Blue Moon Reloaded #2
byon 07-28-2010 at 05:22 PM (1189 Views)
Musings from Babalon...
Today I bring you the story of a rocket scientist that also had a very twisted personal life. And remember, while you're reading about this paragon that he was given huge amounts of money and power by the government.
Let me introduce you to John Whiteside Parsons.
One of the founding fathers of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, (he put the JP in JPL.), Jack Parsons was born in 1914 and died mysteriously in 1952. It was the time in between that gets really bizarre, though.
Most of us think of rocket scientists as fresh faced All-American geeks with a no-nonsense approach to life--- both public and personal. Not in this reality. Jack Parsons was rather good-looking and one of the most daring of all the new wizards of space.
His early work on extremely volatile rocket fuel was so highly regarded, that he has a crater on the Moon named after him. By August of 1941, his work had produced rockets stable enough to use as bolt on jet-assisted-take-off, (JATO). But before every test he had one strange ritual--- he insisted on invoking Aleister Crowley's "Hymn to Pan".
Post war, these JATO "bottle rockets", (modified Ercoupe light aircraft with twenty-eight pound per twelve-second thrusts, were the first jet propelled rockets, and made from mail-order aircraft.) evolved into the liquid fuel Corporal rockets and the solid fueled Sergeant.
Besides his penchant for ritually blessing every test, and dedicating it to the horned god of fertility, he also was an active member of the Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis--- aka the OTO. Parsons wrote Crowley extensively, addressing him as "Most Beloved Father." This to the questionable gentleman who claimed to be the Beast of Revelations.
Parson's abode, 1003 South Orange Grove Ave., in Pasadena was a virtual asylum for the poets, prophets, madmen, and the lost. He used to advertise for tenants--- specifying only bohemians, musicians, artists, atheists, anarchists, communists, and Satanists need apply. Tales of orgies, black magic, seances, drug use, and other strange things ran rampant about Parsons' household. (Kind of reminds me of Frank Zappa's song "Let's Make the Water Turn Black." With Kenny's little creatures on display.)
Parsons also was a big time womanizer who claimed to be the antichrist. Though I do believe it became a bone of contention between him and Crowley, who disliked Parsons' blasť attitude about discipline to "the craft." Parsons was definitely more of an alchemist than a practitioner of the black arts, but was way more interested in the sex-magick aspect of the OTO.
Parsons' house could also be found with some of the top names of science fiction literature lounging around his household. Most notably among them was Jack Williamson, A.E.Van Vogt, Robert Heinlein, Forrest J. Ackerman, and Alva Rogers. Ackerman headed up the L.A. S.F. Society, where Parsons also met Ray Bradbury.
Another couple of questionable characters that could be found in Parsons' company were Frank Molina, a powerful member in GALCIT3, Werner Von Braun, a Nazi scientist, and Dr. Hsue-shen Tsien, who became Chairman Mao's first man of missiles, creating the Silkworm missile.
Another running partner to this blend of genius and madness was L.Ron Hubbard, his partner in magickal workings. The Dianetics master himself moved into Parsons' house, and immediately became a pupil of Parsons', being initiated into the OTO. Together they decided to "create" an elemental. (A being from another dimension, sometimes fairies are known as elementals. Each of the four elemental signs in astrology has one. Water has ondines, Fire has salamanders, Earth has gnomes while Air belongs to the slyphs.)
In January of 1946, these two acolytes began a long, complex ritual to raise this otherworldly creature bestowed with magickal powers.
According to Parsons, it worked when two weeks later, Marjorie Elizabeth Cameron showed up and completely overwhelmed Parsons and Hubbard.
According to John Carter, in "Sex and Rockets," Cameron was "sprung from Parsons head like Sophia from the Godhead or Pallas Athena from Zeus." In February, Parsons wrote Crowley proclaiming; "I have my elemental!"
They next decided to perform another ritual to produce a "moonchild" between Parsons and Cameron called "Babalon Working." Which was supposed to re-instate a mythical lycanthropic race to power. This was actually a book written by one of Parsons' associates, Jack Williamson in a book called "Darker Than You Think." The premise being that when the moonchild was born, they would rise up against the tyranny of the human race and re-take their proper place as a world power. And for anyone who doesn't know--- it's a race of werewolves.
Things went awry however when Hubbard and Parsons' squeeze at the time, nineteen year old Betty Northrup disappeared along with ten thousand dollars of Parsons' money. Kind of blew that partnership right out the door and had Parsons throwing spells at the two who had tried to disappear by sea. Reportedly, the spell worked and Hubbard and Northrup were almost killed in a storm that blew up out of nowhere.
And then of course, anyone with such a flamboyant, colorful personality as Jack Parsons was not going to miss the ever watchful eye of J.Edgar Hoover. It was reported that he came under the investigation of the F.B.I. from the early 1940's to, at last count, 1951.
He was investigated for among other things, suspected communist affiliations, and activities. Finally culminating in losing his security clearance for alleged espionage.
On Tuesday, June 17th, 1952, (Though this date seems to change from source to source.) Jack Parsons' meteoric career came to an end as his house was rocked by two explosions, and he was consumed by the fire he so dangerously played with in life.
To read more about Jack Parsons, and his life, go to:
Jack Parsons on My Space...don't ask me.
GALCIT "Suicide Squad" picture listed under 1936
A very interesting and telling read:
Cameron: The Wormwood Star