The beautiful propaganda art of an infamous satanic cult

The beautiful propaganda art of an infamous satanic cult

CultureNovember 03, 2016 By Isabelle Kohn

Run a quick Google search for The Process Church of the Final Judement, and you'll find a long list of unnerving conspiracy theories. The infamous satanist cult has quite a chilling rap sheet — they've been accused of everything from inspiring Charles Manson's horrific crimes to influencing the assassination of Bobby Kennedy to being responsible for the notorious Son of Sam serial killings.

Formed in England in the 1960s England by a splinter group who split from L. Ron Hubbard's then-burgeoning Scientology movement, many of the Process Church's devotees were cherry-picked from wealthy families and members of the British aristocracy to worship Jehova, Lucifer and Satan; entities who they famously attempted to contact through the use of psychedelic drugs. Their well-documented flirtations with pop royalty like Funkadelic, Marianne Faithful and Genesis P. Orridge and their epidemic spread to the United States lead to them being christened "One of the most dangerous satanic cults in America," a title that seems rightly fitting for a group with known associations with animal sacrifice, kiddie porn, drug running, Hitler worship and murder.

The cult regularly published their writings in an underground propaganda zine called Love Sex Fear Death, where funny and erudite descriptions of self-flagellation, vivisection, celebrity orgies and feverish devotionals to Satan proliferated along Heathers-level Machiavelliamism and all-too familiar displays of coercion, greed and evil.

But perhaps the strangest thing about the zine was its shockingy killer graphic design. The cult's original leader, Timothy Wyllie, is responsible for its fantastically psychedelic — and at at times, starkly moving — illustrations and art direction that were indicative of the era, yet remain timeless in their design sense even today. For the most part, these were created back in the days of “mech and paste-up,” way before anyone could even conceive of something called Photoshop.

Curiously, Wyllie had a close relationship with Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, a strange friendship which influenced the zine's superb comic-like asetheic. Often, Marvel characters would make cameos in Process illustrations, and not infrequently, reknowned comic artists like Herb Trimpe would guest-illustrate a page or two (like the one below).

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