Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Uncle Sam's Secret Sorcerers IV

By 1969, Hell had well and truly broken loose in America. 

A deeply-divisive and increasingly futile war, assassinations and concurrent riots that crippled major cities, widespread violence at the Democratic National Convention and an growing epidemic of hard drugs like speed and heroin were leading the country to the tipping point.*

And increasingly, seemingly random and horrific acts of violence from "serial" and "spree" killers would fill the headlines. 

Pop culture would be increasingly dominated by themes of horror, black magic and Satanism, everything from movies to bestselling fiction to television and to comic books. At the same time Dispensationalist Apocalypticism would rise from the Fundamentalist margins into the mainstream, with best-sellers like Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth. 

It was as if the entire country had fallen under a particularly malefic spell. Largely coinciding, strangely enough, with the creation of Project MK-OFTEN.


Lifetime convict Charles Manson quit San Francisco and made his way down the coast and eventually hooked up with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, who set up recording sessions for Charlie with producer Terry Melcher. Soon, stars like Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young were coming around to check out this crazy street-freak and his largely-improvised song-poems.

Wilson called Manson "the Wizard."

Manson picked up an entourage along the way, mostly young, fucked-up street kids, but ran into the same hassles in LA that hippies were facing in San Francisco. Manson somehow finagled a gig for himself and his "Family" at the Spahn Movie Ranch, where Hollywood producers used to shoot Westerns. More recently, TV shows like Gunsmoke had used it before it fell into disrepair.

Interesting place for a drifting ex-con and his street-people friends to crash. 

Coincidentally, Manson's alleged associates and San Francisco neighbors, the Process Church of the Final Judgement, would open a chapter in Los Angeles shortly after Manson and his entourage arrived in the area. Even more coincidentally, the Process would end up moving in some of the same circles as Manson and would, like Manson, also try to recruit Terry Melcher to their cause.

According to Adam Gorightly, the Process "stayed in public view until a few days after Robert Kennedy’s assassination on June 5, 1968, after which they dropped mysteriously from sight."

Sharon Tate would travel to England in 1965 to appear in Eye of the Devil, one of many occult thrillers produced in the 1960s and a kind of prototype for The Wicker Man.

She won the role in a very Rosemary's Baby-like fashion- actress Kim Novak had originally won the part but fell from a horse and couldn't complete the film. Tate was hired to re-film her scenes.

Alex and Maxine Sanders, celebrity witches and creators of "Alexandrian Wicca", were hired on as technical advisers for Eye. Make note of this detail.

One can't help but wonder if Tate fell under some sorcerer's spell while in England. Her short life would thereafter be filled with darkness and ill omen.

Tate with the Sanders

The darkness would spread to the Polanskis' social circle in Hollywood.

Jay Sebring was a celebrity hairstylist and a friend of the Polanskis. He would move into a house once owned by the famously doomed Hollywood couple, Paul Bern and Jean Harlow:
Bern met actress Jean Harlow shortly before the premiere of Hell's Angels in 1930...The two struck up a friendship and eventually began dating. They announced their engagement in June 1932 and married on July 2, 1932.

Two months after marrying Jean Harlow, on September 5, Bern was found dead from a gunshot to the head in their home on Easton Drive in Beverly Hills, California. The coroner ruled his death a suicide. 
Harlow died of kidney failure during the filming of Saratoga in 1937 at the age of 26.  
(The body Bern's common-law wife Dorothy Millette) was found in the Sacramento River two days after Bern's death. It was later determined that she had committed suicide by jumping from the Delta King steamboat.
In the November 1960 issue of Playboy, screenwriter Ben Hecht questioned the official verdict of Bern's death, causing renewed interest in the case. Hecht suggested that Bern was murdered by an unnamed woman and that the investigation into Bern's death was a "suicide whitewash".  
The sad tale was also chronicled by Kenneth Anger in Hollywood Babylon. But the house would see more tragedy before Sebring moved in:
(Sebring) loved the house but was always concerned about the fact that it was supposed to be “jinxed”. He knew the stories about Paul Bern’s death but he also learned that two people had drowned in the swimming pool as well.  
A subsequently notorious event in 1966 would transpire when Tate stayed over with Sebring one night.
Unable to sleep, she lay awake in Jay’s room with all the lights on. She was very uncomfortable, although she couldn’t explain why. She felt “funny”...and was frightened by every little sound that she heard. 
As it happened, she had good reason to be:
Suddenly, a person that she described as a “creepy little man” came into the bedroom! She was sure that this man was Paul Bern. The man ignored her though and wandered about the room, apparently looking for something. Sharon put on her robe and hurried out of the bedroom.
Things then went from frightening to terrifying:
Sharon started down the stairs but halfway down them, froze in shock. There was a figure tied to the staircase posts at the bottom of the steps. She couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. However, she could clearly see that the figure’s throat had been cut. Then, the apparition vanished.

