Yesterday’s UK Daily Mail (Thursday 13 April 2006) included a substantial three-page spread (pages 46, 51 and 53) about Scientology and L Ron Hubbard: The Truth About $cientology by Janet Reitman.
The well-written and broadly accurate article inevitably leads us into Hubbard’s early years, his association with Jack Parsons and “the English occultist Aleister Crowley”.
With that glancing reference, the story skips on to various Hubbard lunacies and we never hear of Crowley again. However, before anyone prematurely starts popping champagne corks in the belief the Mail has turned over a new leaf — where, for example, is the inevitable “Satanist” that is de rigeur in such articles? — it appears the piece has been syndicated to them from Rolling Stone and therefore written by a US journalist rather than a Mail hack…
After the war, Hubbard went to Pasadena, California, a scientific boomtown, where he met businessman John Whiteside Parsons.
A sci-fi buff and follower of English occultist Aleister Crowley, Parsons invited Hubbard to live on his estate.
As Parsons’ assistant, Hubbard helped in black magic and sexual rituals, including one in which Parsons attempted to conjure a ‘whore of Babalon’.
But Hubbard married Parsons’ mistress, Sara Northrup, and the two men fell out. But Parsons had influenced him and sci-fi writer Lloyd Eshbach recalled Hubbard saying in the late Forties: ‘I’d like to start a religion – that’s where the money is.’ Dianetics: The Modern Science Of Mental Health was published in May 1950, and became a runaway hit.