The BABALON Working I
Sub-Figura vel Liber Babalon
According to tradition, the Sirians who originally settled in Sumeria had cat or lion like bodies. How many hybrids and just plain humans were absorbed into the ancient culture is not exactly known. What is known is that at some time they settled into the area of Cairo and called it Babalon or Babylon which meant Baby Lyon. This city was designated as one of the Sacred Places of the Lion and it was decided that a large repository of knowledge should be constructed nearby so as to preserve their collective wisdom. This construction project turned out to be what we know today as the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. The Great Pyramid and its satellite pyramids were designed to serve as ancient time clocks that were in synchronization with the entire cyclic nature of the universe. The Sphinx represented the goddess in the form of Bast who was also known as Babalon and eventually Isis. To reiterate what was said earlier, the names Isis and Osiris were derived from Sirius.
In the Sphinx and Great Pyramid, the Sirians illustrated the two key principles of their religion. The two aspects were connected by sacred knowledge which could be found in the Hall of Records.
Aleister Crowley was schooled in all of this information. When he slept in the Great Pyramid prior to receiving The Book of the Law, he was seeking initiation with no strings attached. Projecting himself beyond his own understanding, he had a profound experience. He connected with forms of consciousness that were not only far beyond the norm, they knew the precise mathematics of the universe and this never ceased to amaze him. The resultant effect was that he spent the rest of his life trying to explain what had happened.
Earlier, we spoke of Tetragrammaton, the magical or alchemical formula that accompanied the "first tetrahedron" of existence. The first element in alchemy or the tarot is fire and is assigned to the first point of the tetrahedron of Tetragrammaton. As fire itself forms a wave, the actual pattern of that wave is reproduced to illustrate the vortex shape that resides in the tetrahedron of Stan Tenon's work. This is identical to the ram' s horn and is also the basis of the Hebrew fire letters whereby all the letters of the alphabet could be perceived by rotating the shape within the tetrahedron. With this much symbolism encoded in one particular shape, it is easy to grasp that an energy stream of consciousness is emitted from within the geometric matrix that contains a tetrahedron or a pyramid. It is actually a conical spiral of energy which conforms to a precise mathematical formula known as the Fibonacci spiral. That this cone of energy can influx a mind with extra intelligence was illustrated in history by placing a dunce cap on a slow student. The cone on the head was supposed to make him smarter but evolved into a punishment style degradation of the student concerned. Although Crowley was not known to wear a dunce cap, he did use a magician's hat for some occasions which is really the same thing.
The fire or primal energy of Tetragrammaton that exists in the Great Pyramid was linked to the fire and passion of the Sphinx through the passageway known as the Hall of Records. The Sphinx represents the lustful and unrestricted loins of Bast but also the intelligent female Virgo (known to the Romans as Diana, Goddess of the Moon) who transmutes the lower energies into the higher form. In other words, she could tap into the Hall of Records. When Crowley performed sexual magick, he was often trying to tap into the higher consciousness portrayed in the Hall of Records. He was using the lower energies to tap the higher.
The Great Pyramid itself is a very curious structure for many different reasons. One of its more intriguing features is that it is not a symmetrical polygon. In other words, if you consider the Great Pyramid to be the upper half of an octahedron, you would expect two angles at the base of each triangular surface to measure 60' each. This is not the case. The angles at the base of each triangle are 51.51'. This means that the pyramid has been squashed. In other words, you would get the same result if you took a perfectly symmetrical octahedron and pushed the top and bottom towards the center. The angles would shift under the force exerted. The reason for this is that the Earth itself is not a perfect sphere. It is a spheroid, i. e. it looks like a tangerine. What this is telling us is that the matrix lines which make up the blueprint for the Earth are not perfectly symmetrical either. They may have been in their original condition, but whenever the Earth was squashed into a spheroid or otherwise assumed that particular shape, the corresponding grid lines assumed the shape of the Earth and were distorted accordingly. The 51.51' angles of the Great Pyramid correspond exactly to the geometric distortion of the Earth from a sphere to its current shape. What this means is that whoever built the Great Pyramid knew the exact shape of the Earth's grid.
There is another interesting aspect when you consider the angles of the Great Pyramid. When it was in its heyday, the pyramid was encased in limestone which is really just calcium carbonate. If you put this chemical under a microscope and apply a protractor to what you see, you will discover that calcium carbonate also consists of two 51.51' angles at the base of each triangular molecule. In other words, the molecules in the limestone facing of the pyramid were mirroring the very shape of the Great Pyramid which mimics the Earth's grid itself. Taking this a step further, calcium carbonate is what human bones are made of. This is why the dead bones of the Montauks were so important to tapping into the grid. The geometry of the bones was in complete resonance to the pyramidal structure of the grid. Of course, all human bones have this property. They resonate energy which can include consciousness as well. And if you don' t believe that bones can influence consciousness, try scaring the living daylights out of somebody through the use of a skeleton. Actually, you shouldn't. It works only too well.
In his different works, Crowley hints that he knew these various aspects of the Great Pyramid and its energies. Using this, along with his other knowledge which included an extensive study of the Sumerians, he created specific rituals that were designed not only to reach other planes of consciousness but to communicate with unseen worlds by every conceivable means. This was very much intended to include aliens.
In 1918, Crowley began a sexual magick operation with a lady in New York by the name of Roddie Minor. It was known as the Amalantrah Working and was done just a few months before he spent the summer at Montauk Point. One of the main features in this working was the symbolism of the egg. They were told, "it' s all in the egg". This corresponds exactly to the sacred geometry precepts given earlier in this book. The egg is the first sphere of existence and all the potential that unfolds thereafter. The entity contacted was LAM and an artistic rendering of him by Crowley looks hauntingly familiar to the gray aliens we have all heard so much about. LAM's bulbous head has the shape of an egg.
Documents of the OTO indicate that LAM is the Tibetan word for Way or Path and that a LAMA is "He who Goeth". The Tibetan connection appearing in Crowley's work just before he traveled to Montauk is interesting and should be noted. Earlier, we defined the Tibetan word "mantak" as clarity or understanding. In the Amalantrah Working, Crowley was told "Thou art to go this Way". It is easy to associate LAM with Montauk although the connection warrants further research. But it is certain that Montauk does connect to Tibet, not only through the word "mantak" but by virtue of the German connection mentioned earlier in this book.
Of additional interest concerning LAM is that it is a Celtic word for door jam and implies a stop on the path as opposed to a pathway. There is also an ancient land in present day Iraq that was known as Elam. It is located on the northeast banks of the Tigris River at the beginning of the Persian Gulf. The language spoken in Elam was a curiosity as it had no known relationship with any other language.
There is also current interest in LAM today. The OTO has founded a Cult of Lam for their members who are drawn to this entity and want to use the egg as an astral space-capsule for traveling to LAM's domain and for tantric time traveling.
The main point concerning LAM is that Crowley was contacting an extraterrestrial entity who had links to almost every aspect we' ve studied. The idea that Crowley continued to function in some aspect of LAM after his death in 1947 is a possibility especially when you consider that is the year when the rash of UFO sightings began.
The year 1947 has an amazing correspondence in itself and that has to do with a major grid point that has been found to exist on different planets. It was discovered that Cydonia, the region of Mars that houses the face and the pyramids, rests at 19.47' from the equator. The same can be said for the whirling red spot on Jupiter and a similar area found on Neptune. On our planet Earth, pyramids are exact at 19.47' north of the equator on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. I have also been informed by someone who just recently visited the island of Hawaii that pyramids have been found there but are covered with jungle vegetation. They are at 19.47' north of the equator as well.
None of this proves that Aleister Crowley or his death in 1947 is responsible for the UFO sightings since that time period, but many people have noticed and commented upon it along with the UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico that occurred in the same year. Actually, Crowley's death occurred on December 1st which was well after the Roswell incident. Of course, we could argue that he was weak and dying and that was why the military in New Mexico were able to shoot down "his" flying saucers with their SAGE Radar. That is an unlikely scenario, but whatever the case is with Crowley, it is undeniable that he deeply influenced another magician who has been inextricably linked to aliens, the CIA and Montauk. That man is Jack Parsons and his grand experiment was in 1946.
Jack Parsons was described in Montauk Revisited as having conducted a sexual magick experiment that has been hailed by some as the magical experiment of the century. This activity was done in conjunction with two magicians who were part of the Wilson Clan: Marjorie Cameron and L. Ron Hubbard. The experiment was called the Babalon Working and was designed to invoke the Mother Goddess in her crowning glory: she who is called Babalon.
I have done a considerable amount of research into Jack Parsons since Montauk Revisited was published. He deserves an entire book and only a very brief summary of what I've found can be included here.
Jack was a cofounder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and his innovations in rocketry made our space program a reality. He died officially on June 17, 1952 as the result of a chemical explosion in his laboratory, but a search through all the newspapers and a talk with his wife and a friend revealed mysterious circumstances. His wife, Marjorie Cameron, arrived after the explosion but before the ambulance had left. The attendants would not let her ride in the ambulance nor was she allowed to see him in the hospital. What is most outrageous is that the police violated standard procedure when they omitted asking her to identify the body. She was Jack's next of kin as his mother was declared dead from suicide after hearing the report that Jack had died. Neither Cameron nor George Frey, who took care of Jack's cremation, saw the actual dead body. Further, the newspaper accounts are filled with suspicious characters and accounts. The death of Virginia Parsons, Jack's mother, had equally bizarre circumstances surrounding it.
I asked the Pasadena police department if I could look at the file for the case. They said it was old and that I should write to the microfiche department. If it wasn't sealed, I should be able to review it. I wrote them a letter requesting permission to review the relevant files and after a long delay, I was told that the file was purged from their system. I do know that the FBI watched his every move. Maybe somebody will provide that file someday.
While the circumstances surrounding Jack's death are a mystery, his magical career is not so murky. He was perhaps more passionate and dedicated to the Mother Goddess than any popular magician of the century. Crowley and Jack did not see eye to eve about the Babalon Working. Crowley was at the end of his life and Jack was playing the part of the wayward and rebellious son. According to reports, Crowley wrote him off as a failure, but he did leave a door open. He said that he hadn't received an expected report from Parsons and that a final conclusion would have to remain open.
When Jack conducted the Babalon Working in 1946, he invoked the goddess Babalon and sought to bring an end to the tyranny which had dominated mankind during the dark yuga. That he at least had an idea of what he was doing can be seen by virtue of the yantra he used. A yantra is a two dimensional glyph that is designed to evoke a fourth dimensional experience. It is a common device in magick, yoga and other meditative arts. The yantra that was used for the Babalon Working was the seven pointed star and has been reproduced on the following page.
Note that the seven letters of Babalon fit into the triangles. In this glyph, all the angles are designed to be 51.51'. These are the same angles of the Great Pyramid of Giza which found their numerical value as a result of the pyramid being structured so as to be in harmony with the Earth's grid. If you multiply 51.51 by seven, you get 360.57, the approximate length of an ancient calendar year. It was by this means that the Babalon workers (Jack, Ron and Cameron) were plugging into the consciousness of the time line. What happened to the participants after they entered their altered states of consciousness is still anyone's guess. But, they did project themselves out of this reality and the consequent result and synchronicity of the act has led in no small part to the writing of this book.
Cameron has said that the operation changed Jack and Ron Hubbard forever. They were never quite the same. After recovering from a paralysis on his right side (as a result of the working), Hubbard eventually accessed incredible genius and a considerable amount of energy. Most of this was channeled into the Dianetics and Scientology movement. He had people doing regressions on alien implants forty years before it became vogue.
Parsons took a different route. Always considered a security risk by the military industrial complex, he continued his pursuit of magick. He had completed the Babalon Working ritual itself, but the consequent chain reactions and results still had to reach their appointed conclusions.
Concerning the Babalon Working, Jack wrote a statement to the effect that he would be consumed by the fire. Whether he meant this in an allegorical or real sense, we don't know. It was said in honor of Babalon and he was willing to serve as the supreme sacrifice. Just a few months before his reported death, he foresaw that some kind of end was near. He knew that this end could mean physical death and he didn't rule it out.
There is yet a greater mystery that has been overlooked by many. Although Jack was on the outs with the OTO after the Babalon Working, he had obtained the Ninth Degree in the order. In order to progress beyond that grade, one has to give up their identity. There is no question that this was accomplished. Whether he assumed a secret identity within the confines of the secret government or simply died is not known. That he might have died physically is rather insignificant in the higher scheme of things. But, he did change his identity. Jack Parsons has been legally dead for forty years.
Another fact about Jack that is often overlooked or not mentioned is that he was not only a member of the OTO but was a member of the A:.A:. No mention is ever made of him having ever fallen out of grace with that particular order which is, of course, the Illuminati. What is of further interest in this regard is that Cameron once told me that she gave Jack's birth time to some of the top astrologers in Southern California. They told her his chart indicated he was or could be the real head of the CIA.
As Crowley and Parsons were both members of the Illuminati, we have to take a look at what the organization is and what it actually represents. From what has been said already, we know that it is related to Sirius. There are also countless books and conspiracy theories on the subjects According to the dictionary, the Illuminati refers to those of a secret society who profess to have special intellectual or spiritual enlightenment.
Let us next consider what happens when someone achieves a brilliant illumination and transcends all experience known. He goes into another dimension and basically understands the entire picture of creation. This is sometimes referred to as a kundalini experience or tapping into the universal consciousness. There are, of course, many types and variations of illuminations. I am referring to a particularly grand one. When one achieves such a state, he is still left with the predicament of relating to the Earth plane which has its share of imperfection and turmoil. If one person achieves such a state, it does not automatically transfer to the entire human race.
All of this catapults us right into the war of consciousness. There are those of us who want to be more aware and expand the consciousness across the entire parameters of existence. There are also those who want to limit such activity. Splendorous and gigantic scenarios can be recognized or imagined that pit various secret groups against one another.
Most important to our investigation, Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons were plugged into a tradition that identified with the Illuminati and sought to expand consciousness. Whether their activities were good or bad is not the point. Both of their writings reflect the fact that they were warriors for consciousness. Those who decried them seemed to be on the other side of the coin.
Aleister Crowley's goal was to set occult forces in motion that would result in the illumination of all by the end of this century. Jack Parsons followed in the same tradition but the circumstances of his death at a young age leave a different enigma. We are forced to consider whether he lived and has orchestrated forces in a super secret capacity or whether he died and did the same thing from the spirit world. The bottom line is that his magick has reverberated and created effects beyond his own ordinary mortal means. Both men encountered dark forces in their work and neither were afraid to deal with them. They have also chosen dark vehicles by which to communicate. But, ultimately, what did they communicate? That all creation manifests from the light, also defined as the electromagnetic spectrum which is just another word for Mother Nature.
Crowley offered us all a clue when he announced he wouldn't officially assume the name "Phoenix" until the work was completed. In this regard, the true Phoenix Project would be to redeem mankind by purging the forces of ignorance and oppression that have ruled during the last 13,000 years.
Armageddon awaits us all, but not in the sense it has been perpetrated on us by the merchants of fear and those with ulterior motives. For each of us, it will be a personal encounter, if it hasn't been encountered already. In one corner will be the Christ with all the angelic forces he can muster. In the other, will be the Antichrist with his demons.
The BABALON Working II
Sub-Figura vel Liber Babalon
The below story was taken from issue number 35 of "Insight Magazine" a British publication on the occult.
It is provided in its incomplete form as it is found in the magazine
THE BABALON WORKING
by Alexander Mitchell
John Whiteside Parsons, a brilliant Rocket fuel scientist, joined the American branch of Aleister Crowley's cult in 1939. He struck up an earnest correspondence with the Beast 666, as Crowley was known by his followers, and soon became his out- standing protégé in the United States. By January, 1946, Parsons was impatient to break new frontiers in the occult world. He decided to take the spirit of Babalon, the "Whore of Babalon," and invest it in a human being.
But to carry out this intricate mission, Parsons needed a female sexual partner to create his child in the Astral (Spiritual) world. If this part of the fixture went successfully Parsons would be able to call down the spiritual baby & direct it into a human womb. When born, this child would incarnate the forces of Babalon. During his magical preparations for this incarnation Parsons found himself overwhelmed by assistance from a young novitiate named Ron Hubbard.
Parsons wrote to Crowley at the beginning of 1946.
"He (Hubbard) is a gentleman, red hair, green eyes, honest & intelligent and we have become great friends. Although he has no formal training in magic, he has an extraordinary amount of experience and under- standing in the field. Ron appears to have some sort of highly developed astral vision. He describes his angel as a beautiful winged woman with red hair whom he calls the Empress and who has guided him through many times in his life. He is in complete accord with our own principles. I have found a staunch companion and comrade in Ron."
But within 3 months, the bonds of friendship were under some strain; Ron claimed Parsons wrote to Crowley,
"She has transferred her sexual affections to Ron. I cared for her rather deeply but I have no desire to control her emotions."
As if to cement their loyalties, Parsons, Hubbard and Betty decided to pool their finances and form a business partnership.
Meanwhile, preparations for the mystical mission were well under way.
From January 4th to 15th, 1946, Parsons and Hubbard engaged in a nightly ritual of incantation, talisman-waving and other Black Magic, faithfully described in Parsons Diary as Conjuration of Air, Invocation of Wand, and Consecration of Air Dagger. With a Prokofiev violin concerto blaring away, the 2 of them pleaded with the spirits for "an elemental mate" -- a girl willing to go through sexual rites to incarnate Babalon in the spirit world.
Parsons mentions that windstorms had occurred on a couple of nights and one night the power suddenly failed. But nothing seriously responsive until Jan. 14th when Ron was struck on the right shoulder and had a candle knocked out of his hand.
"He called me" Parsons wrote, "and we observed a brownish yellow light about 7 feet high. I brandished a magical sword and and it disappeared. Ron's right arm was paralysed for the rest of the night".
The following night was even more portentous. Hubbard apparently saw a vision of one of Parsons enemies. Parsons wrote,
"He attacked the figure and pinned it to the door with 4 throwing knives with which he is expert". For 4 days, Parsons and Hubbard were in a state of tension. Then on Jan. 18th, Parsons turned to Ron and said "It is done." He added, "I returned home and found a young woman answering the requirements waiting for me."
The incarnate Ritual set out in Parsons manuscript, The Book of Babalon, is difficult reading for the unconfirmed Spiritualist. Broadly interpreted, Parsons and Hubbard constructed an alter and Hubbard acted as high priest during a series of ceremonies in which Parsons and the girl shared sex. The owner of the documents, who is an expert on Crowley's magic says that Parsons at this stage was completely under Hubbard's domination. How else can one explain Hubbard's role as high priest in the rites after only a few weeks in the trade?
For the first of the birth ceremonies which began on Mar. 1, Hubbard wore a white robe and carried a lamp while Parsons was clocked in a black, hooded garment, carrying a cup and dagger. At Hubbard's suggestion, they played Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead as background music.
Parsons account of the start of the birth ritual is as follows:
"The Scribe (Hubbard) said, "The Year of Babalon is 4063. She is the flame of life, power of darkness, she destroys with a glance, she may take thy soul. She feeds upon the death of men. Beautiful-Horrible". The Scribe, now pale and sweating, rested awhile then continued."
There are 2 possible reasons why Hubbard showed anxiety at this stage of the ceremony, the owner of the papers says. He was either deeply moved by the spiritual depth of the ceremony or he couldn't think what to say next.
Hubbard further instructed Parsons:
"Display thyself to our lady; dedicate thy organs to her; display thy mind to her; dedicate thy soul to her; for she shall absorb thee. Retire from human contact until noon tomorrow. Speak not of this Ritual. Discuss nothing of it. Consult no book but thine own mind. Thou Art a God. Behave at this Alter as one God before another."
On the 3rd day, the ritual began 4 hours before dawn. Ron tells his companion,
"Lay out a white sheet. Place upon it blood of birth. Envision her approaching thee. Think upon the lewd, lascivious things thou coulds't do. All is good to Babalon. All. Preserve the material basis. The lust is hers, the passion yours. Consider thou the Beast raping."
These invocations along with other passages in the book indicate that Parsons had collected specimens of his own sperm and the girl's menstrual fluid.
The climax of the ceremony occurred the following day with Ron at the alter working his 2 subjects into a sexual frenzy. Over Rachmaninoff he intoned such gems as:
"Her mouth is red and her breasts are fair, and her loins are full of fire."
An exalted Parsons wrote the next day,
"Babalon is incarnate upon the earth today awaiting the proper hour of her manifestation. And in that day my work will be accomplished and I shall be blown away upon the breath of the father, even as it is written (in fact, Parsons was blown away in a rocket fuel explosion at his experimental labratory in Pasadena in 1952)
Unable to contain his joy, Parsons decided to tell Crowley what had happened. On March 6th he wrote:
"I can hardly tell you or decide how much to write. I am under command of extreme secrecy. I have had the most important devastating experience of my life." Crowley was dumbfounded by the news of the incarnation ceremony. He wrote back, "You have me completely puzzled by your remarks. I cannot form the slightest idea of what you can possibly mean."
With a distinct note of concern, he dashed off a letter on the same day to the head of his American Cult saying,
"Apparently Parsons or Hubbard or somebody is producing a Moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts." This acid rebuke comes from a man whose activities were once summed up by a judge like this: "I have never heard such horrible, dreadful blasphemous stuff as that which has been produced by the man who describes himself as the greatest living poet."
By May the same year, Crowley was not only concerned about Parsons' spiritual well-being. There was a small matter of certain monies. When the trio formed their business enterprise, Parsons is believed to have put in 17,000 dollars. Hubbard had about 10,000 dollars of the money, Hubbard and his newly acquired girlfriend Betty, bought a yacht. A report to the head of the American branch by another cult member says,
"Ron and Betty have their boat at Miami, Florida and are living the life of Riley while Brother John (Parsons) is living at rock bottom and I mean rock bottom."
In a more sinister way, the report added,
"Let us consider this matter of the magical child which John Parsons is supposed to turn loose on the world in 9 months (now 7) Ron, the Seer, was the guy who laid down the main ideas, technic (sic) etc. of the operation."
On reading Parsons' accounts of the ceremony and from the reports from the branch HQ in the States, Crowley cabled his U.S. office on May 22nd.
"Suspect Ron playing confidence trick -- John Parsons weak fool -- obvious victim prowling swindlers" In a letter a few days later he said, "It seems to me on the information of our brethren in California that Parsons has got an illumination which he lost all his personal independence. From our brother's account he has given away both his girl and his money. Apparently it is the ordinary confidence trick."
A must chastened Parsons wrote to Crowley on July 5th.
"Here I am in Miami, pursuing the children of my folly. I have them well tied up. They cannot move without going to jail."
"However, I am afraid that most of the money has already been spent. I will be lucky to salvage 3,000 to 5,000 dollars." Just how Parsons managed to capture the errant lovers is in keeping with the other extraordinary chapters of this story. "Hubbard attempted to escape me" Parsons wrote, "by sailing at 5p.m. and performed a full invocation to Bartzabel within the circle at 8p.m. (a curse). At the same time however, his ship was struck by a sudden squall off his sails and forced him back to port where I took the boat in custody."
Parsons recovered financially and possibly as a backlash to his experience with Hubbard he took the Oath of the Anti-Christ in 1948 and changed his name to Belarion Armiluss Al Dajjal Anti-Chirst. In his scientology publications, Hubbard says of the period,
"Crippled and blinded at the end of the war, I resumed my studies of philosophy and my discoveries recovered so fully that I was reclassified in 1949 for full combat duty."
Hubbard claims that more than 2 dozen thinkers, prophets and psychologists influenced scientology (which was launched in 1951); everyone from Plato, Jesus, to Sigmund Freud whom he says he studied under in Vienna.
The record can now be righted with the inclusion of Aleister Crowley, the Beast 666
BABALON & The Pleiades (III)
Sub-Figura vel Liber Babalon
Encounter In The Pleiades: An Inside Look At UFOs
by Preston Nichols & Peter Moon
My trail to the Illuminati began during an intermission of the first lecture I heard about Montauk and the Philadelphia Experiment. Upon asking Preston how he became involved in all of this, he told me that in a previous life, he and Duncan Cameron had been twin brothers who were named Preston and Marcus Wilson. They had been the first manufacturers of crude scientific instruments in Great Britain and had formed a company with Aleister Crowley's father which eventually became known as Thorne E.M.I., the same company which released the video cassette entitled The Philadelphia Experiment.
I subsequently searched for any references to the Wilson brothers in Crowley's writings but could find none. I only found suspicious references to a Duncan Cameron and a trip Crowley had made to Montauk in 1918. Not much was said about either, but I began to encounter incredible synchronicities between the Cameron and Crowley families which are discussed in the book Montauk Revisited. Eventually, I would discover that the wife of Jack Parsons, L. Ron Hubbard's former magical partner, was named Cameron. I thought this was too much to believe and I sought her out and encountered her under the most peculiar of circumstances which is described in Montauk Revisited.
The upshot of the synchronicities between the Camerons and Crowleys was best described by Cameron. She told me that her original name was Wilson (her father's name was originally Wilson but he was adopted by his uncle Alexander Cameron and ended up using his surname) and that the Wilson clan had descended from the Cameron clan. Further, she told me that Hubbard was a Wilson, too. His father, Harry Ross Hubbard, had been adopted and was originally a Wilson.
A couple of years later, I would discover something about the Wilsons that not even Cameron knew. Researching into the genealogy of her husband's family, I discovered that both the Parsons and Wilson families traced back to Catherine Parr. Parr evolved into Parrsons with the "r" eventually being dropped.
Jack Parsons was also a member of the Illuminati which is known in occult circles as the Order of the Silver Star, the silver star referring to Sirius. His father worked for President Woodrow Wilson, somewhat infamous for his role in World War I and for founding the League of Nations. He is also the president who helped give us the Federal Reserve.
If you read Freedom Is a Two-Edged Sword by Jack Parsons, you will find that Parsons believed the consciousness of the world was topsy turvy. Consequently, he took it upon himself to invoke the goddess Babalon, the mother of all creation. In keeping with the aforementioned theory of Excalibur, he recognized the true power of the universe to be encapsulated in the feminine energy of the universe. Parsons began a series of magical experiments which he called the Babalon Working, but he lacked one important element and that was a familiar. A familiar is a living creature that a magician or witch uses to carry out their spell or specific intention. It is usually a cat. As Parsons did not have a cat, he decided to use L. Ron Hubbard who also acted as scribe. After invoking the goddess Babalon for three days, Cameron suddenly showed up at his door. She fit the bill and became the sexual vehicle used in the experiment although she was not clued in on the full nature of what was going on.
At first glance, it might seem a little vague as to what the Babalon Working has to do with UFOS. If we consider that Babalon is the mother of all creation, we have to backtrack to what was said in Preston's section of the book about quantum mechanics and chaos theory. Babalon opens the door to all possibilities in creation without discrimination. She welcomes all, and this means that everything that has been suppressed in the subconscious of mankind is going to come out of the woodwork. UFOs are a prime sample of the unknown. Hubbard's work Excalibur was aimed at the same thing-. opening up the unconscious. This is the secret of the feminine energy.
It is no mere coincidence that all three players in this working came from the same Wilson stock. The answer to this secret lies in their particular genetic structure. Before we examine this angle, we will first consider the general nature of genetics.
Creation is a process of geometry. This is readily observable in chemistry and biology. If it weren't, mathematics wouldn't work at all. The DNA in each cell contains not only the complete blueprint for the human body, but the entire consciousness and manifestation of the universe itself. In psychological terms, DNA contains the potential for all archetypes and their potential interplays. In computer terms, DNA is coded just like a program and can ultimately manifest any aspect of existence.
When ritual sex is performed, it stimulates the creative processes on a biological level and this ignites the DNA's creative potential. What translates to humans as the sexual urge is based on a biological program to combine one matrix with another so that the vast panorama of evolution can be created. It is all rather fascinating.
In society, people tend to be somewhat particular in regard to whom they mate with. inbreeding is an example where people lower the quality of creation based upon their own incorrect DNA coded programs. The Nazi's sought to increase the quality of life with their breeding programs, but this program ended up lowering the quality of life and resulted in conflict and destruction. For centuries, most people have just gone about their business and mated with the man or woman of their fate. More importantly, they seldom try to drastically alter the programming because they aren't even aware of it.
Sexual magick is based upon the idea that you can alter the programming in the DNA through the will or projection of thought forms. It is a time honored practice, the entire procedures of which have been carefully guarded and relegated to secret societies. This is where the two major taboos of our society cross: sex and awareness. By themselves, sex and awareness are not all that easy to master in our society. If you try to create more awareness and direction for your own evolution and that of others through the practice of sex, you are walking on grounds that are even more taboo. While either manipulating or consciously influencing your own DNA and that of your partner might seem like a small scale act, sexual magick teaches the art of doing this on a grander scale. In other words, this is how secret societies try to influence the entire evolutionary program. It is a grand old game that has been going on for millennia. It is not unlike Democrats and Republicans raising signs and cards at a convention in order for their candidate to get the most attention and votes. Secret societies try to steer humanity and the rest of creation in different directions for their own specific agendas.
There is another fascinating aspect when you consider the DNA programming of sexual magick. Because DNA is based upon geometric designs, it is open to other realms or dimensions. If you consider a flat two dimensional checkerboard and realize that you can also have a cubic configuration that could serve as a playing field for three dimensional chess or checkers, you will understand there is a fourth dimensional possibility as well.
Cameron corroborated this view in my last conversation with her which was on her final birthday. Although she was very ill, she had been reading Pyramids of Montauk which describes the geometry I'm referring to here in further detail. She said that was what the Babalon Working was all about. Geometric visions had abounded in her consciousness at the time. These stayed with her for the rest of her life and it was expressed in her art work. She said that the book expressed in words what she had experienced in consciousness. My last conversation with her was a happy one. Cameron passed away on July 24, 1995.