Tate- and Polanski- would have another disturbing encounter, this time with dogs allegedly belonging to the Process Church, who were reportedly in the neighborhood as part of an estate-cleaning deal they arranged with an LA real estate baron:
...the Polanski’s had agreed to take care of Patty Duke’s sheep dog, and the dog had a habit of getting loose. On the night of the party, the sheep dog once again bounded away, and Roman Polanski went after it. 
Somewhere down the hill, Polanski encountered a group of vicious German Shepherds belonging to—as Sanders phrased it after a libel suit by DeGrimston—”English occultists who were in America to promote the end of the world.” Somehow, during his attempt to retrieve Patty Duke’s pooch, Polanski got locked in a garage trying to escape the cult’s dog pack, and managed to break a rear window out and escape up the hillside.
The omens kept on coming. Shortly before her death- and while pregnant- Tate had an affair with an actor named Christopher Jones. Jones later recalled a disturbing encounter with the actress:
"One night we went to visit the Trevi Fountain, and I looked at her and had the strongest feeling she was going to die."Another time I was looking over at her and asking her what she was thinking about, and she suddenly came out with: 'The Devil is beautiful. Most people think he's ugly, but he's not.'" 
I thought it weird at the time but Roman had just done the movie Rosemary's Baby so I related it to that."I told her she shouldn't say things like that because it made me nervous."
Strangely, Jones would have another disturbing experience with an actress the following year while filming a movie in Ireland:
Jones was cast by director David Lean in Ryan's Daughter (1970). … Unknown to Christopher, he was drugged during his filming of Ryan's Daughter by Sarah Miles ...which caused Christopher to believe he was having a breakdown. Jones also was involved in a car crash, not knowing he had been drugged. The director and producers never informed him of the drugging.
What the hell was wrong with these people? Seriously.
In any event, the Polanskis were allegedly part of a very wild party scene, and Tate was dragged into some rather sordid activity by Polanski:
Polanski had the professional and personal power Sharon craved and thus she was drawn into a world of frequent humiliations, subjected to his sexual proclivities that included drugs, affairs, orgies and home sex videos he shared with friends.
The scene at Cielo Drive would get very extreme, even by Hollywood standards.  The Daily Mail described it as "a revolving door with celebrities dropping by, unknown people flitting in and out, and orgies fueled by cocaine and hallucinogens like mescaline."

From Adam Gorightly's book The Shadow Over Santa Susana
"In Doris Day: Her Own Story, Terry Melcher was quoted that the 'murders had something to do with the weird film Polanski had made, and the equally weird people who were hanging around the house. I knew they had been making a lot of homemade sadomasochistic-porno movies there with quite a few recognizable Hollywood faces in them. 
The reason I knew was that I had gone out with a girl named Michelle Phillips, one of the Mamas and Papas, whose ex-husband, john Phillips, was the leader of the group. Michelle told me she and John had dinner one night, to discuss maybe getting back together, and afterwards he had taken her up to visit the Polanskis in my old house. Michelle said that when they arrived there, everyone in the house was busy filming an orgy and that Sharon Tate was part of it."

Sammy Davis, Jr.- who'd have his own flirtations with the dark side- later said of the Cielo Drive scene:  “Everyone there had at at one time or another been into Satanism.”  

Were the activities in this circle being filmed for blackmail purposes? Were they being filmed for private collectors? Did the whole scene just too far out of hand? Gorightly:
During follow-up investigations at the Polanski residence, police discovered several films and videotapes in the main bedroom closet. Some of these films, it has been rumored, involved an elite underground Hollywood group who swapped smut of each other...
There'd be even darker rumors about the scene and the films being made there:
Many years after the Tate/LaBianca murders, Manson told an interviewer, "Don't you think those people deserved to die?... They were involved in kiddie porn." Like Manson's Hollywood Star revelations, one must wonder about these allegations of Polanski making money from kiddie porn, as Charlie's claims pre-date Polanski's late 1977 rape case of an under-aged girl. 
Were these films somehow linked to the murders? Stories would later emerge that Manson and right-hand man Tex Watson hired themselves and the Family out as a murder-for-hire ring.

Before the murders, Manson was seen on walkthrough in the Cielo Drive property, as if casing it out. Was someone worried about their face appearing in one of those films?
At one point, two reporters approached the Manson defense team informing them that certain individuals in Hollywood were worried that the case might cause a film industry scandal. The reporters said that lots of porno -many of the hand-held, home-made variety -had been discovered during the Tate murder investigation, and that many influential people had put in pleas to the district attorney to lower the charge against Manson to manslaughter, as a way to keep him quiet.
Yet Manson was reportedly still preaching his race-war apocalypse, at least according to some of the testimony that emerged during the trial. One account had it that he took matters into his own hands, significantly with a drug-dealer:
By June, Manson was telling the Family they might have to show blacks how to start "Helter Skelter". When Manson tasked Watson with obtaining money supposedly intended to help the Family prepare for the conflict, Watson defrauded a black drug dealer named Bernard "Lotsapoppa" Crowe. Crowe responded with a threat to wipe out everyone at Spahn Ranch. Manson countered on July 1, 1969, by shooting Crowe at his Hollywood apartment. 
Drugs would play a role in the killing of Gary Hinman by Bobby Beausoleil, apparently ordered by Manson as another act in the Helter Skelter ritual (the killing was supposed to blamed on Black Panthers in Manson's tortured logic).

Manson was himself acting on the orders of the Straight Satans outlaw biker gang (remember Harlow and Bern and Hell's Angels?), who felt that Hinman had burned them with a bad batch of drugs.

Beausoleil was simply ordered to get the Satans' money back from Hinman, to the amount of $1000, but was ordered to kill him when Hinman said he didn't have the cash.

Strangely-- and synchronistically-- a parallel event would be unfolding at Cielo Drive, just a few days before Watson and his accomplices showed up to murder Sharon Tate and her friends:
 A dope dealer from Canada was punished for selling Jay Sebring bad dope. According to actor Dennis Hopper, twenty-five people were invited to watch the dealer get whipped and to participate in the whipping. They videotaped the event, as they had other events involving—again, according to Hopper—“sadism, masochism and bestiality.”   
Hopper claims that LA police informed him about some of this information. The tapes have never surfaced, but rumors in the Hollywood underground have always insisted that they exist...According to Hopper, the public humiliation of the dealer took place three days before the murders at Cielo Drive, which would make it on or about August 5th. 
The murders at Cielo Drive shocked Hollywood (Manson: "Write something witchy" in the victims' blood), followed by the murders of the LaBiancas. Later, rumors would circulate that Rosemary LaBianca had been involved in meth dealing. 

Peter Levenda writes in Sinister Forces:
Maury Terry raises an important point in his observation of the killings, one which cannot be easily ignored: if Helter Skelter was the true motive, then why did the killings stop after La Bianca?  
There was no evidence linking the Manson clan to any of the killings; they were still in the clear on Tate and La Bianca, although Bobby Beausoleil had been picked up for the Hinman murder. They could have continued their Helter Skelter murder spree much longer before being stopped. Why only that one weekend in August? Why only the five victims at the Tate house (six, if you count Sharon Tate’s unborn son) and two at La Bianca? 
The only reason that makes sense is that both murders were contract hits, and that Manson dressed it up in Helter Skelter for the benefit of his young female assassins...Helter Skelter was Manson’s “program” for the brainwashed murderers; it provided a context, and it also influenced their choice of bloody graffiti at each scene...

But another explanation would surface following the slayings:
Hippie Commune Ruled By ‘Black Magic’
Friday, December 5th, 1969

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 – “Black magic” …“He believes that he, and all human beings, are God” … “There is no crime, there is no sin” … “The women were the key to everything.”
Three friends of Charles M. Manson used those words Thursday to describe him and the way they say he ruled a clan of nomadic hippie-types on a commune near Death Valley. 
Prosecutors say they will seek an indictment charging Manson, 36, with conspiracy to commit murder. Several members of his clan are accused of slaying actress Sharon Tate and six others. 
The three friends—miner Paul Crockett, 50; guitar player Paul Watkins, 19; and Brooks Poston, 21—gave their descriptions in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. 
“The whole thing was held together by black magic,” said Watkins, who has followed Manson since they met two years ago in the Haight-Ashbury district, then the hippie Haven in San Francisco. 
“You don’t believe it? Well, it really exists, and it is powerful,” Watkins said. 
“He (Manson) believes that he, and all human beings, are God and the devil at the same time. He believes all human beings are part of each other,” said Poston, a Manson follower for two years. 
And more recently another theory for the Tate slaughter would surface, allegedly based on a report by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. In an article on Ed Sanders' book on Sharon Tate:
(O)ne loose thread in the story is the role of a mysterious English satanic cult that was active in LA in those years. 
The author learned new details after working with LA private investigator Larry Larsen, a former LA County deputy who assisted the investigation into the death of Robert F. Kennedy. 
Larsen had been informed through associates that the English satanic group had recruited Charles Manson to murder Tate because of information she had learned about RFK's assassination. 
The contention is that members of the English cult had invited Sirhan Sirhan to LA parties and one such party took place at Sharon Tate's residence, where sexual and ritualistic rites occurred – along with heavy drug use. 
According to an Immigration and Naturalization Service report, the English Satanist group had commissioned Manson to kill Sharon because of 'something that she unfortunately overheard that she was not supposed to overhear either in regards to Sirhan Sirhan or about Sirhan Sirhan'. 
Whether or not Sharon knew something about the Robert Kennedy assassination remains unanswered.

The links between Manson and the Process are well-documented. Gorightly: 
In Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi recounted how Manson had been bragging about a relationship with The Process, until one day he was paid a visit in jail by two brethren of the church, “Father John” and “Brother Matthew.” After their departure, Manson seems to have clammed up for good about The Process, and since then has made no further comments.  
Maury Terry, The Ultimate Evil:
A jailed Manson killer told me Charlie's 'family' met Process leaders at the 'Spiral Staircase' house (the Process headquarters) near Los Angeles in 1968. Manson himself confirmed this statement in his autobiography. In a clear reference to the English group, he wrote that he met individuals who worshiped 'multiple devils' (there).
Despite the many denials of their association from the Church and their supporters, The Process magazine would later publish a piece by Manson:
In “The Death” issue of Process from 1971, a brief article by Charles Manson appeared, entitled “Pseudo-profundity in Death,” which Charlie penned during the course of the Tate/LaBianca trial. In this article, Manson described death as “total awareness … Coming to Now … and Peace from this world’s madness and paradise in my own self.”  
This was not a news piece- this was a commissioned article. Meaning the Process hired Manson to write the piece, meaning they had contact with him while he was in prison.

So what is it then? Were the killings mere drug hits or were they meant to trigger a race war? Or were they ordered by an "apocalyptic English satanist cult" with links to mind control and the RFK assassination?

