The Process Church of the Final Judgement: Revelations of an apocalypse cult
02.18.2014
04:42 pm

Topics:
Belief
Books
Occult

Tags:
Timothy Wyllie
The Process


 
Alessandro Papa’s excellent new book, The Process: Archives, Documents, Reflections and Revelations, is an indispensable addition to the small number of publications devoted to the 60s apocalypse cult, The Process Church of the Final Judgement.

When I say small, I refer only to the handful of books—well, three—that includes Love, Sex, Fear, Death: The Inside Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment and Propaganda and the Holy Writ of The Process Church of the Final Judgment, both published by Feral House in recent years, along with William S. Bainbridge’s sociological study of the organization, Satan’s Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult, which came out in 1978. Not a lot.

The Process is the subject of fascination for many people—I’m one of them—because of how dark their theology was, and a desire to understand what caused the well-educated middle class members to join up with such a group in the first place. What weirdos! Although they appeared at first blush to be a Satan-worshipping cult—something Ed Sanders’ lurid Manson book The Family is partially to blame for—this view is very widely off the mark. The Processean tenants sought to harmonize the notion of the Christian eschaton with the carnage the cult’s young adherents had literally been born into, the bombed out ruins of post-WWII Europe. Christ would return and team up with Satan for the final judgement of mankind. After what had just gone down, would this have seemed so incredibly far-fetched? In this sense, the poetic Process theology, most of it coming via the inspired pen of the group’s charismatic leader, Robert DeGrimston, was firmly grounded in Judeo-Christian imagery and the thanatonic impulses of eschatological beliefs in general.

DeGrimston’s “Game of the Gods” described a universe where Lucifer, Satan and Jehovah battle it out on a cosmic chess board where we—and all of history—are just their pawns. This idea of the trio’s endtime “unity” comes from a not-so-esoteric reading of The Book of Revelation. I’m not saying this is exactly the same sort of energy that’s been channeled into the Left Behind book series, but there IS a certain similar impulse at play. Christians LOVE them a little end of the world, right, so how surprising would it be that something like The Process would sprout up in postwar Britain, where the participants were probably all raised as Christians? (This is a very difficult thing to shake, as many of you reading this can no doubt attest to.) That Charles Manson’s prophecy of a coming race war would find inspiration in DeGrimston’s end of the world sermonizing isn’t that surprising, either.

The thing is, I think people who are fascinated by the Process want them to be “darker” than they actually were. Based on the dramatic—indeed the infernal—prose of DeGrimston, they probably expect to find “rites” or Crowleyan sex magick rituals, when the reality was much closer to a “Jesus freak” coffee house with newsletters, folk singers and veggie burgers. Setting aside any “mindfucking” that authoritarian cults tend to engage in, viewed in retrospect, the Processeans actually seem pretty tame, an ascetic, gentle and devotional lot.

Papa’s book makes good use of his extensive collection of Process memorabilia. As the shadowy cult’s narrative history unfolds, he is able to refer to, quote from extensively and even reproduce from the vast amount of literature they produced. In doing so, Papa is able to give his readers an accurate picture of what actually transpired, cleaving the myth from the history and presenting the most objective portrait of The Process yet, even when it can be a little goofy.

The Process: Archives, Documents, Reflections and Revelations has been published in a limited edition of just 555 copies. You can order it from End of Kali-Yuga editions via eBay.

Below, a 2010 interview that I conducted with former Process member and author, Timothy Wylie
 

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Process Church of the Final Judgment Event in NYC

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Artforum covers the recent Process Church event in NYC:

LEGEND HAS IT that a young L. Ron Hubbard once bragged to his friends that he was going to start a religion and make a million dollars. We all know how that went. Less known is a far smaller rogue offshoot of Scientology that exerted disproportionate influence on late-1960s and early-?

Written by Jason Louv | Discussion
Love Sex Fear Death: Inside The Process Church of the Final Judgment with Timothy Wyllie
09.15.2009
02:25 pm

Topics:
History

Tags:
Feral House
Timothy Wyllie
The Process

The Process was the apocalyptic shadow side of the flower-powered 60s and perhaps the most notorious cult of modern times. Timothy Wyllie was the first member and the art director of the cult’s magazine. The group’s apocalyptic theology brought on accusations of sinister conspiracies as scores of black-cloaked devotees swept the streets of London, NY, New Orleans and other cities selling magazines with titles likes Love, Fear, Sex and Death. Timothy Wyllie is the author of Love, Sex, Fear, Death published by Feral House.

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
LOVE, SEX, FEAR, DEATH: The Process Church of the Final Judgment

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Our friends at Feral House and Process Media are co-hosting this event at The Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles:

Was The Process Church truly “one of the most dangerous Satanic cults in America”? Or were they an intensely creative apocalyptic shadow side to the flower-powered ‘60s and New Age ‘70s? Scores of black-cloaked devotees swept the streets of New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, and other cities selling magazines with titles like “Sex”, “Fear”, “Love” and “Death”, and a theology proposing the reconciliation of Christ and Satan through love. Marianne Faithfull, George Clinton and Mick Jagger participated in Process publications and Funkadelic reproduced Process material in two of their albums. The inside story of this controversial group has at last emerged with Feral House’s LOVE, SEX, FEAR, DEATH by Timothy Wyllie and other former members. Feral House and Process Books present a re-creation of an actual Process Church ?

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion