Do You know who John Whiteside Parsons, better known as 'Jack' was? He was the man who essentially invented the solid state rocket fuel that first enabled one of the United States' rockets to reach the moon. Many who were involved in the research at the time, such as Wernher von Braun, a WWII German rocket scientist who eventually defected to America via infamous Project: Paperclip* and is largely credited with the earliest, groundbreaking accomplishments of NASA give more credit to Parsons than to themselves. Parsons came from wealthy, educated and powerful stock and very quickly became an important man around Cal Tech, where the rocket propulsion system that changed the world originated. What is even less known than Parson's himself is that at the age of 26 Jack was initiated into the colloquially mysterious world of Aleister Crowley's occult organization the Ordo Templi Orientis, or the OTO for short (you know how much us occultists love our initials).
The OTO was formed by some accounts between 1895 and 1901 in Austria by some accounts and Germany in others. Originally built around the structure of the ancient Freemasons (not to be confused with the Stonecutters, who inexplicably once made Steve Guttenberg a star) the organization changed considerably once Crowley became involved. Under Crowley the OTO was realigned around the laws of his self-styled religion, Thelema* and took on a more prolific .
So how did the father of the modern rocket, cornerstone of the NASA that we know today become involved in such esoteric, and by all things american 'diabolical' avenues? Let me attempt to explain to the best of my limited ability.
Parsons was seeking. At the age of thirteen it is written in one of his diaries that he had evoked satan himself. Yeah right, I know (you might also know how some occultists, especially I would imagine anyone trained by Crowley himself, like to exaggerate) that sounds insane, but if you read about that kind of thing these days its suggested what that kind of contact actually is (when its not bat-shit crazy) is essentially locking into and communicating with ENERGY.
Now, I know that sounds like I should be working behind the counter of some place that sells incense and Sylvia Browne books, but really, that's what all the hubbub of magick and secret occult lore boils down to.
It's all scientific.
Arthur C. Clarke (R.I.P.) once said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and it works the opposite way as well. So Jack Parsons was manipulating/communicating with all kinds of interesting 'energies'.
Think not? Well he bloody well got us to the moon (I'm sure that seemed like magick to alot of people at the time, so it was - that's the point). He also took part in a particularly infamous ritual, something known as The Babylon Working, whereupon he sought to find a Scarlet Woman to impregnate and bring about a moonchild - someone who could help crack the ether and let in the forces that would expedite the end of the world as we know it.
I know, I know. Backup, right? Now I know that's the kind of shit that may sound crazy, but really, it depends on how you look at things. Sure, I love my life and the world I've constructed for it, the people I populate it with. That I'm attached to, just as most of you are. But beyond that there is a really fucking evil world out there with ALOT of bad, evil shit going on, and these days there are always those sublime moments when watching things go from bad to worse when I'm able to kind of feel past my ego and see that in a lot of ways, the 'world' would be better off if it was ended. I'm not one (as neither was Parson's I'm sure) who believes in traditional, Christian after-life scenarios. I look at the idea of death, although really fucking frightening to the ego-plex, as the achievement of perfection for the soul. Parson's and other occultists are ballsy in that even they value the 'perfection' of the world over their own attachments to living/life and actively seek out ways to make this happen. This was the goal of alchemists and mystics all along. It just depends on how big an ideal they're willing to tackle and how far they are willing to go. Agenda's are ALWAYS at stake.
So Jack Whiteside Parson's agenda was one of enormous task and he spent his life actively pursuing it.
I've essentially condensed a much larger topic into a smaller space. I won't write more on it because much already has been (well, maybe not much in comparison to something like WW2, but you know what I mean). Although there is an entire book on this that came out in double ought by John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson, my favorite writing on this topic is Disinformation's Richard Metzger's brief article: THE CRYING OF LIBER 49 in the Disinfo BOOK OF LIES, published in 2003. Great book on the occult, start to finish, all areas of it.