The Processchurch Of The Final Judgement

While this group has long been dissolved, it was responsible for generating a good deal of the publicity accruing to the satamsts during its existence. It was also rather different from both the other groups, in that its members lived together as one or more communes, whereas other satanist groups have been more conventional in undertaking only part-time activities. Moreover, it is difficult to decide whether it was a truly satanist organization, given that Satan was only one member of its pantheon. Nevertheless, it caused much alarm in its heyday when it was accused of forced sex and murder. Rumours that it has been revived are still accompanied by expressions of apprehension.

In the early 1960s, two members of the Church of Scientology, Robert and Mary Anne de Gnmston Moore, who had been working as therapists left to set up -m business for themselves to develop the techniques used by the Scientologists even further. They called their approach 'Compulsions Analysis' and claimed that it enabled individuals to realize their full potential. Their technique was named a 'Process'-, after the Scientology technique. Soon their success enabled them to rent premises in Mayfair. Their group therapy sessions produced strong bonds between themselves and their clients to the point where they realized they had created a new religion, which was ultimately to be called The Process-Church of the Final Judgement. About 30 of them left London to found the ideal community and after some years spent wandering from place to place, including a period of proselytization in London and similar trips in the USA, they setded in eastern North America: They had by then had some contact with Anton LaVey and added Satan and Lucifer to their worship of Jehovah, with the result that they were soon labelled devil-worshippers. Once communities were established in the USA they supported themselves by begging m the street, where they were highly visible figures. They wore black garments with a huge figure of the Goat God on their chests, and m New Orleans they wore dramatic purple capes, although these were later exchanged for black ones. Nevertheless, their appearance was still sufficiendy dramatic to become counter-productive so they changed the uniform to one of sober grey. At the time of this change they had been wrongly accused of having trained Charles Manson to commit the series of horrific murders that took piace in 1969 (this accusaaon is still associated with the name). Money was very short and rifts developed within the leadership. In 1974 the group split. By the end of the decade the remnants of the Process were to be found m Texas and Utah as quite different religious/ therapy groups.

The Process regarded their gods, who eventually numbered four when Jesus was added to the other three, as inner realities rather than deities. They were therefore not worshipped. The sociologist Bainbridge, whose study of them is the mam source of information about them, has described their theology as constandy changing, being largely written by Robert who continued to elaborate his ideas up to the point of his departure. He has described how 'Processeans used the gods as a personality theory, holding chat different individuals were closer to one or two of the deities than to the others' (Bainbridge, 1978: 302). Satan had two aspects: the Higher represented 'detachment, mysticism, otherworldliness, magic and asceticism', while his lower aspect was the province of 'lust, abandon, violence, excess and indulgence', In relation to the other gods, Satan was an intensifier, both of the self-control demanded by Jehovah and also of the self-indulgence of Lucifer. In the theory of quadruple gods, each individual was associated with a combination of two gods and the combination explained not only the personality of the individuals concerned but also their relationships with one another. An elaborately dualisttc structure of opposition and combination was constructed on this basis but it had more to do with explaining the internal dynamics of the group than those of the universe.

There is litde here of the traditional Satan, although the terms for the gods/inner realities were drawn from1 a Judaeo-Chnstian background. Nor was there anything to compare with the magical activities of the other satamst groups that were established in California at much the same time that the Process communes were undergoing their various changes. There was no worship and no magic so there were no ntuals directed to Satan nor magic invoking dark powers; and the communal life of the Processeans, including their sexual life, was stncdy regulated rather than orgiastic. At times it was clear that the leaders were exploiting other members, who collected funds which were inequitably divided. However, there was litde here to justify the label satamc. The Process was, as Bainbridge has termed it, a 'deviant psychotherapy group' rather than a religious one - let alone a satamc cult.

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