Jack Parsons: Soviet Spy? (Guest Blog by Dr. Richard Spence)

A first at n01r today is a guest blog from Dr. Richard Spence, Professor in the History Department at the University of Idaho. Dr. Spence  has one of the coolest sets of courses I’ve seen which complements a lot of the things I investigate at the site; such as the intersection of the occult, strategic disinformation, and espionage (like Theosophy).

Dr. Spence has done some great work linking Aleister Crowley to espionage networks, and was kind enough to offer a draft article of a circumstantial connection linking Jack Parsons to Soviet intelligence as well.  He makes a great argument for how Parsons might have been manipulated by a skilled handler based on his (apparently narcissistic) psychology.

Such a background seems highly pertinent to my investigation linking the Black Dahlia and Tate-LaBianca murders to a communist plot via the art movement Surrealism and/or the occultist movement of Crowleyan ‘Satanism’. (Suffice to say, I am confident that the good doctor has not read my entire site and you should not construe that his views represent my views or vice versa.)

Jack Parsons and Marjorie Cameron in 1946

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Building a Network to Connect the Black Dahlia and Tate-LaBianca Cases

While I run with the possibly flawed assumption that 1. Orson Welles was a credible suspect in the Black Dahlia case, and that 2.  there is a connection between Surrealism and the Black Dahlia case, and that 3. there may be some parallels in Orson Welles’ behavior relative to the time of the Black Dahlia murder and Roman Polanski’s behavior relative to the time of the murder of his wife Sharon Tate (all of which are more thought experiments than anything), I built out a little network mimicking the network from the ‘Exquisite Corpse’ book.

Network demonstrating overlap with surrealism and satanism in context of Black Dahlia and Tate-LaBianca cases

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Who is the Heir to Aleister Crowley?

I’d like to launch right into my Part 2 on ‘Communist Conspiracy and Murder as a Fine Art’; but in order to make that eventual post more succinct on the parallels between Roman Polanski and Orson Welles as they may relate to the Tate-LaBianca murders and the Black Dahlia cases respectively; I first need to delve into the question of ‘who was the true heir to Aleister Crowley’? The many links to the Crowley set permeate the back story of the cult scene which seems to have given emergence to the Charles Manson crowd. We may not arrive at a definitive answer, but exploring the question of Crowley and urban legends about his heir (to wit the figures of L. Ron Hubbard and Kenneth Anger via their mutual relationships with Jack Parsons) seems to be important in terms of examining the paradigm I’m suggesting.

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Aleister Crowley, Jack Parsons, and L. Ron Hubbard may be strong cultural influences on the Tate-LaBianca Murders

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Communist Conspiracy and Murder as a Fine Art

As one of two ‘American’ film directors to be honored in the Russian Golden Eagle film awards category of ‘Contribution to World Cinema’ (the other being Francis Ford Coppola), it seems somewhat obvious to me that Roman Polanski is a filmmaker who closely aligns with the Orson Welles style of film as (Russian / Communist) propaganda.

Much like Coppola – who based his ‘Apocalypse Now’ movie on Welles’ unmade anti-fascist ‘Heart of Darkness’ film and used Welles’ narration in the documentary ‘Hearts of Darkness’ about the making of Apocalypse Now (arguably therefore making an anti-fascist film in the Gothic tradition about American imperialism in Vietnam); Polanski has lauded Welles at times as his film-school idol.

The school was tightly connected with the Polish film archives and we could see anything we wanted… Personally, I was part of the [Orson] Welles group, but there were also groups of neorealists and students who liked the heroic Soviet cinema.” – Roman Polanski

As the seeming propaganda inspiration for both of these apparent influencers – were Welles still alive today, I am most confident that Russia would have honored him as well.

In another long and diverging parallel, I truly enjoyed Mary Pacios’ book ‘Childhood Shadows’, about the January 15, 1947 murder of Elizabeth “Bette” Short – best known as ‘The Black Dahlia’, in Los Angeles California. Pacios offered a fascinating and plausible suggestion that Orson Welles could be a credible suspect in the unsolved case. Welles left the United States shortly after the death. This kind of behavior is common for murder suspects. While Pacios did not explore the politics, my prior research suggests Welles had similar motivations to flee around this time due to his Communist Party linked politics and connections to Russian espionage.

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Justice Unserved: Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. The Black Dahlia

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Hyman Vernosky and Russian Spy Influence on ‘The Third Man’

I’ve been learning more about crime scene staging and extrapolating the practical similarities to disinformation. Especially in the context of probabilistically unlikely coincidences, I have long held a view that you can’t intimately know more than one Russian spy and work with them without plausibly being at least a Russian asset yourself.

To that extent, I have always been really interested in the filmmaker Orson Welles. One major coincidence the blacklisted Welles was involved in was starring in the Cambridge Five-influenced film, ‘The Third Man’ (1949).

Orson Welles poster for Russian release of Welles comeback film ‘Touch of Evil’ (1958)

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On the Parallels in ‘Weaponized Suicide’ Conspiracy Theory and Crime Scene Staging

Over the past week, I’ve been delving into homicide investigation textbooks and scholarly papers in order to better understand the circumstances which might support a belief that a crime scene has been staged. That is, the verbal, behavioral, and physical evidentiary circumstances by which a criminal offender attempts to mislead and misdirect the investigators from the most plausible suspect. While intentional staging may be present in any kind of crime (from property crime to accusations of physical assault), I’ve been interested in the sort where a murder might be made to look like it wasn’t one.

