Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Jon Atack: Did Mary Sue Hubbard Doubt Scientology’s Key Experience?

Mary_Sue_Hubbard_LRHJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and on Saturdays he’s helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.

Jon, you had an interesting anecdote for us this week about Mary Sue Hubbard. She was L. Ron Hubbard’s third wife, and they had four children together. They were married in 1952, and she was an enthusiastic Scientologist and helped him run his movement, including the years from 1967 to 1975, when they ran Scientology from sea. But you say that didn’t always go smoothly?

JON: Otto Roos was the first OT VIII and one of only five Class XIIs trained by Hubbard, personally. While he was Hubbard’s auditor, aboard ship, he overheard Mary Sue loudly castigating her husband. Imagine, the wife of the Founder, the Deputy Commodore and Controller of the Guardian’s Office, was shouting at the Old Man of the Sea Org and calling him a fraud and a charlatan!

THE BUNKER: That is startling. Let’s explain a few of those terms. While Hubbard ran Scientology from the yacht Apollo in the early 1970s, the crew was busy with a lot of auditing and training to be auditors. Otto Roos was one of a few auditors who was trained personally by Hubbard to the highest rating, Class XII. He also reached the highest level of spiritual advancement, Operating Thetan Level Eight, when it was released years later. Mary Sue, meanwhile, was not only the wife of Scientology’s founder, who called himself “Commodore,” but she also ran the Guardian’s Office, the notorious spy network of Scientology. But in spite of her high position, she called Hubbard a fraud?

JON: Eventually, Hubbard placated Mary Sue by asking how he could prove to her that Scientology really worked. There wasn’t a moment’s hesitation: Mary Sue had never been “exterior with full perception.” So, poor Otto was ordered to run every exteriorization process he could find (about 90 of them existed, if I remember rightly), until Mary Sue popped out of her head. I don’t remember for how many weeks this elaborate farce lasted, but in the end, Mary Sue decided that she would rather not go “exterior” than have to continue with these absurd “processes.”

THE BUNKER: One of the primary goals of Scientology is pursuing the state of “exteriorization.” Hubbard said that we are thetans, immortal beings of immense age who have lost knowledge of our true selves. Through Scientology processing, we can regain that perception of our ancient, spiritual selves, and with that knowledge leave our meat bodies — go “exterior” from our physical containers. The ultimate goal of Scientology — to be an “operating thetan” — promises to give us the ability to “exteriorize with full perception” so we can wield great powers and control as bodiless spirits. But Mary Sue never got there? How disappointing.


JON: It was only a few years later that Mary Sue confessed her guilt and took a prison sentence to protect her husband, who to his death remained an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Guardian’s Office prosecutions following the FBI raid of Scientology in 1977. We are told that Scientology leads to success in any walk of life, but Hubbard hardly exemplifies the perfect spouse. Although Mary Sue had given away her liberty to protect his own, Hubbard refused to even see her again. Her letters to him were censored — with a razor blade — to make sure that there was nothing negative in them. The Great OT had to be protected, it seems, from his own most loyal follower. The Source of Scientology cast off his wives — and his children — like so much unwanted baggage. It is hard to imagine such narcissism. And it’s dangerous to innocently believe that such a man would really be concerned for the welfare of anyone but himself, let alone devote his life to liberating mankind. But then, you could hardly collect a billion dollars by promising people quick hypnotic highs and humiliating slavery.

THE BUNKER: Jon, we haven’t heard this story before. Is this something Roos told you directly?

JON: I don’t think I’ve told this story publicly before. I interviewed Roos at length in 1984. I confirmed Mary Sue’s doubts with others who were on the Apollo and witnessed it. Mary Sue was noted for disagreeing with Hubbard and occasionally airing her views loudly.

THE BUNKER: Another fascinating look at Scientology history from Jon Atack. Thank you!


It’s AD 63 And Scientology is Exploding!

We hope you’re as excited as we are to be alive during this incredible period, when Scientology makes such amazing strides to clear the planet. This has to be the biggest weekend for the Church of Scientology in 20 years — since the “War is Over” event in Los Angeles — and we can hardly contain our enthusiasm.

