Russia's Top Narc Blames Beatles for Drugs
Their 'mind-expanding' jaunts expanded problem: Yevgeny Bryun
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2012 11:50 PM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2012 4:53 AM CDT
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison join the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as they arrive by train in Wales, to participate in a weekend of meditation in 1967.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – All you need is drugs, drugs, drugs. That seems to be the message the Beatles communicated to Russia's top narcotics-fighting official, who believes the Fab Four were largely responsible for kicking off the global drug problem. "After the Beatles went to expand their consciousness in India ashrams, they introduced the idea of changing one's psychic state of mind using drugs to the population," Yevgeny Bryun told a Moscow press conference. "When business understood that you could trade on that—on pleasure and goods associated with pleasure—that's probably where it all began." Bryun added that tough measures must be used to combat mass culture and advertising which promotes drug use today, reports the Telegraph.

Beatles music was banned for a time in the USSR, and the state album manufacturer called them "musicians who have plunged to the depth of musical decline." But Russian President Vladimir Putin is a huge fan, and met Paul McCartney when he performed "Back in the USSR" on Red Square in 2003.

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Showing 3 of 38 comments
Aug 12, 2012 8:58 AM CDT
The Beatles have been blamed for everything else why not let a government blame them for something they have no idea about. This is just a way to save face with the citizens without admitting you have no idea what you're doing.
Jun 26, 2012 10:52 PM CDT
Drugs have been a part of the music scene since, certainly, the Jazz Age, early 20th century. Billie Holiday was an alcoholic and heroin addict. Lots of jazz and big band musicians smoked pot in the 1920s, 30s, 40s. Illicit drugs, such as cocaine, were available and used in New York City during the 1930s, though not by many people. Drug use in the music business just drifted into the 1950s and 60s. The Beatles didn't introduce drugs nor did they necessarily popularize any of them, because Timothy Leary was already experimenting with LSD at Harvard pre-1964 when The Beatles were introduced to America via the Ed Sullivan Show. Country musician Johnny Cash was a real pill addict in the 1950s and had a real addiction to them. A whole variety of rock bands in the 1960s introduced drugs to society. I've never bought the often-voiced comment that just because the Beatles began using marijuana in 1964 that all of a sudden their music changed to indicate their use of pot. That's like saying their time spent in India influenced the entire White Album. How would their time in India cause them to compose a song like "Back In The USSR?" or "My Guitar Gently Weeps"? Anymore than what Paul was having for breakfast influenced him to write "Yesterday" which is not about breakfast at all. They were creative songwriters influenced by numerous influences of all kinds. But I will say that "Strawberry Fields Forever" appears to be a rather definite connection to John's use of LSD at that time.
Jun 26, 2012 10:26 PM CDT
Happiness is a warm gun.....