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Sex and Rockets – The Occult World of Jack Parsons

The occult, in the early part of the 20th century, set the stage for how it has come to be
perceived in the 21st Century. Never has the explanation of the third way come into a
mainstream light (except in works of fiction books and film) where it has been readily
played up with bright flashes of scintillating energy and half mad megalomaniacs bent on
short cutting their way to the realms of the Gods. Few have gone so far as to suggest the
connection between space and the realm of the divine powers except in some of the more
bizarre Lovecraftian tales of horror and suspense. (See The Best of H. P. Lovecraft). But
the ground work of this 20th century occult, while shaped in one part by Manly P. hall

Jack Parsons also shaped in character that was formed by the man Marvel “Jack” “John”
Parsons. And this tale, as told in the book “Sex and
Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons” by
John Carter is every bit science fact of rocket to the
moon as it is Aleister Crowley’s failure in inspiring
his new aeon and Babylon working to manifest in
his Thelemic following in Los Angles circa 1946.
In Jack Parsons, hubris and vanity were very much
a part of his wonder at the idea of sending rockets
into space. But even in his explosive demise,
Parson’s legacy on earth has crowned him a father

This was in the age of fiction and rockets were only the dreams of explorers and fiction writers. First published in 2004. In this early life he also found and embraced the works of Aleister Crowley which became his faith. dark pants). 15. by his practice of Thelema. Mathers. As it reads Carter spends considerable time in developing the history of the OTO from 1895 through Crowley’s taking over and the credibility collapse of its founders Kellner. as encapsulated in the book. A self taught scientist and rocketer. Parsons regularly corresponded with Crowley. foreground). Ed Forman and Jack Parsons (right. future JPL Director Frank Malina (white shirt. Apollo Milton Olin Smith. Reuss. of sorts.of modern Rocketry with a crater dedicated to him on the dark side of the moon. Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons is the biography of Jack Parsons. Like all men of vision. His devotion grew over time in that he became the head of the Agape Lodge of the OTO in the mid 1940’s which met and practiced in his Bohemian home in Pasadena. is an interesting read especially as it contextualizes their history with Crowley. left to right: Rudolph Schott. and Westcott. Parsons started his career path as a hobby of sorts. but also with . Image from NASA/JPL-Caltech The book spends a considerable amount of time on Parsons life. however. fueled in the exhaust of creating rockets to soar into the high earth atmosphere. Parsons worked endlessly to create sufficient thrust to make the rocket work. In this period. but also included some interesting details on the Ordo Templi Orientis order that Parsons was at first so devoted to. The history. whose agents locally praised him as the successor of Crowley’s New Aeon and great work. Nov. 1936.

even rocket scientists needing to work). but ultimately met his demise in a fiery explosion in his garage turned laboratory/workshop. Carter writes. “It seems to me on the information of our brethren in California that Parsons has got an illumination in which he lost all his personal independence. and gas stations (notably. Ron Hubbard It was in this era that Jack Parson’s variously worked at the predecessor of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Carter reports that the last words spoken by Parsons were “I wasn’t done…“. perhaps. Hubbard variously played scribe. L. Electric companies. Crowley even going so far to say of Hubbard: “Suspect Ron playing confidence trick–Jack Parsons weak fool–obvious victim prowling swindlers. Parson’s path merged in a John Dee/Edward Kelly fashion with the infamous L. Unlike Manly P. which was incorporated in 1934 and met for the first time in 1935. and polyamerious love interest to Parson’s spouse Betty who. a variety of explosives companies. Hubbard absconded with along with the start up capitol that he and Parson’s had used to start a business. At his end.Ron Hubbard (before his Scientology fame). confidant. Carter suggests that Parson’s was a man drawn by an over arched Oedipious complex and a life long search for a father figure. it would seem he found it in neither.their connections in Los Angeles in the early incubation of the occult today. Crowley sent Wilfred Smith (himself a student of the OTO and Crowley) with the purpose of opening an OTO lodge. Included in the book are the notes Hubbard took while acting as scribe in Parsons ritual workings. In this mix of engineering academia and occult practice. This final utterance is cryptic in that his professional life had blurred the line with his occult life leaving us to wonder which work he saw unfinished. From his start. both in Smith and in Crowley himself. Apparently it is the ordinary confidence trick.” In a letter a few days later he said. Hall (the author of The Secret Teachings of All Ages). . Sensing his end. From our brother’s account he has given away both his girl and his money.”. it seemed Parsons was destined for something great (magickly or otherwise). In this time.

