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1950 US Census proves Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard did indeed have a second wife

[L. Ron Hubbard and his second wife, and poof!]

Hey, this was a nice catch we noticed yesterday at Facebook, and so we went to the recently released 1950 US Census records to verify it for ourselves.

Sure enough, on April 19, 1950, when a census taker visited 666 East Avenue, in Bay Head, New Jersey, he found three people living there:

Lafayette R. Hubbard, 39, his wife Sara, 26, and their one-month-old daughter, Alexis.



That’s exactly what you would expect, but what makes it amusing is that Hubbard, and the Church of Scientology, have done their best to erase Sara Northrup and her daughter Alexis from the historic record when it comes to Scientology’s founder.

L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) married Sara Elizabeth Northrup (1924-1997) in 1946, while he was separated from, but not yet divorced from, his first wife, Margaret “Polly” Grubb (1907-1963), which made Hubbard a bigamist. But Hubbard had other reasons to want to erase Sara from his life, even though she was with him when he published the book that changed everything for him, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health on May 9, 1950.

The book was a bestseller, and was so popular it resulted in a movement that is still going today. But only a year later, in 1951, pretty much everything fell apart. Hubbard’s Dianetics centers went bust, his marriage hit the rocks, and he even absconded to Cuba with Alexis.

Sara then went to the press, calling Hubbard a madman who had physically abused her, and made his bigamy public. She agreed to retract her claims of abuse when he brought Alexis back to her. A few years later, Hubbard tried to sic the FBI on her, claiming that Sara and her new boyfriend, Miles Hollister, were communist agents.

“Appears mental” was the judgment of the FBI agents who received several of Hubbard’s complaints.

After his disasters of 1951, Ron began to piece things back together in 1952 with the help of a wealthy Kansas oilman, and announced that his new movement had the name “Scientology.” About this time, he met Mary Sue Whipp (1931-2002), who became his third wife, and they would have four children together.

Then in 1968, in a rare filmed interview Hubbard did with a British journalist, when he was asked about his wives, he made a bizarre utterance that Scientology watchers treasure.

Interviewer: “How many times have you been married?”

Hubbard: “How many times have I been married? I’ve been married twice, and I’m very happily married just now, I have a lovely wife and I have four children, my first wife is dead [smiles].”

Interviewer: “What happened to your second wife?”

Hubbard: “I’d never had a second wife.”

And back in 2014, researcher Lauren Wolf showed us that Scientology’s erasure of Sara Northrup continues into the current day, and sent us the images you see above. They show Ron and Sara sailing in a 1946 Miami Daily News story, and then the same photo as it appears in the “RON” encyclopedia series put out today by the church.

“You might recall in Going Clear that this was quite a dark period for Sara. Her father had recently died and Hubbard had begun beating her in Florida. Interestingly, she is referred to as his wife, Mrs. Hubbard, in the article, but they weren’t married until that August, only after Hubbard threatened to kill himself unless she complied,” Lauren told us.


(And Sara isn’t the only one erased by the church. You can search Scientology’s current website, and you won’t find mention of any of Ron’s three wives or seven children, four of whom are still alive today, including Alexis.)

Try as Scientology might to erase her, Sara Northrup was L. Ron Hubbard’s second wife, and she was a fascinating woman in her own right. And now, the public release of the 1950 census is another layer of proof that the three of them, Ron, Sara, and Alexis, were living together in Bay Head just a few weeks before Dianetics was published.

Here’s the full page from the census…

Hubbard 1950 Census by Tony Ortega

Of course there’s always been plenty of evidence that Hubbard did have a second wife, and that he and Sara and Alexis were living in New Jersey in 1950, but it’s always fun to get this kind of confirmation, simply because the church does its best to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Here’s the happy family at the time of the census, for example…


And this was 1950, so the census was a product of its time and the government was asking questions from that time. Here are questions on the form, and the answers the census taker had jotted down.

“What was this person doing most of last week — working, keeping house, or something else?”

Ron: “OT”

Sara: “H” (We think this means “housework”)

“Did this person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house?”

Ron: “Yes”
Sara: “No”

“Was this person looking for work?”

Sara: “No”

“Even though he didn’t work last week, does he have a job or business?”

Sara: “No”

“How many hours did he work last week?”

Ron: “10”

“What kind of work was he doing?”

