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Church built in the shape of a high heel in hopes of attracting women
01.15.2016
08:30 am

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I’m not sure the saying “If you build it, they will come” will necessarily work in this circumstance. Perhaps maybe in a Disney attraction sort of way. A giant glass high heel—made out of over 320 tinted glass panels—was built in Chiayi, Taiwan to attract female parishioners. Yes, to attract women. From what I’ve been reading about the church, is that it will host very few church services and will used more for wedding ceremonies and as a female tourist attraction.

The shoe was inspired by a local story. According to officials in the 1960s, a 24-year-old girl surnamed Wang from the impoverished region suffered from Blackfoot disease. Both of her legs had to be amputated, leading to the cancellation of her wedding. She remained unmarried and spent the rest of her life at a church.

The high heel is intended to honour her memory.

Uplifting story... The church plans to open for the Lunar New Year in February.


 

 
via BBC and Christian Nightmares

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Apocalypse Then: Monsters, nightmares & portents from ‘Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs’
01.05.2016
10:56 am

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Books
Kooks

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When Oliver Sacks was starting out on his career in neurology, he noted that many of his colleagues never seemed to read or make reference to any scientific papers more than five years old. Sacks found this strange, for as a teenager in England he had devoured numerous books on the history of chemistry and biology and even botany. However, to his fellow neurologists Sacks’ interest in the “historical and human dimension” of science was considered “archaic.” Undeterred, Sacks was convinced the historical narrative offered a better understanding of scientific investigation.

This became evident with his diagnosis of a patient who suffered incessant jerking movements of the head and limbs. With his knowledge of previous scientific investigations, Sacks was able to correctly identify the cause of the patient’s illness while at the same time confirm a theory put forward by two German pathologists—Hallervorden and Spatz—in 1922, which had almost been forgotten. This only further convinced Sacks of the great insights to be gleaned from having some historical understanding of science.

Something similar is going on here in the phantasmagorical Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs from 1552—which presents a continuous religious narrative from Biblical stories through historical events, and assumed portents and signs right up to the 16th century—the era when Protestantism became the dominant Christian religion in England, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland.

Privately commissioned in the German town of Augsburg, this “miracle” book was published in “123 folios with 23 inserts, each page fully illuminated, one astonishing, delicious, supersaturated picture follows another.” While church reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin denounced Catholicism for its superstitious and idolatrous beliefs, the Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs served to remind its Protestant readers of the hand of God working thru various strange and ominous events—earthquakes, plagues of locusts, weird beasts, monstrous births and unusual solar activity. Like many of his fellow reformers, Luther believed such portents signified The End of Days and the coming Apocalypse—a trope that continues to this day. 

But for the modern secular reader, these beautiful water colors and gouaches describe meteorological events—floods, hailstones, storms; seismic activity—the Lisbon earthquake; solar activity; and the cyclical path of comets; all of which—as Oliver Sacks understood—can give science its human and historical dimension.

M’colleague, Martin Schneider previously posted on this wondrous book, stating he wished he was able to read the descriptions accompanying the images. Well, this where possible I have now done or have described the scene illustrated. For those who would like to own their own copy, a facsimile edition of the Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs has been published by Taschen and is available here.
 
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The great flood—in the center what maybe a representation of Noah’s ark.
 
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The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
 
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Moses parts the Red Sea.
 
More ‘divine’ revelation, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Watch two televangelists defend their private jets
01.04.2016
09:10 am

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Idiocracy
Television
U.S.A.!!!

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Yes, because God had nothing better to do that day than ask you two nitwits about your private planes.

Here’s five nauseating minutes of televangelists Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis defending their use and ownership of private planes. It was God’s will that Grandma’s Social Security check would be siphoned off towards these gentlemen’s need to travel in style and comfort. I mean, what if they came into contact with demonic DEMONS in a municipal airport? You can’t have that! It’s God’s will.

Send them your money.

 
via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
A journey to Rome to visit the long-dead saints whose bodies don’t stink
12.18.2015
05:43 pm

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The incorrupt body of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, wax portraiture over bone, San Crisogono, Rome.
 
For many in our empirical and rational age, the belief in miracles and saints that is an accepted part of Catholic doctrine might present something of a challenge. As a species we now understand enough of the natural world to be able to send men to the moon, while the shelves of any pharmacy seem to establish much the same premise, that secular science, let’s say, might prevail over prayer. Paradoxically, the apparent dominance of science in our lives has the effect of making belief in miracles and saints that much more powerfully a test of faith.

