[Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a series of articles on this subject from David Gardner, who contributes to ConsciousReporter.com. Subscribe to their newsletter to be alerted when future parts in the series are published. Read part I here.]
It’s no secret that the music industry has a huge impact on the direction of our culture. When the industry’s biggest stars are “obsessed” with the macabre, and their performances and music videos promote evil acts, demon possession and darkness, what kind of culture will be created? Will spiritual values survive in a world where darkness is increasingly embraced and glorified?
“Music directly represents the passions of the soul. If one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will become the wrong kind of person.” ~Aristotle
The first article in this series investigated the huge amount of dark esoteric symbols being promoted in the music industry. This article explores how references to darkness in popular music extend well beyond the use of symbols, creating a culture where the forces of evil are celebrated and practically worshipped by proxy throughout the world.
Music makes up a huge part of our lives. We listen in our spare time, to entertain us while we’re going to work, to motivate us – we might even have songs from our favourite artists stuck in our head all day long! Popular musicians undeniably hold a powerful position in our lives, having a big impact over the direction of our thoughts, emotions and actions. For many people they are life’s biggest role models.
There have been numerous scientific studies that show how we as a species are prone to imitating and conforming to the requests of powerful people and how easily we go along with social norms. Recently there has been much concern about the effect celebrities have on the values of adolescents who often mimic adult behaviours they witness in the media without fully understanding their consequences.
Collectively the videos of popular artists have billions of views on YouTube, and vast numbers of fans buy albums and visit concerts every year. That’s a lot of influence to have on the impressionable minds of future generations.
“Celebrity worship now provides an important reference point for growing up. It’s part of the transfer of attachment from parents to peer group. Also, whereas in past times family, friends and teachers were influential role models, celebrities now fulfill that role.” – John Maltby, co-author of a study on the attitudes of youth towards celebrities Source
When we start to look deeper into the popular music industry we can begin to see an undercurrent opposed to the values of spirituality and inner development, in which popular artists in their own words are “fascinated” and “obsessed” with things of darkness. This then spreads throughout society due to their influence.
Are we seeing the beginning of a new social norm at the expense of the values required to awaken spiritually?
Promoting acts of evil
Black magic appeals to the mass mind. It appeals to the principles of our civilization. It offers something for nothing.
– Manly P Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics
Beyond glorifying excessive materialism, substance abuse, eating disorders, murder and sexual violence – often to cheers from the audience – many popular artists promote shocking acts with links to dark occultism.
Take for instance Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – a young and heavily promoted rap outfit who have been described as “giddily nihilistic” (nihilism is a belief that life holds no meaning and therefore all moral principles are rejected) and whose album artwork, video clips and performances are packed with references to evil.
Odd Future frequently reference and seem to idolise serial killers, including lyrical references to Jeffrey Dahmer and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), and song titles referencing Richard Ramirez (and his nickname “Night Stalker”) and Albert Fish. Their covers for album Goblin (a type of evil demon or monster) depict occultist Buffalo Bill, and Tyler the Creator with upside down crucifix and with the black eyes of a demon, both covers alluding to their familiarity with the occult.
Odd Future are not the only ones to reference serial killers.
Jeffrey Dahmer is referenced in songs by Ke$ha (Cannibal), Katy Perry (Dark Horse), Lil Wayne (Eat You Alive), Eminem (Must be the Ganja) and many others with artists either referencing or comparing themselves in some way to the killer. It’s such a common trend that Jeffrey Dahmer has been labelled rap’s favourite serial killer.
Marilyn Manson who is signed to Interscope records along with Lady Gaga and many mainstream musicians was so taken by serial killer Charles Manson that he adopted his surname as part of his public persona, the first part coming from the actress Marilyn Monroe. His band members followed suit, taking their stage names from a combination of the names of Hollywood stars and serial killers.
“I want to make a point of saying that many Charles Manson references are our references to his strange-yet-genius gray matter….. I’m bringing his strange thinking into the real world. And sometimes it’s neither a tribute nor a criticism; it’s just putting it back where it belongs.”– Marilyn Manson (aka Brian Warner) Source
The line up for album Antichrist Superstar included band members who took their last names from David Berkowitz and Richard Ramirez.
While many would think it’s bad enough that anyone promote acts such as mass murder, rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism, there is an even darker side to these acts not commonly known about.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s father, when interviewed by Larry King said that his son had set up a satanic alter in their house and had dabbled in the occult. Jeffrey himself thought he would gain a supernatural edge socially and financially by building an alter from his victims body parts and would have began using occult rituals in his crimes if he had not been arrested.
