The pioneering rocket engineer and dedicated Thelemite Jack Parsons is back in the public eye thanks to CBS TV show ‘Strange Angel‘. The first series currently airing is wonderfully lurid and watchable!
CBS describe thusly: Jack Parsons, a brilliant and ambitious blue-collar worker of 1930s Los Angeles, started as a janitor at a chemical factory but had fantastical dreams that led him to birth the unknown discipline of American rocketry. Along the way, he fell into a mysterious world that included sex magic rituals at night, ultimately becoming a disciple of infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. Parsons used Crowley’s teachings of self-actualization to support his unimaginable and unprecedented endeavor to the stars.
October 2, 1914 – June 17, 1952
John Whiteside (Jack) Parsons was a rocket propulsion researcher at the California Institute of Technology and co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). His research was central to the United States rocket program in the 1930s and ’40s, notably in the development of space-capable rocket fuels and the invention of JATO units for aircraft.
Wernher von Braun remarked that Parsons, and not he, should be regarded as the father of the American space program.
Parsons was also an avid practitioner of the magical arts, and a follower of Thelema. He was chosen by Aleister Crowley to lead the Thelemic movement in California in 1941. He was also the sometime magical partner of L. Ron Hubbard. The two participated in a ritual known as the Babalon Working. This relationship lasted until 1947, when Hubbard defrauded Parsons of a sum of money (and ran off with his wife).
Parsons however, soon after rituals designed to attract his Scarlet Woman, met Marjorie Cameron whom he viewed as the ‘elemental’ woman he invoked in the ritual. They continued the ‘Babalon Working’ and married in 1946.
Jack Parsons died in 1952 in a laboratory explosion which although regard as accidental is thought by some to be highly suspicious.
A crater on the far side of the Moon was named after him.