel to the inner aggressiveness, this destructive feeling can appear directed against the music listener. Some rock music composers preach suicide sometimes through hints and sometimes directly. For example, Ozzy Osbourne's song, "Suicide Solution" advocates suicide: "Suicide this is the only way out..." In "Suicide's an Alternative" the following is sung: "Sick of life it sucks / sick and tired no one cares / sick of myself don't wanna live / sick of living gonna die / suicide's an alternative." "Sacrifice your life and commit suicide. By doing this in the name of satan, you will become immortal, just like him!" are some of the words sung in one of the "hard metal" songs dedicated to Lucifer.
Educational psychologist, Dr. Hannelore Wass, considered an expert on death and dying, indicated that while only 17% of teenagers listen to music containing manifestly destructive contents, among the youthful criminals this figure reaches 40%. Apart from this, nearly 50% of those interviewed acknowledged the possibility that these types of songs could really incline an unbalanced or grief-stricken young person toward suicide. Dr. Wass concluded that these detailed interviews with young people show the need for parents to watch what their children are listening to, and to pay attention to any emerging symptoms of abnormality. (Wass, et. al, "Adolescents' Interest" p. 186, sampled 700 adolescents. The themes were: homicide, suicide and satanism. Cf. Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun").
Similar research prompted the National Education Association to conclude that nearly 6000 teenage suicides a year are brought about by the influence of nihilistic and fatalistic music (Information for Parents' Music Resource Center, Nashville, TN. 1990).
Dr. Morton Kurlan a Palm Springs psychiatrist whose patient, John McCollum, committed suicide after listening to an Ozzy Osbourne record, stated: "Sadomasochism, blood, and violence make big bucks for the producers of rock videos, but such things can push an emotionally suffering kid over the edge" (Arthur Lyons, Satan Wants You, New York, Mysterious Press, 1988, p.171). And it is well known that millions of contemporary young people are suffering from inner tumult. At this point it is worth considering that the estranged nihilistic and destructive contents of rock-style music actually reflects the disposition and lives of the rock stars. For example, the biography of Pink Floyd Saucerful of Secrets written by band's two former leaders gives vivid examples of the personal tragedy that can stalk the lives of those who glorify excess (Cf. The 1991 Elton John interview with David Frost). Authors Schwarz and Empey observe: "In talking with some of the musicians involved in satanism, as well as individuals they have consulted researches, psychologists, and psychics a pattern becomes clear. Like so many others who save chosen satanism over Christianity, they have a desire for immediate gratification and self-fulfillment. 'Money Control. Power. They want the fantasy of being able to live a special life with a lot of wealth,' said a psychologist whose practice includes some of the major names in the rock business. 'And they're willing to die young to pay it off. They see that by giving life early they can have everything ...'
The reality of this statement is obvious when you read the obituaries of rock stars. Many have died from alcoholism, drug abuse, or accidents resulting from their being under the influence of such products (Schwarz and Empey, Satanism: Is Your Family Safe? p. 154).
The very names of some "heavy metal" groups also known as "death metal," glorify death and speak of destruction. Here are some samples: "Blessed Death," "Carnivore," "Coroner," "Destruction," "Mace," "Malice," "Overkill," "Rotten Corpse," "Sacrifice," Violence etc. (Cf. Dave Hart, "Heavy Metal Madness," Media Update, July/Aug. 1989 p. 5).
Brown and Hendee noted that "several murders have been correlated with fascination for heavy metal music and that "another behavioral study found that violent music videos desensitized viewers to violence immediately after viewing."
A Tennessee psychiatrist informed a Senate committee that heavy metal music is "poison" for disturbed adolescents, not to mention substance abusers. It is "like throwing gasoline on the fire of hatred and resentment that's already burning," said Dr. Paul King, Clinical Assistant Professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Tennessee. According to King, more than 8o percent of his adolescent patients have listened to heavy metal for long stretches of time as a daily routine. They were familiar with all the words and wrote them in notebooks and on desks while class was going on (Wass, et. al., Adolescents' Interest, King, "Heavy Metal Music").
To a Christian there is no doubt that blasphemy, vulgarity, debauchery and rape espoused by contemporary rock music cuts right across God's plan for the salvation of people.
