Amazon Prime's original series, Lore, has taken on its share of spooky historical legends. And now as Season 2 approaches, it's digging even deeper into the strange myths surrounding real-life people. In particular, the upcoming episode of Lore based on the true story of Jack Parsons could get pretty weird, especially if you know about Parsons' past.
According to Motherboard, the tech and science-focused section of Vice, Parsons was a "literal rocket scientist who invented the first castable solid-state rocket fuel in 1942." The site also states that together with colleagues from the California Institute of Technology, Parsons founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which existed as a precursor to NASA.
It sounds pretty badass, but not exactly Lore-worthy, right? The series, which is based on a podcast of the same name, usually delves deep into things like superstition, folklore, and how those influences can cause people to do horrifying things. You'd think the story of a rocket scientist wouldn't quite fit the bill.
Well, his science career is only part of Parsons' story. As you might recall if you read up on Parsons around the time a CBS All Access show began to portray his life earlier this year, there was a ton of other stuff happening that was way outside the norm.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Parsons lead a double life consisting of "respected scientist by day, dedicated occultist by night." The paper says that during Parsons' time at school, he'd become interested in the work of Aleister Crowley, "the English sorcerer and Satanist who called himself 'Beast 666' and 'the wickedest man in the world.'" This lead to Parsons himself dabbling in "black magic" accompanied by use of peyote, opiates, and hallucinogens, the LA Times continues. It also states that he became friends in the late 40s with L. Ron Hubbard, who would go on to found Scientology. No big deal.
Wired UK reports that parts of Parsons' life took a turn for the even stranger. He began attempting to "conjure up his perfect woman," after his previous relationship went south, and believed he found her in Marjorie Cameron, his next partner. He also began to recite Pagan poems while doing experiments on rocketry, which judging by the trailer above, could very well come into play in the episode of Lore focused on him. And, oh yeah, he lived with like-minded individuals in a lodge where "drugs flowed freely, as did sexual partners."
Eventually, per Wired, he lost all his money in a scam orchestrated by Hubbard, and was no longer consulted as a scientific expert during the Cold War because of the suspicion concerning potential communist sympathizers. He was left unemployed, and became even more dedicated to the occult.
Ultimately, per the New York Post, Parsons obsession with both the occult and rocketry may have lead to his demise. In 1952, an explosion gone wrong tore apart his home and left him with fatal wounds. When his body was discovered, so were drawings of pentagrams and pages with strange languages written on them. No one can be totally sure what happened in that house, but whatever it was took Parsons' life once and for all.
The story is definitely right up Lore's alley, and it's not the first time that the tale has been told in mainstream media. Aside from the CBS All Access show Strange Angel, podcasts like The Dollop and shows like Comedy Central's Drunk History have also had their own takes on Parsons' life. There's plenty to work with — this is just an overview of where Parsons' journey took him — and viewers will have to tune in to see what Lore has conjured up.