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.
As I’ve previously blogged, there seems to be good evidence of revolutionary protosocialist or protocommunist belief associated with John Milton’s idea of Satan as a tragic hero and revolutionary figure. It can be seen that figures like Satan, Spartacus, and Prometheus have similar symbolic components, and that they potentially factored into ideas of writers like Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, and even Karl Marx. Milton’s Satan seems to have inspired a wave of intellectual revolutionary thinking in Russia as well.
Surrealism, in the views of some commentators, may be a similar movement which takes up this history of ‘black romanticism’, and has very clear linkages to both Russia and communism in its origins. Although it does not seem to be often directly associated with satanism, the movement has a clear occult focus. As I pointed out in my previous blog, there are many such connections around communism, Surrealism, and the Black Dahlia case.
In addition, I have blogged quite a bit here about the movement known as Theosophy; which was most likely at its origins strategically linked to Russian espionage. Theosophy certainly was an influence on Surrealism via way of figures like Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimer Malevich (potentially also Piet Mondrian and Nicolas Roerich). Figures from the US scholarly community and British intelligence in India had identified Theosophy’s founder Helena Blavatsky as a probable Russian spy.
From an information perspective, Theosophy seems to have had a significant, if indirect, impact on Nazi ideology and symbolism, as well as a close association with the original spread of ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion‘ via way of presumable Theosophist-Okhrana agent Yuliana Glinka (in a way which may evoke modern Russian instigation of the far-right political groups).
In addition, although Theosophists might dispute a satanic context, I have taken interest in Blavatsky’s popularization of Nostradamus and Lucifer in the body of her theosophical texts, because of the above noted reasons and the possible alignment with the seeming pro-Russian conspiracism of Orson Welles. As I have written on extensively, Orson Welles found himself very close to both British and Russian intelligence and anti-fascist propaganda campaigns (these can be seen to be principally Russian-influenced). As a magician, and popular satanist associated with terms like “The Beast 666”, Crowley can also be seen as similar to Welles for his potential alignment with British and Russian intelligence .
Of note, Aleister Crowley may have seen his birth in the same year as the founding of the Theosophical Society as auspicious – and he seems to have placed Blavatsky as his predecessor in the imaginary hierarchy of his church.
Welles also seems to have had some indirect and direct associations with Aleister Crowley. Welles specifically noted that his paternal grandmother had been involved in ritual animal sacrifice and associated with the invocations of Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky. Although, when Crowley apparently sought to work directly with Welles later on however, Welles rebuffed him.
Before he went to Hollywood, Welles does seem to have been interested in the devil. One of Welles’ first major abandoned projects was his ambitious script “about the devil” called ‘Bright Lucifer‘.
To end the biographical commentary on Orson Welles, he grew up in a radical feminist household which at the time was often associated with similar ideas about revolutionary emancipation in alignment with satanism (I don’t know if his mother was such a ‘Satanic Feminist’ but it would be consistent with his behaviors and beliefs).
Overall, there seem to have been many ‘dark’ influences on Welles at the intersection of art and politics which represent historical convergence of revolutionary thinking with satanism, including the views of Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky. (But potentially also Bolshevism and Surrealism and certainly anti-fascism.)
Satanic worship or ideology does not seem to have been a factor in popular reporting about the Dahlia case. However, if we move forward with a paradigm that; A. Surrealism was a factor in the Black Dahlia slaying, and that B. Orson Welles is a viable suspect in the case; the prior backstory of Theosophy, ‘black romanticism’, and Crowleyan ideas could be pertinent.
Such ideas about satanism were absolutely prevalent in the case of Sharon Tate. Immediately following the 1969 murder of Sharon Tate and her close friends by the Charles Manson family, rumors of a satanic connection emerged. As evidenced in Ed Sanders’ 2015 book ‘Sharon Tate‘, rumors abounded that Tate and husband Roman Polanski were involved in a [sex] “club with a permanent membership of nearly 50 but was increased with the admittance of strangers picked up at exclusive Hollywood discotheques by Sharon’s crowd. The group, a throwback to the Hollywood of another era, drew its inspiration from the fantasy world here of the ’30’s”.
Sanders also connects this idea to an English satanist sect which had spun off from Scientology known as The Process Church of the Final Judgement (today, better known as Best Friends Animal Society). Sanders suggests that Sharon Tate was murdered because she had been hanging around in a crowd with these satanists that also included Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. This would seem to be an explosive allegation if true, because there is evidence that both Polanski and Tate were proximate to RFK prior to his assassination as well.
Charles Manson specifically did state that the Process Church, Scientology, and Dianetics were influences on the development of his group’s ideology. He indicates that he sent people to the UK in order to interact with figures from these movements.