If we consider the Wilson lineage, we have to realize that the DNA of this clan, or at least some of them, have a predisposition to the bizarre. This is not so bad in itself as it is the radical factor in mutations which makes new developments in evolution possible. When one of my friends whose surname is Wilson heard this story, he told me that he was received in a puzzling manner when he visited Scotland. Every time he told them his name, the natives looked at him strangely as if they wanted nothing to do with him, He is extremely personable, too.
The names "Wilson" and "Cameron" have popped up with outrageous synchronicity during my research of time travel and secret projects. Many other people have noticed this too. Robert Anton Wilson is a famous author who has written about the principles of synchronicity for some time. He says that once you reach the horizons of consciousness, you will encounter the principle of synchronicity. It bridges the consciousness of where we are in this fixated third dimensional existence to a possible escape route through which we can access the fourth dimension and beyond.
Flying saucers are fourth dimensional chess pieces and that is why Preston found that space went on and on when he walked aboard one. They are based upon geometrical configurations and a different sort of consciousness than what is considered typical "Earth think".
When Jack Parsons (right) and L. Ron Hubbard (left) engaged in the Babalon Working, there was plenty of sexual excitement going on. Parsons was copulating with Cameron on the altar and Hubbard was scrying and tapping the energy. Geometric incantations were used along with symbols, not unlike what Hubbard referred to in the book I had discovered. They were deliberately working with the same energies and some of the protocols that John Dee and Edward Kelly had used during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (Dee was her court astrologer). An earnest communication had been made with the territory known as the unconscious or the great unknown.
Many believe that the 1946 Babalon Working was responsible for or tied to the UFO phenomena which became so abundant after that period. This was confirmed for Cameron when she witnessed a UFO shortly after the Babalon Working. She said that the sight filled her with an insurmountable joy. Cameron and her brother were working at the jet Propulsion Laboratory during this period and had seen a UFO while taking a nature walk in the area. Although she warned her brother not to say a word about it, he blabbed and was ridiculed to the point where he had to leave his job due to embarrassment. He ended up working for the Ralph Parsons Corporation, a huge international conglomerate who builds underground railways and cities among many other things.
After this working, Hubbard founded the subjects of Dianetics and Scientology and proceeded to talk about some of the most far out stuff known to man. He spoke about Fifth Invader Force aliens who were insect-like in nature, and he talked about implants as well. He worked out a whole system designed to free mankind from the confines of three dimensional reality. His relative success or failure is an entirely different subject.
Parsons continued his magical work but was supposedly blown up in an accident in 1952. In a bizarre legal precedent, his next of kin (his wife, Cameron) was not consulted in order to identify the body. in fact, she was not allowed to see him in the ambulance or hospital. The newspaper stories were loaded with oddities. In fact, one of them was by Omar Garrison, a journalist who would later be contracted to be Hubbard's biographer. He brought the house down on Hubbard as far as the courts were concerned. It is quite remarkable that he had also covered the Parsons incident some thirty years earlier.
A few short weeks after Parsons' death, UFOs were spotted en masse over the Capitol. Ever since that time, Parsons has been associated with having some sort of hold on the UFO phenomena. When Cameron had Jack's horoscope evaluated by some of the top astrologers in Los Angeles, she withheld the name connected to the chart. After a detailed analysis, they came back to her and indicated that this person would have to be the head of the CIA. Remember, I said earlier that Parsons was a member of the Illuminati.
Parsons was also a founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To this day, people at NASA refer to it as "JPL: Jack Parson's Laboratory". There is a whole case to be made that he is currently in charge and controlling things from a secret location, but that is not the purpose of this book. If he were a leader of the Illuminati, it wouldn't matter whether he was alive or dead, for these characters do not live by the rules of ordinary human existence. They regulate the space-time continuum through sex, death, taxes, implants, alien abductions and the like.
Jack Parsons may have been a leader of the Illuminati, but it was his idea to invoke Babalon and thereby change the world. It is my personal opinion that he got caught somewhere in between and that his soul will not be at rest until the goddess reigns supreme.
Cameron has also warned against people judging her husband. She once said very wisely that history can't even begin to adequately evaluate a man until at least one hundred years after his death. The jury is still out.
The Babalon Working and its colorful characters continue to surface as a reference point to many different researchers who study UFO phenomena. The legend and mystique will only grow as time goes by.
Cameron also made another interesting comment to me in our last conversation. When I told her I was working on this book you are reading, she said that she had a very strong connection to the Pleiades.
It was all about the feminine energy that is also known as Babalon.
Beloved of BABALON
A Psych Profile of JPL's Magickal Scientist
from "StarFire" magazine, a Thelemic publication
"But I say that that perfect image in the heart of man is patterned by the awful lust in space-time that shapes all women, the insatiable and eternal lust of Pan that is BABALON."
"About J.W.P. -- all that I can say is that I am very sorry -- I feel sure that he had fine ideas, but he was led astray firstly by Smith, then he was robbed of his last penny by a confidence man named Hubbard ... I have no further interest in Jack and his adventures; he is just a weak-minded fool, and must go to the devil in his own way..."
John Whiteside Parsons was born on 2 October 1914 in Los Angeles, California. His mother and father separated whilst he was quite young and Parsons said later that this left him with "...a hatred of authority and a spirit of revolution", as well as an Oedipal attachment to his mother. He felt withdrawn and isolated as a child, and was bullied by other children. This gave him, he thought, "...the requisite contempt for the crowd and for the group mores...". Parsons was born into a rich family, and sometime in his youth there was what he referred to as a loss of family fortune.
This loss must only have been a temporary one, though -- perhaps caused by the break-up of the family -- since in the 1940's he inherited from his father a large, Victorian-style mansion in the well-to-do area of Pasadena. During adolescence, Parsons developed an interest in science, especially physics and chemistry, and in fact he went on to develop a career as a brilliant scientist in the fields of explosives and rocket-fuel technology. His achievements as a scientist were such that the Americans named a lunar crater after him when they came to claim that territory for their own. Appropriately enough, Crater Parsons is on the dark side of the moon.
Parsons made contact with the O.T.O. and the A.'.A.'. in December 1938, whilst visiting Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. in California. He was taken along by one of his fellow scientists. At that time Agape Lodge used to give weekly performances of the Gnostic Catholic Mass, seeing this as both a sacrament and a recruiting front. Agape Lodge was by then a moderately thriving and expanding concern, having been founded in the mid-1920's by Wilfred T. Smith, an expatriate Englishman. Smith had many years earlier been an associate of Charles Stansfield Jones (Frater Achad) in Vancouver, Canada. Crowley seems to have had, at least to begin with, a high regard for Smith, and expected great things of him.
Over the years, however, he grew increasingly disillusioned. Crowley felt that the O.T.O. should have flowered in California, given imaginative leadership. Smith was simply not capable of delivering, he thought, and perhaps even deliberately impeding things. By the time that Parsons joined the Lodge in 1939, together with his wife Helen, relations between Smith and Crowley were already in terminal decline, and Crowley was casting around for someone else to take over headship of the Lodge. One of the items in the Yorke Collection at Warburg Institute is a collection of over 200 letters exchanged between Crowley and Smith, in which the steady decline in their relationship is starkly illustrated.
At this time, the Lodge was firmly in the grip of Smith and his mistress, Regina Kahl. They were very authoritarian, and ruled things with the proverbial rod of iron. At the weekly performances of the Mass, Smith was the Priest and Regina Kahl the Priestess. The Parsons were initiated into the O.T.O. in 1939 and like many entrants of the time they took up membership of the A.'.A.'. as well. Jack Parsons took as his motto "Thelema Obtentum Procedero Amoris Nuptiae", an interestingly hybrid phrase which conveys the intention of attaining Thelema through the nuptial of love; the initials transliterated into Hebrew give his Magical Number, 210. He seems to have made quite an impression on his fellow members. Jane Wolfe, who had spent some time with Crowley at Cefalu, was an active member of the Lodge at the time. The following entry is from her Magical Record during December 1940:
"Unknown to me, John Whiteside Parsons, a newcomer, began astral travels. This knowledge decided Regina to undertake similar work. All of which I learned after making my own decision. So the time must be propitious.
Incidentally, I take Jack Parsons to be the child who "shall behold them all" (the mysteries hidden therein. AL, 54-5).
26 years of age, 6'2", vital, potentially bisexual at the very least, University of the State of California and Cal Tech., now engaged in Cal. Tech. chemical laboratories developing "bigger and better" explosives for Uncle Sam. Travels under sealed orders from the government. Writes poetry -- "sensuous only", he says. Lover of music, which he seems to know thoroughly. I see him as the real successor of Therion. Passionate; and has made the vilest analyses result in a species of exaltation after the event. Has had mystical experiences which gave him a sense of equality all round, although he is hierarchical in feeling and in the established order."
Jack Parsons seems to have had something of a reverential attitude towards Smith, perhaps seeing him as some sort of father figure -- the relationship between them seems to have had that sort of ambiguity. In later years, he described how he felt an alternate attraction and repulsion where Smith was concerned; and Smith, whatever his limitations and faults may have been, was evidently a charismatic man. Parsons, for his part, evidently made a strong impression on Smith. In a letter to Crowley during March 1941, Smith wrote as follows:
"...I think I have at long last a really excellent man, John Parsons. And starting next Tuesday he begins a course of talks with a view to enlarging our scope. He has an excellent mind and much better intellect then myself -- O yes, I know it would not necessarily have to be very good to be better than mine...
John Parsons is going to be valuable. I feel sure we are going to move ahead in spite of Max Schneider's continual efforts to discredit me. He still exhibits your letters as proof that I am a number one son of a bitch. I thought you were going to write to tell him to clamp down..."
The last sentences in this quotation throw light on an important factor in the affairs of Agape Lodge -- the turmoil and personal friction that was a constant emotional backdrop, and which seems finally to have invalidated all their efforts. The Lodge was constantly driven by personal feuding and upheaval, and Crowley's influence over the course of events seems in reality to have been marginal. The nucleus of Agape Lodge was some sort of forerunner of a hippie commune. Apart from anything else, Smith appears to have regarded the women members of the Lodge as constituting his personal harem, and of course this added to the friction. Crowley was in correspondence with many of the members at this time, and seems to some extent to have encouraged people to tell tales on each other. No doubt he saw it as a good way of keeping in touch with what was going on, but it tended to inflame the widespread personal clashes that were going on. He did try to make openness and honesty a policy -- laying down a rule that if "A" wrote to "B" attacking "C", then "A" was duty-bound to copy the letter to "C" as a matter of course. This seems to have happened but rarely, however.
In his attempts to assert his authority over the Lodge generally, and Smith in particular, Crowley was frustrated by the loyalty -- despite all the bitchiness around -- to Smith and Kahl. On the face of it, he should have been able to exert his authority easily enough. Karl Germer, his trusted right-hand man, was in New York; whilst his colleague from the Cefalu days -- Jane Wolfe -- was a member of the Lodge. Jane Wolfe was the same age as Crowley, but she was very weak and indecisive. Reading about the course of the Agape Lodge during the 1930's and 1940's is a bewildering experience. The whole thing, despite the glamour that time and mystery now lend it, seems to have been a mess. It is as well for us to bear in mind that Jack Parsons -- his obvious gifts notwithstanding -- was part of this melodramatic flux and flow.
Although Crowley grew increasingly despairing of and impatient with Smith, and saw all too clearly the need to replace him as head of Agape Lodge, the problem for Crowley -- quite apart from HOW to get rid of Smith -- was with whom to replace him. In the course of a letter to Crowley of March 1942, Jane Wolfe made her recommendations:
"Incidentally, I believe Jack Parsons -- who is devoted to Wilfred -- to be the coming leader, with Wilfred in advisory capacity. I hope you two get together some day, although your present activities in England seem to have postponed the date of your coming to us. Jack, by the way, comes in through some inner experiences, but mostly, perhaps, through the world of science. That is, he was "sold on the Book of the Law" because it foretold Einstein, Heisenberg -- whose work is not permitted in Russia -- the quantum field folks, whose work is along the "factor infinite and unknown" lines, etc. You two would have a whale of a lot of things to talk over. He and Helen are lock, stock and barrel for the Order."
By 1943, Crowley appears to have decided that some definite course of action was necessary to get rid of Smith, and that his continued presences in the Lodge was harmful. In a letter of May 1943, to a member called Roy Leffingwell, he wrote:
"I think that Smith is quite hopeless. I am quite satisfied with what you say about his reactions to your family. It is all very well, but Smith has apparently nothing else in his mind. He appears to be using the Order as a happy hunting ground for "affairs". You say the same thing, and I have no doubt that it is quite correct. I think we must get rid of him once and for all; and this will include the Parsons, unless they dissociate themselves immediately from him, without reservations."
At this time Helen Parsons was having an affair with Smith, and also supplanting Regina Kahl as Priestess in the public performances of the Gnostic Mass. Jack Parsons retained his strong feelings of loyalty towards Smith, although perhaps a little confused by events. Crowley, determined to get rid of Smith, viewed with concern the extent to which Parsons -- of whom he seems to have held a high opinion -- was under the spell of Smith. Whilst having a high regard for Parsons, Crowley was also keenly aware of his faults, which he hoped Parsons would outgrow in the course of time and experience. In view of subsequent events in the life of Parsons, these perceptions are interesting and important. Once again, they can best be conveyed, perhaps, by extracts from several letters that Crowley wrote. In a letter of July 1943 to Max Scheider, we read:
"As to Jack; I think he is perfectly alright at the bottom of everything; but he is very young, and he has at present nothing like the strength to deal with matters within his jurisdiction objectively."
In the course of a letter to Jane Wolfe, in December 1943, Crowley made the following assessment:
"Jack is the Objective (Smith is out, an affaire classe'e: anybody who communicates with him in any way is out also; and that is that, and the best plan is to sponge the whole slate clean, and get to work to build up Thelema on sound principals. And no more brothel-building; let's use marble, not rotten old boards!). Jack's trouble is his weakness, and his romantic side -- the poet -- is at PRESENT a hindrance. He gets a kick from some magazine trash, or an 'occult' novel (if only he knew how they were concocted!) and dashes off in wild pursuit. He MUST learn that the sparkle of champagne is based on sound wine; pumping carbonic acid into urine is not the same thing.
"I wish to God I had him for six months -- even three, with a hustle -- to train in Will, in discipline. He must understand that fine and fiery flashes of Spirit come from the organization of Matter, from the drilling of every function of every bodily organ until it has become so regular as to be automatic, and carried on by itself deep down in the Unconscious. It is the steadiness of one's Heart that enables one to endure the rapture of great passion; one doesn't want the vital functions to be excitable."
In February 1944 he wrote in somewhat similar spirit to Mr. and Mrs. Burlinghame, who were Lodge members:
"...I am very glad indeed of your offer to co-operate practically in any way possible. I have left Jack Parsons in charge; he is quite all right in essence, but very young and easily swayed by passing influences. I shall look to you to help in keeping him up to the mark."
And more expansively, in the course of a letter to Jack Parsons himself in March 1946:
"I am particularly interested in what you have written to me about the Elemental, because for some little while past I have been endeavoring to intervene PERSONALLY on your behalf. I would however have you recall Levi's aphorism 'the love of the Magus for such beings is insensate, and may destroy him'.
It seems to me that there is a danger of your sensitiveness upsetting your balance. Any experience that comes your way you have a tendency to over-estimate. The first fine careless rapture wears off in a month or so, and some other experience comes along and carries you off on its back. Meanwhile you have neglected and bewildered those who are dependent on you, either from above or from below.
I will ask you to bear in mind that you have one fulcrum for all your levers, and that is your original oath to devote yourself to raising mankind. All experiences, all efforts, must be referred to this; as long as it remains unshaken you cannot go far wrong, for by its own stability it will bring you back from any tendency to excess.
At the same time, you being as sensitive as you are, it behooves you to be more on your guard than would be the case with the majority of people."
Resolved though Crowley was to get rid of Smith, it was a long and difficult maneuver, and had to be approached piece-meal at first. Many of the Lodge members remained loyal to Smith, and were reluctant to see him go. Smith was only too happy to hang on, in the hope that what he saw as "popular opinion" would persuade Crowley to retain him after all. Throughout all this, Smith seemed unable to understand the depths of Crowley's hostility towards him; his letters to Crowley of this period carry the tone -- whether implicitly or explicitly -- of some wretch having to bear the gratuitous beatings of his master. Some sort of dual authority apparently operated between Smith and Parsons for a while -- to the reluctance of Parsons, himself still very much a Smith loyalist.
Eventually, Crowley seems to have hit upon a novel way to remove Smith; he declared that Smith was the avatar of some god and should go away on a Magical Retirement until he had realized his true identity. To this end Crowley wrote a document of instruction for Smith to follow, "LIBER 132". Smith made an attempt at this Operation but had no joy at all in plumbing the depths of his divinity. It seems doubtful if Crowley intended him to; I have seen another letter from Crowley to an American correspondent at the time, in which Crowley came as close as he could to admitting the Machiavellian thrust of the whole affair.
The way was now clear for Crowley to appoint Parsons as head of Agape Lodge. If he had hoped that the Lodge would be more stable without Smith in charge, however, he was wrong. Smith continued to live there for some time after, despite all attempts by Crowley and Germer to declare him a leper, contact with whom would warrant immediate expulsion. Parsons remained unhappy at what he considered to be the unjust treatment of Smith. In late 1943 he wrote to Crowley attacking him on this point, and offering his resignation. Crowley's esteem of Parsons may be gauged from the fact that he declined to accept the resignation, and asked Parsons to reconsider. Parsons agreed to remain as head of the Lodge.
Parsons had by this time inherited a large, Victorian-style mansion from his father, in a well-to-do area of Pasadena. He needed to rent out some rooms to make ends meet, and he scandalized the neighborhood by ensuring that only bohemians and the like were accepted. By the summer of 1943 Helen had had a child by Smith, and divorce was in the air. Jack Parsons took up with Helen's younger sister Sara Northrup, known as Betty. This time was one of turmoil for Parsons. We can get a glimpse of it from a document he wrote some years later, "ANALYSIS BY A MASTER OF THE TEMPLE", where he speaks of himself in the third person. It includes the following allusion to this time:
"Betty served to effect a transference from Helen at a critical period. Had this not occurred, your repressed homosexual component could have caused a serious disorder. Your passion for Betty also gave you the magical force needed at the time, and the act of adultery tinged with incest seemed as your magical conformation in the Law of Thelema."
We get a further glimpse of Parsons' uncertainty in the course of a letter from Jane Wolfe to Crowley, early in 1945. She wrote:
"Last evening, when Jack brought me these various papers for me to post to you, I saw, for the first time, the small boy, or child. This is it that is bewildered, does not quite know when to take hold in this matter, or where, and is completely bowled over by the ruthlessness of Smith -- Smith, who has a master-hand when it comes to dealing with this boy."
However, Parsons was also beginning to be seen in something of a sinister light. In the course of a letter to Karl Germer, Jane Wolfe wrote about a strange atmosphere that was manifesting. The following comes from the end of 1945:
"There is something strange going on, quite apart from Smith. There is always Betty, remember, who hates Smith. But our own Jack is enamoured with Witchcraft, the houmfort, voodoo. From the start he always wanted to evoke something -- no matter what, I am inclined to think, as long as he got a result.
According to Meeka yesterday, he has had a result -- an elemental he doesn't know what to do with. From that statement of hers, it must bother him -- somewhat at least."
Phyllis Seckler, from whose account this passage of Jane Wolfe's has been drawn, adds her own memories to this:
"Meeka also reported to Jane that another two persons always had to do a lot of banishing in the house. They were sensitive and knew that there was something alien and inimical was there. When I had been there during the summer of 1944, I also knew there were troublesome spirits about, especially on the third floor. It got so I couldn't stand being up there, and a friend of mine couldn't even climb the stairs that far, as the hair on the back of her neck began to prickle and she got thoroughly frightened."
Into this maelstrom came a very fateful contact. In August 1945 Parsons met L. Ron Hubbard, the future founder of Scientology, who at that time was known as little more than a writer of pulp stories and something of an eccentric. At the time he met Parsons he was a naval officer on leave, and Parsons invited him to stay at his house for the remainder of his leave. They had quite a lot in common. Parsons was very interested in science-fiction, as was Hubbard. Hubbard, for his part, was interested in psychism and magic. As anyone will know who has read the critical biography of Hubbard, "BARE-FACED MESSIAH", by Russell Miller, he was a very bizarre character indeed. For all his charisma, charm and eccentricity, Hubbard appears to have been little other than a confidence trickster, and from his point of view Parsons was one more victim to be exploited. There is a certain parallel with Parsons' relationship with Smith -- the more so because Hubbard and Betty started a passionate affair. In spite of this, Parsons' admiration of and enthusiasm for Hubbard remained unabated. In a letter to Crowley of late 1945 he wrote:
"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 that he is in direct contact 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... I think I have made a great gain, and as Betty and I are the best of friends there is little loss. I cared for her rather deeply, but I have no desire to control her emotions, and I can, I hope, control my own. I need a magical partner. I have many experiments in mind..."
Enochian Air Tablet
The "magical partner" is a reference to Hubbard -- not to a Scarlet Woman, as might at first be supposed. In January 1946 Parsons devised an Operation to, as he put it, "...obtain the assistance of an elemental mate". The core of this Working consisted of the utilization of the Enochian Tablet of Air, or rather a specific angle of it. This was to be the focus of VIIIº sexual magick, with the purpose of giving substance to the elemental summons. Parsons continued with this for eleven days, evoking twice daily. He noted various psychic phenomena during this period, but felt discouraged by the apparent failure of the Operation. However, success followed several days later. In his own words:
"The feeling of tension and unease continued for four days. Then on January 18 at sunset, whilst the Scribe and I were on the Mojave Desert, the feeling of tension suddenly stopped. I turned to him and said 'it is done', in absolute certainty that the Operation was accomplished. I returned home, and found a young woman answering the requirements waiting for me. She is describable as an air of fire type with bronze red hair, fiery and subtle, determined and obstinate, sincere and perverse, with extraordinary personality, talent and intelligence.
During the period of January 19 to February 27 I invoked the Goddess BABALON with the aid of magical partner (Ron Hubbard), as was proper to one of my grade."
In case any reader has just beamed down from another planet, perhaps it should be mentioned that the "young woman" referred to was Marjorie Cameron. The more romantic amongst us will perhaps be disappointed to learn that she seems to have existed prior to Parsons' elemental summons. She and Parsons married in October 1946; and the certificate gives her age as then 24, her birthplace as Iowa, and her profession as an artist. At one time she had served in the U.S. Navy. At the time of this Working she was on a visit from New York, where her mother lived, and she returned there after the Babalon Working for a while.
The passage by Parsons just quoted is a striking one, for several reasons. It is notable that, even with the advent of Marjorie Cameron he continued to regard Hubbard as being his magical partner. I don't think that Parsons ever considered that he had conjured her from thin air, so to speak. However her appearance is accounted for -- synchronicity, sheer coincidence, magical manipulation of events, or whatever -- is irrelevant. The aim of the Operation as a whole was to invoke Babalon, and obtaining the services of a suitable Scarlet Woman by elemental summons was -- at least at the time -- a means to this over-riding end. This needs to be borne in mind, because otherwise there is a temptation to see Parsons and Cameron as constituting the love-story of the century; in fact, the relationship was rather more complex than that.
At the end of February 1946, Hubbard went away for a few days. Parsons went back to the Mojave Desert and invoked Babalon. He gives no further details of this, unfortunately. All he does say is that during this invocation
"...the presence of the Goddess came upon me, and I was commanded to write the following communication..."
This communication, which purports to be the words of Babalon, consists of 77 short verses. Whether it was direct voice, trance, or inspired writing, he does not say. The answer probably lies in his Magical Record of this period, but as far as I know it has not survived.
This communication of 77 verses he entitled "LIBER 49". He does not explain the title, but no doubt considered such explanation unnecessary, since 49 is a number sacred to Babalon. Chapter 49 of Crowley's "THE BOOK OF LIES" is a panegyric to Babalon. The connection is evident in "THE VISION AND THE VOICE", in which Babalon is a strong and alluring current, and indeed the core of the series of visions. In the account of the 27th Aethyr the symbol of Babalon is as a blood-red rose of 49 petals -- red with the blood of the saints who have squeezed every last drop into the Cup of Babalon. In the afore-mentioned 27th Aethyr we read:
"O Mother, wilt thou never have compassion on the children of earth? Was it not enough that the Rose should be red with the blood of thine heart, and that its petals should be 7 and by 7?"
Crowley's note to this adds:
"This is the use to which Babalon puts the blood of the Masters of the Temple (see 12th Aethyr) to vivify the rose of eternal creation; i.e. the attainment of the Master of the Temple fills the world with life and beauty..."
Since it casts further light on the symbolism of Babalon, and shows how firmly rooted this Babalon Working is in "THE VISION AND THE VOICE", it will be useful to quote one further passage, this time from the account of the 15th Aethyr:
"There appears immediately in the Aethyr a tremendous column of scarlet fire, whirling forth, rebounding, crying aloud. And about it are four columns, of green and blue and gold and silver, each inscribed with writings in the character of the dagger. And the column of fire is dancing among the pillars. Now it seems that the fire is but the skirt of the dancer, and the dancer is a mighty god. The vision is overpowering.
As the dancer whirls, she chants in a low, strange voice, quickening as she goes: Lo! I gather up every spirit that is pure, and weave him into my vesture of flame. I lick up the lives of men, and their souls sparkle from mine eyes. I am the mighty sorceress, the lust of the spirit. And by my dancing I gather for my mother NUIT the heads of all them that are baptized in the waters of life. I am the lust of the spirit that eateth up the soul of man. I have prepared a feast for the adepts, and they that partake thereof shall see God.
Now it is clear what she has woven in her dance; it is the Crimson Rose of the 49 Petals, and the Pillars are the Cross with which it is conjoined. And between the pillars shoot out rays of pure green fire; and now all the pillars are golden. She ceases to dance and dwindles, gathering herself into the centre of the Rose."
Parsons spent the rest of his life devoted to Babalon -- some would say that he became obsessed by Her.
"LIBER 49" contains instructions for the earthing of this Babalon current in the form or an avatar, daughter or manifestation of Babalon, who was to appear amongst us. It would seem that Parsons was expecting a full-blown incarnation, and not simply the inauguration of a force. The second verse of the text declares it to be the fourth chapter of "THE BOOK OF THE LAW", and it is worth quoting this in full:
"And this is my book, that is the fourth chapter of the Book of the Law, He completing the Name, for I am out of NUIT by HORUS, the incestuous sister of RA-HOOR-KHUIT."
In terms of content, level of inspiration, and style, "LIBER 49" is nothing like "THE BOOK OF THE LAW"; and on this basis alone, the claim can be looked at askance. We could expect, I think, that a fourth chapter would evince some sort of continuity with the three chapters received by Crowley, and this is not at all evident in "LIBER 49". However, the key to the claim lies in the reference, in the quoted passage, to "the Name". The name is Tetragrammaton, IHVH; and the "He completing" is the He final. On this basis, Parsons considered it axiomatic that Father-Mother-Son, IHV, was incomplete without the Daughter, the He final; this he considered to be Babalon, the natural complement of Vau, the Son, Horus. Consideration of this is, I can appreciate, something of a hiccup to a straight narrative of Parsons and the Babalon Working. However, it is so central to his thinking that it really ought to be outlined now.
I can best give the flavor of this by quoting a couple of passages from one of his essays that has yet to be published. He discusses the break-up of patriarchy in the dawn of the twentieth century, and the beginnings of a new age of Horus. The nature of this is seen as disruptive, bringing confusion and terror. He instances two terrible wars, the atomic bomb, and an increase in epicene and homosexual tendencies. He continues as follows:
"But the great event of the aeon, which will bring with it the possibility of redemption to the whole of the western world, has not yet been made manifest. We, who contain the knowledge of this event among Ourselves until the time is right, and who were in fact the instruments of its gestation, give these present indications.
The Aeon of Horus is of the nature of a child. To perceive this, we must conceive of the nature of a child without the veil of sentiment- ality -- beyond good and evil, perfectly gentle, perfectly ruthless, containing all possibilities within the limits of heredity, and highly susceptible to training and environment. But the nature of Horus is also the nature of force -- blind, terrible, unlimited force. That is why the West stands in imminent danger of annihilation. that is why the West also stands in the possibility of the most rapid and tremendous evolution that the world has ever known. The balance must be love and understanding, or else all else fails. Now We have said enough for this place.
Then let the student read and meditate upon the ritual of Horus, constructing the total nature of Horus out of the polyphony of the component concepts. And, if he dare, let him invoke Horus and partake of the power and energy that is his right under the New Aeon. And let him also consider the love whereby Horus may be fulfilled and dignified; and meditating on this, let him prevision and invoke that which is to come."
I haven't come across any material written by Parsons prior to the Babalon Working. However, the probability must be that ideas similar to this -- the need for a complement to Horus -- were on his mind before 1946.
