Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Process Church - a ritual resurrected

Of all the world’s churches, sects and cults, the Process Church Of The Final Judgement remains one of those who have most captured Lord Bassington-Bassington’s imagination.

The Process Church was short-lived and miniscule sect, long vanished in the mists of time, but their ideas were highly interesting and they have also had an influence on a lot of music Lord Bassington-Bassington enjoys. Ranging from ur-neofolk band Changes through Psychic TV and even Skinny Puppy and Funkadelic.

To put it much too shortly, the Process Church was a result of the mixing of modern psychology and ancient religion that so characterized the religious subcultures of the 1960s. The Process Church started, oddly enough, as an offshoot of Scientology, and moved towards a Gnostic mysticism dressed in Gothic robes (while preaching that Satan and God had been reconciled) before ending up as a more orthodox Christian congregation.

While William Sims Bainbridge’s academic treatise Satan’s Power might be the most comprehensive publication about The Processeans and their theology and practices, there are several good articles about the Church on the Internet - from the Wikipedia entry to Gary Lachman’s article.

Also, Feral House recently released one of the best books available on the subject.

One interesting result from this latest book release has been that some of the Process Church’s rituals have been resurrected and performed in front of curious audiences. This video shows one such ritual. And speaking of Psychic TV, yes, that is Genesis P-Orridge officiating.


  1. Thanks for sharing, your lordship. I wish somebody'd reprint the complete run of Process magazine. Hell, I'd publish it any day, if somebody came up with good-quality scans and the copyrights could be settled.

  2. Thanks for commenting! I'd love to see that published, too. I guess it's the logical next step now that the Process is coming back in vogue. I've seen some scans of it on the Webatron somewhere, and it's a joy to read - a bit like a mash-up between The Watchtower and The Black Flame...

  3. Cheers for spreading the gospel,

    I was able to witness the performance here in Portland last winter and it was amazing. I suggest the Feral House book as well a really good read. If you can track down Satans Power that is about the only other worthwhile mass published info on the group, although Timothy is not so much a fan of that book if I remember correctly. It is much more of an anthropological study of them as a social cult group.

  4. Dear Anonymous, that sounds like a fabulous time! I'm envious.

    I read Satan's Power years ago, but haven't read the new Feral House thing yet. Oooh, that means it's time to order books again.

  5. Found "Satan's Power" in the University library in the early 90's -- a title like that really sticks out in the Anthropology section -- but it took about a decade till I was able to connect the dots. The book used to fetch ridiculous prices in; I think I hunted it at Ebay for something like 18 months back in the day -- and then I found it together with James Webb's "The Occult Establishment" for a song.

  6. You lucky bastard! I've wanted to re-read that book, too, it's really good.

    Amazon has some copies, starting at 112 pounds. That's a bit too expensive...