CHARLES MANSON AND THE PROCESS CHURCH
By Peter Sbrockey and Hiram Corso
With the publication of Timothy Wyllie’s book on The Process, a new perspective of the group has emerged which reveals a radically different view from all that have been written about to this point—the majority of the books and articles having enmeshed The Process into a conspiratorial role by connecting to the Manson family, Son of Sam or postulating other nefarious activities that they imagined they could be involved in. This article aims to reveal and dispel the mysteries of The Process and is presented from a non-conspiratorial perspective. The Process developed into an extremely intelligent, creative and innovative system of psycho-therapy which produced shocking results in its effectiveness and beneficially changed the lives of those involved in its methods.
While the sociological impact evidenced by The Process upon any widespread mainstream audience was minor, those who utilized their therapeutic methods found them an effective way to tap inner reservoirs and many aspirants were enthralled by the apocalyptic philosophy espoused by Robert de Grimston. Many of de Grimston’s writings are heavily steeped in rhetoric and combine the approach of philosophic logicians with the bombastic apocalyptic style of A.O. Spare. The Process represented many different things to each of its adherents. It served a myriad of simultaneous functions to those that it attracted and was a unique organization that was much more multifaceted than merely being an offshoot of Scientology. The Process was a sociological experiment that pushed the boundaries of what was achievable in a group dynamic. It continually evolved and changed from its early period in 1966 to the schism in 1974 at which time it ceased to be known as The Process. They initially emerged as a psycho-therapeutic group but eventually evolved more religious overtones to their decrees. After their journey to Xtul, the direction of the group had thoroughly changed.
The Process articulated and promoted a doomsday message concerning an approaching Armageddon. The extremeness of their message being espoused regarding the unity of Christ and Satan, although it was concerned with the reconciliation of opposites, may have been seen as extreme for those who first encountered them. The Process believed that the world was coming to an end, but that it would be saved if they could assist both Christ and Satan in their reconciliation.
Robert and Mary Ann met while both were deeply involved in the exploration of the methods of Scientology. After becoming “clear”, Mary Ann influenced Robert (during their sessions as auditors using the E-meter) to deviate from the standard practice of auditing by following their own line of questioning designed to uncover points of contention which were spiritual and psychological blocks in those participants. Mary Ann found a complimentary partner in Robert, and aided by a powerful chemistry that developed, they were able to evolve techniques which came to be used in Compulsions Analysis. Robert changed his last name to de Grimston because of its occult significance. They continuously revised and improved upon their therapeutic techniques and probed the minds of their inner circle in lengthy brain-probing sessions and produced oftentimes startling results.
In 1962 Robert Moore and Mary Ann MacLean joined the Scientology center located in London on Fitzroy Street. After quickly rising through and acquiring considerable skills as Scientology auditors, they grew weary with the unquestioning adherence to Hubbard’s doctrine and began to develop their own methods for auditing. They resigned their positions in the Scientology Organization and began to combine the concepts of Adler regarding compulsive goals with techniques taken from Scientology. Continually refining their methods and producing dramatic results with their clients, in 1963 they announced their own psycho-therapeutic group known as Compulsions Analysis. Its methods were designed to rid the patient of compulsive behaviors. They used the E-meter as a powerful tool to measure emotional charge and produced effective results through their adept usage. As the therapy sessions continued, a deeper sense of spiritual purpose began to emerge from the group of participants under the guidance of Robert and Mary Ann, and this manifested in the formation of the Process Church. The name Process was chosen as a reference to the change that occurred through the transformative means of their influence. They relocated to 2 Balfour Place in the Mayfair District in London and emanated a professional demeanor in this upscale neighborhood. After lengthy deliberation, it was ascertained that the group should travel to Xtul in the Yucatan Peninsula. While living at Xtul, the group weathered a severe hurricane, and de Grimston experienced a direct contact with the gods. This encounter dramatically changed his approach to writing, as the majority of books written thereafter were all channeled by the gods. The members experienced a rebirth and realized a fundamental theology level of purpose and significance, and the group set course on a spiritual odyssey. The Omega drifted further from reach after this early period and soon was only seen by those in the innermost circle.
As The Process’s theological ideologies developed, de Grimston interpreted three basic forces which he designated as God, Lucifer and Satan—Christ was presented as the unification principle of these divergent energies. Because Satan was included amongst these primordial energies, it was easily and purposely misconstrued by those who had accused The Process of being involved in Satan worship, animal sacrifice and venerating the principles of evil.
The Gods and Their People clearly delineates the four paths held within The Process and how each may be described. It provides a thorough account of the role of the gods and how they manifest in our lives and may be better understood and used to one’s advantage. This eventually evolved into a system of higher and lower aspects of each of the four divisions. The four gods of The Process represent basic underlying personality types which at their core can be observed to have four distinct and unique attributes. Although some Process members treated them as actually existing in a non-corporeal sense, others conceived them as theoretical archetypes, a combination of which makes up the human psyche. By properly understanding the subconscious drives and desires that are motivated through the interactions of the gods, man may come to realize the structures that control our behavior and attain to the aspirations of one’s higher self. Each individual leans more to one particular god, although all four are present in the self to varying degrees. JEHOVAH represents strength. He is the wrathful god of vengeance and retribution, demands discipline, courage, ruthlessness and a single-minded dedication to duty, purity and self-denial. LUCIFER the light bearer urges us to enjoy life to the fullest, to value success in human terms, to be gentle, kind and loving and to live in peace and harmony with one another. (This defines the ethos which characterized the sixties into the seventies generation.) Lucifer has always held a special occult significance within magic and secret societies—Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society, Nazi occultism, and Freemasonry all have recognized the primary importance of the mythological role of Lucifer. He is exemplified by an awareness of the physical aesthetics of beauty and body image, hedonistic indulgence, free will, and material success. In Lucifer Rising, Anger embodies this image and spirit of Lucifer as a representation of the energies which had been emerging. SATAN represented separation and was perceived as an adversary. He is the receiver of transcended souls and corrupted bodies; he instills in us two directly opposite qualities—at one end, an urge to rise above all human and physical needs and appetites—to be all soul and nobody; at the other end, to sink beneath all human codes of behavior and to wallow in a morass of violence, lunacy and excessive physical indulgence. CHRIST is the unifier and is the emissary of the gods. He plays a pivotal role in the salvation of humanity through his task of unifying the universe. He is the reconciler of opposites and the transcender of conflict. Many rituals were devised to bring Process members into communion with each of these gods. It played a major importance for Processions to realize that they were subject to the will of the gods.
