120. Keeping still (III)
Updated: Jun 4
The Process Church of the Final Judgement was a 1960s cult that has enjoyed a storied reputation, being associated with all sorts of mayhem and urban legend. Founded by a former Scottish prostitute and her architect husband, the cult gained a reputation as the “mindbenders of Mayfair”; and, occupying a house in London’s most luxurious district, recruited many upper-middle-class and aristocratic youths into their occult ranks—along with their trust funds and inheritances. The cult was notable for enjoying a particularly Satanic appearance, complete with long black robes, public flagellation, celebration of the Black Mass, and their stewardship of a huge pack of Alsatian dogs. Their reputation for Satanism was cultivated in a calculated way, one of their coffee shops was called “Satan’s Cavern”. With many young professionals in their ranks, the Process was able to produce magazines that were very slick; and, at times, they were able to enjoy a strong influence on celebrity culture.
The Process mixed the techniques of Scientology with the ideas of the Swiss psychoanalyst C.G. Jung. For Jung, the Christian trinity was incomplete: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost needed to be accompanied by a missing fourth, Lucifer (Prometheus). When this was accomplished the fifth element—the higher God, beyond light and dark—Abraxas would manifest. In this formulation, Lucifer is not synonymous with Satan; rather he is, as with some Middle Eastern traditions, the lord of the Earth and effective action. The Process took this formula and altered it so that the quadrants ran: Jesus, Jehovah, Lucifer, and Satan. Against Jung’s goal of unifying the different forces of the psyche, the Process encouraged its members to identify entirely with one of these gods; thus, indeed, some members of the Process were Satanists—yet others were also genuine followers of Jesus.
The Process made use of magic circles: they would gather in a circle and let the spirits guide them. Using this technique, they migrated from London to Mexico and arrived at an isolated village called Xtul; while camping in primitive conditions they were threatened by a tropical storm, yet, miraculously, they were spared—the storm wheeled away at the last moment. The Process now felt that they were being guided by unseen ancient forces; and, in all likelihood, they had accessed the old Mayan gods still haunting that region.
And so the Process began a period of intense proselytisation, especially in North America. Their symbol, a swastika composed of “666” (a solar number, actually built into the dimensions of many churches), love of Alsatians (Hitler’s favourite dog), authoritarianism, apocalyptic predictions, and misanthropy—along with the leader’s love for animals, and vegetarian instincts—led many to see them as a National Socialist cult. In my view, this is an accurate account of the cult’s nature, albeit in an inexplicit way. Further, it seems that Charles Manson—with similar ideas regarding race—who lived near their San Francisco HQ, picked up certain Luciferian ideas from the Process; and their Alsatians once chased Roman Polanski near his home in LA where, later, his wife would be slain by Manson’s followers.
The Process eventually disintegrated into an animal charity. However, its ideas influenced avant-garde artists, such as Genesis P-Orridge—a singer and leading exponent of transsexualism. His occult practices seem to have gripped many advanced elements of culture, even influencing mathematicians. A former leading cult member, Timothy Wyllie, went on to be an exponent of ketamine use and documented his contact with hosts of rebel angels—reflecting his Luciferian tendencies—one of whom urged him to crossdress, so leading to shamanic insights—crossdressing being a shamanic practice. He also engaged in psychic communication with dolphins. Before joining the Process, Wyllie had a drug-induced encounter with a winged serpent—Quetzalcoatl’s spirit—so it seems that the Process adherents were being drawn to Latin America from an early stage.
In short, the Process represents the misapplication of various initiatic and Gnostic practices. The results were fertile and pollinated across a wide variety of high-level cultural circles.