In the middle of the California desert, two men and a woman had performed a black magic ritual in their hopes of birthing the antichrist and taking over the world. A ritual that would require they use various Satanic sacraments, drugs, bodily fluids, and have sex – both heterosexual and homosexual to form a permanent unholy magnetic chain between the two men, woman, and God forbid, the child.
It was 1945, and these men were not just some run-of-the-mill Satanic freaks.
One man was a former Naval intelligence officer who became the founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard.
The other man was arguably one of the most brilliant American rocket scientists ever and alleged NASA founder, Jack Parsons, who was also a disciple of “the wickedest man alive” and self-appointed, “Great Beast” Aleister Crowley -the global leader of an infamous magical secret society – Ordo Templi Orientis’ (O.T.O.).
The O.T.O. is an occult initiatory organization founded at the beginning of the 20th century by the Germans Carl Kellner, Heinrich Klein, Franz Hartmann, and Theodor Reuss. Crowley had taken over the OTO furthering their teachings with “The Book of the Law,” which he claimed had been dictated to him by a demon called Aiwass upon which he created his own religion, rituals, and philosophy called “Thelema.”
The ceremonial magic they were performing was part of Crowley’s “The Babalon Working.” It was a series of sexual rituals designed to conceive an actual human fetus and a spiritual child infused with the evil spirit of Babalon. But first, the two men had to find a willing and suitable woman who would agree to the unholy sex acts and birth a possible demon child. That woman was Marjorie Cameron. After seeing her, Parsons wrote to Crowley, “I seem to have my elemental… she has red hair and slant green eyes as specified.”
Marjorie Cameron was an artist but also happened to be in a sexual relationship with fellow honorary O.T.O. member and the occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Cameron was instantly magnetized to the two men with the O.T.O. teachings, Parson’s good looks, and Hubbard’s charm. However, Kenneth Anger was not too happy that his two fellow O.T.O. members were not only making moves on his girl, but they were also recruiting her to perform sex magic. For the decades that followed, Anger would voice his low opinion of Hubbard, stating in an interview for a radio documentary describing him as an “elemental demon.”
As you can see, the NASA scientist Parsons and Church of Scientology’s Hubbard were well-known practicing black magicians and who we can label as Satanists. But where did they learn this magic, and when did their venture into the Satanic State of Mind all begin?
While still a student at the University of Southern California, Jack Parsons had become interested in the writings of Aleister Crowley, the English sorcerer who called himself ‘The Beast 666.’ Crowley’s dabblings in black magic had also earned him the title in the media as ‘The Wickedest Man In The World’. and his The Book of the Law preached a doctrine of ultra individuality to the wayward generation of the 20th century enshrined in a single sentence –
‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’
Parsons was not only intrigued by this concept that encouraged indulgence in forbidden pleasures, but he also wanted to become the American Antichrist version of Crowley to implement them here in the United States. A Satanic test dummy of sorts. To do so, Parsons eagerly attended one of Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis’ (O.T.O.) masses at the Agape Lodge in Los Angeles, California in 1939, and became enamored with their ideas and teachings. Members were encouraged to explore individual sexual freedom and swap partners — both male and female.
Two years later after the meeting, Parsons and his then-wife, Helen became full-fledged members of the O.T.O. Parsons quickly rose through the ranks in the O.T.O. and by the early ’40s began having regular correspondence with Crowley, always addressing his master as ‘Most Beloved Father’ and signing his letters ‘Thy son, John’.
Around the same time, Parson’s father died, so he inherited a three-story family mansion at 1003 South Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena, which he rapidly transformed into a house of black magic and sex rituals. He began renting rooms advertising for tenants in the local newspaper specifying that only atheists and those of a Bohemian disposition need apply. It quickly became the hang-out spot for out-of-work Hollywood actors, writers, artists, and musicians who went there for the ultra-liberal lifestyle of non-stop partying and free sex for days on end.
