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John Whiteside Parsons: Anti-Christ Superstar
2005 12 09

Oh my, don't miss my comment at the end of the article.

By Richard Metzger |

"All stories are true, every last one of them. All myths, all legends, all fables. If you believe them true, then they are true. If you don't believe them, then all that can be said is that they are true for someone else." - Dave Sim, Cerebus.

When the history of the American space program is finally written, no figure will stand out quite like John Whiteside Parsons. Remarkably handsome, dashing and brilliant, Jack Parsons was one of the founders of the experimental rocket research group at Cal Tech and the groups seven acre Arroyo Seco testing facility would eventually become Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA's rocket design center.

Werner von Braun claimed it was the self-taught Parsons, not himself, who was the true father of the American space program for his contribution to the development of solid rocket fuel. Although Parsons has been memorialized with a statue at JPL and has had a crater on the dark side of the moon named in his honor, his story remains shrouded in mystery, for what is little known about this legend of aerospace engineering is that Parsons was an avid practitioner of the occult sciences, and for several years, Aleister Crowley's hand-picked leader of the US branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the Southern California-based Agape Lodge.

Parsons was born in Los Angeles on October 2, 1914, the son of a wealthy and well connected family living in a sprawling mansion on Pasadena's Millionaire Row. His father worked for Woodrow Wilson. After his parents' divorce, the solitary childhood of Parsons imbued him with a deep hatred of authority, and a contempt for any sort of interference in his activity. Parsons interest in the occult apparently commenced at an early age and in one of his diaries he claimed to have visibly evoked Satan at the tender age of 13.

After discovering Crowley's philosophy of Thelema (Greek for true will), Parsons joined the Agape Lodge in 1941. Wilfred T. Smith, the expatriate Englishman who started the order in the early 1930s with a charter from the Great Beast himself, wrote of Parsons in a letter to Crowley: "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."

Another member of the Lodge, Crowley's old friend, actress Jane Wolfe described Parsons as "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 rose quickly through the ranks, taking over the Agape Lodge from Smith at Crowley's decree within a year.

"For I am BABALON, and she my daughter, unique and there shall be no other women like her." - The Book of Babalon, verse 37

In one of the most celebrated feats in magickal history, Parsons and pre-Dianetics L. Ron Hubbard (whose role is too complicated to describe in this short essay) performed The Babalon Working, a daring attempt to shatter the boundaries of time and space and intended to bring about, in Parsons' own words, "love, understanding, and Dionysian freedom [...] the necessary counterbalance or correspondence to the manifestation of Horus."

The above reference recalls Crowley's announcement of the Aeon of Horus, described in his Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis), a blasphemous, strangely beautiful, prose poem which Crowley received from a discarnate entity called Aiwass in Cairo in 1904. Crowley, self-styled Great Beast 666, considered himself the avatar of the Antichrist and the Book of the Law is a proclamation that the era of the slave gods (Osiris, Mohammed, Jesus) had come to an end and that the Age of Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child had begun. In its infancy, Crowley predicted, the Aeon would be characterized by the magickal formula of bloodshed and blind force, the tearing down of the established orders to make way for the new. Crowley held the two World Wars as evidence of this, but did not see the Horus-force as evil, rather as embodying the innocence of a hyperactive child who is like a bull in a china shop. Babalon, a Thelemic counterpart of Kali or Isis, was described by Parsons as, "... black, murderous and horrible, but Her hand is uplifted in blessing and reassurance: the reconciliation of opposites, the apotheosis of the impossible."

The impossible was precisely what Jack Parsons, the scientific sorcerer, had in mind.

Lucifer Rising...

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In its initial stages, The Babalon Working was intended to attract an elemental to serve as a partner for Parsons elaborate sex magick rituals. The method employed was that of the solo VIII Degree working of the O.T.O, the quasi-Masonic organization reformulated by Crowley in the earlier part of the century in accordance with his Do What Thou Wilt mythos of Thelema. Parsons used his magickal wand to whip up a vortex of energy so the elemental would be summoned. Translated into plain English, Parsons jerked off in the name of spiritual advancement whilst Hubbard (referred to as The Scribe in the diary of the event) scanned the astral plane for signs and visions.

Apparently, it worked. In a letter to Crowley dated February 23, 1946, Parsons exclaimed, "I have my elemental! She turned up one night after the conclusion of the Operation, and has been with me since."