This brings us to Elizabeth Harper’s fascinating photographs of the bodies of “incorrupt” saints. There is a group of saints whose special status is emphasized by the fact that their bodies refuse to decompose. The allure of such an idea is easy enough to imagine—the purity of a person’s soul reflected in some magical ineffability of the body. Bad people ought to stink more after they die, right? It makes a weird kind of intuitive sense. Unfortunately, the facts of nature don’t play along.

The secular mind rejoices when Dostoevsky reveals in The Brothers Karamazov that the body of the pious and wise Father Zossima stinks just as bad as everyone else’s:
 

The fact is that a smell of decomposition began to come from the coffin, growing gradually more marked, and by three o’clock it was quite unmistakable. In all the past history of our monastery, no such scandal could be recalled, and in no other circumstances could such a scandal have been possible, as showed itself in unseemly disorder immediately after this discovery among the very monks themselves. Afterwards, even many years afterwards, some sensible monks were amazed and horrified, when they recalled that day, that the scandal could have reached such proportions. For in the past, monks of very holy life had died, God-fearing old men, whose saintliness was acknowledged by all, yet from their humble coffins, too, the breath of corruption had come, naturally, as from all dead bodies, but that had caused no scandal nor even the slightest excitement. Of course, there had been, in former times, saints in the monastery whose memory was carefully preserved and whose relics, according to tradition, showed no signs of corruption. This fact was regarded by the monks as touching and mysterious, and the tradition of it was cherished as something blessed and miraculous, and as a promise, by God’s grace, of still greater glory from their tombs in the future. (Translation by Constance Garnett)

 
Like the man says: “There had been, in former times, saints ... whose relics, according to tradition, showed no signs of corruption.”

If you go to Rome you can actually pay a visit to a bunch of these incorrupt saints, and recently photographer Harper did just that and came away with a lot of interesting new work. The difficulty of sustaining a belief in incorruptibility as the pitiless centuries grind onward and onward leads to the existence, around the displayed bodies of these saints, of what nonbelievers might term “shenanigans.” But maybe it isn’t so simple—maybe the people in charge of these bodies aren’t so simple, either.

For instance, sometimes the preservation of the incorrupt is (it is claimed) intended to be perceived. The sacristan who was overseeing the sacred relics of Anna Maria Taigi insists that the wax on her body is not there to trick the devout; the intent is to preserve an honest impression of her body in the moment she was discovered in her grave. Meanwhile, St. Paula Frassinetti was given a bath in carbolic acid to assist in the preservation of her body. Pope St. Pius V and St. Vincent Pallotti are encased in silver, while St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Cecelia are encased in white marble.

In reality, of course, the corpses generally do decompose, and squaring this with official doctrine (even if it isn’t considered a hard-and-fast rule in the first place) can be a bit tricky. After 133 years, the body of St. Paula Frassinetti at the Convent of St. Dorotea in Rome is shriveled and brown, and Francesca Romana is pretty much a skeleton. According to Heather Pringle, who has led a team of pathologists from the University of Pisa in researching the subject, opening a tomb sometimes disrupts the microclimates that leads to spontaneous preservation, which can affect even the body of a saint.

As Harper writes:

This is surprisingly unproblematic for believers. The Church doesn’t count incorruptibility as an official Vatican-approved miracle anymore. It’s more like a favorable, if fading, sign from God.

Incorruptibility also isn’t binary, something you either are or aren’t. It can affect just one body part, lending extra significance to a heart, a tongue or hand. There are shades and degrees within the ranks of the incorrupt that make their numbers impossible to tally.


 
The standard account of incorruptible saints is The Incorruptibles: A Study of the Incorruption of the Bodies of Various Catholic Saints and Beatified by Joan Carroll Cruz, a housewife who decided to research and count every incorrupt saint.
 

The tomb of St. Cecilia, the first incorrupt saint. This famous effigy depicts the position her body was found in. Note the wound in her neck from her martyrdom., Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome.
 

The wax effigy of St. Carlo da Sezze. His relics are enshrined under the altar behind his effigy, San Francesco d’Assisi a Ripa Grande, Rome.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Holy rollers: Church transformed into psychedelic skate park
12.16.2015
12:35 pm

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Art
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The Church of Santa Barbara in Llanera, Asturias, located near the northern coast of Spain, had been in disrepair for years until a group of concerned individuals formed a collective called the ‘Church Brigade’ and secured funding to transform the stately house of worship into a psychedelic skate park using murals by Okuda San Miguel.

