The divorce of Sara Hubbard, April 1951

Discussion in 'L Ron Hubbard' started by AnonKat, Jun 20, 2011.

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  1. AnonKat

    AnonKat Crusader

    By 1951, the five-year marriage of L. Ron Hubbard and his second wife Sara (neé Sara Northrup) had irrevocably broken down. It's hard to say at this distance in time who was most to blame, but it is a matter of record that Hubbard kidnapped his wife and child, fled with the child to Cuba, denounced his wife to the FBI for being a "known or suspected Communist", disinherited his infant daughter - "Alexis will get a fortune unless she goes to you as she would then get nothing" - and, 18 years later, told the unfortunate young woman that she had in fact been fathered by his Satanist friend Jack Parsons! All in all, it was a deeply squalid story, and one which attracted a great deal of press attention; Sara's attorney, Caryl Warner, was one of the most prominent in Los Angeles, and Ron himself had promoted his family as "the world's first Dianetics family". Its irrecovable breakup was thus, perhaps, one of the first great failures of Dianetics. It was deeply ironic that, only a few years later, Ron should write a book (still in print) called "How to save your marriage"...

    The following document is Sara's dramatic account of her life with Ron. It made for sensational headlines - "Cult Founder Accused Of Tot Kidnap" (Dianetics was being called a cult even in 1951), "Hubbard Accused Of Plot To Kill Wife", "Hiding Of Baby Charged To Dianetics Author". In an apparent attempt to discredit her, Ron wrote a letter to the FBI - one of several which denounced Sara as a Communist. Dated 14 May 1951, the intention behind the letter was clearly to make Sara's divorce petition seem like part of a sinister Communist conspiracy against Ron, led by his "alleged wife" and her lover, Dianetic auditor Miles Hollister:

    I believe this woman to be under heavy duress. She was born into a criminal atmosphere, her father having a criminal record. Her half-sister was an inmate of an insane asylum. She was part of a free love colony in Pasadena. She had attached herself to a Jack Parsons, the rocket expert, during the war and when she left him he was a wreck. Further, through Parsons, she was strangely intimate with many scientists of Los Alamo Gordos [Alamogordo in New Mexico was where the first atomic bomb was tested]. I did not know or realize these things until I myself investigated the matter. She may have a record . . . Perhaps in your criminal files or on the police blotter of Pasadena you will find Sara Elizabeth Northrop, age about 26, born April 8, 1925, about 5'9", blond-brown hair, slender . . . I have no revenge motive nor am I trying to angle this broader than it is. I believe she is under duress, that they have something on her and I believe that under a grilling she would talk and turn state's evidence.

    The FBI agent assigned to look after Hubbard's letters scrawled "Appears mental" by the side of this one and didn't bother to reply to followups, which perhaps indicates the credibility of Hubbard's allegations.

    But how true are Sara's claims? She was supported at the time by Hubbard's first wife, Polly, who wrote an unsolicited letter to Sara to confirm the allegations made against Ron:

    Sara, if I can help in any way, I'd like to ... You must get Alexis in your custody. Ron is not normal. I had hoped you could straighten him out. Your charges probably sound fantastic to the average person, but I've been through it - the beatings, threats on my life, all the sadistic traits which you charge - 12 years of it.

    Furthermore, those around Hubbard at the time (notably Richard de Mille) confirmed to Russell Miller, the author of Bare-Faced Messiah, that Sara's accounts of kidnapping and abduction were factual. The Church of Scientology naturally rejects this, pointing to Sara's renunciation of her charges in a typed statement of 11 June 1951:

    I, Sara Northrup Hubbard, do hereby state that the things I have said about L. Ron Hubbard in courts and the public prints have been grossly exaggerated or entirely false.

    I have not at any time believed otherwise than that L. Ron Hubbard is a fine and brilliant man.

    I make this statement of my own free will for I have begun to realize that what I have done may have injured the science of Dianetics, which in my studied opinion may be the only hope of sanity in future generations.

    I was under enormous stress and my advisers insisted it was necessary for me to carry through an action as I have done. There is no other reason for this statement than my own wish to make atonement for the damage I may have done. In the future I wish to lead a quiet and orderly existence with my little girl far away from the enturbulating influences which have ruined my marriage.

    Sara Northrup Hubbard.

