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When Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard tried for the 2nd time to become a bigamist

With the publication of his epic history of Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, New Yorker staffer Lawrence Wright uncovered a lot of new ground that left many of us speechless.

And maybe the craziest was a paragraph that has largely gone unmentioned since then:

At the end of April 1949, Hubbard sent a note to Heinlein that he was moving to Washington, DC, for an indefinite stay. There was no word about Sara. Three weeks later, the thirty-eight-year-old Hubbard applied for a license in Washington to marry twenty-six-year-old Ann Jensen. The application was canceled the next day at the request of the bride. Perhaps she had learned that Hubbard was already married to his second wife and had previously committed bigamy. In any case, Ann Jensen’s name disappears from Hubbard’s life story.

Finally, a decade later, we have more information about who Ann Jensen was, and we’ve talked to a family member to confirm this wild story.

But first, let’s review Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s amazing history with women, shall we?


Hubbard met his first wife, Louise ‘Polly’ Grubb, while they were both flying gliders at George Washington University in the early 1930s. Polly was not only a pilot herself, she was four years Ron’s senior.

They were married in 1933 and had two children, Ron Jr. (1934, whom they called “Nibs”) and Katherine (1936).

As Russell Miller tells us in his essential biography of Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah, Polly was not happy with her husband’s adventures once the two had settled into a home in Bremerton, Washington with Ron’s parents. At one point, she found two letters that Ron had written to two different girlfriends. She opened the envelopes, swapped the letters, and then mailed them.

After the war, Hubbard spent time in a hospital (for hemorrhoids and pinkeye, not war wounds) and then traveled to Pasadena to look up a friend of a friend, the rocket scientist John Parsons, known as Jack.

Hubbard promptly took away Jack’s girlfriend, Sara Northrup, and in 1946 the two of them were married — a full year before his divorce with Polly was final.

That Hubbard was a bigamist is one of the most well-known features of his biography, and something that Scientology itself never talks about. (Peruse the official Scientology website all you want, you won’t find a word about any of Hubbard’s three wives or seven children.)

Sara bore Hubbard a child in 1950, their daughter Alexis, who arrived just weeks before the birth of his book Dianetics, which made him more famous than he was as a pulp fiction writer. (Alexis today never speaks about Scientology.)

But then, 1951 was a disaster as Hubbard and Sara went through a nasty split that was played out in local newspapers.

He was soon seeing Mary Sue Whipp, who would become his third wife in 1952, and their marriage produced four more children — Diana, Quentin, Suzette, and Arthur, three of whom are still alive today.

But what was Hubbard up to in 1949?

By then he was married to Sara, his second wife, and his divorce from Polly was final. They had been moving around the country while Ron pecked away at his manuscript for what would become Dianetics.

In April 1949, Miller tells us, Ron and Sara moved to Bay Head, New Jersey, where Ron’s Astounding editor John Campbell had found them a house rental by the sea. Campbell was hoping the stability would enable Ron to get his book finished.

But that same month, Lawrence Wright and his researcher Lauren Wolf found, Ron wrote to his old friend Robert Heinlein and said he was moving “indefinitely” to Washington DC.

How was he doing both? Living with Sara on the New Jersey shore and finishing up Dianetics, while also living in DC? (Lauren thinks the move to Bay Head might have happened a little later, in June.)


We don’t know the answers to those questions, but we only know what the documentary record shows, as found by Lauren Wolf.

On May 18, 1949, Hubbard, 38, took out a marriage license as he intended to marry a 26-year-old woman named Ann Jensen.

The next day, May 19, there’s a notation that the license was “cancelled at the request of Bride.”

But who was Ann Jensen, why did Ron think he could marry her while he was already married to Sara, and why did she think twice about it?

Lauren tells us that the only thing she could find about Ann Jensen was that she had, at some point, worked for the US State Department. But otherwise the trail went cold.

Fortunately for us, our helper who dives into newspaper archives and other databases hit paydirt once again, and we were able to piece together more about this fascinating woman.

Ann Marie Jensen had spent World War 2 as a cryptographer, encoding and decoding highly sensitive war dispatches at US embassies around Europe.

Her sister, JoAnn Jurries, tells us about hearing her older sister tell tales about sitting in the belly of a warplane as it shuttled her from Scandinavia to London, hoping it wasn’t shot down.

“She lived an interesting life,” JoAnn says.

After the war, she and Ron met, but JoAnn doesn’t remember how that happened.

“We all heard the story that he proposed to her. And it was announced in the paper,” she says.

Announced in the newspaper?


We also don’t know why Ann got cold feet. Could it have been that she realized that Ron was already married?


“Could be. I don’t know,” JoAnn told us.

As Lawrence Wright pointed out, Ann Jensen then disappeared from Ron Hubbard’s life. But her own life was only beginning.

After her experience as a cryptographer, Ann turned to writing fiction, and became a well known and successful writer of children’s tales, selling hundreds of stories to Highlights for Children.

Choosing the right genre in which to write is often a beginning author’s biggest hurdle.

For a woman who was once a cryptographer in Europe for the U.S. Department of State, the choice would seem logical. Espionage and murder mysteries, of course.

But Ann Devendorf opted for children’s stories.

…An unassuming, soft-spoken woman who occasionally puffs quickly on a cigarette, Devendorf dislikes discussing her experiences in Finland as a cryptographer after the Russians took the country in 1945. “It was a bad time,” is all she will say.

Her eyes light up, however, when she recalls her assignment in Copenhagen, Denmark, several months later.

