For the extensive analysis at hand, this article will attempt to serve as much like an information chart as possible. Part 1 dealt with the premise of Punk Rock’s Occult History—a setting of the stage—so this section will get straight to the matter.
“Punk” culture, as an overarching definition, extends from traditional punk rock, to hardcore, new-wave, and the so-called “alternative punk,” “post-punk” and “pop punk” genres, and dovetails into both grunge and the variety of heavy metal genres quite seamlessly. A philosophy prevalent throughout nearly any form of punk culture is a sense of post-modernism; a sense of situationism psychology that oscillates from a desire to deconstruct society, a desire to withdraw from it entirely, and a sense of elitism that stems from what could be considered a sort of socio-economic “Napoleon Complex”—meaning that the inherent lack of wealth and prosperity may easily lead to an inherent dislike for wealth and prosperity.
When analyzing the origins of punk culture, there are four hubs around the globe that are easily the most poignant to study: Washington D.C., the states of New York and California, and London (unfortunately, space does not allow for much discussion of the UK scene, but see this link for the Hoaxbusters Call podcast discussing Joy Division and Factory Records).
First, consider California. Unfortunately, there are quite a few eerie segues between the Laurel Canyon psychedelic rock era of the state, and the metamorphic spin-off that punk quickly became. Taking some more overarching details first, pulling the focus of details closer and closer, take into account some of these interwoven plot-points.
Firstly, just like the psychedelic rock era, punk rock should not and cannot be seen as a genuine “street art” movement of the people. This series has already expressed how punk stemmed from an entirely genuine sense of disassociation from culture that post-industrial-revolution youth felt (just like the hippie movement), but “punk art” itself was a formula calculated by a strategized public relations campaign, created by “numbers” of information that could be seen expressed throughout the youth of the culture. The raw angst was a true sentiment, but how it was collected and projected as a consumerist agenda was never authentic.
With this in mind, it should not be much of a surprise that the most idolized bands and icons of the movement rarely had to spend much time “underground” before reaching acclaimed status with major record label contracts (how else would they have gotten so much airplay before the Internet?). Fans were sold the idea that their music was so great, that it was only a matter of time before it had been picked up by corporate America. But no one really questioned why they hadn’t heard about it before corporate entertainment (Nirvana is another classic example). This is unfortunately the overwhelmingly consistent theme in the Laurel Canyon research, and is no less prevalent in punk rock. As much as most of his fans would hate to admit, 90% of Rollins’ fans today didn’t start listening to him until he was signed to a major label. Of course, there is going to be a massive spike in popularity once these acts are picked up by big labels—that’s just a given—but the more specific point here is this: one of the prerequisites of being a fan of these acts is disassociating with the mainstream, and therefore decrying any influence on them by the mainstream—which is asinine. It is a total denial of where their icons have stemmed from.
A quintessential point in the link between the Laurel Canyon psychedelic rock era of California, and the coming morph into the waves of different punk music is the famous bar, Whisky A Go-Go, which served as a critical, initial launching point for both genres in the area. Many of the characters heavily questioned in Dave McGowan’s research on psychedelic rock, and many of the most influential names in the Hollywood punk emergence, can both be traced to the Whisky, and a deeper article on the matter can be found here.
Additionally, notorious music producer and alleged-murderer Phil Spector, who was a prominent producer for iconic bands of both eras, can be found all throughout the emergence of punk rock in California. Allen Ginsberg is also an essential character to assess when considering the promulgation of punk culture, and while it can only be mentioned as a side note here, this article is a heavily recommended piece of reading on the matter.
For another contextual bridge between the psychedelic mentality of the hippie and the aggressive street-brawl quality of the punk, it is time to take a look at none other than Iggy Pop and The Stooges, who are usually considered to be the first “punk rock” band, in terms of inspiring the movement. Songs like, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” are a crucial stepping stone between the grimier psychedelic rock of bands like The Beatles, The Doors, et cetera, and the dark, gritty, aggressive tempos of contemporary heavy metal, hardcore, and punk.
In interviews, Iggy Pop has stated that after consistent nights of dropping acid together, the friends decided to create an angrier version of hippie music, and thus created the iconic Stooges. And while grunge-rock must be saved for a different article entirely, The Stooges also heavily stimulated the more peculiar notes of the Nirvana-driven grunge movement. Pop and company doesn’t exactly seem to be anything like an orchestrated “think-tank”-created band, alleged of groups such as The Beatles, The Doors, or The Grateful Dead, but since their enfoldment into the corporate mechanism, Iggy Pop has specifically received his fair amount of industry reward for his efforts, and is friends with known Hollywood occultists such as Johnny Depp and the late David Bowie. Furthermore, his “activist” messages are overall questionable, and no one really needs to see a drugged-out shirtless old man, wearing doll makeup anyway.
