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‘Sympathy For The Devil’: The True Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment

The Secret Teachings Of Sam Walton

How do we give form to the formless? How do we name that which is unnameable? How do we describe the indescribable? These are challenges that religion, the occult and magic have addressed since humanity first appeared on this planet. In an effort to communicate the divine, the transcendent, the psychedelic, we use devices like art and ritual. We cloak the mystical in words and images in the same way that GOD cloaks itself in the visible world to tell its story. Is life a great metaphor representing something that we cannot see, but know is there? Anyone who has had a “spiritual” experience has had a glimpse into, or a sense of, something greater that we are all a part of. Some go toward this experience alone—St. John or Jesus. Some go as a group, feeling that the odds are better that someone among them will serve as antennae, to dial into the radio of the gods and share the signal. These groups require focus and ceremony (a process) in order to cement the bonds of community, to attain a group consciousness that elevates one and all. We see this kind of collective mindset in everything from sports to business teams to religious organizations. But communities we don’t understand, that we deem weird or esoteric, we pejoratively call “cults.” The fervent devotion of sports fans, the mind-obliterating, soul-destroying Wal-Mart cheer forced upon its employees, the idolization of Steve Jobs and sheep-like behavior of Deadheads, Ben Carson and his groupies for God, all have cult-like aspects to them. But we dare not call them cults. We reserve the word to marginalize and demonize spiritual movements we do not understand or forms of art considered degenerate. “Cult” is a dirty word.

Confessions Of A Teenage Hippie Pervert

I’ve often wondered if I’ve ever been a cult member. During the Summer Of Love I lived in the Haight with a dozen or more teenagers my age who dropped acid, fucked each other and danced to psychedelic music in the glow of black lights and incense haze. We chanted “OM” and passed joints and waited for some kind of magic to happen. And it was happening. It just wasn’t the dramatic type of magic we were hoping for. I do think we collectively levitated once. I lived in a Los Gatos home owned by an ordained priest of The Church Of Tomorrow. He had the best LSD and his stream of consciousness talks seemed to be filled with all kinds of mindblowing heaviness. He had a gravitational pull that seemed superhuman. Young beautiful women flocked to him and I flocked to them. Was this a cult or was it just a groovy hangout? I lived in L.A. in 1967 and worked for a telemarketing agency (definitely a cult) and my young longhaired co-workers were the kinds of Southern California hippies that seemed more like extras from Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls than actual hippies. I spent a night tripping with them in a suburban ranch house and all they talked about was having rough sex with each other involving beatings, leather and whips. I love all kinds of sex, but this talk was brutal, chilling. The words coming out of their mouths were ugly,  flailing through the room like syntactical succubi. What the fuck was I hearing? I fled the scene and ended up having a seriously intense trip in a telephone booth trying to call the only other people I knew in L.A. to come rescue me.

To this day I’m not sure that what I experienced with those “kinky perverts” actually happened. I may have been projecting my id into the situation, my repressed fantasies. After all I was raised in one of the biggest cults of them all, Catholicism. Were they a sex cult? Was what I was hearing all in my own head. Cults are crazy that way. They’re open to interpretation and are often victims of what people think they’re perceiving as opposed to what’s actually happening. Cults are often the repository for the desires we fear. And some cults are created to fuck with those fears, fantasies and projections.

Altamont: Hitler’s Woodstock

The French surrealists and dadaists employed occult imagery to shake up the status quo.They were called a “movement.” They could have just as easily been called a cult. New York’s Living Theatre used confrontational ceremony and transgressive ritual to tear apart the restraints that bound their audiences to dead and archaic modes of thinking. As a theater group, they worked intensely and constantly with each other and often lived communally. Were they a cult? Was Altamont the biggest black mass ever held and were those of us who attended unwitting members of some kind of Satanic sacrifice? (I was there. It sure looked like Hell to me.) Is Facebook the ultimate cult, dwarfing any cult or religion known to man or woman, unstoppable in its indoctrination of every living breathing human being on this earth? I see more devotion directed toward Facebook than any religion I’ve ever encountered. More people are facing their monitor screens than Mecca or reading from their Bibles.

