John Whiteside Parsons was a pioneering rocket scientist. His principal achievement was the development of solid rocket fuel.
Initially, this was developed to provide jet-assisted take-off for military aircraft. In subsequent years, however, Parsons’ technology has developed into massive solid rocket boosters, which have become an essential workhorse for modern, modular space launch vehicles.
However, Parsons was not a conventional scientist. He lived a strange, double life as a secret follower of British occultist Aleister Crowley, and member of the California Lodge of Crowley’s ‘magickal’ group, the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO).
Parsons is of interest to anyone interested in the history of Scientology because of his relationship with L Ron Hubbard, in the days before the creation of Dianetics, when they performed ‘black magic’ rituals together. Continue reading