A few days after receiving "LIBER 49", Parsons put in hand the ritual preparations as indicated in the text. Again in his own words:
"On March 1 and 2, 1946, I prepared the alter and equipment in accordance with the instructions in "LIBER 49". The Scribe, Ron Hubbard, had been away about a week, and knew nothing of my invocation of BABALON, which I had kept entirely secret. On the night of March 2 he returned, and described a vision he had had that evening, of a savage and beautiful woman riding naked on a great cat-like beast. He was impressed with the urgent necessity of giving me some message or communication. We prepared magically for this communication, constructing a temple at the alter with the analysis of the key word. He was robed in white, carrying a lamp; and I in black, hooded, with the cup and dagger. At his suggestion we played Rachmaninov's "Isle of the Dead" as background music, and set an automatic recorder to transcribe audible occurrences. At approximately 8pm he began to dictate, I transcribed directly as I received."
Hubbard's vision sounds a bit too glib to me. It sounds rather like he'd seen a copy of "THE BOOK OF THOTH" Atu XI, "LUST", showing the Whore astride the Beast. There would have been at least one copy of "THE BOOK OF THOTH" around Parsons' place, I would have thought. Interestingly, in spite of Hubbard being referred to as "the Scribe", it was Hubbard who was giving utterance to "astral communications", and Parsons writing them down. As far as the Babalon Working is concerned, Hubbard is the joker in the pack, the factor infinite and unknown. His whole career, both before and after his involvement with Parsons, shows him to have been a confidence man par excellence.
Events after the Babalon Working, when he effortlessly swindled Parsons out of thousands of dollars, demonstrate that Parsons was as readily taken in as anyone. It is surely legitimate for us to wonder, therefore, to what extent Hubbard's undoubted talents for deceit -- both of himself and of others -- colored the whole Working. This is not to invalidate it, or to declare it abortive, but to sound a cautionary note. After all, Edward Kelly seems by some accounts to have been a person of dubious repute, to put it mildly; but this does not automatically negate the worth of the Workings which he conducted with John Dee. There is another interesting parallel between Hubbard and Kelly, as we shall see later.
The Workings arising from "LIBER 49" continued for several nights, and they contained instructions for further rituals. These rituals were intended to facilitate the earthing of Babalon. Some of the communications received in the course of these Workings are of a fierce, intense beauty, as a few excerpts will illustrate:
"She is flame of life, power of darkness, she destroys with a glance, she may take thy soul. She feeds upon the death of men.
"The first ritual. Tomorrow the second ritual. Concentrate all force and being in Our Lady BABALON. Light a single flame on Her alter, saying: Flame is Our Lady, flame is Her hair, I am flame.
Display thyself to Our Lady; dedicate thy organs to Her, dedicate thy heart to Her, dedicate thy mind to Her, dedicate thy soul to Her, for She shall absorb thee, and thou shalt become living flame before She incarnates. For it shall be through you alone, and no-one else can help in this endeavour."
The rituals used included, for the most part, passages adapted from Crowley's works. For instance, there is material drawn from "THE GOTHIC MASS", "THE VISION AND THE VOICE," and "TANNHAUSER". This is not plagiarism on the part of Parsons. The rituals had to be drawn up quickly, and these passages were at hand. Parsons had a beautiful and lucid writing style of his own, and would have been more than capable, in different circumstances, of devising his own invocations.
Some of the communications received in the course of the Babalon Working have very forceful sexual expression, bordering on the rapacious. Consider, for instance, this passage:
"In verse seven verses of seven lines, seven magick words. Stand and chant seven times. Envision thyself as a cloaked radiance desirable to the Goddess, beloved. Envision Her approaching thee. Embrace Her, cover Her with kisses. Think upon the lewd lascivious things thou couldst do. All is good to BABALON. All.
"Then rest, meditating on this:
"Thou as a man and as a god hast strewn upon the earth and in the heavens many loves. These recall; concentrate, concentrate each woman thou hast raped. Remember her, think upon her, move her into BABALON. This verse shall be used in worship when She appears.
"Then meditate upon thy desire, think upon Her, and, touching naught, chant these verses. Recall each lascivious moment, each lustful day, all set then into the astral body, touching naught.
"Preserve the material basis... The lust is Hers, the passion yours. Consider thou the Beast raping.
"Leaving thy casual loves -- all belongs to BABALON, thy lust is BABALON's. She is with thee three days. The sign is Hers, secret, and no man knows its correspondences. Guard."
We should be wary of seeking to draw too close an analogy between differing systems, and particularly between deities from those systems. Bearing this in mind, however, an analogue does suggest itself between Kali and Babalon; perhaps Babalon is more sexually loaded. In any case, all are aspects of the One Goddess, and Babalon is a particular aspect of Nuit. Verse 22 of the first chapter of "THE BOOK OF THE LAW" says,
"Now, therefore, I am known to you by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I shall give him when at least he knoweth me...".
This secret name was the correct spelling of Babalon, which was given to Crowley whilst he was scrying the 12th Aethyr; until then, he had been using the Biblical form -- "Babylon". By Gematria, Babalon enumerates as 156; and in a note to his account of the 12 Aethyr Crowley tells us that "the formula of 156 is constant copulation or samadhi on everything". It is the blind, sexual passion that carries all before it -- dionysian. There is a close connection between Babalon and Pan. In a note to the account of the 2nd Aethyr, Crowley observes:
"From this it would appear BABALON (who is speaking through one of her ministers) is the feminine (or androgyne) equivalent and not merely the complement of Pan. This is shewn in many of her images."
This is echoed elsewhere by Parsons, who wrote:
"But I say that that perfect image in the heart of man is patterned by the awful lust in space-time that shapes all women, the insatiable and eternal lust of Pan that is BABALON."
After the Babalon Working had been concluded, all that Parsons could do was wait. He had been told that the Operation had succeeded, that conception had occurred, and that in due course the avatar or Daughter of Babalon would come to him, bearing a secret sign that Parsons alone would recognize, and which would prove her authenticity. Hubbard, though, had rather more mundane considerations on his mind, and several weeks later he and Betty absconded with a vast amount of Parsons' money. This amounted to many thousands of dollars as an investigation in Allied Enterprises, a fund set up by Parsons, Betty and Hubbard, and into which Parsons was persuaded to sink most of his savings. Parsons eventually managed to track them down, and recovered a fraction of his money after taking legal action. Parsons had no further contact with either Hubbard or Betty after this.
He was, though, beset with other problems. Preoccupied with the Babalon Working as he had been, he neglected his duties towards Agape Lodge and its members. This was perhaps the final straw for many of his peers. I get the impression that many of them considered him something of a prima donna, were tired of his waywardness, and saw an opportunity to cut him down to size. The various members of the Lodge never seemed to have much compassion in telling tales on each other to Crowley, and he received reports from several different sources on this latest escapade of Jack Parsons. From these reports, Crowley concluded that Parsons' flaws had finally overcome his promise, and that Parsons was a gullible fool beyond redemption. He was, furthermore, infuriated by Parsons' intimations that, in the interests of secrecy, he could not provide a full account of what had transpired during the Babalon Working. Parsons was suspended from his position as head of the Lodge, and departed soon after.
It is hard to know in greater detail just what did go on at this time. I have seen a letter which Crowley wrote in January 1946 -- some weeks prior to the Babalon Working -- in which he names someone other than Parsons as Grand Master of Agape Lodge. Be that as it may, I have also seen a reference to Parsons being called to account, at a special Lodge meeting, over certain things with which his colleagues were unhappy -- such as coming up with a text which purported to be the fourth chapter of "THE BOOK OF THE LAW", an act of heresy for which he was lucky not to be burned at the stake. It is certain that he departed the O.T.O. at around this time, though he continued to regard himself as a member of the A.'.A.'. He remained on friendly terms with many of his colleagues, and he continued to correspond with Germer until his death.
Not so with Crowley, however. Crowley must have been bitterly disappointed with Parsons. He had had a high regard for his abilities, as well as a keen awareness of faults such as impulsiveness and recklessness -- faults which, as Crowley now saw it, had led to an inevitable downfall. Two short letter extracts show this disappointment -- both, as it happens, to Louis T. Culling. In the course of a letter dated October 1946, he said:
"About J.W.P. -- all that I can say is that I am very sorry -- I feel sure that he had fine ideas, but he was led astray firstly by Smith, then he was robbed of his last penny by a confidence man named Hubbard."
His last words are in the course of a letter of December 1946:
"I have no further interest in Jack and his adventures; he is just a weak-minded fool, and must go to the devil in his own way. Requiescat in pace."
Although Parsons and Hubbard went their separate ways after the court settlement, that is not quite the end of the story as far as Hubbard is concerned. Mention was made above to a further parallel between Hubbard and Kelly. In the course of a letter in January 1950, Parsons drew attention to an interesting similarity. In the course of the Babalon Working, the rituals included the Enochian Call of the Seventh Aire. This was in line with a passage in "LIBER 49", where Parsons was urged to "...seek me in the Seventh Aire". Parsons continued:
"I have the text of Dee's skrying in the Seventh Aire, which as he said '...so terrified me that, beseeching God to have mercy upon me, I finally answer that I will from this day forward meddle no more herein'. The voice, speaking from Kelly, resulted in a sinister dissociation of Kelly's personality. The parallel with my own Working with Ron, is appalling. After this Kelly robbed Dee, absconded with his wife, and developed a criminal confidence career. This is the voice:
'I am the Daughter of Fortitude, and ravished every hour from my from my youth. For behold, I am Understanding, and Science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They cover and desire me with infinite appetite; few or none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stars, and covered with the morning clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in myself. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beasts of the field understand me. I am deflowered, yet a virgin; I sanctify, and am not sanctified.
Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many symbols, and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not. Purge your streets, O ye of men, and wash your houses clean; make yourselves holy, and put on righteousness. Cast out your old strumpets, and burn their clothes, and then I will come and dwell amongst you; and behold, I will bring forth children unto you, and they shall be the Sons of Comfort in the Age that is to come.'
In view of the fact that this MSS was unknown to Hubbard and I, the parallelism is really extraordinary. I have found another prophecy in "KHALED KHAN", which I shall send later..."
Quite how much of this is true, I don't know. The passage as quoted in the letter does differ in some ways from the passage as published in Meric Casaubon's selection of the Dee diaries,
"A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed For Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits", published in 1659.
For instance, the concluding phrase "...in the Age that is to come" does not appear. Also, I have yet to ascertain how true the account is of Kelly's exit from Dee's life and his subsequent career. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing thought the Hubbard's life could have been disrupted through the Babalon Working. After reading the critical biography about Hubbard ("BARE-FACED MESSIAH", by Russell Miller) it seemed to me that the time with Parsons was a definite watershed for Hubbard. Prior to it, he seemed basically a colorful, mendacious eccentric; after it, he seemed to slide into insanity. There is no sharp dividing line, but the difference is clear.
In 1969, the "Sunday Times" newspaper published an article on the lines of "Founder of Scientology involved in Black Magic", in which they recounted details of the Babalon Working. The article was based on details gleaned from the Gerald Yorke Collection at the Warburg Institute, to which the reporters had gained access. Hubbard instituted legal proceedings for libel, and the "Sunday Times" for reasons of their own decided not to fight it. Subsequently, Yorke withdrew from the Warburg those papers relating to the Working. They were incidentally, returned some years ago, following Yorke's death, but are under a 25-year seal. At the time of the action, the Church of Scientology made a statement alleging that Hubbard had been sent in as an FBI agent to break up a "Black Magic group" which had included several prominent scientists. The operation had, they continued, succeeded beyond the wildest expectations: he rescued a girl that they were "using", and the group was dispersed and never recovered.
The activities of Parsons during the next few years are not at all clear. I have only been able to catch glimpses through letters and the like. In 1948 Parsons lost his security clearance to perform classified government defense work, and for a man of his profession this was the virtual withdrawal of his livelihood. This action was stated to be "because of his membership in a religious cult ... believed to advocate sexual perversion ... organized at subject's home ... which had been reported subversive". Parsons commented later that he was suspended on charges of belonging to the O.T.O. and circulating "LIBER OZ". Parsons defended himself in closed court, and the charges were dropped. In the meantime, Marjorie Cameron left him; their estrangement lasted several years. What lay behind this rift I do not know, but it did seem final at the time. In the document referred to earlier, "ANALYSIS BY A MASTER OF THE TEMPLE", he makes the following allusion -- again, he is speaking in the third person:
"Candy appeared in the answer to your call, in order to wean you from wetnursing. She has demonstrated the nature of woman to you in such unequivocal terms that you should have no further room for illusion on the subject.
The suspension and inquisition was my opportunity -- one of the final chains in the link. At this time you were enabled to prepare your thesis, formulate your Will, and take the Oath of the Abyss, thus making it possible (although only partially) to manifest. The exit of Candy prepares for the final stage of your initial preparation."
"Candy" is short for Candida, the Magical Name of Marjorie Cameron. There was a reunion in late 1949 or early 1950, and they resumed living together as man and wife.
As mentioned earlier, Parsons still considered himself a member of the A.'.A.'. In December 1948 he took the Oath of Magister Templi, and the name Belarion, Antichrist. This oath was taken in the presence of Wilford T. Smith, with whom he had evidently retained some sort of relationship. In 1949 he issued "THE BOOK OF THE ANTICHRIST". This is a short text, and in it he relates how he was stripped of everything that he was, and then rededicated to Babalon. This was, he considered, a recharging of the current generated by the Babalon Working. He also pledged that the work of The Beast 666 would be fulfilled, and he seems to have seen that work as being, at least in part, a subversion of Christian ethics. He further prophesied that within seven years Babalon would manifest, so bringing his work to fruition.
In September 1950 his employment at Hughes Aircraft Corporation was terminated. He was found to be in possession of a number of classified documents -- several of them, as it happens, being co-written by him and dating from his days at Cal. Tech. A lengthy investigation by the State Attorney followed in which the FBI were involved. Parsons it emerged, was hopeful of finding employment in Israel. To this end he was seeking to persuade them of the case for building a jet-propulsion factory complex, and had been using the documents for background information. It was eventually concluded that there were insufficient grounds for prosecution, many of the documents containing information that should by then have been declassified anyway. However, there were repercussions. The Appeals Board, who had reinstated his security clearance in March 1949, informed him that in their view he no longer had the requisite honesty and integrity; accordingly, the clearance was again withdrawn in January 1952. This would have been the end of Parsons' career in that particular scientific area.
From some incomplete essays that survive from this period, it seems that Parsons was working towards building up some sort of teaching Order with a Thelemic core, but relating to paganism and witchcraft, and was preparing papers of instruction for such an Order. By profession he was now building his own chemicals practice. He had sold the main part of his property -- the mansion itself -- for redevelopment some time earlier, and occupied the coach-house. The garage he had converted into a laboratory, equipped with chemicals and equipment. There was a plan to move to Mexico for awhile, both to pursue mystical and magical research and to further his chemical practice. He and Cameron had actually vacated the coach-house, Parsons went back and forth over the course of several days, moving out his chemicals onto a trailer. On one such visit, on the afternoon of 17 June 1952, he dropped a container of fulminate of mercury, a highly-unstable explosive. The resulting explosion was powerful and devastating, destroying most of the coach-house. Parsons was seriously injured; horrifically enough, though, he was still conscious when rescuers got to him. He died an hour later, in the hospital.
