10: The Cult of Intelligence
After leaving the Pasadena Public Library, I drove to Orange Grove
Blvd. and then down into the Arroyo Seco near the Colorado overpass.
I circled the Rose Bowl then exited on the Arroyo's far side. I
continued to Oak Grove Park and parked by the equestrian trail.
I walked down the trail, the sandy soil clinging to my Adidas
running shoes. I reached the edge of Devil's Gate Dam and stood
looking out over the Arroyo's bed, which was formed of a lumpy
mixture of sand and small brush. I listened for the explosions, the
test firings of Parsons' small rockets. I sat on a large rock, the
breeze blowing in my face, and thought of the apartment on the other
side of the canyon, down a couple of miles on South Orange Grove,
where Parsons had lain with his limbs shattered, methodically
directing his rescuers.
I drove on up Foothill through La Crescenta to the Glendale freeway,
and headed south to Glendale. On Glendate Avenue I passed a sign
that read "Virgils Glendale Hardware--Eggs 99 cents a dozen." I
turned right on Chevy Chase and came back up Brand past the Alex
Theater. There I discovered a private office whose business was
supplying postal lock boxes.
The office catered to people and organizations who wished to receive
mail under another name, or who wished to keep their real locations
Organizations like the Jack Parsons Memorial Society. I rechecked
the address on the flier I had gotten from Professor David Wilson. I
was at the right spot alright. Nowhere.
I suddenly felt tired. I drove back to Pasadena and the Hilton. In
my room, I turned on the TV, on my usual theory that you've never
visited a place unless you've sampled the same electromagnetic noise
the locals experience. Then I stepped into the shower.
When I got out of the shower, a poignant image on the screen caused
me to turn up the TV volume. It was an aerial view of a vast
"The Plain of
Esdraelon," explained the voice, "the Greek name for the
biblical Valley of Jezreel, which means `God sows'. This was the
most famous battlefield in ancient Israel. Here Thutmose III of
Egypt fought the Canaanites. Here Gideon, who you can read about
in the Old Testament Book of Judges, defeated the Midianites, as
did Deborah and Barak the Canaanites. And Saul, the first king
of Israel, battled here with the Philistines.
"More recently, in 1917, the British army under General Allenby
faced the Turks in this same valley."
You might have thought
it was a military documentary, but I recognized the voice as that of
Oral Jerry Swagger, the evangelist.
The voice continued: "The principal North-South route through this
plain goes through the pass of Megiddo, named after the ancient
city. From Mount Megiddo, or `Har Megiddo' in the Hebrew, we get the
"The Bible tells us
this valley will be the scene of the final apocalyptic battle
between the Armies of Man and the Armies of God, between Christ
and Antichrist. In the Book of Revelation, chapter 16, verse 16,
you read, `And he gathered them together into a place called in
the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.' Here occurs the seventh vial of
the seventh trump. Here the `Kings of the East', as it explains
earlier in chapter 16, will be gathered with their armies. East
of Israel are the great oriental hordes--the Chinese, probably
assisted by Japanese technology, and allied with their Communist
cohorts the Russians. The latter are the Gog and Magog we read
about in Ezekiel 38. Verse 1 in Ezekiel 38 tells us Gog was the
chief prince of Meschech. Historically, the Assyrians called the
children of Meschech `muska,' which is similar to `Moskva,' the
Russian name for Moscow. In addition, `chief' is Hebrew `rosh,'
and Rosh is an ancient name for Russia.
"These Communist forces from the east will join together with
the Beast Power, which is the union of ten European nations
allied under a common political leader that the Bible calls `the
beast,' and a religious leader that the Bible calls the `false
prophet,' or the Antichrist. See Revelation, chapters 13 and 17.
This European combine will be a revival of the ancient Roman
Empire, and--like the ancient Roman Empire--will be under the
spiritual leadership of a church called the `great whore' in
Revelation, chapter 17.
"These two great contenders for world power, armed with the
latest in atomic weapons, will, under the guidance of the
Antichrist and assisted by Satan and his demons, join forces
against Jerusalem and the invaders from space. What invaders
from space? The returning Jesus Christ and all his angelic
hosts, when he returns to reign on this earth for a thousand
years, a millennium of peace, happiness and prosperity. The
world government of God, which will eliminate war, sickness, and
crime. But first must take place the slaughter of Armageddon,
where the blood will rise up to the horses' bridles. It says in
Zechariah, chapter 14, verse 12, that a soldier's flesh will rot
off his body, and his eyes will be eaten out of their sockets.