The Living Theatre

Facebook: The Bible Of The Damned

Dr. Timothy Leary was vilified for turning on a generation of young people to the vast beauty and possibilities of their own minds. Mark Zuckerberg is celebrated for reducing our consciousness to the dimensions of a 14-inch screen filled with pictures of food, cats, obituary notices and forlorn pictures of aging rock and rollers. Jesus (who had a cult of just 12) was crucified for being a weirdo. Joel Osteen has made a fortune playing Jesus in a Brooks Brothers suit. Given the choice between Aleister Crowley   or Ted Cruz for President, The Beast gets my vote. I always go with the Devil I know. They turned David Koresh and a bunch of innocent children torched to a pile of ash and yet war criminal Dick Cheney still walks among us, his mechanical heart still beating, his rictus smirk still mocking us all. Donald Rumsfeld lived in Taos, New Mexico within spitting distance of where Marshall Applewhite leader of the Heaven’s Gate suicide cult ran a health food restaurant. Did Rummy eat Beezlebub’s bean sprouts? Did he dream of weapons of mass destruction hurtling toward us like a comet. In a world where companies make billions selling video games (talk about cults) in which teenage boys roleplay as carjackers, murderers and thugs, a kid named Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school. The mass hypnosis taking place in this world right now makes Charles Manson look about as intimidating as Chuck Woolery. Most Americans have been, and will continue to vote for a government that is actively working against their best interests. Under what spell have we fallen? We follow blindly, faithfully, surrendering our will to higher powers, both political and religious. Welcome to the biggest cult of them all: the United States Of America. Rant over.

Crazy Wisdom Drove Me Crazy

Back in simpler days when a cult was a cult and easily identifiable—they wore robes or funny hats—a group of young men and women gathered together in 60s London to form The Process, a quasi-religious group that were part spiritual seekers, part performance art and more than a little bit rock and roll. They had long hair, were beautiful and dressed like priests styled by a Carnaby Street tailor. Their methods were a mashup of Scientology, occultism, psychedelia, pop culture and dada. The members of The Process Church Of The Final Judgement were genuinely on a path to find out the answers to life’s most profound questions: how did we get here, what are supposed to do here and where the fuck are we going? But unlike most religious folk, the members of The Process realized that the journey was the goal and didn’t have to be deadly serious. The Process was all about the process. Enjoy it. In many respects it resembled Chogyam Trungpa’s teachings on crazy wisdom. I was a student of Trungpa’s. From an idiot’s point of view, Trungpa was a cult leader.

Chogyam Trungpa

Attack Of The Hooded Snuffoids

In their zeal to shake things up, The Process occasionally went off the deep end and this is where they ran into problems. People, particularly the British press, could not separate the theatrical from the real. And the The Process was very theatrical. Like Antonin Artaud or Andy Kaufman, The Process was adept at elaborate mindfucking. They were the mystical turd in the very bland punch bowl of British society. In mocking religious hypocrisy, they were often mistaken for being the very thing they were mocking. Their shock tactics often backfired. Surrounding themselves with the iconography of Satanism was a heavy metal move years before Black Sabbath had ever released a record. But try explaining that to the tabloids who called them Satan worshippers and sex deviants. Or worse, Ed Sanders’ hate-filled description of The Process as “hooded snuffoids” and “an English occult society dedicated to observing and aiding the end of the world by stirring up murder, violence and chaos, and dedicated to the proposition that they shall survive the gore as the chosen people.” I’m as big a Fugs fan as anyone out there, but Sanders really missed the irony of him, of all people, writing this shit. Sanders’ band The Fugs were themselves quite skilled in the art of the mindfuck. Using majikal incantations to Egyptian gods, The Fugs attempted to levitate the Pentagon in protest of the Vietnam war. When you’ve successfully conned a con artist like Ed Sanders, you’ve managed something to be quite proud of.

Power to The Process. And Ed, to quote the title of your once infamous literary ‘zine, fuck you.

Ed Sanders’ exorcism chant
Skinny Puppy Housebroken By Satan

While I’m not an expert on any of this cult stuff, like most people, I find it immensely fascinating. The Manson Family creeps me out in ways that deeply disturb me, although groups like The Source, The Process and even Scientology provide me the kind of amusement that diffuses some of the darker shit. If you want to delve further into The Process from the point of view of someone who knows far more than me and does it objectively and with just enough wit and empathy, check out filmmaker Neil Edwards’ insightful and thoroughly entertaining new documentary Sympathy For The Devil. Full of interviews with surviving members of The Process and various experts in the field of all things “cult,” Edwards’ film will introduce you to the real truth behind the head games, rumors, bullshit and theater. And as Edwards told me, like its subject, the movie is a work in progress. There is more to be told and probably more that will never be told.

After the jump, an interview with director Neil Edwards…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Welcome to Tennessee where we carve our Halloween pumpkins with assault weapons’

The AK-47, or Kalashnikov, is one of the most popular assault rifles in the world due to its low cost, ease of availability, reliability under harsh conditions, and accuracy when being used to carve crude faces into seasonal gourds.

Meet YouTube user Hickok45, a gun enthusiast with over 1.6 million subscribers, who will demonstrate turning a pumpkin into a proper jack-o-lantern using only an AK-47:

He has uploaded several videos displaying his incredible skills as the world’s foremost jack-o-lantern marksman.

His latest video, uploaded a few days ago, has him using a Henry Rifle to create a crude visage on a hapless pumpkin.

Hickok45 describes his videos as an “attempt to educate the masses about how to properly and safely carve a pumpkin,” adding, “word has it that people are still using dangerous, sharp knives to do this.”

You gotta love that NRA humor.

More pumpkin-carving with guns after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Who would Jesus pump fulla hot lead? A ‘Christian’ assault rifle is now available, because Florida

A Florida gun manufacturer called Spike’s Tactical is manufacturing “The Crusader,” an assault rifle engraved with a Templar shield, boasting the safety settings “Peace,” “War, and “God Wills It,” and emblazoned with the following Biblical verse, from Psalm 144:

A spokesman for Spike’s Tactical explained to Tampa Bay/Sarasota’s 10NEWS that the Christian iconography on the weapon is intended to make it repellent to Muslims:

Right now and as it has been for quite some time, one of the biggest threats in the world is and remains Islamic terrorism. We wanted to make sure we built a weapon that would never be able to be used by Muslim terrorists to kill innocent people or advance their radical agenda.

It sounds like they’re shooting for something resembling nobility or righteousness—albeit in a bigoted-dick kind of way—but ultimately that explanation rings hollow. If their motivation was truly to prevent Jihadists from using their wares against the good folk of By-God-AMERICA, why don’t ALL their guns have, say, John 3:16 on them, like an un-stealthy version of the Trijicon rifle sights provided to the U.S. Military a few years back? I was amused to find an assault rifle on their site called the “Pure Estrogen,” which sports the molecular diagram for that very important hormone etched right where the Crusader has the verse from Psalms. So it seems far likelier that the Crusader is just a fetish object, pandering to the tastes of right wing Christian machine-of-hot-lead-death enthusiasts. Besides, while it’s true that in many parts of the world Islamists ARE one of the gravest threats going—the Middle East and parts of North Africa leap readily to mind—Florida simply isn’t one of them. In fact, in the USA you’re vastly more likely to be the victim of a gun-obsessed white right-winger. I’m 100% sure I’ll get flamed for that, but research supporting the assertion is more than abundant, and the FBI has been warning of that eventuality as far back as February of 2002, just months after the 9/11 attacks.

But knowing that will stop no asshole from praising the Lord and passing the ammunition.


