We start with a re-examination of Dianetics at its initial peak of the year 1950. Contemporaneous accounts abundantly reveal how the origins and nature of the Church of Scientology reflect the duplicitous character of its founder L Ron Hubbard. Observations that Dianetics had merely “given
a new name to an old treatment—hypnotherapy” seem to have added clarity when revisited, largely because early reviews found in archive collections haven’t been affected from later PR spin and LRH’s "pathological" lying.
The book "Dianetics" was launched with a publicity campaign targeting science-fiction aficionados.
A broader outreach to the general public followed; it was based on claims for improved mental functioning.
In lieu of actual scientific evaluation, publicity consisted of testimonials from attendees at early franchises in larger cities. A good example of the exploitation behind this effort can be seen by comparing press
reporting. The earliest Dianetics coverage started in the Daily News of Los Angeles, with a book review where the head of the Pasadena Dianetics group posed as a skeptical reporter (as "I. P. Stein").
Compare that to Time magazine, where the same official re-appeared, now as a member of the public
writing a letter (as "Idella Purnell Stone"), who became convinced of the healing powers of Dianetics
while attending meetings of (her own) local group. Honesty aside, this “inside job” approach gained results.
Click here to view 1950 News Article (1)
Click here to view 1950 News Article (2)
In spite of a $500 asking price for a month-long “auditor’s course,” a medical journal noted that
initial enrollment in Los Angeles had to be capped with “many having been turned away.” Recalling
this time in “Dianetics in Limbo,” staffer Helen O’Brien described an internal auditors’ concern
where “a month's income of $90,000 (was) listed, with only $20,000 accounted for...by October 1950,
the situation had become critical, and in the following month the combined incomes of the foundations
totaled less than one tenth of the payroll…”
Rather than mental healing, Hubbard’s writings from that time feature recurring discussions of a counter-intention of “reverse Dianetics,” “demon circuits” and “hypnotic processes.” Hubbard’s later wrote that he was actually working on “a technology of psychological warfare to present to the Defense Department" which was “to have shown how the Communists used narcosynthesis and physical torture and why it worked as it did.” These admissions were important early clues to the abusive management style of founder L. Ron Hubbard, where apparent priorities of ego and greed led to course attendees paying to be used as the equivalent of laboratory rats. Tradesmen were stiffed, and the taxman was left unpaid.
At Dianetics headquarters in the east, court prosecutions and receivership were looming concerns,
the bookkeeper resigned, and the medical director had a heart attack. So, who was in charge, and
what was really going on?
Original registration documents of a partnership, include the recognizable names of Hubbard and
E. “Alfred Elton” Van Vogt among the four officers at the “Los Angeles Department” of Dianetics.
Early on, local groups were collaborative ventures, with developments credited to a number of contributors.
Click here to view partnership document
Reporting from the LA Foundation, the Daily News’ John Clarke had darkly hinted at activities there,
noting “a handful among the younger men (who) betray the tell-tale markings and mannerisms of
sex deviates.” This seems to have pointed to the third officer, the lesser-known Russell Paul Schofield,
who received credit from Hubbard for his origination of an early Dianetics technique of “the use of
recall of sexual pleasure to reach conception.” (Schofield later became noted as an advocate of a
movement named "Actualism," described as a mystery school based on hermetic principles—
their beliefs influenced books such as one from Barbara Wilder, titled "Money is Love").
Excesses in spending and personal relationships, did not escape the attention of Hubbard’s wife Sara.
Arriving from the home office in the East with her newborn daughter Alexis in tow, Sara moved into Hubbard’s hotel room at the famed Chateau Marmount hotel, displacing Hubbard’s secretary and mistress. "Barbara Kaye” responded by dutifully scouting out a new residence for the suddenly cash-laden couple.
Enter Charles Crail
A 41 year old real estate expert, and the fourth and least-known LA Dianetics partner, his obscurity
is ironic considering he was most directly connected to L Ron Hubbard, and he had more influence
on developments within Dianetics at its critical late-1950 "tipping point" than any other official.
Charles Crail was the kind of “high theta” individual that L Ron Hubbard wanted to associate himself with.
He was born with advantages, including a childhood IQ was so high that he was tracked by the Terman
Gifted Group of Stanford University, and he was from a family that was highly successful. His father
was Superior Court Justice Charles S. Crail and his uncle was Congressman Joe Crail, who were born
as identical twins (and who continued to dress identically every day as adults). Charles Crail advanced from Los Angeles High School to UCLA, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa/Summa Cum Laude graduate and valedictorian, then USC Law School where he made the "Order of the COIF." With his older brother Joe, he established the law firm of Crail & Crail in the 1930’s, then took advantage of FDR’s Federal Housing Administration program by co-founding what would become Coast Federal Savings and Loan.
His meteoric rise sputtered in 1939 when his father died and his marriage failed, and after getting divorced Charles went to Mexico and for years worked odd jobs like selling magazines and repairing shipyard boilers.
Back in Los Angeles in late Summer 1950, Crail arranged escrow of a home at 1919 N. Curson Ave in the Hollywood Hills, and co-signed the purchase deed with L Ron Hubbard himself. The Dianetics Foundation also acquired a large mortgage for the “Casa de Rosas” property in Los Angeles (which apparently inspired the interest in large historic properties by the Church of Scientology, a preference which continues to this day).
Click here to view deed
That’s when and where conflict arose, as under California’s community property laws, Hubbard’s share of
the home partly belonged to the scorned Sara. Hubbard reportedly responded “I don’t want to be an American husband” and subjected his wife to a torture regimen by keeping her up for 3 days and nights then provided sedatives that landed her in the hospital. Hubbard complained that his wife caused him to “make out a will to her...leaving her shares in the copyrights and foundations.” All this led to a release of an interest in the newly-acquired residence, with Sara’s signature duly notarized by attorney Milt Davis on October 3, 1950.
Click here to view release
Possibly to settle matters, the Curson residence was almost as quickly sold in mid-November 1950, then Charles Crail was let go from the foundation. Assets of the Los Angeles Department were folded into the
national organization in February 1951. According to insider Jack Horner “Hubbard was willing to do anything, for him it was any means to an end...he got mad at a fellow named Charlie Crail, who had helped set up the LA organization. They had some disagreement about how the place should be run.
He called me and another guy into his office and told us to go and steal Charlie's Dianetics certificates. We told him we wouldn't do it and that he shouldn't count on us for that kind of operation. He couldn't understand it. As far as he was concerned, because he had signed the certificates they belonged to him. There were lots of incidents like that..”
Charles Crail re-joined Coast Federal later in 1951, working variously as an outside appraiser, surveyor,
and loans counselor. His marital woes continued when, following a ceremony of June 1955 in Emiliano
Zapata, Moreola State, Mexico, he discovered his new bride Carole Jean Pass had not divorced her prior
husband Raymond H. Marnach and he had his vows annulled.
Things got more involved when technology advanced to where Charles Crail was able to blend his work
with his continuing interest in the occult. In the mid-1960’s Crail was brought in to generate statistical
analyses of executives under the “key results program” of Coasts’ R&D department. Crail instead devoted
all his time to reprogramming a new mainframe computer for making people's horoscopes and astrological forecasts, which were left on desks of executives every morning at 8AM. Both he and the executives began to tire of the program and felt that it had reached a point of diminishing returns, but when his superiors would try to speak to him about finding a job that he could do and find some other useful function for him, he would become angry and violent, throw telephones, and sweep the contents of his desk to the floor.
In the fall of 1966 guards were assigned to him by Coast Federal to make sure that he didn't harm anyone, particularly his brother and Dr. Vierling Kersey (a Coast Federal director, and former Superintendent of the Los Angeles public schools). The guards were instructed never to let him out of their sight. Knowing he was being watched, he would occasionally attempt to elude the guards by
running up and down stairs, getting on elevators and getting off at the wrong floor, and hiding.
He expressed great pride in his ability to leave the guards behind, i.e., he having more stamina than they.
Eventually, after "many instances of bizarre behavior," he was terminated in the spring of 1967 by
Coast Federal, but refused to acknowledge the fact that he was no longer on the payroll and kept
coming in and insisting that he be made executive vice president. Finally, he gave up and left the office.
This also coincided with a failure of his latest marriage, where he claimed his third wife, Marian Pelt Crail
repeatedly attacked him and screamed “gutter talk” at his business connections and friends.
Not to be deterred, he opened a law office on La Cienega Blvd. and called it "Crail, Crail, and Crail,"
although he was the only Crail. Charles Crail then regained a spotlight by proposing a housing program
that would be enacted as part of “Great Society” legislation of the 1960’s. His program titled
"Homes Ownership Means Every Man's Security” was endorsed by local housing officials and Illinois
Senator Charles H. Percy. Explained in a Los Angeles Times editorial of June 26, 1967, H.O.M.E.S. called for construction or rehabilitation of low-cost housing, subsidized by the FHA to hold loan interest at 3%. He also created a related "M.A.P.A.D." homes project, meaning "Modifying Action Patterns: Area Defense."
Taking a step further, in March 1968 Crail filed his candidacy for Senator from California.
