The Occult Experience

In my office with the fast Ethernet connection, I downloaded the 1987 documentary The Occult Experience. It is available on various bittorent servers, such as here. (There was tie-in with Nevil Drury’s 1987 book of the same name, I believe.)

Lots of the film is actually older. Some footage goes back to the 1960s, such as a brief appearance of Isaac Bonewits during his Church of Satan experience. There’s Selena Fox and Dennis Carpenter and her coven trooping through the Wisconsin snow and some New York Witch mispronouncing “Samhain,” Alex “king of the witches” Sanders, The Temple of Set, and Janet Farrar teaching some students while Stewart smokes cigarettes in an armchair before robing.

One of the Farrars’ initation rituals is shown at length, and there is also a segment on the Australian Witch and artist Rosaleen Norton.

Also included: Z Budapest and her Dianic coven of the time, explaining how women used to curse warmongers, Luisah Tesh talking hoodoo, the Fellowship of Isis at Clonegal Castle, and Michael Harner of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. But what the filmmakers really love is the work of H.R. Giger.

What those Australian Pentecostals are doing in there, I’m not sure, except for the speaking in tongues and the exorcism. The latter just goes on and on (“Push it, Petra. In the name of Jeee-zuss, come out!”). Talk about savage rites!