The church was originally designed by Asturian architect Manuel del Busto in 1912. Church Brigade used crowdfunding strategies but also secured a grant from Red Bull. The public skate park is now called Kaos Temple.

The transformation took place in early December. My favorite bit from the project description is “Time flies, do not think and get involved.”
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sex, Politics and Religion: The making of Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’
12.08.2015
11:02 am

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Heroes
Hysteria
Literature
Movies

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The great film director Ken Russell once remarked that if he had been born in Italy and called, say, “Russellini” then critics would have thrown bouquets at his feet. He was correct as Russell’s worst critics were generally slow-witted, myopic beasts, lacking in imagination and untrustworthy in their judgement.

Take for example the critic Alexander Walker who once dismissed Russell’s masterpiece The Devils as:

...the masturbatory fantasies of a Roman Catholic boyhood.

Walker was being petty and spiteful. He was also badly misinformed. Russell was not born a Catholic, he became one in his twenties and was lapsed by the time he made The Devils. More damningly, if Walker had taken a moment to make himself cognisant with Russell’s source material—a successful West End play by John Whiting commissioned by Sir Peter Hall for the Royal Shakespeare Company or its precursor the non-fiction book The Devils of Loudon by Aldous Huxley—then he would have realised Russell’s film was based on historical fact and his so-called excesses were very tame compared to the recorded events. However, Walker’s waspish comments became his claim to fame—especially after he was royally slapped by Russell with a rolled-up copy of his review on a TV chat show in 1971—Russell later said he wished it had been an iron bar rather than a newspaper.
 
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Oliver Reed as Grandier and Vanessa Redgrave as Sister Jeanne rehearse under the watchful eye of Ken Russell.
 
The Devils is the story of a priest named Urbain Grandier and his battle against the ambitions of Church and State to eradicate the independence of the French town of Loudon. In a bid to have this troublesome priest silenced, Grandier was tried for sorcery after a confession was brutally extracted from a nun, Sister Jeanne, who claimed he was an emissary of the Devil. Grandier was acquitted of all charges but a second show trial found him guilty and he was tortured and burnt at the stake. Russell described Grandier’s case as “the first well-documented political trial in history.”

There were others, of course, going back to Christ, but this had a particularly modern ring to it which appealed to me. He was also like many of my heroic characters…great despite himself. Most of the people in my films are taken by surprise, like [the dancer] Isadora Duncan and [the composer] Delius. They’re out of step with their times and their society, but nevertheless manage to produce rather extraordinary changes in attitude and events. This was exactly Grandier’s situation. He was a minor priest who was used as a fall guy in a political conflict, who lost his life and his battle but won the war.

After that they [the Church and State] couldn’t go on doing what they were doing in quite the same way, and around that time [1634] the Church did begin to lose its power. Twenty years later no one could have been burned as a witch in France. The people of Loudon realised too late that this man they knew so well simply couldn’t have been guilty of the things he was charged with, and if they hadn’t been so bemused by the naked nun sideshow that was going on and the business and prosperity it brought to the town, they’d have realised it sooner. So the fall guy achieved as much in the end as if he had been a saint. And to me that’s just what he is.

Though Russell was on a high after his international success with the Oscar-winning Women in Love (1969) starring Glenda Jackson, Alan Bates, Oliver Reed and Jennie Linden, and The Music Lovers (1970) a flamboyant biopic on the life of Tchaikovsky with Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson, he had found it difficult to find a backer for The Devils. Original producers United Artists pulled out, leaving Russell “out on a limb: having written a script and commissioned set designs from Derek Jarman and costume designs from Shirley Russell.

It would have been a disaster to scrap all that work. Bob Solo, the producer, who had spent years getting the rights to Huxley’s book and Whiting’s play started looking around for another backer, but it took four months of offering the package before Warner Brothers agreed to have a go.

Russell’s script was considered too long and cuts were made. He had originally made Sister Jeanne the focus of his story, following the nun through her involvement in Grandier’s execution to her career as a star:

I suppose it’s the film that turned out most like I wanted it to, though I would have liked to carry the story further to show what happened to [Cardinal] Richelieu and Sister Jeanne. At the end de Laubardemont says “You’re stuck in this convent for life”, but as soon as he’d gone Jeanne set about getting out because her brief moment of notoriety had whetted her appetite for more. So she gouged a couple of holes in her hands and pretended she had the stigmata, saw ‘visions’ and, with the help of Sister Agnes, gulled some old priest into thinking she was the greatest lady since the Virgin Mary.