Within space provided for a 50-word declaration by candidates, Charles Crail wrote of his platform:
"De-escalate Vietnam without falling back to DMZ*; not brinksmanship but helpmanship, not the
big stick but the big lift, prepare for the twenty-first century not with spiritual cool, but spiritual fear -
these I am already implementing and will do more from the US Senate floor"
*(unclear here if cursive could instead refer to "Denver" or "Demon"?);
Click here to view ballot statement
Now 58 years old, Crail extended his personal reinventions to political style, when he followed
up by campaigning at San Fernando Valley State College in tennis shoes, shorts and no shirt.
Undeterred by his loss in the June 1968 primary, he went on to ask the crowd at downtown’s Pershing Square what other office he should run for, then filed his candidacy for Mayor of Los Angeles in early 1969.
This was Charles Crail’s final public act, as he was found dead on February 3, 1969, but it was not the end of controversy. Crail’s last will, dated on the Winter Solstice of December 21, 1967, distributed cash awards to each of his grandchildren, but then devoted 50% of the remainder of his substantial estate to a pair of churches, the SPIV society and the Century Center Church. His son filed for a challenge to the terms of that will in a probate action, stating that while the decedent was "intelligent and gifted,” paradoxically "insane delusions, led Crail to dispose of his property (to the religious organizations)…”
At issue were fundamental questions. What was the SPIV Society? What was its mission? Was its
conception insane, or was it the product of an unrecognized genius? The SPIV title was shorthand for
"Society for the Preservation of Integrating Vectors." Established as a non-profit corporation in 1960 by Crail, its articles established an ideology and creed, that, at the very least, was unique.
Unfortunately, “Vector Philosophy” seemed to escape the attention of major schools of theology.
The only works that survive in the public sector includes fragmentary and contradictory notes, upon
which we are obliged to work backwards and then project interpretations, sort of like sagas of the
“Da Vinci code” or the dead sea scrolls. We can consider the message of a passage from Crail, reported in coverage by the Fresno Bee, "The permanent headquarters of the society are created at the center of the spheres extending out from the immediate locations of any particular member of the society."
One SPIV document fragment elaborates on what seemed to be a lingering concern by Crail about membership status in occult groups:
1. Perquisites and obligations of members
Sub 2. Honorary members have the obligation to provide guidance regarding integration to members and
Sub 3. Members have the perquisites to receive guidance from honorary members and others, and the
obligation to provide guidance to others regarding integration.
2. Permanent headquarters caretakers
The permanent headquarters of the society are located at the centers of spheres extending out from the
immediate locations of any particular member of the society. Each member shall be the permanent
headquarters caretaker thereof.
3. Membership cards
Membership cards may be issued by any member to any other members.
Non members are accepted only at the permanent headquarters of the society. Membership inquiries
are to be addressed to the society c/o permanent headquarters caretaker.
No member shall be suspended without cause. Suspended members shall add the letter (S) to their
permissive initials, and shall otherwise be in good standing.
1. Permissive namings and initialings. Permissive names, in the alternative, and permissive initial designations are;
Title "Honorary Members" = Permissive Name "Integrists"
Title "Past Directors" = Permissive Name "Old PH*C*S Integristans" (P.H.O.)
Title "Directors" = Permissive Name "PH*C*S Integristans" (P.M.O.)
Title "Regular Members" = Permissive Name "Integristans" (P.N.O.)
Nothing in this sub-section shall constitute any provision for this issuance of more than one membership to any member, contrary to Corporations Code sections 9301 and 9602.
Sub 3. Integrist
(a) A person whose differential integrations have been ground to grist.
(b) See Theory of Limits -- y=x-fx-I
Sub 4. Integristan
A person who frequently feels like he is in the mill.
Click here to view SPIV document
By itself, this doesn’t clarify what is a “Vector,” what was “Vector” orthodoxy, and what the SPIV society would do with a substantial financial bequest. Charles Burtt, a former advertising director and heir apparent “Presiding Vector of the Vector Church,” quickly issued a booklet which codified some beliefs and consolidated his position. (Burtt went on to author “Stop crying at your own movies” in 1975 which prescribed a “tough love” Vector approach to counseling, then issued wrote about graphics and saving money by bartering).
“The Vector Handbook” of 1969 starts by stating it is“formulating in newform, on which the Vector work depends,” and from there it continues with a lot of generalities which avoid answers to basic questions.