Several books play an especially important role in conveying the message of The Process. EXIT is a book of teachings of The Process which were originally intended only to be read by Internal Brethren. It consisted of a series of letters called BI or Brethren Information. It includes: BI 7 The Universal Law; BI 5 The Cycle of Ignorance; BI 13 The Separation; BI 14 The Self; BI 16 Control is Contact; BI 19 The Game of the Gods; and BI 20 The Lie. Other important writings include: Humanity Is The Devil; The Gods and Their People; As It Is; “The Gods On War”; and The Unity of Christ and Satan. In “The Game of the Gods” it is explained the role of the gods as they interact and are reflected in man. Satan’s role is explained, as is the purpose of evil—if he didn’t exist as a form of separation, the Game wouldn’t be able to be played. It is through this cycle that union and harmony is maintained. Humanity Is The Devil explains that man has faltered in blindness and deception and taken on the role of the Adversary. It is an admonishment upon man given in a time of retribution so that man may be able to change his fate. As It Is is a pronouncement of mankind’s impending calamity—salvation may be found for those seeking to banish fear and ignorance and live in unity with one’s god. It is written for those who desire to break the pattern of reality perpetrated as a lie and to live life as it really is. Each issue of the Process magazine dealt with subjects with great emotional impact—On Death, On Sex, On Fear, On Love, etc.
The Grey Forces which are often referred to in Process literature signify: conformity, mediocrity, repression, weak will, resentment, futility, compromise, and the spirit of all that hinders progress and evolution.
At its peak period in 1971, the Process consisted of about 250 members. People were attracted and drawn into the fold through a number of means. Donating was a practice usually done by messengers and prophets. They were expected to donate and to bring money into the organization, and often functioned on minute amounts of sleep. They hit the streets with a stack of Process magazines and other literature and had a goal of raising as much money as possible selling the Process materials. Oftentimes, celebrities were encountered while donating and sometimes were enticed into appearing in photos and interviews that ran in the Process magazines. Occasionally, they even were curious enough as to attend meetings to discover what The Process were all about. The money collected was rigorously tallied and all statistics were kept track of by higher level members. In the coffee houses run by The Process, they advertised classes and group encounter sessions where their psychotherapeutic techniques were demonstrated. In the Telepathy Developing Circle, a group of participants sat in a circle in a candle-lit room facing one another and once they had chosen a subject of focus, they conducted a meditation in which they vividly imagined subjects that were focused upon. After this process, they discussed and analyzed the images that had appeared. In some instances, prescient information would be gleaned of events that hadn’t yet transpired and sometimes a course was set in motion based upon these messages. One such message led to the group traveling to Xtul. In the Midnight Meditation Sessions, which were held every Friday and Saturday at midnight, a ritual was conducted, led by a single priest serving as the Sacrifist. Subjects were decided upon and suggested by the patrons that attended. This consisted of two opposing concepts. The focus was that a resolution of conflict is achievable by fully reflecting upon both sides of an issue or idea and recognizing the underlying connection that comes into play in a more occluded level. Interspersed between these meditations, Process hymns were sung.
Progresses were educational and therapeutic classes were held for Initiates, Disciples or Messengers. These superseded the Communications Course originally held by Compulsions Analysis. In addition to the study of Processean teaching, a series of exercises were practiced which pushed beyond the limits of sensitivity and interpersonal communication and broke through self-restricted levels of personal comfort in the participants. The study of Intention/Counter-Intention served to accelerate the evolution of consciousness in the members. The P-Scope or Process E-meter was used in the early period of Compulsions Analysis but began to be phased out in the early period of The Process. Photo-identification cards were made for and distributed to all members.
One revelation in Timothy Wyllie’s Book Love Sex Fear Death is that although Robert was the out-front part of the Omega, Mary Ann was very much the one in charge and had groomed Robert in his role of the Teacher and helped choose for him the message that was transmitted and the form in which it was presented. Robert was influenced and controlled by Mary Ann and was the one following her plans the majority of the time. She was the one who had been gifted with the power to see into the deepest regions of one’s personality as well as having incredible powers of persuasion and a dominant will that was able to manifest that which she set her mind to. It was generally known to those in higher ranks that although Robert wrote much of the doctrinal publications, Mary Ann was the one who wielded the power. Together Robert and Mary Ann formed The Omega—Robert served as “The Teacher” and Mary Ann “The Oracle”.
In reading Robert’s accounts in “Initial Sketch for an Autobiography” it is clear that Mary Ann was his muse and that he was fully willing to serve to her needs. He felt that she was an incarnation of a goddess. To quote from “Initial Sketch”:
“Mary Ann is a God figure for those who can’t find God within themselves. And everyone needs God, either inside or outside, and very few can find it inside.”
“She was after my soul. She wanted to drown my individuality in her own. She wanted to encompass me completely, starve my reality and replace it with her own. She’d done this with countless other people and she’d do it with countless more. I was just another candidate. There was an alternative she’d settle for. If she could drive me away—on my decision—that would also be a victory—not so great a triumph as owning me, but a triumph none the less. If I couldn’t take what she handed out and still stay with the game, she’d have won by my default. But that was second best. The first and foremost goal was to have me believing everything she believed, and with as much conviction. As credit to the extent of her power of suggestion, I must admit that there were many times when she almost succeeded. It shouldn’t have been hard to attribute to Mary Ann the infallibility of God.”
“Basically, Mary Ann was the real drive in the situation, I was the intellect. She had the certainty; I had the answers. She had the eye for an opening; I had the means to navigate it. She knew the move to make; I knew how to make it. Without her, I’d have been too uncertain to plunge ahead. But between us we had the essential elements and in no time at all we were in business.”
Celebrities played a role in getting the message of The Process transmitted and able to be received by a receptive audience. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful were prominently visible on the cover of Process magazines and were also featured in interviews. George Clinton featured two of de Grimston’s writings on his Funkadelic albums—America Eats Its Young contained a short piece called “America” and Maggot Brain has an essay that had been taken from the Fear issue of the Process magazine. Many important and influential celebrities crossed paths with The Process and received their publications. Timothy Wyllie met Tim Leary and was able to give him heartfelt advice and a Processean perspective to help him deal with the weighty issues that he had been struggling with. He had previously met William Burroughs through Ian Summerville in Tangier in the 50’s. A Process band was organized in Toronto and often played at the local Process coffee house. It came to be known as The Process Version and featured Wyllie on lead guitar. They recorded 10 songs in a Toronto recording studio but hopes were quashed by Mary Ann who hadn’t liked the music, so nothing further became of the recordings. Another foray into the media was attempted by Malachi, who had been invited to appear on a nationally syndicated talk show. He was told he was to receive a fair time allotment to explain his ideology, but instead, the opportunity was used to put him on the spot and publicly scrutinize The Process.
Sex was used as a means of control within the group. Although celibacy was practiced by Processeans within the lower strata because it thwarted the natural flow of sexual energy, sex was viewed as a powerful force which one must come to terms with so as to not allow it to dominate one’s behavior and thinking. The Process experimented with sex couplings with members of the group. Some members were paired together in Process unions and sexual relations were allowed with these members. However, no one owned each other in The Process and the concept of adultery didn’t exist within the group. Group sex was indulged in at experimental gatherings that had been orchestrated by the Omega—but mostly was directed by Mary Anne. Members were encouraged to go beyond the bounds of societal restrictions and one’s own inhibitions and connect with their sexual energies at the root of their being. They acted out their deepest fantasies. Normally, the Omega did not actively participate in them, although Mary Ann did couple herself with Timothy in one incident. Sex seems to have played a factor in the dissolution of the marriage of Robert and Mary Ann—she seemed to encourage him to physically express his attraction to Mother Morgana and afterwards to have used this against him in a manipulative power play that disposed him from his position in the Omega and from his role as Teacher as well.