Via Boing Boing, with a big h/t to Austin Hall for the find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
It’s safe to assume that the kid who took this lunchbox to school got beat up every day

On December 23rd, 1975, Gerald Ford signed the reasonable Metric Conversion Act into law, stating, “the truth is that our continued use of the English system of measurement was making us an island in a metric sea.”

School curriculums were altered to teach the metric system, despite the fact that converting was overwhelmingly unpopular with Americans, who were used to doing things the ‘murican way—not no pansy, pussy-ass European way.

In 1982, progressive agent of change, President Ronald Wilson Reagan officially disbanded the U.S. Metric Board—the government organization charged with “increasing the use” of the metric system in the United States. Reagan did so citing efforts to “reduce government spending,” but really it was because America, fuck yeah.

In 1976 King-Seeley Thermos Company released what has to have been the worst-selling lunchbox of all time:

The Exciting World of Metrics lunchbox!
It’s safe to assume that whatever kid was unfortunate enough to have been sent off to school with this box in tow, was beaten mercilessly within centimeters of his life.

Luckily, ‘70s lunchboxes were made out of HARD metal with a swingable handle, so at least the kid had a fighting chance!





Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Traci Lords’ new Women in Prison-cum-Sharksploitation flick: ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’


Former underage porn actress, Traci Lords, stars in the new Jim Wynorski blockbuster, Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. Wynorski is responsible for the best ‘80s murderous shopping-mall robot movie, Chopping Mall, 1988’s Not of This Earth (also starring Lords), Pirañaconda, and more than 40 other “quality” titles. Judging solely by the trailer, Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre promises to deliver the same standard of excellence we’ve come to expect from the prolific director. The film also stars Dominique Swain (Fall Down Dead, Nazis at the Center of the Earth).

This is the synopsis we have:

When a fracking mishap accidentally rips apart the earth’s crust, the resulting hole opens up a gaping underground waterway to a vast and mysterious ocean somewhere deep below. Instantly, giant prehistoric sharks begin wending their way upward toward a murky bog in the heart of the Arkansas Bayou. Unfortunately for a group of female prisoners on a work detail in the swamp, the deadly sharks attack without warning – pinning a hapless group of intended victims in a small deserted cabin in the heart of the wetlands. Death may be the only means of escape!

These sharks don’t just swim through the bayous—they also burrow through the ground Bugs Bunny style! Landsharks with a craving for female convict blood! The back-end for CGI sharks must be really cheap these days, as the Sharksploitation genre is in its golden age with titles such as Sharknado, Sharktopus, Ghost Shark, Snow Shark, Psycho Shark, Sand Sharks, and Raiders Of The Lost Shark. Sure, we’ve seen sharks in the swamp before in 2011’s Swamp Shark, but Wynorski had the vision to add female prisoners and Traci Lords!


Just put the words “Traci Lords,” “women in prison,” “fracking mishap,” and “landsharks” together and I’m instantly asking “where do I send my money?” I asked Jim Wynorski himself and he is remaining tight-lipped for the time being, stating only that the film will be “ready for release in mid-May.” It seems the film is still looking for a home. Wynorski wouldn’t comment on a DVD release, but indicated that SyFy would be taking a look at the picture upon completion.

Here’s the trailer for what promises to be the most important film of 2015:


Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Late Capitalism’s Weapon of Cash Destruction: Shower strippers with money using ‘The Cash Cannon’
09:41 am

They hate us for our freedom


Ladies and gentlemen: The Cash Cannon.

If you can get this past security at your local strip club—and let’s be honest, if your local strip club has security, it’s probably not that interesting to begin with—you can be the reigning (raining?) King of Fools parted from his money.

This miracle device allows its brandisher to blow through large amounts of cash at an alarmingly high rate of speed. You’re not just “making it rain,” you just brought the typhoon up in this piece.

According to the manufacturer’s website:

The Cash Cannon™ Money Gun is a toy that dispenses paper items in a rapid but user controlled manner. The preferred item of choice to dispense is of course cash but any item that fits in the loading compartment and out of the slot will work with the device. The Cash Cannon™ is the first device that performs this function and is simple enough in terms of design to be mass manufactured for the public use.