Rock and Narcotics.
Apart from sex and rape, rock music encourages drug abuse. As far back as 1969, Time magazine (September 26) commented, "Rock musicians use drugs frequently and openly and their compositions are riddled with references to drugs." Songs such as Velvet Underground's "Heroin" helped encourage some young people to experiment with drugs, not infrequently with tragic consequences (John Cale, Spin, May 1990 p. 30).
As reported in Life magazine, (October 3, 1969), Jimi Hendrix, whose basic philosophy was one of unbridled sex and drug use, commented, "You can hypnotize people with music and when you get them at their weakest point, you can preach into the subconscious what we want to say."
But many famous rock stars have paid a price for their drug abuse. Among the dead are Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Elvis Presley, Janice Joplin, Bon Scott of AC/DC, Frankie Lymon, Tim Harden, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzie and many others could be mentioned. The day this booklet was finished the lead singer for the Temptations, David Ruffin, died from a cocaine overdose. But in spite of this, drugs still play a prominent role in rock music and this seems to have a harmful effect on many who listen.
For example, one study in Post Graduate Medicine concluded that "evidence shows that such [rock] music promotes and supports patterns of drug abuse, promiscuous sexual activity and violence" (King, "Heavy Metal Music" of Wass et. al., Adolescents Interest, p. 82).
The personal and social tragedy of modern drug abuse is simply unimaginable, and yet rock music continues to glorify drug use. In fact, it can be argued that rock music must assume a large share of responsibility for the modern drug epidemic. As in the area of human sexuality, rock musicians are failing to uphold their responsibilities, Steven Tyrler of Aerosmith noted in Sober Times (Oct. 1988, p. 2). Notwithstanding the fact that drug abuse presents a huge problem in our contemporary society, rock music continues to encourage this. It is time that society leaders understood that rock music carries a significant amount of blame for the current narcotic abuse.
One can notice through the phrases in rock music that it has common elements with religion. This music for example, recognizes a higher force that rules the world. However it becomes quickly obvious that it is not God that is praised as the Highest Benevolent Being and not even the blind "fate" of the pagan poets, but someone dark and cruel. On the periphery of the fundamental channel of rock music, there is a group that has extreme anti-Christian leanings. The cacophony of some "heavy metal" groups are permeated with occult and satanist motives. Those who overindulge in this type of chilling music are deservedly drawn down into infernal regions.
Here are some examples of ritualistic practices of black mass. During a concert staged by "Gwart," one of the participants (on stage) severed the head of a human dummy and then proceeded to sprinkle blood on the audience. Then the members of the group smeared themselves with blood, taken from the dummy and drank it! They also brought in animals on to the stage and tore their intestines out.
Even in 1966, John Lennon boasted that Christianity would pass away and that the Beatles would become more popular than Christ. He portrayed Christ under the guise of a character he named "Jesus l. Pifco, a garlic eating, stinking, little yellow greasy fascist bastard Catholic Spaniard" (John Lennon, A Spaniard in the Works, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1965 p. 14). As we all know, he died tragically in 1980. David Bowie, one of the biggest rock stars in 1976, declared "Rock has always been devil's music."
According to Spin (Jan. 1991, p. 29) Danzig "embodies both rock's past glories and the promise of its future." Yet in songs like "Am I Demon," "Mother," and others, he glorifies occult ritual and sacrifice, violence and spiritual anarchy. In one blasphemous video a woman at the foot of the cross looks up and sees not Jesus but a graphic portrayal of the devil, arms outstretched, hanging on the cross. The immediate impression this confusing image gives is either that Jesus was really the devil or that what the cross symbolizes is satanic.
It is known that from its very beginning, rock music was rebellious in content, defing parental and societal authorities. Today some of the newer rock groups are openly calling for the rejection of traditional Christian principles. In one of the earlier interviews conducted by the Rolling Stones magazine with David Crosby, from the group "Crosby Stills and Nash," he commented, "I figured the only thing to do was to swipe their kids... By saying that, I'm not talking about kidnapping. I'm just talking about changing their value system, which removes them from their parents' world very effectively" (Rolling Stone, vol. 1 p. 410). In the journal "Jesserson Starship," Paul Kanter confesses: "Our music is intended to broaden the generation gap, to alienate children from their parents ." (In Tinglehoff Documentation of Expose, p. 4).
