Geordie, I partly agree with you on your views about The Colonel. One thing is standing tall: he didn't give a f**k about "his" boy. The motor that kept The Colonel running was power. He wanted to control and master everything, from people to business. The only way he could control and master his product Elvis was to isolate him and to keep him unknown in a lot of aerea's like taxes, copyrights and royalties.
Not only that, it was also neccesary to keep "********es" away from him like songwriters, fellow musicians and ambitious movie makers and directors. There were only a few people who almost succeeded to get him away from The Colonel; Larry Geller is the first one. Now, you can say about Larry what you want. He did and said a lot you can place question mark with but he did had a great positive influence on Elvis developpement in a spiritual way. By reading and discussing about these matters Elvis got a more positive self image and lost a lot of his insecurities. It would have helped him a lot if Priscilla were with him at that point but she wasn't.
The second one was director Steve Binder who had more influence on Elvis than he himself could imagine. Elvis needed guidance, he needed someone to look up to but it had to be someone who really care about him and did not see him as a product. Elvis had several chances to cut himself loose from The Colonel but he did let them go by. There were two men waiting in the wings to take over. Ed Hookstratten and Tom Hulett. They cared for Elvis and vice verca. They could have been able to make the moves that were needed to stop this crazy rollercoaster. Cutting himself loose from The Colonel was Elvis own responsebillity. He had to make that move to free himself. That was the first step he had to take in the right direction but he didn't. For that he's the only one to blame.