“Sometime during the 1930s one Wilfred Smith founded a Pasadena branch (`the Agape Lodge’) of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) – a Germanorigin brotherhood of magicians (and spies) that had come under the spell of Aleister Crowley, the notorious Edwardian sorcerer… Then, sometime in 1939, the Lodge fell under the patronage and leadership of John Parsons, a young L.A. aristocrat and pioneer of Cal Tech rocketry (later a founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory). During the day, Parsons worked at the Cal Tech labs or the Devil’s Gate test range with the great Theodore von Karman, perfecting propellant systems for liquidfuel rockets; at night, he returned to his mansion on Pasadena’s `millionaires row’ (South Orange Grove Avenue) to perform blasphemous rituals…”
Quotation from City of Quartz by Mike Davis at http://www.quut.com/berlin/me/caltech-cos.html . See the link for details and scholarly source citations.
Undated image (above) and more information: http://knowledgenuts.com/2014/06/18/the-rocket-scientist-who-doubled-as-an-occultist/ .