    In fact, as was clearly evident then and thereafter, Sara's free will was not much used: the statement was patently written by Ron (even down to the use of his favourite neologism, "enturbulating"). In 1972, she broke a long silence to write to anti-Scientology journalist Paulette Cooper to confirm this, describing Ron as a "dangerous lunatic" of whom she was still afraid. Those still with Ron at the time have also confirmed the tactics used against Sara: "She got the baby back", Richard de Mille told Russell Miller, "by agreeing to let him divorce her and by not saying anything bad about him." On 9 June 1951, Sara signed a handwritten statement scrawled on the notepaper of The Hubbard Dianetic Foundation Inc. of Wichita agreeing to cancel her receivership action and divorce suit in California in return for a divorce "guaranteed by L. Ron Hubbard" in mid-June. And since then, the Church of Scientology has maintained in biographical sketches of Ron that Sara was a tragically mentally ill individual who caused him so much trouble that he was eventually forced to divorce her. We'll give the final word to Ron, from an unpublished autobiography which he dictated in May/June 1972:

    On the subject of marriage, you should realize that it is I who obtained the divorce and have never really had an upset marital background.

    Presumably, bigamy, kidnapping and abduction don't count!

    * For a detailed account of this story, read chapters 10 & 11 of Russell Miller's Bare-Faced Messiah.


    The original copy of this document has been stolen from the Los Angeles County Courtroom (and I expect the reader will have some idea of the probable culprits). A few surviving copies do exist, however. This is one of them. Click below to retrieve a transcript or scanned images of the actual documents.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  2. namaste

    namaste Silver Meritorious Patron

  3. LongTimeGone

    LongTimeGone Silver Meritorious Patron

    Wait a second!!! This can't be right!!

    Where's that interview where he says "I never had a second wife."?

    Our Ron must have completely forgotten about Sara in the interview; either that or the cult's biographer made it all up.

  4. Jachs

    Jachs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Remember the lecture( state of Man) where Hubbard says how

    "you will find your moral purity getting in the way of auditing someone"

    .. "i dont know this guy really stitched this gal up, left her and her children broke and took off, i dont know if i should audit this person"

    I bet Ronnie was looking at Mary Sue in the audience & thinking how can i get her to audit me again after being such a lowlife shit screwing around on her, and trying to cave in sarah. What a Conman.
  5. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime
  6. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    AnonKat — Perhaps you would be good enough to edit your opening post so that it at least preserves the obvious quotes of the original. Your lazy straight copy/paste has removed the indents and different fonts.


    EDIT: Thanks for the later edit. If you want to do indents too on an edit you have to click "Go Advanced" and then you can highlight the relevant paragraph and click the indent icon.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  7. AnonKat

    AnonKat Crusader
  8. secretiveoldfag

    secretiveoldfag Silver Meritorious Patron

    Ron had a point. He had a first wife, Polly and a third wife, Mary Sue (who was pregnant when she married him), but Sara was never his wife as he was still married to Polly when he went through a bigamous marriage with her. What he should have said but was probably too stoned to work it out was that he only ever had two wives, which is a fact.
  9. SchwimmelPuckel

    SchwimmelPuckel Genuine Meatball

    I am gobsmacked!!! - Here we have a completely workable justification for Hubbard's statement that he never had a second wife!

    I never expected that it could be done!!!!

    This is no mean feat! - Even scientologists who can justify and explain the Axioms by creating a virtual intellectual vortex that rendered the opponents skeweyed and debilitated with a severe headace, have had to give up on justifying the second wife statement! - The best they could offer was: 'What is true for you is true for you!'

  10. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    "There was a divorce action between her and Hubbard, so somebody must have thought they were married!"

    Old timer and Hubbard's former editor, John Sanborn.

    Hubbard should have said, "I'm a bigamist and married my second wife when I was still married to my first wife, but my second wife didn't know about that at the time. Now she's erased."

    If you examine Hubbard's letters to the FBI, you'll see that Sara is referred to as Sara Hubbard, and in the "retraction" that Hubbard wrote, it begins, "I, Sara Northrup Hubbard, do hereby state..."

    It's awkward that this "retraction' is sometimes used in "Dead Agent Packs," as the question occasionally arises, "But I thought Ron never had a second wife?" :eyeroll:
  11. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    The fun part is later on he's yacking about the marriage co-audit and he relates the story about how Mary Sue and he had nearly ripped each other's heads off when they had "insignificant" things withheld or something along those lines...meaning or inferring how you could imagine what would happen if an abberrated couple were to do it.

    Let's imagine a slice of those sessions, shall we?

    Auditor: "What have you withheld from Ron?"

    MSH: "I...I...I didn't wash his shirt 13 times in a different tub each time..."

    - now we look at Ronnie's flow -

    Auditor: "What have you withheld from Mary Sue?"

    LRH: "Bigamy, kidnapping, Satanic sex orgies, running out on Polly, cheating on both of them..."