Or what if it was all three?


Great effort is now being made to rehabilitate the Process Church and attack their critics (like Sanders), but what if the Church were just another front for more troubling activities, including drugs, mind control and political extremism? 

What if the Church's congregants had no idea what other players were actually doing behind the curtains while they went about their zany cultic business?

Perhaps we'll never know. 

But we should look at their travels in 1966 anyway. They apparently went from Nassau to the Yucatan Peninsula to New Orleans.

That's a very interesting path indeed. 

First Nassau. From a 1981 Christian Science Monitor article entitled "Bahamas: an island paradise for drug traffickers":
Tainted cash flowing in from drugs smuggling has permeated every sector of the economy.  
The story is much the same in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas, where many new commercial ventures funded by drug money are changing the face of the inner city.
Then Yucatan. From a STRATFOR report on drug cartels in Mexico:
While some South American drugs come into Mexico on land at the Guatemalan border, most are shipped via air or boat along two main routes. The first route enters the Yucatan Peninsula by either remote airstrips or the port of Cancun and then goes across the border into Texas by land, air or sea along the Gulf of Mexico.  
"As a port city, New Orleans was a gateway for drug smuggling well into the 20th century, and the city's historic tolerance for gambling, drinking and other behaviors proved conducive to drug dealing and addiction," state museum historian Karen Leathem said.
What exactly were this English cult -- who'd later set up branches in other cities like Boston and San Francisco-- doing, hopping around these smuggling hotspots like that? 

And why exactly would get mixed up with all these apparent drug hits in Los Angeles?

I guess we'll never know.

But we do know that New Orleans was also where DA Jim Garrison's conspiracy case on the John F. Kennedy assassination was filed, and where many of the key players in it were headquartered, including Mafia don Carlos Marcello.

What was that about Sharon Tate again?
According to the INS report, this “English satanic group” purportedly took out a contract with Manson to kill Sharon Tate because of something she overheard at these parties regarding Sirhan Sirhan.
In one of those zany, wacky, loony coincidences you can only chalk up to kismet, the Process Church would fall apart in early 1974, shortly after Air America, the CIA's airline widely reported to have been involved in drug smuggling (particularly from South America), had its operating authority canceled by the CAB, or Civilian Aviation Board.

Weird, wacky stuff.


The Process wasn't the only cult Manson was involved with. Another LA area cult would enter the mix when a grim headline hit the papers.

As it happened, there'd be no Thelemic solidarity once the Solar Lodge scandals hit the wires. Especially not when the magic "Manson" word was uttered:"OTO leader Grady) McMurtry promptly informed on Brayton to the FBI, almost certainly to avoid his own affairs being investigated too closely.

Reports of the Family's involvement with the Solar Lodge came in from other sources as well: (Ed) Sanders reported that at least five separate sources informed him that Manson was involved with the Solar Temple Lodge...Sander's also claimed that a house owned by Brayton at 1251 West Thirtieth Street in Los Angeles was supposedly frequented by Manson. [In fact, it was Manson ‘Family’ member Tex Watson, not Charles Manson.

Alex Constantine wrote that the Solar Lodge were another link in the Mansonian apocalyptic chain and used similar tactics on their members as did Manson himself:
 The group subscribed to a grim, apocalyptic view of the world precipitated by race wars... The Riverside O.T.O., like the Manson Family, used drugs, sex, psycho-drama and fear to tear down the mind of the initiate and rebuild it according to the desires of the cult's inner-circle.
The Braytons used their proceeds from the cult to buy a number of properties in the LA area. How exactly they raised these funds is unclear. It's difficult to imagine they did so from members' dues, as some ex-cultists have claimed.

A former member detailed just how brutal the cult leader's control tactics were, charges which were disputed by some lodge members: 
Candace Reos, a former member of the Solar Lodge, was questioned by the police in 1969. She stated that Brayton practised thought-control on the Lodge's members; one member, she remembered, was ordered to curb his sexual desires by cutting his wrists every time he was aroused. Mrs. Reos told the police that when she herself became pregnant, Brayton was outraged, and told Reos that she would have to train herself to hate the unborn child.  
Reos went on that the children of the group's forty-three members were kept apart from their parents, and received special "training" that was given in "very severe tones." She added that "there was a lot of spanking involved, and a lot of being enclosed in dark rooms." The teacher's punishments "left welts", and the Order parents themselves were sometimes ordered to beat their own children.
Following the headlines over child abuse, Brayton and her husband would flee to Mexico and other members would be jailed. 


The Manson story was a Hollywood story, a story of the young Hollywood demimonde run amok, and its flirtation with the new breed of rough trade ending as badly as anything Kenneth Anger had ever chronicled.

So perhaps it's no surprise that Hollywood was quick to reassure itself in the grand Hollywood tradition.