A central aspect is an “Emotional Spectrum,” which reduces the quality of human emotion to a semi-mathematical guide, very much resembling the “Tone Scale” from Dianetics. Similarly, considering
SPIV’s proclivity for use of acronyms and numbers in its language, Crail’s advocacy for “ethology”
(the study of animals for clues to human behavior) and an advocacy of using religion as a tax break,
this opens the door for consideration that reliance on those forms and concepts within Dianetics
may have been based on an unacknowledged adoptions from the certified genius Charles Crail.
In retrospect, we can now ask: Did LRH “borrow” from Crail, as he did from so many uncredited others?
Click here for link to “Emotional Spectrum” of Vector philosophy
The Century Center Church appeared to be a morph or SPIV-spinoff which operated in its locations of West Los Angeles and in Westwood. CCC promoted an "anti-manichaean" creed, which opposed asceticism. Offering certified “Vector Counselors,” it’s not clear what relationships Crail maintained there, as testimony described that he once emptied a pan of water on the head of CCC leader Dr. John Otto Boldt, saying he was "putting out the fires of righteousness."
Officials of the State of California noted the official registration of the SPIV Society, and felt strict application of the law obligated them to assign a deputy to defend it.
The son of Charles Crail found himself in unique situation, as he had to defame his own father’s cognitive state and reputation, in a public forum opposite the Attorney General, in order to recover the other half of his father’s valuable estate. Within the case is was stated that “Decedent was born with an exceedingly high I.Q. He was able to function in routine, every-day matters. He was also able to handle difficult concepts, and sometimes function in a useful way” but “Contestant's view of this case is that decedent,
at the time he executed his will, was suffering from delusions, of which the will is a direct product." "Evidence will show that C.C.C. was nothing but an incompletely formed concept in the mind of the decedent."
A psychiatric evaluation was hired to make the case. Elliott Markoff M.D., a psychiatrist, was retained to
review the decedent's files and issue a report. He wrote the following:
“I find Mr. Crail's material is identical to that produced in my experience by psychotic persons; and it
possesses an intensity, grandiosity, disorganization - in spite of the formality - and a private language system (neologisms), and references to non-existent organizations, committees, and activities such as are only seen in the products of mental activity which are operating in their own internal fantasy world or in delusional thinking independent of reality.
Such products characteristically in mental illness borrow items from reality but then distort, re-interpret,
and manufacture new meanings and implications understood only by the author. Typically there are also
implied references to larger systems or organizations both friendly and hostile; and persecutory ideas are
common. All of these criteria are well demonstrated in Mr. Crail's records.
He invented titles, appointed himself head of world organizations of his own mental creation, and sought
to contact public figures in such a way as to inflate his own status. His letterheads, and memos about and
to his brother, Joseph, indicate to me that Mr. Crail in all probability felt a severe loss of self-esteem and
self-importance in the real world and attempted to compensate psychologically without conscious awareness or admission to himself of these feelings by the construction of a psychotic system in which he could delude himself about the true nature of his position. I believe his interest in "integrating vectors" represents a symbolic attempt to re-establish or re-integrate himself into the more important center of life activities from which he felt by-passed, and was therefore an irrational attempt by a psychotic process to achieve a rational goal of self-significance.
I am reasonably certain based on my training and experience that SPIV and Century Center Church
represent expressions of a delusional system created by psychotic processes in a mentally ill person.
The material I examined amply demonstrates that from the first documents in 1960 to the last in 1968,
a continual, consistent, and progressively decompensating psychotic process was present.”
(An observant reader could be justified in noticing, that many behaviors attributed to Crail resemble those
seen of L Ron Hubbard, particularly in his later years). Knowing of their close relationship, in Dianetic terms was Crail in the “valence” of Hubbard, or was Hubbard actively mimicking Crail? If there were a trivia question that could be asked here, it would be: How many traits of LRH does this report also describe?
To better settle the question of competency, Attorney General Thomas C. Lynch looked to a coterie of
associates of Charles Crail for answers. About 50 persons on the SPIV Society mailing list, including
many members of the Los Angeles MENSA community and a few notable others (such as A. E. Van Vogt, famed science fiction writer and Crail’s former partner at Dianetics in 1950) were sent a questionnaire.
SPIV Director Doris Karnes, a realtor based in El Monte, responded that she sold a few books to
Crails’ acquaintances and wrote "Decedent with this organization, did nothing but buy and sell books,
and process personal transactions through it, with apparent tax-saving motivation."
Other recipients named in this case included Senator Charles H. Percy, Henry Miller, Dorothy Woodford,
Rosemary Levine, Adelbert Carl Aldrich and a South Los Angeles area realtor named Wiley Nelson.
