The Dark Side of NASA

And if your head explodes

with dark forebodings too

I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.

– Pink Floyd, ‘Brain Damage’

Ah, the dark side of the moon. At the same time, inspiration for both Pink Floyd’s existentialist wonderings and the conduct of advanced scientific research. It’s also home to a lunar crater battered by time and pocked by smaller craterlets. Roughly circular, Parsons Crater is small and relatively plain — a wholly unremarkable lunar feature that bears the name of one of the most remarkable men of the space age.

John Whiteside Parsons was a co-founder of Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an honest-to-god rocket scientist. As the man who implemented the idea for using potassium perchlorate as a rocket fuel oxidizer, it can be argued that Parsons made solid rocket fuel — and thus the space age — possible.

He was a towering figure, once called by Werner Von Braun “the true father of American rocketry.”

He was also a drug addict, a satanist, an intimate of Aleister Crowley and L. Ron Hubbard, and leader of California Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO).

While this side of one of the seminal figures of the space program is not common knowledge among typical armchair space buffs, neither is it secret. At least two books have been written about Parsons’ occult enthusiasms: ‘Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons’ by John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson and ‘Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons.

review of this latter book offers an admirably succint overview of Parsons’ bizarre life and death:

He became enraptured with the writings of the British occultist Aleister Crowley and joined the L.A.-based Agape Lodge of Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis. Crowley’s American lieutenants seized on the charismatic and successful scientist as a potential savior for their movement; he began donating almost all his salary to the upkeep of his lodge brethren…after the war his occult activism attracted the young L. Ron Hubbard into his life and home. The scalawag pulp writer, pre-Dianetics, took off for Florida with Jack’s girl and most of his money…the official Scientology line —unsupported by any evidence—is that Hubbard was sent by Naval Intelligence to break up Parsons’ evil occult sex ring. As the ’40s wound down Parsons was stripped of his security clearance and almost prosecuted for treason for slipping classified documents from his then-employer, Hughes Aircraft, to the nascent Israeli government, with whom he was negotiating for a rocket guru gig…some people regard the 1952 explosion that killed him in his Pasadena backyard lab as mysterious.

As anomalous as the sex-magick, Babalon-working rogue scientist Parsons would seem in the buttoned-down, pocket-protected, slide-ruled world of space research, there are those that suggest Parsons is rather more the rule than the exception. In his book ‘Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA, Richard Hoagland — himself formerly of NASA and the chief booster of the ‘Face on Mars’ theory — charges that from its very beginnings the agency has had an occult underside carefully concealed from the general public. Among his less controversial claims, he suggests that all, or almost all of the original Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts were practicing Freemasons; that every major space program event — landings, takeoffs, etc. — were carefully planned around astronomical alignments, and that the program itself was heavily freighted withmystical symbolism, a theme that is echoed in this quote:

Greco-Roman mythology was deliberately tapped in the naming of Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. The projects’ names were suggested by Abe Silverstein, Director of Space Flight Development, and approved at a conference in July, 1960. They generally seem apt enough. Mercury, the gods’ messenger, was appropriate for the single man capsule and its quick missions. Gemini could not only refer to the two-man capsule, but also to the rendezvous experiments of two capsules that were so important a part of the program.

It is with Apollo, named after the god of music, poetry, archery and the Sun, that the mythological symbolism gets interesting. While there is no question that the ancient Egyptians saw Osiris in the asterism we call Orion, the Greek myth of Orion itself seems to be a somewhat different tale than that ancient story. Rather, it tells of Orion’s murder at the hands of the goddess of the Moon, Diana, through the machinations of Apollo, the namesake of the lunar landing program!

