In the spring of 1945, Parsons met a new aspirant to the Great Work, a young man called Ron Hubbard. Hubbard’s magical potential was very great and he made a considerable impression upon the members of Agape Lodge, especially on Betty, the mistress of Dr Parsons; she soon found herself sleeping with him.
Frater 210 (Dr Parsons) was not unduly upset about this; for he had decided to follow even more closely in the Beast’s footsteps and find, by magical means, a Scarlet Woman, his own true Whore of the Stars. He proposed, in other words, to attract an elemental or familiar spirit:
About three months ago I met Ron Hubbard…[Parsons wrote in July 1945 to Crowley whom he addressed as ‘Most Beloved Father’] he is a writer and explorer…a gentleman; he has red hair, green eyes, is honest and intelligent, and we have become great friends. He moved in with me about two months ago, and although Betty and I are still friendly, she has transferred her sexual affection to Ron. I cared for her rather deeply but I have no desire to control her emotions. Although Ron has no formal training in Magick, he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences I deduced that he is in direct touch with some higher intelligence, possibly his Guardian Angel. He describes his Angel as a beautiful winged woman with red hair whom he calls the Empress…He is the most Thelemic person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles. He is also interested in establishing the New Aeon. Thy son, John.
How to attract an elemental (which one can turn into one’s familiar spirit) is set forth in the top secret O.T.O. treatise entitled De Nuptiis Secretis Deorum cum Hominibus,i a treatise rewritten by Crowley who added of course his own characteristic touches.
i ‘Concerning the Secret Marriages of the Gods with Men.’
Frater 210 set to work. He wrote to Crowley that he had followed the VIII° instruction carefully, with a talisman consecrated in the proper manner, the rite ending with the command to the spirit in question to appear visibly before him.
For this class of magic (VIII°), one needs no assistant for it is sexual magic of the solitary kind; but Parsons chose nevertheless to perform the rite in the presence of Ron Hubbard. He was wearing a black hooded robe, and Hubbard a white one. Thundering away in the background was one of Prokofiev’s piano concerto or Rachmaninov’s symphonic poem, Island of the Dead.
The ritual must have been one of Parson’s or Hubbard’s own making, for it went on for about eleven nights. Hubbard, it seems, partly instructed Parsons. The magical drivel which Parsons was screaming for most of the time (if not the puerility of his verses to Babalon, the Scarlet Woman) would have offended Crowley’s sense of magical propriety. Another letter to Crowley contained a further account of the operation.
‘For the last three days I have performed an operation of birth, using the air tablet, the cup, and a female figure, properly invoked by the wand, then sealed up in the altar. Last night I performed an operation of symbolic birth and delivery.’
The Air Tablet or Elemental Tablet of Enoch is one of the four Watch Towers of the Universe, the others being tablets of Fire, Earth and Water. In other words Parsons was working the magical system of John Dee and his scryer, Edward Kelly, which Crowley had successfully worked during 1909 in the North African desert with his chela, Victor Neuburg. The ‘wand’ was the penis; the talisman was placed in the altar, symbol of the womb.
The only immediate result of this operation was a violent and unnatural wind storm. ‘The wind storm is very interesting,’ wrote Parsons to his Most Beloved Father, ‘but that is not what I asked for.’
I have my elemental! She turned up one night after the conclusion of the Operation, and has been with me since, although she goes back to New York next week. She has red hair and slant green eyes as specified. If she returns she will be dedicated as I am dedicated!’
Her name was Marjorie Cameron. Crowley replied,
I am particularly interested in what you have written to me about the elemental, because for some little time past I have been endeavoring to intervene personally in this matter on your behalf. I would however have you recall Lévi’s aphorism: “The love of the Magus for such things is insensate and may destroy him.”
With his Scarlet Woman (Marjorie Cameron) and in the presence of Hubbard, Parsons began to perform IX° magic to produce another higher being.
‘I can hardly tell you,’ he wrote somewhat incoherently to the Beast:
I am under the command of extreme secrecy. I have had the most important—devastating experience of my life between February 2nd and March 4th. I believe it was the result of the IX° working with the girl who answered my elemental summons. I have been in direct touch with One who is most Holy and Beautiful as mentioned in The Book of the Law. I cannot write the name at present. First instructions were received directly through Ron the seer. I have followed them to the letter. There was a desire for incarnation. I do not yet know the vehicle, but it will come to me, bringing a secret sign. I am to act as instructor guardian for nine months; then it will be loosed on the world. That is all I can say now…
Not the sort of letter to please the Beast, and he replied thus:
I thought I had a most morbid imagination, as good as any man’s but it seems I have not. I cannot form the slightest idea what you can possibly mean…
And to Frater Saturnus1 in New York, Crowley wrote,
Apparently Parsons or Hubbard or somebody is producing a Moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts.
But the ‘lout’ Hubbard, who had great business ability, later founded his celebrated Church of Scientology.
The two magicians in Pasadena quarrelled and Hubbard departed with Betty in Parsons’ yacht. Frater 210 put on his magic robe, seized his wand, entered the magic circle, and performed the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, which is preliminary to all magical work, then a full invocation of Bartzabel, the spirit of Mars, whose aid he sought. Result: a squall blew the yacht to to the rocks. ‘I have them tied up; they cannot move without going to jail,’ he wrote gleefully.
Dr Hubbard said that he joined the Church of Thelema in California only to break up black magic in America. He ‘rescued a girl they were using. The black magic group was dispersed and destroyed and has never recovered.ii
ii The Church of Scientology: letter published in the Sunday Times 28 December 1969]
Crowley dismissed Parsons as a failure, as he had dismissed Neuburg, Mudd, Achad, and the rest; his final word on Dr Parsons (Frater 210) was: In 1949, Parsons, feeling that he was mature enough for a magical step forward, took the Oath of the Abyss, that is he attempted to unite his consciousness with the Universal Consciousness; and he gave himself the magical name of Belarion Armiluss A 1 Dajjal AntiChrist. He did not know it but he was in the grip of a psychosis. It is not surprising, therefore, that three years later he literally blew himself up in a so-called accident with fulminate of mercury in his experimental laboratory at Pasadena.