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> Luciferianism - Noahdists, Beyond the Process
Robert the Bruce
post Apr 29, 2004, 08:37 AM
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Like many new religions cloaked in mystery you will find the Masonic octopus. This includes these Crowleyan/Hubbard offshoots as well as Mormons and indeed the Jesuits and many others.

THE GREAT GODS OF THE UNIVERSE
Process theology was a logical structure explaining the nature of existence and showing how people of different natures could cooperate to bring a quartet of warring Gods together and establish a new age of harmony. Satan cannot be understood apart from the other three. In the Sabbath Assembly, Satan was described as The Great God of Ultimate Destruction, whose role was "to release the powers of Destruction in the world of men, that the debt of pain and suffering might be repaid in full." This debt was partly humanity's guilt for crucifying Jesus, but more generally our betrayal of the divine plan. Thus, Satan desires "An End and a New Beginning. The End of Hatred and the Beginning of Love."

The separate deities had different roles in a grand process, beginning with the birth of the universe and progressing through the end of the present age to a new beginning. Although bearing a familiar name, Satan was not the Devil imagined in more conventional creeds. As a 1969 internal teaching document, BI-8 (Brethren Information 8), explains, Satan was formerly the Adversary, but has been "raised up and reunited with His counterpart and one time enemy, Christ, so that They might begin to become One again." Now, humanity, in its blindness and self-deception, has taken over the role of Adversary. For Processeans, "Humanity is the Devil," Satan, thus comes to cleanse the world of the Devil. As the hymn, "Christ in the World of Men" explained in 1968: "The evils of the world of men are perishing, Satan's hordes consume them. Out of the ashes of the old shall arise the beginnings of a New Age."

No longer the Adversary, Satan was free to play his new role in unity with Christ, "The Chant of Unity" sang: "Hallelujah, Hallelujah. The Unity of Lamb and Goat, the Power of Release; Christ and Satan are at One, the Brotherhood of Life." Christ has said we should love our enemies. Christ's enemy was Satan. As "The Unity" in the Sabbath Assembly explained, "Through Love Christ and Satan have destroyed Their enmity and come together for the End; Christ to judge, Satan to Execute the Judgement." The Unity of Christ and Satan had three aspects. First, it encouraged acceptance of one's darker, socially suppressed impulses, private and subconscious longings that a Freudian might call primary process phenomena connected with the id. Second, it was an attempt to bridge the gaps between people of very different needs and personalities, to achieve cooperation where hostility had reigned. Third, it was a structural theory of the origins of existence, part of an intellectual world.

Processeans used the gods as a personality theory, holding that different individuals were closer to one or two of the deities than to the others. While some members personified the gods, leaders and the more intellectual members saw them as principles describing psychological orientations and feelings. Once, Sister Olivia told me her perspective on the Christ and Satan within her:

To feel mostly Christ is a very calm and tranquil, in-tune and warm feeling. It's ,a very healthy thing. It's a very childlike thing, a very animal-like thing in a way. To feel mostly Satan is full of energy, is full of visions, hallucinations, and awareness of the power of destruction. And also, on the other side of that, a detachment from things that are going on in the world, and detachment from the whole conflict of the mind, from any desire to figure things out - very much of an intuitive awareness of things that are happening.

Satan had two aspects, the higher and the lower. On the abstract level Satan was the principle of separation, for example of conflict between two people. According to The Universal Law, "As you give, so shall you receive." Thus, because Satan gives separation, Satan receives separation and splits into the two aspects. A book titled The Cods and Their People [included in the appendix of this article] presents this image of a dual Satan:

SATAN, the receiver of transcendent souls and corrupted bodies, instills in us two directly opposite qualities; at one end an urge to rise above all human and physical needs and appetites, to become all soul and no body, all spirit and no mind, and at the other end a desire to sink beneath all human values, all standards of morality, all ethics, all human codes of behavior, and to wallow in a morass of violence, lunacy and excessive physical indulgence. But it is the lower end of satan's nature that men fear, which is why SATAN, by whatever name, is seen as the Adversary.

Satan's lower aspect represented Sub-Humanity, gripped by lust, abandon, violence, excess, and indulgence. The higher aspect represented Super-Humanity, evaporating into detachment, mysticism, otherworldliness, magic, and asceticism. In terms of psychopathology, Jehovah and Lucifer were neurotic, the former being obsessive-compulsive, and the latter hysterical. Theirs was the "conflict of the mind."