This will happen when Jesus turns atomic and biological weapons
back against the armies that use them.
"It will be a terrible, terrible time.
"But I'm not alarmed. You know why?"
Oral Jerry Swagger looked me right in the eye through the TV
screen. "Why?" I asked.
"Because I'm not going to be here," he smiled.
No, I thought. You
wouldn't be here, because every atom in your body will be ten feet
removed from its neighbor. I turned off the TV.
Oral Jerry was obviously a pre-tribber. Like other pre-tribs, he
expected all good Christians to be raptured out of harm's way before
the arrival of tribulation events like nuclear war. By contrast,
post-tribbers like Pat Robertson thought Christians would have to
live through seven years of trial. They would be protected by God,
of course, but they had to do their part too. Many of the post-
tribs, fully expecting nuclear war, were stocking up on food,
studying survival tactics, even forming paramilitary armies. For
some of them the millennium would arrive once Christians had
infiltrated and seized control of the U.S. government.
I was more familiar with the post-tribbers because they wrote
financial newsletters, expounding theories of end-time economics.
Post-tribs thought pre- tribs like Oral Jerry Swagger were copout
Some of the drivers were razzing him because his was the only white
limo in the line of blacks parked alongside the Four Seasons.
"You sure you can
handle that thing all by yourself?" one of the drivers taunted
Hell, he muttered,
stepping inside and starting the engine. He pulled hard to the left,
out of the line and across the narrow street, halting on-coming
traffic. He reversed direction in a Y, pulled forward, and then
deftly reinserted the limo into the middle of the line. Backwards.
The other drivers were still cheering when OJ came out of the hotel.
Oral Jerry Swagger was known as OJ to his friends and OJS to his
subordinates. He looked at the backwardly parked limo in puzzlement,
but didn't say anything as the driver stepped out to open the door.
Today OJ was more than a little excited. It had been Larry Meier who
had called him with the invitation--a luncheon in honor of the
sister cities of Philadelphia, Florence, and Tel Aviv. And it had
been Meier who had given him the inside story.
To those really in the know, Meier's credentials were of the highest
order. Larry Meier, it was said, had been the young Irgun member who
actually planted the bomb which destroyed a wing of the King David
Hotel in Jerusalem on July 22, 1946. The explosion had taken out a
piece of the British military headquarters and left a hundred bodies
in its wake.
OJ told the driver to head for the airport. Then he settled back in
the limo, opened the bar, and helped himself to a club soda.
It was time to sweep the deck for the Third Temple, Meier had
emphasized as they worked their way through the prosciutto.
OJ clicked them off in his mind. The First Temple was the ancient
Temple of Solomon, destroyed in the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem
more than two and a-half millennia ago. The Second Temple was begun
after the return of the Jews from Babylon. It had started out small
with the inferior construction of Zerubbabel, but several hundred
years later--just prior to the birth of Jesus--it was magnificently
rebuilt by Herod. Herod's Temple was demolished by the Romans in 70
A.D. Now there would be a Third Temple, erected by a second Solomon
or a new Herod, and located on the same site on Mount Moriah.
Meier had been unusually frank. The society was fragmenting and the
survival of Israel depended on a new symbol of national unity. He
had talked about the high crime levels which caused overcrowding in
Israeli jails. About the peace demonstrations mounted in the streets
by traitors and whores. About excessively devout Orthodox types,
exempt from military service, who hurled rocks at secular Jews
driving cars on the Sabbath. Meier referred to the epidemic of
hashish, brought home by soldiers returning from the occupation of
Lebanon, and the cocaine from Iran that circulated among the
society's upper crust. While the young sought escape in drugs and
disco frenzy, the rest spent like there was no tomorrow.
The kibbutzim and moshavim, which had made the desert bloom through
the miracle of borrowed money, were in virtual bankruptcy. The
country's high standard of living and high level of military
expenditures had long depended on contributions from American Jews,
reparations from Germany, and military aid from the U.S. But the
inflow of foreign cash seemed to be drying up.
Some of the largest industrial groups, Meier had confided, were well
behind in payments to foreign banks.
The Israeli economy, set in motion by the fiery socialist David
Ben-Gurion, was a mess. Ben-Gurion had saddled Israel with an
inefficient government bureaucracy and the socialistic union
movement, the Histadrut. Inflation was stuck at the double digit
levels dictated by the government's continued resort to the printing
press to finance a chronic budget deficit. There was a large black
market in goods priced and traded in U.S. dollars, because no one
trusted the shekel, which had been intended as a new symbol of
national pride when it replaced the Israeli pound.
Then there was the population problem. Sixty percent of the Jewish
population was Oriental, and the Oriental Jews, with differing
cultural traditions, were growing much faster than European Jews.
The government was attempting to rectify the balance by encouraging
more European immigration. It had even tried to get the U.S. to
refuse admission to Soviet Jewish refugees, and hence to force them
to emigrate to Israel, but the U.S. didn't appear cooperative.
Finally, there were the Palestinians. In another decade they would
outnumber Jews in Greater Israel, which was the combined areas of
Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. You needed a few Palestinians,
Meier said. Someone had to collect the garbage and do the menial
chores which Jews didn't want to do anymore. But more than that,
Palestinians were a security threat. Ben- Gurion had known this from
the beginning of Israel.
Despite his economic short-comings, David Ben-Gurion had been an
astute political strategist. As a temporary tactical maneuver
Ben-Gurion had accepted the U.N. Partition Resolution of 1947, which
would have created Jewish and Palestinian states, because he had
already worked out a secret agreement with Abdullah of Transjordan
whereby Abdullah would annex the territory allocated to the
Palestinians. Abdullah had had plans for a "Greater Syria" under the
Hashemites, and Ben-Gurion had agreed to support his goals in return
for Abdullah's acceptance of Ben-Gurion's. Then, during the 1948
war, Ben-Gurion had engaged in wholesale destruction of Arab towns
and villages in his own allocated area, and had expelled the
inhabitants from the country. But the process had not been complete,
and now the more recent acquisition of the West Bank complicated
matters. There would be no security in modern Israel, Meier had
indicated, unless the remaining Palestinians were also expelled from
Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.
Well, OJ reflected, you couldn't say Oral Jerry hadn't done his
part. OJ's support for Israel was unqualified: God had said he would
bless those who blessed Abraham's seed, and curse the rest. And
anyway, OJ knew, Israel was the only real friend America had in the
Middle East. So did OJ's followers, especially those privileged to
take one of his sponsored scenic tours of the Holy Land. Tourism was
the largest industry in Israel, and it was mostly Christians--not
Jews and not Moslems-- who provided the tourist dollars. But
Christian aid wasn't just a simple matter of credit cards and
traveller's checks. During the tour each group member had the
opportunity to hear discussions of Israeli military strategy and to
receive explanations why Israel needed more American weapons. Tour
members returning from the Holy Land were urged to write their
congressmen and senators, and to demand American support for Israel.
The limo headed south on the 76 Expressway and OJ looked out the
tinted windows at the passing scenery. It wasn't a pretty sight. An
urban version of gehenna, he reflected. Greater Philadelphia was a
stench in the nostrils of God. Nothing anyone would really miss when
the bombs of the Beast Power began their work of urban renewal.
To Christians like himself, the planned construction of the Third
Temple meant the End was near. OJ knew that Bible prophecy indicated
Jesus would not return until the Jews had rebuilt the Temple and
reinstated animal sacrifices. It had been foretold. God wouldn't
have preordained something that wasn't his will.
And it was God's will the Temple rise again. But first there was the
little matter of the ungodly Moslem structures on the site. Every
picture you see of Jerusalem, Meier had reminded him, is dominated
by the Dome of the Rock. It was like a tumor growing unchecked in
the heart of Judaism. When pressed for details, Meier had been
vague, but OJ knew Meier could see what was needed. The Dome of the
Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque would have to be razed. So be it. God
had made a covenant with his chosen people. He had given them the
land of Palestine. To the Jews, not the pagan Arabs who were trying
to steal Jacob's birthright. Satan's monuments must give way to the
House of God.
The plans for the Temple had been drawn up, Meier had confided. Most
of the stones had already been cut and stored away in hidden places.
Dozens of craftsmen were at work molding the temple artifacts and
weaving the priestly garments. In a few select religious schools,
students were being trained to perform animal sacrifices as
carefully prescribed in the book of Leviticus.
Fresh blood would once again be dashed at the base of the altar. Why
not? OJ thought. Life is in the blood. And without the shedding of
blood, there is no remission of sin. But the oblations wouldn't be
just lambs and oxen. Not this time. Not when the armies of man
gathered around Jerusalem like vultures around a carcass.
The Lord had long delayed his coming. But now, perhaps, the
Apocalypse was truly at hand. Likewise the day of the Rapture, when
true Christians would rise to meet their Lord. A time of rejoicing
whose proximity would be signalled by the building of the Third
OJ comforted himself with that thought the rest of the way to the
When he had founded Trans-Global Consultants, Edward M. Lodge had
selected Philadelphia for his base of operations. It was centrally
located, only an hour away from New York by the Amtrak Metroliner,
and two-and-a-half hours from Washington, D.C. Office space was
cheap, and there was privacy of a sort unobtainable in either of the
other two cities, where many of the better restaurants had been
bugged for years.
Trans-Global had since provided services to both private and
governmental organizations, including Lodge's former employer, the
CIA. Given the leaky sieve of Congressional oversight committees,
which were manned by rival political factions fighting over control
of the intelligence bureaucracy, many of the latter projects took
the form of private consultations to private individuals, some of
whom happened to be intelligence officers. The funding also came
from private sources, usually from companies who could recoup by
overcharging on on-going government contracts. This arrangement gave
both Trans-Global and Trans-Global's clients a good deal of
The upsurge of fundamentalism at the beginning of the 1970s had
brought a potent new force into American politics, and a decade
later Trans-Global had been retained to monitor political attitudes
and activities. Lodge had developed a network of informants in all
the major fundamentalist and evangelical groups. Literature and
media output was scanned for political content, and this was
summarized and filed for reference. Careful notes were also kept on
the major players, men like Oral Jerry Swagger, and their contacts
and habits and personal sexual peccadillos. On occasion these files
were selectively leaked to bring about a leadership change, or to
exert subtle pressure on a group in a direction desired by a
For reasons known only to himself, Lodge had assigned the operation
the codename PIGEON. Some thought the name derived from the ditty he
occasionally recited while going over reports:
On virgin or pigeon;
Our Method is Science,
The Target is Religion.
Others thought it
referred to the traditional esteem Columba livia bestowed on public
Shortly after initiating PIGEON, Lodge had made all his employees
watch the French documentary Idi Amin Dada. He never explained why,
but many of them had been struck with the Ugandan president's
revelation he obtained instructions on government decisions through
voices and dreams. Amin was a traditional tribal leader who
swaggered and boasted, who ate the hearts of his enemies to acquire
their courage, and who had fathered more than a hundred children
upon his stable of wives. At least some of the employees saw that
Amin's worldview was a vision easily manipulated.
Amin had confessed to the camera that he had been able to obtain
"secret" Israeli documents containing Israel's plans for world
conquest. Israel would be very upset if they knew he had them, Amin
said. The Ugandan leader had then produced an old hard-bound copy of
The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the classic work on the
International Jewish Banking Conspiracy, fabricated in 1903 by the
Czarist secret police from a French satire, Dialogue aux Enfers
entre Machiavel et Montesquieu, by Maurice Joly. Amin apparently had
no conception of the incongruity of Israel's "secret" documents
available from a book publisher, and printed long before the
founding of the state. Such a man was ripe for psychological
manipulation by the right operative, like the one who had provided
him with the book in question.
Although he never said so to his employees, Lodge viewed
fundamentalist Christians in pretty much the same light as he viewed
Amin. A dumb SOB born in, say, 1955 is positive that the selective
interpretation of a compilation of writings arrived at through a
complex and obscure political process, about which he knows little
or nothing, is "God's Truth" just because a publisher serves it up
with "Holy Bible" printed on the cover, and another dumb SOB reads
it from the pulpit. The same suckers were likely to revere King
James English as the language spoken by Jesus and the Apostles.
The most difficult aspect to PIGEON was finding good informers and
analysts. He had tried some academic sociologist types as
researchers, but they seemed to be more interested in methodology
and theories than in careful investigation, and they often placed an
excessive reliance on printed literature. Lodge himself firmly
believed in the OSS principle that you only put into a file what you
wanted to be found later. And, for the same reason, he knew you
couldn't understand a group just by analyzing its publications or
reading stolen memos. Truth is not to be found in paper documents.