Apollo 11 landing site, 33 minutes after touchdown, July 20, 1969

Apollo 11 landing site, 33 minutes after touchdown, July 20, 1969

Leaving aside for a moment some of Hoagland’s more provocative charges, such as extraterrestrials and ruins on the moon, it’s worth examining some of his prosaic claims by going to some primary sources. For example: were all the astronauts Freemasons? During the course of writing this article, I was not able to verify that every Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronaut was a Mason, as some sources claim. But a statistically unlikely preponderance of Freemasons becomes almost immediately evident.


Richard Hoagland, purveyor of the ‘Face on Mars’ theory, says NASA is ruled by an occult cabal.

The boss mason of the bunch — the Grandmaster of the Geosynchronous Crowd — was clearly Buzz Aldrin. A 33rd degree mason of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Aldrin is a member of Texas’ Clear Lake Lodge #1417and is also aShriner and a Royal Arch Knight Templar. Some writers, led by Hoagland and fundamentalist / conspiracy theorist Texe Marrs claim that Aldrin and fellow Mason Neil Armstrongplanted a Masonic flag on the moon and conducted anoccult ritual in the name of Isis 33 minutes after the landing — even as Isis stood at a precise, meticulously pre-planned, ceremonical 19.5 degrees above the Eastern ‘Tranquility Base’ lunar horizon”.

'Gordo Cooper' First Day Cover stamp sponsored by the Masonic Stamp Club of New York and cancelled at Cape Canaveral on May 16, 1963.

‘Gordo Cooper’ First Day Cover stamp sponsored by the Masonic Stamp Club of New York and cancelled at Cape Canaveral on May 16, 1963.

Additionally the landing date of July 20 is further claimed to coincide with the anniversary of the commencement of the Egyptian calendar. (It’s important to note here that there are numerous theories as to what the actual starting date of that calendar is, depending on what method of calculation is used — but July 20 is one of the options).

…a small replica of our proud U.S. flag was dutifully carted off the Eagle lander and posted for all to see. But, then, a strange ritual of an entirely different sort, of a dark and ominous character, took place at Tranquillity Base on the moon. It was not beamed to the earth via television, for this ritual was carefully crafted beforehand as a secret ceremony, to be hidden and seen only by the eyes of the adepts of the Illuminati and its Masonic fraternity.

Astronaut Neal Armstrong carefully took out his Masonic apron and held it up for the cameras over his space suit as if to cover his genitals area-the power center, or dynamo, of Luciferian energy in Masonic ritual. Today, a photograph of Armstrong holding his occultic apron hangs on a wall at the House of the Temple, the sanctuary of the Scottish Rite, in Washington, D.C.

Next, brother Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, at the time a 32° Masonic initiate, planted on the moon’s surface the real flag intended for honor, the flag the Apollo 11 had carried in its storage compartment, the flag with the Scottish Rite’s emblem of deep and mysterious spirituality, the doubleheaded eagle.


NASA’s astrological chart, calculated using the organization’s ‘birthday’ of noon, October 1, 1958

During his historic moonwalk, Aldrin did more than recite incantations and show the Masonic flag. He also acted to create the first interplanetary masonic lodge, Tranquility Lodge 2000, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A. M.

On July 20, 1969, two American Astronauts landed on the moon of the planet Earth, in an area known as Mare Tranquilitatis , or “Sea of Tranquility”. One of those brave men was Brother Edwin Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., a member of Clear Lake Lodge No. 1417, AF&AM, Seabrook, Texas. Brother Aldrin carried with him SPECIAL DEPUTATION of then Grand Master J. Guy Smith, constituting and appointing Brother Aldrin as Special Deputy of the Grand Master, granting unto him full power in the premises to represent the Grand Master as such and authorize him to claim Masonic Territorial Jurisdiction for The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, on The Moon, and directed that he make due return of his acts. Brother Aldrin certified that the SPECIAL DEPUTATION was carried by him to the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Other noted Masonic astronauts include Master Mason John Glenn, the tragic Gus Grissom, Edgar Mitchell, James Irwin, Gordo Cooper (who was said to have carried a Masonic Apron on his Gemini Flight as his personal baggage), Donn Eisele, Wally Schirra, and Thomas Stafford.

