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Article ID: 4759
Age Group: Adult
Posted: November 4th. 2002
The Crusade Against Rock & Roll 
by Kerr Cuhulain
The Peters Brothers Hit Rock Bottom is another of their anti-rock books. In it the Peters brothers claim that "Many of the stars of LIVE AID got there by helping destroy the moral fibre of America's youth."(25) In The Peters Brothers Hit Rock Bottom, like their others, the Peters brothers claim that rock and roll music has caused a teen suicide "epidemic." They repeat their concerns about backmasking and subliminal messages. The Peters brothers maintain that it isn't necessary to play the recording backwards to hear these supposedly hidden reversed messages. They believe that your subconscious mind can decipher these messages. They believe that the following artists have such Satanic messages in their albums:
- Black Oak Arkansas: "Satan, his is God."
- Led Zepplin: "Here's to my sweet Satan."
- Queen: "Decide to smoke marijuana."
NOTE: If you hear anything at all while playing these recordings backwards it is probably: "This is the Devil. You're wrecking your turntable." Just joking.
The Peters Brothers suggest that Christian contemporary rock is a suitable alternative. Not if the performer's lyrics and lifestyles are acceptable to the Peter's brothers guidelines. They encourage their readers to send their records and tapes to them for research purposes. Apparently they will burn them after they have copied all of the offensive lyrics and have photographed any obscene material.
Truth About Rock: Shattering the Myth of Harmless Music, by Steve Peters and Mark Littleton is more of the same. Reviewer Paul Tuns describes this book in glowing terms. Tuns tells us:
- "But as Steve Peters and Mark Littleton illustrate, rock music is not necessarily harmless. In their readable and thoroughly researched book, Truth About Rock: Shattering the Myth of Harmless Music, Peters... and Littleton... expose the self-destructive lifestyles of many rock musicians and describe the overall tendency of rock music to undermine social mores."(26)
- Peters and Littleton note that [Elvis] Presley 'was changing the way young people looked at life' - and not for the better, as 'Suddenly, the triumvirate of school, family and church had lost meaning.'"(27)
- "On the lyrics of Canada's Sarah McLachlan, the guide says, 'There is clearly a longing for true communion marked by openness and vulnerability of soul ... Some might feel she does not adequately resolve the painful issues she broaches. The authors conclude "it is probable that only those of mature heart and developed mind are capable of discerning and evaluating the contents and meanings of McLachlan's lyrics. Some contain profanity."(28)
- "The authors recognize that it is not always profanity or sex-filled lyrics that are a problem. It is also the world-view that is presented. The rap group Kris Kross, the book warns, have lyrics that show a 'belief in self at the expense of truth and wisdom.' Another rap "artist," Coolio, suggests kids reject sexual abstinence and use condoms. Looking at the alternative band Bush, the authors say their 'lyrics are offerings to nihilism and misery.' Even Garth Brooks - yes, the country sensation - is not immune from Peters' and Littleton's criticism. In spite of the singer's many positive, try-to-improve-the-world messages, Brooks's lyrics do include 'acceptance of violence, alcohol abuse, immoral sexual behavior, and even perhaps suicide.'"(29)
The Peters brothers have frequently conducted seminars on rock music in the past two decades. These were very slick productions used a lot of expensive graphics. One of my sources attended one of these seminars and noted:
- People who disagree with the Peters brothers are asked to leave.
- Steve Peters read from a slide depicting a suicide letter and inserted adjectives and adverbs that weren't on the screen.
- The Peters brothers did a hard sell for donors to their program, especially "monthly partners".
- The Peters brothers claimed 100-300 conversions to Christianity per seminar in their high school presentations. They said that their goal was 10,000 converts and urged the audience to be "prayer warriors".
- The Peters never referred to "selling" their materials. They always substituted the word "distributing." They heavily pushed their organizations's products.
- The Peters brothers used the terms "soldiers of the Light" and "Warriors of the Lord" and similar "spiritual warfare" terms to describe their work.
- They admitted to being sued by some unspecified studios.