It is also explosive I think, because Orson Welles – who had been a major motivation for Tate to star in her final film (‘Thirteen Chairs,’ ‘12+1′) – had also set out within several years to accuse the CIA of brainwashing Sirhan Sirhan in alignment with Donald Freed (who had previously worked with Welles’ blacklisted contemporary Dalton Trumbo to write the script for ‘Executive Action’ – about CIA involvement in the JFK assassination based on the apparent KGB-inspired disinformation of Mark Lane).
Orson Welles by that time had a long history as an apparent anti-fascist Russian disinformation asset, so this contrast between Ed Sanders’ suggestion of knowledge of Process Church brainwashing of Sirhan Sirhan leading to the death of Sharon Tate – and Welles narrative accusation against the CIA is interesting.
Given that Sharon Tate’s murder occurred so close to the delivery of her pregnancy (with Roman Polanski) by an apparently Satan-crazed cult, it seems that it was impossible to escape the semiotic parallels with Polanski’s recent hit, ‘Rosemary’s Baby‘. It is somewhat easy to see how the event could have contributed to a mass hysteria about satanic cults. But I think it is unwise to forget about the revolutionary and potentially communist contexts which can underlie satanism based on the history of romanticism.
Now here is where we return to Aleister Crowley. Crowley does seem to have been a big influence on the Beatles; appearing on the cover of the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album (and many people saying the lyrics about “20 years ago today” reference the death of Crowley). Polanski and Tate seem to have been known to John Lennon; and Mia Farrow – star of Rosemary’s Baby had been romantically involved with Lennon. There are rumors about Lennon being angry at Polanski over something. Finally, in a bizarre coincidence, John Lennon was gunned down by Mark David Chapman outside the Dakota apartment building, associated with the filming of Rosemary’s Baby.
All the coincidences have left me with some questions about who is the heir to Aleister Crowley because their names keep coming up. We have two figures. L. Ron Hubbard – best known for founding the Church of Scientology; and Surrealist auteur Kenneth Anger, best known for his film ‘Lucifer Rising’. Both of these figures are connected to Crowley via Jack Parsons, who was a Californian rocket scientist often associated with starting the satanic sex magic scene in Hollywood.
L. Ron Hubbard
- Founder of Scientology;
- Rumored by son to have founded Scientology on date of Aleister Crowley’s death (son alleges he took over the “mantle of the Beast”;
- Closely connected to Jack Parsons set, but did not personally know Crowley;
- Spinoff group ‘Process Church’ and Scientology’s Dianetics may have influenced Manson group.
- Rumored to be the heir to Aleister Crowley (denies he is a satanist);
- Closely connected to Jack Parsons set;
- Avant garde filmmaker, frequently associated with surrealism and compared to Man Ray. Was operating in Hollywood around same time as Man Ray;
- Boycotted Hollywood due to Communist blacklisting;
- Stirred great interest in the Black Dahlia case when he published crime scene photographs in his 1984 book ‘Hollywood Babylon II‘. (Many details of his vignette on the case are established to be false);
- Was close to Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil who was involved in the murder of Gary Hinman;
- Was close to Anton LaVey, founder of Church of Satan, who appeared in Anger’s films along with Beausoleil.
- Manson Family killer Susan Atkins was a member of LaVey’s group prior to joining the Manson family, and close to the Kenneth Anger set.
- LaVey was rumored to be consultant on Rosemary’s Baby. This seems to be a false urban legend. However, LaVey was involved on the film ‘The Devil’s Rain’ which is generally established to be the film in which John Travolta was introduced to Scientology;
- Knew John Lennon assassin Mark David Chapman personally as well.
- Today seems to be negative on Scientology.
Both Hubbard and Anger are connected to the philosophies of Aleister Crowley and directly to Jack Parsons, and both seem to be rumored heirs to Crowley. Both seem to have been influences on the Tate-LaBianca murders either directly or indirectly.
Anger is objectively connected to two murders in the network. It seems that Anger has a plausible similar profile to the Surrealist aspects of the Dahlia case as well and has been involved in promoting public interest in the case. Anger is also known to have been involved in anti-HUAC sentiment.
There are rumors that L. Ron Hubbard defrauded Jack Parsons and so there could be animosity between these groups on some level despite the overlap. Perhaps there is a ‘schism’ in Crowley’s church from the get go between a Parsons-led group (leading to LaVey / Anger) and a Hubbard-led group leading to Scientology.
It is easy to imagine a ‘satanic’ influence around the Tate-LaBianca murders simply due to Rosemary’s Baby – but it is hard to assign guilt for it since there are potentially different groups involved with different (at least rumored) satanic mythologies (eg. Manson followers, Scientology, Process Church, Surrealists, and even possibly Communists). Perhaps such a fixation as I have currently is simply a figment of my imagination and I am just a good old boy witch hunter.
Notwithstanding my own potential doubt about this set of stories, it does seem objective that the ‘satanic’ vibe in Hollywood of the late 1960s was derivative from connections to Aleister Crowley, and the emergence of Scientology. These seem to be provable factors in the narrative surrounding the Tate-LaBianca murders simply according to the testimony of Charles Manson. This genesis likely centers on Jack Parsons and his relationship to Crowley, but other movements like Surrealism may be important to consider as well.
More subjectively, if the Manson murders are specifically linked to ‘mind control’ as popularly portrayed, then it seems you could use the same logic to argue for a higher order influence of a group like the Process Church or Scientology on Manson himself by following Manson’s own testimony. Scientology certainly could be seen to be associated with ‘mind control’.
However, there is a strong association of black romanticism with Surrealism and protocommunist ideas which could have also been influences on similar earlier crimes like the Black Dahlia, and might also be persistent here. Surrealism has a specifically Freudian psychoanalytical link in its origins, which would not preclude strong psychological influence by devoted practitioners.
Communist party members are fed a steady diet of anti-imperial and anti-establishment disinformation which may have influenced the Manson Family ideologies.
Film directors of the Welles type fancy themselves as ‘magicians’ which has an inherent aspect of dark misdirection.
Kenneth Anger’s connections (for example) could suggest something similar to Welles’ background regarding Surrealism and the blacklist – not to mention the Black Dahlia. (It is hard for me to imagine that surrealist-satanist directors Welles and Polanski were also not mutually known to Kenneth Anger. It is also interesting to consider the idea that the Dahlia case has on modern Surrealist figures like ‘Twin Peaks’ director David Lynch – who claims to have seen photos taken of the Dahlia at night with a flash – which can only mean they were taken by the killer.)
The potential proximity of Orson Welles to both crimes (and Welles’ status as Polanski’s long-time idol); and Welles’ involvement in developing apparent communist disinformation in order to blame the CIA for the RFK assassination under a pretext of mind control may cast light on both of these murders in the context of communist conspiracy as well.
As the daughter of a career military intelligence professional, Sharon Tate could have had a potential victimology which made her a target for communists (if as alleged that she knew something about Sirhan Sirhan). Victim Frytowski was alleged to be claiming he was a Polish military officer based on Polanski’s polygraph examination (he significantly downplayed his knowledge of this). One might wonder if fears about either of them talking could have been a factor in their deaths.
But it was established that Polanski himself (by 1977 at least) had an uncle who was essentially operating as a ‘fake defector’ in Sweden as a communist agent of the Polish secret police. It is unknown if that was during the late 1960s as well, or if Polanski’s behavior had any import for the Polish government of the time.
That said, Polanski’s imitation of Welles starting with his time in a state film academy and based on ‘The Third Man‘ raises my hackles’.
Also like Welles had done shortly after the murder of Elizabeth Short, Polanski left the US once culpability was assigned to the Manson Family. While Welles never suggested he was a murder suspect, he was Mary Pacios’ prime suspect in the Dahlia case. Polanski did admit several years later in a Dick Cavett interview that he was a suspect of a profiler in the murder of his wife. (Ed Sanders book indicates a rather cruel husband who would not look out of place in a Forensic Files episode.)
Perhaps also not incidentally, Welles’ next project after the Black Dahlia murder was ‘Macbeth‘. When Polanski admitted he’d been a suspect in the Sharon Tate murder, he was also promoting his first film after the death – a story about black magic and murder called ‘Macbeth‘.
“…I was accused of being one of the accomplices – by well [unintelligible] people who I should – I thought were well awar-willing to.. but uh… it was like a great um psychological test a great psychoanalysis I could see that everybody saw it from his angle, you know, his point of view, and was looking for the culprits in the area which would be somehow related to the way he was thinking, you know what I mean? I don’t want to be more specific about it.” – Roman Polanski
It is interesting to think that like Welles, Polanski might have had BOTH a motivation to get out of the US after the respective death due to his culpability AND because of the involvement in a communist disinformational-propaganda scheme or active measures plot.
Even the Manson family idea of igniting a race war is interesting when you look at Welles’ later collaboration with Black Panther advocates like Donald Freed to frame the CIA in an apparent anti-fascist disinformation scheme related to the supposed mind control plot to kill RFK (and again, this is very close to the Mark Lane work with Dalton Trumbo): “These vicious honky pigs gonna pen us all up in concentration camps – they’re playing the Nazis but we ain’t gonna play the Jews!”
It is also interesting to look at Welles’ involvement in the Isaac Woodard case in the context of communism and modern movements like Blue Lives Matter or Black Lives Matter which seem to be agitated by Russian trolls. Divide and conquer as they say? I think the whole plot seems to fit a communist strategy more than anything.
Perhaps the Church of Satan never shed its Miltonian revolutionary wings – or its Marxist-Leninist ones. Still for all the convoluted plot, I don’t think Roman Polanski is nearly as good a director as Orson Welles.