“Sometimes you have to lose your mind to gain your soul”: a magazine ad for America Eats Its Young
One of the most enigmatic aspects of Funkadelic’s career is the group’s short-lived association with the Process Church of the Final Judgment. The occult organization, which provided the liner notes to Funkadelic’s third and fourth albums, achieved notoriety after Ed Sanders devoted a chapter to it in The Family, tying the Process to Charles Manson. The Process sued Sanders’ publisher and succeeded in having the offending chapter removed from subsequent editions of The Family, but the lawsuit seems only to have intensified suspicions that the Process was hiding something about its relationship with Manson.
So not everyone thought the Process was groovy in 1972. Critic Robert Christgau slammed Funkadelic for their association with the Process in his review of America Eats Its Young:
[Funkadelic’s] racial hostility is much preferable to the brotherhood bromides of that other Detroit label, but their taste in white people is suspect: it’s one thing to put down those who “picket this and protest that” from their “semi-first-class seat,” another to let the Process Church of the Final Judgment provide liner notes on two successive albums. I overlooked it on Maggot Brain because the music was so difficult to resist, but here the strings (told you about their taste in white people), long-windedness (another double-LP that should be a single), and programmatic lyrics (“Miss Lucifer’s Love” inspires me to mention that while satanism is a great antinomian metaphor it often leads to murder, rape, etc.) leave me free to exercise my prejudices.
More after the jump…