He identified with the total dark power of the emperor in the Return of the Jedi and “became enamored, overwhelmed, caught up in the character in the (horror movie) ‘Exorcist III.’ The character was Satan because he was the personification of evil,”. Source During his arrest Jeffrey screamed at a police officer that he had supernatural powers and that he would eat his heart.
“I have to question whether or not there is an evil force in the world and whether or not I have been influenced by it.”
“Am I just an extremely evil person or is it some kind of satanic influence, or what? I have no idea. I have no idea at all. Do you? Is it possible to be influenced by spirit beings? I know that sounds like an easy way to cop out and say that I couldn’t help myself, but from all that the Bible says, there are forces that have a direct or indirect influence on people’s behavior. The Bible calls him Satan. I suppose it’s possible because it sure seems like some of the thoughts aren’t my own, they just come blasting into my head… These thoughts are very powerful, very destructive, and they do not leave. They’re not the kind of thoughts that you can just shake your head and they’re gone. They do not leave.”
Jeffrey Dahmer – Source
David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” initially claimed to have murdered his victims because he was commanded to by an ancient demon that was possessing his next door neighbour’s dog. Berkowitz said he had tried to kill the dog but couldn’t because the demon possessing it was too powerful. Later he amended his claim, testifying that he had been part of a Satanic group and his killings were organised ritual murders. While these claims are disputed, he is said to have worshipped Satan and been obsessed with the occult prior to his murders. Source
There are possible ties between the Son of Sam murders and the song Yonkers by Tyler the Creator. In Yonkers an “evil voice inside his head” contradicts everything Tyler says and eventually leads to his suicide. Yonkers was the town in which Berkowitz committed his crimes.
Richard Ramirez, known also as the “Night Stalker” left upside down pentagrams on his victims. His trial was attended by black clad Satanists to whom he made the “devil” hand sign. He “claimed to be a “minion” of the Dark One” Source when he was arrested. After being convicted in court he only had one word to offer: “Evil”.
Charles Manson is possibly the most well known of recent serial killers and has come to be synonymous with evil. He boasted that he had killed 35 people and was convicted for ordering the ritualistic murder of seven people, including Sharon Tate – the wife of Roman Polanski – and her unborn baby.
Charles “Tex” Watson, a follower of Manson told one of his victims:
‘I am the Devil and I am here to do the Devil’s business.’
Months later at the trial, Manson’s “disciples” were said to have been utterly under his power. Source
Manson was quoted as saying:
“Jesus Christ is for real and so is that other guy [Satan]” Source
Manson, Berkowitz and Ramirez all have links to Anton LaVey (the founder of the Church of Satan) and satanism.
Recently there have been references to Hitler’s totalitarian Nazi regime that were only thinly-veiled. Hitler is said to have had a great interest in the dark side of occultism. Initially elected, the Nazi regime converted Germany into a repressive police state dictatorship. It was responsible for the deaths of millions of people. In Nicki Minaj’s recent video Only her peers in rap outfit Young Money appear to take the place of dictators in scenes very reminiscent of Nazi Germany (the inane lyrics actually have nothing to do with this). As she sits on a throne dressed in black before a militarised police force she is flanked on either side by faceless figures in hooded black robes. Are these figures a possible reference to a dark hidden influence behind the scenes of popular music?
Alter Egos and the Dark Side of the Personality
Were the serial killers mentioned above simply unleashing darkness that was already in their personality, or were they being influenced by forces of darkness outside themselves as some of their statements seem to indicate?
Is there any correlation between their acts (despite being incredibly extreme) and the manifestation of “alter egos” – a term which in latin can literally be translated as “demonic self” – that so many popular artists embody in their music? Alter egos are often used to excuse negative behaviours and are said to sometimes take over the performer, causing them to act in ways that the artist normally would not be capable of themselves.
Just a small selection of stars that have alter egos include:
- Beyonce (Sasha Fierce)
- Lady Gaga (male alter ego Jo Calderone)
- Nicki Minaj (Barbie, Roman Zolanski, Roman’s mother)
- Eminem (Slim Shady)
- Lil Wayne (Weezy)
- Lil B (Based God)
- Tyler the Creator (Wolf Haley and many others).
Often it is the artis