According to crime scene staging researchers, staging is a common offender behavior. Frequently murders might be covered up through arson, made to look like suicides, sexual homicides, or accidental deaths. Another common kind of staging is that related to a “game playing” suicide which is made to look like a murder. The usual perpetrator of a staged homicide scene is a white male with an intimate history with the victim.

According to textbook homicide investigation procedure, in order to rule out staging, it is absolutely important as a death investigator to approach every equivocal death case as a potential homicide until it can be reasonably be proven not to be one. It is important to work up a victimology on all decedents in order to understand potential offender motivations. It is important to evaluate all coincidences and categorically rule them out as artifacts of intentional offender behavior. In equivocal death cases, only when questions like this have been answered can questions of crime scene staging be put to rest.

In relation to this blog, I found it interesting that an understanding of “weaponized suicide” conspiracy narratives and the responsible “offender behavior” (loosely the serial disinformation efforts of Russia and its proxies) can be enhanced by an understanding of these concepts.

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My brain converts the ‘Cat Dancers’ documentary into a ‘Forensic Files’ episode

A friend visited the other day and suggested we watch the 2008 HBO documentary ‘Cat Dancers’. The film is about the eponymous dance troupe which used big cats like tigers and leopards in their act, and was ended abruptly after two deadly freak accidents. My friend wanted me to watch it because he thought I would find the main character’s  flamboyance humorous. In the end, that wasn’t the case so much as that I came away with an unshakable, almost obsessive perception of (at least negligent) homicide.Very few on the internet seem to see it the same way as I do, with the exception of a comment here and there.

It makes me wonder if because of the similar features in themes of death, sex, and documentary techniques – my brain has contorted Cat Dancers into a ‘Forensic Files’ episode, where the husband is almost always guilty, and an assignment of culpability is to be expected. 

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If Dana Rohrabacher was ‘Putin’s Favorite Congressman’ why does he hate the Chinese Government?

I’ve been trying to parse how James Randi’s work for the Chinese government in order to suppress Falun Gong in 1999 could be tied to a Russian information warfare strategy. I might have a possible ‘full spectrum’ explanation involving the controversial ex-US Republican Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher.

In order to understand the issue better, I found myself watching the documentary ‘Human Harvest’ (2013) online recently which focuses on claims and statistical evidence that China has killed tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and used the organs in a lucrative international organ transplantation scheme; effectively profiting from the eradication of political dissidents opposed to the Communist Party in China.

While on the surface, the idea of a government wholesale slaughter and sale of organs has the ring of a conspiracy theory, the film does provide a persuasive argument to support its claims.

In general, I was emotionally moved by the film as I watched it, and at times experienced significant anger and sadness about the suppression of spirituality as portrayed (including the associated repression of Muslim Uighurs and the film’s direct association of the Falun Gong situation with Nazi anti-Semitic atrocities). However, at other times (such as the recorded calls to Chinese medical centers), I felt I was being hoaxed to be honest. When Dana Rohrabacher came on screen as the US government champion for the Falun Gong in the concluding segments of the film, I had a bit of an “aha!” moment.

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Ghislaine Maxwell’s Family is the Missing Link in Attributing Jeffrey Epstein ‘Weaponized Suicide’ Conspiracism to Russia

Noting that the FBI was focusing on madame-figure Ghislaine Maxwell in its investigation into Jeffrey Epstein – and noting the many parallels in the cases of Epstein and Anthony Bourdain as they relate to the ‘weaponized suicide’ conspiracy theory paradigm – I looked a bit into Maxwell and was very surprised how easy it was to link her family to Russian intelligence. In addition, as an update I’ll note defector John Mark Dougan’s role in the Epstein case which makes me close to completely certain the conspiracy theories tied to it can only logically be the artifacts of a Russian information operation.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s father was the shady businessman Robert Maxwell, who operated a publishing empire which he’d embezzled hundreds of millions of British pounds from before his 1991 death (a death also surrounded by conspiracy theories). In life, he was rumored to be an asset of intelligence agencies like MI6, Mossad, and even the KGB. It doesn’t seem contested he had high level connections in Britain, the US, Israel, and Russia which he maintained.  

Ghislaine Maxwell and her father, Robert Maxwell – a subject of 1991 conspiracy theory related to Russia

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Poland didn’t start WWII, Russia did (and they would start WWIII too)

In September, the European Parliament passed an official resolution recognizing both Soviet and Nazi culpability for the start of World War II in relation to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which included a “secret protocol” for the division of Poland. The resolution affirms that while Nazis have been held culpable for their role in WWII, the Soviets largely avoided such criticism and it is important to remember the tragic history of Europe so it is not repeated. This declaration was met with apparent anger and a disinformation campaign from Russia and even Putin himself.

Over the past few months the story has grown, with the Russians presently focused on the presumed anti-Semitism of the Polish ambassador to Nazi Germany as being the actual cause of WWII. This seems a game of rhetorical ‘whataboutism’. Russia’s position is essentially an illogical argument that Poland itself started WWII – by amplifying a potentially insignificant apocryphal story and ignoring all the other factual evidence to the contrary.

It should be obvious that Poland is in a very difficult position as Russia’s neighbor. Historically, I think this seems to be because like Russia, Poland is ethnically a ‘Slavic’ nation; however, as opposed to the Orthodoxy which is practiced by most Slavs (and has been the basis for many Russian civilizational and geopolitical ideas even during communism) Poland is predominately Catholic.

Happier Times: Polish President Lech Kaczynski meets Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
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