His father took a hike while Parsons was a teen.The ruins of Parsons lab 1952 Carter does an ample job in giving life to Parson’s beyond his mundane occupation of jet propulsion and established him as one of the patriarchs of the occult in Los Angeles. Parson’s. left for us to continue to explore. Jack Parsons Jack Parsons was one Hell of a guy. which is available at Amazon. Hey. but his early dalliances and their display in the public sphere ushered in the modern perception of the occult and quite possibly the era of the baby boomers and their unknown working of the Thelemic philosophy that Parsons hoped would take hold. explored the paths he wanted to physically and spiritually. and not just because he might have been the I recommend the book Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter. few know his name in the occult community. What his tangible contribution is will be up to those who follow in his footsteps. despite his end. young Jack successfully summoned Satan to assuage his loneliness. and like so many other kids. haven't we all been there? . As notable as he is in the scientific community. John Whiteside Parsons was born in 1914. His unfinished work being his legacy. a child of wealth and privilege in unholy Los Angeles.

when he joined the California-based Agape lodge of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis. also affectionately called the "Jack Parsons Lab"). You would think all this scientific achievement would be enough for one person in one lifetime. Parsons was a bit of a wunderkind in two key areas — the occult and rocket science. according to his biography Love and Rockets (the author adds that later in life. Parsons legitimate claim to fame was in the latter field. He wanted to tear down the walls of time and space. Parsons helped create the famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena (the JPL. who made major breakthroughs in designing the chemical composition of liquid rocket fuels. Parsons threw . Werner von Braun claimed that Parsons (a highschool dropout) was the true father of the American space program. but his path to notoriety really started in 1941. Parsons' fuel mixtures eventually helped America land on the moon According to countercultural journalist Richard Metzger. but Parsons had a much loftier set of ambitions. Parsons had always been interested in occultism.The departure of his father also left Parsons with an Oedipal fixation on his mother. He was by all accounts a brilliant chemist. and he had an entirely non-scientific set of ideas on how to do it. Parsons is rumored to have filmed himself working through his complex through the novel approach of actually having sex with Mom).

as well as a mistress. He quickly took over the Agape lodge. They shared a zest for the work. One of Parsons' best pals in the OTO was a young L. the religion Crowley had either devised or channeled from beyond. The ritual was supposedly Marjorie Cameron intended to create a new age of free love by shattering the confines of four-dimensional space time. One of their big projects was the notorious Babalon Working. Parsons was an immediate success. depending on your point of view. . but the major portion of it appears to have been primarily focused on getting Parsons laid. Ron Hubbard.himself into the Eastern-inspired mysticism and hormonally inspired sex magic of Thelema. Crowley and his associates spoke of him as a potential successor to the Great Beast himself.

And I was stripped of my fortune (the sum of about $50. for after receiving Her Book I fell away from Magick. you can blame Hubbard. fortuitously enough for Parsons." Phase Two collapsed on itself when Hubbard left town with a mistress and (allegedly) a substantial sum of money. But that was also ." which is unsubtle making the connection clear: "Now it came to pass even as BABALON told me.The first stage of Babalon involved invoking an "elemental mate" — which. So if you're angrily wondering why the Earth isn't currently sex-soaked carnal paradise of peace. recouping my fortune somewhat. with Hubbard taking notes: Wild monkey sex with the goal of creating a "moonchild. Parsons' next big project turned out to be the "Book of the Antichrist. Parsons and Cameron set out to perform part two of the Babalon working. who would later emerge as a star of occult-oriented films by experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Then for a period of two years I worked in the world. Flush with the thrill of success. which is reflected in the evolution of his magical work. and all I Possessed.000) and my house." A moonchild in this context is best described as an Thelemic messiah. a magic homonculus monster child along the general lines of "Rosemary's Baby. and put away Her Book and all pertaining thereto. turned out to be a voluptuous redhead named Marjorie Cameron. Parsons got into a bit of a funk in the post-Hubbard era. both of which had previously been attached to Parsons.

and that oath. suicide. And thus was I Antichrist loosed in the world. that was in science. economic and/or political. took it seriously enough to open an investigation." Who knew it was so easy? Apparently noting that Antichrist is only a few letters away from "anarchist. since in theory things can only get better from there. in an explosion generally characterized as "mysterious. Documents recently released through the Freedom of Information act make up 130 pages of heavily redacted text in which G-Men try to make sense of Parsons' religious beliefs and document his frequently careless handling of classified materials. that the work of the Beast 666 shall be fulfilled. and to this I am pledged. The goal of all these efforts.taken from me. even the Oath of Antichrist before Frater 132. (then) I took the oath of a Magister Templi." the manifesto that follows is in large part an exhortation to "do what thou wilt" in most things bodily-fluid-drenched." Various theories suggest that the . having only the choice between madness. was to bring on the Apocalypse. and my reputation. Parsons died in 1952 in his home laboratory. none too keen about the notion that Parsons' taxpayer-funded salary might be supporting the Antichrist and the hastening of the Apocalypse. and my good name in my worldly work. according to Metzger." Parsons "swore the Oath of the Abyss. the Unknown God. By now you may be thinking "What a load of crap!" But the FBI.

in the end. but it's worth noting that within two years of the Babalon workings. Parsons is legitimately one of the fathers of the space program. the fact that his garage was filled with lots of explosive chemicals. and LSD was invented. things got a lot weirder. a magical experiment gone bad.explosion was the result of old grudges by his enemies. or maybe. he was just a sex-crazed maniac. In other words. which is no small thing.. which began in 1946. Maybe he knows something we don't.. after all. or some combination of the above. and they're getting weirder every day. . a sinister plot by the FBI. the first Atomic Bomb was detonated. the Roswell crash sparked a rash of UFO sightings that continues to this day. As for Babalon? Well. the jury is still out on the Apocalypse.