Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boogiemen of the Occult.

"Burns inside horilbly she lifts me to the spirit burns / the darkest hours my corrupt brain is hurting / once again the door lies quiet left alone I'm thinking of her / setting the burning clock of time..."
- Skinny Puppy, Cult. (Off The Process.)

Today's post is dedicated to the actual shadowy weirdness that has occasionally popped up in 'occult' related circles; not the weird shit that the Fundies believe have happened (like Satanic Ritual Abuse), but to two elements I'm aware of that are actually scary or just plain strange.

After the Summer of Love, the world went a bit mad. Hippies proliferated through-out Haight-Ashbury and Venice Beach. With rise of The Doors and the other icons of a newly emerging counter-culture, acid rock exploded into the public mind. It would take Charles Manson and The Family to destroy the love vibe; but even before there were shadows that stretched through the American 60s.

One of them was what was to become called The Process Church of Final Judgment. It was a splinter-group from the newly emerging religion (read: mind control cult) of Scientology; and by many accounts, a classic in the realm of what occurs with a group-gestalt. Founded by Peter DeGrimstone and his later wife, Mary, after being tossed out of Scientology circles, they would take their group to Mexico and eventually settle in Xtul where group sex and madness would reign; the trip would fuel their entire future. Hit by a hurricane, the members of The Process in Xtul became convinced they'd seen 'the coming of the end of the world.'

"The group had made a sudden shift. They began to wear black capes and black turtle necks, and to sport shiny silver crosses. They also wore badges featuring the sinister Goat of Mendes, the devil headed demon of the witches’ sabbath. The Process symbol too was prominent. Divine intervention continued. They set up a lecture hall and bookshop, and an Alpha Room, where they held their Sabbath Assemblies. (Novelist Robert Irwin, whose Satan Wants Me is set against the backdrop of occult 1960s London, recalls some deflowered virgins at Process gatherings, but doubts if there were any virgins in London then.) A movie theatre ran films dominated by destruction and violence. They gave classes in telepathy, self-expression and communication, and got on their soap-box in Hyde Park to preach the apocalypse trip. Processeans hit the streets asking for donations. Mary Ann was a fanatical anti-vivisectionist; cult members were told to say the money was going to ‘animal welfare,’ although most of it landed in the DeGrimstons’ pocket."
- Gary Lachman, The Process.

From there things enter into a phase I'd call 'high weird', and there are a number of paranoid conspiracy theories, attempts to link them (correctly or incorrectly) to serial killers, and even a return of followers after the new religious movement finally floundered. Interestingly enough: Joseph Matheny of recently discussed (see link) how he crafted a prank to see if he could form a new 'occult boogieman' called '4P2' (linking it to a Process splinter called '4P') and calls the interview about it Fear and Loathing on the Internet Part 2.

The other strange element of the story is how a few members of the cult went on to form a dog sanctuary that even Katy Couric has sponsored. While their current history page ends in 401 errors, the original version is archived. And indeed that is some 'high weird' shit.

Overall, there have been attempts to link The Process to a number of stranger elements of the 60s, but most have failed. Whether they remain 100% true or not is a bit immaterial given its origins with toxic group gestalts, mind control scenarios, and the rest.


Sitting at the other end of the spectrum is the Order of Nine Angles, and its founder David Myatt. The ONA is one of the few 'frightening' (to some degree) Satanic groups. While one can openly mock groups like The Joy of Satan it's hard to call them dangerous in the same way. JoS is certainly a group that has been linked, inside the Satanic scene, to extreme Right-Wing (see: Neo-Nazi) politics, and no one I've ever known has liked them. But while they remain a group out of try and convert rebelious teens and convince them to wear jackboots and swastikas the ONA sits differently.

To put it as one colleague of mine once did: "The ONA has taught the most efficient way to curse someone. You send them a nailbomb."

While the allegations in the UK involving their extreme politics and stances are terrorism could be seen as ambiguous at best, the American ONA's "leader" Blackwood sent out insane emails to various members of the Satanic scene in 2005 stating: "We will honor Satan by recruiting able soldiers that are ready to take matters to whatever means they need to. The Order of Nine Angles will focus on protecting its Real Satanic soldiers, every man woman and child in our organization and their families and move forward to attack the "foulest religion" known Islam...

Fellow Satanist's let one of the O. N. A .members die in at the hands of Islamic Jihad idealists and soon we will do our own beheading's right here somewhere in the U. S. I can promise you that!"

I have no idea what the fuck he was ranting about, but if there's one reason to avoid them, I think that email alone qualifies. The ultimate irony of all this, of course, is that David Myatt switched to the Islamic Fundamentalism support after his stint as a Satanic Nazi. (And it's something I think has inspired Blackwood's bizarre and crazy rage.)

EDIT: Typo'd "out" into the word "our", making it look like I or my pals had written about threatening Muslims. Totally never happened on my end. I actually dig (non-Fundamentalist) Islam; just like I enjoy (non-Fundamentalist) Christianity for the most part.


Jason Miller, said...

Funny this should come up now. I just finished reading a privately circulated piece on the Process by Genesis. Truth be told it was more about TOPY and comparing it to the Process.

Anyway, good stuff.

PS, hang around with some Palero's if you want scary occult shit.

Dohmnaill said...

I haven't commented on your posts before, but since wandering over from Jason's blog I have been following. As a fellow Industrial music/noise fan, How could I not like a post that starts with a skinny puppy quote?

Thanks for the post. I had no idea about Best friends being connected to The Process. yet somehow, I am not surprised at all...

It is also a potentially curious subconscious undercurrent at work there, considering their band name and Ogre's later interest in The Process... [just realized my choice of words are likewise (subconscious studios is cEvin Key's studio)]

I suppose this also shows that some people can recover from mythic-over-saturation, and actually do something productive.