- They gave examples of backmasking but would not let the audience hear these examples, claiming that they did not have the time to do this.
- They said that it was especially dangerous to listen to backmasking alone or at night.
- They said that drugs were OK in ghettos but not in "white bread land."
- They said that all pentagrams were Satanic.
- They called Zen Buddhism Satanic.
- They called Michael Warnke the foremost expert on Satanism in the US today. I discussed the fraudulent nature of Warnke's claims in an earlier article in this series.
- They pushed the apocalyptic "time is running out and Jesus is waiting in the wings" theme a lot.
- They placed a lot of emphasis on converting the audience members to their version of Christianity.
Karen Lemley, a music columnist for the Lorain Morning Journal, has attended a number of Peters brothers anti-rock seminars and has studied their activities. As a result, Lemley is not a Peters brother fan. Lemley writes: "I openly despise Steve Peters, the work he does against any music and the horse he rode in on."(30) One of the Peters Brothers seminars that Lemley attended was held at The Church on the North Coast. Lemley went with her friends from Rock Out Censorship, an anti-censorship organization. Here are some excerpts from Lemley's account of the Peter's brothers seminar:
"... R.O.C. co-founder John Woods exchanged words with a less than debatable Peters. But as Peters, himself, said earlier in the night, 'I do not want to hear your opinions... our facts are documented.' Which was followed by one of the nights more than 15 'buy this' spiels. "The night continued on as Peters and his co-host and wife Julie proceeded to compare quotes from bands to quotes taken from the bible. They also linked bands to categories of music that promotes suicide, satanism, and hedonistic lifestyles. Peters said, 'If your kids are into this type of music moms and dads, I would lock your bedroom door and sleep with your eyes open.'
"Following an intermission... Peters referred to those that interrupted, R.O.C., as 'challenging hearts' and should be prayed for...
"...Dressed in my anti-censorship T-shirt, I couldn't help but feel out of place in this church of God... It wasn't the most comfortable night of the year... Also, the merchandise in the Truth About Rock catalog totals nearly $2,000. I guess that means it's okay to make money off of suicidal, satanic, and hedonistic music."(31)
Yet the Peters brothers would like you to believe that things aren't so financially good these days for them. Rock Out Censorship journalist John Woods reported in their Crossfire newsletter that "On November 7th, Steve and Julie Peters sent out a letter (even to us at R.O.C.) claiming that 'Truth About Rock' was broke and breathing its last gasp. The letter cried about how they couldn't make their last payroll, how all but one staff person was laid off, the lease on their office was lost, phone lines were disconnected and the whole vile operation had to be moved into the Peter's basement."(32) ROC had confronted and prevented the Peters brothers from burning recordings in Lorain, Ohio. Woods reports that:
"In this same letter a ballot was enclosed wanting people to respond on two issues: 1) Should Peters keep Truth About Rock going at all costs. If you voted for this option you were of course then expected to include a donation. 2) Should Peters do nothing and let Truth About Rock die. And being the firm believers in the democratic process that we are, we cast our vote and sent it back in the enclosed postage paid envelope. How did we vote? You can bet your ass it wasn't for issue #1"(33)
Yet a few weeks later the Peters Brothers were at it again. The Boston Globe ran an article, "In Walpole, Rock 'N' Roll Heats Up: Calling the Music Evil, Group Burns Albums, Tapes and Rock paraphernalia." This article reads in part:
"It was cold and it was dark and 12 year old Tanya Willette of Walpole, MA was having trouble with a framed New Kids On The Block poster. She couldn't seem to get her foot through the teen idols' much adored faces. 'They have to die together,' she said, folding and mangling the poster with the help of several other kids squealing with delight.
"Standing around a barrel of flames that licked high into the night air, the crowd chanted 'Jesus' name and sang Christian songs like 'I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.' They then tossed albums, cassette tapes, posters, concert shirts and one Ouija board into the fire. Some children went on a wild record smashing spree, sending vinyl chips flying across the parking lot behind the Christian Life Center, where the event was held. Others helped their parents unravel cassette tapes. Some people toasted marshmallows over the burning music."(34)
You will learn in my article on Bob Larson later in this series that Larson tried a similar tactic once: Claiming that he had fallen on hard times and needed people to send in donations. It is an old trick and it seems as if the Peters brothers are not adverse to using it.