Children that were born and brought up in The Process community were cared for by nannies in the group whose chief duties were to attend to them. They sometimes were sustained in small quarters under somewhat harsh conditions and were treated with rigid authority.
The original mode of dress or P-Gear was a long black cape with a cowl hood worn over all black attire. The badge of Mendes, which consisted of a black triangle with its point facing downward and the Sabbatic goat of Eliphas Levi in the center also adorned the uniform. This struck an intimidating image to those who first encountered a Processean. After 1971 this uniform was changed to a more moderate grey leisure suit, designed to change the public perception of members. Eventually it was determined that the greys were too bland (and may have been too similar to representing the grey forces) so they were changed once again to medium blue. The Four P Cross, created by Mother Sibyl, consisted of four lines which joined at 90 degree angles and formed a square in the middle. It had a similar look to that of a Nazi Swastika. The four P’s represented in the Process symbology follow a four-fold tetragrammatical approach and are also reflective of the earth, air, fire, water division of nature as symbolized in ceremonial magic. The next Four P Cross was designed by Robert and was more stylized in its conception and had a similar look to a German Iron Cross. It was the icon most prominently displayed with Process material and the one that they became most recognized by. Another symbol designed by Robert was the conjoined Alpha and Omega symbol. It is referred to as the Sign of Union and has both mystical and sex magical overtones to it. The Unity Cross consists of a large silver cross with a coiled red serpent whose body is contained within the cross. It represented the coming together of Christ and Satan and was a powerful symbol worn by many members. After Robert left the group, the P Cross was replaced with a six-pointed Star of David with two F’s, one upside-down facing the other, which were conjoined.
Scientologists considered Process members to be ‘fair game’ and although it can’t be proven to have been orchestrated by them, while in Toronto, Timothy experienced a series of pranks. On one occasion, 200 pizzas were sent to the Toronto chapter. In another, a ton of sand was dropped at the doorstep of the chapter and they met with an irate driver who demanded payment.
On March 23, 1974 a schism occurred which resulted in Robert being ask to step down from his position—both as half of the Omega and as the Teacher. This order came from the Council of Masters. Several months after, Robert’s writings in their entirety were dropped from the curriculum. Lawyers for the church advised that this would be best to avoid any claims that Robert may try to make concerning The Process. Within a short time, the name of the group was changed to the Foundation Church of the Millennium. At this juncture it was decided to do away with the four god system, removing Lucifer and Satan and deemphasizing Christ. The restructuring adhered only to Jehovah. The negative press received from an association with Charles Manson and the satanic bend of a portion of the literature were contributing factors in the setup of this new order. It was determined to distance The Process from these past influences as much as achievable. At this critical point, leadership within the group took on a much more authoritative tone and this drove a segment of the membership away over time. Robert attempted to continue along on his own. He turned to the New Orleans chapter, which he felt to be most important, and attempted to set up a program to teach courses and start a Process college, but was unable to stir enough interest in the project. He wrote “The Matthew Commentaries” which was a commentary on the New Testament. He then traveled to Toronto, and then on to Boston, where he began working with a fledgling group which he began to refer to as the Waltham Group, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough potential in the group and nothing got off the ground. By 1979, he had given up any further hope of continuing a Process group under his leadership and withdrew any further contact with these past associations. After this series of futile attempts, Robert chose to return to the world of the grey forces and took a series of mundane jobs. He tried to propose a legal settlement from the Foundation considering all that he had contributed since its inception but was unable to work out any sort of deal. The Foundation Church took on a more acceptable public appearance and worked in the area of healing and led a series of courses. They began Psychic Workshops, Focus and Forum, which replaced Telepathy Developing Circles and Progresses. They eliminated the original axiom of the Unity of Christ and Satan, stopped using the church emblems, and discontinued singing many of the hymns. In their new structure, which was more spirituality based, they believed that a messiah was coming but hadn’t yet arrived. Timothy realized after having revealed a life-changing meditational experience and then sharing this with Mary Ann and receiving little feedback or any value on the experience, that she considered that to focus any attention on it would be a threat to her position of authority. Mary Ann became more tyrannical and intolerant in her leadership after the schism had occurred. In 1975, the name was once again changed to the Foundation Faith of the Millennium. In 1976, a healing ministry was begun in New York. After a dispute with upper-level members, Timothy and seven others chose to leave the group to begin an autonomous sub-chapter of The Foundation known as The Unit. This was met with legal wrangling by members of the Foundation and after less than a year, The Unit dissolved. After several less than profitable years had passed, Foundation members relocated to Kanab, Utah in 1984 and decided on another dramatic reinvention by eliminating all religious affiliations held by the group. The name Foundation Faith was dropped and changed to a non-profit business known as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Since its inception in the late 80’s, it has continued to expand and thrive and is now one of the most successful sanctuaries in the country. It even has its own television show on National Geographic called “Dogtown”, which is recorded at Best Friends.
Mary Ann died on November 14, 2005. Reportedly she had been in a coma prior to her death. A rumor mentioned by Wyllie is that during an evening stroll at Best Friends, she was attacked by a pack of wild dogs that ripped her throat out and tore her apart. A fitting mythology for a woman who styled herself as the goddess Hecate. She was married to longtime Process Master and Best Friends administrator Gabriel De Peyer at the time of her death.
Illustration from Bainbridge Book
The best book written about The Process from an academic perspective is Satan’s Power by William Bainbridge, published in 1978. It gives a thorough account of the activities and philosophy of the group and follows their history up to the period of the Foundation Faith and is presented from a sociological point of view. It was written with the assistance of Robert de Grimston so it may have a slight bias towards his view of how events transpired. In this book, the names and orders were given pseudonyms to protect the confidentiality of those involved. Quite unfortunately, this book was never republished after its first printing and is scarce to come across but is infrequently seen on the collectible book market.
A chapter of Ed Sanders’ subjective and highly speculative book on Manson, The Family drew unfounded connections between Manson and The Process merely because one of the Process headquarters was located in close proximity to where the Manson family were residing. Some of Manson’s notions of incarnating the energies of Abraxas and going beyond good and evil were similar to de Grimston’s thesis of the reconciliation of opposites—the dissolution of the enmity between God and Satan. While this drew unwanted attention to The Process (in subsequent printings of the book, this chapter was removed due to litigation by the Process who successfully sued the publisher, E.P. Dutton) the connection had been made in the court of public opinion between Manson and The Process. Members of the group even went so far as to visit Manson in prison and in a subsequent article in the Death issue of the Process magazine, a brief article contrasted Manson’s writings on death with that of the Christian author Malcolm Muggeridge. While this may have been seen as taboo to associate with Manson and present his writing, it nonetheless presents a thought-provoking perspective, and its inclusion was quite bold and daring at the time. However, the mere inclusion and association with Manson drew the ire of those who had already viewed The Process with trepidation and held fear of the unknown which they represented, and this provided easy fodder with which to draw a loose connection between The Process and the nefarious activities of the Manson family—a guilt by association mentality. Manson espoused that he was both Jesus and the devil. This is similar to the Process concept of the Unity of Christ and Satan, or in other words, coming to terms and uniting both extremes of one’s personality so that rather than being at odds with one’s nature, they are able to achieve a unity in one’s being.
In chapter 5 of the first edition of Sanders’ The Family, he states that The Process appeared in LA in early 1968 and retained a prominent presence until several days before the shooting of Robert Kennedy in June 1968, at which time they dropped out of sight. He quotes de Grimston from “Jehovah on War”: “Release the fiend that lies dormant within you, for he is strong and ruthless and his power is far beyond the bounds of human frailty.” By this, he implies that Robert is advocating the acceleration of bloodshed and violence and that once this has transpired, The Process would be the chosen ones who shall lead the way in the post-Armageddon. Terry was a part of the Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) hysteria which was in full force in 1987. Sanders purports that the Process magazines eulogized Hitler and that its graphic content spilled forth with gore and mayhem. He includes sections from an interview with Brother Ely (a.k.a. Victor Wild), who had been recruited into The Process in LA. Ely explains that as The Process swept through different parts of the world, they attracted converts and that by a multi-god approach, the appeal broadened as certain individuals gravitated toward a particular god—either Jehovah, Lucifer or Satan depending upon their predisposition. The Satanists are depicted as the goons with a streak towards violence. Sanders attempts to link The Process to a network of death cults operating in California and through this to suggest that Charles Manson was involved in this. In a jailhouse interview, when asked whether Manson was familiar with Robert de Grimston, he remarked, “You’re looking at him.” Although both Process members and Manson were known to have hung out at the Spiral Staircase in Topeka Canyon in Malibu and that both had resided on Cole Street, it was at different times and their paths never directly crossed. Sanders further speculate that The Process may have even been an influence on Robert Kennedy murderer Sirhan Sirhan. While some of the historical accounts in Sanders’ research seem to be accurate and to have been gleaned from Process magazines, the conclusions drawn from his research seem to have been gathered from his mistaken beliefs from reading de Grimston’s apocalyptical writings and taking them far too literally. It was quite fortunate that this chapter was removed after the first printing due to the erroneous information it contained after legal action was taken by the Process.
Just as in Sanders’ book, there is also a chapter in The Ultimate Evil by Maury Terry entitled “The Process”. Bear in mind that in the year in which this book first appeared (1987), there was a new scare in the media that focused upon Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and was also known as a Satanic Panic epidemic. This book is one that set the foundation for the hysteria being perpetrated and was oft sited when referencing unconfirmed accounts of satanic activity. The insidious factor that set the precedent in this book was the theory that there exists a covert, highly orchestrated satanic organization which trafficked in murder, child pornography, drugs, human and animal sacrifice and that it threatened the very fiber of modern society. In Untermeyer Park located in Yonkers, skinned German Shepherds were discovered—Berkowitz was known to have been in the area shortly before they had been discovered. The Process was known to be fond of the Alsatian breed of German Shepherd. Terry implies that perhaps the sacrifices could have been initiated by a fringe group within The Process. In Berkowitz’s letter to Breslin, he refers to a group that took credit for the murderous mayhem known as the “Twenty Two Disciples of Hell”. Terry perceived The Process to be a “cult” so in researching the group, he already imagined all sorts of sinister abominations lurking behind every corner. Terry spoke to Sanders while researching this book, so it should be kept in mind that much of the information provided regarding The Process came through the filter of Ed Sanders—who was an advisor for this book. It presents his slanted, biased view that The Process was a sinister satanic cult. Terry saw them strictly as a satanic group rather than a four-fold equilateral system that was focused on a union of opposites. Once again, as with Sanders, Terry took literally the writings of de Grimston as easy fodder to present his view that The Process was a cult bent on hastening the end of the world through means of chaos and murder in order to cleanse the world of the grey forces so that they could rebuild a satanic empire in the new world order. Another de Grimston quote that Terry seized upon was the statement, “My prophecy upon this wasted earth and upon the corrupt creation that squats upon its ruined surface is: THOU SHALT KILL” (taken from “Jehovah on War”). It should be remembered that in this tumultuous period the Vietnam War raged on daily and student protests sought a way out of the senseless slaughter being perpetrated in the name of freedom. Terry asserts that Manson had been heavily influenced by The Process and that he shared an affinity to the idea of a duality of Jesus/Satan which he believed he was a living example of. Similarities between the Process writings on Fear and Manson’s concept of “getting the fear” is viewed as more than mere coincidence by Terry. The Process magazines Fear and Death he viewed as being chock full of Nazi and other forms of forbidden imagery—the union of the Lamb of God and the goat of Satan were described by Terry as an “unholy alliance”. He reveals that all members of The Process, regardless of their affiliation with a particular god, were required to undergo a long stretch of Satan worship supposedly involving blood rituals and sacrifice. He states that Stanley Baker admitted that he was a member of a Process offshoot in Santa Cruz known as Four Pi or the Four P Movement. Baker stated that the group practiced ritual human sacrifice and that he was a cannibal and had ritually sacrificed dogs as well. One murder that he had been convicted of occurred in O’Neil Park in the Santa Ana Mountains. The group of which Stanley was a member was said to possess a portable crematorium to dispose of any evidence of their crimes. Terry goes on to speculate that Berkowitz was simply a hitman for the Four Pi. In the updated epilog to the 1999 edition, Berkowitz admits that he was a member of Four Pi and he had witnessed German Shepherds being sacrificed. The “occult superstar” hitman Manson II has his identity revealed to be Bill Mentzer, and it is stated that he quite possibly could have been the Grand Chingon—the title for the head of Four Pi. He had been convicted of the murder of producer Roy Radin and may have been involved in several of the Son of Sam killings as well. (Manson family members even suggested that Manson may have been the Grand Chingon.) In an interview which was broadcast on A&E “Investigative Reports”, Berkowitz now asserted his knowledge of the Four P Movement being involved in the drug trade and underage sex soirees which catered to a wealthy clientele who craved depravity. He purported that they also were involved in producing snuff films. It is stated that Manson also recently revealed in a jailhouse interview to have met the heads of The Process in the Spiral Staircase. In the end of the book Terry gives a dire revelation that The Process (or Four P Movement, as I believe he is referring to) is still out there and remains active, but is operating in an underground capacity, concealed behind socially acceptable fronts. Hard to believe that throughout this pack of loose speculation and innuendo, the Four Pi, which Terry would have readers believe, is operating as a malignant evil underlying the very fabric of society and hell-bent on murder and ushering in the Armageddon. However, it is interesting that since the Process first appeared, no member has ever been accused of any crime, nor has Terry’s thesis in yellow journalism proved anything to the contrary.
