Thursday, July 18, 2024

4. Was Parsons a doctor?

Origin of Issue:

Dr Jack Parsons of Pasadena, California, was America’s Number One solid fuel rocket expert.

London Sunday Times 28 December 1969 SCIENTOLOGY: New Light on Crowley


Credible biographies of Parsons show that he did not have a doctorate degree, or even a bachelor degree. John Carter, e.g., states in Sex and Rockets 1, that Parsons attended Pasadena Junior College, and the University of Southern California for two years, but did not graduate.

The participants in this study have not found any instance where Parsons referred to himself as “Doctor.” Hubbard, on the other hand, had engineered for himself a doctorate from a “diploma mill,” Sequoia University, had called himself “Doctor Hubbard,” and had been pilloried for it in the media.2 Consequently, in a 1966 policy letter entitled “Doctor Title Abolished” he had publicly abandoned and forbade use of the title.3 He supplied as his reason as a “protest against the abuses and murders carried out under the title of “doctor,” because “the name has been disgraced,” and he did “not care to be associated in any way with faithless men or ignorant butchers or murderers.”

It’s possible that Hubbard, by calling Parsons a “doctor,” especially when Parsons was not one and didn’t call himself one, was caring to associate Parsons in that way with faithless men or ignorant butchers or murderers.

Interestingly, John Symonds in The Beast 666 4 referred to both Parsons and Hubbard as Dr, so the Dr title Hubbard used for Parsons may well have been in the same context. At least one Rosicrucian order is known to confer Dr titles after a course in occult studies.5.


Jack Parsons was not a doctor by reason of his university education. He may have held an occult Dr title.

Further reading:

Rydeen, Paul, Brother Jack Parsons: The Magickal Scientist and His Circle…/magickalscientist.htm


  1. Carter, John (1999) Sex and Rockets The Occult World of Jack Parsons, Feral House.
  2. Atack, J. A Piece of Blue Sky Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed
  3. HCO PL 14 February 1966 Doctor Title Abolished
  4. Symonds, J. (1997). The Beast 666, The Pindar Press. (p.568, 572)