On Thursday, we had a special treat for you: A photograph of Diana Hubbard taken in 1982 that had sat in a photographer’s collection for 34 years before he dug it out and sent it to us. It was a stunning image of the daughter of L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder, and it produced a flood of really interesting memories of her from some of our commenters.
It also motivated several other people to dig out old photos of their own, and we’ve put a few of them together today to show you. And thank you again, to our great friends of the Underground Bunker.
Our first correspondent let us know that he’d managed to track down a 1951 college yearbook for the University of Texas at Austin, where a young woman named Mary Sue Whipp graduated that year. Says our sleuth, “Mary Sue graduated in 1951 with a degree in English from the College of Liberal Arts. According to the Cactus Yearbook senior pictures section, she participated in the Women’s Inter-Community Association (WICA), Touche (fencing), Tumble (gymnastics – it’s misspelled ‘Tumle’ in the caption), and was part of the Houston Club (presumably because she’s originally from Houston).”
Soon after graduation, Mary Sue met L. Ron Hubbard in Wichita, and they were married in 1952. She was his third wife. Mary Sue and Ron had two sons and two daughters — Diana, born 1952, Quentin (1954), Suzette (1955), and Arthur (1958). Quentin committed suicide in 1977. Suzette and Arthur are out of Scientology, and live in the Los Angeles area. Diana is the last member of the family who is still involved in the church. She spends most of her time at Int Base.
In 1966, Hubbard created the “Guardian’s Office” and named Mary Sue Scientology’s “Guardian.” She, and the woman she eventually turned that title over to, Jane Kember, operated the GO as a ruthless spy operation intended to protect Hubbard from prosecution and litigation. Mary Sue was prosecuted after an FBI raid in 1977 busted up the GO’s “Snow White Program,” which had operatives burglarizing federal agencies for several years. She was sentenced to five years in prison in 1979, but ended up serving only one year, from 1983 to 1984.
After she came out of prison, the church bought her a lovely home in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles on Chislehurst Drive, her consolation after Ron let her take the fall for Snow White. He had gone into permanent seclusion in 1980, and she never saw him again. He died in 1986. Removed from her position of power in the church hierarchy, she lived out her days at Chislehurst Drive until she died in 2002 of breast cancer. In her will, however, she directed that her house not be sold as long as her Shih Tzu dog still lived there. It ended up outliving her by 11 years, and only after the dog’s death in 2013 was the house put up for sale.
We also heard from Phil Jones. You know Phil and his wife Willie for their “Call Me” billboards in Los Angeles and Clearwater. He and Willie are trying to raise awareness about Scientology’s toxic policy of “disconnection” which rips apart families. Phil and Willie are separated from their two grown children, Mike and Emily, who are Sea Org workers and can have no contact with them.
Phil was a longtime Scientologist before he became known for his billboards. And he sent us a snapshot of himself with another Hubbard family member: Ron and Mary Sue’s youngest son, Arthur.
“It was at the Toronto Org circa 1973. I believe he was touring some of the Orgs with Captain Bill. I chatted with Arthur for a bit. He referred to his dad as’The Commodore’,” Phil says.
Back in 2013, we looked into Arthur’s odd work today as an artist, using his own blood in portraits of women.
And we have one more treat for you, sent in by Mimsey Borogrove. We’ll let him set it up:
“Your post about Diana reminded me of this picture I took of Clark Carr back in 1971. I don’t know the girl on the extreme left’s name, but next to her is Joanne Devito, Gretchen Swartz, Libby (I think) and Clark. You will note Clark was returning to LAX from somewhere, and has a British Mark V E-meter case swinging from his shoulder. He did a comedy routine, and hammed it up for the photographer a bit. Gretchen is (or was) my buddy. At the time we were staying at the Hoover House near ASHO when it was on Temple. She ended up being the chief reg at FSC Office in FOLO WUS next to AOLA on L. Ron Hubbard Way, and I gave her lord knows how much money for services at Flag – where I eventually got on OT 7 till I was declared. She had a stroke and died at her desk,
and as far as I know got bupkis as a memorial service (she did get a service at CC). Her husband Fred moved up lines years before she passed. Her son nephew is Julian, of whom many have met as the MAA at AOLA. She, by the way, has a cello, as he was given a musical tribute as he deplaned. This is the only picture of Clark that I have.”
Clark is someone we’ve kept an eye on here at the Bunker. He became the president of Narconon International, but then as Narconon became a magnet for lawsuits, Clark’s office in Hollywood was suddenly abandoned and Clark went to Tijuana. We’d still like to know what he’s up to, if any of our tipsters happen to catch a glimpse of him.
Chris Shelton diagnoses L. Ron Hubbard
Chris has a special treat for us today. He interviewed academic researcher Yuval Laor, who has an interesting theory that L. Ron Hubbard was suffering from something called temporal lobe epilepsy, which helps explain his logorrhea and many of his odd behaviors.
It’s always risky to diagnose someone who’s long dead, but we think Chris and Yuval have put together an interesting discussion.
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Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield