In 1952, Jack Parsons, vanguard rocket scientist and co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab, was killed in a mysterious explosion in his Pasadena home. Before his untimely death at 37, Parsons conducted groundbreaking research on the development of solid rocket fuel. More interesting still, he was a practicing Thelemite — a follower of British occultist Aleister Crowley's super-secret fraternal organization, Ordo Templi Orientis. An offshoot of Freemasonry, the order's basic tenet is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” After Parsons' death, there was no funeral, but, in keeping with his mystical beliefs, there was a Gnostic mass. Now the public is invited to witness that same central ritual of the Ordo Templi Orientis, celebrated by Star Sapphire Lodge and based on a eucharistic liturgy written by Crowley a century ago, also called Liber XV. There also will be short presentations on the doctrines behind the order as part of the Los Angeles Visionaries Association's 31st Sunday Salon. Les Noces du Figaro, 618 S. Broadway, dwntwn.; Sun., Dec. 29, noon-2 p.m.; free. (213) 622-2116,

Sun., Dec. 29, 12-2 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly