Russian Pol Blames Drug Abuse on...The Beatles

By Valerie Tejeda 06/26/12

The Russian health minister accuses the Fab Four of starting his country's drug problems by "trading on goods associated with pleasure."

The Beatles get no love from Russia.
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Drug use is expanding across the universe and Russian Health Minister Yevgeny Bryun feels John, Paul, George and Ringo are to blame. Says Byrun, "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. When business understood that you could trade on that—on pleasure, and goods associated with pleasure—that's probably where it all began." It’s no secret that the Beatles experimented with many different substances. Back in 2004, Sir Paul McCartney admitted that many of their songs' lyrics referenced drugs: "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" was about LSD, "Got To Get You Into My Life" was about pot and "Day Tripper" was about acid. In the past, officials in the Soviet Union went to great lengths to keep music by the “Fab Four” from influencing the country—once even placing a public ban on their albums. "Musicians such as these, who have plunged to the depth of musical decline, do not deserve a place on Soviet records,” said Melodiya, the state record manufacturer, at the time. But even today, Bryun says consequences of the "propaganda" instigated by The Beatles in the '60s contributes to Russia's growing drug problem. The nation has seen a reported 60% increase in drug addiction since 2000 and the Minister believes advertising and mass culture have undermined the country's attempts to tackle the problem. However, Russia's president Vladimir Putin might disagree. An avid Beatles-fan, Putin once rubbed elbows with Sir Paul after he performed "Back in the USSR" on Red Square in 2003—afterwards, he described the music as "a gulp of freedom" for Soviet youth.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.