HUBBARD AND THE OCCULT

                          By Jon Atack

                   (Part  one of four  parts)

  I stand before you having been accused in print by L. Ron
Hubbard's followers of having an avid interest in black magic. I
would like to put firmly on record that whatever interest I have
is related entirely to achieving a better understanding of the
creator of Dianetics and Scientology. Hubbard's followers have
the right to be made aware that he had not only an avid interest,
but that he was also a practitioner of black magic. Today I shall
discuss these matters in depth, but I shall not repeat all of the
proofs which already exist in my book A Piece of Blue Sky (1).

  Scientology is a twisting together of many threads. Ron
Hubbard's first system, Dianetics, which emerged in 1950, owes
much to early Freudian ideas (2). For example, Hubbard's
"Reactive Mind" obviously derives from Freud's "Unconscious". The
notion that this mind thinks in identities comes from Korzybski's
General Semantics. Initially, before deciding that he was the
sole source of Dianetics and Scientology (3), Hubbard
acknowledged his debt to these thinkers (4). Dianetics bears
marked similarites to work reported by American psychiatrists
Grinker and Speigel (5) and English psychiatrist William Sargant
(6). The first edition of Hubbard's 1950 text Dianetics: The
Modern Science of Mental Health (7) carried an advertisment for a
book published a year earlier (8). Psychiatrist Nandor Fodor had
been writing about his belief in the residual effects of the
birth trauma for some years, following in the footsteps of Otto
Rank. In lectures given in 1950, Hubbard also referred to works
on hynopsis which had obviously influenced his techniques (9).
The very name "Dianetics" probably owes something to the, at the
time, highly popular subject of Cybernetics. (10).

  By 1952, Hubbard had lost the rights to Dianetics, having
bailed out just before the bankruptcy of the original Hubbard
Research Foundation. He had also managed to avoid the charges
brought against that Foundation by the New Jersey Medical
Association for teaching medicine without a license (11). In a
matter of days in the early spring of 1952, Hubbard moved from
his purported "science of mental health" into the territory of
reincarnation and spirit possession. He called his new subject
Scientology, claiming that the name derived for "scio" and
"logos" and meant "knowing how to know". However, Hubbard was
notorious for his sly humour and "scio" might also refer to the
Greek word for a "shade" or "ghost". Scientology itself had
already been used at the turn of the century to mean
"pseudo-science" and in something close to Hubbard's meaning in
1934 by one of the proponents of Aryan racial theory (12). Other
possible links between Hubbard's thought and that of the Nazis
will be made clear later in this paper.

  Scientology seems to be a hybrid of science-fiction and magic.
Hubbard's reflection on philosophy seem to derive largely from
Will Durant's Story of Philosophy (13) and the works of Aleister
Crowley. Aleister Crowley is surely the most famous black
magician of the twentieth-century. It is impossible to arrive at
an understanding of Scientology without taking into account its
creator's extensive involvement with magic. The trail has been so
well obscured in the past that even such a scholar as Professor
Gordon Melton has been deceived into the opinion that Hubbard was
not a practitioner of ritual magic and that Scientology is not
related to magical beliefs and practices. In the book A Piece of
Blue Sky, I explored these connections in detail. The
revealations surrounding Hubbard's private papers in the 1984
Armstrong case in California makes any denial of the connections
fatuous. The significances of these connections is of course open
to discussion.

  The chapter in A Piece of Blue Sky that describes Hubbard's
involvement with the ideas of magic is called His Magickal Career.
I hope I shall be excused for relying upon it. I shall also here
describe further research, and comment particularly upon
Hubbard's use of magical symbols, and the inescapable view that
many of the beliefs and practices of Scientology are a
reformation of ritual magic (14).

  In 1984, a former close colleague of Hubbard's told me that
thirty years before when asked how he had managed to write
Dianetics: The Modern Science Of Mental Health in just three
weeks, Hubbard had replied that it had been automatic writing. He
said that the book had been dictated by "the Empress". At the
time, I had no idea who or what "the Empress" might be. Later, I
noticed that in an article printed immediately prior to the book
Dianetics, Hubbard had openly admitted to his use of "automatic
writing, speaking and clairvoyance" (15). However, it took
several years to understand this tantalising reference to the

  In the 1930's, Hubbard became friendly with fellow adventure
writer Arthur J. Burks. Burks described an encounter with "the
Redhead" in his book Monitors. The text makes it clear that "the
Redhead" is none other than Ron Hubbard. Burk said that when the
Redhead had been flying gliders he would be saved from trouble by
a "smiling woman" who would appear on the aircraft's wing (16).
Burk put forward the view that this was the Redhead's "monitor"
or guardian angel.

  In 1945, Hubbard became involved with Crowley's acolyte, Jack
Parsons. Parsons wrote to Crowley that Hubbard had "described his
angel as a beautiful winged women with red hair, whom he calls
the Empress, and who had guided him through his life and saved him
many times." In the Crowleyite system, adherents seek contact
with their "Holy Guardian Angel".

