You'd think someone as smart as Yoko Ono who lived through Watergate would have learned the most important lesson the scandal taught all of us: the coverup is always worse than the crime. But, if several reports are to be believed, she didn't and has for years been keeping secrets from all of us about her late husband.
First, thanks to rock biographer Steve Turner in his book "The Gospel According To The Beatles," we learned several years back that Lennon was a fan of TV preachers like Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts and Billy Graham.
Acording to Turner, none of this sat well with Ono who vigorously opposed Lennon's interest in Christianity:
"Over the following months he baffled those close to him by constantly praising "the Lord," writing Christian songs with titles like "Talking with Jesus" and "Amen" (the Lord's Prayer set to music), and trying to convert nonbelievers. He also called the prayer line of "The 700 Club," Pat Robertson's program.
The change in his life perturbed Yoko, who tried to talk him out of it. She reminded him of what he'd said about his vulnerability to strong religious leaders because of his emotionally deprived background. She knew that if the press found out about it they would have a field day with another John and Jesus story.
John became antagonistic toward her, blaming her for practicing the dark arts and telling her that she couldn't see the truth because her eyes had been blinded by Satan.
Those close to the couple sensed that the real reason she was concerned was that it threatened her control over John's life. If he became a follower of Jesus he would no longer depend on her and the occultists. During long, passionate arguments she attacked the key points of his fledgling faith.
They met with a couple of Norwegian missionaries whom Yoko questioned fiercely about the divinity of Christ, knowing that this was the teaching that John had always found the most difficult to accept. Their answers didn't satisfy her, and John began to waver in his commitment."
That Lennon was seeking spiritual answers in the Japanese mountain town of Karuizawa where he and Yoko and Sean spent time was well known.
One missionary, Carol Fleenor, who claimed that the couple also once attended her church, Karuizawa Union Church, remembered her encounter:
"We talked a little more about our kids. Before I knew it, an hour had passed, and he, Yoko and Sean prepared to pedal off on their bikes," she recalled. "'It's good to talk to all of you,' John said. 'I've been looking for something this summer, something spiritual,' he continued. ''I've been speaking with a lot of the missionaries I've met here, about life and what it all means. Thank you for your words.' He waved goodbye—and I waved back as they rode off, little Sean perched on his daddy's handlebars."
More recently, reports have surfaced in a soon to be released documentary that late in life, Lennon had grown ashamed of the political naivete of his early years and though unable to vote for him because of his British citizenship, had become a supporter of Ronald Reagan during his run for the presidency in 1980.
"John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on Jimmy Carter," Seaman told filmmaker Seth Swirsky. "He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me....I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who's an old-time communist... He enjoyed really provoking my uncle... Maybe he was being provocative... but it was pretty obvious to me he had moved away from his earlier radicalism...He was a very different person back in 1979 and '80 than he'd been when he wrote 'Imagine.' By 1979 he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy's naivete."
Finally, according to a book titled All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Lennon questioned the theory of evolution, mocking the notion that man descended from apes:
"I don't believe in the evolution of fish to monkeys to men. Why aren't monkeys changing into men now?," Lennon asked. "It's absolute garbage. It's absolutely irrational garbage, as mad as the ones who believe the world was made only four thousand years ago, the fundamentalists.... I don't buy it. I've got no basis for it and no theory to offer, I just don't buy it. Something other than that. Something simpler. I don't buy anything other than "It always was and ever shall be."
If John Lennon had become a Reagan-loving, TV-evangelist watching, evolution-mocking 40-year old, it was certainly no crime.
But if Yoko knew it and kept it from us for the last 30 years, surely that would be a crime against the truth from a woman whose family motto was: "All I want is the truth. Just give me some truth"
Mark Joseph is a film producer, author and publisher of Bullypulpit.com. His most recent books include "The Lion, The Professor & The Movies: Narnia's Journey To The Big Screen" and "Wild Card: The Promise & Peril of Sarah Palin."
Mark Joseph is a film producer and marketing expert who has worked on the development and marketing of 25 films. His most recent book is The Lion, The Professor & The Movies: Narnia’s Journey To The Big Screen.