Very little is known about Mary Ann McClean. She was reportedly born in Glasgow in 1931 and abandoned by her parents. She claimed to have moved to the United States for a brief time and married Sugar Ray Robinson before returning to England. However, no evidence of any relationship with the boxer ever emerged. It’s assumed Mary Ann made her living as a high-priced prostitute during her formative years. At left is the only known photo, likely taken around the time she met Robert Moore at London’s Scientology headquarters, where they rapidly advanced to auditor class.
Robert was a former cavalry officer born in Shanghai and posted in Malaya who’d taken up the study of architecture. He had connections in the upper crust of British society, was a quiet lad with high IQ, but suffered from a low sense of confidence, despite his long blonde locks and smoldering good looks.
Former Naval intelligence officer and Aleister Crowley devotee L. Ron Hubbard created Scientology using a biofeedback device called the e-meter, just one element of the emerging lie detector technology. But by asking probing questions and watching the rise and fall of the meter, it was easy to explore hidden dimensions of a subject’s personality.
People hide their true feelings and darkest corners, but cannot hide the electrical charge created when sensitive buttons are pushed. So e-meters were effective tools for exploring personality hang-ups. Plus talking about your deep psychological issues does have a therapeutic effect. But Hubbard was not a trained psychologist and many of his concepts were primitive, so when Robert and Mary Ann began applying the holistic psychoanalytic techniques pioneered by Alfred Alder (who invented the concept of inferiority complexes), they were branded SPs (suppressive persons) and banished from Scientology.
They opened their own version of Scientology, calling it Compulsions Analysis and began recruiting Robert’s friends to sign up for courses. Meanwhile, dominatrix Mary Ann began working on a total makeover for Robert, fashioning him into her new age messiah. Rich new acolytes were recruited by Mary Ann’s crew of hippie goddess super hotties and encouraged to sign over their possessions and bank accounts while taking vows of celibacy and poverty. Robert was working on a new cosmology constructed on top of Christianity, one that unified good and evil as parts of a whole. It was the same-old religion hoodwink, only one that incorporated many new elements from a wide variety of sources.
The early members began doing group meditation as well as intensive self-auditing. And, of course, there were the occasional orgies orchestrated by Mary Ann. These were unpleasant affairs involving heterosexual men penetrating each other in order to break down their sexual identities. Robert and Mary Ann never participated in orgies, but sat in highly-placed chairs overlooking the action so they could better direct the activities.
Having made significant in-roads inside the highest echelons of rock royalty in London, Robert eventually got invitations to speak at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, where he was soundly jeered by almost all in attendance. His delivery was a major problem, for while he looked the role of counterculture messiah, he mumbled and appeared passionless. The lectures would be his last and the Process decamped to Mexico where they experienced a brief moment of back-to-the-land hippie paradise. When reporters from England came to check on the situation they discovered bikini-clad Mary Ann surrounded by her devoted disciples of both sexes. Paradise came to an abrupt end, however, with the arrival of the worst hurricane in a century, demolishing their primitive encampment. Soon, they were headed back to England.
Robert’s knack for public relations is evident in this photo. Not only could he place the magazine in the hands of significant celebrities, he also had a knack for pushing buttons in the collective unconsciousness. Sadly, the core group who did almost all the work of recruiting, auditing, meditating, publishing, didn’t realize their mentors (now known as “The Omega”) were employing most of the group’s funds maintaining personal lifestyles. While the group willingly experienced great privations, Mary Ann and Robert lived in the lap of luxury. I’m reminded greatly of the Weather Underground who appeared a few years later, run by Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, a heavily-armed pseudo-hippie commune that practiced violence, while the Process just preached it.
A person who seems to have been influenced by the Process literature was Charlie Manson, who picked up on its apocalyptic memes as well as the catchy slogan: “As it is, so be it.” Manson employed orgies and group meditation to break down egos of his acolytes, much the same way as employed by the Process Church and the Weatherman.
So how did the love generation move so quickly to the dark side? By the time the Process arrived back in England, they were dressing in black and employing a swastika-like sigil. “Unleash the fiend within you,” became Robert’s mantra, and rumors of sex with animals began to emerge, while their magazine specialized in images of sex magic and battlefield gore. According to Mary Ann, Jews in Germany marched willingly into gas chambers because it was their karma to do so. Robert preached love for the devil, because wasn’t the devil Christ’s enemy? And didn’t Christ preach “love thy enemy?”
The end for the Process came with the unveiling of Charles Manson. Manson played the key role in undermining the youth revolt of the sixties, a pacifist movement away from fundamentalist dogma. The media portrayed Manson and his followers as members of the hippie subculture, and the Weather Underground encouraged this confusion by hailing Manson as a revolutionary hero for killing “pigs.” In hindsight, there seems to have been a coordinated effort to turn the love generation into gun-toting, murderous thugs, or at least promote the rise of a goth generation. My question is, what was driving this effort?
It’s unfortunate Ed Sanders pinned Charlie Manson on the Process Church, a meme picked up on and elaborated by notorious disinfo artist Ted Gunderson, former head of the FBI LA office, who launched the “satanic panic.” The inner core of the Process was a devoted group of pacifist monks and charges of animal sacrifice seem absurd considering the lack of evidence. Maury Terry would follow-up Gunderson’s fraudulent research with even more fantastic tales asserting the Process was the center of all evil in the world.
After Mary Ann booted Robert from his messiah role (for the crime of taking a younger lover), she eventually morphed her nonprofit corporation (registered in New Orleans) to the less controversial-sounding “Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.” Her death remains shrouded in mystery.
I can’t pretend to peel every layer of this onion, but I find it telling that Mary Ann detested children. Although many babies were born into the group, they were taken from their parents instantly and typically kept in dungeons. In many cases, the fathers were never determined. One group of malnourished Process toddlers was discovered in Chicago living in filth and being tended by a heroin addict. If some of these children were being sold into sexual slavery, as speculated, no hard evidence ever emerged. But it’s clear that although Mary Ann was a devoted animal activist, she had zero interest in children. Even more disturbing was her great love for fascism, especially her favorite: the Nazis, which is why the Process emblem was designed to resemble a swastika. She only wrote one essay for the Process magazine, an attack on men attending birth, something the counterculture was pioneering. In fact, Ina May Gaskin, the most enlightened of the emerging hippie midwives realized a positive and sexually-charged connection between both parents during the birth process was helpful to alleviating the primary issue in childbirth: fear. The real hippie culture was bathed in compassion and fomenting and instilling fear was a weapon deployed exclusively by fundamentalists and fascists.
It seems possible Mary Ann may have been a carefully concealed Tavistock mind-control experiment and if so, no one else in the group (including her husband) was ever made aware of the connection. Are the similarities between the Weather Underground, the Manson Group and the Process coincidences or a result of intelligent design? And how much influence and control did MI6 and the CIA exert on misdirecting the sixties counterculture? Did the culture lead itself off that cliff, or was it a carefully planned operation?
One Reply to “Inside the Process Church of Final Judgment”
Mary Tyler Moore wrote the forward for the “True Story of Best Friends.”
Why do you imply she was hapless?