Sunday, February 03, 2008

Burroughs vs. the Church of L-Ron?? (No Secret Handshakes, continued).

We shiete you not:

"Although Burroughs writes that he finds some techniques from Scientology "highly valuable," he criticizes what he describes as "Mr. Hubbard's overtly fascist utterances" on American and international politics. He considers Hubbard to be out of sync with the radical youth movement of the period, and asks rhetorically, "which side are you on, Hubbard, which side are you on?"[1]"


This is interesting, but not completely surprising. Reading a bit about the founding of the COS and the mysterious L-Ron, one soon notes that L-Ron was not quite the do-gooder moralist that many modern Scientologists claim he was (or aspire to be). L-Ron, one time Navy man, dabbled in the occult back in the day, along with his pal Jack Parsons (who dat? He was a rocket scientist who more or less founded Cal Tech and JPL). Care to guess who they were inspired by? None other than old Uncle Aleister Crowley himself (this might be old news to some older El Lay locals--not to MSM). Parsons in fact corresponded with Uncle Al--that is, until Parsons blew himself up in his Pasadena mansion under rather odd circumstances (and --get this--L-Ron had run off with one of Parson's "scarlet ladies"). Much of this is detailed in Mike Davis' great history of LA, City of Quartz (and he's probably leftie enough for much of blogville).

Burroughs' interest in the church of L-Ron then does not seem so strange (we here at Contingencies are not avid Burroughs' fans, but that's old-time religion and Naked Lunch was a formative influence on many, including "Steely Dan"--the curious may google around for a clearer definition). L-Ron did appropriate some of Crowley's techniques (whatever those are--probably mostly derived from yoga and meditation, etc.), and that's probably what intrigued Big Bill B. Hubbard actually was not a complete rightist: he was a pal of Robert Heinlein (both failed engineers, and probably with some CIA connections), and L-Ron made a few slightly anti-war comments during 'Nam, and even hung out with some hippies on occasion, but was of course opposed to drugs--though his autopsy showed abundant quantities of muscle relaxants in his blood (L-Ron himself found dead, in somewhat "mysterious" circumstances, out in the boonies near San Luis Obisbo in 80s). All a big part of the Operation Mindphuck, unknown to most American thanatoids (Tom Cruise, member of the Bavarian Illuminati? Whoa).

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