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Finally, L. Ron Hubbard’s first ‘Clear’ — Sonya Bianchi — found again after 68 years

[Frank Hulswit in 1942 and Sonya Bianchi in 1949]

For years, we’d ask around about her, and most often we were told that “Sonya Bianchi” (or Bianca, as Russell had it) was made up, and that no one knew her actual name. The late Garry Scarff, a consummate master at tracking people down, told us he was certain her real name was something like “Anne,” and that no one knew her real identity. We assumed we’d never find out what happened to her.

But one researcher, who goes by the name Meepthorp online and has helped us with some pretty amazing finds regarding early Dianetics history in the past, pointed out something to us from our own website. It came from a story we posted about early Dianetics adherent Don Rogers. In answer to a question from Jon Atack, Rogers said something interesting about a mix of drugs, including benzedrine, that went by the name of ‘guk,’ and that was used in early Dianetics sessions…

There was also a guk project at Elizabeth in 1950. I wrote up a report on it for publication, but Ron wouldn’t have that, I suppose because the results were indeterminate. The principal ingredient of guk was glutamic acid, but there were also a lot of vitamins, etc. Ron got the idea from the mother of the man (Frank ______ ) who married Sonia Bianci, the girl who went to L.A. with Ron to demonstrate as a clear at the Hollywood Bowl in 1950.

Meepthorp pointed out that in the first edition of Hubbard’s 1951 book Science of Survival, a “Mrs. Hulswit” was thanked for her help on the concept of “Freewheeling.”

Sarah O. Hulswit was an enthusiastic early adopter of Dianetics, a woman from Maine known for her activism in conservative politics, and she had a son named Frank T. Hulswit, born in 1924. Another of our researchers chased down a marriage certificate between Frank Theodore Hulswit and Sonya Adelaide Bianchi, who were married on September 11, 1950 at St. James Episcopal Church on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, just a month after the debacle at the Shrine Auditorium.


After we had those names, it wasn’t hard to locate Frank and Sonya, who were living in Massachusetts. Thanks to a third researcher, Eivol Ekdal, we obtained photographs of both Frank and Sonya. (Yes, we had a lot of help on this story, for which we are extremely grateful.)

We also found their son, Chris, and we called him up. He confirmed that yes, we had the right Sonya.

“My mother was a Clear. They were both in college at that time,” he said to us. And your mother Sonya was the Sonya Bianchi who made the appearance at the Shrine Auditorium? “Yes, she was.”

Do you know why no one ever heard about her again in Dianetics or Scientology?

“That’s because my father, a grad student at MIT, flew out and grabbed her and eloped with her,” he said with a laugh. “She was a stunning redhead in those days.”

We asked again, had he heard about his mother making that demonstration in LA?

“That’s her. That’s my mom,” he said. “I know there was an event. It was never really explained to me. But I think that’s what prompted my dad to go out and get her. She had graduated from Bates [College, in Maine] with a BS in chemistry. They got married, then my sister was born in 1952 and I was born in 1954.”

We asked Chris to ask his mother about the event, and to see if she would talk to us. After he checked with her, he got back to us.

“She was that woman, but she doesn’t have any real solid recollections of it. I got the distinct impression that she didn’t want to talk about it,” he said. “After that she got married and left. She lived in London for years, and she also lived in Rio. Three years, for her husband’s business.”

More recently, she was recognized at Bates College in 2014, and a publication there included this wonderful photograph of Sonya, who is clearly still a pistol in her 90s…


Perhaps if Chris Hulswit knew just how important his mother is in the history of L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics, and Scientology, he might understand why we keep bugging him about it.

We are very sorry that we didn’t get to meet Frank in time, and we’re sure it has been a heavy blow for Sonya. But we think she’s a remarkable person and we would like to shake her hand. In the comments, please let Chris know how much it would mean to all of us to hear from Sonya herself.


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Kelly Preston, Beck, and Anne Archer]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!


Now on sale: Twice the Miss Lovely!

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. What a pleasure it is for us to work with her on this after we wrote about her ordeal as a victim of Scientology’s “Fair Game” campaigns in our 2015 book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, which is also on sale in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions.



[ONE year ago] He was Scientology’s most famous spy, then he turned witness and vanished. Now, here he is.
[TWO years ago] Nora Crest’s powerful new video: Why you can’t be gay in Scientology
[THREE years ago] Who are those WISE guys? A tipster helps us get some names of Scientology operatives
[FOUR years ago] Another Scientology ambush, this time of Marty Rathbun with Louis Theroux present
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: What we have here — in Scientology — is a failure to communicate
[SIX years ago] DOX: Florida Officials Fight Attempt to Hide Drug Rehab’s Scientology Connections


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,298 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,429 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,931 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,411 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 474 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 362 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,669 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,537 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,311 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,085 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,431 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,997 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,917 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,084 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,665 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,925 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,965 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,677 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,203 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,292 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,432 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,752 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,608 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,727 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,083 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,385 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,491 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,894 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,765 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,348 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,843 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,097 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,206 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 14, 2018 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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 | 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates

Join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


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