Ultimately, Crail’s final will was invalidated by judge’s order in 1970, and the bulk of his estate was
formally awarded to his son. Dr. John O. Boldt of the CCC married Linda Jane Blizard in
December 1983, then died in August 1984. Charles Crail’s son lived in Los Angeles until October 30, 2017.
Click here for link to news report
The greatest legacy of SPIV was likely through an associate named Charles Henderson Brough.
Drawing upon lessons from his background of travel and a wide variety of vocations, Brough became a
sort of a streetwise-philosopher who pursued a field of individual interest as a self-described “developer
of social evolution theory.” Knowing of his association with Crail, are there clues to his occult beliefs
that we can identify?
Brough’s polemic screed of 1965 titled “Cycles of Civilizations” starts with a introduction that his obscure work was “a singularly scholarly analysis of civilization.” The author “proceeded within the framework of
mechanistic, scientific determinism to subject the civilization organism to a remarkably objective dissection”
Within his broad approach to history, the narrative is laced with common occult elements and targets.
Echoing criticisms of Islamic writer Sayyid Qutb, American society is undermined as a “land of people absorbed in their concern for material security, gourmet food and erotic entertainment” due to cultural influences like “soft drinks, chewing gum, dance crazes, jazz, bosom-worship, ornate automobiles and cocktail parties.”
While Christianity is seen as the only core of Western ideology, because “the cohesiveness of a society
is a result of the unity of its religion” the existence of 250 Christian sects was an indicator of societal
weakness. As a further defamation, Burtt wrote that Western civilization was originated on a
merging of barbarism and Christianity, and as it based its industrial age upon “mechanical slaves”
the role of the US was a negative one and only served to keep communist countries united.
Comparatively, Brough praised the influence of the Moslem faith and stated that “we were too arrogant”
to “borrow willingly from the highly-civilized Moslems” and also praised what he wrote was the strength
of Nazi society. Brough claimed there was a fairly reliable 500-year cycle in the rise and fall of
civilizations, and that the present stage has always existed immediately before the collapse of civilization.
Charles H. Brough certainly left a societal legacy far larger than his obscure authorship.
In 1968 he married Joanne (Chaves) Brough, who was a pioneering TV executive of the time at CBS. Thought by many to have been a model for the character played by Mary Tyler Moore, Joanne was part of the programming group of the early 1970’s that brought forth many influential and classic shows like “All in the Family” (and similar titles from Norman Lear), MASH, Sonny and Cher, and many others.
Notably CBS-TV's signature programs of the time shifted to a basis of criticisms of activities of society, often in a form of white male characters who represented a military or government background yet repeatedly behaved as buffoons, in favor of non-traditional antagonists such as single women.
This represented an inversion of post-WWII societal values, based largely on denigration, and was a subversion distributed in large scale on the most pervasive and hypnotic medium available at the time
—a trend that continues to this day.
Within the context of a comparison made in the book “Strange Angel,” a biography of rocket pioneer
Jack Parsons (due to air on CBS-TV in June 2018), author George Pendel noted how L Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology had achieved many aspects of success earlier sought by the O.T.O. of Parsons and Alestair Crowley. Hubbard’s mere postulations of alleged science, had resulted in membership, monetary success, and a canon of self-published writings. Pendel concluded that, as a practitioner of his “magick” upon society, that Scientology had become “everything Crowley had wanted OTO to be.”
Knowing of Brough’s interests and proximity to executives who controlled media decisions, can we now ask: Is the subtext of much of today's prime-time television programming covertly a reflection of the philosophies deriving from Charles Crail? If so, does prime-time TV ultimately reflect an occult-influenced experiment, writ large upon our greater society as a whole?
The Occult Spiritual Connections of L. Ron Hubbard (documented)
Continued below: Details of the "Lost Cult" of the "Mysterious" Charles Crail
Check Back at www.meepthorp.com for updates on The "Secret Vaults": A new book coming soon!
ONLINE VENUE OF THE DARK LORD OF THE CHURCH OF NEUROTOLOGY
(as seen on Saturday Night Live)
Widespread and occasionally violent conflicts over wage rates, immigrant rights, gender roles, and even religious beliefs were largely driven by impacts of rapid technological development. Meanwhile, consumptive excess was
the "trademark" of the top class, where a "one percent" elite congregated only at the most exclusive addresses.
Of course we're describing the dawn of the 20th century,
often also called the "American" century.
A development philosophy called the "City Beautiful Movement"
began to emerge. The idea was that building for aesthetics could help
motivate "moral and civic virtue" and a more "harmonious social order"
among the urban citizenry. Publicly, this architectural "design cult"
became a noted trend among leaders of prominent cities.
