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Sara Northrup Hollister

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Sara Northrup Hollister
Sara Northrup.jpg
Sara "Betty" Northrup Hollister
Born (1924-04-08)April 8, 1924
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Died December 19, 1997(1997-12-19) (aged 73)
Hadley, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s) L. Ron Hubbard (1946–51)
Miles Hollister (1951–97)
Children 1 (Alexis Valerie)

Sara Elizabeth Bruce Northrup Hollister (April 8, 1924 – December 19, 1997)[1] was the second wife of L. Ron Hubbard, from 1946 to 1951, and wife of Miles Hollister from 1951 to her death in 1997.[2] She had one daughter, Alexis Valerie, fathered by Hubbard in 1948.

Sara Northrup was a major figure in the Pasadena branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), a society founded by the English occultist Aleister Crowley. From 1941 to 1945 she had a turbulent relationship with John Whiteside Parsons, the head of the Pasadena OTO, who was married to her sister Helen. Although she was a committed member of the OTO, to whom she was known as "Soror [Sister] Cassap", she acquired a reputation for disruptiveness that prompted Crowley to denounce her as a "vampire".

She began a relationship with L. Ron Hubbard, whom she met through the OTO, in 1945. It led to the couple eloping with a substantial amount of Parsons' life savings and marrying bigamously a year later while Hubbard was still married to his first wife Margaret Grubb. Sara played a significant role in the development of Dianetics, Hubbard's "modern science of mental health", between 1948 and 1951, during which time she was Hubbard's personal auditor and one of the seven members of the Dianetics Foundation's Board of Directors, alongside Hubbard himself. However, their marriage broke up in extremely acrimonious circumstances amid accusations of kidnapping and Communist plots, which prompted lurid headlines in the Los Angeles newspapers. She subsequently married one of Hubbard's former employees, Miles Hollister, and moved to Hawaii and later Massachusetts.

Early life[edit]

She was one of five children born to Olga Nelson, the daughter of a Swedish immigrant to the United States. Her older sister Helen and two other sisters were fathered by Thomas Cowley, an Englishman working for the Standard Oil Company in Chicago, Illinois. After he died in 1920, her mother married Burton Northrup, a traveling salesman, and gave birth to Sara and another sister, Nancy. In 1923 the family moved to Pasadena, a destination said to have been chosen by Olga using a Oujia board.[3] Although she later remembered her childhood with warmth, Sara's upbringing was marred by her sexually abusive father, who was imprisoned in 1928 for financial fraud.[4] In 1933, at the age of 22, her sister Helen met the 18-year-old Jack Parsons, a brilliant chemist who went on to be a noted rocket scientist and an avid student and practitioner of the occult. They were engaged in July 1934[5] and married in April 1935.[3]

Relationship with Jack Parsons[edit]

Jack Parsons in 1938

Parsons' interest in the occult led in 1939 to him and Helen joining the Pasadena branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). When Parsons' father died, the couple moved into his old home at 1003 South Orange Avenue, Pasadena, with the sixteen-year-old Sara moving in with them while she finished high school. Sara also joined the OTO in 1941, at Parsons' urging, and was given the title of Soror [Sister] Cassap.[2] She soon rose to the rank of a second degree member, or "Magician", of the OTO.[6]

In June 1941, at the age of seventeen, she began a passionate affair with Parsons while her sister Helen was away on vacation. She made a striking impression on the other lodgers at 1003 South Orange Avenue; George Pendle describes her as "feisty and untamed, proud and self-willed, she stood five foot nine, had a lithe body and blond hair, and was extremely candid – she often claimed to have lost her virginity at the age of ten." When Helen returned, she found Sara wearing Helen's own clothes and calling herself Parsons' "new wife." Not surprisingly this led to conflict, though such conduct was expressly permitted by the OTO, which followed Crowley's disdain of marriage as a "detestable institution" and accepted as commonplace the swapping of wives and partners between OTO members.[7]

Although both were committed OTO members, the reactions of Parsons and Helen towards Sara were markedly different. Parsons told Helen to her face that he preferred Sara sexually: "This is a fact that I can do nothing about. I am better suited to her temperamentally – we get on well. Your character is superior. You are a greater person. I doubt that she would face what you have with me – or support me as well."[8] Some years later, addressing himself as "You", Parsons told himself that his affair with Sara (whom he called Betty) marked a key step in his growth as a practitioner of magick: "Betty served to affect a transference from Helen at a critical period ... Your passion for Betty also gave you the magical force needed at the time, and the act of adultery tinged with incest, served as your magical confirmation in the law of Thelema."[8] Helen was far less sanguine, writing in her diary of "the sore spot I carried where my heart should be", and had furious – sometimes violent – rows with both Parsons and Sara. She began an affair with Wilfred Smith, Parsons' mentor in the OTO[8] and had a son in 1943 who bore Parsons' surname but who was almost certainly fathered by Smith.[8] Sara also became pregnant but had an (illegal) abortion on April 1, 1943, arranged by Parsons and carried out by Dr. Zachary Taylor Malaby, a prominent Pasadena doctor and Democratic politician.[9]

