Last June, we brought you the first review of The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion by Ohio State professor Hugh Urban, and then the first interview with the good professor himself.
The Rosy Cross, appropriated in a similar form by Crowley and OTO
During that interview, Urban told us that he was planning to continue his research into Scientology, and would be looking into a variety of areas. But we didn't know that one of those interests included a closer look at L. Ron Hubbard's wild occult history that preceded his publication of 1950's Dianetics.
Longtime Scientology watchers will be at least somewhat familiar with the tale: that after his involvement in WWII, Hubbard shacked up with Jet Propulsion Lab rocket scientist Jack Parsons, a man heavily into the occult, and in particular the teachings of The Great Beast, British occultist Aleister Crowley. You may even know something about the kinky things Parsons and Hubbard did trying to create a "Moonchild." But what Urban does in a new piece for the journal Nova Religio is produce a thorough, academic study of the ways that Crowley's "magick" found parallels in what would become Hubbard's most famous creation, Scientology.More »