Privately, in sunny 1899 Southern California, ephocal monuments
from architects like F. Roehrig and T. William Parkes were designed
for wealthy clients like John S. Cravens and Thaddeus Lowe.
Alongside fruit orchards on the "handsomest avenue" in Pasadena,
flower-covered "float" wagons rolled down "Millionaire's Row."
Atop the peak of the banks of "Lord's Land" (a pastoral arroyo
dedicated by ecumenical temperance leader Mary Case Lord),
attorney Arthur Henry Fleming administered construction of a
palatial 16-room estate for his client and father-in-law
Eldridge Merrick Fowler of Dearborn, Michigan.
The address of 1003 South Orange Grove Avenue soon became known
as the "Fleming Mansion" after Eldridge, and then his wife Clara, died in
rapid succession one-after-another within the month of November 1904.
With the world-famous "Busch Gardens" as his backyard,
Arthur Fleming directed his fortune to spectacular philanthropic efforts,
including donating land and recruiting Albert Einstein on behalf of the
famed California Institute of Technology. But when an economic depression
hit old Pasadena hard in the 1930's, numerous neighboring properties
were foreclosed in the years preceding his ultimate passing in August, 1940.
From distant Long Island, New York, family heir Marjorie Lloyd-Smith
authorized a lease to an interested local party.
Marvel "John" Whiteside Parsons, born in 1914 but better known as
"Jack," was returning to the neighborhood where he grew up. Although
the millionaires had vacated and the Busch Gardens greenbelt had closed,
Jack felt he could go home again.
A young rocket engineer, commissions from World War II manufacturing
contracts with his Aerojet Company provided finances which allowed him
to live a lifestyle of his choosing. In July 1942, Jack moved into
the Fleming Mansion with his wife Helen, and to share his enjoyment of
the giant carved fireplace, ornate wood-paneled interiors, and some
of his fruit-flavored brandy, offered rooms to associates and friends.
That was where the problems began.
In his private life, Jack was a leader of the US branch of an occult group named the "Ordo Templi Orientis" ("O.T.O."), also known as the "Church of Thelema" which followed occult "magickal" practices inscribed by its infamous and notoriously anti-social leader Alestair Crowley. Called a "love cult" at the time, wikipedia and various other web articles, as well as published books titled "Strange Angel" and "Sex and Rockets" extensively cover their activities.
(Click here for wikipedia link - Select "Rocket Engineer")
One visitor later provided this description. "They were a varied lot that surrounded him, ranging from plain screwballs and psychos to some really brilliant scientists. None of them cared much about cooking, but whenever someone broke down and prepared a meal, as they sat at the table Parsons would rap with a spoon and ask 'What is the law'?
And they would reply, 'the law is love, love under will.'"
Fridays evenings saw more organized events. Nymphs, sprites and occult magic was celebrated in loud and strange ceremonies. A disrobed high priestess conducted a Catholic mass in reverse, for black-clad worshipers who carried daggers at their belts and vowed "I swear to Thee-by the formless void of the Abyss, to lap the galaxies of night in darkness, and blow the meteors like bubbles into the frothing jaws of the sun."
After nightfall, the robed figures aligned and carried torches down the stairway from the temple hall and out among the trees, chanting "Of thou burning rapture of girls, that disport in the sunset of passion! I adore Thee, Evoe!
O Thou sleeping lust of the Storm that art flame-gorged as a flint full of fire! I adore Thee! Pan...Pan...IAO!"
On one occasion a pregnant woman disrobed and lept
several times through a 'sacred fire' that was sparked
in the backyard to insure safe delivery of her child.
To an old-money setting, this was new. Within audible
distance the closest neighbors, the Hinrichs, elderly
and denominationaly Catholic, died in months.
In accordance with this philosophy, prior to the birth
of his first son, Jack Parsons initiated a relationship with
his 30-year-old wife's 17-year-old younger sister Sara.
About that same time, Helen Parsons had conducted
an affair with the founder of US O.T.O. lodge,
Wilfred Talbot Smith.
While Jack's business and lifestyle thrived,
in his personal life complications ensued.
The record starts with a divorce filing by Helen Northrup Parsons. A marriage of April 26, 1935 was followed
by the April 1943 birth of a minor child then a separation about June 25, 1944, based upon "a course of
extreme cruelty, causing plaintiff grievous mental suffering." Child custody and "such other and further relief
as may be proper" was sought from the court as of December 9, 1944.
The complaint followed a negotiated settlement of November 13, 1944.
This occurred when Jack had just cashed out his business interests
to purchase the "Fleming Mansion" outright. Accordingly, Helen signed
over her marital interest in the property to Jack on December 1, 1944,
subject to terms based on future rents or a sale, and the property was
officially acquired in whole by Jack on December 19, 1944.
