So I’ve finished Love Sex Fear Death. It’s a good read, although, if you are not totally into researching The Process it does drag itself at times. The first half of the book is the author’s, Timothy Wyllie‘s (crazy website, btw.), story, the rest consists shorter testimonies and a big photo section. I hope there is some way the magazines will be compiled and published, I’d love to see the entire layout and design. Genesis P-Orridge‘s essay on the relationship between The Process and Thee Temple of Psychick Youth (TOPY) is a real gem.
There is a much better review with lots of photos and a link to Feral House’s concert/gathering for the release of the book (I think?) on the Illogical Contraption blog, so I won’t go much further here. [An excerpt clip of the event is posted after the more-tag. A review of the thing can be found on Justin Hampton’s blog.]
Would I urge you to get this book? I don’t know! On the one hand, it’s a great book with lots of material that sheds light on the development of The Process from an insider’s point of view and demystifies a lot of what The Process stood/stands for, which is a good thing, I think. On the other hand, like I already mentioned above, if you are not explicitly studying The Process or cult dynamics in general it’s hard to get too excited and after a while the book starts to drag somewhat. That’s not to say that it’s boring or that I didn’t finish it, but some of it is so detailed that the casual reader finds asking himself why he’s actually reading this. Does that make sense?
So I guess I’d say it’s a classic book to have if you are interested in 1960s occult culture, but it’s not a gripping read that has you on the edge of your chair. No sex orgies with Charlie Manson, no human sacrifices, no animal sacrifices — none of the accusations that have been leveled at The Process are apparently true. What struck me most was not the totalitarian structure and development of the cult, because those are dynamics that evolve in all of these groups, but the treatment of children, which was essentially child abuse. I think I will try to get my hands on Satan’s Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult by William Sims Bainbridge to get some more background info.
Also: ratings on posts are back — go nuts!