While Satan relates to Christ through their coming Unity, he also stands in a definite relationship to Jehovah and Lucifer, representing a pair of escapes from conflict. The Game of the Gods explains that each individual is torn apart by this conflict. Jehovah demands self-discipline and dedication to duty. Lucifer, in contrast, urges self-indulgence, harmony, and peace, Satan's lower aspect is an intensification of Luciferianism, while the higher aspect is an intensification of Jehovianism.

The relationships between the Gods were reflected in relationships between people. Once Christ had been elevated to the status of coequal god, each person was believed to manifest one of four "god patterns" - not one for each god but one for each pair of gods who were not locked in conflict as were Christ and Satan, Lucifer and Jehovah. Thus, the four kinds of persons were the Jehovian-Christian, the Jehovian-Satanic, the Luciferian-Christian, and the Luciferian-Satanic, often simply identified by their initials: JC, JS, LC, and LS. Robert was an LC personality, and Mary Ann was its exact opposite, JS. Through the Union of Jehovah and Lucifer, and through the Unity of Christ and Satan, they could come together in harmony, combining their psychological assets rather than falling into violent disagreement.

Ultimately, the Great Gods of the Universe are parts of God. In the beginning, there was only God, and no universe. Although standard Christianity conceives of the world as partly outside God, something created by God but not itself divine, for Processeans God created the universe by splitting himself into fragments. Time and space were created when pieces of God placed themselves at opposite ends of each dimension. In 1969, BI-13 explained: "There is division; and from the initial division of GOD and antiGOD, there springs the fragmentation of all things, and the scattering of all parts of One throughout the Universe of Time and Space." According to The Gods, the fragments of God must by reunited:

1.5 And whilst the Three Great Gods are divided then the concept of GOD is no more than a concept. Like a shattered mirror it lies in pieces and the pieces are scattered throughout the Universe.

1.6 But if Jehovah, Lucifer and Satan are brought together, united in a common understanding, a common knowledge, a common bond of awareness and unconflicted intention, then the concept of GOD becomes a reality.

The parts are come together to complement each other and make a whole, and the whole is Totality.

1.7 So GOD is the reuniting of the Gods.

The key element in the reunion is Christ, for "Christ is the Unifier." The failure of Christianity, for Processeans, was the failure of Christ to realize that he must become unified with Satan, before he can fulfill his purposes both for humanity and for the God of which he is part. Thus, we must "resist not evil" but join with it to dissolve it in Christ's name. The unity of Christ and Satan will also bring unification to Satan's separated halves, as BI-28 says: "When Christ and Satan come together, then the two halves of Satan must also come together." The unification of Satan will draw together Jehovah and Lucifer, of whom Satan is an exaggerated reflection, and they will achieve the Union.

This combination theology and psychology thus has little to do with the Satanism constructed by non-Satanists. Despite the failure of The Process, its theology was a logical approach toward solving dilemmas faced by every person and society, drawing on ideas from ancient religion and modern psychoanalysis. In my book (Bainbridge 1978) I suggested that the failure of the cult was unnecessary, coming from a few poor leadership decisions, primarily from the abandonment of the recruitment techniques that served so well in the beginning. To be sure, Processeans hoped to achieve too much with their grand new system, but in their wild dreams we may all recognize pans of ourselves.

TRANSCENDENCE AND REMYSTIFICATION
When 1 began my research with The Process, I had just completed half a year of research inside Scientology, which was in great measure a reflection of the personality of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Some cults are outgrowths of the founder's personality and thus can be described in terms of a particular psychiatric syndrome (cf. Stark and Bainbridge 1985:173-177). Scientology could usefully be diagnosed as obsessive or paranoid - or Apollonian, to use Nietzsche's (1872) terminology - and I thought it would be fascinating to study an opposite group, one exhibiting hysteria or Dionysianism.

The hallmark of a hysterical cult is histrionics - a great stress on drama and the playing of roles (Shapiro 1965). The Processeans, with their splendid costumes, alternative personal identities, and scripted group performances, looked about as histrionic as a cult could get. Considered as theater, The Process was what opera composer Richard Wagner called a total work of art (Newman 1924). Wagner believed that all the arts should be combined into a seamless aesthetic tapestry, and he attempted to achieve this in his music dramas, notably Tristan und Isolde. However, Wagner himself slighted the visual arts, and it was left to later generations to fulfill his ideal. The Process is a good example, because the true total work of art would be an artistically created human community with a distinctive lifestyle and culture. One would not achieve a really total work of art merely by combining drama with music; one must go all the way and add the domestic arts, creating living human personalities and an aesthetic community to house them.

