Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Jack Parsons is getting his star-turn next month, but we’ll have to wait for L. Ron Hubbard

The effort to bring to television George Pendle’s excellent 2006 book about Jack Parsons, Strange Angel, is finally nearing fruition as a Ridley Scott-produced series premieres on the streaming service CBS All Access on June 14.

John Whitesides “Jack” Parsons has long been a figure of fascination because he was both a pioneer of America’s early rocketry and a sex magick occultist who led an American chapter of thelema, Aleister Crowley’s riff on the dark arts which would become such an inspiration for L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.

Scientology watchers are well aware that Hubbard and Parsons got up to some pretty kinky things in 1945-46 at Parsons’ Pasadena home and in the Southern California desert involving a woman named Marjorie Cameron and an attempt to create “the Moonchild,” an incarnation of the anti-Christ.

Crowley himself considered Parsons and Hubbard a couple of idiots, and no child came from the weird sex rituals between Parsons and Cameron (Hubbard reportedly witnessed the acts as scribe, while stroking his, er, wand).


So you can see why our readers have been eagerly awaiting a television portrayal of Parsons and Hubbard and their occult shenanigans. But alas, we have confirmed with CBS All Access that the first season of Strange Angel takes place in 1938, some seven years before Hubbard and Parsons first met.


Judging by the first-look trailer which has been released, the thelemites of 1938 Pasadena were some very sexy individuals with some smoking hot design sense.


That should make for some very watchable television, and we’re really looking forward to the series start.

On the other hand, we couldn’t help thinking about Nieson Himmel, a Los Angeles Times reporter who lived in the Parsons Pasadena house at the time and witnessed some of Hubbard’s antics there. In this 1997 interview, Himmel describes the thelema meetings with Parsons and Hubbard and others in long robes and with “dunce caps” and “pyramid hats,” like they were a bunch of clowns…


Well, we can’t blame Ridley Scott for sexing that up a bit. And Parsons himself was truly fascinating, as Pendle explains in his book. It’s a shame the rocket scientist was blown to pieces in a 1952 accident at his home lab. By then, however, Hubbard was long gone, having ripped off his friend in a business deal gone bad involving a sailing ship. Sounds like we’ll have to wait until season two or three before we see that on the screen!


What a crock

A few weeks ago, a tabloid reporter called us up for help on Justin Craig, the guy we wrote about who is pretending to be the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard. We enjoy helping out other publications, but in this case, we explained to the reporter, what he was asking for (Craig’s criminal record) was stuff his newspaper should really be looking up on its own. Just from a legal perspective, you understand.

Sigh. It looks like that turned out to be the least of the problems with the finished product.

You really can’t save the tabloids from themselves, apparently. What a crock — that a few deluded former members of the Church of Scientology have fooled themselves into having some interest in this ex-con has nothing to do with the church itself.

What do you think — is there actually an “insider” saying stuff this stupid, or did the tabloid make all of these quotes up?



Make your plans now!


Hey, we’re only a month away from this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. As in past years, we’re looking forward to meeting readers of the Bunker, culminating in Saturday night’s main event.

The biggest difference this year is that our Saturday night event is separate from that evening’s dinner. Chee Chalker is setting up an inexpensive pizza dinner that you don’t need to pay for ahead of time, after which we’ll walk over to the theater where our event, hosted by Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, will take place. Because it’s a separate event, we’re asking that you pay $10 each to get into the Saturday night event, which will help us recoup what the Bunker paid for the venue. (We have never made a penny on our HowdyCon meetups, we only try to break even.)

Please email your proprietor (tonyo94 AT gmail) in order to reserve your spot for Saturday night’s main event. Seating is limited, and we’re going to have some really interesting people on stage and they may make a few announcements that you don’t want to miss.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,122 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,725 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 268 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 156 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,331 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,105 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,879 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,225 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,791 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,459 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,719 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,759 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,471 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 997 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,086 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,226 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,546 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,521 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 877 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,179 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,285 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,688 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,560 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,142 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,647 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,891 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,000 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 22, 2018 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email