Another paranoid who writes anti-rock books is Jacob Aranza. Aranza is now a "national youth communicator" for the Hispanic Ministry Center. He has received coverage by CBN, ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates. Aranza has been a guest speaker with the Billy Graham Crusade, Campus Crusade, Youth for Christ and Promise Keepers. He is the founder of Aranza Outreach, an organization that "challenges teens to be drug and alcohol free, sexually pure, and to restore relationships between themselves and their parents."(35) Aranza is a frequent presenter at Indiana Weslyan University Chapel. He appears at 8 pm on KAJN radio, a Christian radio station in Crowley, Louisiana. This program is associated to Our Saviour's Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, where Aranza is a youth pastor.
Aranza claims that "75% of the rock and roll today (top 10 stuff) deals with sex, drugs and the occult."(36) Aranza is the author of five books in which he presents his views on this subject, including:
- Backward Masking Unmasked (1982)
- More Backward Masking Unmasked (1985)
Despite the titles, Aranza doesn't really discuss backmasking in detail in these two books. In the latter book Aranza outlines a four step plan by which he believes Satan is taking over America's youth:
- First step (1955-1965): Pushing sex to set the stage for the sexual revolution.
- Second step (1965-1970): Introducing drugs, rebellion and anti-establishment attitudes.
- Third step (1970-1980): Popularize music having an "addicting sound with loud, violent tones."(37)
- Last step (1980-): "Promoters pronounce rock stars as messiahs."(38)
Aranza claims that he obtained the details of this four point plan from an anonymous evangelist friend who overheard this from an unnamed rock manager that he sat next to on a plane. This is typical of the sort of "research" that we've seen evangelicals like conduct in this series.
Another well known Christian anti-rock crusader is Jeff Godwin. You'll recall that his name came up in my article about Jack Chick (more on this in a moment).
Godwin was born in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He is a graduate of the Covenant College and the Reformed Theological Seminary. He served with PCA churches in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Winter Springs, Florida before becoming ordained by the Rocky Mountain Presbytery of the PCA in February 2000.
Like Larson, Godwin used to be a rock musician. In a blurb for his book Dancing With Demons, Godwin claims that:
"For thirteen years I was a slave to Rock & Roll music. I became a... degenerate abuser of drugs, alcohol and women. Such was my life until I repented of my sins and made Jesus Christ my Lord, Master and Saviour. The Lord is know (sic) using the knowledge I gained while still in rock's bondage to wage war against Satan and those who serve him by exposing their dirty work in popular music."(39)
Godwin is the author of the following books:
- The Devil's Disciples (1985)
- Rock & Roll Religion
- Dancing With Demons (Chick Publications, 1988).
Excerpts from these have been developed into the following tracts:
- What's Wrong With Christian Rock's Fruit?
- What's Wrong With Copying the World?
- What's Wrong With My Excuses? (We'll examine this in a moment).
And the following articles:
And the following audio tapes:
- Statement of Faith
- Visit to Northern Ireland
- Ageing Hippies and a Dead-End Dream
- Welcome to the Freak Show
And the following audio and video sermons:
- My Testimony
- Flesh or Spirit
- What's Wrong With Christian Rock?
- New Age In Rock Music
- Roots of Rock
- Rock Obsession
- Rebellion: The Rock 'N' Roll Revolution
- Voodoo Roots of Rock & Roll
- Rap Music = Helter Skelter
- What's Wrong with Christian Rock?
- My Testimony.
- Jeff Godwin Interview on VCY America 8/4/94
- Jeff Godwin debate with Glenn Kaiser of Rez Band
- Satan's Secret in Rock & Roll
- New Age Rock- An Old Lie
- The Rock Obsession
- Godwin Live at the Expo
- Rock Religion = Blasphemy
- The First Rock Concert
- Flesh or Spirit?