Images are coming in from around the country, but especially from Flag — Clearwater, Florida — where the big events are taking place. Keep an eye on the action in our comments section. We’re seeing great things that our readers are bringing in. We have a few pics to show you from what our tipsters are sending us via e-mail.

This first item comes from one of the outer orgs — we’re not going to say from where — and you can see how the Golden Age of Technology Phase II is being rolled out in the most enticing way possible, like it was a top-secret program that actually delivered something besides ten new ways to spend money on making a needle move on a sweat-meter!


Meanwhile, one of our tipsters clued us in that there’s a church member who has been making multiple trips to Clearwater lately in order to take high-level courses, take interesting photos of events there, and then post them in a public spot on the Internet. As long as they’re there, we decided to grab a few of them. In this first one, you can see the fancy little pool outside the Sandcastle, where high-level members go for OT training!


In this next shot, you get a sense for the lengths Scientology goes to make its members feel like they’re part of something BIG! We think this was some kind of GAT II training that was being done before its launch, but we’re not sure. Our commenters will no doubt set us straight…


Scientologists love pool parties.


Another fancy party to loosen up the faithful for a wallet grab.


Last night, the first of the big events began. Joe Childs and Charlie Frago at the Tampa Bay Times reported on all the folks showing up in their finest clothes and getting out of limos to stand in lines to be checked in. They put the capacity of the big tent at 5,500.

Meanwhile, over at Mike Rinder’s blog, there was a fascinating account of what the “Golden Age of Technology Phase II” is actually turning out to be — and it is as underwhelming as we were all expecting.

Specifically, according to Rinder’s tipster, Scientology leader David Miscavige announced that he had “recovered” lost wisdom of L. Ron Hubbard through “Board Technical Bulletins” which had previously been scrapped. Hubbard died in 1986, and he is Source — still the only legitimate origin of any Scientology processing. But the BTBs were technical bulletins that had been issued into the early 1990s by members of the boards of some Scientology entities.

Rinder points out that it was Miscavige who ruthlessly cancelled out the BTBs during the period when he came up with the first Golden Age of Tech. So now, his big reveal is that he’s determined that the BTBs, even though they came out after Hubbard’s death, were actually put together with material that Hubbard had earlier told someone, or something. Says Rinder

Well hallelujah, we have come full circle. NOW the BTBs are OK as long as they have [Miscavige’s] blessing. Doesn’t He realize that He has become exactly what He supposedly despised. Check back and see what He said about David Mayo. But then, at the time, Mayo was the arbiter of what was “LRH” and what was not. At least Mayo WAS a highly trained auditor, trained personally under LRH and was L. Ron Hubbard’s auditor and held the post of Senior C/S International…. So Mayo’s say-so on what was and was not LRH and what was and was not “on-Source” had a higher likelihood of accuracy than Voldemort’s.

More than one observer noted that there was NO Senior C/S International in attendance at the most important event in the history of all universes. Hmmmm

What that last line means — apparently, none of the top international management has been let out of “The Hole” to be trotted out for PR reasons. No Heber? No Guillaume? But this is the biggest thing in the history of the universe!

Hey, let us know what you’ve seen in Clearwater. Post your pics in the comments or send us an e-mail!



With Scientology’s “Super Power Building” opening this Sunday, we’re counting down the days with some of the wild schematics of contraptions that were planned for the space-aged fifth floor.

Well, here it is, our favorite contraption that is planned for the building, and a legend here in the Underground Bunker — the Oiliness Table!

We first noticed it in a floor plan that placed it near the pain and pressure stations…


And then we found this full-color rendering of what the station will look like, including that golden yellow liquid!


And here’s another look at that tabletop…


And we found this schematic of some oil dispensers that populate one part of the tabletop…


We are so envious of the wealthy Scientologists who will get their oiliness tested on this contraption. For us, the oiliness table has become symbolic for Scientology’s epic Super Power adventure. And tomorrow, the SP era begins! Hip, hip, hooray!


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 16, 2013 at 07:10

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email