At 282 pages in large print this biography is not comprehensive – however, it is the only book that focusses on the life of Marjorie Cameron (1922-1995) who inhabited the American ‘underground’ art world and film scene.
It is featured here because of its coverage of the ‘black magic’ rituals performed by Jack Parsons (pioneer rocket scientist and secret occultist) and L Ron Hubbard (years before he invented Dianetics and founded Scientology) in which she was an active participant.
Cameron met Parsons when she was invited to ‘The Parsonage” by a resident. The Parsonage was a huge house, owned by Parsons. He allowed people he found ‘interesting’ to live there, rent-free.
The rituals that Parsons and Hubbard were performing were supposed to attract an ‘elemental woman’ who would become Parson’s lover, and provide him with supernatural powers. When Parsons and Cameron met, they were immediately attracted, and an excited Parsons decided that his rituals prayers had been answered, and that Cameron was the ‘elemental’ that he had summoned.
Subsequently, Hubbard persuaded Parsons to invest in a ‘company’ (“Allied Enterprises”) whose only purpose was to allow Hubbard to buy a boat, and abscond in it with both Parsons’ life savings and his then girlfriend Sara Northrup.
Cameron later married Parsons, and they shared an unconventional relationship until Parsons’ dramatic death in 1952, in a explosion (handling explosives was an occupational hazard for the man).
Cameron’s involvement with Parson and her independent life as an artist and film actress provides an insight into the strange bohemian culture that Parsons surrounded himself with, and the magical thinking which influenced both Hubbard and his creations – Dianetics and Scientology.