Controversy has remained over his death. Many regarded it as highly unlikely that a scientist of his experience could so mishandle such a powerful explosive. During those last days he wrote what was probably his last letter, to Karl Germer. It is bizarre, and merits quoting in full, it perhaps casts light on his frame of mind at the time:
"No doubt you will be delighted to hear from an adept who has undertaken the operation of his H.G.A. in accord with our traditions.
The operation began auspiciously with a chromatic display of psychosomatic symptoms, and progressed rapidly to acute psychosis. The operator has altered satisfactorily between manic hysteria and depressing melancholy stupor on approximately 40 cycles, and satisfactory progress has been maintained in social ostracism, economic collapses and mental disassociation.
These statements are mentioned not in any vainglorious spirit of conceit, but rather that they may serve as comfort and inspiration to other aspirants on the Path.
Now I'm off to the wilds of Mexico for a period, also in pursuit of the elusive H.G.A. before winding up in the guard (room) finally via the booby hotels, the graveyard, or ---? If the final, you can tell all the little practicuses that I wouldn't have missed it for anything."
No one. Once called 210.
The manner of Parsons' death brings to mind the association of Babalon with flame. The lengthy passage quoted earlier from the "THE VISION AND THE VOICE" uses the idea of flame, as did the material communicated during the Babalon Working. The passage,
"...for She shall absorb thee, and thou shalt become living flame before She incarnates..." is particularly haunting.
In some of his letters written in the years after the Babalon Working, Parsons seemed to be expecting a violent death, and he almost certainly had this similar passage in mind. A fragment survives from an earlier version of "THE BOOK OF BABALON", which is interesting in this connection:
"...because of this mystery BABALON is incarnate upon the earth today, awaiting the proper hour for Her manifestation. And this my book, that is dedicated to Her, is preparation and a portent for that time. And in that day my work will be accomplished, and I shall be blown away upon the Breath of a Father, even as it is prophesied. And thus I labour lonely and outcast and abominable, and he-goat upon the muck heaps of the world. Yet I am content with my lot, since though I am clothed with barncloth, yet shall I come in power and purple, for of this also am I contemptuous. Yea, I am."
Whatever the truth of this matter, Jack Parsons has remained over the years a figure of fascination to many. I have attempted in the course of this essay to summarize the events of the last fifteen or so years of his life. A more considered evaluation of his life and work requires a lot more research and experience, and remains a labour of love for someone. To that person, "BELOVED OF BABALON" is offered as a foundation.
JPL's Sorcerous Scientist
Jack Parsons: Sorcerous Scientist
1990 by Douglas Chapman
Strange Magazine #6, ISSN 0894-8968
P.O. Box 2246, Rockville, MD 20847
"The [Babalon] Working began in 1945-46, a few
months before Crowley's death in 1947, and just
prior to the wave of unexplained aerial phenomena
now recalled as the 'Great Flying Saucer Flap'...
Parsons opened a door and something flew in.
"A Gateway for the Great Old Ones has already been
established -- and opened -- by members of the O.T.O.
who are en rapport with this entity [Lam, an extra-
terrestrial being whom Crowley supposedly contacted
while in America in 1919]."
-Kenneth Grant, O.T.O.
The Sorcerous Scientist
"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.
I see each charwoman, ecstatic, inhuman,
angelic, demonic, divine.
Each wagon a dragon, each beer mug a flagon
that brims with ambrosial wine." (1)
-John Whiteside (Jack") Parsons (1943)
The preceding poem is the most famous written work of John Whiteside Parsons (1914-1952). He helped make science fiction into fact, yet this dark and handsome man, born of a well-to-do Los Angeles family, made his private life "visionary" in a different way, being as involved with ceremonial magic outside of working hours as he was with rocketry research during the day. In the mid-to-late 1940s, his major accomplishments behind him, magic came to obsess him all the more.
Frank Malina, one of his colleagues at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) in Pasadena, has chronicled John (Jack) Parsons' contributions to rocketry. (2) In 1936, Parsons and Edward S. Forman came upon a report of a GALCIT (Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory-Caltech) lecture concerning the idea of a rocket-powered airplane. Parsons, though a self-trained chemist, had powers of imagination that proved to be invaluable in all of his pursuits (whether scientific or magical). He and Forman (a mechanic) bad together been making small black-powder rockets.
They wanted to experiment with a liquid propellant rocket motor, so (lacking the funds) they approached Caltech. As a result, Malina (in 1936) came up with a proposal for his doctoral thesis on rocket propulsion and performance in-flight. Theodore von Karman (who headed GALCIT) gave Malina permission to collaborate with Forman and Parsons, even though the latter two were neither students nor staff members of the institute.
Even so, funds were scarce, and the three experimenters chipped in necessary funds for the materials. They conducted the tests at Arroyo Seco, behind the Devil's Gate Dam in Pasadena (very near the present-day Jet Propulsion Laboratory), a site that, unbeknownst to them, had previously been used by rocketry pioneer Robert Goddard. (Forteans should make special note of the 'Devil's Gate' place-name.)
The "Suicide Squad"
Weld Arnold and Hsue Shen Tsien soon joined GALCIT rocket research, completing the well-remembered team. The group became known as the 'suicide squad" because of a 1937 test misfire in which a nitrogen dioxide/alcohol cloud caused a thin layer of rust to appear on much lab equipment. Henceforth, the small scale rocket motor responsible was moved from the building. The failed experiment, providentially, gave Parsons an important idea (to be recounted shortly).
In the summer of 1938, the staff decreased, leaving Malina, Forman and Parsons as remaining core members. A few months later, the National Academy of Science (NAS) Committee on Army Air Corps Research commenced study with the GALCIT rocket research group, with the express interest of finding ways to assist the takeoffs of heavily-laden aircraft by using rocketry.
A $10,000 contract was thus awarded by the NAS to Caltech to develop "jet" (actually rocket) propulsion to be used to provide "super-performance" for propeller aircraft. Liquid and solid propellant rocket engines were part of this research. Von Karman took charge, with Malina, Parsons and Forman being the major members of his staff. In 1940, Parsons was able to show the Air Corps that red-fuming nitric acid was a better oxidizer than liquid oxygen (making use of knowledge gained from the 1937 misfire). (3) This led to important later developments.
As can be seen, Parsons was already invaluable to the development of the technology that eventually got America into outer space.
The Secret Parsons
But he had a secret life, which appeared totally at odds with his public one, and it came to further dominate his life as the '40s progressed.
Jack Parsons and his wife Helen bad come into contact with the Agape lodge of the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis international magical fraternity) in Los Angeles in 1939, and had joined it in 1941. It was under the leadership of Wilfred Talbot Smith, a Britisher who had founded this particular lodge about a decade earlier, circa 1930.
Smith and Parsons' wife hit it off nicely and he was soon not much in evidence around the house and the O.T.O. Gnostic Mass temple in the attic. This latter space was fully fitted out, and even had a copy of the Egyptian 'Stele of Revealing,' venerated by followers of the famous magician Aleister Crowley. It was the only such temple in the world at that time which was properly functioning.
Crowley, the world head of the O.T.O., took action that increased Parsons' stature in the Order. Circa 1943-44, he convinced Smith, via a paper entitled 'Is Smith a God?' that astrological research had shown that Smith was not a man, but actually an incarnation of some deity. Taking the hint that Crowley wanted him out, the "god" went into private magical practice, eventually with reportedly rewarding results, remaining head of the lodge in name only.
Parsons became acting master of the lodge. (4) Why did Crowley in effect kick Smith upstairs? The ostensible reason seemed to be the danger that the man was turning the Order into (as Crowley put it) 'that slimy abomination, a love cult'." (5)
Actually, Crowley, who was unable to emigrate to the United States, was isolated from the only successful O.T.O. lodge in the world. Because of this frustration, bad blood resulted, despite the fact that Smith was probably the best field commander Crowley ever had.
Parsons had lost his wife to Smith, yet remained on good terms with her. He was kept busy by Order activities, one of the most important of which was the sending of money to Crowley, for both the old man's minimal upkeep and the O.T.O. publishing fund. A good percentage came from Parsons' own pocket." (6)
Crowley, who brought actual fame to the O.T.O. (which was already well-known in Masonic circles), was one of Parsons' major inspirations in life. The elderly man's accomplishments had been many: as a poet, publisher, mountain climber, chess master, and bisexual practitioner of sexual magic (or "Magick," as he termed it). Made famous by yellow journalists as the "Wickedest Man in the World," he considered his central identity to be the "Great Beast 666" as referred to in the book of "Revelation" in the Bible, though he was not leaning on that work particularly in his religious ideas.
Needless to say, Crowley felt that the Bible had misconstrued the meaning of the Beast and the Whore of Babylon necessary elements of the succession to the Aeon of Horus, the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child.
Crowley synopsized human development thusly:
"Within the memory of man we have had the Pagan period, the worship of Nature, of Isis, of the Mother, of the Past; the Christian period, the worship of Man, of Osiris, of the Present. The first period is simple, quiet, easy, and pleasant; the material ignores the spiritual; the second is of suffering and death: the spiritual strives to ignore the material.... The new Aeon is the worship of the spiritual made one with the material, of Horus, of the Child, of the Future." (7)
Renowned as the most noted master of the occult of the last century, Crowley's work is still influential (his books are sometimes stocked even in New Age bookstores).
According to most accounts, when Parsons' father died (circa the early '40s), Parsons inherited a mansion and coach-house at 1003 South Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena, California. To the shock of the neighbors, the place became a haven for Bohemians and atheists, who were the sort of people to whom Parsons liked to rent out rooms.
The lodge headquarters was moved to this location, making use of two rooms in the house: the bedroom (which became a properly decorated temple), and a wood-paneled library dominated by an enormous portrait of Crowley.
According to a story told by L. Sprague DeCamp (most recently appearing in the June 24, 1990 Los Angeles Times, p. A35), at one point the police -- who had heard neighbors' reports of a ritual in which a nude pregnant woman jumped nine times through a fire in the yard -- came to investigate, but Parsons put them off by emphasizing his scientific credentials.
His Career Rockets
Returning to the events of 1940, the explosions of many of Parsons' rockets on the test stand caused second thoughts among many involved in the government-financed project. After work by Von Karman and Malina on the differential equations involved on the theoretical side, Parsons was given permission to keep on with his tests, and a few months later the earliest "jet-assisted takeoff" rockets were created. These were the direct forerunners of the modern large solid-propellant engines.
The first American rocket-assisted takeoff (August 12,1941) made use of a Parsons-developed solid-propellant (GALCIT 27 -- which provided a 28 lb. maximum thrust for 12 seconds). But tests showed that GALCIT 27 would explode when stored for long periods, so Parsons, Mark M. Mills and Fred S. Miller came up with a more stable fuel (GALCIT 53) in June 1942.
At the same time, others were working with Parsons' idea for a red-fuming nitric acid-gasoline engine (a liquid propellant rocket). On April 15, 1942, the first American flight of an aircraft making use of such rocket engines to assist takeoff was accomplished.
The previous month, Malina, Parsons and Forman, with the advice of von Karman's attorney, had set up the Aerojet Engineering Corporation in March 1942, for the express purpose of properly exploiting the developments that they had been making. Jack Parsons was one of the vice-presidents at the time of incorporation and helped supervise the changeover to full-scale production." (8)
Parsons' High Ideals
Also a science fiction enthusiast, Parsons met fellow fan Alva Rogers, who romanced another resident of Parsons' house.
"I always found Jack's insistence that he believed in, and practiced, magic hard to reconcile with his educational and cultural background," Rogers opined.
He originally thought that Parsons was just doing it to shock his friends until he saw letters from Crowley, and evidences of Parsons' funding of the guru. (9)
Parsons' magical idealism becomes clear if one peruses his writings. In the 1946 essay "Freedom is a Two Edged Sword" (newly reprinted in an anthology of the same title, published by Falcon Press) he writes of the deeper meanings of his quest:
"[The individual] must go down like Moses, into his unknown self ...into the labyrinths of the dark land. There he will meet the Mother and hear her final question, which is not a silly riddle but the most wonderful and terrible of all questions: 'what is man?'
"And thereafter ...he may find the Graal, ultimate consciousness ...For it is he, wonderful monster, embryo god, that has swum in the fish....peered from the eyes of serpents, swung with the ape, and shaken the earth with the tramp of the tyrannosaurus hoof. It is he who has cried out on all crosses, ruled on all thrones, grubbed in all gutters. It is he whose face is reflected and distorted in all heavens and hells, he, the child of the stars, the son of the ocean, this creature of dust, this wonder and terror called man." (10)
After having lost Helen Parsons to Smith in 1944, Parsons soon fell for her younger sister, Sara Northrup (a.k.a. Betty), who was 18 year old and a student at USC. Parsons encouraged her to drop out of school and come live with him (not exactly thrilling her parents). She joined the O.T.O. and was not monogamous, since she agreed with Parsons that jealousy was a base emotion not fit for the illuminated.
Delineating such beliefs, he once wrote that,
"...by debasing the mother image into a demon-virgin-angel, it has denied each daughter the possibility of her fulfillment," and that "...by imputing the concepts of nastiness, dirt, shamefulness, guilt, indecency and obscenity to the entire sexual process, it has poisoned the life force at its source." (11)
He tried his hardest to live up to his philosophy, but events put him to the extremist possible test, leading as they did to his eventual estrangement from Betty.
During this period, also (circa 1945), Parsons became friends with science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, with whom he shared many interests. Details of their friendship can be found in the biographies of Hubbard.
The Scarlet Woman
Parsons and an associate attempted to bring about some sort of incarnation of the goddess Babalon. To understand Parsons' attitude towards Babalon, one can refer to his "Freedom..." essay:
"She will come girt with the sword of freedom, and before her kings and priests will tremble and cities and empires will fall, and she will be called BABALON, the scarlet woman....And women will respond to her war cry, and throw off their shackles and chains, and men will respond to her challenge, forsaking the foolish ways and the little ways, and she will shine as the ruddy evening star in the bloody sunset of Gotterdamerung, will shine as a morning star when the night has passed, and a new dawn breaks over the garden of Pan" (12)
Parsons performed rituals (reportedly to the background music of Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff records) for 11 days in a process known as the "Babalon Working." On the second and third days he got an unwanted result, writing to Crowley that "the wind storm is very interesting, but that is not what I asked for." (13)
On the seventh day of the Working, Parsons was awakened by seven loud knocks. Getting up, he soon discovered a smashed table lamp.
Other phenomena occurred on subsequent nights, including an (alleged) attack by an entity against one of their group which knocked a candle out of the man's hand and paralyzed his right arm overnight. Parsons banished - by gesturing at it with a magical sword - what they took to be a seven-foot-tall, brownish-yellow light. It is rumored that he thought the apparition to be Wilfred T. Smith. (14)
On January 18, 1946, Parsons returned from a magical undertaking, finding the needed "Scarlet Woman" (Marjorie Cameron) waiting for him at the house. Parsons was overjoyed and wrote to Crowley:
"I have my elemental! ...She has red hair and slant green eyes as specified." (15)
Parsons, on February 28, 1946, went out into the Mojave Desert in order to invoke Babalon, thus taking down 77 clauses of what came to be known as his Book of Babalon.