Click Here to view Document #3
Without explanation, the divorce papers were never officially served
to Jack, and a court-requested dismissal was filed on January 3, 1945.
Circumstances then became more interesting.
What happened next may be more recognizable to children
of the late 1960's, who experienced what occurs when professions
of "free love" become complicated by real-life practicalities.
As one account put it, Jack spent much of his free time writing and
reciting poetry (stating "I live on peyote,marihuana, morphine and cocaine")
while pursuing affairs amongst the Aerojet Company secretarial pool.
Again, Helen filed for a divorce from Jack, this time in late July 1945.
This second filing again alleged cruelty and also stated there were "no minor children" of issue from the marital relationship. (Did Kwen die? No. Did Kwen leave? No.) By the age of 28 months, the child's resemblance
to Wilfred T. Smith rather than to Jack Parsons, was visible and apparent.
The custody request was for the minor child, absent a statement of paternity.
Click Here to view Document #6
The other details of the second filing included the property statement itself.
The home at 1003 S. Orange Grove Avenue, now re-named "The Parsonage" was the main financial interest which was to be partly shared, with proceeds from rentals or a sale to be divided by pre-determined amounts
in percentages and cash. (An aspect that wasn't figured into that equation, may have been how this also created
a negative incentive within a contentious relationship, should one partner wish to penalize the other).
Ultimately a divorce was granted in early October 1945, and it would be effective and final after one year.
Click Here to view Document #11
At that time the war industries were winding down, and there were chronic shortages of certain commodities. Newspaper articles had to be condensed for lack of newsprint and hamburger stands shut for lack of meat.
When local workers were laid off en masse following the end of the war, it was a scene out of
Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" but played out in reverse: A cash-laden exodus in weary old jalopies,
until their old re-treaded tires blew when they hit desert roads heading back home to the Midwest.
Others remained, maybe for the nice weather, but when price controls restricted landlords from asking
a market-price for rent, a housing shortage started to cripple the esteemed city of roses.
Those familiar with history of the O.T.O. may recognize this time frame, as it parallels the visitation and occupation
of the premises at 1003 South Orange Grove Avenue by L. Ron Hubbard (of later Church of Scientology fame). Invited by a mutual acquaintance, famed writer Robert Heinlein, LRH moved in and befriended Jack,
to the point of even striking his estranged and soon to be ex-wife Helen in the nose.
Then things started getting really weird. Under construction for the Rose Parade that year was a float built
with a Nazi swastika on its facia. In that spirit, the city responded to an "acute" housing shortage by passing
an emergency housing ordinance which threatened homeowners who had un-rented rooms with citations
and monetary penalties in a mere 7 days.
Jack Parsons responded immediately with an action that remains shocking, even over 70 years later.
He placed an ad in the local newspaper (which was corrected the next day - because he meant to
disparage "Vulgarians" rather than "Bulgarians"). Published directories of that time verify the
phone number was indeed at Jack's address, so this was not a case of mistaken identity.
About this time, Jack also shopped the property for a quick sale.
Filling the house with socially-unorthodox tenants may have created a
perverse kind of a win-win situation for Jack, because the more he could
depreciate the house, the lesser the financial settlement that would accrue
to his ex-wife would be. Although this was the peak of OTO activities with
his magickal "partner" of LRH (including the "desert acts," a separate subject
entirely), Jack certainly also had finances on his mind. On January 9, 1946,
a grant deed was written for a sale to a realty firm. The "Babalon Working"
reportedly continued into February, involving Jack's newest girlfriend
Marjorie Elizabeth Cameron, but became subject to an alleged "astral attack"
from Wilfred Smith when he returned to claim some furniture.
Nearing the end of an escrow process,
the title transfer was authorized on March 23, 1946.
Almost immediately, Helen filed in court an affidavit for a writ of execution on March 26, 1946.
She sought a freeze of the escrow account, alleging Jack had not paid her proceeds due from a business sale,
and asking a garnishment for payments owed her under the property settlement. The court responded
by ordering a freeze on all bank accounts, and mandating an appearance by Jack at the next hearing on April 15th.
By this time, Jack and LRH had entered into a business partnership named "Allied Enterprises."
The given intention was to buy yachts in Florida and transport them for profitable re-sales on the West Coast.
This arrangement has long been described as a confidence job by L. Ron, as he only invested $1,200 to
Parson's $21,000 with a back-end profit-share, but knowing that Jack's circumstances at the time it may have
been more of a scheme to "park" assets beyond any legal reach of his ex-wife. Open-minded Jack devoted
all his income to the venture, and also assented to LRH taking his girlfriend Sara along for the ride,
which led his magickal master Alestair Crowley to describe him as a "weak fool."