The elemental was a green-eyed, flaming redhead named Marjorie Cameron, (later of Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome film, an artist of some reknown and a primary force in the New Age Goddess movement). Cameron was only too happy to participate in Parsons' sex magick and now Parsons could get down to the real business of the Babalon Working: the birthing of a moonchild or homunculus. The operation was formulated to open an interdimensional doorway, rolling out the red carpet for the appearance of the goddess Babalon in human form, employing the Enochian Calls [angelic language] of Elizabethan magus John Dee and the attraction of the sex force of the duo's copulation to this end.

As Paul Rydeen points out in his extended essay Jack Parsons and the Fall of Babalon:

"The purpose of Parsons' operation has been underemphasized. He sought to produce a magickal child who would be a product of her environment rather than of her heredity. Crowley himself describes the Moonchild in just these terms. The Babalon Working itself was preparation for what was to come: a Thelemic messiah. To wit: Babalon incarnate as a living female, the Scarlet Woman as consort to the Antichrist, bride of the Beast 666. In effect, Parsons also claimed the mantle of Antichrist for himself, as the magickal heir of Crowley prophesied in Liber AL: 'The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them [the mysteries of the Apocalypse]. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West, for from no expected house cometh that child.'"

Without the Scarlet Woman, the Antichrist cannot make his manifestation, the eschatological formula must first be complete. In whiter words, with the magickal rites of the Babalon Working, it was Parsons' goal to bring on the Apocalypse.

James Dean of the Occult
Parsons' Babalon gambit was dazzling to say the least: If the earth must first be covered in evil before the return of the Christ consciousness and the final triumph of good, what better way to hasten the uplifting of humanity than to rip an alchemical hole in the fabric of reality and invite the very spawn of Hell in for a rip-snorting orgy of howling madness?

So much is written of Parsons as a psychotic lunatic, but I put it to you dear reader, is the Babalon Working the product of a deranged mind or the ultimate exploration of the absolute furthest reaches of consciousness, putting the pedal to the metal for the living end in revolutionary chic and mind expansion?

Parsons' perverse imitation of Christ was intended to disrupt, oppose, and subvert the established order of things. It's the age old Manichaean battle between good and evil, the forces of order and chaos, the status quo versus revolutionary tendencies. But in the 20th century, these lines have become significantly blurred: If you consider the New World Order multinational corporate monoliths poisoning the planet and reducing mankind to the level of wage slavery for the benefit of the very few to be representative of the good, then the Babalon Working must sound like the most outright evil deed ever perpetrated by a human being. But if you're like me, and would dearly love to see the vile, puss-ridden edifice of Western society burned to the ground, you should see Parsons as the penultimate style icon of psycho-sexual/magickal insurrection, a truly American original if ever there was one. This darkly handsome, genius scientist, was, I submit, the James Dean of the Occult: one spectacularly cool motherfucker.

"Only in the irrational and unknown direction can we come to it [wisdom] again." - Jack Parsons, in a letter to Marjorie Cameron, late 1940s.

The question must be asked: Who is the greater hero -- he who prolongs the agony of this pathetic existence or he who opens wide the Pandora's Box of perdition knowing that this is how the final eschatological chapter must play itself out?

Isn't the Great Work, the cosmic perfection of mankind, the final goal of the alchemists? Just as the rocket scientist Parsons was willing to play dice with heavy explosives, Parsons, the nuclear age warlock was willing to play with fire of a very different sort. Parsons rests firmly in the tradition of the fraternity of Western Magi who include Moses, Solomon, Jesus Christ, John Dee, Adam Weishaupt, Crowley, Gurdjieff and Timothy Leary - great revolutionaries and liberators all.

Parsons wrote in his Manifesto of the Anti-Christ: "An end to the pretence (sic), and lying hypocrisy of Christianity. An end to the servile virtues, and superstitious restrictions. An end to the slave morality. An end to prudery and shame, to guild and sin, for these are of the only evil the sun, that is fear. An end to all authority that is not based on courage and manhood, to the authority of lying priests, conniving judges, blackmailing police, and an end to the servile flattery and cajolery of mods, the coronations of mediocraties, the ascension of dolts."

Amen to that! Parsons was clearly willing to put his money where his mouth was! Abbie Hoffman, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos and Che Guevara seem total pussies in comparison.

Forget your Conspiracy Theory 101, the Illuminati are *not* the bad guys and George Bush was never a member and neither is Henry Kissinger. If, in the words of Christ, it is by their fruits and works that men shall be judged, would you want the Mai Lai massacre or the Gulf War slaughter staining your karma?