Ex-fundamentalists who had held influential posts were often more
sensitive to the impact that personalities, organizational
structure, and subtle doctrinal points could have on political
orientation. But most of that lot were still crusaders of a sort, or
else were so mentally fucked-up he wouldn't have hired them to
sharpen pencils, much less do analysis.
Informants were a different matter. Here you couldn't be too picky:
you had to take whomever you could get. But then all you needed was
someone with inside information. You didn't care about his or her
motivation for supplying it, just as long as the information itself
It was a West German source, curiously, and not his man in Pasadena
who had told him about Homer Nilmot. Homer was reputed to be a
bright young chap who had once worked for Oral Jerry Swagger--with
whom he was disillusioned-- as an analyst of other, competing
fundamentalist and evangelical groups.
The recruitment of Homer--first as informer, then as employee--had
been easy. Lodge had said he wanted Homer to help monitor the
secular activities of American millennialists. He made the pitch--it
was more than a pitch, he thought --that their apocalyptic political
orientation was dangerous because it promoted military confrontation
in the Middle East and was conducive to nuclear brinkmanship. Homer
would have the chance to help prevent nuclear war.
Lodge knew that Homer, like other followers of the Oral Jerry
Swagger, believed he had a unique handle on the "truth". Homer's
views had undoutedly varied over time, given his disillusionment
with Oral Jerry Swagger, but in his new job, as in his previous one,
Homer would continue to view other groups as "false Christians" in
some sense. Homer would interpret his religious background as
"preparation" for his new role. And there were powerful economic
incentives: Religious Analyst was one of the few occupations Homer
was really trained for.
Lodge had figured Homer would find the job offer irresistible. And
he had been right. The hire had been fortuitous. For it was only a
few months afterward that Trans-Global received its contract on Oral
Jerry Swagger. And Lodge had lept to the task at hand with an
enthusiasm he hadn't felt for years. Homer's help made it all the
I had naively expected to show up at the door to the Jack Parsons
Memorial Society, seek out the Society historian, and find The
Answer in a leather-bound folio. Instead I had reached a dead end at
a postal box.
But the key to doing research is to renew the search. Eventually the
universe conspires to deliver what you're looking for. That's what
happened in the case of Jack Parsons.
The day started slowly. I had breakfast in the Cafe Madagascar at
the Pasadena Hilton. The huevos verdes and coffee.
Then I drove up California Blvd. to Cal Tech and parked by a sign
that said 30 minutes parking at all times. I went into the Robert
Andrews Millikan Memorial Library but didn't find anything helpful.
Afterward I passed by the Karman Laboratory of Fluid Mechanics & Jet
Propulsion on my way to the Aeronautics Library in the Guggenheim
In the January 1938 issue of Astronautics: The Journal of the
American Rocket Society, I found this note:
educational institutions to join the rocket research profession
is California Institute of Technology.
"Frank J. Malina of the Daniel Guggenheim Aeronautical
Laboratory of California Institute, in collaboration with Mr.
Jack Parsons of the Halifax Powder Company, and others, has
begun experimental rocket motor studies. Preliminary tests have
already been run with motors burning gaseous oxygen and methyl
alcohol on a simple proving stand equipped with a
thrust-recording drum. Plans are underway for a complete testing
An article by Jack
Parsons and Ed Forman appeared in the August 1939 issue. They had
used the law of the conservation of momentum to measure the thermal
efficiency of various rocket fuel powders.
The scientific approach of Parsons and Forman contrasted with
research being conducted elsewhere. In the April 1940 journal I read
a letter from the Philatelic Club of Cuba Rocket-Postal Commission.
The Postal Commission had experimentally launched a few pounds of
mail for a short distance in an overgrown 4th of July rocket.
I had often suspected some of my own mail was delivered in a similar
The July 1940 issue of the journal reported an interesting item from
the June 26 New York Times:
"A discussion of the use of rocket motors for propelling
airplanes, set for today's session of the Institute of
Aeronautical Sciences, was cancelled on recommendation of the
Army. The cancellation was made without explanation."
The date was well before
Pearl Harbor, but the Army had already gone into action, classifying
GALCIT's war-related research. It gave you the idea they had already
decided to get into the war.
I had xeroxed the article by Parsons and Forman, as well as a later
one on GALCIT. The copies were laying on the table in front of me,
and caught the eye of a grad student sharing the same table.
"Doing a history of
JPL?" he asked casually.
