The Inside Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment:
I never expected to write this book about my 15 years with a spiritual community in the 1960s and ‘70s--I left the group in 1977. I’d originally thought of it as a Mystery School, but over the years the community became one of the more notorious cults of that era. Yet it was because we were secretive and mysterious that so many lies and distortions have been told about The Process over the years. The truth needed to be told.
I wrote this book, together with contributions from half-a-dozen other ex-members, as an examination of the growth and final collapse of what William S. Bainbridge, author of Satan’s Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult, has called “one of the most creative movements of the Twentieth Century”.
It is a highly personal and intimate account of my relationship both with the group that I’d helped found, and with the astonishingly powerful and psychic woman who usurped control of the community.
Published in 2009 by Feral House, the elegantly produced book also includes 30 color pages of the various PROCESS magazines that I designed, together with photographs of many of the individuals involved, and excerpts of the writings of the cult’s infamous Teacher, Robert de Grimston. The English rock musician and performance artist, Genesis P-Orridge has kindly contributed a final essay, summarizing his thoughts about The Process, the influence it had on his own life and career, as well as placing The Process within the larger context of all the radical social changes in the 1960s.
Through personal anecdotes and vivid memories I examine some of the perennial questions raised about cults over the ages: Are they emotional and intellectual dead-ends, repositories for those who cannot make their way in the world? Or do they allow their members a far wider variety of experiences unavailable to them in normal life? Is there an emotional vulnerability common to those who join cults?
Or, are cults like The Process, ways of accelerating the evolution of the consciousness of its members? Are those who do not consider themselves “joiners” more susceptible to cults? Or, are cults one of a culture’s way of exploring alternative ways of living and thinking?
The book throws some light on these questions. It will tickle the fancy of those who have spent time in such a community, and fill in some of the gaps for those who are curious yet sensible enough never to have committed themselves to life in a cult.
And finally, those who have appreciated my books and articles over the years will be likely to find some amusement at how my long, strange, trip started and developed.