Hey, being the Antichrist is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

It's not such a black and white world anymore.

A Magickal Call to Arms

"Parsons opened a door and something flew in." - Kenneth Grant, Outside the Circles of Time.

Did the Babalon Working actually work? For the sake of argument, if you believe it to be true, its true enough. As a metaphor or a myth to explain the psychic and atmospheric turbulence taking place in the world today, it certainly works for me. What has long been prophesied by the world's major spiritual traditions is now coming to pass. Turn on CNN for a couple of hours for ample proof: wars, killer viruses, floods, famines, violent crime, earthquakes, Armageddon cults armed with nerve gas, suicide bombers; Heaven's Gate; the list goes on and on. Certainly Parsons' untimely death in a 1952 chemical explosion would leave the crown of the conquering child unclaimed to this day as Thelemites continue to await their Chaos Messiah, but perhaps Parsons was an Antichrist and his particular mission was to crack open the Apocalyptic gateway and activate the occult forces necessary for the upheaval of consciousness.

The apostles of the new forms of gnosis unearthed by the Babalon Working will be art, the inspired initiator of sacred science and the torch of Gods appearing in new and unexpected forms in the unfolding of the divine drama. The poets, artists, philosophers and thinkers will form the first ranks of perfected humanity and no rules will apply save for freedom and nobility beyond the Kali Yuga.

But this will not happen without a struggle between the forces of control, black magick, and oppressive boredom on one hand and the Luciferian agents of wisdom, unleashed creativity and anarchic rebellion on the other. What we have been brainwashed to believe is good: patriotism, so-called free enterprise, private property, Christianity (not the teachings of Christ, but the hateful travesty that the religion bearing his name has become thanks to the likes of Pat Robertson and his filthy ilk), is now beginning to be seen by the emerging generation of the crowned and conquering child to be the deathtrip bullshit it truly is.

A whole culture is collapsing and a new one is about to be born. Jack Parsons would be pleased.

Richard Metzger is the editor of DisInformation and would like to gratefully acknowledge the valuable conversations with Grant Morrison and the enigmatic being known only as Brother Blue (formerly found at that helped in preparation of this essay.

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Ed comment:
Oh my! This is such an "interesting" aspect of the occult. I'm trying to understand how the use and manifestation of the "dark side" is something that will help us achieve a peaceful, loving and happy world. In a philosophical aspect I think that there is truth to the fact that humanity are going thru different stages of light and dark, and the collective experience of that makes us grow and evolve. But how one considers it necessary to wage war in order to avoid having more war is impossible for me to comprehend. It's completely insane! I see it as the ultimate expression of "the Stockholm syndrome" in order to justify the "forces of dark" to operate and rule over this world - yes, I consider them to be "out there" (or "down here" at this point I should say). Anyway, this "pedal to the metal" philosophy is an oxymoron!

It's an externalization of the "problems" that you see in the world and instead of changing yourself, the conviction seems to be that you first have to show EVERYBODY ELSE how bad and evil the world is because of their behaviour. I mean it's nothing wrong with informing people about the negative effect of certain culture behaviour - but to set up secret societies and masonic orders to bring about the "apocalypse" in order to speed up mans evolution? It's completely insane. Who knows, at this point all the manifestation of "evil" in the world might be cause by men with these kind of philosophies and if they simply would stop, we would finally know peace?

No, no, no there is so much more going on here. This thing have gotten legs of it's own now - and I find it's strange how some people seem to find justification in this destructive behaviour just because people like George W Bush (who is supposed to represent both Christianity the western world?) and other of the ilk, are behaving like war mongering mad men. Simply scratch the surface and you discover that many of the ruling men, both infront of and behind the camera, are satanists (even if they are members of the "the Illuminati" or not)… how about the Skull and bones? Anyway, when you research this you'll find yourself going round and round in a circle of insanity created by a bunch of idiots… who might be nothing more that clones or puppets of the military industrial complex that was created in the first place by the "founding fathers of the great work". They are the problem and they create the problem - because they think that the world must be "cleansed" of evil with the help of evil - It might even be an existential question of these entities themselves? My best guess is that they at this point is nothing more than the manifestation of our collective fear to face reality.

There is also mention about liberty and freedom! Well I want you to define Freedom! What is freedom? And what is it you want to have freedom from? What does liberty really mean? Anarchy or communism (socialism) have in some circles come to represent the "liberation" of man. There will be reason to return to these interesting questions.

