Welcome to the Modern World – Amazing Myths and Legends no.2: The real Yellow Submarine –
John Lennon and Vril technology
In 1967 John Lennon introduced John “Magic” Alexis Mardas to the other Beatles as “my new guru”. Magic Alex had made Lennon’s acquaintance via John Dunbar, the owner of the Indica gallery, who shared a flat with Alex on Bentinck Street. Alex had entered Britain from Greece at the age of twenty-one on a student visa, and had been a tv repairman for Olympic electronics.
Lennon was intrigued by the fantastic ideas for new technology the young student regularly presented to him: an X-ray camera that could see through walls, an artificial sun, wallpaper stereo speakers, and a house which hovered, supported by an invisible beam. Macca’s response to this was: “Well, if you could do that, we’d like one”.
But what intrigued Lennon the most was Alex’s talk of “Vril” technology. Vril, the Power of the Coming Race is an 1871 novel by Edward Bulwar-Lytton, originally printed as The Coming Race. Among its readers have been those who have believed that its account of a superior subterranean master race and the energy-form called “Vril” is accurate, to the extent that some theosophists, notably Helena Blavatski, William Scott-Elliot, and Rudolf Steiner, accepted the book as being (at least in part) based on occult truth. A popular book, The Morning of the Magicians (1960) suggested that a secret Vril Society existed in pre-Nazi Berlin. Among their claims, they imply that the society may have made contact with an alien race and dedicated itself to creating spacecraft to reach the aliens. In partnership with the Thule Society and the Nazi party, the Vril Society developed a series of flying disc prototypes. With the Nazi defeat, the society allegedly retreated to a base in Antarctica and vanished into the hollow Earth to meet up with the leaders of an advanced race inhabiting the Earth’s core.
Alex’s tales of Nazi flying saucers fired Lennon’s imagination, to the point where he gave Alex £10,000 and told him to “build me a space ship!”. After several weeks of intense activity, Lennon’s flying saucer fantasy was brought down to earth with a bang, as a mysterious fire raged through Alex’s workshop in Boston place.
After a disastrous attempt at building a 72 track studio in the basement of the Apple building in Saville row, the Beatles faith in Alex started to seriously wane. Whilst at the Maharishi’s ashram, Alex was apparently the first to insinuate the Guru’s apparent sexual abuse of one of the women in the Beatles camp. At this point, Lennon believed that he had made a mistake in his judgement of the Maharishi ( and wrote “Sexy Sadie” as a response ), but later McCartney reappraised: “It was Magic Alex who made the original accusation and I think that it was completely untrue.” Alex obviously didn’t like the influence that the Maharishi had over Lennon, and wanted out…..
Shortly thereafter, Alex became a small but significant foot note in the history Beatles.
“Man is just a small glass, very, very clear, with many faces, like a diamond. You just have to find the way, the small door to each face.” – John “Magic” Alex Mardas