Or perhaps the not-so-grand tradition: a 1970 TV movie called Ritual of Evil, that I previously reviewed on the Satellite.
(I)ts plot is ripe with parallels to the Manson Family case, though none of the details that people might normally focus on. Instead, it seems to be encoding details about Sharon Tate, the Process Church and the bad news party scene on Cielo Drive, all those details that didn't begin to surface until Ed Sanders' muckracking expose, The Family was published in 1971, a year after this film aired.
In Ritual, a rich young woman named Aline Wiley is discovered dead on a beach, and investigation into her apparent suicide reveals that a satanic cult called Capricorn has been making the rounds in LA, spicing up the orgy scene with mock human sacrifices and black masses. At first suspicion falls on a folk singer (played by Georg Stanford Brown) who is lodging on the Wiley estate, especially since he recently spent time in prison on a drug rap.
But Sorrell soon learns that Aline was mixed up with Capricorn and used to bring hippies to her parties (read: orgies) and subject them to nasty, satanically-tinged S/M games. These games then climax in the ritual sacrifice of a poor bearded hippie- that is to say, a Charles Manson-lookalike as sacrificial lamb (patsy?)- and Aline's own death. 
All of the mayhem is orchestrated by other parties, however, who use these dabblers and hippie wastrels as puppets. Oddly familiar somehow...
The patsy angle is only reinforced by the appearance of several Manson Oswalds. Whoever wrote this thing knew their Weirdness. And their semiotics: naming a satanic cult "Capricorn" would do nicely if you wanted to create a Process Church analog, considering that they worshiped Christ and Satan in equal measure. Christ was born in the sign of Capricorn. 
Several details pop out at you while watching Ritual of Evil.

First of all, the actress who plays the Sharon Tate character is in fact a dead ringer for Sharon Tate. Her name is odd- Aline. But if we scroll back up to Tate's involvement in Eye of the Devil we remember Alex and Maxine Sanders' involvement in that film. 

AL-ex and max-INE= ALINE. Get it?

So we're not only are told this is Sharon Tate, we're told what she was up to and why she was up to it. The sacrifice here is an obvious reference to the beating of the Strip drug dealer and other sicko games Tate presided over.

Bear in mind this aired six months after the murders.

• Secondly, there's a washed-up female screen star running around the house in question  (which is actually a fabulous beachfront property in Malibu). This is an obvious (and unkind) reference to Doris Day, whose son Terry Melcher was renting the house on Cielo.

There's some genuine occultism dropped into the script, some Book of the Law and call outs to Astarte and other figures you wouldn't hear cited in your usual dopey Hollywood Satanist potboiler.

The Proce...sorry, Capricorn is presented an organization with a decadent but essentially harmless front and a much more serious and diabolical force operating behind the scenes. And as the public would only find out much later about the Process, the male leader of Capricorn is a poseur and a buffoon and the real power lies with its female leader.

Fascinating. What did these producers know about the Process and the party scene at Cielo? Were they trying to tell us something about it here?

Just in case you didn't get the hint they actually were talking about the Process here, they include a subplot about a German Shepherd that's used in "Capricorn's" rituals.

• And this is perhaps strangest of all: having met and spent time with Jacques Vallee I can tell you that Louis Jourdan is doing a dead-on Vallee in Ritual.
I believe this and Fear No Evil- both intended to launch a proposed series titled Bedeviled- started life as UFO-themed series about Vallee or a Vallee-like character and that Jourdan studied film and video of the UFOlogist (who had made a splash in the Sixties and was close friends with Anton LaVey) to prepare for the role.

The writer seems to have read Passport to Magonia; the Jourdan character takes a Jungian-type approach to the cultic activities, and there's even an older,  more mystical Aime Michel-type character who is used for expositional purposes.

LtoR: Jacques Vallee, Anton LaVey, Aime Michel

Ritual of Evil aired in February of 1970. Think about that for a moment.

What does this mean?

Given the time it takes to write, prepare and produce even a made-for-TV move, it means it must have been written before Charles Manson and the rest of his family had been arrested for the Tate-LaBianca murders.

It may have been written before the murders themselves.

Telling tales out of school indeed.

Since one of the Mansons in the film was a "sacrificial lamb" for the, Capricorn's black mass, what does that tell us about lifetime loser Charles Manson, who had once begged the authorities to keep him in prison because he didn't know how to live on the outside?

What ritual is the film's title referring to exactly?


I apologize for all the alignment issues in various browsers. I have no idea what's going on with this site anymore.

* In other words a lot like now, only with a news media that actually did its fucking job and spoke truth to power.

The witch in Ritual of Evil is played by Diana Hyland, who was the original mother in Eight is Enough, based on a novel by a CIA agent.

And yes, Ritual of Evil is staffed with all kinds of Leslie Stevens people, including Hyland herself.


  1. Regarding the connection of Tate learning something about RFK's murder, RFK's autopsy showed that he was shot by someone standing close behind him, not by Sirhan. Sirhan probably did shoot Paul Schrade, who survived and tried to convince the parole board to release Sirhan at his last hearing.

    1. Yes, Sirhan was your classic patsy. The real question becomes why was RFK killed and why does the Process show up in the story? New Orleans and Carlos Marcello could offer a common denominator, as well as the various Agency cutouts operating there.

  2. Chris, my man, you are on FIRE. Never in all my born days did I think I'd ever find the content, writing, and quality to match Jeff Wells' famed Rigorous Intuition site from years gone by, but you have matched and exceeded those lofty standards.
    The connecting junctions between the Solar Lodge, the OTO, Four Pi, the Process, and the Sovereign Order of the Solar Temple, which boasted Princess Grace of Monaco as a member, are dizzying, and it goes on and on.

