Elvis Presley, King of Rock & Roll 2 of 2
Updated September 21, 2008 (first published November 20, 1999)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following is part 2 of 2 of the article “Elvis Presley: King of Rock & Roll.” The complete article is in the Music section of the End Times Apostasy Database at the Way of Life Literature web site. This is excerpted from the 430-page book Rock Music vs. the God of the Bible, available from Way of Life Literature.


Elvis lived for pleasure but was utterly bored with life before he was 40 years old. Elvis sought to be rich, but it came with a curse attached to it and most of his riches disappeared into thin air. Though Elvis’s music, movies, and trademarked items grossed an estimated two or more BILLION dollars during his lifetime, he saw relatively little of it and most of what he did receive was squandered on playthings. By 1969, he was so broke that he was forced to revive his stage career. He had no investments, no property except that surrounding Graceland, and no savings. His manager, Colonel Parker, had swindled or mismanaged him out of a vast fortune. (On Parker’s advice, for example, Elvis sold the rights to his record royalties in 1974 for a lump sum that netted him only $750,000 after taxes.)


Elvis’s music was reflective of his lifestyle: sensual and licentious. Many of his performances were characterized by hysteria and near rioting. Females attempted to rip off Elvis’s clothes. There were riots at his early concerts. “He’d start out, ‘You ain’t nothin’ but a Hound Dog,’ and they’d just go to pieces. They’d always react the same way. There’d be a riot every time” (Scotty Moore, p. 175). Girls literally threw themselves at him. In DeLeon, Texas, in July 1955, fans “shredded Presley’s pink shirt—a trademark by now—and tore the shoes from his feet.” At a 1956 concert in Jacksonville, Florida, Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding warned Elvis that if he did his “hip-gyrating movements” and created a riot, he would be arrested and sent to jail. Elvis performed flatfooted and stayed out of trouble. Colonel Parker played up Elvis’s sensuality. He taught him to “play up his sexuality and make both the men and women in the audience want him” (The Boy Who Would Be King, p. 164).


Elvis’s first band was composed of three members, Elvis, lead guitarist Scotty Moore, and bass guitarist Bill Black. The lives of all three men were marked by confusion and tragedy. Elvis died young and miserable. When asked about his severe narcotic usage in the years before his death, Elvis replied, “It’s better to be unconscious than miserable” (Goldman, p. 3). Bill Black, who formed the Bill Black Combo after his years with Elvis, died in 1965 at age 29 of a brain tumor. Scotty Moore was divorced multiple times. He also had multiple extra-marital affairs. When he had been married only three months to his first wife, he fathered a child by another woman, a nightclub singer he met on the road. The little girl was born the night Elvis, Moore, and Black recorded their first hit at Sun Records. During his second marriage, Moore fathered another out-of-wedlock child. In 1992, at age 61, Moore filed for bankruptcy.


Elvis did not believe the Bible in any traditional sense. His christ was a false one. Elvis constructed “a personalised religion out of what he’d read of Hinduism, Judaism, numerology, theosophy, mind control, positive thinking and Christianity” (Hungry for Heaven, p. 143). The night he died, he was reading the book Sex and Psychic Energy (Goldman, Elvis: The Last 24 Hours, p. 140). Elvis loved material by guru Paramahansa Yogananda, the Hindu founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship. (I studied Yogananda’s writings and belonged to his Fellowship before I was saved in 1973.) In considering a marriage to Ginger Alden (which never came to pass) prior to his death, Elvis wanted the ceremony to be held in a pyramid-shaped arena “in order to focus the spiritual energies upon him and Ginger” (Goldman, Elvis: The Last 24 Hours, p. 125). Elvis traveled with a portable bookcase containing over 200 volumes of his favorite books. The books most commonly associated with him were books promoting pagan religion, such as The Prophet by Kahilil Gibran; Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda; The Mystical Christ by Manley Palmer; The Life and Teachings of the Master of the Far East by Baird Spalding; The Inner Life by Leadbetter; The First and Last Freedom by Krishnamurti; The Urantia Book; The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception; the Book of Numbers by Cheiro; and Esoteric Healing by Alice Bailey. Elvis was a great fan of occultist Madame Blavatsky. He was so taken with Blavatsky’s book The Voice of Silence, which contains the supposed translation of ancient occultic Tibetan incantations, that he “sometimes read from it onstage and was inspired by it to name his own gospel group, Voice” (Goldman, Elvis, p. 436). Another of Elvis’s favorite books was The Impersonal Life, which supposedly contains words recorded directly from God by Joseph Benner. Biographer Albert Goldman says Elvis gave away hundreds of copies of this book over the last 13 years of his life.

Elvis was sometimes called the evangelist by those who hung around him, and he called them his disciples; but the message he preached contained “strange permutations of Christian dogma” (Stairway to Heaven, p. 56). Elvis believed, for example, that Jesus slept with his female followers. Elvis even had messianic concepts of himself as the savior of mankind in the early 1970s. He read the Bible aloud at times and even conducted some strange “Bible studies,” but he had no spiritual discernment and made up his own wild-eyed interpretations of biblical passages. His ex-wife, Priscilla, eventually joined the Church of Scientology, as did his daughter, Lisa Marie, and her two children.

Elvis prayed a lot in his last days, asking God for forgiveness, but the evidence points to a Judas type of remorse instead of godly repentance. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Cor. 7:10). One can have sorrow or remorse for the consequences of one’s sin without repenting toward God and trusting God’s provision for sin, which is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Judas “repented himself” in the sense that he was sorry for betraying Jesus, and he committed suicide because of his despair, but he did not repent toward God and trust Jesus Christ as his Savior (Matt. 27:3-5). True biblical salvation is “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Had Elvis done this he would have been a new man (2 Cor. 5:17) and would have seen things through the eyes of hope instead of through the eyes of despair. He would have had supernatural power, and there would have been a change in his life. The spiritual blindness would have fallen from his eyes and he would have cast off his eastern mysticism and cleaved to the truth. Elvis’s guilt and sorrow produced no perceptible change in his life.


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This is the conclusion to part 2 of 2 of the article “Elvis Presley: King of Rock & Roll.” The complete article is in the Music section of the End Times Apostasy Database at the Way of Life Literature web site –

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