Accordingly, on April 1st, LRH made it official by requesting US Navy permission to sail overseas. The address
on the Navy's reply serves to verify the association of L. Ron Hubbard to Jack Parson's "anti-Christian" residence.
From today's perspective, this plan resembles a "Miami Vice" episode: A powder-huffing kingpin stakes an adventurous naval captain with a boatload of cash to depart from Florida under a"cover story" of transporting ships for re-sale, while the actual mission plots a rendezvous in the cocaine capitals of Central and South America.
Back at the Parsonage, problems continued. Inquiries appear to have been initiated by Helen's attorneys, as professional photographers were snapping candid drive-by shots of the house, presumably to substantiate legal demands for a percentage of Jack's income as a landlord. Local authorities then pursued the renters.
After they did not respond to census officers (fearing that they were undercover detectives for the police), the city followed up with an investigation of zoning code violations that made local headlines.
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This climate of suspicion led Jack to question LRH's activities and travel to Florida himself to investigate what had become of his finances. LRH had spent more than their agreement, and when Jack tried to reach him he got word that LRH had just sailed out of port. Jack performed a magickal ritual which (he believed) caused the boat to malfunction and to be forced to return to the port. A legal filing in Florida quickly settled the business matters, including negation of any interest LRH or Sara may have claimed to Jack's "Vulcan Powder Company"
(a name-check of the Roman God of Volcanoes, a possible precedent for the later Scientology "volcano"),
but results were that Jack took a huge loss when he only netted $2900 following the affair.
LRH later traveled to Maryland where he married Sara on August 10, 1946
(although at the time LRH was still married to his first wife Louise Grubb).
Jack Parson's divorce was ultimately finalized.
Jack then married his "magickal" partner Marjorie,
and died in an accident involving explosives a few years later.
Helen re-married Wilfred Smith, and later moved on to Northern California.
At last word Kwen survives to this day.
The above account provides a better documented context for a chapter in the history of the OTO.
It is arguable that the actions of Jack Parsons were prototypes of what later became characterized as a
"yuppie" personality, such as a status-seeking finance-driven narcissism that was amoral beyond
social parameters of the times.
Officially, the Church of Scientology claimed that LRH was sent to the OTO on a military mission to break up
the group as a security measure. The facts, particularly LRH's later actions and behavior, indicate otherwise.
LRH seemed to emulate some of Jack Parson's traits in his dealings over the next few years, which were critical
in the development of his "Dianetics" philosophies and the establishment of the Church of Scientology.
Philosophically, it could be argued how overt anti-Christian aspects of the OTO/Church of Thelema
became the basis of anti-Christian aspects of the Church of Scientology.
Transcripts of LRH lectures available online indicate disparaging references to Christianity, such as:
"Christ bore the burdens of all man and the world, didn’t he? So, if a person keeps on offending, offending, offending against the seventh dynamic, he will eventually offend so wrongly and so widely and broadly that his only solution
to it is to wind up as Christ. This isn’t saying that’s the route that Christ went, although some of the lost books of the bible tell you how he spend his early youth using his powers to destroy those around him. You may not be aware
of these early accounts. There's one story, in these lost books of the bible, about his blinding a playmate merely by telling him to go blind..."
(Source: Lecture #5203C08 given March 8, 1952)
"Anyway, Everyman is then shown to have been crucified so don't think that it's an accident that this crucifixion,
they found out that this applied. Somebody somewhere on this planet, back about 600 BC, found some pieces of R6, and I don't know how they found it, either by watching madmen or something, but since that time they have used it and it became what is known as Christianity. The man on the Cross. There was no Christ. But the man on the cross is shown as Everyman. So of course each person seeing a crucified man, has an immediate feeling of sympathy for this man. Therefore you get many PCs who says they are Christ. Now, there's two reasons for that, one is the Roman Empire was prone to crucify people, so a person can have been crucified, but in R6 he is shown as crucified.
The entirety of Roman Catholicism - the devil, all of this sort of thing - thatis all part of R6."
(Source: Class VIII lecture given October 3, 1968)
Reportedly, LRH's original "OT8" level (the top level of the Church of Scientology) also included statements
libelling Christ as a pedophile, while comparing himself to the biblical role of the Anti-Christ.
The more direct relevance to LRH in this case is how issues related to concerns over
community property rights as well as disavowal of financial obligations stated in divorce settlement agreements, would be a large factor in the succeeding controversies of LRH's personal life
(an aspect of which, is continued below).