The bottom line is you can't end evil by introducing more evil. You can not make peace with war. It's impossible! Just stop this insane behaviour and lead by example. You peace with peace and you Love with Love - how complicated can it be really?

This article obviously have interesting facts and some very disturbing conclusions. It's a strange world indeed.


As per the newest article on Parson's...I somewhat feel for him! I have a background in the O.T.O, though I am now considered 'dead' by that organization. I have numerous degrees in Wicca, again...they've mostly lapsed as I have pulled further from that skein of thought. But I too have a story not quite as intentional perhaps as what Mr.Parson's did but strangely resonant. I have become an afficianado of tyrptamine psychedelics. Ayayhuasca, yopo, and the various psyclocybe fungi. Before i delved into the realm of talking plants I tried laboratory made N-N, DMT, one of the active ingredients in the two plant mixutres i just mentioned.

One night, at exactly 11:11 PST I inhaled 80mg of the DMT with a few flickering candles lit. Thats is a rather large amount to smoke in one hit but I did it. I was overwhelmed byt the initial sensation and just as quickly back to 'normal'. The clock hadn't even changed time! But the room I was in was very different, not 'woo-woo' swirly or anything, just bustling with small fuzzy entities all chanting for me to 'come over here', I declined their offer with the excuse that i had to work the next morning (DMT normally only lasts 5-45 minutes). So I made the mistake IMO of inviting them over here...

Rule number one in Magick is not to invite anything you can not control over to where you are without putting heavy limitations on what they can do, where they can go etc. I felt like I made a mistake. 'They' left through a quickly pointed out cat door. I thought that was the end of it.

I was wrong. Two weeks later I was at work and carrying a tray of dirty glasses, the foot that was in the air tripped on something! Then I heard a giggle, and smelt DMT which has a very distinctive aroma. 4 months later, the same thing occurred walking down the street. Then 2 years was in the middle of British Columbia's great boreal forests on a 'pine mushroom' picking expedition and I was hit in the forehead with an acorn! An acorn in a vast sea of pines and other conifers...I smelt DMT, heard plenty of giggling and my dog went crazy (she was very astute being part coyote). Reading the story on your page today made me look at everything in a different light. I have been quite angry with myself for sometime about this whole weirdness. But after reading that missive I feel better. I don't mind, and am quite looking forward to what is about to occur once it goes through the formality of actually occurring (to paraphrase McKenna), be it hard or easy we need change. If I added a few fuzzy agents of chaos (I don not consider chaos to be 'evil', except when I see people lawns...the most chaotic system western culture has built according to Permaculture), so be it. If Parson's was pushing the edge and trying to stimulate change in his lifetime (rather than passing the gauntlet to us...I'm the boomers seems to have done), he surely paid dearly for it. i wonder if it wasn't something like an acorn and a giggle which blew him up?

- - -

As for the O.T.O and psychedelics...well the Vancouver Chapter of the O.T.O has a bit of a fascinating history. First of all the O.T.O's first Lodge was based out of North Vancouver (its original location is now the site of a 'Subway' sandwich shop) and run by a madman by all accounts Charles Stansfeld Jones (aka Frater Achad). Since then Vancouver has run the gamut on weirdness.

Prior to my joining a Lodge (where i had to help the 'Knight of East and West' out of a crack cocaine habit!) all attempts at starting a Vancouver based Lodge were stymied by strange occurences. It seems a few years prior to us (my Minerval Degree was done in 93...oddly enough!) there were some folks trying to get a Lodge going and they decided using LSD during initiations was a good idea. Maybe it might be at later degrees but its hard enough for most people to feel comfortable naked without the LSD LOL! Anyhow, midway through a First degree initiation...some guy really freaked out, tried stabbing his initiator with a rather large knife, and then ran screaming...naked and high on LSD down the street quite late at night. needless to say, that Lodge didn't really go anywhere....

In my looking into DMT I've found quite a lot of strange stuff about it. In fact, I tried a little bit last night for the first time and was met by a huge halo around the moon followed by a late night chemtrail which severed the halo in was awesome. Dumbfounding in some ways. I am currently doing research on 'coppicing' the various acacia species which seem to have a very high concentration in their bark. The way it is being made or extracted these days is from acacia's but they cut down the whole tree. Not very nice really. But if we can induce an acacia to coppice there should be a far larger haul from a still living tree. its too bad the only lab in the world i was aware of manufacturing DMT got shut down by the RCMP in 1996, the 'lab rat' from that lab is my son's godfather! neat stories.

Take Care

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