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones has remarked, "There is no such thing as a secure, family-oriented rock and roll song" (same journal p. 5). Jon of Bon Jovi observed, "I wanted to rebel against anything and everything, and it happened that I was able to do it by playing rock and roll in a band" (Metal Edge, Aug. 1987, p. 12). John Cougar reveals, "I swear or cuss because I know that it's not socially acceptable. I hate things that are 'this is the way you are supposed to behave.' That is why I hate schools, governments, and churches" (In Tinglehoff Documentation of Expose, p. 6).
Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue comments: "We never set out to be anybody's role model. But since we have become that, we are trying to give our fans something to believe in. On the second album, we told them to "Shout at the Devil." A lot of people... think that song is about Satan. That's not true. It's about standing up to authority, whether it is your parents, your teacher or your boss. That is pretty good advice, I think. But I'm sure that any parent who hears it is going to think it is treason" (Rock Beat, 1989 p. 41).
Rock music almost unanimously rejects Christian standards and beliefs. For example, reading through a text like Rock and Roll Babylon is as depressing as reading Hollywood Babylon; the anti-Christian nature of these subcultures are laid bare in graphic terms. From The Doors' Jim Morrison's mocking, screaming hatred of Christian prayer ("Petition the Lord with Prayer") to Skid Row's "Quicksand Jesus" ("Are we saved by the words of bastard saints?") to the more explicit blasphemies, rock culture has often identified its aversion to Christian faith. Ozzy Osbourne acknowledges "I'm not a born again Christian but a born again Hitler (Cream Metal, March 1986 p. 12).
Here are more quotations from "Heavy Metal." "The Oath" by the band King Diamond: "I deny Jesus Christ, the deceiver, and I adjure the Christian faith, holding in contempt all of its works." "Possessed" by the band Venom: "I am possessed by all that is evil. The death of your God I demand. I ... sit at Lord Satan's right hand," and "I drink the vomit of the priest, make love to the dying whore, Satan is my master incarnate, hail, praise to my unholy host."
Billy Idol attempts "to show what a human rip-off religion is." Leon Russell thinks that "organized Christianity has done more harm than any other single force I can think of in the world" and suggests that the religion of rock and roll replace it. In an interview in Spin, Sinead O'Connor emphasized, "It's a huge abuse to teach children that God is not within themselves. That God is pollution. That God is bigger than them. That God is outside them. That is a lie. That's what causes the emptiness of children" (Spin, Nov 1991, p. 51). In "Hymn 43" the band Jethro Tull conveyed this message, "We are our own saviors, and if Jesus saves, then He better save Himself" (Cream Metal, Mar. 1986, p. 12). There is no limit as to the amount of blasphemous citations one can obtain from these songs.
In rock and roll as well as "heavy metal" music, there is a strong occult influence. Cyril Scott was an eminent composer during his lifetime. He was a student of the occult religion known as Theosophy and also interested in the potential of using music for the occult. Two of his books, The Influence of Music on History and Morals and Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages, were received through inspiration of the spirit world by one of the Theosophic spirit guides (that also Madame Blavatsky, founder of the theosophical movement in pre revolutionary Russia). In the latter book, Scott tells us that, from his talks with this spirit, it: "takes a special interest in the evolution of Western music .... Indeed, he considers it advisable that students of occultism of all schools should more fully appreciate the great importance of music as a force in spiritual [occult] evolution, and to this end he has revealed much that has hither to not been revealed, and that cannot fail to prove of paramount interest to all music-lovers."
Scott himself is convinced that "the great Initiates [in the spirit world] have vast and imposing plans for the musical future" (p. 199). What is this plan? It is to use music as an occult medium through which to develop altered states of consciousness, psychic abilities, and contact with the spirit world. Scott explains: "Music in the future is to be used to bring people into yet closer touch with the Devas [spirits]; they will be enabled to partake of the benefic [beneficial] influence of these beings while attending concerts at which by the appropriate type of sound they have been invoked .... The scientifically calculated music in question, however, will achieve the two-fold object of invoking the Devas and at the same time stimulating in the listeners those [psychic] faculties by means of which they will become aware of them and responsive to their [the spirits'] influence" (pp. 200-201).