With some foundation laid, let’s pick apart Henry Lawrence Garfield, aka Henry Rollins. Aside from having made a career out of trying way too hard to be a badass, Rollins has made an equally ludicrous name for himself as the world’s “angriest poet activist,” by advocating things like gun control and abstinence from all inebriating substances, while glossing over his curious occult affiliations and advocacy of mainstream leftwing politics and an undeniable sense of Statist philosophy. His poetry/commentary usually seems to lack any genuine activist solutions and only serves to further sow seeds of discontent and misanthropy.
Regarding his past, Rollins was born to Paul and Iris Garfield in the esteemed Glover Park community of Washington DC, and Rollins has stated at different times that his father was both an economist and/or a member of the Navy who physically and sexually abused young Henry. Growing up, Rollins attended Bullis Naval Academy, as well as American University. After dropping out of college, Rollins worked odd jobs, working as an ice cream server and a liver deliverer for the National Institute of Health. In an interview with the Guardian, he stated,
“They were rodent organs, not human. We’re talking livers; you could fit up to 30 in your mouth, and believe me, I tried one Christmas party.”
In the same interview, Rollins poignantly recalled that,
“The last time I cried when I was feeling rational was when Obama was elected president. I was watching TV and I could feel the tears streaming down my face.”
Unless he was crying about Obama’s forthcoming corporate health care agenda, his careless drone warfare tactics, or the continued massacre of US foreign policy litigation, then Rollins should have saved his tears.
Before moving on, it should be noted that the alumni of both Bullis Academy and American University are some of the most prestigious movers-and-shakers of the nation (of course, not the only ones by any stretch) and it is a well-known and heavily documented notion that politicians, upcoming mainstream entertainers, financiers, and even a surprising amount of supermodels, inventors, and even national sports players all circulate within the same circles of prestigious private school organizations. Rollins is not necessarily an asset of some alphabet agency—but it is important to note that he is entirely a part of this natural social infrastructure, no matter how much he claims he drew away from it. The apple truly never falls very far from the tree. (Another side-note of interest: John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas was also known to graduate from Bullis Academy, who became a quintessentially ominous character in Dave McGowan’s Laurel Canyon research and was known for his affiliation with the satanic Process Church of the Final Judgement.)
Within the DC punk scene, in which Henry Garfield was becoming Henry Rollins, famous act Minor Threat picked up Lyle Preslar from the band, Extorts—the band that Rollins would join to create State of Alert. Rollins’ and State of Alert were known to practice on the Annapolis Naval base (Researcher John Adams also notes that biographies found on the drummer for State of Alert was the son of “top Navy brass”). Meanwhile, as California punk act, Black Flag was rising in popularity, Rollins fell into contact with them and eventually became their iconic front man, proving to be not the only, but one of the biggest inspirations to punk culture to date, and serving as a major push for conglomerating the brewing DC and California punk scenes.
Today, other than boasting some record contracts with some of the biggest companies around currently, Rollins has received acting roles on television, in movies, has hosted his own talk shows, and seems to be given a mainstream, corporate outlet for his political activism wherever he turns. It may also shock readers to know that Rollins, in collaboration with the inmate during his prison sentence, actually produced an entire album of Charles Manson, entitled Completion.
Furthermore, Rollins has been one of the most outspoken advocates for guilty-pled murderer, Damien Echols —who has since become a propagandized icon to the punk-oriented entertainment industry after his satanic sacrifice of three teens (Echols acting with two others) in a case that would be known as the infamous “West Memphis Three” case. Echols has since become a genuine rockstar to punk fans, heavy metal fans, Hollywood fans, and even general occultists who claim that he was unjustly convicted and intimidated into a guilty-plea. This article will let the reader be the judge, but Echols does not seem to be guilt-free. This is an especially interesting note, since Echols is known to crowd around members of the Process Church of the Final Judgement cult, and it is strongly alleged that Charles Manson is a part of the organization. While many claim that the Process Church is harmless, former NYPD detectives Jim Rothstein, and Michael Codella, respectively, have come out on record discussing the department’s investigation into the cult throughout the decades, with a long list of documented ritual sacrifices supplied by human trafficking, and many more crimes and allegations, many of which also lead to the Son of Sam murders.