Nor was Freemasonry, or membership in other secret societies limited to the astronaut corps. The Program Manager for the Apollo 11 Mission, Kenneth Kleinknecht was also a senior Mason:

Meanwhile, back on earth, overseeing all, was Mr. Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Manager for the Apollo Space Program. Mr. Kleinknecht, now retired, is a 33rd degree Mason and, not coincidentally, is the brother of C. Fred Kleinknecht, the current Sovereign Grand Commander and titular head of all Scottish Rite Masons throughout the world.

T. Keith Glennan, NASA’s first administrator was a graduate of Yale — top recruiting ground for the CIA and home to the notorious secret society Skull and Bones, as well as being a member of that favorite punching bag of conspiracy theorists, the Council on Foreign Relations. Glennan’s successor at NASA, was a Freemason. Sean O’Keefe, administrator from 2001 to 2005 has been named as a Bohemian Groveattendee.

The circumstantial evidence spreads to engulf even NASA subcontractors. As just one example, Jack McDonnell, head of McDonnell Aircraft, the prime contractor for development of the Mercury spacecraft, was anoted devotee of the occult, an allegation used by some to explain the names of many of the company’s aircraft: Phantom, Demon, Banshee, Goblin, and Voodoo.


The official Mercury Program logo: the playfulness of science nerds? Or an outward manifestation of a preoccupation with the occult?

The long reach of this Masonic/Occultist conspiracy atop the planet’s foremost purveyor of Big Science has even stretched into the heart of the Entertainment pillar of the military-industrial-entertainment complex. According to his wife, famed director Stanley Kubrick, coming off the acclaim of his groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey, was tasked by NASA to stage moon operations — not to cover the fact that no landing took place, as some allege — , but in order to have a backup in case the PR nightmare scenario occurred and pictures were unable to be beamed back to the earth from the moon for technical reasons

She claims Kubrick and other Hollywood producers were recruited to help the U.S. win the high stakes race to the moon. In order to finance the space program through public funds, the U.S. government needed huge popular support, and that meant they couldn’t afford any expensive public relations failures. Fearing that no live pictures could be transmitted from the first moon landing, President Nixon enlisted the creative efforts of Kubrick, whose 2001: a Space Odyssey (1968) had provided much inspiration, to ensure promotional opportunities wouldn’t be missed. In return, Kubrick got a special NASA lens to help him shoot Barry Lyndon (1975).

Even America’s beloved Opie — Ron Howard, director of the NASA-worshipping paean ‘Apollo 13’ has been identified as a Hollywood Freemason. On the AlienZoo website, film-maker Paul Davids offers this first-hand anecdote:

My own exposure to those mysteries and controversies goes back to the year APOLLO 13 was nominated for Academy Award as Best Picture, and I attended the pre-Academy Award party at Spago. That movie’s party took place a few years ago, when Spago was still located on Sunset Strip, up on a hill. Back then I had learned that Howard was inducted as a top-level Freemason in order to receive inside information and full Establishment support for the making of APOLLO 13. According to NASA critic and face-on-Mars theorist Richard Hoagland, Howard was immediately elevated to 33rd degree Mason.


…and why would the Apollo logo feature the three stars of the belt of Orion (aka Osiris)?

If all this is true — if a secret cabal of Osiris-worshipping, magick-wielding Freemasons and secret society initiates have been running one of America’s most technophilic institutions for decades, and if their influence has reached into centres of gravity for opinion shaping such as Hollywood, what are the implications for our society?

For me, it just means that I have to go back and give the ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ notion some further consideration. But then, perhaps that’s just me and my perversely Synthesis way of dealing with the world. You have to decide for yourself if the ideas contained in this article point the way towards at least the hint of a vaster conspiracy, or if it’s just a long vile screed of guilt by association.

You be the judge.