Scott concludes his book by citing the words of his spirit guide: "Today, as we enter this new Age, we seek, primarily through the medium of inspired music, to defuse the spirit of [occultic] unification and brotherhood, and thus quicken the (spiritual) vibration of this planet" (p. 204). This genre of "inspired music" is now found in local record stores. Some "New Age" music is spiritistically inspired for specific occult goals. The "composers" of the New Age music claim it can foster meditation, help develop psychic power, alter consciousness, induce "astral" travel, and transform personality. Other contemporary rock musicians parallel these ideas.
Many of the big-time rock stars have been heavily involved not only in the occult but also in overt Satanism. Trying to describe his own "inspiration" process, [John] Lennon said: "It's like being possessed: like a psychic or a medium...." Of the Beatles, Yoko Ono has said, "They were like mediums. They weren't conscious of all they were saying, but it was coming through them..." Marc Storace, a vocalist with the heavy-metal band Krokus, told Circus magazine: "You can't describe it except to say it's like a mysterious energy that comes from the metaphysical plane and into my body. It's almost like being a medium..." "Little Richard" had similar experiences and identified Satan as the source of his inspiration: "I was directed and commanded by another power The power of darkness ... that a lot of people don't believe exists. The power of the devil. Satan." Jim Morrison (of The Doors) called the spirits that at times possessed him "the Lords," and wrote a book of poetry about them. Folk rock artist Joni Mitchell's creativity came from her spirit guide "Aft." So dependent was she upon 'Aft" that nothing could detain her when he "called."
The prevalence of such "spirits" among top rock stars seems to go beyond the realm of coincidence. Superstar Jimi Hendrix, called "rock's greatest guitarist" ... "believed he was possessed by some spirit," according to Alan Douglas. Hendrix's former girlfriend, Fayne Pridgon, has said: "He used to always talk about some devil or something was in him, you know, and he didn't have any control over it, he didn't know what made him act the way he acted and what made him say the things he said, and songs ... just came out of him." (Dave Hunt, America: The Sorcerers New Apprentice, Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1988, pp. 239-40).
Many other rock stars practice occultism, and their compositions describe their condition in terms of being possessed or in a trance. (Larson, "Larson's Book of Rock," pp. 125-35, Hunt, America: The Sorcerers New Apprentice, pp. 245-246). It is now well known that a large number of musicians are discovering an interest in occultism, sorcery and sometimes even satanism. Some names of "black metal" groups have an association with the occult. For example, "Coven," "Dark Angel," "Demon," "Infernal Majesty," "Possessed," "Satan," "Cloven Hoof" and others. (Details for Men, July 1991, pp. 100-101).
Ozzy Osbourne noted, "I never seem to know exactly what I'm gonna do next. I just like to do what the spirits make me do. That way, I always have someone or something to blame" (Faces, Nov. 1983 p. 24). Osbourne, a former lead singer of "Black Sabbath" triumphantly summoned satan at one of his concerts in Canada. "Sometimes I feel like a medium for some outside force... " (Tinglehoff, Documentation of Expose, p. 21). Black Sabbath has also made altar calls to Lucifer at some of their concerts. In "Master of Reality" they sing that he is "lord of this world" and "your confessor now."
According to a Rolling Stone interview, Peter Criss, the first and most famous drummer of the rock band KISS stated, "I believe in the devil as much as God. You can use either one to get things done" (Rolling Stone, Jan 12, 1978).
Another guitarist when asked "From where do you draw the strength for such delivery?" He said,"Most probably from below, up there there is no Rock-and-Roll." Members of the group Iron Maiden openly admit that they are dabbling in the occult, including witchcraft (Cream, Sept. 1982). One Iron Maiden concert in Portland, Oregon, opened with the words "Welcome to Satan's sanctuary." Glenn Tipton of the group Judas Priest confessed that when he goes on stage, he goes crazy: "It's like someone else takes over my body" (Hit Parade, Fall 1984).
