Russian official blames The Beatles for modern-day drug problems
June 27, 2012
Yevgeny Bryun, an anti-narcotic official at the Russian Ministry of Health, publicly denounced The Beatles for having played a key role in promoting drug use, according to The Telegraph. While illegal drug use was present long before The Beatles gained widespread notoriety, it became much more mainstream and openly prevalent during the 1960s.
"After The Beatles went to expand their consciousness in India ashrams, they introduced that idea - the changing of one's psychic state of mind using drugs - to the population," Bryun told the Herald Sun. "When business understood that you could trade on that - on pleasure and goods associated with pleasure - that's probably where it all began."
Many of The Beatles' songs have apparent drug references, such as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Day Tripper. The Herald Sun reports Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles openly admitted the use of drugs was a major factor in the creation of much of the band's music.
Bryun's attack on the former musical group was part of a broader call for a crackdown on the open reference and use of illicit substances by advertising agencies. The Hindustan Times indicates Bryun went after the media for promoting drugs instead of working on anti-drug campaigns.
While he may oppose The Beatles' influence on modern culture, Russian president Vladimir Putin has a strong affinity for the U.K. band's tunes. He was even on hand when Sir McCartney performed in Moscow's Red Square in 2003.