Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nonsense 101: To The Moon and Way Fuckin' Beyond Alice!

It's rare that you find a rocket scientist and an occult enthusiast in the same room.
It's downright weird to find them in the same person.

Jack Parsons was just such a weird, weird man.

Born in 1914, Parsons was a college drop out who hated authority. His diary claims he visibly invoked Satan at the age of thirteen. He also had a deep, abiding love for science fiction stories and blowing shit up.

Pretty much the same as myself - except I never got around to putting a man on the moon.

Fast-forward to 1939. Parsons was a member of the not-so-affectionally dubbed Suicide Squad - named for their series of increasingly alarming explosions caused at CalTech while trying to create stable, usable rocket fuel. Their goal was simple: put the human race into outer space.

This was also the year Parsons discovered the writings of famed English Satanist Aleister Crowley. He started invoking the god Pan before every rocket launch. Silly bugger.

Around this time, Parsons also found a new buddy and fellow Crowely enthusiast named L. Ron. You may have heard of him. He and Parsons started a boat dealing company named Allied Enterprises.

Parsons wasn't yet getting far with his rocket fuel experiments - things kept unexpectedly blowing up. He wasn't hurting for money though. In 1942, Parsons' estranged father died leaving him a mansion in in the nice part of Pasadena. Parsons rented out the rooms to "only atheists and those of a Bohemian disposition," according to his newspaper ad.

A man after my own heart, if it were not for the stupid occultism.

Noisy parties and police raids ensued. Parsons was able to win over the cops with his charm, good looks and reputation as a rocket scientist. But, from all accounts, things got plenty weird - lots of nakedness, magicks and substance abuse - over at the Parsons' spread.

An excerpt from a Parsons poem published in an occult magazine in 1943?

"I hight Don Quixote, I live on peyote, marijuana, morphine and cocaine, I never know sadness, but only a madness that burns at the heart and the brain."

As I said, a man after my own heart -- if not for the stupidity and bad poetry. But what the fuck does 'hight' mean?

Parsons started becoming more successful with his rocket fuel experiments. He had a fulfilling relationship with his ex-wife's half sister Betty.
If you listen to devotees of this sorta crap, he was becoming more successful with his magicks. He and Hubbard allegedly completed the Babalon Working spell which ushered in a goddess who led the way to world peace and free love.

Recent events suggest this spell wasn't as effective as Parsons' acolytes may suggest.


His life was finally starting to work out, huh?
Uhh, No.
In 1947, L. Ron Hubbard buggered off with a boat, all the cash from Allied Enterprises and for good measure, Betty - Parsons' girlfriend.
L. Ron Hubbard eventually married Betty and started Scientology with the stolen money.

The official Scientology line is that Hubbard was instructed to 'infiltrate a black magic ring' by the U.S. Navy.
Horseshit! Go ahead and sue me Mr. Cruise.

As the '40s wound down things kept getting worse for Parsons. He was stripped of his security clearance and almost prosecuted for treason since he gave classified documents to the Israeli government, with whom he was negotiating for a rocket guru gig. Parsons was reduced to working for Hollywood movies, making tiny explosive squibs that mimicked a man being shot. But his rocket fuel eventually worked. Ex-Nazi/Future Upstanding American Citizen/Full Time Rocket Scientist Wernher Von Braun cited Parsons as the most influential rocket scientist in history.

Parsons never lived to see his dream of landing a man on the moon, but his rocket fuel discovery was instrumental in putting one there. Jack Parsons blew himself up in 1952.

One newspaper wrote that, "The explosion blew off his right forearm, tore a gaping hole in his jaw and shattered the other arm and both legs."

Some say Jack was killed because he had become an embarassment to the American government.

Some say Scientologists had Jack killed to cover Hubbard's shameful behaviour.

Most say Parsons liked fucking around with explosives and was far too sweaty and high. One friend noted in a Parsons' biography that "Jack used to sweat a lot and [a coffee can in which he was mixing Mercury Fulminate] just slipped out of his hand and blew him up."

Jack Parsons is rarely mentioned inside the rocket scientist community these days but the Parsons Crater on the far side of the Moon has been named after him.

Rest In Peace, you Delusional Genius!

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