One of those guests, Alva Rogers, would eventually become a ‘semi-permanent resident. ‘She was fascinated by the house, its owner, and the occupants and had written about her experience in her diary. According to Rogers, Parsons never made any secret of his interest in black magic or his involvement with Aleister Crowley. She wrote;
“He had a voluminous correspondence with Crowley in the library, some of which he showed me. I remember in particular one letter from Crowley which praised and encouraged him for the fine work he was doing in America, and also casually thanked him for his latest donation and intimated that more would shortly be needed. Jack admitted that he was one of Crowley’s main sources of money in America,” she said.
For Jack Parsons, he was leading a double life whereby day, he was a respected rocket scientist working for Northrup and at night, a dedicated occultist. A secret black magician who believed passionately in the power of sorcery, the existence of demons, and the efficacy of magic spells to deal with his enemies. He was also experimenting with ritual sex magic and sleeping with other women despite being married.
While his wife was on a trip, Parsons began a sexual relationship with Helen’s half-sister, Sara “Northrup” Hollister. Even though the teachings of the O.T.O. encourage swapping partners, Parson’s wife was furious. Out of revenge, she began having an affair with Wilfred Talbot Smith – the head of O.T.O.’s Agape Lodge in California. Eventually, she divorced Parsons and married Smith becoming “Helen Parsons Smith.”
In 1943, Crowley campaigned to have Smith removed as an O.T.O. leader, declaring Smith “a god.” Crowley then ordered him to tattoo “666” on his forehead, abandon Agape Lodge and wander the desert, demanding that he make no contact with other O.T.O. members. It appears Smith never complied with Crowley but Parsons was elected as Agape’s new head.
At this point, Parson’s business and magical life were at their peak. Not only was he a leader in the O.T.O., but he had also successfully convinced the U.S. government that rocketry could be helpful in wartime. The U.S. Army was the first patron of what would become a Parsons new venture – the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, commissioning the lab to develop “jet-assisted take-off” rockets starting in 1939. In 1943, the U.S. Army ordered 2,000 rockets from his newly formed company called Aerojet.
It didn’t take long for the good-looking, popular, and wealthy Parsons to find his next sexual partner – 21-year-old Sara ‘Betty’. Around the same time, Parson’s met then science-fiction writer named Ron Hubbard, who later would become the founder of the Church of Scientology. Parsons was smitten by Hubbard’s charm and intelligence. The two men would form a business partnership funded by Parsons, who wrote to his Master, Crowley at the time:
“About 3 months ago I met Captain L Ron Hubbard, a writer, and explorer of whom I had known for some time… He is a gentleman, red hair, green eyes, honest and intelligent and we have become great friends. He moved in with me about two months ago, and although Betty and I are still friendly, she has transferred her sexual affections to him. Although he has no formal training in Magick, he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences, I deduce he is in direct touch with some higher intelligence, possibly his Guardian Angel.
He is the most Thelemic person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles. He is also interested in establishing the New Aeon, but for cogent reasons, I have not introduced him to the Lodge. We are pooling our resources in a partnership which will act as a parent company to control our business ventures.
I think I have made a great gain, and as Betty and I are the best of friends, there is little loss… I need a magical partner. I have many experiments in mind. I hope my elemental gets off the dime [gets moving] — the next time I tie-up with a woman, it will be on [my] own terms.”
Shortly after that, as I mentioned above, the two men performed homosexual ceremonial magic together in the California desert known as the “Babalon Working.” Crowley was in correspondence with Parsons during the rituals and warned him of his potential overreactions to the magic he was performing while also derailing their magic to other members he was in correspondence with. Other members of the OTO started to worry about his escapades were going to far. Jane Wolfe wrote a letter to fellow OTO member, Karl Germer. “There is something strange going on. Our own Jack is enamored of witchcraft, the houmfort, voodoo. From the start he always wanted to evoke something—no matter what, I am inclined to think, so long as he got a result.”
What was the result of Parsons’ and Hubards’ black magic escapades?
Parsons would create bombs for wartime and rockets that eventually put Americans on the Moon when it was all said and done. Hubbard made off with Parson’s girlfriend Sara, who he married, and most of his life savings that he would use to create a new multimillion-dollar religion called Scientology.
Greg Pendle, the author of the 2006 book and new T.V. series of the same name, “Strange Angel,” says that Hubbard made off with Parsons’ woman and money and a very lucrative idea he used to create the Church of Scientology.
