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Love, Sex, Fear, Death: The Inside Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment First Edition Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1932595376
ISBN-10: 1932595376
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  • Love, Sex, Fear, Death: The Inside Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is an unglamorous saga of indentured panhandling, Dumpster-diving, child neglect, public-access proselytizing, and Heathers-level Machiavellianism—detailing the insidious banality of evil more convincingly than Process theology or Maury Terry ever could."—LA Weekly

About the Author

Timothy Wyllie was one of the first members of the Process Church and art directed the decades ahead of its time Process magazines. Wyllie says it required years to "decompress" from this one of a kind cult experience. Wyllie has also written two brisk-moving books on angels and spiritual intelligences. Since his influential collection, Apocalypse Culture, was first released in 1987, the award-winning writer Adam Parfrey has been credited for discovering and revealing the inner workings of cults and unusual pop culture histories. With "Love, Sex, Fear, Death," Parfrey has captured the cooperation of primary players in the most secretive and talked about cult of our time.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House; First Edition edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932595376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932595376
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert N. Taylor on June 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is no doubt that The Process Church of the Final Judgment has left a dark, indelible watermark of a sort upon the psyche of many who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s. Much of its mystique was due to the ultra-secret constraints placed upon members of the cult by the leadership, coupled with certain atrocities perpetrated by those with tenuous connections with the cult, such as the Manson family.

Over the decades since the cult's ostensible demise, conspiracy theorists and yellow journalists have woven a rich tapestry of innuendoes and lies which have blossomed to monstrous proportions, from Ed Sanders' The Family to Vincent Bugliosi's Helter Skelter and to Maury Terry's phantasmagoria tale and sensationalist screed The Ultimate Evil and many lesser tomes in print and on the internet.

Compounding such wild-eyed speculations were the group's own visual style and strident theological manifestos bearing such titles as The Gods On War and Humanity is the Devil.

Love Sex Fear Death will, I am sure, be a big disappointment to many of those intent upon cheap thrills and titillations. The truth is generally far less prosaic, and in this case, certainly not sensationalist in any sense of the word. It is instead an insightful and factual account written by those who were there and a part of the cult.

Timothy Wyllie has written a sober, heartfelt chronicle of the cult. He was there from the inception of the group and was a classmate of one of the two principal founders and leaders of the group: Robert Moore DeGrimston.

Such sermons in print, whether symbolic, metaphorical or literal, certainly lent credence to such theories and provided a ready handle for paranoid speculations.
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Format: Paperback
Love, Sex, Fear and Death is a must read for anyone interested in the inner workings of a secretive organization. The late 60s, early 70s were rife with cults but this one was very different in that it still has an impact on society so many years later. Timothy Wyllie has done a remarkable job detailing the events that led up to the formation of a cult and its eventual decline. Since the people that stayed through to the bitter end now run the largest no kill animal sanctuary in the US and are worth millions of dollars, this makes the book even more interesting and relevant.
I was involved with The Process for a few years, on the inside. Therefore I know that these writings are honest to the extreme. For anyone that wants to better understand that era this is a must-read.
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Since Robert N. Taylor has provided an excellent review of the contents of this book and an overview of the historical context of the Process Church, I would like to contribute some reflections that are more personal, but also more metaphysical.

I first became aware of the Process Church, or at least its name, in Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, where Thompson taunts his drugged-up and hungry attorney by pretending to know about a cafeteria run by the Process, "just a few tables" but with an interesting back room... The attorney freaks out and tells Gonzo "Don't even mention the Process around here, man," implying they could give Manson a run for his money in the woo-woo department. Later, I came across some references in Burroughs [he, like they, flirted with Scientology in London]; usually, at this point Bowie would follow up, but I don't recall him ever mentioning them, although the infamous `fascist' period, with uniform and salute, might speak of some influence.

Instead, much later one heard of their influence on Psychic TV [and indeed Gen pops up here to add his own chapter]. But it wasn't until nearly the Millennium that I found some of the original materials, republished in Simon Dwyer's Rapid Eye.

Alas, however impressed I might have been in 1973, by this time they seemed like the home-made theology of some art student, or the sort of thing Fred Berger might have cobbled together to surround photos of languid runaways in Propaganda. Still, cool graphic design.

So it was with great expectations that I ordered this book, so as to finally get some inside insight into the ultimate hippie cult.
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COMMONLY HELD ASSUMPTION: Cults attract mindless, feeble-willed automatons who blindly fulfill oft-deranged leaders wishes and whims.

REVELATION: Highly motivated, articulate individuals of complex intelligence and unparalleled loyalty propel societies, cultures and yes, also cults to infamous achievements and horrific downfalls.

Such are the revelations in this candid, intimate and disturbing look back at a dark side of the peace and love hippie years, The Process Church of the Final Judgement, written by former insider/high-ranking cult member Timothy Wyllie and other "processeans".

Mr. Wyllie, both multi-talented and a highly creative intellect, writes from the head and heart exposing both his soft underbelly as well as the gaping discrepancies that any devotee to "The Process" had to rectify, ignore or dismiss in order to function in the convoluted reality created by cult leader Mary Ann MacLean - the "incarnate Goddess" all but worshipped by cult members.

Having dabbled on the periphery of a number of cults and cult-like movements over my years, I was simultaneously delighted (relieved!) and yet a tad envious having never personally committed so fully to any movement as Timothy and the others did to "the Process", thus I have missed the exhilaration... and horrors of this heightened level of social experiment.

For that is, in the bigger picture, the function cults have played over the millennia in "civilized" societies. Just as an individual may become enmeshed in a cult for reasons of personal need or past trauma, cults are society-specific, working out the needs or distortions inherent in the structure of each.
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