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Scenes from the divorce of the second marriage that L. Ron Hubbard never had

As you can probably imagine, things here in the Underground Bunker are rather hectic, and in order for a new story to pop up every day, a lot happens behind the scenes that doesn’t necessarily get reflected in what we present to our readers.

Just yesterday, for example, we had one completed story ready for you, and another mostly sketched out, and then we had to toss both of them in the trash as conditions changed. Ay, carumba. The drama. But it was still a good day — we had a lovely dinner with one of our most famous sources, who happened to be in town. Much gossip was exchanged, and if we can ultimately share any of it with you, we definitely will.

Most of our sources, like our dining companion last night, are a joy to work with. Others can be a little exasperating — which is completely normal and we’re not complaining. Well, maybe a little. There’s this one person, for example, who has been driving us batty for several years now.

This person has some really excellent researching skills, and has managed to get his hands on fascinating historic L. Ron Hubbard documents that had eluded others. But he’s always very mysterious about it, and puts us through a lot of rigmarole before he’ll show us what’s in his collection. Last year, he stopped the shenanigans long enough to share with us something really cool. It was a heretofore unknown document showing that L. Ron Hubbard’s first wife, Polly Grubb, had accused him of being a deadbeat dad.


That story went so well, we hoped that it would start a trend. But our source receded again, and has only given us hints and more of the runaround. But then, suddenly, earlier this week, he got creative. He crafted his own website and suddenly made a small collection of legal records public which document the divorce between Hubbard and his second wife, Sara Northrup.

He made it pretty plain that he was reacting to our story earlier this month about how Scientology, in its latest smear video against Alex Gibney, had besmirched Northrup, if not by name. As we explained in that story, Hubbard tried hard to erase Sara Northrup from his life, and claimed that he’d never married her or fathered her child, Alexis.

There’s never been any doubt that he did both — press coverage in 1951 of their acrimonious split was voluminous — but our source, calling himself “Meepthorp” after the SNL “Neurotology” skit, decided it was a good time to post several really interesting legal documents from the divorce.

We’ve collected them for you here, and we think you’ll have a fun time going through them. They show that Sara asked for Ron’s 1950 Lincoln, but she settled for $2,000 in cash instead, and her attorney got an additional $1,000 in fees.

Hubbard at one point brings in Richard DeMille as his “corroborating witness” when he claims that he’s going to leave Wichita for good and head for Bremerton, and that’s why he needs to wrap things up quickly. (For Bare-Faced Messiah, Russell Miller interviewed DeMille, who admitted to helping Hubbard kidnap Alexis and abscond with her to Cuba. It’s a fascinating interview. )

Ron was in a rush, and maybe the funniest thing in the documents is his filing for an emergency hearing…

The up set marital status and relationship between [Sara] and [Ron] over the past several months has caused severe damage and injury to his health and piece of mind and unless an emergency is declared for trial in the above pending divorce action, [Ron] fears that he will suffer further nervous break down and impairment to health.

And remember, this is in June of 1951, a full year after Hubbard had published Dianetics after solving the mystery of the human mind. Classic!

In the final document, dated 1953, Hubbard files to have his monthly child support payment for Alexis reduced from $200, calling it exorbitant and excessive. As in the case with his previous marriage, we’d be shocked to learn he was paying anything at all.

Dig in and let us know what other fun stuff you find in these documents…

L. Ron Hubbard-Sara Northrup divorce


FHCabanasBabywatch, day three: Lisa McPherson in Room 174

A little after midnight, as the third full day of Lisa McPherson’s confinement in a cabana room at the Fort Harrison Hotel was beginning, staff chaplain Valerie Demange began her first shift as Lisa’s caretaker.

Valerie had attended a year of nursing school, but otherwise she had no qualifications as a medical professional. She took over from Emma Schamehorn and then began a shift that lasted a full 24 hours.

Before she went in the room, Valerie had been told that Lisa had gone “a bit crazy,” and she was to keep Lisa from hurting herself. But when she arrived, Lisa was actually sleeping, and slept through to the morning. It was a fitful sleep, and Lisa would occasionally say something, like “Thank you.”

In the morning, Lisa ate a little — eggs and toast — and took vitamins that Emma had left for her. But she refused to drink more Cal-Mag.

In the afternoon, Lisa was pacing around the room and began to dance, asking Valerie to join her.

Through the afternoon, Lisa got more agitated, until in the evening, she lashed out at Valerie, and also tried to break the cabana’s large window after stripping down. Valerie tackled her, and couldn’t help thinking what might happen if she didn’t succeed — she thought of Lisa escaping and running down the street naked. After calming Lisa down, Valerie told hotel officials that they really needed two people in the room to handle the job.

When her long shift was done, Valerie left. But in a few days she would be back.



We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our book tour is concluded for now. (But you can re-experience it through this nifty interactive map!) We’ll let you know about future appearances. Previous events: Santa Barbara (5/16), Hollywood (5/17), Orange County (5/17), San Diego (5/20), San Francisco (5/22), New York (6/11), Chicago (6/20), Toronto (6/22), Clearwater (6/28), Washington DC (7/12), Hartford (7/14), Denver (7/17), Dallas (7/20), Houston (7/22), San Antonio (7/24), Austin (7/25), Paris (7/29), London (8/4), Boston (8/24), Phoenix (9/15), Cleveland (9/23), Minneapolis (9/24), Portland (9/27), Seattle (9/28), Vancouver BC (9/29), Sydney (10/23), Melbourne (10/25), Adelaide (10/28), Perth (10/30)


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 21, 2015 at 07:10

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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA 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

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
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


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