Genesis P-Orridge and Psychic TV have changed and formed underground culture like no others! On a personal level, I have always been in awe of this human for the way he has always lived life by NO RULES! This killer footage of Psychic TV from 1984 – 1990 shows their influence on two different decades. No other person on the planet can say that they had a hand in starting both industrial and acid house, but Genesis P-Orridge can. I remember being told about the TOPY as a teenager, but it was not until I got older that could really wrap my head around it. I feel like this crew of humans sacrificed being different in the eyes of normality so that future generations could be themselves. Sacred Bones and Dais Records have joined forces to create a documentary called A Message From The Temple that talks about the struggles that TOPY faced in the 80’s…Check out this thought-provoking trailer below, plus you can donate to the project via their kickstarter HERE! I could not imagine youth culture or the world without this crew – their effect is still being felt today!
A MESSAGE FROM THE TEMPLE The Story of Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth
Disenfranchised by 80s counterculture in the UK, a group of subvertive artists founded an “anti-cult” dedicated to liberation through ritual sex and magick, forming an international network and incurring the wrath of
A MESSAGE FROM THE TEMPLE explores the myth and memory surrounding Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth (TOPY), an “anti-cult” formed in the 1980s by a group of UK artists. Conceived in the aftermath of the punk and industrial countercultures, TOPY drew on the tenets of provocation, transgression, and the DIY ethos to form an internationally reaching network bound together by an esoteric sensibility. A MESSAGE FROM THE TEMPLE traces TOPY’s influences and inception to its dramatic downfall and enduring legacy.
TOPY sought to create a non-hierarchical community where individuals could pursue their true potentials through magick rituals fueled by orgasm and experimentation with drugs. Taking their cues from earlier generations of outsiders, TOPY’s influences span the occult philosophies of Aleister Crowley, the radical writings of William
S. Burroughs, and controversial alternative communities such as The Process Church of the Final Judgment, Jim Jones, and the Manson Family.
This loose organization deliberately gave the impression of a cult and produced literature, records, and video com- munications concentrating on rituals, sex magick, and sigils, along with other disciplines and dogma. Through their self-distributed works, performances of experimental pop group Psychic TV (the “propaganda arm” of TOPY), and lived realities, the denizens of this underworld sought to transcend the normative constructs of culture, sexuality, order, and reason; to examine and undermine systems of power; and to reach ecstatic states of being. In doing so they often hurdled past the outer limits of propriety, arousing the moral wrath of “Satanic Panic”-era British authorities and causing the subsequent Scotland Yard raid and political exile of the group’s central figurehead, artist and provocateur Genesis P-Orridge.
Did TOPY ultimately relent to the systems of control it sought to transcend? Or was its existence an illuminating flash of the potential for the autonomy of the individual, poised to spark again? In a climate of political crisis and economic uncertainty, the ethos and urgency of TOPY’s message remains as relevant and influential today as it did during its initial inception thirty-five years ago. In the words of P-Orridge: “We need this now, more than ever.”
APPROACH & TECHNIQUE
A MESSAGE FROM THE TEMPLE will be an intimate portrait of the artists, occultists, and rock stars that sur- rounded Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth. Told through the eyes of its members, collaborators, and persecutors via contemporary interviews, personal archives, and historical accounts from the mainstream media, A MESSAGE FROM THE TEMPLE will provide an intimate glimpse in experimental living. Excerpts of ritual diaries, sigil work, private photo albums, answering machine cassettes, and home videos, along with original self-distributed propaganda, literature, films, recordings of TOPY conferences and musical output will be contrasted against the damning accounts from the outside world.