Ron: “Writer-Author”

“What kind of business or industry was he working on?”

“Text Book Pub.” (“Fiction Novels” is crossed out.)



Today, the Church of Scientology maintains 666 East Avenue as a shrine to Hubbard and Dianetics. John Travolta and Kelly Preston were on hand when it had been restored and opened to the public in 2014. But of course, you won’t find any mention of Sara or Alexis there now.

Scientology’s commemoration of the house features a photo of it with LRH there alone…




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Source Code


“It’s very funny, you know: bodies have machinery laid into them from other times. It’s quite interesting. You’ll find some preclear wallowing around one time or another: ‘Well, look what I have done to this body. Look at the horrible machinery and things I have set up.’ Then he wonders why it runs much faster and gets much more solid. Well, some thetan that had the thing on the genetic line way back when has already installed a tremendous number of items. You didn’t install everything that’s wrong with your body.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 5, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“MOVIE: The top Broadway hit man, Milton Katselas, through Celebrity Centre sent me a screen play that deals with some Scientology materials. I received it as he requested, went over it. As an old screen writer I found some ways to polish it and telexed him that I would. He has just telexed back very thrilled. In one week he did Grade VI, went Clear, was taken on at Columbia Pictures to direct his Broadway hit and got my assurances I’d help work on the new screen play. To quote ‘All in One Week. Wow.’” — The Commodore, May 5, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The events we are living and participating to with LRH are nothing short of HISTORICAL. It is nothing less than the publication of what happened before the birth of this universe and the series of events that brought us or some of us to put an end to the former dying civilization so as to offer it a new chance in another universe.”


Past is Prologue

1997: A St. Petersburg Times article this week updated the investigation into the death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson in the Ft. Harrison Hotel in 1995. “More than 50 people have been questioned in what police are calling an ‘expansive’ investigation into the unexplained death of Lisa McPherson, a 36-year-old Scientologist. Although more interviews are planned, police say they expect their work on the case to end ‘soon” but refuse to be more specific. Police say they have questioned more than two dozen church staffers, all of them accompanied by lawyers. ‘Interviews are being conducted of witnesses who were responsible for Lisa’s care during her stay,’ said deputy Clearwater police Chief Paul Maser. Others interviewed by police include paramedics, doctors and hospital employees involved in McPherson’s care before and after her stay at the Fort Harrison, police spokesman Wayne Shelor said. Many of the 50 people questioned gave statements under oath, while others talked to police in less formal interviews, Shelor said.”



Random Howdy

“No one knows what possible dirt there may be in Katie’s PC folder. Her first concern is maintaining the image of a ‘fit’ mother so Cruise doesn’t try to get custody of Suri on that accusation. If she dishes dirt I’m sure so will he.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next pretrial conference May 31. Trial scheduled for August 29.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury. Additional charges also referred to grand jury after January 5 assault while in jail.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for May 5.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court.
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Valerie’s motion for reconsideration denied on March 15.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Next hearing scheduled for June 29.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?


[ONE year ago] The Scientology-QAnon connection that showed up in HBO’s ‘Q: Into the Storm’
[TWO years ago] We’ve highlighted the parts Danny Masterson wants removed from the Scientology lawsuit
[THREE years ago] Media and authorities should focus on the real horrors of Scientology’s Freewinds
[FOUR years ago] In the US and Australia, new Ideal Orgs are increasingly isolated and uninviting. What gives?
[FIVE years ago] How to get yourself removed from Scientology’s legendary mailing list: A case study
[SIX years ago] How Ron Miscavige’s Scientology memoir reads to a former Scientologist
[SEVEN years ago] Neil Gaiman’s sister shows up in Scientology response video to Gibney film ‘Going Clear’
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology archiving magazines online? Are they nuts?
[NINE years ago] Cinco De Funnies: Getting Drunk on the Wisdom of Ron!
[ELEVEN years ago] Howard Stern Questions A Former Scientology Private Eye


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,655 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,160 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,710 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,700 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,591 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,897 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,766 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,540 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,871 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,344 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,660 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,226 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,145 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,313 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,893 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,155 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,191 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,906 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,431 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 786 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,961 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,512 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,661 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,981 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,836 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,955 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,311 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,614 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,720 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,118 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,994 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,577 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,072 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,326 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,435 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 5, 2022 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 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. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | Shelly Miscavige, 15 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, or 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 | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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