Further work at the home temple produced more instructions for an imminent ritual, the directions for which were supposedly emanating from the astral plane.
The rituals (whose objective was to produce a magical child, "mightier than all the kings of the earth") continued for two days. Parsons was confident of their effectiveness, and wrote an exultant letter to Crowley, whose response was not what would have been wished. Parsons was upset by his mentor's lack of comprehension. Crowley immediately wrote a letter to Karl Germer (who was the head of the O.T.O. in the U.S. at that time) stating that,
"Apparently Parsons...or somebody is producing a Moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts." (16)
Crowley reorganized the lodge on the basis of these actions removing Parsons from power.
Parsons, Betty, and a key magical associate activated Allied Enterprises (a yacht business of theirs), the intent of which was to buy boats in the East in order to sail them to California -- where they could command a higher price.
The business had been founded some time earlier. But, as it eventually worked out, Parsons was undergoing financial hardship in the West, and went after his partners to find out why they had not shown up in California. They were nowhere to be found. He soon discovered that they were out at sea. From within a Miami, Florida hotel room, Parsons invoked Bartzabel (the spirit of Mars and war). A squall forced his associates back to port. (17)
Dade County, Florida court records reveal that Parsons filed a lawsuit. (18) The result: Parsons got two of the boats back and made an arrangement with his partners, so that they could pay him off for the third. He never saw them again. Betty continued to think well of Parsons (despite their estrangement), calling him a "truly great man." Even so, she married the other business partner. One can easily imagine Parsons' feelings about this turn of events. Both had been key people in his personal, magical and business lives.
Because of the O.T.O. disaster, Parsons changed his magical emphases to "the Witchcraft." (19)
He sold the main house at South Orange Grove, moving (with Marjorie Cameron - whom he later married) into the coach-house on the property.
Several of the original incorporators of Aerojet sold out their stock in the company to General Tire in 1952. Frank Malina did not do so, and became, as a result, very rich. (20) It is rumored that Jack Parsons had sold his shares in the mid-1940s.
In 1949, with, surprisingly, Wilfred T. Smith as witness, Parsons took the Oath of the Abyss, to unite himself with the Universal consciousness, taking the magical name of Belarion Armiluss Al Dajjal AntiChrist. John Symonds, a biographer of Crowley, has stated that Parsons had by now become psychotic (21) (but it should be kept in mind that Symonds is a man of generally harsh judgments). On the contrary, Parsons' writings from the late 1940s and early 1950s show a sparkling lucidity.
Take, for example, this again-timely comment from "Freedom...":
"Religious groups, backed by a publicity conscious press, are constantly campaigning for the prohibition of art and literature which, as if by divine prerogative, they term, 'indecent,' immoral or dangerous.
"It would seem that all organizations are devoted to one common purpose, the suppression of freedom. Nor is their sincerity any excuse. History is a bloody testament that sincerity can achieve atrocities which cynicism could never conceive." (22)
In a 1950 Introduction to the essay, he writes: "We are one nation, and one world....We cannot suppress our brothers' liberty without murdering ourselves. We will stand together, as men, for human freedom and human dignity, or we will fall together, simians all, back to the swamp." (23)
Parsons' answer to the dilemma was magick, discussed in his essay "On Magick."
"It may be stated," he writes, "that magick is the method of training individuals towards total consciousness by the stimulation of various centers of the mind and by the cultivation of field thinking. The object of this training is the manifestation of initiated leadership towards a more conscious, better integrated, and more interesting and significant social culture. In short the object of magick is the unfoldment of the individual in all the ways of love; and the enlightenment of society to accept all the commitments of this unfoldment as the necessary conditions of progress." (24)
If these are the writings of a madman, then many people are mad, including a number of those promoting the New Age way of life.
Sorcery And Science: An Explosive Combination
On June 20, 1952, Parsons was working in the private experimental laboratory in his garage. At 5:08 p.m., the place exploded. The general opinion was that he had dropped fulminate of mercury (25). His shattered body lay within the destroyed edifice.
a tiny artificial man with magic powers
It has been rumored that this was the end result of building psychological pressures. Otherwise, why would he have dropped what he was said to have, when a trash can containing cordite and wrappers of fulminate of mercury was nearby? Especially since he was about to travel to Mexico to test a new explosive he had devised, which was "more powerful than anything yet invented." George Santmeyers, who had worked with him for five years on industrial projects (and did not believe in the rumors of his magical activities) did not think an accident plausible, considering Parsons' technical knowledge. (26)
But there were other theories. In Nat Freedland's book The Occult Explosion, Renate Druks, an artist and educational filmmaker (who once, at her Malibu beach house, hosted Marjorie Cameron) related an alternate version:
"I have every reason to believe that Jack Parsons was working on some very strange experiments, trying to create what the old alchemists called a homunculus, a tiny artificial man with magic powers. I think that's what he was working on when the accident happened." (27)
As magical work does not usually lead to explosions, nor deal with explosives, this seems unlikely. Having lost his security clearance because of providing Israel some secrets of his wartime work, Parsons was doing movie special effects work at this time, but of the explosive variety, not the fantastical. (28)
There were rumors of self-inflicted death or even murder connected with Parsons' demise. Sources close to Parsons have suggested that there was not just one explosion, but two. It is said that Parsons and Cameron would mix dynamite and other explosives in the many vats in the lab. Why then, it has been asked, was the first explosion supposedly from under the floorboards?
This would seem to hint that a bomb bad been planted there. There has been some speculation that the rumored perpetrator was neither a friend nor associate of Parson's, but rather an individual who must have bad a strong motive such as revenge.
Nevertheless, if Parsons' death was not a suicide, it becomes even sadder. He and Cameron had many plans for the future, having intended to travel to Mexico-and next perhaps to Spain or Israel, according to what Cameron told others. (29)
Whatever actually caused Parsons' death, and whether there was any public distortion of the truth or not, in regard to what happened next there has been no dispute. His mother, Ruth Virginia Parsons, after hearing the tragic news, committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping tablets, in front of a frightened, crippled friend who could not move to help her. (30)
Many men of genius have behaved quirkily in their private lives. Parsons' tragedy was that his brand of idealism was often 'rewarded' by betrayal. Yet, while his delvings into magic may not have been as beneficial to society as his rocketry research, they have left us with some points to consider. Frater H.H.D. introduced his contribution thusly:
"By applying to occultism the scientific acumen so intrinsic to his professional research, he anticipated the ontological implications of current quantum physics concerning the nature of reality." (31)
While this claim may be debatable (and similar ones have been advanced towards other modern mystics), Parsons did keep careful records of his magical work, thus allowing the generations that follow to have some chance of evaluating his magick experiments, designed to make use of alleged unknown aspects of reality.
Some have tried to make sense of it already. Kenneth Grant, a British magician, has made some -- to say the least -- astounding inferences about Parsons' Babalon Working. He writes that:
'The Working began in 1945-46, a few months before Crowley's death in 1947, and just prior to the wave of unexplained aerial phenomena now recalled as the "Great Flying Saucer Flap." Parsons opened a door and something flew in...." (32)
Crowley's 1919 Portrait of LAM
Grant's associates have kept busy in this regard. Grant states that:
"A Gateway for the Great Old Ones has already been established -- and opened -- by members of the O.T.O. [an English splinter group] who are en rapport with this entity [Lam, an extra-terrestrial being whom Crowley supposedly contacted while in America in 1919 - click image right].
Crowley's portrait of Lam has been reproduced in [Grant's] The Magical Revival....(33) Crowley's rendition, by the way, resembles the typical representation of an UFO entity.
If these suggestively "Lovecraftian" details turn out to have any merit, Parsons may have helped us contact outer space in more ways than one. At the present time, however, such ideas seem highly debatable. Certainly, neither Crowley nor Parsons were of the opinion that their work concerned extraterrestrials of the Lovecraftian or the UFO varieties (though Cameron once sighted a UFO). (34)
Yet, having turned what had been termed "science fiction" into science fact, is it conceivable that Parsons' work may someday do the same for elements of "fantasy?"
His imaginative powers had solved tricky scientific problems and thus paved the way for space travel. Yet, perhaps because of his lack of accredited training, and the fact that the scientific papers to which he contributed were often unpublished (due to wartime secrecy), his name is not to be found in the scientific "who's who" (though a crater on the moon -- 37' N. 171' W. was in 1972 named for him). But his name has often been noted in the histories of magic.
Will further examination of the full extent of his work make him more of a name to conjure with-a man who led the way to inner as well as outer space?
Some corrections and clarifications by OTO's Bill Heidrick
John W. Parsons, from a poem printed in the Oriflamme, Journal of the O.T.O., 21 February 1943.
Frank J. Malina, "Origins and First Decade of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory," in The History of Rocket Technology, ed. Eugene Morlock Emme. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1964), pp. 46-59.
Ibid., pp. 46-54.
Francis King and Isabel Sutherland, The Rebirth of Magic (London: Corgi Books, 1982), p. 180; and Hymenaeus Beta, in 22 July 1990 telephone conversation with Mark Chorvinsky and Douglas Chapman.
John Symonds, The Great Beast (Frogmore, St. Albans, Herts: Mayflower Books, Ltd., 1973), p. 445.
lbid; and Hymenaeus Beta, 22 July 1990.
Aleister Crowley, "Synopsis," The Holy Books of Thelema (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1983), p. xxxi.
Malina, pp. 54-59.
Alva Rogers, Darkhouse, 1962.
Jack Parsons, "Freedom is a Two Edged Sword," in Freedom is a Two Edged Sword, ed. Cameron and Hymenaeus Beta. (Las Vegas: Falcon Press, 1989), p. 35.
Jack Parsons, "On Magick," in Freedom is a Two Edged Sword, ed. Cameron and Hymenaeus Beta. (Las Vegas: Falcon Press, 1989), p. 48.
Parsons, "Freedom," pp. 43-44.
Symonds, p. 447.
Hymenaeus Beta, 22 July 1990.
Symonds, p. 447.
Ibid., p. 448.
King and Sutherland, p. 181.
Case No. 101634, Circuit Court, Dade County, Florida.
King and Sutherland, p. 182.
The Frank J. Malina Collection at the California Institute of Technology -- Guide to a Microfiche Edition, ed. Judith R. Goodstein and Carol H. Bugd. (Pasadena, CA: Institute Archives, Robert A. Millikan Memorial Library, California Institute of Technology, 1986), p. 17.
Symonds, p. 449.
Parsons, "Freedom," p. 18.
Ibid., p. 10.
Parsons, "On Magick," p. 47.
Symonds, p. 449.
Nat Freedland, The Occult Explosion (New York: Berkley, 1972), pp. 163-164.
Ibid., p. 164.
Hymenaeus Beta, 22 July 1990.
Pasadena Star News, 21 June 1952 and 5 July 1952.
Magick, Gnosticism and the Witchcraft. Ed. Fra. H.H.D. (South Stukely, Quebec: 93 Publishing, 1979).
Kenneth Grant, Outside the Circles of Time (London: Frederick Muller Limited, 1980), p. 50.
Ibid., p. 228. [Grant also reproduces this picture on Plate 13 of this book.]
Hymenaeus Beta, 22 July 1990
JPL's Jack Parsons
and his BABALON Brethren
Jack Parsons and the Fall of Babalon
P.O.B. 1371, Kerrville, TX 78029-1371.
Occultist Aleister Crowley, Pasadena JPL's Jack Parsons & Scientology's L.Ron Hubbard
"That's the way they all became the BABALON Bunch©"
Brother Jack Parsons: The Magickal Scientist and His Circle
by Paul Rydeen
"[The angel] carried my spirit away to the desert. I saw the scarlet woman sitting on the beast with seven heads and ten horns, covered with blasphemous names. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stones and pearls, with a golden cup in her hand filled with the abominations and the unclean things of her fornication. On her forehead a name had been written, 'A Mystery: Babalon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.' I saw the woman was drunk from the blood of the saints, and from the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Seeing her, I wondered greatly."
I shall I write of the mystery and the terror, of the wonder and pity and splendor of the sevenfold star that is Babalon? I shall tell of the tragic life of her most devoted disciple and beloved son, Jack Parsons. In doing so, I will correct previous misconceptions while correlating the known facts and wild legends that lie in several far-flung sources.
Kenneth Grant gives a good description of Parsons in The Magical Revival:
"Imbued with the idea of the Kingly Man, as that expression is understood in the Cult of Thelema [Crowley's invention], Parsons bent his not inconsiderable energies, physical and intellectual, to the discovery of his True Will.
Born on October 2, 1914, in Los Angeles [descendant of a HellFire Club founder, according to Michael Hoffman], he lived a lonely childhood, due in part to his parents' broken marriage. He spent a great deal of his youth reading and day-dreaming, and nurturing a growing resentment of all interference, especially of the kind posing as "authority." He developed strong revolutionary tendencies and when he encountered Crowley's writings -- which he first did through Wilfred T. Smith -- he was instantly alive to the significance of Thelema. He joined Smith's Agape Lodge [OTO], and, at the same time, became a Probationer, 1º = 10º, of the A:. A:.
Smith was a member of Frater Achad's (Charles Stansfeld Jones) OTO lodge in Vancouver. He met Crowley there in 1915. Smith moved to California in 1930. He immediately founded the Agape Lodge in Pasadena. Frater Achad kept the Vancouver lodge open during this period, under a different name. It would later close. In "Alchemical Conspiracy and the Death of the West" Michael Hoffman writes of Parsons. Hoffman tells us that the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) had a temple on nearby Mount Palomar. The local Indians regarded the mountain as holy. Hoffman says, "The OTO believed that Palomar was the sexual chakra of the Earth." Parsons commuted regularly between Palomar and Pasadena. The Mount Palomar Observatory opened in 1949. Smith probably consecrated his temple on Palomar soon after his move to California in 1930, before the Observatory was planned.
Palomar lies just minutes north of the 33rd parallel. This is significant because 33 is an important number in Masonic symbolism. It is the number of the highest grade of the Scottish Rite. It is also the number of years Christ walked on the earth. Hoffman mentions the 33 bones of the human spinal cord. This brings to mind kundalini yoga. Crowley's OTO was a quasi-masonic order. The higher grades show esoteric Hindu influences of a sexual nature.
Parsons first met Smith in 1939. He joined the Agape Lodge in 1941. Parsons was to be its head during the turbid 1940s (ca. 1942-1947). Smith was known in the Lodge as Frater Velle Omnia Velle Nihil (aka Fra. 132). He was an expatriate Englishman. Smith had a reputation for womanizing that equaled Crowley's. Parsons saw Smith as a second father. The two stayed close throughout their lives.