When Rollins was allegedly hesitant to join Black Flag, his friend Ian MacKaye was there to encourage him. MacKaye was the vocalist for the iconic band, Minor Threat from Washington DC, and moved on to be a frontman in also iconic band, Fugazi. Growing up in Glover Park near Rollins, MacKaye’s father actually worked as a White House correspondent for the Washington Post for an extended period of time—which is a news outlet known to researchers for its documented ties to US domestic intelligence and propaganda. For a period of time, the family actually moved to California where the father attended Stanford University, later moving back to Washington DC.
After initial success with Minor Threat, MacKaye and bandmate Jeff Nelson went on to create Dischord Records, which would serve as one of the prominent punk rock record labels. John Adams also reports that upon reading Michael Azerrad’s book, “Our Band Could Be Your Life” about the music and bands of this era and more, he found a single and intriguing line that he quotes as, “Jeff Nelson was a State Department brat,” meaning supposedly at least one of his family members worked for the State Department at one point. While there is no evidence to disprove this as of yet, this is also the only piece of evidence to suggest the claim.
Nelson’s biography does not appear to be readily available anywhere, and would take quite a bit of aggregated interview data. It is also worth mentioning that MacKaye, Nelson, and Minor Threat bandmates Brian Baker and Lyle Preslar, all first met at the private institution, Georgetown Day School, which sits right across the street from Georgetown University (home to other punk rockers that will be mentioned later). As for Fugazi, the other guitarist/frontman Guy Picciotto also attended Georgetown Day School, and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally quit his day job at NASA to join the band full-time, which is information also gleaned from Michael Azerrad’s research. As a juicy side-note for the reader to make of what they will, it has also been discovered that Ian MacKaye’s grandmother was a longtime member of “Cosmopolitan Club,” a private New York social club that was co-founded by John D. Rockefeller, and was attended by Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Mead, and Abby Rockefeller (daughter to John D).
Next, is Glenn Danzig of Misfits, for a bit of a change-up. Danzig, who lacks the DC connections of MacKaye and Rollins, is much more of an occultist than anything else (although it is of merit that Danzig has worked with members of Minor Threat and Black Flag over the years). Overall, Danzig’s character is like that of GG Allin (who does not need any more evidence than his entire career on record with intense mental illness, in order to be shown as a useful idiot in this consumerist agenda), and Danzig’s path is one of egregious drug abuse in his youth since the age of 11, and an early-on fascination with comic books, horror movies, and occultism.
While this article does not villainize occultism outright by any stretch, Danzig’s career of artistic material, coupled with his knowledge and advocacy of genuine occult knowledge like Luciferianism and the likes of Aleister Crowley, suggests some very dark and prestigious underpinnings that would fit quite snuggly with what is already known of the dark side of the entertainment industry. To his credit, Danzig seems like less of a character who is manipulating a fan-base for possible propagandistic reasons, and more so just by violently desensitizing his fans with his gratuitous and gory artwork, both in the comic-book industry (with his adult-rated horror comics company, Verotik, which is a combination of the words “violent” and “erotic”) and his equally violent musical lyrics and poetry.
While this next point is partial speculation thus far, one might wonder how many Process Church members could be found in Danzig’s clique these days, which is the popular Hollywood satanic cult that Scientology partially dovetailed out of. Former Misfits frontman, Michael Graves, went on record showing his support for dark occultist and Process Church enthusiast (possible member), Damien Echols.
Moving attention to the state of Washington for a moment, in the amalgamation of the Olympia-driven grunge and punk rock scene, Nirvana was beginning to meet great success, with prominent members Dave Grohl on drums, and Kurt Cobain at lead. At this time, Grohl was dating punk-feminist icon, Kathleen Hannah of the band Bikini Kill, while Kurt Cobain dated Tobi Veil of Bikini Kill at the same time. Too few people really understand today that the roots of feminism as a philosophy were heavily propelled by Punk culture with movements like “riot grrrl” and even the Positive Force punk-activist movement from Washington DC. Without making this a rant about the hypocrisies of traditional feminist ideology, Hanna has always been proud to make herself a part of the propagandized establishment by advocating people like former CIA-asset and classical feminist, Gloria Steinem—who is now known as one of the CIA’s most useful assets in destabilizing any sense of authentic, productive feminism.
Essentially, this propagandized coalescence of punk and feminism only seems to result in promiscuity, contraception, and the option for women to wear jeans and short hair. This strange, deconstruction of any authentic sense of feminism within the punk/alternative scene seems continued by acts like Paramore and Pussy Riot. Another interesting note about Bikini Kill’s relationship to punk culture is the fact that former bandmate, Kathi Wilcox, is now married to Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, and Ian MacKaye produced the first Bikini Kill album. Today, Kathleen Hannah has been dating Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys for several years.