    What a nutcase.
  12. Jachs

    Jachs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Sociopathy present and verified since 1914, and became a training manual

    2nd wife Sara 1951 "dangerous lunatic"

    "Hubbard completely dominated both physically, mentally and emotionally and taking advantage of her repeatedly subjected plaintiff to systematic torture, including loss of sleep, beatings, and strangulations and scientific torture experiments,"

    Saras medical advisors "Hubbard was hopelessly insane, and crazy

    1st wife Polly 'I've been through it - the beatings, threats on my life, all the sadistic traits which you charge - 12 years of it'

    FBI "sounds mental"

    Divorce transcript.
  13. secretiveoldfag

    secretiveoldfag Silver Meritorious Patron

    You can hardly make this broader than it is. Hubbard was and remained a psychopath who enjoyed torturing people in his power. The retraction which Sara signed in order to get her baby daughter returned to her isn't worth the paper Hubbard wrote it on.

    His writings were designed either to con people, or to pump up his own image with lies. He could write pious garbage about marriage and doing good while torturing his wives and children and doing evil. How can you make it any worse than that?
  14. Jachs

    Jachs Gold Meritorious Patron

    He said the price of gifts xmas b'days etc

    didnt mention the pregnant black woman (Ron had tuned 6 months earlier) turning up to the chapel and Mary Sue going into a psychotic rage.

    I just read the account of Polly
    she found 2 letters in the letterbox to other gals (Ron had left in the box) she switched the letters in the envelopes.Sparks

    Sara was parsons stolen girlfriend too.

    Sociopath >does not reform or respond to treatment
    (What a con-fession- fusion?)
  15. Jachs

    Jachs Gold Meritorious Patron

    He was indeed. He designed and marketed to a trusting crowd,that wanted to believe him so bad, no con-science?

    Best application form for pre-emptive cons.

    all the "brass rings" are there in his babble, the missed witholds, justifications, almost confessions, denials, when you find out later that when he said all the people who were scewing him- he was actually screwing them. Psycho-path socio-path. brutal.
  16. TheSneakster

    TheSneakster Guest

    I would sure like to know what an event which occurred in 1951, is "breaking news".

    My mind boggles.
  17. Jachs

    Jachs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Its breaking news for anyone who got the embellished version from Ron.

    The many angles of Hubbard (who wrote the honor code)

    Std deception letter (1.1 covert hostility/knife behind back)

    " Dear Sara,

    I have been in the Cuban military hospital and I am being transferred to the United States next week as a classified scientist immune from interference of all kinds.

    Though I will be hospitalized probably a long time, Alexis is getting excellent care. I see her every day. She is all I have to live for.

    My wits never gave way under all you did and let them do but my body didn't stand up. My right side is paralyzed and getting more so. I hope my heart lasts. I may live a long time and again I may not. But Dianetics will last 10,000 years – for the Army and Navy have it now.

    My Will is all changed. Alexis will get a fortune unless she goes to you as she would then get nothing. Hope to see you once more.
    Goodbye – I love you. Ron."

    In reality, the very much un-paralyzed Hubbard had made an unsuccessful request for assistance from the US military attaché to Havana.

    Std deception letter 2(1.1 covert hostility/knife behind back our saviour)

    I believe this woman (sara) to be under heavy duress.... born into a criminal atmosphere,.. father has criminal record. .. half-sister was insane . .sara part of a free love colony ... when she left Jack Parsons he was a wreck...she was strangely intimate with many scientists .... She may have a record . . . Perhaps in your criminal files . . . I have no revenge motive .. she is under duress, .. I believe that under a grilling she would talk and turn state's evidence..

    On June 12 1951, Speaking to Scientologists around this time, Hubbard blamed shadowy outside forces for the bad publicity: "We have just been through the saw mill, through the public presses. Every effort was made to butcher my personal reputation. A young girl is nearly dead because of this effort. My wife Sara

    October 1951 The Dianetics Axioms, he explained his marital problems as being entirely the fault of Sara:
    "the woman (sara) who had been associated with me that on discovery of her affairs, she and these others, hungry for money and power, sought to take over and control all of Dianetics." (e.n.e.m.i.e.s always attacking him)

    Sara's daughter Alexis attempted to contact her father

    Hubbard replied "Your mother was with me as a secretary in Savannah in late 1948 . . . In July 1949 I was in Elizabeth, New Jersey, writing a movie. She turned up destitute and pregnant." (honor)

    In June 1986, following Hubbard's death, the Church of Scientology and Alexis agreed a financial settlement
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  18. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    WTF? I never heard some links or docs or such...please!

    Me wants moar!!!
  19. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    WOW!! Didn't know this one, either, once again - post links or docs for us to read, please!
  20. Jachs

    Jachs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Not it but something about tisk tisk promiscuity
    Im still searching for the one mentioned.
    Page 118

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