The Process Church of the Final Judgement
October 24, 2005 7:29 AM   Subscribe

The Process Church of the Final Judgement, is quoted on two Funkadelic album covers. In his book The Family, Ed Sanders claimed that Charles Manson took his inspiration from The Process, leading to a lawsuit that resulted in the excision from subsequent editions of the material describing the cult's influence. Here is the redacted material. Whatever the truth about Manson and The Process Chuch, it was a time of cults.
posted by OmieWise (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had no idea that The Process Church was responsible for the lyric "Comin' to you in your earholes," and "Shit! God damn! Get off your ass and jam!"
posted by shmegegge at 8:08 AM on October 24, 2005

Also see: Skinny Puppy, The Process

(A decent album, though I never would have known what it was about if not for teh Intarnweb. Bit more obscure than their protest/awareness songs.)
posted by Foosnark at 8:20 AM on October 24, 2005

Wasn't David Berkowitz involved with these guys? Or was that just a rumor?
posted by NoMich at 8:25 AM on October 24, 2005

Wasn't David Berkowitz involved with these guys? Or was that just a rumor?

I think it was a rumor created by Davy himself. He later recanted and became a born-again jailhouse Christian.
posted by scratch at 8:36 AM on October 24, 2005

Ed Sander's Truckstop? That Ed Sanders?
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 AM on October 24, 2005

great post. I often wondered about the writing on the back of Maggot brain, but never bothered to look it up. I'd like to know more about the Clinton connection; did he actually have contact with the Process, or just dig their funky shit? That is also probably the best article on funkadelic i've ever read. Those first three albums are imo the best of the lot, but then i always preferred acid and rock to disco and coke.
posted by criticalbill at 4:05 PM on October 24, 2005

Thanks for the post OmieWise.

I got really interested in the Process a few years back, partly because I found out they had had a church in Toronto 30 years ago or so. There was a really interesting page up on the web at that time, put together by a former member who was seeking to find other old members; it seemed as though they were interested in getting things going again. I believe this was the Society of the Processeans, who have a link on DisInfo's page on the Process which sadly no longer works. But I could be wrong about the group's name.

From what I could gather in my research, Psychic TV, Skinny Puppy & Co. had sort of 'hijacked' the group's name/image (especially that 'cool' swastika-looking symbol). The interest seemed to me to have more to do with the Processes' uniforms and the aforementioned symbol than with Robert DeGrimston Moore's writings or thought, but YMMV. I also found a new-ish looking site which at the time was selling Process t-shirts (!!!) and the like. This all seemed very lame to me, and quite against the spiritual aspects of the original group. I do believe that was this site which is also showing up as currently inactive.

I managed to get a lot of old newspaper articles on the Process' none-too-easy introduction to the Toronto area (operating a soup kitchen and stuff, holding folk concerts, making nice with the freaked out squares) through microfilm orders, and also ordered a bunch of original Process literature from the Toronto Public Library which was very interesting. Some of it is online but there's something about holding the actual books in your hand that can't be beat. And not only was there a Charles Manson connection as you've noted, but a strong Scientology connection as well. Very interesting stuff. I had never heard about the Funkadelic connection before BTW.

For anyone interested in what the group actually believed, Wikipedia has a pretty good synopsis available.

Fortean Times has a great article on the group BTW ("Sympathy for the devil", May 2000; FT 134) but sadly it is registration only. Here is the chapter of Ed Sander's "The Family" (mentioned in OmieWise's post) that was later removed from the book at the behest of the Process' lawyers. And finally, who could be a stranger tie-in with your freaky group than Charles Manson, L. Ron Hubbard, or George Clinton? How about Mary Tyler Moore?
posted by stinkycheese at 9:56 AM on October 25, 2005

Thanks for the extra info. Just to be clear, the first link above is to a rickross hosting of the FT article from 2000, and the 5th link is to the chapter from Ed Sanders book.
posted by OmieWise at 10:28 AM on October 25, 2005

Ugh, sorry OmieWise. I was putting my post together really quickly during my lunch break & I must have missed those.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:58 AM on October 25, 2005

Ed Sander's Truckstop? That Ed Sanders?

Yes, indeed. The same Ed Sanders who was also part of the Fugs. Evidently, Sanders planned to write a book about how Manson must have been part of a government plot to make hippies look bad, but when he actually did the research, it totally spooked him.
posted by jonp72 at 8:41 PM on October 25, 2005

By the way, there is a great book by the sociologist William Bainbridge called Satan's Power, which is an account of the early days of the Process, although the group is given a pseudonym.
posted by jonp72 at 8:43 PM on October 25, 2005

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