Jack Parsons was born in October of 1914. He never had any formal education past high school but his work in the field of rocket science led to the spaceflight technology we have today. In his early twenties he joined a group of Caltech student who called themselves the Suicide Squad. Using equipment scrapped together from junkyards, the group performed many experiments in the Arroyo Seco canyon as they tested different rocket fuels. Eventually the military got wind of these experiments and asked the group to help them build the first jet propelled plane. The Suicide Squad evolved into Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) and eventually created a jet airplane, making way for the coming space age.
What made Parsons such an interesting character was his interest in magick and the occult arts. For years he studied the writings of Aleister Crowley. It is said that he would invoke Crowley's Hymn to Pan before every rocket test launch. He joined the Agape Lodge of Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis and quickly made his way up the ranks of the organization. He was made head of the Pasadena lodge and selected to be Crowley's successor.
In 1945, Parson was introduced to L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard moved in with Parsons and his girlfriend and started collaborating on a sex-magick ritual in an attempt to contact inter-dimensional entities. A few months later Hubbard conned Parsons into investing in a phoney business venture and split with Parsons' money and his girlfriend. (The church of Scientology claims that Hubbard was sent in by naval intelligence to "break up black magic in America.") Around this time, Parsons was asked to leave JPL because he had a habit of leaking classified information. Parsons and Crowley also began to drift apart and Parsons buried himself in occult studies. He died in 1952 by blowing himself up during a home-lab experiment involving explosive substances (so they say).
Flash forward to 1957. The Cold War was heating up and the USSR was ahead of the US in the space race after launching Sputnik. The army hired JPL to build and launch the first American artificial satellite. The following year, JPL was taken over by NASA and became the agency’s primary planetary spacecraft center. The JPL is still part of NASA today. Jack Parsons is often regarded as the father of the American space program and even has a crater on the moon's dark side named after him.
These are all facts. But if you want to dig deeper, there's a lot of interesting speculation. Some conspiracy theorists believe that occultism is still guiding NASA to this day. There does seem to be a lot of sacred geometry utilized when NASA decides when and where their landings should take place and many high ranking astronauts (including Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong) are Masons. If you want to travel further down that rabbit hole I recommend you start with the works of Richard Hoagland.
BONUS FEATURE: Check out what Robert Anton Wilson has to say about it!
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