    Whitley Strieber's strange 1968 history includes a trip to London and meeting with the Process, along with tales of a secret school for gifted children in Mexico (shades of the Finders.)
    There's so much; your linkage of Vallee and LaVey is well noted and disturbing, can Aquino have been far behind the curtains?

    Your linking to Sanders' story about Tate unfortunately hearing something at a Cielo party she shouldn't have about Sirhan runs parallel to supposedly something Darlene Ferrin (Zodiac victim) heard at a party about the mind controlling of a foreign asset being programmed to take out an American political figure prior to the RFK assassination. Both Tate's and Ferrin's murders were within a month of each other and bring to mind not only ritual but the ominous fingerprints of a possible clean-up operation going down.

    My take on the whole thing is here:

    Chris, I would love to get in touch with you privately. If you choose to do so, you can reach me 24/7 at
    (If I'm not allowed to put personal emails here please remove this and excuse me...)
    Please keep up this stellar work. You're making the world a better place with knowledge.

    1. Jeff Wells set a standard I don't think I could equal. Sad to see that blog go dark. I actually had the Ferrin snuff in an earlier draft- along with Altamount and other events in '69- but wanted to keep it trim.

      The Process disturbs me- I don't like the way they keep showing up. And there's this propaganda tug of war with two extremes battling it out, almost guaranteeing that the real truth is an altogether different territory.

      I don't know anything about them that anyone else doesn't but I do know that their travels after their formation are...curious. As is their access to money- they set up shop in high rent areas- and the dating of their dissolution. There's a pattern here that I haven't seen other researchers call out before.

  3. Excellent work Chris; thank you.

    In the late 60s I served drinks in a snug room within the larger LA club named "Arthur". It was private and frequented by major industry players. It was a bit weird to interact nightly with the stars who had always been a distant presence as I grew up.

    One night in the winter of '68 Tate and Polanski (only time I saw them there) were the first of their party to arrive. They sat alone at a table seating 6 or 8, for perhaps 15 or 20 minutes. Their faces were illumined predominately by candlelight from the table before them.

    I never saw them speak to one another, and they were noticeably lacking in animation. They sat looking mostly straight ahead or slightly downward, until their friends joined them and their demeanor became more normally sociable.

    Here's the thing: they were haunted-looking, and they seemed stranded in a pool of sadness. I had moments of eye contact with both of them over the time they were waiting and it was disturbing to experience.

    Images from that night nagged at me in the following days, and I think I remarked to a co-worker about the lingering feeling those images evoked. There was fear about them; hopelessness.

    1. I believe it. What we've heard doesn't sound like a healthy, equal relationship. And nothing kills a soul faster than fucking around with Satanic ritualism, not to mention whatever even more unsavory activities we've heard about. And in Polanski's case- know for sure about.

      The Dark Side of the Spirt World is seductive, there's no question about it. But example after example shows it's usually a very short ride with a long hangover. And a need to keep upping the ante to chase that high.

  4. This was a really, really, good one!

  5. Chris, the first couple of quotes in 'THE WHOLE OF THE LAW' are cut off along the right hand side... at least on my browser.

    Worth noting another connection to NoLa: Kerry Thornley - man of many pseudonyms, ex-Marine buddy of Oswald, co-founder of Discordianism, big influence on neo-paganism - was approached by a man in the city in the early 60s in a discussion about the feasibility of assassinating POTUS. And he was close friends with Robert Anton Wilson, who was friends with McMurty...

    1. Yeah, I'm having crazy problems with this site. I don't know what to do about it- alignment, spacing. It's driving me nuts. I know about Thornley- don't think he had any connections to the Process though. Do you know of any?

  6. It's been a while so my memory doesn't serve me well, but I'm pretty sure I remember reading about Manson's early years though not in great detail. Andy Colvin mentioned in one of his books, a series apparently, The e Mothman Photographer, that Manson lived in the area near Point Pleasant where Colvin grew up. Colvin was suspicious of a government involvement with a large Chemical plant near Point Pleasant, suggesting possible mind control on victims of Mothman sightings. If I remember correctly, he also suggested Manson would have made a good candidate because his father was absent and he spent time alone.

    I didn't read beyond his first book in the series and wish I could remember more detail, but the suggestions made some sense in light of governmental mind control going on for so long.

    1. Manson was in the system from a very early age. Who knows who got a hold of him. It appears the Scientologists worked on him in the early 60s. He seemed eager to seek out these heavy apocalyptic-oriented cults after getting out, too. Hellfire and brimstone.

  7. Forgot to mention how fascinating this series of yours is, Chris. But I go shower after reading and try to shake it off!

    1. It's dark, dirty stuff. A lot of what I'm going over has been explored by a lot of other researchers. But I'm framing all of this in the context of a working, which is probably why you're getting that nasty vibe.

  8. This isn't a good day for remembering ... Sorry. John Travolta's great love, Diana Hyland. John Travota the Scientologist today. Maybe cults are the only way for many aspiring actors to make it. Once involved, there's no safe place to escape?

    1. Travolta didn't need the Scientologists to make it. They seemed to need him more than he needed them. It's a real enigma, that group and its followers. But Hubbard had a point about the psychiatric establishment, that's for certain.

  9. Chris, you're very brave!

    So true, that "Ritual of Evil" was most likely written before Tate-Bianca massacre.