  John Whiteside Parsons, usually known as Jack, first met
Hubbard at a party in August 1945. When his terminal leave from
the US Navy began, on Dec 6th, 1945, Hubbard went straight to
Parsons' house in Pasadena, and took up residence in a trailer in
the yard. Parsons was a young chemist who had helped set up Jet
Propulsion Laboratories and was one of the innovators of solid
fuel for rockets. Parsons was besotted with Crowley's Sex Magick,
and had recently become head of the Agape Lodge of the Church of
Thelema in Los Angeles. The Agape Lodge was an aspect of the Ordo
Templi Orientis, the small international group headed by Aleister

  Parsons'  girlfriend soon transferred her affection to Hubbard.
With her, Hubbard and Parsons formed a business partnership, as a
consequence of which Parsons lost most of his money to Hubbard.
However, before Hubbard ran away with the loot, he and Parsons
participated in magical rituals which have received great
attention among contemporary practitioners.

  Parsons and Hubbard together performed their own version of the
secret eighth degree ritual (17) of the Ordo Templi Orientiis in
January 1946. The ritual is called "concerning the secret
marriage of gods with men" or "the magical masturbation" and is
usually a homosexual ritual. The purpose of this ritual was to
attract a women willing to participate in the next stage of
Hubbard and Parsons' Sex Magick.

  Hubbard and Parsons were attempting the most daring magical
feat imaginable. They were trying to incarnate the Scarlet Woman
described in the Book of Revelation as "Babylon the Great, the
Mother of Harlot and Abominations of the Earth...drunken with the
blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of
Jesus."(18). During the rituals, Parsons described Babalon as
"mother of anarchy and abominations". The women who they believed
had answered their call, Majorie Cameron, joined in with their
sexual rituals in March 1946.

  Parsons used a recording machine to keep a record of his
ceremonies. He also kept Crowley informed by letter. The
correspondence still exists. Crowley wrote to his deputy in New
York "I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these

  Crowley was being disingenous. His own novel The Moonchild
describes a ritual with a similar purpose. Further, the secret
IXth degree ritual of the Ordo Templi Orientis (19) contains "Of
the Homunculus" in which the adept seeks to create a human
embodiment of one of the energies of nature - a god or goddess.
The ritual says "to it thou are Sole God and Lord, and it must
serve thee."

  In fact, Hubbard and Parsons were committing sacrilege in
Crowley's terms. Crowley respelled "Babylon" as he respelled
"magic". His magick was entirely dedicated to Babalon, the
Scarlet Woman. Crowley believed himself the servant and slave of
Babalon, the antichrist, styling himself "The Beast, 666". For
anyone to try to incarnate and control the goddess must have been
an impossible blasphemy to him. Crowley, after all, called
Babalon "Our Lady".

  Hubbard and Parsons attempt did not end with the conception
of a human child. However, just as Crowley said that "Gods are but
names for the forces of Nature themselves" (21), so it might be
speculated that Hubbard embodied Babalon not in human form, but
through his organization.

  Parsons sued Hubbard in Florida in July 1946, managing to
regain a little of his money. The record of their rituals was
later transcribed and has since been published as The Babalon
Working (22). Parsons made a return to Magick, writing The Book
of The Antichrist in 1949 (23). Parsons pronounced himself the
Antichrist. In a scientology text, Hubbard spoke favourably of
Parsons, making no mention of their magical liason (24). A Piece
of Blue Sky covers Hubbard's involvement with Parsons in much
greater detail than I have given here.

  Hubbard's interest in the occult was kindled long before he met
Parsons. It dates back at least to his membership of the Ancient
and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis or AMORC, in 1940. Hubbard had
completed the first two neophyte degrees before his membership
lapsed, and later there were private complaints that he had
incorporated some of the teaching he had promised to keep secret
into Scientology (25).

  Having stolen Parsons' girl and his money, Hubbard carried on
with magical practices of his own devising. Scientology attempted
to reclaim documents which recorded these practices in its case
against former Hubbard archivist Gerald Armstrong. Some $280,000
was paid to publishers Ralston Pilot to prevent publication of
Omar Garrison's authorised biography of Hubbard.  However,
Garrison retained copies of thousands of Hubbard's documents and
showed me one which had been referred to in the Armstrong trial.
The Blood Ritual is an invokation of the Egyptian goddess Hathor,
performed by Hubbard during the late 1940's.  As the name
suggests, the ritual involved the use of blood.  Hubbard mingled
his own blood with that of his then wife (the girlfriend he had
stolen from Parsons and with whom Hubbard contracted a bigamous

  In a 1952 Scientology lecture, Hubbard referred to "Aleister
Crowley, my very good friend" (26). In fact, the two black
magicians never met, and Crowley expressed a very low opinion of
the man who he saw had tricked his disciple Jack Parsons. Even
so, Hubbard had a very positive regard for Crowley, calling his
work "fascinating" (27) and recommending one of his books to
Scientologists. Having referred to Crowley as "The Beast 666",
Hubbard said that he had  "picked a level of religious worship
which is very interesting." (28). He also made it clear that he had
read the fundamental text of the Crowley teaching, The Book of
the Law (29).

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