If the psychology behind throwing out large amounts of money in a gentleman’s club is creating an atmosphere of fun from an affected lack of concern, then the Cash Canon instantly turns what might have been three minutes of self-important limelight into four and a half seconds of pathetic confusion. The top dog always spreads the money around and you can’t get top doggier than literally spewing it all over the place like a first year fraternity brother retching up last night’s kamikazes. All you have to do is load the Cash Cannon with your favorite denomination of currency, gently squeeze the trigger, and look forward to tomorrow’s regret.

Testing, testing…

Actual in-field use, below:

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The ultraviolent 1962 ‘Mars Attacks’ trading cards that inspired the Tim Burton movie

In 1962, an insanely violent trading card series called “Mars Attacks” was painted by the noted pulp novel cover artist Norman Saunders. In sequence, the cards depicted the invasion of Earth (a pretty obvious Cold War allegory) by some just really atrociously violent Martians, who did a lot of shamelessly violent things to our fair planet’s inhabitants both human and animal, and the violent retribution visited upon Mars in violent retaliation.

They were pretty violent.

Even by today’s standards some of these are a little much, but in 1962 parents were freaking the hell out. And children were buying them in droves in response to the parental freakout because somehow parents never figure out how that works. From an informative article on the set’s history on

Cards depicting burning flesh, buxom women and dogs being zapped by aliens are bound to create an uproar, even today. The brainchild of Len Brown and Woody Gelman, this 55-card set conveyed the story of ruthless Martians attacking Earth.

At one point, Topps reportedly made efforts to tone down 13 of the most controversial cards, but after a complaint from a Connecticut district attorney, production was stopped completely. The commotion created by this set must have been somewhat surprising for Brown and Gelman, who previously collaborated on the equally gory 1962 Civil War News set.

Brown wrote the story on the backs of the Mars Attacks cards. Wally Wood and Bob Powell were enlisted to work on the sketches and renowned artist Norman Saunders painted the cards.

So you have some charred soldiers…



More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The best (serious) April Fools’ Day video (seriously!)

“Introducing Anti-Unional, a new, long-lasting anti-worker suppository…”

The anti-union push by the wealthy elites, the corporations and the reichwing politicians who do the bidding of the highest bidders is shameful. As someone raised in a union household, what went down in Tennessee recently made me feel heartsick. Mike Elk’s epic article “The Battle for Chattanooga: Southern Masculinity and the Anti-Union Campaign at Volkswagen” is a must-read if you want to understand the depths these middle-management class-traitor assholes will sink to and the psychological warfare they engaged in vs. the workers. One word for it: Shameful. (This is an important piece of journalism, absolutely worth your time.)

Why not ask the Germans how they feel about union membership? They have a strong economy. They have LOTS of union members. Their unions prevent them from getting screwed over by the oligarchs. They have good wages and can raise their families without struggling. They even get a month or more of vacation. Coincidence? I should think not.

Can’t have that here, now, can we? The wealthy might not like it. Look at this chart, it tells the story of what’s happened in America rather succinctly and as the saying goes, numbers don’t lie.

Utterly brilliant work, this video speaks for itself, so I’m just going to get out of its way:

Ten out of ten CEOs recommend Anti-Unional to their workers!

Time-released effects ensure that the 1% continue to take in a greater share of the nation’s wealth!

Fast-acting formula decimates wages and benefits and a secure retirement!

Certified and approved by Koch Brothers Laboratories.

If you approve of this satire, SHARE IT. So far they’ve only had a handful of views, this needs to go viral stat.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Well, when you put it THAT way: Capitalism in a nutshell!

Good question.

Although this has a few too many words to qualify as a Hemingway-esque six-word short story, this sign still gets its point across louder than dozens of articles on the American economy do each week…

And while we’re on the topic, you might enjoy this: Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

And this, Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For: Guaranteed jobs, universal basic incomes, public finance and more.