“Parsons showed Hubbard a way — a kind of format for forming a religion,” said Pendle. “Crowley came up with this kind of structure of a mystical society. A hierarchy where you move your way up, and each time you move up a level, you find out more, but you have to pay to move up those levels. And so, I feel like Scientology’s whole structure is based on this cult that Parsons was part of.”
Parsons was devastated for the first time, with jealous rage, and vowed to get revenge against his business partner and an unloyal homosexual lover – Hubbard.
Parsons found that Hubbard used his money to purchase three boats in Miami, Florida but was unwilling to show him any financial records. Parsons headed to Miami to try and get his girl and money back but was unsuccessful. Writing to Crowley, he called Sara and Ron – “children of my folly” mentioning that he had not gotten back anything yet. Parsons later took Hubbard and Northrup to court, successfully dissolving their partnership, and took custody of two of the three boats while Hubbard and Northrup were allowed to keep the third. However, most of the money had vanished.
Parsons later referred to this in The Book of Antichrist, writing of being stripped of his fortune, and wrote to himself that “The final experience with Hubbard and Betty, and the O.T.O. was necessary to overcome your false and infantile reliance on others, although this was only partially accomplished at the time.”
Hubbard, who briefly served with the Office of Naval Intelligence, later alleged that when he met Parsons, he worked undercover for the agency to break up “black magic” in America. As one might expect, Hubbard also began having problems with his wife, Sara. It is well documented in police records that he was responsible for a prolonged domestic violence campaign against her and kidnapped both her and her infant daughter. Hubbard had repeatedly denounced her to the F.B.I., spreading false allegations that she was a Communist secret agent. The F.B.I. declined to take any action, characterizing Hubbard as a “mental case”.
In 1951, while Parsons was working for Hughes Aircraft Company, the F.B.I. revoked his security clearance because of his association with possible Communists. Legal authorities began an investigation into his “subversive” behavior because they alleged that making rockets for the government is impossible without some access to classified information. Maybe they didn’t think that his excellent knowledge and ability to make mass killing bombs came from the devil himself.
Parsons eventually regained his security clearance from the U.S. Government but was later accused of espionage for taking documents from Hughes and again was investigated by the F.B.I. Again, he was found not guilty, but this time his scientific career was over.
About one year later, on June 17, 1952, a massive explosion rocked Pasadena, California.
Amid the debris were strewn-about pages covered in symbols such as pentagrams and text written in unfamiliar languages. On the floor was the body of a man, in a pool of blood, whose face was half-ripped off and body shattered.
The man was Jack Parsons, who was blown to pieces by an explosion that also destroyed his house.
However, he managed to remain conscious of his hellish reality and burning flesh and sulfur after the explosion. Eventually, the light would fade. Then, finally, Parsons would die alone with his thoughts.
I can only imagine what he was thinking as his body lay tattered, and he may have reminisced what went wrong with his life. He was only 37 years old.
One newspaper headline read at the time, “Slain Scientist Priest in Black Magic Cult” and another said, “John W Parsons, handsome 37-year-old rocket scientist killed Tuesday in a chemical explosion, was one of the founders of a weird semi-religious cult that flourished here about 10 years ago.”
None of his fellow O.T.O. members would pay him homage or give him accolades for his great magical work and sacrifice for the Satanic cause. His Master Crowley would remain silent about his dead disciple.
One of the few people who loved Jack Parsons despite his sinful sex acts and Satanic lifestyle was a woman who knew him when he was an innocent boy long before he invoked demons and started parading around with Satanic freaks.
That woman was his mother who killed herself with an overdose of pills just hours after hearing of her son Jack’s death.
In the 1970s, Jack’s ex-wife, Helen Parsons Smith, became one of the most prolific publishers of Crowley’s books in the USA with her Monthelema and Thelema Publications imprints.
I believe Parsons was the willing victim of a human social experiment gone terribly wrong.
In the end, there was no funeral for one of America’s most genius and possibly evil rocket scientists ever.
Some might say that all Parsons’ black magic and sex rituals had failed. But the facts are they took him exactly where he wanted to travel into the Satanic State of Mind in a rocket ship to hell.
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.