Friday, June 14, 2024

LA Weekly: Changing the System From Within

February 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Traffic

Mock Up on Mu recounts (and embellishes) one of the juiciest and most unlikely bits of Angeleno mythology: Scientology honcho L. Ron Hubbard’s collusion (as an undercover agent for Naval Intelligence, we are assured by both church spokespersons and Baldwin) with Jack Parsons — inventor of solid rocket fuel, founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab and Aerojet, and disciple of English occultist Aleister Crowley — to impregnate future Beat icon Marjorie Cameron with the antichrist … or something. The original story is garbled enough, with Hubbard eventually fucking off with Parsons’ girlfriend, yacht and bankroll, and Parsons subsequently marrying Cameron and blowing himself to smithereens while experimenting in his garage laboratory at his family’s Pasadena mansion.

Or perhaps not. In Baldwin’s hands, the future ain’t what it used to be. The year is 2019 and both Hubbard and Parsons (“Though he looks 39, he’s really 105 years old!”) appear to have faked their own deaths, while Cameron has had her memory erased on Hubbard’s moon base and is being prepped to go undercover and seduce key members of the American defense industry — including Parsons. And that’s just the beginning! Baldwin tells the story with a combination of low-budget overdubbed live-action sequences and his signature barrage (as in 1991’s conspiracy-theory overload Tribulation 99) of found and appropriated clips of movies, television and advertising, with a further layer of collaged dialogue and music. 1

Harvey, Doug, (2010, 26 February) Changing the System from within. Locals Only, Retrieved on 25 February, 2010 from


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