"Actually I'm doing research on one of JPL's founders, a fellow
named Jack Parsons," I said.
He looked me over carefully. "What do you want to know about
"How he lived. What he did. How he died. Basic stuff like that."
"Jack Parsons was always trying to get off," the student mused.
"So I heard." Possibly he was referring to Parsons' sex magic.
"Parsons' work in
rocketry lead him to correspond with Igor Sikorsky, the pioneer
Russian helicopter designer. Parsons read Sikorsky's
autobiography The Story of the Winged-S when it was published in
1938. When Igor Sikorsky was eleven he had a dream of walking
along a luxurious passageway, with carpet on the floor and
walnut doors on either side. A spherical electric light on the
ceiling gave out a bluish glow. Sikorsky felt a vibration under
his feet, and was not surprised it differed from a train or a
steamer, because he knew he was on a large flying ship in the
"Thirty-one years later, in 1931, his company Sikorsky Aircraft
delivered the S-40 to Pan American Airways. The S-40 was a
four-engine plane christened `the American Clipper'. After it
had been outfitted with interior furnishings, Sikorsky took a
flight in it as a passenger with the Pan American Board of
Directors and, noting the furnishings in surprise, found himself
standing in the corridor of his dream. Much of Sikorsky's life
had been programmed by a childhood vision of his future self
"Jack Parsons had also heard from Arthur Young, who was then
designing the Bell Model 47, which was awarded the world's first
commercial helicopter license. Young had come to believe that he
was really working on a `psychopter', a vehicle for the winged
self, for which the helicopter was only the outer form.
"Parsons was tremendously excited by the examples of Sikorsky
and Young because their search, like his, was the product of a
deeply-felt internal, one might say mystical, vision.
" `We're all prisoners at the bottom of a 4000-foot gravity
well,' Jack used to say. `We'll never be free until gravity's
tyranny is toppled.' "
"Gravity's tyranny?" I repeated.
"Parsons believed man's evolution to this point had been largely
controlled by Ialdabaoth, the God of Genesis in Gnostic
tradition, a basically earthbound presence whose intention was
to hold man in slavery through ignorance. Ialdabaoth was one
sense man's creator, but was also an evil tyrant who wanted his
creation to obey him and believe everything he said with no
questions asked. He would go into a rage at the first sign of
individual initiative or independence of thought, like the
experimental process of eating of the fruit of the tree of
knowledge. The latter was `original sin'."
I didn't say anything. I
"Not a nice guy,
Ialdabaoth. He existed on a regular diet of human- provided
sacrificial blood, for example. He was pleased with Abel, the
shepherd, because Abel made animal offerings out of the flocks
he tended. But Cain, the farmer, was rejected because he could
only offer fruits and vegetables from the field.
"Ialdabaoth's control somehow depended on man remaining a
terrestrial creature. By contrast to Ialdabaoth, there was
Lucifer, the light-bringer, the Serpent, or Prometheus, who
wished to release mankind from the bonds of ignorance, and, by
analogy, from his earthly prison. Lucifer's sin was the attempt
to ascend into the heavens, so the legend of Lucifer cast down
to earth symbolizes man's imprisonment in, among other things,
Ialdabaoth's gravitational gridlock."
"You seem to be awfully well-informed about Jack Parsons," I
said. I emphasized "awfully" to see what reaction it would
He grinned. "Let me introduce myself. I'm Srinivasa Muthuswamy,
Secretary-Treasurer of the Jack Parsons Memorial Society. Just
call me Renny."
"What kind of people
join the Jack Parsons Memorial Society, Renny?"
"Oh, we're mostly a group of space freaks, longevity
researchers, nanotechnology enthusiasts, acid heads, ceremonial
magicians, upwinger futurists, cyberpunkers, scifi afficionados.
Largely libertarians, believers in free markets and free minds,
although we tolerate most anyone who has an interest in Jack
Parsons--like a few Randroid Objectivists who are still
explaining the rational criteria that make Rachmaninoff a
greater composer than Bach."
"Rachmaninoff was a greater composer than Bach," I said.
thoughtfully, then grinned.
"And Jack Parsons
built better rockets than Isaac Newton," he replied.
"So getting outside gravity's stranglehold was all part of
Parsons' search for liberation?"
"That's right," Renny said. "Parsons was always talking about a
`Rocket to Amargi.' "