The Truth About Elvis Aron Presley
Author: Donald Hinton, M.D. with "Jesse"
Publisher: American Literary Press, Inc.
ISBN: 1-56167-676-4 (paperback, 88 pp.)
Some years ago, the "in thing" was to go Elvis-spotting. Newspapers regularly featured reports of Elvis in supermarkets, restaurants, and garage forecourts; photographs appeared to prove he was alive (one even showed him behind a window in Graceland, though his face was in front of the window grill!); and at least one book came out with the whole story. Then things died down and seemed to get a bit more serious. Until now.
"The Truth About Elvis Aron Presley (In His Own Words)" is a small publication, which will perhaps have a big impact in 2002, the 25th anniversary of Elvis's death. Well, according to the book, it wasn't a physical death, more a planned metamorphosis , so that the personage "Elvis" could be removed from the scene, allowing the owner of that body to continue life as "Jesse."
Quite a premise, isn't it? To back this claim up, the author, a psychiatric doctor, offers letters, purportedly written by Jesse (Elvis), photos of items that once belonged to Elvis and given to the author by Jesse, and even a photo of Jesse himself, holding his grandson, Benjamin Storm. (Jesse to me looks a lot more like British DJ Jimmy Saville -- who actually met Elvis -- than Elvis, but the book does mention extensive plastic surgery.)
Convinced? Well, some people seem to be, judging from remarks left here and there on the web, but perhaps they are simply too eager to believe that Elvis really isn't dead. Certainly from a quick read of this little publication (88 pages, including blanks between chapters and all illustrations) a person wanting to believe that Elvis was alive might well be content to do so. However, certain aspects of the tale should give cause for thought and not a little hesitation.
What is a psychiatrist doing treating chronic pain and arthritis? Why is it necessary to erase names or use aliases? (I always find this suspicious, especially when there seems to be no real reason for doing so!) Jesse (Elvis) is continually complaining about his own bad writing, caused by his arthritis -- strangely, however , all the pieces of his writing that are reproduced (including parts in which he makes such complaints) are written at least as well as, and often better than, the few pieces of Elvis's own handwriting that I have seen. Why was it seen fit to reveal the "truth" about Elvis's new persona of "Jesse" to Lisa-Marie some months after the "death", but Vernon was not told? (Apparently it was planned to tell him after three years -- why?). And should you be wondering, EPE knows all about this, but will not allow Elvis within a few miles of Graceland, presumably out of fear that he will be spotted (though he can slip in now and then, if the tale about him popping back to retrieve an item that he later gives to the doctor as a gift can be believed). A major slip-up, however, is the spelling, by "Jesse", of Ann-Margret's name as "Ann Margaret" -- no hyphen and incorrect second part! I'm sure that anyone who was as close to AM as Elvis was (and I think he was very close -- ah, such dreams!), would be able to spell her name correctly!
There are other questionable things in the book, but the really big question is, of course, if Elvis faked his death in order to get out of the limelight and to avoid mounting debts, why is he now willing to have his story told in an apparently furtive fashion? "Apparently furtive," for, in fact, quite a bit is being given away here and there; for example, a surprisingly extensive website in connection with the book, including some colour versions of the photos in the book, can be found at
[The Truth About Elvis Aron Presley website is no longer accessible. 29 August 2005.]
Still, he's not exactly coming out and saying, "This is me and that's what I did." Why not? Why ask a doctor to "reveal" the secret in a small book, with, as far as I am aware, little publicity?
From what I can make out, either the author and the publishers are trying to pull a fast one on the fans, or someone is pulling a fast one on the doctor and the publishers -- Jesse himself!
David Nealecopyright May 2002
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