jack parsons dream
Both rocketry and magic were rebellions against the very limits of human existence; in striving for one challenge he could not help but strive for the other. In this way, the Suicide Squad became JPL in 1943. Sprague de Camp, author of over a hundred fantasy and sci-fi books, declared him, "an authentic mad genius if ever I met one.". In July 1945, Parsons gave a speech to the Agape Lodge, in which he attempted to explain how he felt that The Book of the Law could be made relevant to "modern life". [148], On June 17, 1952, a day before their planned departure, Parsons received a rush order of explosives for a film set and began to work on it in his home laboratory. [57] He continued to read Crowley's works, which increasingly interested him, and encouraged Helen to read them. Parsons soon constructed a solid-fuel rocket engine, and with Forman corresponded with pioneer rocket engineers including Robert H. Goddard, Hermann Oberth, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Willy Ley and Wernher von Braun. [126] Although he had become distant from the now largely defunct O.T.O. While some of his Suicide Squad colleagues saw Parsons' incipient occultism as kooky—communism was the preferred diversion of most Caltech students in the 1930s, according to period stories from school newspaper The California Tech—it did not prevent them from recognizing his genius at manufacturing rocket fuels. Feeling both "repulsion and attraction" for Smith, Parsons continued to sporadically attend the Church's events for a year. From the start he always wanted to evoke something—no matter what, I am inclined to think, as long as he got a result." He speculated in a June 1949 letter to Germer that his clearance was revoked in response to his public dissemination of Crowley's Liber OZ, a 1941 tract summarizing the individualist moral principles of Thelema.

So too did the scientific establishment. They fenced together, discussed magic together, and even performed magical rituals together. In 1943, with the need for advanced research into rockets growing exponentially, Parsons co-founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to continue the study of his one-time backyard playthings. His right forearm was amputated, his legs and left arm were broken and a hole was torn in the right side of his face. On May 22, 1946, he wrote a telegram to one of the OTO's other members: "Suspect Ron playing confidence trick—Jack Parsons weak fool—obvious victim prowling swindlers.". On August 21, 1941, Navy Captain Homer J. Boushey, Jr.—watched by Clark Millikan and William F. Durand—piloted the JATO-equipped Ercoupe at March Air Force Base in Moreno Valley, California.

Parsons was lacking any scientific qualifications beyond high school, but his enthusiasm piqued the interest of a broad-minded graduate student named Frank Malina. [105] Parsons attracted controversy in Pasadena for his preferred clientele. Malina's security clearance was withdrawn as well. Many of Parsons' former colleagues lost their security clearances and jobs as a result, and eventually the FBI stripped Parsons of his clearance because of his "subversive" character, including his involvement in and advocacy of "sexual perversion" in the O.T.O. Both had received allegations of a "black magic cult" involved in sexual orgies; one complainant was a 16-year-old boy who said that he was raped by lodge members, while neighbors reported a ritual involving a naked pregnant woman jumping through fire. They contacted liquid-fuel rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard and he invited Malina to his facility in Roswell, New Mexico, but he was not interested in cooperating—reticent about sharing his research and having been subjected to widespread derision for his work in rocketry. [23], In hopes of gaining access to the state-of-the-art resources of Caltech for their rocketry research, Parsons and Forman attended a lecture on the work of Austrian rocket engineer Eugen Sänger and hypothetical above-stratospheric aircraft by the institute's William Bollay—a PhD student specializing in rocket-powered aircraft—and approached him to express their interest in designing a liquid-fuel rocket motor. [147], In 1999 Feral House published the biography Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter, who opined that Parsons had accomplished more in under five years of research than Robert H. Goddard had in his lifetime, and said that his role in the development of rocket technology had been neglected by historians of science;[201] Carter thought that Parsons' abilities and accomplishments as an occultist had been overestimated and exaggerated among Western esotericists, emphasizing his disowning by Crowley for practicing magic beyond his grade. During a series of static experiments, an exploding JATO did significant damage to the rear fuselage of an Ercoupe; one observer optimistically noted that "at least it wasn't a big hole", but necessary repairs delayed their efforts. Malina wrote in 1968 that the self-educated Parsons "lacked the discipline of a formal higher education, [but] had an uninhibited and fruitful imagination. [127], At the emergence of the Cold War, a Red Scare developed in the U.S. as the Congressional House Un-American Activities Committee began investigating and obstructing the careers of people with perceived communist sympathies. He dropped out of Pasadena Junior College and Stanford University due to financial difficulties during the Great Depression, and in 1934 he united with Forman and graduate student Frank Malina to form the Caltech-affiliated Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT) Rocket Research Group, supported by GALCIT chairman Theodore von Kármán. The Navy guaranteed Parsons a contract on the condition that this residue was removed; this led to the invention of Aeroplex, a technology for smokeless vapor trails developed at Aerojet by Parsons. He managed to obtain some consulting work on rockets, but was swept up in in the Red Scare of the post-war years. In 1945 Parsons separated from Helen after having an affair with her sister Sara; when Sara left him for L. Ron Hubbard, he conducted the Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. John Whiteside Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons on October 2, 1914 – died June 17, 1952), better known as Jack Parsons, was an American rocket propulsion researcher at the California Institute of Technology. [141][142], Parsons reconciled with Cameron, and they resumed their relationship and moved into a former coach house on Orange Grove Avenue. Former colleagues like Qian were prevented from returning to the project by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who ensured the secrecy of the operation and restricted the involvement of foreign nationals and political extremists. In 2014 AMC Networks announced plans for a serial television dramatization of Parsons' life,[221] but in 2016 it was reported that the series "will not be going forward. JPL historian Erik M. Conway also attributes Parsons' expulsion to more practical concerns: he "still wanted to work in the same way as he'd done in his backyard, instinctive and without regard for safety". By day he built rockets for the government, by night he emerged from a coffin to perform sex magic with his followers.

Back then most people thought that space travel was impossible, but not Jack. To do so they formed the Aerojet Engineering Corporation in March 1942, in which Parsons, Forman, Malina, von Kármán, and Summerfield each invested $250, opening their offices on Colorado Boulevard and bringing in Amo Smith as their engineer. in North America and in Washington, D.C. he met Poet Laureate Joseph Auslander, donating some of Crowley's poetry books to the Library of Congress. [47] They became well known on campus as the "Suicide Squad" for the dangerous nature of some of their experiments and attracted attention from the local press.

He just happened to also be one of its greatest occultists. Smith and the Thelemites, published by Teitan Press in 2003. ), Aleister Crowley, after reading a copy of Crowley's text Konx om Pax (1907). [167] He took to addressing Crowley as his "Most Beloved Father" and signed off to him as "thy son, John".[179].


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