And this, I’m a Member of the American ‘Used-to-Haves’.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Shakespeare & Russell Brand: Guantánamo Bay’s banned books are pretty random…

“Alas, poor Yorick!”

While right-wingers clamor on about the insidiousness of Sharia Law and the threat of imminent Islamofascism, our own government is pretty set on keeping certain books away from certain people. Last week, The Guardian published a seemingly random list of books that have been banned from Guantánamo Bay. The incomplete list was supplied by Clive Stafford Smith, who directs Reprieve, a legal charity the provides free legal support to particularly disenfranchised prisoners.

Now actual journalists have done an amazing job exposing Guantánamo, so I won’t go into the multitude of illegal procedures they regularly execute, much less point out the countless absurd incarcerations (okay, maybe that 15 year old Canadian kid). I would, however, like to go over this list and attempt to divine exactly what is so objectionable about each book, leaving out the explicitly anti-Guantánamo non-fiction.

Let’s take a crack at it, shall we?

Martin Amis, Money: Actually, the complete title of this 1984 novel, with the post-script, is Money: A Suicide Note. The protagonist is a vulgar British hedonist who comes to America and embraces it fully. He eventually has a psychotic break and loses everything, and thought the “suicide” in the book is metaphorical, the book pretty clearly condemns Western decadence and warns of its pitfalls. Not too much of a a stretch to imagine why they’d ban this one.

R. Beckett, The New Dinkum Aussie Dictionary: This is a humor book on Australian colloquialisms. No fuckin’ clue. Anybody know? Does it have a “Death to America” entry? 
Russell Brand, Booky Wook Two: I know Brand’s a leftist, but seriously?

Professor Alan Dershowitz, Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence: A weird choice, since Dershowitz is speaking out against religious extremism, and he’s probably now most famous as an Israeli apologist and Islamophobe. Isn’t that what the US government wants prisoners to internalize? Perhaps it’s the denouncement of Christian extremism they wish to censor?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime & Punishment: On the surface, it’s about a man who kills people, but it’s not really a pro-murder book. My only guess is that they read the title and panicked. 

Frederick Douglass, The African American Slave: Books about liberation probably raise a red flag. But seriously, if anti-slavery politics are too potentially subversive, you might not be running a wholesome operation.

Frederick Forsyth, The Kill List : This is a shitty suspense novel about top secret agents killing Muslim terrorists. It’s by a guy whose books are advertised on the subway. Again, don’t see why they don’ want to give them right-wing, Islamophobic propaganda.

John Grisham,The Innocent Man:Grisham’s first non-fiction book, about a man on death row for rape and murder, who was exonerated by DNA evidence after 11 years in prison. Grisham actually wrote an article in the New York Times and got this unbanned. I rarely have a chance to say this, but… hey, good job, John Grisham.

EM Naguib, Puss in Boots,  Cinderella, Jack & the Beanstalk, Beauty and the Beast: Can’t even find this, but Naguid is an Arabic name. Maybe they’re Arab interpretations of fairy tales?

Wilfred Owen, Futility: This is a 1918 poem about the death of a British soldier, and his fellow soldiers’ futile attempts to revive him. No idea on this one. If anything, this is a very “don’t get yourself killed for war” kind of poem. Is “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” banned on Guantánamo Bay’s in-house AM radio station?

Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice: Maybe because of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender? Not sure exactly where they’re going with this one.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago : A book about a Soviet forced labor camp, by a guy who was interned in a forced labor camp. Decidedly anti-forced labor camp. Maybe that’s it.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Again, the abolition of slavery was apparently too risky a political concept for the prisoners.

Scott Turow, Presumed Innocent: A novel about a man accused of killing his lover. It’s a crime thriller/courtroom drama. It was made into a movie with Harrison Ford. I have no damned idea why it would be banned.

So there you have it. What counts as potentially incendiary literature in Guantánamo Bay? Apparently absolutely fucking anything.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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