Throughout the early-1960s Elvis Presley became extremely interested in spiritualism He was already a lifelong Christian, but it was not until he began getting closer to his hairdresser, Larry Geller, that he started researching other theories. Before long, Larry became a “spiritual advisor” to the King of Rock and Roll, but Priscilla Presley wasn’t happy.
Elvis began spending a lot of time theorising with Larry, swapping books and researching new ways of looking at life.
Priscilla wrote in her memoir – Elvis and Me – that she felt Elvis was becoming “too attached” to the books. Regardless, she and the rest of the King’s pals – the Memphis Mafia – humoured the star and listened to him talk about his findings. “Happy to share everything… he read to us for hours and handed out books he thought would interest us,” Priscilla remembered. “He announced that in order for us to be perfect soul mates, I’d have to join him in his search for the answers to the universe.”
To help Priscilla catch up with what he was learning, he gave her “several large books” – “including Vera Stanley Adler’s The Initiation of the World.”
Before long, she and Elvis’ manager decided to step in.
Elvis’ boss Colonel Tom Parker was a large part of the King’s life and was keen to set him back on the right path. As a result, he got involved and told Elvis that he felt Larry was becoming a “bad influence” on his life and his priorities. He then urged the star to “expel” Larry from his inner circle.
Priscilla recalled: “After Larry left, Elvis locked away many of his books. I told him I was glad, that they were literally destroying us. We were engaged to be married.”
Eventually, he asked her: “Would it make you feel better if I just got rid of them all?” Priscilla nodded.
That same night, at Elvis’ home, Graceland, the couple worked on expelling not only Larry from their lives but the books that had become wedges in their relationship.
“That night,” Priscilla went on. “At three in the morning Elvis and I piled a huge stack of his books and magazines into a large box and dumped them into an abandoned water well behind Graceland.”
She added: “We poured gasoline over the pile, lit a match, and kissed the past goodbye.”
Despite the fact Elvis expelled pieces of his spiritual identity from his life, he was still a devout Christian until his death.
Elvis’ stepbrother Billy Stanley recently opened up about seeing a side to the King that was hidden behind closed doors.
He told The Guardian: “He relied on God for everything. It’s where he got his strength. Elvis was so appreciative of what the Lord had given him. He thanked God every day and constantly sought God’s guidance through prayer and reading the Bible.”
Elvis also preached the good book to him, Billy recalled. “It was quite an experience to have Elvis as your Sunday school teacher,” he said.