Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard Destroy the World

Note: You don’t have to read the previous post, Crowley Invoked a Little Lam, for this one to make sense, but it wouldn’t hurt.

“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Okay, that title is a little melodramatic. The UFO invasion hasn’t come yet…at least not in a sci-fi, War of the Worlds kind of way. The sordid tale of these two men and what they were up to in the mid-1940s may be no more than that, but it is interesting. It’s the true story that Xenu and your thetans don’t want you to know.

Jack Parsons and L. Ron HubbardJack Parsons was an honest-to-Cthulhu rocket scientist and one of the founders of Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena in 1943. He became intrigued with Aleister Crowley’s occult organization the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) when he was invited to and attended a performance of the Gnostic Mass in 1939. He joined the Agape Lodge in Southern California shortly thereafter in 1941 and soon came to be regarded as one of their golden boys by ranking members of the Order, including Crowley himself, who called Parsons “the most valued member of the whole Order, with no exception!” It was at Crowley’s request that Parsons took over leadership of Agape in 1942 when he had been a member for less than two years. What Parsons was not good at was keeping his occult interests a secret as The Book of the Law advises. He was frequently heard reciting Crowley’s “Hymn to Pan” for good luck before rocket tests. That sort of thing doesn’t go unnoticed and caused some concern among his coworkers. They tolerated it for a while because he was really good at his job, but that didn’t last.

At some point in 1945, Parsons was asked to leave JPL because of his “disreputable” association with the OTO. He soon began renting out rooms in his house to artistic types, which is how he met Hubbard. It wasn’t long after L. Ron moved in that he was banging Parsons’ girlfriend Sara Northrup, which was technically okay because the OTO strongly recommended a polyamorous lifestyle. Nevertheless, Parsons was reportedly extremely jealous of Sara’s infatuation with Hubbard, but she wasn’t alone. Parsons was also fascinated by Hubbard and they became friends despite the fact that Sara clearly preferred her new boyfriend to her old one. This clear case of cognitive dissonance must have taken a toll on Parsons’ mental state, because he began experimenting with non-OTO sanctioned forms of black magic that reportedly resulted in poltergeist-like activity around the house that included sightings of apparitions, glowing orbs and disembodied voices. There was also a supposed instance of howling banshees appearing outside all the windows of the house one night.

Since all of this wasn’t getting him whatever it was that he wanted to get, he decided to embark upon a series of magickal operations that he seems to have devised on his own called the Babalon Working. The purpose of this was ostensibly to create a physical manifestation of the divine feminine archetype, and one with a strong sexual aspect. What it sounded like to me when I first learned of this was that Parsons was trying to use magick (the preferred spelling for Crowley devotees) to create himself a new girlfriend. Honest to Goddess, the first thing that popped into my mind when I originally read about this was that it had to have been the inspiration for the movie Weird Science. To be fair to Parsons, his stated reason for performing this operation was more noble.

The present age is under the influence of the force called, in magical terminology, Horus. This force relates to fire, Mars, and the Sun, that is, to power, violence and energy. This force is completely blind, depending upon the men and women in whom it manifests and who guide it.The catastrophic trend is due to our lack of understanding of our own natures. The hidden lusts, fears, and hatreds resulting from the warping of the love urge, which underlie the natures of all Western peoples, have taken a homicidal and suicidal direction.This impasse is broken by the incarnation of another sort of force, called Babalon. The nature of this force relates to love, understanding, and dionysian freedom, and is the necessary counterbalance or correspondence to the manifestation of Horus.

Considering that this was being done in the wake of all of the horrors and atrocities committed by both sides during World War II, I’m inclined to give Parsons the benefit of the doubt about his motivations. If he happened to get a new girlfriend in the process, what was the harm in that? Anyway, he got Hubbard to assist him in these efforts, primarily to record the results, and it seems to have panned out, at least in Parsons’ mind.

Jack Parson and Marjorie

Following one performance of the Babalon Working that took place in the Mojave Desert on January 18, 1946, Parsons had an epiphany that his efforts were a success. He returned home to find that Marjorie Cameron, a friend of one of his boarders, had dropped by for a visit. He immediately determined that she was Babalon and enlisted her as his partner to complete the Working, meaning that they performed sex magick rituals in the desert while Hubbard looked on and took notes. The fact that Cameron didn’t mysteriously appear out of nowhere didn’t seem to be a problem, so Parsons must have been satisfied that it was just the spirit of Babalon that had been invoked and not an actual new Earthly inhabitant. The fact that she was willing to perform ritualistic sex acts with a man she just met while another man watched indicates to me that she was not the sort of girl that you bring home to mother. Nevertheless, she and Parsons were married later on that year.

He followed up the Babalon Working, which was concluded on March 4, 1946, by deciding that it was time to create a moonchild – a kind of messiah of the Aeon of Horus. Up until then, this whole concept existed only as the plot of Crowley’s 1917 novel of the same name. Parsons must have thought that the idea was at least somewhat plausible and that there was enough information in the book to allow him to make it a reality. What was Crowley’s take on this attempt to bring his novel to life? In a letter to Karl Germer, his future successor as head of the OTO, he wrote “Apparently Parsons or Hubbard or somebody is producing a moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but he needn’t have worried.

