Spitting on Lennon’s Grave: On ‘Imagine’ as the U.S. National Anthem

John Dissed
6 min readJul 4, 2020

If you take a hard look at the history of activism in the USA, you’ll learn right away that co-option is the name of the game. From the infiltration of the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam, to the fake Symbionese Liberation Army intelligence operation, to the neocon takeover of the Democratic Party itself, examples of movements and organizations being infiltrated, corrupted, or even created by state actors abound.

Black Lives Matter is no exception. I am not talking about the organization; but anyone with open eyes can see that the slew of scraps being handed down to POC in the dark shadow of the unforgivable George Floyd killing under the guise of “change” does nothing but help America’s image without making anyone’s life any better or safer.

The worst of these is something that personally cuts me deeply, that being the changing of the National Anthem to John Lennon’s “Imagine”, which the New York Post has claimed some activists are demanding because the “poet” who wrote the words to the song was a slave owner.

Not that it isn’t a brilliant idea from an optics perspective: It’s straight out of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday playbook.

For anyone not yet aware of this historic fact, it was unanimously found by a Memphis jury in a 1999 civil trial brought on by the King family itself, after four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses, with less than an hour of deliberation, that James Earl Ray, the man convicted for the murder, did not lift a finger to shoot the prominent civil rights leader, but that the killing was the result of a conspiracy involving “the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies”.

I think about this every third Monday of January. Just how sickening is it that the same government that killed this profoundly great man feigns tribute to his legacy on his birthday every year, and only a small percentage of the population (black or white) knows the truth?

A real activist wouldn’t advocate for making John Lennon’s “Imagine” the national anthem, but instead work to make the message of the song reality, and to teach our fellow citizens and their children the true identities and motives of the killers of Lennon, King and others such as Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy.

I read about JFK when I was in elementary school. None of it was the truth. Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgement wasn’t available in our local Public Library or I surely would have read it. I only stumbled upon this information as an adult, when trying to understand our system and why things never improve for the people.

In the case of MLK, how great of a moment would it be if we could show how the progressive political ideas of peace, healthcare, jobs and education for all were the ideals that he stood (and died) for. If we all understood that reality, we might not fall for such hollow gestures as the removal of Aunt Jemima pancake syrup and Eskimo Pies from our grocery stores. Because King stood strongly against war, against unfettered capitalism, against oppression, against violence, and he was stalked, surveilled and eventually killed by the same machine that perpetuates them.

In fact, only then would a holiday in his honor mean anything. And that holiday would not be a hollow commemoration, but an acknowledgement of wrongdoing. A day of atonement.

And the same goes for John Lennon. In the 2006 documentary film The U.S. vs. John Lennon, the legendary songwriter is quoted as saying that if something ever happens to him, that it will have been done by the U.S. Government. Here’s what Rolling Stone said about the film:

Back in the 1970s, Richard Nixon sicced J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI on Beatle John Lennon, who was singing about peace, preaching against the Vietnam War and getting all kinds of people to listen. He was followed, monitored and threatened with deportation. This documentary from David Leaf and John Scheinfeld doesn’t pretend to be all-inclusive. Its laser focus is on the arrogant persecution of Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, and their insistence on fighting back. The film is loaded with testimony and talking heads. But it’s Lennon, in remarkable footage released by Ono, who makes a case that seems aimed right at Bushworld.

Yes, in the 1970s that would have been George H.W. Bushworld. The man who famously said he couldn’t recall where he was the day JFK was assassinated. At the time, the future president was sulking in the background over not having been made Nixon’s VP, and as it turns out, helping to plot the Watergate takedown. Good ol’ “David Cop-a-Feel” himself hadn’t yet (in 2006) become known as the career CIA spook we now know he was, thanks to the work of journalist Russ Baker in his book Family of Secrets.

It wouldn’t be until 1980 that Bush made his way to Number One Observatory Circle, and many think he actually ran the Reagan White House after a family friend, John Hinckley Jr. was identified as the lone shooter in the March 1981 attempt on Reagan’s life that would have made Bush president had Reagan died. According to researcher John Judge, there was no way Hinckley could have been the shooter of Reagan because the dime-sized “flechette” dug out of Reagan’s chest could not have come from Hinkley’s Röhm RG-14.

It turns out that Lennon’s own “lone nut” shooter, Mark David Chapman, who pulled his trigger just four months before (in December of 1980) was a former employee of World Vision, a CIA-linked nonprofit “humanitarian” organization, of which Bush’s friend John Hinckley Sr. was heavily involved.

British barrister, columnist, TV pundit and author of many books, Fenton Bresler, traces Chapman’s path to the Dakota Apartments that cold December night directly from CIA’s MKULTRA program in his 1989 book Who Killed John Lennon? The program has strange ties to Washington’s St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital, the federal psychiatric facility where Hinkley spent 35 years until his release in 2016.

Also, according to the website JFKCountercoup, “Compelling evidence points to Dakota doorman, Jose Joaquin Sanjenis Perdomo, as Lennon’s killer. Records reveal a ‘Jose Joaquin Sanjenis Perdomo’ (aliases: “Joaquin Sanjenis” and “Sam Jenis”) was an anti-Castro Cuban exile and member of Brigade 2506 during the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961…”

Aside from the fact that a U.S. Government agency is the likely real assassin of the composer of the song “activists” are asking to be made our new national anthem, the United States stands for everything Lennon opposed more so now than ever. We may have enjoyed a few years of peace after the Vietnam War ended (covert CIA coups aside), but since 9/11 we have become a permanent nation at war-for-profit in over seven countries simultaneously, and have over 800 military bases in over 70 countries.

I believe that we should first work to become a nation worthy of “Imagine”, a song so profound that it gave me chills when I first heard it even at the age of 10.

Let’s tell the truth about the nature of, and the motives for the assassination of its composer and our most progressive leaders. Let’s use that information to help inspire ending the fact that the U.S. Government is still “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world”, as King famously stated in his Beyond Vietnam speech.

And if we are so concerned with the fact that Francis Scott Key was a slave-owner, how about we take a long hard look at the fact that the 13th amendment didn’t really end slavery, but legalized it “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”. The “institutional racism” that Joe Biden, co-author of the very crime bill that created so much free corporate prison labor, now decries in response to the murder of George Floyd, will not be curbed by taking down a few statues.

If we were to merely make “Imagine” our anthem without instituting any real changes, not only would it spit on the grave of John Lennon (like we do to that of MLK every third Monday in January), but it would put lipstick on one of the ugliest pigs ever to walk the earth, enabling even more dangerous American exceptionalism and indoctrination.

Some may fall for it, but those of us who know better should speak out loud and never hold our peace.