The concept of belief distance, an extension of Goffman's (1961) concept of role distance, describing the refusal to identify oneself completely with one's creed, is useful to understand The Process. Almost every time I lecture about the group, someone in the audience asks, "But could they really believe all that?" My reply is that the concept of belief, as used in Western religions, is a strange one. In Christianity, for example, one must have faith. The question is less one of whether Christian beliefs are true than it is of whether one is going to be true to the beliefs. Unlike many religions, Western faiths demand loyalty, and they make exaggerated demands on the convictions of their members. The Western concept of belief, construed in terms of loyalty or conviction, had nothing to do with The Process. Theirs was not a creed of belief, but of willing suspension of disbelief, a world like that of drama and the other arts.

For Processeans, the idea that the believer had a duty to believe is pure Jehovianism, and in its great schism, one half of The Process turned toward Jehovah partly to consolidate control over its small band of followers. Lucifer is the god of hypotheses, and the Luciferian-Satanic individual is very much a persona of masks and role-playing. The test of truth in the early days of The Process was the degree of excitement and hope that an idea could generate - an epistemology of possibilities rather than of certainties. The Processeans took their great chances, literally betting their lives on the Great Gods of the Universe, but they never had faith in the traditional Western sense.

The construction of deviant reality in The Process can be understood from a traditional anthropological perspective called cultural relativism (Cancian and Cancian 1974; cf. Benedict 1934). This is a doctrine promulgated by a number of scholars early in this century concerning the variability of human norms. It appeared that almost any conceivable custom could be found in some society. In their politically righteous crusade to make the world respect even the most feeble and primitive society, the cultural relativists made it seem that every primitive culture was a nearly perfect human adaptation to the environment. In its extreme form, cultural relativism held that all cultures were equally good.

From the perspective of cultural relativism, the Processean gods were alternative cultures. Each had a different set of commandments. Each was at war with one of the others, but the ideology asserted that the gods were nonetheless coming together for "an End and a New Beginning." Robert de Grimston's theology was Hegelianism in the extreme. For every thesis (Christ, Jehovah) there was an antithesis (Satan, Lucifer), and the cult aimed to achieve a final synthesis of all these dichotomies in the rebirth of GOD.

Through their psychotherapy, they were trying to help individuals transcend their compulsive conflicts; on the social level they sought to bring antagonistic people together with the help of the gods, and on the supernatural plane they hoped the gods could also transcend their tremendous differences. They occasionally said that the ultimate salvation was the salvation of God - that God needed saving - and Processeans could save God, with the help of the several gods that were the conflicted aspects of their own psyches. The case of this modern, polytheistic religion provides insights about the limits of cultural relativism.

Consider the comparative intellectual merits of monotheism and polytheism. Monotheism is probably more comforting to the individual believer, because it typically suggests that a single, benevolent god is in control of the individual's ultimate fate. The polytheist must always worry about becoming a pawn in a game played between warring deities, none of whom particularly wish him or her well. Monotheism probably supports political unity and strengthens any state that compellingly claims to act on behalf of the one, true God. Indeed, one explanation offered for the rage of European witch trials is that it was a tool by which central governments strengthened themselves through establishment of orthodoxy of belief (Lamer 1984), something much harder to do when the official pantheon contains gods who themselves fail to agree.

Empirical studies show a historical trend toward monotheism (Underhill 1975; Swanson 1975). There are strong reasons why religious traditions should tend to move the divine further and further away from the world of experience and to reduce the number of gods and demigods, merely given a sufficiently long-lived religious tradition for these slow changes to occur (Stark and Bainbridge 1987). For one thing, religious organizations risk disconfirmation of adherents' faith if they promise to provide worldly rewards they cannot in fact deliver. Put another way, it is dangerous to be in the business of performing magic, because clients can test one's claims all too easily. Indeed, one way of explaining the failure of The Process is to note that it promised a Heaven on earth to members, yet it delivered something less.

Religions promising many magical benefits typically postulate many lesser gods (Stark and Bainbridge 1987:111), each with its own functions. At the other extreme, a religion with one god of infinite scope can no longer make specific, convincing supernatural promises, and thus it will have little to offer most people. Those Christians for whom Satan exists as a meaningful foil for God possess a faith that has not yet rendered the divine irrelevant for human hopes. The minimum number of gods that can be the basis of a popular religion is two, one good and the other evil, although Christianity pretends to withhold full deity status from Satan. The reduction of the number of gods to one, and removal of the god from the world of human affairs if tantamount to secularization. For centuries Christianity avoided the disadvantages of monotheism, while claiming its advantages, by postulating the Devil and a collection of saints ambiguously poised between humanity and divinity. But the emergence of one lonely god, as in Unitarianism, marks the gradual collapse of a particular religious tradition.

Historians have noted that Western monotheism may have been an essential precondition for the rise of modern science. In seventeenth-century England, many scientists saw the world as a mechanical creation based on logical principles (Merton 1970; Westfall 1958). One, good, logical God created the world, then withdrew leaving man free to choose good or evil. Whereas a polytheistic religion might attribute every natural phenomenon to a different deity and assume no coordination between them, the monotheist is more likely to see the world as a unified system. As Christianity has become progressively more monotheistic in practice, the world has become demystified and disenchanted, in the sense that it no longer seemed the playground of supernatural forces (cf. Weber 1958). These developments prepared the way for science.

Monotheism is a poor explanation for the natural world. It says almost nothing about why things are as they are. Manifestly, the world is not a unity. The forces and entities postulated by physicists are many, and each person experiences many conflicting social and psychological pressures. Polytheism is a better explanation of phenomena than is monotheism, and thus it is a greater foe of modern science. By unfolding God into distinct gods, The Process sought to explain the world of experience, and through its explanations to transform the world magically. In so doing, it remystified and reenchanted human experience.

In this context, Satan had nothing whatsoever to do with the Devil. Rather, the traditional existence of some supernatural being other than Jehovah was an opportunity to reestablish polytheism. A third god, Lucifer, could also be found in the old tradition, although Processeans had to explain again and again to newcomers that Lucifer and Satan were not the same, citing separate mentions of them in the Bible and suggesting that the Bible itself was propaganda on behalf of only two of the gods: Jehovah in the Old Testament and Christ in the New Testament, Christ entered Process theology first as the Emissary of the Gods, working to bring them together, then was elevated to a fourth coequal deity on the basis of his importance in Process personality theory.

As Father Malachi told me, the fact that Processeans came from Christian and Jewish backgrounds meant that concepts of Christ and Jehovah were already familiar to them. Why were the other two gods identified as Satan and Lucifer? "I think basically because those names were there. I think we were looking for opposites."

THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Again and again, popular writers have selectively quoted Processean scripture - for example, extracting the most horrendous passages from Satan on War - and presented it as proof that members of the cult were murderers, or worse. But the cult's doctrines held that destructive impulses lurked within every one of us, not within members alone, and they used the imagery of Satan's "lower aspect" to analyze this part of human nature. The scriptures employed dynamic metaphors and emotional dramatizations of abstract concepts; it is a poor writer indeed who fails to recognize poetic symbolism when he or she reads it.

One difference between Satanism as constructed by Processeans and by self-conscious antisatanists is that the latter impose their twisted image on other people, while the former created a myth to inhabit themselves. Harmless to others, Processeans and their kin in similar cults place only themselves at risk when they take their great spiritual leap into darkness. On average, one of them told me, life as a Satanist had been no better or worse than normal life, only the extremes were greater, ranging from deepest depression to highest ecstasy. In my years of observation, I did occasionally see harm done, but no more than I would expect to see in any group of a few hundred people, probably far less than among an equal number of journalistic or evangelical Devil-hunters.

In earlier eras, society projected its fears and private sins onto Jews and other out-groups who were falsely accused of every possible evil. Today, thankfully, norms of tolerance render antisemitism and similar prejudices unacceptable, at least when familiar groups are the potential victim. In part, Satanism is a fiction, imagined out of whole cloth by unscrupulous or ignorant people, accepted as truth by credulous consumers of the latest mass media myths. But it is also true that real Satanists exist, and many of them are as innocent and admirable as the Processeans. To the extent that we accept the antisatanist's construction of Satanism, we do injury to the brave souls who have explored the possibilities for repaganization of religion afforded by alternatives to Christ and Jehovah, and we miss the often enlightening results of their spiritual experimentation.

NOTE
1. For popular press discussions of The Process see Beckett (1971), Lipsky (1972), Mano (1974), Melton (1978), Tenner (1979), and Weissman (1979).

REFERENCES
Adler, Alfred. 1927. Understanding Human Nature. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett (1954).

-----. 1929. Individual Psychology. Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams (1968).

