Gerald Hecht in beBee in English, Music in English, Marketing Toxicology and Behavioral Neuropharmacology Expert Witness Jul 28, 2016 · 1 min read · 10.6K

On An Unusual Variation of the Butterfly Effect

On An Unusual Variation of the Butterfly Effect

Yesterday (July 26) was the miscellaneous birthday of Mick Jagger, founding member of the British Boy Band "The Rolling Stones".

 Some people may not be aware of a 1967 Conspiracy among a group of "Nervous" British Government Officials, and "Journalists" for the (now defunct) British Tabloid "News of the World" to arrange to "produce evidence" that British Pop Stars stars such as members of "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones" were using dangerous mind altering drugs as tools to corrupt the morals of British youth, threatening the security of the British Empire...

The pathetic, comic "outcome" of the conspirators actions did result in the arrest of two members of "The Rolling Stones" (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) however, as a result of the "plan" running (three hours) behind schedule, were unable to successfully arrest a "Beatle" (the late George Harrison), who, had already left a party at Keith Richards home (the crime scene), apparently due to the intoxicating boredom of the alleged scene of degenerate debauchery on a scale which previously could only be found in select descriptions of Dionysian Rituals from Greek Mythology. 

The actual charges that were filed show that a jacket belonging to Jagger, contained 4 amphetamine tablets which had been purchased legally in Italy Over The Counter (OTC), at the International Airport in Rome several weeks prior for prevention of "Airsickness", and that Richards had allowed ashtrays in his home to be used for "smoking of cannabis resin".

The following day, the Editor-in-Chief of "The London Times", William Rees-Mogg wrote an Op-Ed piece entitled "Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel?" (Borrowing a line from Alexander Pope's Epistle to Dr John Arbuthnot).

It is now generally accepted that Mogg's column so outraged the Brithish Public, that it in fact was the catalyst which led to all charges being dropped, several months later. Below, is the relevant portion of Pope's Satirical Piece (containing the line of dialogue borrowed by Mogg) for the title of his Times Editorial:


Let Sporus tremble — "What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
 Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
 Who breaks a Butterfly upon a Wheel?"


The above is the exact quote from Alexander Pope's Epistle to Dr John Arbuthnot. Within the sense of the Epistle, it is a reference to Lord Harvey, who was an irreverent satirist in Pope's time.

The wheel refers to the Medieval torture implement, also known as the Catherine Wheel, used by the Inquisition inter alia. A butterfly placed upon a wheel suggests a wholly disproportionate punishment in relation to a trivial crime.


Gerald Hecht, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gerald Hecht with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Neeraj Chauhan Jan 28, 2020 · #83

Thanks For sharing sir .......

Claire L Cardwell Apr 10, 2018 · #82

Punishment and judgments out of all proportion to the 'crime' are nothing new! Never knew the origin of the 'butterfly on the wheel' saying - thanks for this interesting post @Gerald Hecht!

Hwang Jinn Nov 13, 2017 · #81

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Hwang Jinn Nov 13, 2017 · #80

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Lyon Brave Jul 6, 2017 · #79


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Milos Djukic Jul 3, 2017 · #78

#76 You are very welcome @Gerald Hecht, my friend. Kindly, Milos

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Gerald Hecht Jul 3, 2017 · #76

Thanks for sharing @Milos Djukic

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