According to Peter Levenda, members of The Process were often seen in Herman Slater’s Magickal Childe store in Manhattan. Allegations have suggested that initially the Process was a front for a German Neo-Fascist group founded by the German Democratic Party and that Mary Anne believed herself to have been the reincarnation of Joseph Goebbels. It was known that she had studied Hitler’s ascension to power. Although the Process incorporated Satan into the echelon of gods in the late 60’s, The Process Satan symbolism differed greatly from the one depicted in the Church of Satan. Some suggest that the Four Pi group was a continuation of a group that splintered off from the satanic branch of The Process—which rather than disbanding with Mary Ann’s strictly Jehovian Process after 1974 merely remained and continued to operate underground. In Helter Skelter by Bugliosi, some speculation was raised that Bruce Davis from the Manson family visited the Process headquarters in 1968 as well as the London Scientology headquarters, but this has never been substantiated. UFO author Whitney Strieber stated that he had also visited the Process headquarters in London in 1968 prior to his alien encounters. In Sinister Forces, Levenda teeters between just suggesting the possibility of Manson having direct dealings with The Process, and in other places definitively asserting that they had been in contact with one another.
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In the early 90’s a collective was began by Genesis P-Orridge, Nivek Ogre and William Morrison, who had all shared a deep and abiding appreciation of an interest in the Process Church of the Final Judgment. It was an open-ended collective and espoused the ideas and theories of The Process. A new order was initiated by Genesis simultaneous to this which was known as The Outer Process International or TOPI (not to be confused with The Temple of Psychic Youth or TOPY). The collective were involved with a website at process.org which offered discourse and dialog regarding The Process. It encourages involvement with writers and artists who wish to share Processean inspired materials. An online writing attributed to Father Malachi (but very much couched in the G P-O writing style) is called “The Process Is…” and provides an excellent explanation of the Process philosophy and how the Process techniques can be utilized to regain control in one’s life and provide the liberation needed to achieve one’s desires. It fully explains the goals and aims of what process.org is serving to achieve: greater understanding of the methods of the Process, and a deeper awareness and purpose in divining one’s true will.
In 1996, Skinny Puppy released an album entitled The Process. It is a concept album based around the Process. On the Psychic TV CD Force the Hand of Chance is a hidden track not mentioned on the track listing which is a short, mind-warping barrage that includes a series of questions similar to ones that may be given to one hooked up to the P-Scope, followed by an unsettling pronouncement: “Welcome to the Process”. Music video producer William Morrison of Process Media Labs in assistance with Genesis P-Orridge released a video called “The Process is the Product” and, in addition, Morrison made two music videos for The Process release for the songs “Hardset Head” and “Candle” which used elements from the collaborative video. Both are replete with Process Church imagery taken from that initial video collaboration. In 1988, a site sprang up known as the Society of Processeans which appears to be purely an online endeavor that provided information and links to Process publications and other materials. They offered to raise awareness into areas of interest to modern day Processeans and for those desirous to see things through a Processean perspective. It appears to have some connection with process.org. An advertisement for Love Sex Fear Death by Timothy Wyllie (published by Feral House) was directed by Morrison and is listed on YouTube and includes the secret audio track by Psychic TV, “Welcome to the Process”. A band called Electric Wizard has a Process inspired video on YouTube called “The Processean”. Timothy Wyllie has a brief interview on YouTube and answers several questions about The Process.
A website called The Neo Church of Final Judgment at 4p2.org was an experiment by Joseph Matheny of Ong’s Hat infamy. A recorded interview with Matheny appears at alteri.com/blog/?p=2197 called “Fear and Loathing on the Internet: Redux (Part 1)”. The interview is conducted by Nick Pell of Black Sun Gazette and is taken from a podcast from February 23, 2009 on G-Spot. Matheny admits to having been the person who created the 4P2 Project as a social exercise in mythmaking and data collection. He viewed The Process as it was seen publicly as being a ‘boogeyman’ that had a dark, enduring myth that had been exploited and misrepresented through the writings of Ed Sanders and Maury Terry. The fictitious shadowy group responsible in these books was known as the Four P Movement or Four Pi. This was the identity that Matheny chose for his charade because of its ominous and nefarious associations. It was an experiment to see what sorts of response would be received from the conspiracy sites by purporting that the Four Pi Movement was reforming. It was purposely disinformational in its conception and done as an exercise in critical thinking. He simply linked the 4P2 site to The Process Church Wikipedia page to create exposure for the site. On the page, he included pictures of Berkowitz, Manson, Zodiac, and the Smiley Face Killer to add to the foreboding mystique. The site was organic in its creation in the sense that once Matheny set it up, he left it alone to see what sort of effect it would cause. The site received a lot of traffic and during its peak period, it received over 13,000 visits. The majority of responses came from conspiracy theorists and true crime buffs—particularly those interested in Zodiac/Son of Sam/Manson came to the site. Half of the people that wrote to him sent vitriolic, hostile letters accusing him of horrendous, irresponsible actions. The other half were described by Matheny as disturbed, sociopathic individuals looking to join and/or associate themselves with Four Pi and anxious to be mentored in mayhem. Matheny is a cultural engineer who posits diverse avenues of endeavor such as writing, producing and invention focused on fringe belief systems. He went so far as to identify himself as ‘Manson II’, the fictional maniacal leader of the Four Pi group who supposedly trained Manson and Berkowitz. Matheny first became acquainted with the Process while hanging out in the same circles as Psychic TV and Skinny Puppy just as their CD The Process was being released. At this period, there was a great upsurge of interest in the ideas and philosophy of the Process. At this point Genesis wanted to usher in a rebirth of The Process and was making inroads in this direction. Matheny was more interested in the methodologies and techniques used in The Process rather than any doctrine associated with it. As Matheny had theorized, only about 2% of his responses to his site got what he was doing. Matheny’s inherent approach is to question reality, authority and belief systems which are blindly adhered to by the vast majority of the population. He views most magical groups as originally having useful techniques designed to break a person out of consensus reality, but once they become institutionalized they devolve into lifeless rituals devoid of their initial power.
For those who were able to be a part of The Process, it represented an initiatory school that allowed for the possibility of spiritual advancement and evolutionary growth to occur. It was a revolutionary system that changed the lives of those involved with it. While some members in the end may have felt themselves to have been financially exploited by the Omega, it gave members a chance to experience life in a spiritual, philosophical mystery school in an environment that couldn’t be encountered anywhere else.
Timothy Wyllie’s book about The Process, Love Fear Sex Death (2009, Feral House) is highly recommended to all who wish to learn more about The Process.
A free download of over 500 pages of Process documents can be found at:
An interesting website run by a former Process member is:
Hiram: Besides the E-meter, were there any other aspects of Scientology involved in Process teachings, either involving therapeutic methods or covered in the information dealt with in the lectures?
Timothy: I'm not too well-versed in what Scientology does and from Mary Ann’s desire to distance The Process from Scientology, I doubt if there was much they wanted to duplicate. I believe that two or three of the exercises in the early Compulsions Analysis were lifted from Scientology. I don't recall the names of the exercises but they generally involved confrontation, insults or direct eye-contact.
Hiram: After getting dramatic results and breakthroughs with the E-meter, were you disappointed that its use was eliminated or did you feel that the evolution of the group’s working had superseded its usage?
Timothy: Our ability to "read" other people superseded the need for the meters. Plus, we were intent on separating ourselves from Hubbard's lot and the E-meter (by now the P-Scope) was the most evident connection.
