Tag Archives: Jack Parsons

202 – Strange Angel: Fact Versus Fiction About Jack Parsons

If you don’t have the CBS streaming service (which you should get for at least the free trial week to binge watch Star Trek: Discovery anyway!) then you might have missed a new show that deals with someone who seems to have been written out of the history of the United States space program and even much paranormal folklore. But there’s not much you need to fictionalize about Jack Parsons’ incredible life in order for the new show Strange Angel to be a completely fascinating  story.

strange angel
Jack Raynor as Jack Parsons

Based on the 2006 book, Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle, it’s a dramatization of the renegade rocket scientist in 1930s California. A firm believer in the possibilities of rocketry at a time when most mainstream scientists believed that it was solely in the realm of science fiction, Parsons conducted amateur rocket experiments himself when the Great Depression caused him to have to leave college. He would go on to become one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Today, JPL is part of NASA but it was formed over a decade before when the United States government finally understood the effectiveness of rockets after the Nazis bombarded the British with their V-2s during the Second World War.

The real Jack Parsons

But while Parsons contributions to the development of solid rocket fuel might have been a major scientific accomplishment, he’s also known for something a little more sinister. Indeed, Jack Parsons practiced Aleister Crowley-style sex magick in a  quest to create a Moonchild (named after Crowley’s 1917 book) that would be the human vessel for the Whore of Babylon, who would bring in destruction and rebirth to the world and bring about a new age of love and enlightenment. Yeah, he was pen pals with the Great Beast himself and lead the Los Angeles OTO temple as he practiced Thelemic magic.

Sounds like it might be a good premise for a TV show, eh?

In this episode Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts and Scott Markus from What’sYourGhostStory.com join Wendy and I as we discuss Strange Angel and the real Jack Parsons. You’ll learn:

  • What the Strange Angel TV show gets right and wrong so far
  • What is Aleister Crowley’s Thelema?
  • What is a sigil and  how does it relate to magic?
  • How is ceremonial magic like rocket science?
  • What Iron Maiden song is related to Jack and Aleister
  • What does L. Ron Hubbard, sci-fi author and founder of Scientology, have to do with this?
  • Possible reasons that Jack may have been cursed later in life (paranormal and not so paranormal)
  • What are these weird places in Pasadena like nowadays?
  • Where to go for more information and further reading on Jack

One of the most interesting stories about Jack Parsons is how he, his second wife Marjorie Cameron, and L. Ron Hubbard used to perform a nightly magical ritual called the “Babalon Working” which was a series of ceremonies dedicated to manifesting Babalon’s presence so they could all get it on and impregnate Marjorie with the Moonchild. Jack even wrote a sequel to Aleister Crowley’s Book Of The Law which he said was dictated to him by Babalon herself.

Now there was a theory that Jack and Marjorie believed all that manifestation of Babalon led to bad luck for them in the end and I can believe it! While we were working on this week’s song, I lost my phone, my nice microphone stopped working, and while I was working on integrating quotes directly from Jack’s book that are spoken by Babalon, my Evernote wasn’t saving the notes and the lyrics weren’t recording. It’s probably all just a coincidence and of course, I’m trained to see patterns in these things (particularly after we spent a weekend talking ghost stories, spirit possessions, and more at the Haunted America 2018 conference in Alton, Illinois all weekend) but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a hint. We turned this one into just an instrumental with a guitar lead that will make you think of sex and rockets in the desert. We called it “Babalon Working”…

100 – Ghostbusters: The Real-Life Inspiration Behind The Film

Episode 100! And we’re celebrating our first patron on the See You On The Other Side Patreon – thank you John!

This week we bring in Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts again to discuss every paranormal investigator’s favorite film the week that the reboot comes out.  Growing up in the 80s, the film was a huge influence on all of us because not only did it introduce the idea of spirits as a physical force (handled through the particle accelerators that the ghostbusters carried on their backs) that could be explored through science, it also was a humorous introduction to the world of parapsychology, which seeks to explain the non-material world through mainstream and repeatable scientific  experiments. Plus it was funny and was the kind of film that worked just as well for kids as it did adults.

official. ghosbusters. certificate
Mike’s first degree.

Dan Aykroyd calls the paranormal his “family business” and in this episode we get into the details of his relationship to Spiritualism as well as the real-life influences behind the film, from Jack Parsons, L. Ron Hubbard, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to J.B. Rhine and Dr. Charles Tart (the influence behind the great opening scene to the film!)

Also, we just talked about The Conjuring 2 and we discover in this episode that Gozer (the first film’s Big Bad) was a name invoked during the Enfield Poltergeist and that’s where Dan Aykroyd got the name. Too awesome! We cover everything from the cartoon show to the new movie’s star, Melissa McCarthy’s supernatural experiences in this episode.

Here’s the link to the Tim Ferriss podcast with Malcolm Gladwell, where the journalist says that even he believes in ghosts!

Here’s a link to some of the sacred texts that inspired Tobin’s Spirit Guide.

And we’ve got a brand new Sunspot song inspired and dedicated to growing up with Ghostbusters. Here’s our song, inspired by their classic commercial, it’s called “Ready To Believe You”.

When I was a boy I had the terrors and they came every night
I lied awake, so terrified, never daring to close my eyes.
I thought that I would be at the their whim for the rest of my days,
until I saw a flick that said I didn’t have to be afraid.

I didn’t have to be afraid.

I was hoping for a sequel but I guess I’ll just have to take a reboot,
I don’t care that it’s all women and if you do, you’re just a tool.
I can’t believe it’s 0-16 and this stuff is finally cool.
I wanna meet a girl who says that “there’s no Dana only Zuul”

There is No Dana Only Zuul.

Choose the form of your destructor,
Would you rather be a cynic or a fool?
Choose the form of your destructor, baby.
Because if you don’t, they will choose for you.

And the man said who you gonna call?
You know who. You know who.
And the man said who you gonna call?
We’re ready to believe you.

From Samhain to the Bogey man, they fought nightmares across this land,
From Devil Dogs to demi-gods, they never worried about the odds,
Got no time for the EPA or their silly bureaucrats – they hate that.

They hate that.

Slimer was funny when it started but that class five free roamer just got old quick,
So did the junior busters, hey who wants to see a bunch of kids?
Gozer was a traveler and he traveled his butt right into a beatdown,
And then they showed that prehistoric b how we do things downtown,
How we do things downtown.

Choose the form of your destructor,
Would you rather be a cynic or a fool?
Choose the form of your destructor, baby.
Because if you don’t, they will choose for you.

And the man said who you gonna call?
You know who. You know who.
And the man said who you gonna call?
We’re ready to believe you.