Hubbard and The Science of Black Magic
In 1969 the Church of Scientology’s official line on L. Ron Hubbard’s involvement with the OTO was that their fearless leader had infiltrated a Californian black magic cult while working as an undercover agent for the FBI: ‘‘Hubbard’s mission was successful far beyond anyone’s expectations. The house was torn down. A girl they were using was rescued. The black magic group was dispersed and never recovered.’’
But these are most probably the words of L. Ron Hubbard himself. The same Hubbard who sat at the Fleming Mansion dinner table twenty three years earlier and bragged to the acolytes of the Agape Lodge that he had escaped from Japanese occupied Java on a raft with bullet wounds and broken feet, sunk two submarines with depth charges when he captained an escort vessel in the Atlantic, and lassoed a polar bear in the Aleutians.
The man was definitely an excellent teller of tall tales. I once listened to a bootleg tape of him addressing high level scientologists, and can confirm that his rich, warm tone and throaty, humorous delivery made him a hypnotic orator. He could have sold ice cream to Eskimos along with an expensive fridge to keep it cold. Before the Second World War he had been a professional writer of fantasy and science fiction (5 cents a word was the going rate) and after it he decided that the best way to make money was to start a religion.
Crowley had not materially profited from the OTO and by 1946, his trust fund having run out, he was living in reduced circumstance near Hastings. In fact the Agape lodge was helping to financially support the Order and when he started to receive letters from JWP describing Hubbard as: ‘the most thelemic person I have ever met… also interested in establishing the New Aeon… he describes his angel as a beautiful winged woman with red hair… I need a magical partner… I have many experiments in mind.’
Crowley was immediately suspicious and wrote to a confidant that Hubbard sounded like a typical con man. The wise old sorcerer was quite correct in his distant assessment of the situation. L. Ron was all over the Parsonage like a rash; attending secret rituals in the upstairs Temple, casually stealing Jack’s attractive girlfriend Betty from under his nose, and then swiftly proposing high-risk business schemes that just required Jack’s cash to succeed!
and a taste for
JWP had only met his father, the delightfully named Marvel Parsons, once in his life and although quite brilliant and a success in his chosen field at the age of thirty, he was still easily impressed, especially by bullish men with a tremendous confidence and a taste for high adventure. He managed to overlook Betty’s capricious switch of allegiance and chose Hubbard to be his ‘Scribe’ for what would become his most difficult and daring magical procedure to date: the Babalon Working, which would take 12 whole days and nights to complete.
In this semi-improvised rite Jack and Ron moved into territory well beyond any official OTO rituals documented at that time. Elementals were invoked then banished, Aethyrs were called, complicated texts were recited from memory, there were windstorms, knocking sounds in the night, ritual masturbations and towards the end a buzzing, metallic voice crying out ‘‘let me go free’’.
It all ended suddenly when the two men went out into the Mojave Desert to meditate on the 12th day. At sunset the tension which had gripped Parson’s throughout vanished in an instant. He turned to Hubbard and said ‘It is done.’
They didn’t have to wait long for a tangible result. The very next day a startling woman named Marjorie Cameron turned up at the mansion. She was the realisation of Jack’s desire, with flame red hair and slant green eyes as he had specified in the Working. He wrote to Crowley in triumph ‘‘I have my elemental. She is an artist, strong minded and determined, with strong masculine characteristics and a fanatical independence.’’ Cameron was later immortalised on film as both Kali and the Scarlet Woman in OTO member Kenneth Anger’s magnificent Inauguration of The Pleasure Dome. Well worth a look!
Now that the would-be-Beast had a Scarlet Women he was ready to fulfil another tenet of The Book of The Law. In the second part of the Babalon Working he planned to create a magical child.
And once again L. Ron Hubbard, the father of Scientology, would be there to lend a helping hand.