We may never fully understand the incredible power of Beatlemania to sweep people away in a sea of emotions. But at the height of their popularity in the spring of 1966, a segment of the American public demonstrated how that overpowering love could turn to hate very quickly.

Maureen Cleave in 1964
On March 4, 1966, this quote of John's was printed in an interview by reporter Maureen Cleave in the London Evening Standard:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."
He was, as she reported, reading extensively about religion. It was a small part of the article. No notice of it was taken in Britain