Timothy Wyllie 1970
Hiram: Immediately following the Xtul experience what was the overall message and purpose that defined what those involved in it brought away from it and what was the mission of The Process?
Timothy: Xtul was a massive shot-in-the-arm for all of us. It confirmed that we were on an authentic spiritual journey. After the failure of London, prior to Xtul, we'd given up on England. Xtul restored our faith that we had something valuable to offer the general public. In terms of the "mission", it really boiled down to spreading The Process message of self-responsibility and getting people to join us.
Hiram: What were the circumstances that precipitated the change from the psychoanalytical group Compulsions Analysis to The Process Church of the Final Judgment? How was this formal change decided upon? At what point was it decided that Robert de Grimston would be the figurehead leader of The Process? It seems in the early period to have been an equal distribution of power between Mary Ann and Robert.
Timothy: The change was a fairly natural progression from Compulsions Analysis to The Process (the Church came later) since the more work we did on the meters, and the business of living in a community, pushed us from a psychological POV towards a more psychic and then spiritual way of thinking. The formal change to a church was essentially a way of avoiding paying taxes.
Yes, there was a good balance between Robert and Mary Ann, mainly during the Compulsions Analysis period. Gradually Mary Ann’s personality took over, people were more drawn to her than him and by Xtul she was clearly the power and ambition. I think it was around the time of becoming a church that Mary Ann pushed Robert out in front. These sorts of decisions were entirely hers--it wasn't a group decision. By that time, only the inner circle ever saw them.
Hiram: What impact do you feel resulted from the unfounded speculations that several authors have theorized about The Process having connections to the Manson family and David Berkowitz--Son of Sam or that they were involved with military intelligence conducting an experiment in mind control? How did The Process react to or change as a result of this?
Timothy: In many ways, the Manson issue was a fulcrul event in The Rake's Progress of The Process. In my book I suggest that losing the English case was the first time Mary Ann appeared to be fallible. I also feel it was the moment that Mary Ann started sensing she could do without Robert. Settling the American case out-of-court obviously encouraged us in thinking we could make our case--which we'd had nothing to do with Manson--so when we lost in England it was a terrible shock. The news was kept pretty close to the chest so only the senior membership knew we'd lost. It was only much later when I got to look at the court transcripts that I realized how truly idiotic Robert and Mary Ann had been in dealing with the case. Perhaps if the judge hadn't been so obviously biased against us--which he clearly was--we would not have been able to rationalize the loss away so easily. But then again, both Robert and Mary Ann showed themselves over the years incapable of taking any responsibility for their actions, so it wouldn't have made much difference. What the situation should have done was to force us to look at some of the effects our publications were having on people and to take some responsibility for them, but that never really happened.
The Son of Sam alleged connection appears to have been generated by the deluded mind of Maury Terry and based on such flimsy evidence as we liked our German Shepherds, therefore... His book also emerged sometime after The Foundation left NYC, so I would imagine it didn't have much effect on them.
I don't recall anyone suggesting the community was a mind-control experiment in the 15 years I was there. And if it was, it doesn't say much for military intelligence! The confrontation at the end of the book in which my questioner demanded to know whether M/A was working with the Intelligence Community was the only time I heard it raised and as far as I remember he had no evidence and was really just stoking the fire. I suppose it is possible she might have been contacted early on, before The Process, but I was as close to her as anyone and I can't help feeling she would have wanted to boast about it if it were true. I just can't see how spooks would have gained anything from the liaison. And if it were true, then they might have been more helpful when we were going through one of our financial melt-downs. And there sure wasn't any sign of that.
Hiram: When it was decided that Robert was to be eliminated in his role of Teacher within the group, were all of his teachings and writings instantly dropped from study and no longer referred to, or outright refuted, or was it gradual change when shifting to the Foundation Faith period?
Timothy: It was a sudden shift as Robert was kicked out. Most of Robert's books had probably all been sold by then and frankly there wasn't much time for studying or reading. I can't speak for the activities of the lower ranks, but it seems to match Mary Ann’s personality that she would ease out Robert's contribution. I'm sure she must have felt by then that she'd never really needed him in the first place.
Hiram: Did any members join Robert when he split from the group?
Timothy: No one from the inner circle or the senior ranks followed him. Only a few peripheral members, disciples and such.
Hiram: What were the origins of The Process use of the salutations As It Is and So Be It? As It Is seems to be derived from the translated meaning of Bhagavad-Gita and So Be It seems a variation on So Mote It Be used in the Wiccan tradition.
Timothy: I believe the salutations emerged organically, rather than as adaptations of previous belief systems.
Hiram: Can you please provide a list of all of the books written by Robert de Grimston (as well as books written by other Process members) and a list of all of the Process magazines that were published?
Timothy: You'll have to get this list elsewhere. [Process Books and Documents—As It Is, Humanity Is the Devil, A Candle in Hell, The Xtul Dialogues, Exit, Drug Addiction: A Process Statement, The Gods on War, The Gods and Their People, The Seeds of Destruction—A Study of Human Aggression, The Ultimate Sin, Thy Neighbor as Thyself—A Study of Human Contact, Man’s Relationship to Man Communication Course, …And Then There Was Darkness (Father Aaron), For Christ Is Come (Father John), So Be It. Process Magazines—The Common Market (issue one), Freedom of Expression (issue two), Mindbending (issue three), The Process on Sex (issue four), The Process on Fear (issue five), The Process on Death (issue six), The Process on Love (issue seven), The Processeans (monthly newsletter). Process Free Booklets—The Unity of Christ and Satan, How Can I Become a Processean?, The Process—“Fax ‘n Figgers”, Donating: As You Give So Shall You Receive, The Process—Foundation.]
Hiram: Were the Omega notified that Timothy Leary was brought to a Process assembly as a potential candidate to join the group? Were they disappointed that he wasn't interested in joining?
Timothy: I didn't tell them, but they probably heard about it. I doubt if they would have had much reaction one way or another--Mary Ann was very much against drugs and I suspect she'd have been very sardonic about Uncle Tim.
Hiram: Which chapters thrived for the longest period and which bore the greatest results? How many chapters were there and what were the membership numbers? How many people were members of The Process in its heyday?
Timothy: The New York HQ of The Foundation Faith was financially the most successful and probably also the most popular. The early Chapters in New Orleans and San Francisco brought people in, and the later Toronto Chapter was also regarded as successful. Chapter numbers changed but at the max there were probably six or eight places functioning at the same time. Actual membership of people within the community probably never exceeded 80-100 distributed through the various Chapters. There were maybe another 200-300 people who were in training--it could take between six months and two years for someone to become an IP (Inner Processean).
Hiram: Can you provide an explanation of the different levels within the Process Church and the requirements for each of the levels?
Timothy: You'll find all that in the book. [The Hierarchy structure in the Process--Acolyte--Disciple--Outside Processean Messenger--Inside Processean Messenger--Prophet--Priest--Master--The Omega (consisted of Robert and Mary Ann de Grimston).]
Hiram: How familiar were you and other members of The Process with the writings and ideas of Aleister Crowley? Did they ever bear any significance to the philosophy of The Process? When did you first become familiar with his ideas?