    Preparing the public ritual, the film, prior to the actual ritual, the massacre, just screams revelation-of-the-method.

    1. Well, from the looks of it, Ritual was filmed in the spring of 1969. So yeah, creepy as it gets.
      And the Stanford-Brown character recording his Manson-sounding songs on the *beach*? I mean, hello?

  10. CLK- Here are two takes on 60's mishigas from a completely alien paradigm- The first is on Manson, the second is my take on the Kennedys-

    1. Miles Mathis is a trip. He thinks all consensus reality post 1900 was a colossal Potemkin Village concocted by American intelligence agencies.

    2. Well, who's to say it wasn't, right? It's certainly an interesting theory but I think I'll stick with a more conventional narrative or timetable of the events at Cielo Drive. I'm having some major issues with the image analysis here. But there's always a good reason to question official stories.

  11. The CIA is missing from this post. Fritz Springmeier claims Manson was a programmed multiple. He claims a lot but Jonestown falls into place when viewed as another CIA mind control experiment. I watched Rosemary's Baby recently. It's riddled with Hollywood mind games. Best covered by an article on Vigilant Citizen and I urge people to read the lengthy but well informed comments.

    1. Who exactly do you think ran MK-OFTEN- the Better Business Bureau? Read the series.

  12. I remember watching "Rosemary's Baby" years ago on tv. It was a strange experience. I wouldn't say that it scared me, but the day after I walked around in some sort of daze. Spooky.

    1. It's a very powerful story and certainly Polanski's peak as a filmmaker. I think he started on a steady downhill trajectory from that point forward, like so many of his generation of directors.

  13. Wow. All that stuff with the Solar Temple (OTO) is eerily similar to the true-life case the first season of True Detective was inspired by.

    Also -- never heard of that film, "Ritual of Evil," before today. Great find, Chris. Great analysis as well.

    1. I had actually reviewed on the Solar Satellite a few years ago but it nagged at my subconscious. It's either an example of artistic clairvoyance or something altogether more troubling.

  14. As far as film omens of the tragic Tate murder are concerned and the sinister background to all this, it is worth mentioning Polanski's seminal and groundbreaking 'Repulsion' from 1965. Four years before the murders. Catherine Deneuve's character in that film and Deneuve's beauty itself, reminiscent of Sharon Tate and her fate, it is eerie as well.

    1. Yes, which really makes you wonder, doesn't it? Poor deluded Sharon- she was cursed from the start.

  15. Chris-

    Thanks for pointing out "Ritual of Evil" --I am most excited about tracking it down now!

    It is especially interesting that this film appears to accurately depict the real mastermind behind the Process, namely Mary Ann De Grimston. I think a lot of the research on this topic has been derailed by a continuous focus on Robert De Grimston, who like his fictional counterpart, was a rather buffoonish figure. Mary Ann effortlessly booted him out of the Process and retained control of the bulk of his former followers. This does not jive with the depiction of Robert as a mesmerizing cult figure.

    Interestingly, once the Process had petered out in the mid-1970s, Mary Ann rebranded it as a Christian fundamentalist sect until the early 1980s, when it once again was reborn as Best Friends Animal Shelter. I've found indications that the Process had ties to one of the most notorious (and intelligence-connected) Christian fundamentalist sects on the second half of the twentieth century during the 1960s, but I am still trying to confirm these ties.

    The neo-fascist underground is also I believe a crucial component of this saga. Manson left San Francisco allegedly due to the "bad vibes" and ended up in L.A. At the time Southern California was absolutely ground zero for the John Birch Society, Christian Identity theology and the emerging militia movement.

    Manson attempted to establish an armed compound organized along paramilitary lines in anticipation of a race war --a vision that shares far more in common with a cult like the Covenant, the Arm and the Sword of the Lord than that of the 1960s counterculture. Manson would later forge close ties to the Aryan Brotherhood until he began to lose members to the prison gang.

    Maury Terry would link neo-Nazi Fred Cowan to the Son of Sam cult. Cowan had ties to a host of neo-fascist organizations, including the National State's Rights Party. The NSRP was a clearing house for a host of radicals, including long time FBI informant and soon to be convicted murderer Frazier Glenn Miller.

    Terry also linked the Son of Sam cult to the Atlanta child murders, in which KKK involvement has long been suspected. And of course the locations he gives for Process/Son of Sam outposts are most curious in this context --New Orleans of course had a lot of militia types working for the mafia in the arms-and-drugs smuggling operations. And then there's Minot, North Dakota. Certainly the region around it witnessed some curious happenings in this context during the early 1980s.


    1. There's a campaign underway to rehabilitate the Process and make them hip again. I'm absolutely stymied by it. Their literature is classic cult mind-control gibberish and they just happen to be connected to one horror show after another. Bad luck? Unfortunate coincidence? I don't know why no one ever bothered to connect the dots of their early travels. And the whole switchover to Fundamentalism is concurrent with the Agency's focus in the 70s, as we'll soon see. And Fundamentalism meant missionary work, which meant more travel to, uh, interesting locations. Like Jonestown- there's been very little investigation as to its involvement in smuggling but Guyana is a major hub for the cartels. Maybe that's what Rep. Ryan actually discovered on his trip there.

