Tales of History and Imagination

Eccentric tales from History by Simone Whitlow

12: Jack Parsons - Babalon’s Rocketeer (Part One)

May 21st, 2021

Content warning! I discuss a violent death in this Tale, and allude to another.

When John Whiteside Parsons – Jack to his friends – died suddenly in an explosion, one may have expected platitudes to the man. As a pioneering rocket scientist, the world -  and the future would owe much to his innovations. Instead, all anyone could talk about was the gossip about his lifestyle – and membership to a cult which worshipped a man known as ‘The Great Beast'

Over the next two episodes, we're talking about the mad life of Jack Parsons – Rocketeer, Occultist...... Spy?

You can read the episode here.
I also mention the Prelude written in the blog, here. And, of course Tipu's Tiger.


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Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly. Sound FX a single explosion, marked ‘Sound 1000’.


I read Strange Angel by George Pendle, Sex and Rockets, the Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson, watched several YouTube videos on Crowley's Gnostic Mass (Liber XV) – which was so far from what I expected it to be... referred to a couple of LA Times articles (Paywalled) about Clifford Clinton, his Clifton's Cafes, Frank L. Shaw, and the LA Mafia in the 1920s and 30s, over a year ago....that which I ramble through in the middle of the episode (and write about in the prologue) is from my notes on those articles, in my big red book of ideas.

I also stole a single musical phrase from Prokofiev's Violin concerto no.2 in music on part 2. Thanks Spotify for having a version to learn the piece from.


About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. She has never joined a sex cult.... well, not before this episode was published anyway...

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.   

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