Two topics that frequently intersect in internet rumors and memes are celebrities and satanism. Among the popular culture icons who have been accused in recent years — falsely, we might add — of worshipping Satan and/or displaying so-called “satanic symbols” are Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, former U.S. President Barack Obama, Chelsea Clinton, Melinda Gates, and the list goes on and on.
Clinton and Gates, specifically, have both been accused of owning and wearing “satanic upside-down crosses,” a claim for which the only evidence ever presented is blurry, low-resolution photographs that prove nothing. (We note in passing that the so-called “upside-down” or “inverted” cross is actually a Christian symbol, known to Catholics as the Cross of St. Peter, or Petrine Cross, representing the upside-down crucifixion of St. Peter.)
Another set of celebrities falsely associated with upside-down cross wearing — ironically so, given their squeaky-clean image compared to that of their main rock ‘n’ roll rivals early on, the Rolling Stones — is the Beatles. A photo of John, Paul, George and Ringo taken in the mid-1960s purportedly shows them proudly displaying four upside-down crosses as they mug for press photographers:
However, it’s easy to prove that this photo was manipulated to give the appearance that the Beatles were holding upside-down crosses, when in fact they were displaying the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) medals they were awarded in 1965.
Here, from the Getty Images archive, is the original, unaltered photograph, dated Oct. 26, 1965:
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