In describing what a Van Halen concert is like, David Lee Roth commented, "I'm gonna abandon my spirit to them [emotions], which is actually what I attempt to do. You work yourself up into that state and you fall in supplication of the demon gods" (Rock, April 1984).
Guitarist Mick Mars of Motley Crue described his band as "demonic, that's what we are" (Heavy Metal Times, May 1983). Nikki Sixx referring to their "Shout at the Devil" stage show commented, "We have skulls, pentagrams, and all kinds of satanic symbols on stage .... I've always flirted with the devil" (Circus, Jan. 31, 1984).
Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac has several times dedicated their concerts to the witches of the world. An album of the rock group Venom entitled, "Welcome to Hell" contains the following words on the back cover: "We are possessed by all that is evil. The death of your God we demand: we spit at the Virgin you worship, and sit at the Lord Satan's left hand." Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, who was fascinated by the occult, bought Crowley's an old mansion. John Bonham, a drummer for the band, died in a house that Page had bought on Old Mill Lane in Windsor, London. He drank too much and asphyxiated on his own vomit.
Lovers of "heavy metal" music often wear amulets with the above-mentioned symbols. The name of ZOSO means a 3 headed dog, guardian of the doors of hell, NATAS is the name of satan spelt backwards; the image IL CORNUTO with the forefinger and little finger extended forward, is a symbol of satan.
From very ancient times, music expressed the composers's most lofty and noble feelings. It calmed, gave joy and assisted in conceiving a prayerful emotion within the listener. Like poetry, music mirrored nothing but high, "not of this world," creative endowments.
We read in Genesis that the angels and saints in Heaven sing praises to God. But does music exist in Hell? If so, it would no doubt remind one of rock and "heavy metal" music! This type of music awakens appalling and violent carnal emotions. It agitates the dark bottom of the listener's soul, surfacing its cabbalistic and sinful qualities. As the words from Revelations remind us: "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down into you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Rev. 12:12).
A spiritually perceptive individual cannot but see the devil's influence on contemporary music, on the make-up of films and TV programs, on the upsurge of enthusiasm for Eastern mysticism, transcendental meditation and yoga, the escalating popularity of spiritism, astrology and extrasensory forms of healing. The tentacles of the Prince of Darkness are penetrating deeper and deeper into the lives of modern-day people. "By their fruit you shall know them."
Children and teenagers appear to be the main "users" of contemporary violent music. Unfortunately, the majority of them do not comprehend the meaning and nuance of the words that they are listening to. Their insufficiently developed powers of reasoning makes it impossible for them to understand the sexual allegories, the various depraved terminologies and occult concepts embodied in such songs. Moreover, they are not conscious of the satanic attributes of this music. All they hunger for are powerful stimuli; something new and interesting, and exciting rhythms of rock music that are attune with the baser instincts of their nature.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), concluded that the majority of modern music and rock-video is a bigger threat to the health of children and teenagers than that posed by poliomyelitis several years ago. In the opinion of the representatives of the AAP, prolonged listening to "heavy metal" music can result in the spiritual mutilation of the individual, leaving permanent scars on the psyche. Worst of all, rock music and "heavy metal" have developed into a vanguard of anti-Christian sentiments.
But contemporary frenetic music also masks graver maladies of our modern society. The words in rock music possibly appeal to the young because, in rejecting the ideals of the older generation, they have not discovered any worthy aspirations in life. They display their disappointment in their parents by utilizing this music as a form of protest.
In this context, parents should appraise the sincerity of their faith in God and determine whether their priorities, within the family group, conform to Christian teachings. Do all the family members regularly pray to God; do they attend church services; do they partake of Holy Communion; do they observe Lent and Church Holy Days; do they read the Bible together; do they converse about God? If not, the children will be left with a definite spiritual void, waiting to be filled with anything that comes their way.
Naturally, the surrounding influences are quite strong, and often parents are quite helpless in withstanding them. Consequently, there is a need to converse with children about these contemporary problems and make them aware of these perils. The most important thing is to pray to God, so that He may guide them along His path toward salvation, because "what is impossible to man, is possible to God."
Missionary Leaflet # E56
Copyright © 2001Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca 91011
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)