So she and Agnes went on a jaunt all over France and were hailed with as much fervour as show biz personalities and pop stars are received today. In Paris 30,000 people assembled outside of her hotel just in the chance of getting a glimpse of her. She became very friendly with Richelieu, the King and Queen wined and dined her, she had a grand old time. When she died—I particularly wanted to include this scene—they cut off her head and put it in a glass casket and stuck it on the altar in her own convent. People came on their knees from miles around to pay her homage.

 
More from Ken Russell and ‘The Devils’ including special documentary, photospread and Oliver Reed interview, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Turd-related Christmas traditions of the Catalans
12.08.2015
08:50 am

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Each December 8th, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, families in the Catalonian region of Spain bring out Tió de Nadal or Caga Tió  (which means “shitting log”). The log is painted with a smiling face and stands on two tiny stick legs.
 

 
Every night until the 24th, as tradition dictates, the children are instructed to give the tió a little bite to “eat” and cover him with a blanket to keep him warm and cozy. On Christmas Eve, the tió is placed partly under his blanket and the children order it to defecate. The children beat the log with sticks, while singing the Tió de Nadal song, in order to make it shit presents.

Parents place presents under the log’s blanket while the children close their eyes and pray for the really good shit.

The children’s song to Caga Tió is absolutely adorable:

“Caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!”

Translated:

shit, log,
shit nougats,
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
shit, log!

Here are some children getting very excited for the poop bounty they are about to receive:
 

 
Logs of different sizes are used by the parents to simulate the log “growing” from the food given to it by the children. It teaches the children a valuable lesson about caring for and nurturing something just before you literally beat the shit out of it with a stick on Christmas.
 

 
Coaxing turds from Caga Tió is a wonderful Christmas custom, but not the only scatalogical Catalonian tradition. Even more popular and beloved is the Caganer, whose name literally translates to “the crapper” or “the shitter”. The Caganer is a figurine, traditionally in peasant garb, who is bent over and taking a dump. This figurine is placed among the other figures in the Nativity Scene. The figure is hidden away in the Nativity and the children are instructed to try and find the Caganer.
 

Traditional Caganer
 
It’s not known for certain why the pooping character has been added to the Nativity, but it seems to have been around since at least the 18th Century. Some claim that the character represents fertilization of the Earth and others believe the Caganer represents “the spoil-sport we all have within us.” No one is really sure, but the character maintains a massive popularity despite some governmental attempts to ban the public display.

The Caganer statuettes are sometimes fashioned in the likeness of well-known figures from pop culture or politics.
 

 
The Caganer is very popular with children. What child doesn’t want a little pooping guy coloring book? Finally a good use for that brown crayon! There’s also a sort of Where’s Waldo—if Waldo was a little shitter.

The Catalonians love that little crappin’ dude.

The following celebrity Caganers can be obtained via Caganer.com:
 

Caganer Dali
 
More after the dump er… jump, sorry…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Ouija board coffee table and rug
11.18.2015
11:39 am

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Amusing
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Design

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Okay, this is a pretty clever design of a ouija board area rug and a coffee table in the shape of a planchette. The conceptual design was imagined by Dave Delisle of Dave’s Geek Ideas. Dave came up with idea back in 2013. The good news is that apparently now you can actually own this set!

According to Dave, “If you absolutely want one, contact my friends at Tom Spina Designs for an estimate, they can build it for you.”

I just checked out Tom Spina Designs’ website. I couldn’t find any images of a finished area rug and coffee table on there. I’d love to see it in the real world.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘The Book of Mormon Missionary Positions’ is the one gay sex manual that is TOTALLY SAFE FOR WORK
11.09.2015
01:57 pm

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Belief
Books

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The Mormon Church’s law of chastity prohibits masturbation and premarital sex. The Church even frowns on dressing in a non-chaste manner and—no surprise here—homosexuality is considered a major-league sin, a big “no no” to our friends the Latter-Day Saints.

Inspired by Mitt Romney’s run for the US Presidency, Portland-based photographer Neil Dacosta satirized the Mormons’ politicized stance on same-sex relations by coming up with The Book of Mormon Missionary Positions. Think of it as a chaste gay Mormon version of the Kama Sutra sex manual. Like most Mormon-related things, it’s still totally safe for work. These Mormon twinks don’t even get their ironed and pressed missionary kits off as they attempt to go beyond the missionary position.

I wanted to see some magic underwear action, but sadly, none was forthcoming.


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘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.
 

Processeans
 
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
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