  16. I completely agree --the switchover to Fundamentalism is one of the most telling aspects of the whole Process saga, one of which is very little addressed. And yes, the drug angle is ripe throughout all of this.

    One of the more bizarre and under reported aspects of Jonestown was the absolute stockpile of drugs Jones had gathered there. I can't remember the exact figures, but there was well over a year's worth of opiates and/or amphetamines on the compound when the "suicides" broke out. If nothing else, the residents would have been very well medicated.


  17. Great stuff. I have read Levenda, Terry and McGowan but your way down the "rabbit hole" on this one. I will have to definitely watch "Ritual of Evil" now.

  18. I think i found this blog either via WWW or RI - Jeff's blog was excellent and although now 'dead' the forum is still good to track various topics.
    You have a huge knowledge of 'out there' subjects and your word cont is outstanding on each post and the posts are never in short supply !
    I am in the uK and we don't seem to have any dedicated writers(on these types of subjects) which is a shame but at least I can find material here that fills in the hole marked 'not available on MSM'
    Keep up the good work

  19. Seriously good research going on here. Chris--have you ever thought about doing your own documentary (or documentaries)? I think you'd excel at it.

    Regarding the Process: Adam Parfrey's Feral House reprinted a lot of their stuff, it seems to appeal to the nihilist wing of hipster culture, & in general those into being transgressive for its own sake...I've met people like that & they scare me.

    The connection to traveling to drug cartel hubs & missionary work is fascinating. It really does seem to link to CIA shell games & outsourcing of off-the-books activities. Curious too that they started in the UK. London & esp. Isle of Jersey have long been centers for drug money laundering.

    1. I read some of their stuff, to quote the Brits it will "do me head in!"

    2. Do you know Christian years ago I wanted to create a magazine called 'Shocking' that was when there weren't many mags out. I felt there was a gap in the market for some straight talking and interesting facts and I think the Internet filled that gap.

    3. By Jove if I'd have been in a position to do that mag it would of resembled an episode by David Attenborough today.

  20. Well done. Some of this reminds me of the late Dave McGowan's work, for obvious reasons.

    But I really want to ask about the show NBC aired last year, and that I am just getting hip to, Aquarius. Starring none other than David Duchovney. I am currently watching this on Netflix and was reluctant to do so initially. But Duchovney steals the show, every scene in fact, and I have been intrigued by the Manson plot line they are exploring.

    Any thoughts regarding Aquarius?

  21. As a big fan of the late Dave McGowan's work this is brilliant stuff. However, I want to ask if you have seen the NBC show currently on Netflix called Aquarius. I had no idea this was on last year and reluctantly started watching it. Needless to say Duchovney steals every scene but it's the Manson plot line they explore that has me coming back for more. Have you seen this show?

  22. If anyone is having fun with Miles Mathis, try this guy, too- I've posted a couple of pages, but try from "Sir Faul" forward if you are feeling fenced in by your paradigmatic corral-

  23. Chris,

    As I was reading this (excellent) report, one word kept coming to mind: Matamoros.

    It's tickling the back of my skull. Though I have no direct connections to make, there seems something about the parallels with Manson and Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo. Cult leaders with connections to the drugs trade, followers giving each their own little Murder Inc, black magic beliefs that are far more than a hip veneer, even HQ that are based on ranches. Beyond these, I can't say. Perhaps it is coincidence.

    When I saw the new movie on the Process at the Harvard Film Archive over the winter, a dozen or so members of the Satanic Temple were in attendance. This included their leader - name escapes me, sorry - who read a prepared statement before the screening. He was pressing the Free Thought/Belief aspect of it all, and drew a philosophical lineage from his group to the Process. The theater was nearly full on a Saturday morning, and the movie was a slick and energetic portrayal of the Process members as Seekers on a wild ride of self-discovery. Of course, Mary Anne is dead, and Robert refuses to speak to anyone, so it is easy to see the rank-and-file as unaware of any dark connections. Need to know, much as in the intelligence community. Hmmm...

    I've seen Best Friends set up tables at several concerts around Boston. One has to wonder if the enthusiastic volunteers behind those tables have any inkling of its lineage.

  24. Did you see that two members of the family are being/have been released on bail? I think one was let out in July, and one is coming up. As well as Reagan's would-be assassin... weird.

    My daughter (toddler age) the other day when she was taking a bath said, "daddy, can we ride the helter skelter?" which freaked me all the way out. I asked her where she heard that and she said, "I dunno," which I've learned is toddler for, "I haven't learned how to use my brain like that yet." I stewed on it for a few days, then I heard it in a cartoon she loves, a British cartoon about a family of pigs called Peppa Pig. The thing is so tame and uneventful, I feel insulted that it exists, but apparently there's a roller coaster in the cartoon named The Helter Skelter.

    Which seems like a weird thing to be in a kid's cartoon post-1969, doesn't it?

  25. This may be of interest; lots more on the Process

  26. I could've sworn I read that Tate and Polanski had dinner with RFK the night before he died?

    Also, did I miss the first three parts of this series?

  27. 28IF
    VW on the front of Abbey Road.

    Historic registration number of the vehicle used by the Manson Family the day of the murders.

    License plate of the car Roman Polanski presented to Sharon Tate on her last birthday alive.

    Have you seen the little PGYs?

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