Bainbridge, William Sims. 1978. Satan's Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult. Berkeley: University of California Press.

-----. 1983. "Review of Folk Devils and Moral Panics by Stanley Cohen" Sociology and Social Research 67:229-230.

-----. 1985. "Cultural Genetics." Pp. 157-198 in Religious Movements: Genesis Exodus, and Numbers, edited by Rodney Stark. New York: Paragon.

-----. 1987. "Science and Religion: The Case of Scientology." Pp. 59-79 in The Future of New Religious Movements, edited by David G. Bromley and Phillip E. Hammond. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.

Beckett, Bill. 1971. "Preparing For the Fiery End: Process." Harvard Crimson (April 27):3-4.

Benedict, Ruth. 1934. Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Blau, Eleanor. 1974. "Young Sect No Longer Hails Devil." New York Times (December 1):53.

Bugliosi, Vincent, and Gentry, Curt. 1974. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders. New York: Norton.

Cancian, Francesca M., and Cancian, Frank. 1974. "Cultural Relativism." Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.

Goffman, Erving. 1961. Encounters. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

Hart-Davis, Duff. 1966. "Mind-Benders in Mayfair." London Sunday Telegraph (July 17).

Larner, Christina. 1984. Witchcraft and Religion. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Lipsky, Jon. 1972. "Carrying a Torch for Lucifer." Boston Real Paper (November 29):1 - 8.

Lyons, Arthur. 1970. The Second Coming: Satanism in America. New York: Dodd, Mead.

Mano, D. Keith. 1974. "Detente with Satan." National Review (May 24)-595-596.

Maxwell, Ronald. 1969a. "A Strange Cult." London Sunday Mirror (September 7):5.

-----. 1969b. "The Satan Worshippers." London Sunday Mirror (September 14).

-----. 1969c. "They Play Satan's Game." London Sunday Mirror (September 21).

McIntosh, Christopher. 1972. Eliphas Levi and the French Occult Revival New York: Weiser.

Melton, J. Gordon. 1978. The Encyclopedia of American Religions, Vol. 2 Wilmington, NC: McGrath/Consortium.

Merton, Robert K. 1970. Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-Century England. New York: Harper & Row.

Newman, Ernest 1924. Wagner as Man and Artist. New York: Knopf.

Sanders, Ed. 1971. The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion. New York: E. P. Dutton (first edition only).

Shapiro, David 1965. Neurotic Styles. New York: Basic Books.

Stark Rodney, and Bainbridge, William Sims. 1985. The Future of Religion. Berkeley: University of California Press.

-----. 1987. A Theory of Religion. New York: Peter Lang.

Swanson, Guy E. 1975. "Monotheism, Materialism, and Collective Purpose: An Analysis of Underhill's Correlations." American Journal of Sociology 80:862-869.

Tenner, Edward. 1979. "Why Not the Beast, Indeed?" Chronicle of Higher Education Review (February 20):11-12.

Thompson, Hunter S. 1967. Hell's Angels. New York: Harper & Row.

Time Magazine. 1971. "Fellow Traveling with Jesus - The Process." (September 6):54-55.

Underhill, Ralph. 1975. "Economic and Political Antecedents of Monotheism: A Cross-Cultural Study." American Journal of Sociology 80:841-861.

Wallis, Roy 1976. The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology. London: Heinemann.

Weber, Max 1958. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Scribner's.

Weissman, Paul. 1979. "My Nightmare Year in a Bizarre Satanic Cult." National Enquirer (May 29):8.

Westfall, Richard S. 1958. Science and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England. New Haven: Yale University Press.
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Posts in this topic
Robert the Bruce   Luciferianism - Noahdists   Apr 29, 2004, 08:37 AM
lgking   RTB: Summarize, please! What point are you t...   Apr 29, 2004, 01:53 PM
Guest   fascinating. it wasn't clear to me along wh...   Apr 29, 2004, 01:56 PM
Robert the Bruce   Dear Lgking There are many points to make. Not th...   Apr 29, 2004, 02:43 PM
Robert the Bruce   The author of the lead-in post and this one are on...   Apr 29, 2004, 02:48 PM
Robert the Bruce   My personal pursuit of the Dianistic or Dionysian ...   Apr 29, 2004, 02:57 PM
Guest   of course Nietzsche wouldn't accept this cha...   Apr 30, 2004, 07:11 AM
Robert the Bruce   Actually Nietzsche never argued against those who ...   Apr 30, 2004, 07:44 AM


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