Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Process Church of the Final Judgement in Chicago

Much has been written about the Process Church of the Final Judgement.  Most notably as of late, Feral House has published a book on the Process, "Love Sex Fear Death," along with reprinting their themed magazines.

In short, Mary Anne and Robert De Grimston met in London through the Church of Scientology, which they split from rather quickly.  In 1965/66 the Process began in earnest, having chapters in many cities around the world.  They attracted a good deal of controversy for their belief system, which involved a "worldview that accepted Lucifer, Jehovah, Satan and Christ as partners in a larger godhead." (Quote courtesy the Gnostic Liberation Front, whose information regarding the Process is quite extensive)  Some referred to them as Satanic, some as a cult.  It was alleged at one point that Charles Manson was a member, though this was found to be untrue.  


This image from the "Death" issue of the Process magazine, blatantly stolen from Gnostic Liberation Front.
 
I've found three locations in Chicago which somehow related to the Process in the 1970s.  According to Feral House, the Chicago Chapter was founded in 1970.  As a testament to the prevalence of Processians in Chicago during this time period, I happened upon an article in a friend's zine collection which described how the black-caped Processians would be seen around town, spreading the word (if I can track this article down again, I'll post it here).  Another mention of both their capes and their magazines made its way into the Chicago Tribune, August 11 1974.

In 1972 the Process was operating out of a home on W. Deming place, only a couple of blocks from the Sabaean Order of Amn and El-Sabarum Occult Store which was in operation at the same time (I'm not posting the full address as I believe it is someone's residence now).  At this location they held weekly meetings open to the public on Fridays, from 9 to 10 pm. 

After this, the exact timeline of Chicago residences gets a bit hazy. 

Feral House states that the Chicago chapter was founded on Wells Street. I have an address for the Foundation Church of the Millenium (a later variant of the Process after a schism erupted when Mary Anne and Robert DeGrimston separated) in 1976 at 1529 N Wells St. This location is now home to a Subway sandwich shop.




At some point the local chapter of the Process was located a mile away from the Wells location, on Burling Street.  This is a 1892 square foot home built in 1869.  This area of town is very affluent now, though I've seen some mention of it being "slums" at one point.  There is a mansion across the way, but I found that it wasn't built until 2001.


A quick Internet search finds a poster going by the name of "stubby" on a Chuck Palahniuk message board who says that he was a member of the Process for three years in Chicago.  He says that the chapter house was on Deming and the Process's coffee house was in Old Town, which I assume to be the Wells location.  The fact that the Process was potentially operating out of two locations simultaneously in the city says something about their size.

I'm posting another article about the Process below, though it is only related by a single woman who murdered a man.  The woman in question appears to have joined (or claimed to have joined) every occult organization possible in Chicago, and the local community speaks out.  Chicago Tribune, February 4th 1981.





4 comments:

  1. Wow, I used to occasionally stop in to the coffeehouse the Foundation ran at 1529 N Wells in 1976. I remember that a girlfriend had attempted suicide, and I asked one of the guys at the "church" to pray for her, because I felt so helpless, and didn't know God yet. It was the next year that Jesus opened my eyes to the truth, and I was gloriously ssaved from a life of sin.

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    1. Thank you Charles!

      It's been about 43 years now but I do remember attending one initial gathering at "the chapter house was on Deming" where the facilitator opened the circle for questions. I asked "who am I?" which was a sincere inquiry on my part at that time. I remember the first part of a response that another gentlemen in the circle made saying: "you are a compass ...". I think the last part was "... on the sea of humanity". I remember considering that somewhat and that it did not satisfy me. Fortunately I too came to Christ shortly after that.

      I found this site after doing some research regrading Scientology and found it at least curious that the "Process Church" was founded by the couple who apparently had been in Scientology (CoS. I had also been introduced to the CoS "Mission" in Chicago around this same time period. I had first walked into the ground floor entrance that opened to a stir case straight up to the second floor where at the top there were three gentlemen standing, at least one of them, standing in the middle, was wearing some kind of a cape with their cross. As best as I can recall one of them (I think the one with the cape) asked me "Who are you looking for?" I said: "Christ". He responded. "I am Christ". I attended a public lecture/presentation, apparently by the org's head. I think I recall him wearing a trimmed beard. He demonstrated their "touch assist" on me after I volunteered. Now that I know what I know about CoS I am all grateful that I didn't join that!

      I can understand how people can fall into belief systems. I am blogging about this at Curezone.

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