Strange Angel will focus on the rocket scientist who invoked something extrate

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  1. triumph

    triumph Patron Meritorious

    Guardian

    Science and sex cults: rocketeer Jack Parsons hits the small screen
    The team behind new drama Strange Angel discusses the notorious scientist who pioneered modern rocketry and befriended Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard
    By Jake Nevins

    aking a television show is grueling, expensive and time-consuming, but it isn’t rocket science. Sometimes, though, as Mark Heyman points out, it’s pretty darn close. Heyman is referring to Strange Angel, a new series about the bizarre life of Jack Parsons, known in aeronautical circles as the father of modern day rocketry and to others as the Thelemite occultist who crossed paths with self-proclaimed prophet Aleister Crowley and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Parsons’ life has already inspired two biographies, a graphic novel, and an episode of Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Now it’s the basis for a splashy new drama from A Ghost Story director David Lowery, set in 1930s Los Angeles, where the spirits of American enterprise and new age mysticism are alive and well.

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    “This brief moment of freedom and exploration is replaced by the military-industrial complex and the bifurcating of the world between communist Russia and the United States,” says Heyman, who plans to show these changes in upcoming seasons. “That transition from the Crowley cult into what becomes Scientology mirrors a greater transition in the world at large, from greater forms of freedom and self-exploration into power being consolidated into systems of control.”

    more@link

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/jun/13/strange-angel-series-jack-parsons-scientology

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    LA TIMES
    ‘Strange Angel’: It's rocket science with occult twist

    By Robert Lloyd Jun 12, 2018

    The improbable life of rocket scientist Jack Parsons — where jet fuel met “sex magick” — has inspired a television drama, “Strange Angel,” beginning Thursday on CBS All Access, the streaming wing of the broadcast network reserved for more offbeat series.

    It occurs to me, even as I write this, that it is the second CBS series (after “The Big Bang Theory”) set against a Caltech backdrop. But there the resemblance ends.

    Given the sensational aspects of the story — which includes, alongside the founding of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Second World War, the disciples of British occultist Aleister Crowley and a more-than-cameo appearance by L. Ron Hubbard — it can seem a little pokey. (That it can seem a little silly is unavoidably built into the material.) "Drunk History" told Parsons' story pretty effectively in seven minutes. But “Strange Angel” is playing a long, multi-season game, and so far only three of the first season's 10 episodes have been offered for review.

    more@link

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-strange-angel-review-20180611-story.html
     
  2. triumph

    triumph Patron Meritorious

    NY Post
    This sex-crazed cultist was the father of modern rocketry
    By Johnny Oleksinski June 19, 2018

    Parsons attended one of Crowley’s OTO masses, led by “magicians,” in LA in 1939, and became enamored with the odd leader’s beliefs in hidden dimensions and the religion’s unique sexual freedom. Participants were encouraged to swap partners — three decades before the sexual revolution.
    Two years later, Parsons and his wife, Helen, were members of the OTO. The group was a strange blend of actors, opera singers, scientists, German expats and others who subscribed to Crowley’s teachings — particularly the no-strings-attached canoodling.

    While Helen was on a trip, Parsons began an affair with her half-sister, Sara “Betty” Northrup. This infuriated Helen, despite the freewheeling teachings of the OTO. Crowley called marriage “a detestable institution,” and Parsons used that rationale to explain his unquenchable sexual desires. Eventually, Helen began her own affair with Wilfred Smith, the head of Agape Lodge, the group’s California chapter. She later divorced Parsons and married Smith.

    In 1943, Crowley, who wanted Smith to step down, declared Smith “a god,” ordering him to tattoo “666” on his forehead, abandon Agape Lodge and wander the desert making no contact with OTO members. Parsons was installed as Agape’s new leader.
    At this point, Parsons was at his peak: He had convinced the government that rocketry could be useful in wartime and formed a successful business called Aerojet. In 1943, the US Army ordered 2,000 rockets from the company.

    It was not to last. A year later, Parsons was removed from the JPL and Aerojet for his associations with the lodge, which had relocated from LA to Pasadena, and had drawn scrutiny for its unusual practices. His work with rocketry wasn’t over, but it would never again be on so grand a scale.
    Around that time, Hubbard, then a science-fiction writer, showed up and entranced the OTO members with his extraordinary charisma, wit and impossible tales. Parsons was taken with Hubbard, writing: “He is a gentleman. Red hair, green eyes, honest and intelligent and we have become great friends.”

    But that changed when Hubbard seduced Betty, Parsons’ girlfriend. Soon, the two became an item and Parsons was overcome, for the first time, with jealous rage. Hubbard ran off with Betty, taking with him not just Parsons’ squeeze, but a lucrative idea.
    “Parsons showed Hubbard a way — a kind of format for forming a religion,” said Pendle. “Crowley came up with this kind of structure of a mystical society. A hierarchy where you move your way up, and each time you move up a level, you find out more, but you have to pay to move up those levels. And so, I feel like Scientology’s whole structure is based on this cult that Parsons was part of.”

    More@ link

    https://nypost.com/2018/06/19/this-sex-crazed-cultist-was-the-father-of-modern-rocketry/
     

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