Some have said that Marjorie’s failure to become pregnant was a clear indication that Parsons failed to produce the intended messiah. Others say that this is a misinterpretation of what Parsons was doing and that the moonchild could have been born from any woman anywhere in on Earth. The lack of any great messianic figures appearing in the world over the next several decades would seem to me to be a better indication that his efforts failed.

While many seem to enjoy pointing out Crowley’s insulting comments made to others regarding Parsons and Hubbard’s activities, in communications with Parsons he was supposedly supportive of their efforts. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s Crowley, so anything is possible. He never liked Hubbard though. He considered him to be nothing more than a con man. For his part, Hubbard later claimed that he had been hired by military intelligence to infiltrate the OTO. Considering that Caltech was said to be a hotbed of OTO activity, that certainly seems plausible, especially considering the number of defense related projects underway there and at JPL at the time. It is also a fact that the FBI and the military were well aware of Parsons’ involvement with the OTO, and they were none too happy about it, which is of course what led to his dismissal.

l. Ron Hubbard and SaraNot long after they completed their magickal collaboration, Hubbard hatched a plan to either make both of them some fast cash or screw Parsons out of his life savings, depending on who you believe. Hubbard wanted Parsons to purchase three yachts in Florida and then he would sail them to California and sell them at a profit. Despite warnings from his friends that Hubbard was trying to swindle him, Parsons agreed to go along with the plan. Hubbard and Sara headed off to Florida with $10,000 of Parsons’ money to make the deal. It wasn’t until he got word that Crowley now considered him a fool who had let a scam artist make off with his money and his girlfriend (to be fair, his ex-girlfriend at that point) that Parsons had a change of heart and flew to Miami to stop them. When he got there, L. Ron and Sara had already set sail, but they were forced to return to port when they hit an unexpected squall. Parsons later claimed that it was a combination of spells that he had cast once he discovered that they were gone that caused them to turn back. There were reasons to believe that their destination was not California, and they were compelling enough that a court dissolved their partnership and ordered Hubbard to reimburse Parsons. Any intentions by Parsons to pursue further legal action were squashed by Sara, who reminded him that she was only 17 when their affair began and that he could still be prosecuted for statutory rape. So ended the relationship between the rocket scientist and the future founder of one of the world’s most controversial religions.

Parsons died in an explosion in his home laboratory in June of 1952. Though the police deemed it an accident, some were dissatisfied with their conclusions and suspect that he was murdered. A few others claim that it was suicide. I wasn’t there, so I have no idea what happened. After Parsons’ death, Marjorie went on to become a fixture in the Los Angeles art scene, partly because of her association with Parsons and the OTO, which I guess made her mysterious and therefore interesting.

As for Parsons’ scientific legacy, he has not been treated well. Watching scientists today try to distance themselves from Parsons is pretty amusing. Anything that backs up that fast should have a beeper on it. Depending on who you ask, he was one of the big shots at Caltech at the time. Others claim that he had little to do with it and was mainly attached to Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Early scientists at JPL joked that this acronym actually stood for Jack Parsons’ Laboratory. The ones there today, or at least some of them, minimize his contributions to rocket science despite the fact that he has a crater on the moon named after him. Okay, it’s just a crater, not a quasar or a comet or anything cool, but it’s still more than most people get. And for those of you who say that people who get involved in the occult aren’t exactly rocket scientists, well…

What became of Hubbard has been the subject of so much coverage and controversy that I need not try to summarize it here. And although I’m no fan of his, it’s only fair to point out that most of the more salacious accusations about the level of depravity in Hubbard’s personal life and philosophy came from his son Ron Jr. in an interview that he did with Penthouse. Junior clearly had a massive axe to grind with his father, so there’s plenty of room for doubt about the accuracy of his claims concerning his old man.

After Hubbard’s split with the Order, OTO members claimed that he had taken their methodology, which they say was designed to free the mind, and twisted it around into a system to enslave people. This method was, of course, Scientology. You can make your own determinations about the value of his religion and whether or not it enslaves people. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are probably working on a script for the play as we speak.

How all of this Babalon/moonchild business ties in with Lam and UFOs is still far from clear to me, other than that Crowley and the OTO were involved in both. There are those who insist that what Parsons and Hubbard were doing tore open a rift that connects our world with the world of Lam and the UFOs and that it was a hole that they could not close, for better or worse. I’m not sure why this would be, unless Babalon and Lam come from the same place (the collective unconscious?). The primary source for these assertions would seem to be Parsons and Hubbard’s Kenneth Grantown notes, which I haven’t seen and so can’t personally verify. What is clear is that Kenneth Grant, who was undeniably fixated on Lam and his apparently extraterrestrial brethren, “credited” Parsons and Hubbard with bringing about the current age of the flying saucer which officially began in 1947 with Kenneth Arnold’s sighting over the Cascade Mountains, although I must point out that pilots on both sides during WWII reported encountering UFOs on a fairly regular basis. The slang term used by American pilots for these objects was “foo fighters,” and both sides thought that they were an enemy secret weapon until after the war when it became apparent that neither side possessed this sort of technology. This indicates to me that Grant was trying to attribute a measure of OTO responsibility to a phenomenon that likely has nothing to do with them, although he would probably counter with the argument that Crowley originally opened this portal years before with the Amalantrah Working. Parsons and Hubbard just tore it wide open. I remain skeptical.

Great. Now I’ve got the Scientologists and the OTO pissed off at me. It’s been nice knowing you.




and all the devils are here





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