Returning to Dave Grohl briefly, it is likely that when people think of the former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, they couldn’t picture him dressing up as demon and playing guitar onstage in music entirely dedicated to overt Satanism. Unfortunately, as can be demonstrated by Grohl’s collaboration with the Satanic rock band, Ghost, this is apparently something that Grohl sincerely enjoys. Ghost, a bizarre form of goth-rock, is a band of members that is led by a person wearing a satanic version of a pope’s attire, with a band literally dressed like demons in the background. That is however, one of the less interesting details about Grohl in this research.
Much more pertinent, are some of the details surrounding Dave’s parents. His father, James Harper Grohl, was a journalist with some very interesting company. Jim Grohl not only has told stories of Allen Ginsberg flirting with him, he was also friends with William S. Boroughs, and eventually served as a special assistant to Senator of Ohio, Robert Taft Jr. (without jumping too far off the rales here, it is entirely fair to point out that Alfonso Taft is on record as one of the founding members of the Skull and Bones Society at Yale, which is a school that a long line of Tafts—including Robert Taft Sr. and Jr—have attended). In his career as a journalist, he worked at such corporate mouth-piece establishments as Scripps News Company and even the Stars and Stripes army newspaper during his time stationed in Germany for the US military. Another interesting note, showing how far Jim Grohl’s career had taken him, his funerary memorial service was held in Washington DC—not his home state of Ohio. More information on Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, and quite a bit of dirt on Jello Biafra and The Dead Kennedys can be found in this extensive research done by Miles Mathis.
Narrowing the scope to some pieces of interest, the Ohio-based hardcore band, Integrity, use Process Church artwork for the band-related artwork. The band reportedly claims to have been unaware of the satanic affiliation when choosing it, but this seems like a pretty obvious lie, since the frontman for the band, Dwid Hellion, is a known Process Church member. Furthermore, occult-oriented backgrounds are suggested of The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, an example being their album title, White Light, White Heat, which, unbeknownst to many, is a classical theosophical term coined by Helena Blavatsky. Greg Gaffin, the vocalist and co-founder of Bad Religion, currently teaches and lectures at UCLA about atheism and other topics, and remains a close friend to useful-idiot “philosopher,” Sam Harris, who makes bold claims, such as how he has disproven the existence of a human soul because science cannot prove where a thought comes from (a rationale he manages to produce college lectures about … somehow). While this article does not advocate organized religion, it contests that materialist-atheism is an equal level of indoctrination to that of traditional religion—metaphysics is a suggested field of research.
Whether this all seems a mere coincidence or it feels like the icons of the Punk Rock era are crumbling like the walls of Jericho, it is of paramount importance that the reader investigates these topics for themselves. If this comes across as coincidence, then there is simply a lack of historical context on behalf of the reader—as this has been presented as not being a “conspiracy” with room for “coincidence” but as a mechanism of mainstream culture for a consumerist, propagandized agenda of the state.
Whatever be the individual cases of these artists in the long-run, there is no denial that they have allowed themselves to be shamelessly whored out by the mainstream for the entirety of their careers—and seemingly enjoyed it quite a bit. This article series is meant to be an overall introduction to this extensive, comprehensive, and emerging field of research into the propaganda within punk rock culture. Even the cases of characters presented in this article have details left aside to maintain conciseness. The research also dives extensively into record labels, producers, and acts not mentioned here, such as Blondie and Debbie Harry, the Dead Kennedys, the Ramones, MC5, Marginal Man, the Cro-Mags, the Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, Genesis P-Orridge and parts of the grunge movement such as Sunny Day Real Estate and, of course, Nirvana. It should be additionally noted that, while the researchers at Hoaxbusters Call are conducting an open-source investigation, some of the material discussed here is information that can only be found either through HBC website, which can be visited here or this blogspot dedicated to continuous updates in the research (one example, for instance, being the tidbits from Michael Azerrad’s book).
Let’s get one thing straight: Punk Rock hates you.
The Gatekeepers of punk rock have made careers out of shunning the mainstream, and promoting alternative lifestyles to their fans that feed directly into propaganda and consumerism. There is no way for these artists to deny it, because they’ve been receiving paychecks for it. In short, these icons create lifestyles out of the mainstream culture that they tell their fans to decry. Punk, at the core of its movement, is pretentious, hypocritical, and the entire movement promoted by the media almost entirely lacks any sense of critical thinking. It makes for some damn good music, but if someone is tired of being a slave to the corporate mechanism, then they should stop seeking out masters with leashes in-hand. This journalist surmises that people like Rollins are laughing at their fans, cash in fist, while current acts like Rise Against, Bad Brains, and Bad Religion, among others, are useful cogs in a consumerist agenda.
It’s time to twist the knife in punk philosophy. Join the investigation … or the revolution.
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