ONLINE VENUE OF THE DARK LORD OF THE CHURCH OF NEUROTOLOGY
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The Occult Spiritual Connections of L. Ron Hubbard (documented)
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.
Click Here to view Headline
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.
This 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
(which will be continued in future coverage at meepthorp.com).
Also Coming Soon: The "Lost Cult" of the "mysterious C.C."
L Ron Hubbard sails away with his 2nd wife Sara