The Process Church of The Final Judgment

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The Process, or in full, The Process Church of the Final Judgment, commonly known by non-members as the Process Church, was a religious group that flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, founded by the English couple Mary Ann and Robert DeGrimston (originally Robert Moor and Mary Ann MacLean). Originally headquartered in London, it had developed as a splinter group from Scientology,[1] so that they were declared "suppressive persons" by L. Ron Hubbard in December 1965.[2] In 1966, members of the group underwent a social implosion and moved to Xtul on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula,[3] where they developed "processean" theology (which differs from, and is unrelated to process theology). They later established a base of operations in the United States in New Orleans.[2]

They were often viewed as Satanic on the grounds that they worshiped both Christ and Satan. Their belief was that Satan would become reconciled to Christ, and they would come together at the end of the world to judge humanity, Christ to judge and Satan to execute judgment. Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor of the Charles Manson family trial, comments in his book Helter Skelter that Manson may have borrowed philosophically from the Process Church, and that representatives of the Church visited him in jail after his arrest. According to one of those representatives, the purpose of the visit was to question Manson about whether he had ever had any contact with Church members or ever received any literature about the Church. The group published an article about Manson and the jail visit in the The Process magazine's special "Death" edition.[2]

In April 1974, Robert de Grimston was removed by the Council of Masters as Teacher. They renounced The Unity, his exposition of the above-noted doctrines, and most of his other teachings. De Grimston attempted to restart the Process Church several times, but he could never replace his original following. Following de Grimston's removal, the group underwent a significant change in orientation and renamed itself the Foundation – Church of the Millennium. Many of the same believers left to follow Gilles Deleuze's Anti-Oedipal movement.[4] In 1978, the Foundation was renamed to Foundation Faith of the Millennium and in 1993 to Foundation Faith of God. The organization eventually became Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT, later renamed to Best Friends Animal Society.[5]

A detailed account of the history of and life within the Process Church as told by a participant-observer is contained in William S. Bainbridge's book Satan's Power. (He employed a pseudonym for the name of the group, referring to it as "The Power", and disguised the names of people to preserve their identities, a procedure used for sociological studies of living groups to ensure privacy.)

Processean theology[edit]

The term "processean theology" distinguishes these ideas from the process theology derived from the thoughts of Alfred North Whitehead.

In Xtul was the first "channeling" of God. After Xtul, Jehovah was the only recognised God. Later, with Jehovah, Lucifer and Satan were recognised as "The Three Great Gods of the Universe" and Christ as the Emissary to the Gods. The Three Great Gods represent three basic human patterns of reality:

  • Jehovah, the wrathful God of vengeance and retribution, demands discipline, courage and ruthlessness, and a single-minded dedication to duty, purity and self-denial.
  • Lucifer, the Light Bearer, urges followers to enjoy life to the full, to value success in human terms, to be gentle and kind and loving, and to live in peace and harmony with one another. Man's apparent inability to value success without descending into greed, jealousy and an exaggerated sense of his own importance, has brought the God Lucifer into disrepute. He has become mistakenly identified with Satan.
  • Satan, the receiver of transcendent souls and corrupted bodies, instills in followers two directly opposite qualities; at one end an urge to rise above all human and physical needs and appetites, to become all soul and no body, all spirit and no mind, and at the other end a desire to sink beneath all human codes of behavior, and to wallow in a morass of violence, lunacy and excessive physical indulgence. But it is the lower end of Satan's nature that men fear, which is why Satan, by whatever name, is seen as the Adversary.

In between these Three Great Gods and man, is an entire hierarchy of Gods, beings and superbeings, angels and archangels, demons and archdemons, elementals and guides, and fallen angels and watchers.

The Process believes that, to varying degrees, these "God-patterns" exist within everyone. The main doctrine of The Process is the unity of Christ and Satan, who exist as opposites. Jehovah and Lucifer exist as opposites and when Christ and Satan are united, this will unite Jehovah and Lucifer.

In the original 1960s literature of the church, Christ, Lucifer, Satan and Jehovah were all arranged on a mandala, with Christ at the top opposite Satan on the bottom and Jehovah on the left opposite Lucifer on the right.

(The descriptions of the Gods comes from a teaching called 'The Hierarchy' published in December 1967, as a part of 'The Tide of the End'.)

The Modern Process Church[edit]

Robert de Grimston's writings and the Writ of The Process Church have long outlived the original cult. His 'Brethren Information' (those speeches meant for members of the Church at the time) are widely available online[6] and The Process has a cult following on social media,.[7]

The teachings of Robert de Grimston have become the subject of much music, especially in Hardcore Punk, where Integrity (band) began the fascination - and bands such as Lay It on the Line (band) have openly spoken of following the teachings.[8]

A detailed discussion of the modern Process Church appeared in Disinfo in July 2015.[9]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bainbridge, William Sims (1978). Satan's Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult., Univ of California Press. ISBN 0-520-03546-1
  • Timothy Wyllie (1991). Dolphins, Extraterrestrials and Angels.
  • Timothy Wyllie (2009). Love Sex Fear Death: The Inside Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgement. Feral House. ISBN 978-1-932595-37-6. 
  • Sabrina Verney (2011). Xtul: An experience of The Process. PublishAmerica. ISBN 978-1456042097. 
  • "Process Church/Best Friends Articles of Incorporation". Louisiana Secretary of State. 
  • Terry, Maury (1987). The Ultimate Evil. Doubleday & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-385-23452-X.
  • Papa, Alessandro (2013). The Process. Archives, Documents, Reflections and Revelations, Kali Yuga Editions.

External links[edit]