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Arts and Entertainment

Sunday: Who's Afraid Of The Process Church Of The Final Judgement?

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Process cross (Custom).jpg

Some of the farthest-out hipster prose in the original print run of Ed Sanders' highly readable Manson account, The Family, concerns the supposed "hooded snuffoids" from the spookily-named but otherwise harmless Process Church Of The Final Judgement. This kind of statement, made despite the fact that no one in the group has ever been convicted of anything like murder, is somewhat like blaming the people who ran Amok Books for all the horrible killings written up in their inventory. Although the Process Church did publish a magazine, which solicited an essay from Manson, author and sect member Timothy Wyllie remarks, "One of the only times I recall that we decided to deliberately break the law was to smuggle a German Shepherd across the English Channel."

So Wyllie's book Love Sex Fear Death (Process Media) is not a true crime novel, although it's possible that the way they talk about Satan will still get you in trouble in some parts of the country. To read the book is to realize that theirs is a relatively dry, talky, intellectual religion, and the use of Satanic imagery is more symbolic than diabolical. The book's interest lies more in the parts they made up, the mythology of Christianity re-written with a new slant on the characters, kind of like the musical Wicked.

The church's founders founders came out of Scientology, having been early and quick adopters in the late 50s. They broke with the church in 1963, apparently figuring if you can just make this shit up, why not go all the way and make up a new story, one that suits you better? And while you're at it, you can borrow some of the popular characters from other stories. Hence the idea of Christ and Satan, buddies, just two guys with a job to do, beating each other senseless every day and yukking it up over a beer every night.

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Count on both to be raising a glass at the Silent Movie Theater on Sunday, where a live band, including Cows/ Tomahawk bass lord Kevin Rutmanis, will be playing period classics and original church music, while an actual Sabbath Assembly Service is performed. Services start at 6 PM. Don't be scared!

Occult USA : The Process Church of The Final Judgementtakes place on Sunday, August 23 at 6 PM at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N Fairfax Avenue. Go to for tickets.