Smith wrote to Crowley in March, 1941,
"I think I have at long last a really excellent man, John Parsons. And starting next Tuesday he begins a course of talks with a view to enlarging our scope. He has an excellent mind and much better intellect than myself...John Parsons is going to be valuable."
Soror Estai (actress Jane Wolfe) had been with Crowley at Cefalu [Italian island where Crowley had previously set up residence before being kicked out by the local authorities] before coming to California. She recorded her first impression of Parsons in her Magical Record for December, 1940:
"Unknown to me, John Whiteside Parsons, a newcomer, began astral travels. This knowledge decided Regina [Kahl] to undertake similar work. All of which I learned after making my own decision. So the time must be propitious. Incidentally, I take Jack Parsons to be the child who 'shall behold them all' [i.e., the Mysteries. See the Book of the Law I: 54-55].
"26 years of age, 6'2", vital, potentially bisexual at the very least, University of the State of California and Cal. Tech., now engaged in Cal Tech chemical laboratories developing 'bigger and better' explosives for Uncle Sam. Travels under sealed orders from the government. Writes poetry -- 'sensuous only', he says. Lover of music, which he seems to know thoroughly. I see him as the real successor of Therion [Crowley]. Passionate; and has made the vilest analyses result in a species of exaltation after the event. Has had mystical experiences which gave him a sense of equality all round, although he is hierarchical in feeling and in the established order."
Parsons' father died in 1942. He left his son a mansion in an expensive part of Pasadena. This may have been his way of making up to his son for his childhood. Parsons shocked the staid residents of this well manicured neighborhood when he started renting out rooms to less-than-desirable tenants. "Only atheists and those of a Bohemian disposition," his newspaper ad stated. The frequent visitors, noisy parties, and questionable goings-on raised many eyebrows. Parsons needed the extra income these renters paid. His progress with rockets had yet to yield any success.
Alva Rogers was a long-time resident of the Parsons house on Orange Street. Rogers became associated with the house after attending several science fiction meetings there. Parsons held these informal meetings regularly on weekends. Rogers wrote,
"Mundane souls were unceremoniously rejected as tenants. There was a professional fortune teller and seer who always wore appropriate dresses and decorated her apartment with symbols and artifacts of arcane lore. There was a lady, well past middle age but still strikingly beautiful, who claimed to have been at various times the mistress of half the famous men in France. There was a man who had been a renowned organist in the great movie palaces of the silent era. They were characters all. [From the rent they paid] Jack admitted that he was one of Crowley's main sources of money in America."
At one point local police came to investigate an alleged backyard ceremony. A pregnant woman had reportedly jumped nude through a fire nine times. The police made it clear how absurd they thought the claim was. Parsons easily assured them of his community standing. He was an important rocket scientist with a professional reputation to uphold.
Burton Wolfe writes of a sixteen-year-old boy who reported Parsons to the police. He told them that Parsons' followers had forcibly sodomized him during a Black Mass at the house. The police investigated. They found Parsons' cult to be little more than an organization dedicated to religious and philosophical speculation, with respectable members such as a Pasadena bank president, doctors, lawyers, and Hollywood actors." At one point the FBI became involved after receiving some anonymous letters. One bore the signature, "An American Soldier." The police again cleared Parsons of all charges. They would later stand by their findings when further accusations arose.
Wilfred Smith's mistress of many years was Regina Kahl. She was also his High Priestess of the Gnostic Mass. Separate photos of her and Smith are in The Equinox Vol. III, no. 10. Smith had a charming personality, a strong affinity for the opposite sex, and what Grant calls "something more than an aptitude for magick." One of Smith's conquests was Soror Grimaud, aka Helen Northrup. She was Parsons' first wife.
Helen bore Smith a child in 1943. Crowley decided that was enough of Smith's sexual infidelity. His affairs were a detriment to the Order. Crowley expelled him through an ingenious means. Crowley drew up a horoscope for Smith based on the unusual circumstance of his birth. Smith's horoscope had a complex of eight planets. One could interpret this horoscope as if Smith were an avatar of some god. This was something Crowley had found in only one other instance, that of Shakespeare.
Crowley sent Smith on a Grand Magical Retirement to find the god within himself. Crowley wrote Liber Apotheoosis (aka Liber 132) for Smith to use as his guide. Smith's Retirement took place on Temple Hill at Rancho Royale, not Mount Palomar. Helen accompanied him. Crowley formally expelled Smith in late 1943. Parsons then became Acting Head of the Lodge. Regina Kahl would die during Smith's Magical Retirement, in late 1945 or early 1946. Her untimely death deeply depressed him.
Parsons divorced Helen in 1943. In the meantime he struck up a relationship with her younger sister Betty. Like Helen, Betty acted as Parsons' priestess at the Gnostic Mass. She was also his partner in the performance of 9th Degree magic. This is the magic of inducing altered states through prolonged sexual ecstasy. At Parsons' urging the teenage Betty left the University of Southern California (USC), to her parents' chagrin.
Enter "Frater H." Grant refers to him as "a confidence trickster who had wormed his way into the OTO on the pretense of being interested in Magick." He was "still at large , having grown wealthy and famous by a misuse of the secret knowledge which he had wormed out of Parsons." Other writers refer to him merely as "Frater X." The late Frater X's identity is now clearly a matter of public record. I see no reason to do anything other than call him by name. He was L.Ron Hubbard: philosopher, world traveller, science fiction author, and founder of Scientology.
Parsons was young and impressionable. He had gone through repeated upheavals during his short life. He was vulnerable. Hubbard made a big impression on him. Parsons forgot his obligation and violated his oath to the Order. He revealed to Hubbard the secrets of the highest grades of the OTO.
Parsons wrote to Crowley in July, 1945,
"About three months ago I met [Hubbard], a writer and explorer of whom I had known for some time [because he wrote science fiction]...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...We are pooling our resources in a partnership that will act as a limited 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..."
The magical partner Parsons envisioned was to be his partner in a 9th Degree working. Grant writes,
"Having lost confidence in women, Parsons decided to attract an Elemental Spirit to take Betty's place..."
These spirits are called Elementals because of their association with the four elements of the ancients. To summon one requires a large amount of magical energy, the kind generated by an 8th Degree working. The practice of the 8th Degree is a solo sexual rite.
"The instructions that accompany the eighth Degree of the OTO contain methods for evoking an Elemental, or familiar spirit. It is said to be an easy matter to attract such a spirit because the souls of the elements desire constantly to be absorbed into the cycle of human evolution, this being the only way in which they can achieve salvation and perpetuity of existence. On being appropriated by a human organism, the elemental finally becomes absorbed in the immortal principle in man."
Compare Jim Morrison's remark to an interviewer that the air around us is full of spirits.
"They know we exist, and envy us our bodies."
Grant quotes from the instructions for the 8th Degree, written about the adept desirous of performing such an operation:
"(1) That he choose wisely a reasonable soul, docile, apt, beautiful, and in all ways worthy of love.
"(2) That he fall not away from love of the Great Goddess into love of this inferior, but give only as a master and of his mercy, knowing that this also is service to the Goddess.
"(3) That of such familiar spirits he have but four [one for each element?]. And let him regulate their service, appointing hours for each.
"(4) That he treat them with kindness and firmness, being on his guard against their tricks.
"This being said, it is enough; for to have them is but the pains to call them forth from their homes. And the Spirits of the Elemental Tablets given by Dr. Dee and Sir Kelley are the best..."
In 1943 Parsons published a brief poem in the Oriflamme, an OTO publication. At this point it bears repeating:
"I hight don Quixote, I life on peyote,
marijuana, morphine and cocaine.
I never know sadness, but only a madness
that burns at tle heart and the brain.
I see each charwoman, ecstatic, inhuman,
angelic, demonic, divine.
Each wagon a dragon, each beer mug a flagon
that brims with ambrosial wine."
Symonds and Wilson have documented that narcotics and hallucinogens were a basic staple of Crowley's magical diet. It is easier to induce astral vision when one alternately dulls and excites the senses by chemical means. One cannot underemphasize the role of drugs here. I suspect they were a part of the Babalon Working. Combined with sex magick, this makes a powerful tool.
Using the "Angelick" language channelled by Elizabethan astrologer John Dee and his scribe Edward Kelley, Parsons began his operation. He recited the Seventh Aire (or Aethyr) in the original Enochian. Per Crowley's advice, he kept diligent records. Parsons would later compare some of the curious results to Kelley's own criminal life. The surviving fragments of Parsons' Babalon Working are now the property of the OTO. Parsons' second wife Marjorie Cameron holds the copyright to Freedom Is A Two-Edged Sword.
The preliminaries began January 4, 1946 at 9 pm. Prokofiev's Violin Concerto played loudly on the phonograph. The formal working would begin the following evening. Russell Miller refers to it as eleven nights of "talisman waving." Later that month Parsons would write Crowley describing his progress. He noted a spontaneous windstorm as a curious side-effect. It began the second day and lasted throughout the Babalon Working. Parsons awoke on the sixth day of the Working, January 10. He heard nine loud, unexplainable knocks. I note a similarity to the nine regular knocks that Whitley Strieber felt confirmed the existence of his Visitors [interesting correlation here, no? -B:.B:.]. Parsons got out of bed. He noticed a lamp lay smashed on the floor. The knocks were repeated on the 15th.
January 15 was the eleventh and final day. Hubbard perceived a spirit "clad in a black robe and having an evil pasty ["grey" -B:.B:.] face." Grant says this was Smith, who had failed to identify the god within himself. Grant says Smith astrally attacked Parsons in revenge. The electricity went out as they began invoking and something struck Hubbard on the right shoulder. It knocked a candle from his hand. "He called me," Parsons wrote, "and we observed a brownish-yellow light about seven feet high. I brandished a magical sword, and it disappeared. Ron's right arm was paralyzed for the rest of the night." Parsons awakened later that night after hearing a "buzzing, metallic" ["alien" -B:.B:.] voice. The voice cried, "Let me go free!" Parsons sleepily performed the brief magical operation (nonsexual) known as the License to Depart. It is in the Goetia, or Lesser Key of Solomon. Smith's spirit was free to return to his body.
Parsons wrote Crowley,
"I have diligently followed the VIIIth Degree instructions as:
(a) creation of new orders of beings with consecrated talismanic images. Possible connective result: increase in writing output;
(b) Invocation of Mother Goddess, using Priest's call in mass and silver cup as talisman; sometimes using suitable poetry such as Venus. Possible connective result: loss of Betty's affections as preliminary to
(c) Invocation of Air Elemental Kerub [Cherub]...in Enochian Air Tablet."
The rite ended with Parsons commanding the spirit to appear in human form. On January 18 they went into the Mojave Desert to recuperate. Parsons turned to Hubbard at the end of the trip and said simply, "It is done."
On February 23, 1946 Parsons triumphantly wrote to Crowley, "I have my elemental! She turned up one night after the conclusion of the Operation, and has been with me since." The Elemental was Marjorie Cameron, sprung from Parsons' head like Sophia from the Godhead or Pallas Athena from Zeus. She adopted the magical name "Candida," [candida -- a vaginal and occasionally intestinal parasitic yeast/fungus -B:.B:.] calling herself "Candy" for short. Soon she married Parsons, and helped him with his magick.
Crowley sent Parsons an admonishment about Cameron. He reminded him of Eliphas Levi's advice that, "The love of the Magus for such things [Elementals] is insensate and may destroy him." Be aware that Crowley considered himself to be the reincarnation of Levi. Crowley also claimed to have intervened personally on Parsons' behalf, presumably on the astral plane. He does not say. It is possible Crowley knew someone who could send a girl like Cameron to Parsons. Cameron was from New York, though she had been born in Iowa and raised in the "Cthulhu Country" of Wisconsin. Crowley had spent some time in New York during World War I. Cameron spent most of her February back in New York visiting her mother. Hubbard was out of town on business.
On February 28, Parsons made a solo trip back to the desert and received Liber 49 in an unexplained manner. Jacques Vallee says Parsons claimed to have met a Venusian there in 1945 or 1946. Without the exact date, one cannot tell if the Venusian was the implied source of Liber 49. Parsons took this to be an affirmation of the need to produce a magickal child.
When Hubbard returned he channelled a message from a red-haired, green-eyed angel ordering them to,
"Light first flame at 10pm, March 2, 1946. The year of Babalon is 4063."
That would be 2118 BC, the significance of which I have not determined. Cameron returned from New York and moved in with Parsons. She was now to be an integral part of the Babalon Working. After Parsons' initial contact with the Beyond, Hubbard began acting as seer. Parsons called him Scribe in his notes. I do not know whether Hubbard actually participated in the higher workings of the OTO. Based on other sources I will discuss shortly it is clear he was present when Parsons did.
The operation began as directed on March 2. That evening a fire started in Parsons' chimney. Later he decided it had occurred when he had smashed an image of Pan as a sacrifice. The idol had been a favorite personal possession. The papers containing the Seventh Aire that he burned may have had something to do with the fire as well. Parsons expressed his confidence, but wrote, "Now I can do no more than pray and wait."
Between the second and fourth of March, 1946, Parsons recorded in a letter to Crowley what he described as,
Secretly he did write her name. He called her Babalon. [Hence the latter-day "BVM" apparitions of Fatima, Lourdes and Medjugorje (read: strife-torn Bosnia) which, though ostensibly benign, caused "the most devastating experience of Parson's life" and ushered in the current wave of "UFO/ET" phenomenology via the soon afterward Roswell crash, Ken Arnold and George Adamski (et al) sightings -- giving birth to the modern "UFO" mythos. All this from the apocalyptic "great whore of Babylon." -B:.B:.] The one identified in The Book of the Law is the Egyptian goddess Nuit. In Liber 49 Babalon says she is the incestuous daughter of Nuit and Horus. Her avatar on earth is the Scarlet Woman. Babalon is not mentioned in The Book of the Law. The Scarlet Woman is.
"the most devastating experience of my life. I believe it was the result of the IXth Degree working with the girl who answered my elemental summons. I have been in direct communication with one who is most Holy and beautiful, mentioned in The Book of the Law. I cannot write the name at present."
Parsons documented the working in The Book of Babalon, of which a little survives. Liber 49 he came to see as a heretical fourth chapter of The Book of the Law. There are only three. He saw the four chapters as corresponding to the four letters of the ineffable name of God: YHWH, the Hebrew Yod He Vau He. He assigned one chapter to each letter and to what each letter represented. Unknown to Parsons, Frater Achad would proclaim the Aeon of another goddess in Vancouver, the Egyptian Maat. Crowley expelled Achad (Charles Stansfeld Jones) from the Order as well.
Scientology's L. Ron Hubbard
7. Part 1 - The Book of Babalon (from The Book of Babalon - Sub-Figura vel Liber Babalon)
11. Part 2 - The Book of ANTICHRIST (from The Book of Babalon - Sub-Figura vel Liber Babalon)
23. JPL's Jack Parsons - The Scientific Sorceror
210. Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword
666. Babalon: A:.A:. Liber Cheth