Timothy: I very much doubt if many of them were aware of Crowley--Robert certainly wasn't, so I doubt if there was any cross-over there. Mary Ann, with her occult leanings must have known about him but I doubt if she'd ever read his work. If there were any similarities, and I can't think of any particular ones, then they would have emerged from a somewhat similar interest in control and manipulation.
My visit to the Abbey was a purely personal interest and really didn't reflect the interests of the group.
Hiram: It seems that the book written by William Bainbridge, Satan’s Power, was the most in-depth analysis of The Process ever written. Was the influence of that book able to further exposure of the group? Was Bainbridge a convert to The Process or just more of an ally?
Timothy: Much of Bainbridge's book was derived from conversations with Robert after he left so it has a bias in that direction. He never got close to the inner circle and what was really happening. I doubt if it had any influence on a broader membership. It was a rather dry and academic exercise.
Malachi: Are any of the 10 songs recorded by the Process Version band at Thundersound Studios in Toronto still in existence?
Timothy: I doubt it. Perhaps Best Friends still have a tape in their archives. Apart form the original 2" tape made at Thundersound, I know we duped one or two cassettes, one of which we'd sent to Robert and Mary Ann.
Malachi: What was the usual demeanor of Robert and Mary Ann? Were they open and assessable to Process members or were they wholly removed and aloof?
Timothy: Wholly removed and aloof from all but the dozen or so members of the inner circle.
Malachi: In Malachi McCormick's chapter “Processean Reflections” he states that Robert and Mary Ann thought that L. Ron Hubbard was "a flake". In conversations with Robert and Mary Ann, did they ever elaborate as to why they thought he was a flake? I've read several accounts myself of Hubbard being a debased and slightly off center character-- mainly from the biography L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?.
Timothy: Yeah, I know the book. I think he got it mostly right. The fact that Hubbard hadn't got the use of the E-Meter right (well, it was right for him!), plus the bugging incident must have contributed to Robert and Mary Ann’s distaste for him. The only thing I recall Mary Ann saying, which she did quite regularly, was that his teeth were falling to pieces and he didn't have the courage to go to the dentist. I can't substantiate this, however, but he did have an awful smile.
Malachi: To what extent did L. Ron Hubbard go to in order to discourage the use of the E-Meter for Compulsion Analysis and subsequent groups run by the de Grimstons? What was Hubbard’s and Scientology’s perspective on the Process?
Timothy: I believe we were "fair-game" while that lasted. And Scientology always loathed "squirrels" as they called us and others who used their technology. I believe they scapegoated us over the Manson affair (their materials were found at Manson's ranch) and did other acts (in the book) which were simply designed to annoy us.
It's possible, although I don't know this for sure, but our change from E-meter to P-scope (the same mechanism in a different box) might have been driven by Scientology in some way.
Malachi: After reading your new book I was surprised to find out that none of the Process Church or Foundation Faith of the Millennium material was ever registered with the copyright office. Is there any special reasoning behind this or was it just a lack of concern or neglect in doing so?
Timothy: Don't know anything about this but it was probably from a lack of concern. After Robert's books, little written material came out of The Foundation Church or Faith.
Malachi: In the last paragraph of Adam Parfrey's introductory chapter “Rarely What It Seems”, do you think there's any truth to his statement that today "it’s a Process Church world once again, perhaps even more so"? Considering The Process was at its peak years during the anti-establishment hey-days of the late 60's & early 70's, I'm not sure if something like the church would go over in today's environment. How do you feel that the Process would succeed in the present environment? Several organizations (that I won't mention) that are still in existence are nothing more than "lonely hearts clubs" for the emotionally and intellectually disenfranchised. Your thoughts?
Timothy: I believe what Adam meant was that the world was in somewhat the same state as it was in the sixties when catastrophe felt so immediate. I agree with you, The Process couldn't emerge in these days--we all know too much about cults--but it wouldn't surprise me if more and more people are gathering in community settings as the general situation collapses. Perhaps morphogenically they will have learnt naturally from the work of groups like TP and other cults who were exploring the limits of community experience.
I don't believe TP, for better or worse, would have ever existed without Mary Ann. She created the bonds (and bondage) that held it all together. Best Friends, now without her, essentially functions on the inertia of its earlier iterations. The few groups with a presence on the Web, maintaining links with the old TP, have seemed to me to be without any juice.
Frater Robert: Attorney John Markham (of Boston, Massachusetts) was employed by The Process as their attorney. Some insinuate that he was a member of the group and provided them with several houses for their headquarters. What makes Attorney Markham interesting is that he served as a legal counsel to The Process and then later was appointed as prosecuting attorney for the federal government and was a mover and shaker in the so-called "Satanic Panic" witch hunt of the 1980s. He was also associated with an attorney of the Weld family, a prestigious American family of which Tuesday Weld is related. Jeff Turner claims she was a leader in the Illuminati and others have claimed the Weld family members are Illuminati. Did you know Markham? What can you tell us of his involvement in the Process?
Timothy: Yes, I knew John Markham, although not well and I didn't keep up with him after I left. He was employed by The Process, although I don't know the terms, or quite what he worked on. I don't believe he was ever a member, per se, since we made it so challenging to actually join. He was one of a few people from the outside who also had sympathy for what we were about--Tommy Baumler was another attorney we employed to incorporate the church.
I can't throw light on the Weld issue or Markham's work as a federal attorney, but I'd have thought they were amongst those unfortunate coincidences so beloved by conspiracy buffs.
Frater Robert: The interim period during which the Foundation left New York and resurfaced many years later as Best Friends at Kanab, Utah (1978-1993) seems little mentioned or chronicled in either your account or the accounts of others concerning them. Could you provide us with a more in-depth chronicle as to what actually transpired during that period?
Timothy: Since I left the group in 1977 I decided not to write about what I didn't know--plus after leaving I wasn't that interested in what they were up to so I'm not the right person to answer this question. I know only that they spent some time on a ranch in the Southwest before moving to Utah. I believe it wasn't an easy time for them.
Frater Robert: The Foundation Church of The Millennium apparently went through a period of "shape-shifting" in which its name was changed firstly to The Foundation Church of the Millennium and later to The Foundation Faith in God. In its later stage it seemed to have become a more orthodox form of Christianity and offer a belief in the Christian trinity, the deity of Christ and salvation from sin--yet it was still firmly focused on End Times issues. It had a healing ministry and psychic consultations listed among its attributes. The address given on the web is: Foundation Faith in God, 3030 Palomino Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89107-4510. I was wondering why none of this later day activity was covered in your book?
Timothy: Again, I didn't cover what I didn't know. Since I'm sure you gathered from the book, much of the belief systems proposed by The Foundation reflected Mary Ann's changing attitudes. From my perspective, we moved from an original psychotherapeutic system, from which emerged an authentic spiritual impulse, which was then steadily distorted and manipulated to become more and more acceptable to the general public as the need for money and prestige took over. By the time The Process became The Foundation, we'd pretty much lost any of the spiritual juice we'd started off with.
Frater Robert: The Black Rose Spiritual Center web site:
lists Raphael de Peyer as its reverend at the Las Vegas address. Another website lists Michael McManus as the pastor. Michael McManus has a younger sister, Kristi McManus, who plays a large in role conspiratorial theorist Jeff Turner's account. She runs or ran a day care center called Enchanted Child in North Las Vegas. Jeff would have us believe that she literally took over the Foundation Faith In God. Can you shed any light on all of this? The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah (Angel Canyon) was once a film set for Hollywood Western movies. (The last film shot there being The Outlaw Josey Wales). Rumor has it that the location was purchased from actor Jack Nicholson, or that they stayed at a ranch owned by him before finalizing the purchase of Angel Canyon. Is there any fact in all of this to your knowledge? Who did they purchase or acquire the property from?
Timothy: I couldn't get through to the site above. Raphael de Peyer died recently--either last year or the one before--so the site is evidently out of date. I don't know who Michael McManus is--possibly Michael Mountain, one of the leaders at this point, but where that new surname comes from, I've no idea. We were always changing our names and I doubt if that has changed. Michael Mountain certainly doesn't have a younger sister. I know that since they have become so successful saving animals a lot of people who aren't connected with the original group now work as volunteers, etc. but, again, they would have little to do with the members of the original group and most likely would know nothing of their background. This Kristi person, again as far as I know, never "took over"—if Mary Ann had been alive at the time as Turner has suggested, she would never have let anyone else anywhere near the inner circle. I've no idea where Turner gets his facts but this one was glaringly wrong. The senior members were always a closed shop and very few from the outside were ever invited into it.
Sorry, there again, I can't answer the details of their acquisition of "Angel Canyon". I simply haven't had any substantial contact with them since I left, apart from two very inconsequential visits there over the years.
Hiram: Are there any topics that were omitted from the book that you wish could have been further explored regarding the Process?
Timothy: Just a few brief incidents that I might have included but overall I feel the book was pretty complete from my point of view. It was never an attempt to tell the complete history of the group and as you can see from my replies here, I didn't know a lot of the things that were going on which I wasn't directly involved with. Another person from the inner circle would likely tell a slightly different story with different accents on the stuff they knew about. It was a very secretive organization, not only occulted from the outside, but also between the levels in the hierarchy. I was in a fairly unique situation in that I was there from the beginning, was generally close to the center of the action, but also was cast down to the bottom every once in a while on Mary Ann’s whim.
Plus I might well have been the only one who got to fuck her (although who knows if she wasn't screwing others--I certainly never told anyone else of the incident and no one else would have told anyone either).
Hiram: How did you first become aware of Mary Ann’s death in 2005?
Timothy: One of the more human of the inner circle leaked it to one of the ex-members a couple of months after she died. They were clearly trying to keep it a secret and I doubt if they ever wanted the truth out there.
Hiram: How many chapters were there in total and where were they located?
Timothy: This varied over the time as one Chapter opened and another closed. At the peak there were Chapters in New York, Chicago, Miami, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Boston, and then at other times, London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Munich. We also had a small Chapter in Kansas City.
Hiram: There have been very few photographic images of Mary Ann that have ever been shown. Considering your background as an artist and the fact that you were intimate with her, how would you describe her both in physical appearance as well as the aura that she emanated?
Timothy: She was around 5' 6", not slim, but with a pleasant rounded figure. Her green eyes were her strongest feature; she kept her hair shoulder length, blondish with highlights. Her face was broad and somewhat brutal, with rather a poor skin. She dressed expensively in loose, mostly silk get-ups. Her face was animated and she was fearless in expressing her opinion. She emanated confidence and an apparently genuine interest in whoever she was talking to. People would tend to lean in to hear her.
She could also express a strong sexual magnetism when she wanted. Her psychic abilities allowed her to probe very effectively into other peoples' needs, shames and compulsions, so her questions invariably went to the core of the person.
She'd clearly worked on her Glasgow accent because her voice was accentless and pitched in low tones and yet, in class-conscious England, it was obvious she'd jumped herself up. It would be anathema to her to be thought "common". She'd read widely, could continue intelligent conversations, yet invariably the contact would move, in a person to person situation, to some form of very personal analysis or perceptive questions that might entrance the other person, or, be far too much for them to cope with. In group situations, she would always become the center of attention. Yet she was clever enough in working a group that by drawing out other people, they were made to feel the center of attention.
Hiram: I'm sure that in The Process there were a number of lower position members who were vying to become a member of the inner circle to wield a greater influence within the group. How was it determined who gained entry into the inner elite? Was it strictly composed of members who joined early on?
Timothy: There were one or two exceptions of people who'd worked their way into the inner circle--my cousin Gregory (Andrew Castle) was one of those. He joined after Xtul and very quickly rose through the ranks. The hardest jump was from Priest to Master--they got harder as you went up. There was a lot of vying for position among those who were working as OPs and who'd set their sights on joining.
Hiram: If Robert de Grimston was part of the Omega at the top level, how did the Council of Masters have the power to depose him of his position as The Teacher? Wasn't it strictly Mary Ann's doing when he was removed?
Timothy: It was entirely Mary Ann who ousted Robert. The Council of Masters was totally in her pocket. It was largely for PR purposes, mainly for the IPs who hadn't known what went on at the top. It was a coup d’état, plain and simple.
Hiram: What kind of response have you received with the publication of your book Love Sex Fear Death? Have you experienced anyone that wasn't happy to see it in print, such as former Processeans?
Timothy: No, nothing overtly negative from the Best Friends folk. I suspect they are deliberately keeping as quiet as possible about the book. The only comment I've heard, and it was third hand from one of them to a best Friend supporter, was along the lines of "At least we didn't bomb Federal buildings...” which felt to me to be a somewhat lenient bit of self-analysis.
This is pure speculation but it's possible they are resigned to having it all out there and since they are really programmed to not speak about their past except in the most general PR terms, they might even be pleased it came out in this way. Also, with Mary Ann out of the way they might not feel so vituperative about the truth emerging.
Hiram: I saw that you held a lecture in LA that may have included a Sabbath Assembly Ritual. How was it received and do you have any plans to do more lectures like this?
Timothy: It was received remarkably well. We held it in the Silent Movie Theater in LA, sold out the first show, put on a second, and sold out that one as well. I was surprised that the 20-minute segment we did out of the Sabbath Assembly came across as well as it did, people really getting off on the spiritual aspect, the uniting of opposites. In fact, I felt that the audience reacted, if anything, in a more positive way than they did back in the old days. The apocalyptic tone felt more suited to the state of the world today than back in the sixties, when it was only the bomb that concerned everybody.
The musicians involved who had rearranged and played Process hymns and chants were top-rate talents and did a wonderful job with the music.
We plan to be on the East Coast, NYC and Philadelphia in early October, and Seattle, Portland and San Francisco later in October.
Hiram: Are you currently working on any new books or art?
Timothy: I work on my graphics all the time and have a show of 20 original pieces in Albuquerque this coming November. I also have an illustrated cosmic creation myth called The Helianx Proposition, or The Return of the Rainbow Serpent coming out on the Spring 2010 list from the Daynal Institute Press. This is the result of 30-years of work and includes 2 DVDs and 2 CDs of associated material.