These materials are sold by Logos Communications, an organization I discussed in an earlier article in this series and by Freedom Ministries in the UK.
Unlike the others that I have discussed in this article, Godwin most definitely is opposed to Christian rock music. Godwin believes that even Christian rock musicians are inspired by Satan. For example, the Christian rock group Stryper has an album: "To Hell With The Devil." Godwin interprets this to mean that all of Stryper's fans are going to accompany the band to Hell. What's Wrong With My Excuses? is an article derived from chapter 16 of Godwin's book What's Wrong With Christian Rock? In it Godwin makes the following statements:
- "C-Rock looks the same, sounds the same and produces the same rotten fruit as its secular cousin: rebellion. It teaches kids how to love the New Age and hate authority."(40)
- "...It's the GOSPEL that does the relating, not Rock music or any other ungodly trick. The Holy Spirit's blessing is on God's Word (John 17:17) not on pagan noise."(41)
- "The day Lucifer fell, music fell. Music that was once used to worship Almighty God now became music of an earthly nature, it became the music of the world and began to appeal to our lower nature instead of appealing to God and our spiritual man (that part of us that has been born of God). Music then, became corrupted. That anointed and powerful ministry of music that Lucifer had in heaven is now corrupted. That ministry is cursed. It now has a false annointing... He still has that same powerful ministry to create worship but now it is corrupted, and Lucifer uses that ministry to get worship for himself because he craves it."(42)
- "If you feed your kids the Rock and Rap slop that they demand, they'll learn a new language alright- Satan's."(43)
- "The real battle is not about a musical generation gap, it's about SUBMISSION vs. REBELLION. Submission is the hallmark of the Christian life. Without it, all you have is counterfeit spirituality. To resist the devil, you must first be submitted to God... Since C-Rock fans aren't truly submitted, they'll never be able to resist Satan... Songs like 'Washed in the Blood,' 'Haven of Rest,' 'Jesus Paid It All,' 'To God Be The Glory,' 'Lord, I'm Coming Home,' 'Victory in Jesus,' 'Have Thine Own Way, Lord,' 'When I Survey The Wondrous Cross,' 'Take My Life And Let It Be,' 'I Surrender All,' 'Jesus Is All The World To Me.' These are all songs of SUBMISSION. [emphasis in original]"(44)
- "The 1990's will see the most intense war for the souls of youth ever fought, and it's getting hotter by the day."(45)
As you can tell from these statements, Godwin is easily the most extreme of the anti-rock crusaders. Like the Peters brothers, Godwin sees Satan behind everything. Godwin believes that loud rock vocals are inspired by the "homosexual penetration of the male."(46) He believes that music encourages the use of "mind decaying, death-dealing drugs."(47) Godwin believes that rock stars invoke demons at recording sessions to ensure that their recordings become hits (this is where Jack Chick got the idea for his comics on this theme). Godwin believes that playing these recordings releases the demon, who then possesses the listener.
Godwin's extreme stance is revealed in following statements by Godwin:
- "The Lord has also revealed to some Christians that incarnate demons from the netherworld actually are members of some of the most popular bands."(48)
NOTE: Obviously Godwin believes that he is one of these people that have received this revelation from God.
- "Why should we fear God? BECAUSE HE HAS THE POWER TO UTTERLY DESTROY US, AND THAT IS ALL WE DESERVE!![emphasis in original]"(49)
- "I believe that even now Satan and his demons are blaspheming and insulting God and the Lamb with their horrible rock record covers and backmasked broadcasts from Hell."(50)
- "Virtually nothing in popular music today is worth your support... NO ONE makes it big in secular music without selling out to Satan.[emphasis in original]"(51)
Godwin advises parents who find rock music or paraphernalia in their homes to burn it immediately: All music, books, clothes, posters and jewelry. This should be followed by doubling their daily prayers.
These individuals haven't prevented the music industry from continuing to sell rock and other genres of music. Yet their strident voices encourage the other evangelical crusaders that we have discussed elsewhere in this series.
| ABOUT... |
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
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