Toronto was an interesting place in 1970.
I taught meditation, and met many colorful groups: hippies and American draft dodgers, saffron garbed Krishna devotees, and, people in dark Harry Potter robes with embroidered patches of oh yeah, Satan on the one side and silver crosses and the swastika like P logo on the other, belonging to the Process Church of the Final Judgment. I made many friends, and got to know them well, and in the end I could either join the Process "there's this (18 year old) girl who really, really, likes you" or Hare Krishna "here's a tambourine and you can chant all day" I choose neither, of course. My path was not so simple.
The Krishna Consciousness movement was a microcosm of every thing wrong with the ‘Indian guru goes to America and does well’ aspect of the New Age movement and it was, unfortunately, a cult. The focus on raising money, the sexual improprieties and abuse, unbalanced diet and conditions designed to keep people in a state of fatigue and more easily open to suggestion. It fell apart after the death of its founder Swami Prabhupada as his disciples fought amongst themselves.
I know that Swami Prabhupada was motivated by the purpose of bringing Krishna Consciousness to the world. I know he helped many people. I know he was not aware of the abuse, and did not condone it; the allegations came out after his death. They were also true, as several insiders confirmed to me. But that isn’t my point, which is that a focus on matters outside of this world can lead only to imbalances within this one, as I have seen over and over again in all sorts of groups and movements.
The Process Church was even more interesting, read the article and links at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_Church
Led by Robert de Grimston and his wife Mary Anne MacLean, they were a splinter group from Scientology. In 1966, they retreated from the world to Xtul, in the Yucatan peninsula. There, with the aid of various stimuli and psychedelia, they channeled God, aka Jehovah, then, the later aspects Christ, Lucifer and Satan, and stated we all vibrate according to one or the other aspect, and we must eventually integrate all four. They were much perturbed when I said I already integrated all four :) I was a young whippersnapper then.
Having been born out of the various psychoanalytical therapy movements of the 60’s, the Process was widely influential with Rock Stars and in the counter culture movement. The Process eventually fell apart when it turned out they had some connection with multiple killers Charles Manson and Sam Berkowitz, the son of Sam.
I found it interesting they had a secret, undisclosed belief in long ago UFO’s visiting Earth based on the writings of Brinsley Le Poer Trench, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brinsley_Le_Poer_Trench,_8th_Earl_of_Clancarty and http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Crete/9923/trench.html and that their
ideology had some resemblance with mine. But I saw also elements of manipulation and control I would never be able to live with.
Yet, for all they might truly believe in an apocalyptical world and that Charles Manson was a sign of the end times, but, there was something beautiful there too, in that even if they got Satan all wrong, they still got God, somewhat right.
THE GODS ON WAR
Robert de Grimston, Process Church of the Final Judgment.
Yeow! The reading is a riff on War, and yes it should be read in full, great poetry cannot be summarised but read in its entirety.
But here's the conclusion:
"1.15 Humanity as a whole will not rise above its conflicts. Even if it were to do so it would still destroy all the physical, social and moral structures which it has created, because it would see their total invalidity. But it will not; so the destruction will take place in a chaos and confusion of ignorance, with the vast majority still clinging desperately to their hollow materialistic dreams, even in the depths of their final despair; whilst the few who do rise above the conflicts, will stand aside, separated from the mass, united not within but without the man-made structures of the human game, and linked to a new reality founded not on the laws of men but on the Laws of GOD."
The Process Church reinvented itself as the New Ager Foundation Faith of the Millennium, then as one of America’s most well known Animal Rescue services, the Best Friends Animal Society based in Utah. It pleases me to know that my old friends Brothers Micah and Michael, and Mother Ophelia, who sought so hard in the 60’s and the 70’s to create a better new world, now serve our animal friends. (They were the organization that went in and rescued many animals from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and if they ignored the humans, at least they did good, nevertheless)
I lived through tumultuous times and saw how hard people tried to change the corrupt society they lived in. The assassinations of JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon, the Vietnam War, Kent State and anti-war movement, Che Guevara’s execution, the 1966-68 student riots, the music, the films. We were the idealistic generation, and if some choose to drop out and explore the possibility of a beautiful spiritual alternative, then more power to them.