“Oh, that was party time,” she says. “The war in Europe was over and the Danes wanted to celebrate. There were so many parties,” she remembers, sighing, “one right after the other.” (North County Tribune, April 7, 1988)

Doesn’t Ann sound like the best? And she’s fortunate that she blew off Ron when she did, we figure.

She was the second of ten children, the oldest girl, and her younger sister JoAnn was one of three triplets. “We were 8, 9, and 10,” she says.

We were hoping that Ann, who died in Paso Robles in 2000, might have left behind some written record of her experiences in 1949, when Hubbard had tried to marry her. Her husband, Byron Devendorf, died just a few years ago, and they left behind a daughter who lives in Southern California but who hasn’t answered our entreaties.

Fortunately, we managed to reach JoAnn in Arizona, but she says she doesn’t know about any papers left behind by her sister.

Well, we hope some other members of her family might have something for us. We’ll keep trying!



Technology Cocktail

“If a security check or problems intensive was producing no results, it was because the auditor could not read an emeter.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1961



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 as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see


[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner [37] Karen Pressley [38] Steve Cannane [39] Fredrick Brennan [40] Clarissa Adams [41] Louise Shekter [42] John Sweeney [43] Tory Christman [44] Kate Bornstein [45] Christian Stolte [46] Mark Bunker [47] Jon Atack [48] Luke Y. Thompson [49] Mark Ebner [50] Bruce Hines [51] Spanky Taylor and Karen Pressley [51] Geoff and Robbie Levin [52] Sands Hall [53] Jonny Jacobsen [54] Sandy Holeman


Source Code

“Today we’re processing the present. We’re processing energy flow — live energy flow — in present time. We’re processing ‘right now.’ And ‘right now’ gets affected by ‘then,’ just as you learned in the first book and just as you learned in subsequent publications, and all you’ve been practicing to date. ‘Then’ affects ‘now.’ But all you will have to process, really, to get rid of ‘then,’ is ‘now.’ So you can process ‘now.’” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 21, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“The WHY we face now is absence of recruiting, lack of full hats with checksheets and packs. The why of that was failure to make the materials filed accessibly and collateable. So it’s a snake eats its tail. No hats then brought a condition of no data available in files. A true dwindling spiral. And no hats traces to the introduction of Ethics into HCOs and that it is easier to assign a condition than to compile or checkout a hat. Hats went out when Ethics came strongly in. Without Ethics in HCO, HCO can only make stats recover by org form and hats. Ethics has a role — after all else fails. But hats and Ethics can’t belong in the same Division.” — The Commodore, September 21, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“American independents were indoctrinated into believing that the Galactic Confederacy is fairy tales. And that Galactic Patrol stories are as dangerous as Ebola.”



Past is Prologue

1998: Bruce Pettycrew reported this week that Scientology has obtained a restraining order which prevents him from picketing the org in Mesa, Arizona. “The Arizona branch of the Co$ is again attempting to deprive me of my right to free speech by abuse of the court system. This time they have an injunction from the Mesa, AZ municipal court. Needless to say, I will get this quashed and I will be seeking significant sanctions for this attempt to use the municipal court to impose a restriction that was already denied by the Superior Court of Arizona. I picket about once a week with a sign that says ‘scientology lies’ and ‘scientology hurts people’ At the municipal court level and with the lies contained in the document, these TROs are issued almost automatically. The Superior Court refused to issue an injunction without a hearing and refused to stop my picketing under the same law. That is why I am certain to get this quashed. The OSA representative lied on the petition.”


Random Howdy

“I wish that the OSA or their private dickheads would show up were I live because I live in the toughest building on the toughest street in my city. The cops are afraid to come in here. Also, I am much beloved by the denizens.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Found guilty on two counts on May 31, remanded to custody. Sentencing on Sep 7.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Trial scheduled for August 15.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, first hearing set for Dec 4.
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Forced to arbitration. Plaintiffs allowed interlocutory appeal to Eleventh Circuit.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place at least through sentencing of Masterson on Sep 7. Next hearing set for Sept 26.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Next hearing Nov 6.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Ordered to mediation.



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] What is this ‘Substack’ thing anyway, and what’s going on at the Underground Bunker?
[TWO years ago] A very brief note on Tom Cruise and his daughter Suri
[THREE years ago] SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS, Episode 6: Dirty tricks are a sacrament in this ‘church’
[FOUR years ago] The new ‘Freewinds’: Founder L. Ron Hubbard says Scientology is ‘supermagic’!
[FIVE years ago] Is David Miscavige making changes to Scientology to fend off media glare?
[SIX years ago] Federal judge says he has the Scientologists for a justice panel, but Garcias say, ‘not so fast’
[SEVEN years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology’s secret ranch where L. Ron Hubbard departed this Earth
[EIGHT years ago] United Kingdom sees Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’ tonight on Sky Atlantic
[NINE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Turning begging for cash into an art form
[TEN years ago] FEAR: Jon Atack on Scientology’s Essential Ingredient
[TWELVE years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin


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 3,159 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,674 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,224 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,214 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,095 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,399 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,270 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,375 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,822 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,164 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,730 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,649 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,816 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,398 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,659 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,695 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,411 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,975 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,290 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,465 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,016 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,147 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,485 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,340 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,459 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,815 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,118 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,224 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,622 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,498 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,063 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,576 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,830 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,939 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 21, 2023 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, 1995-2022 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2022), 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


Tony Ortega at Rolling Stone


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