Sara's hostility towards other members of the OTO caused further tensions in the house, which were communicated by others back to Aleister Crowley in England. He dubbed her "the alley-cat" after an unnamed mutual acquaintance told him that Jack's attraction to her was like "a yellow pup bumming around with his snout glued to the rump of an alley-cat." Concluding that she was a vampire, which he defined as "an elemental or demon in the form of a woman" who sought to "lure the Candidate to his destruction," he warned that Sara was a grave danger to Jack and to the "Great Work" which the OTO was carrying out in California.[10]

Similar concerns were expressed by other OTO members. The OTO's US head, Karl Germer, labeled her "an ordeal sent by the gods". Her disruptive behavior appalled Fred Gwynn, a new OTO member living in the commune at 1003 South Orange Avenue: "Betty went to almost fantastical lengths to disrupt the meetings [of the OTO] that Jack did get together. If she could not break it up by making social engagements with key personnel she, and her gang, would go out to a bar and keep calling in asking for certain people to come to the telephone."[11]

Relationship with L. Ron Hubbard[edit]

L. Ron Hubbard in 1950

In August 1945, Sara met L. Ron Hubbard for the first time. He had visited 1003 South Orange Avenue at the behest of Lou Goldstone, a well-known science-fiction illustrator, while on leave from his service in the US Navy. Parsons took an immediate liking to Hubbard and invited him to stay in the house for the duration of his leave.[12] To Parsons' dismay, Hubbard soon began an affair with Sara after beginning "affairs with one girl after another in the house." Parsons tried to put a brave face on it, informing Aleister Crowley:

About three months ago I met Captain L. Ron Hubbard, a writer and explorer of whom I had known for some time … He is a gentleman; he has red hair, green eyes, is honest and intelligent, and we have become great friends. He moved in with me about two months ago, and although Betty and I are still friendly, she has transferred her sexual affection to Ron.

I think I have made a great gain and as Betty and I are the best of friends, there is little loss. I cared for her rather deeply but I have no desire to control her emotions, and I can, I hope, control my own. I need a magical partner. I have many experiments in mind.[13]

Despite the tensions between them, Hubbard, Sara and Parsons agreed at the start of 1946 that they would go into business together, buying yachts on the East Coast and sailing them to California to sell at a profit. They set up a business partnership on January 15, 1946 under the name of "Allied Enterprises", with Parsons putting up $20,000 of capital, Hubbard adding $1,200 and Sara contributing nothing.[14] Hubbard and Sara left for Florida towards the end of April, taking with him $10,000 drawn from the Allied Enterprises account to fund the purchase of the partnership's first yacht. Weeks passed without word from Hubbard. Louis Culling, another OTO member, wrote to Karl Germer to explain the situation:

As you may know by this time, Brother John signed a partnership agreement with this Ron and Betty whereby all money earned by the three for life is equally divided between the three. As far as I can ascertain, Brother John has put in all of his money ... Meanwhile, Ron and Betty have bought a boat for themselves in Miami for about $10,000 and are living the life of Riley, while Brother John is living at Rock Bottom, and I mean Rock Bottom. It appears that originally they never secretly intended to bring this boat around to the California coast to sell at a profit, as they told Jack, but rather to have a good time on it on the east coast.[15]

Germer informed Crowley, who wrote back to opine: "It seems to me on the information of our brethren in California that Parsons has got an illumination in which he has lost all his personal independence. From our brother's account he has given away both his girl and his money. Apparently it is the ordinary confidence trick." [15]

Parsons initially attempted to obtain redress through magical means, carrying out a "Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram" to curse Hubbard and Sara. He credited it with causing the couple to abort an attempt to evade him:

Hubbard attempted to escape me by sailing at 5 P.M., and I performed a full evocation to Bartzabel [the spirit of Mars or War] within the circle at 8 P.M. At the same time, so far as I can check, his ship was struck by a sudden squall off the coast, which ripped off his sails and forced him back to port, where I took the boat in custody... Here I am in Miami pursuing the children of my folly; they cannot move without going to jail. However I am afraid that most of the money has already been dissipated.[16]

Parsons subsequently resorted to more conventional means of obtaining redress and sued them on July 1 in the Circuit Court for Dade County. His lawsuit accused Ron and Sara of breaking the terms of their partnership, dissipating the assets and attempting to abscond. The case was settled out of court eleven days later, with Hubbard and Sara agreeing to refund some of Parsons' money while keeping a yacht, the Harpoon, for themselves.[17] Sara was able to dissuade Parsons from pressing his case by threatening to expose their past relationship, which had begun when she was under the legal age of consent.[18]

The boat was soon sold to ease the couple's shortage of cash and in August 1946, Hubbard proposed marriage to Sara. They were married on August 10, 1946 at Chestertown, Maryland. It was not until several years later that Sara discovered that Hubbard had never been divorced from his first wife, Margaret "Polly" Grubb; the marriage was bigamous. Ironically, the wedding took place only 30 miles from the town where Hubbard had married his first wife thirteen years previously.[19]

The couple moved repeatedly over the following year – first to Laguna Beach, California,[20] then to Santa Catalina Island, California,[21] New York City,[22] Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania[23] and ultimately to Hubbard's first wife's home at South Colby, Washington. Polly Hubbard had filed for divorce on the grounds of desertion and non-support, and was not even aware that Hubbard was living with Sara, let alone that he had married her. The arrival of Hubbard and Sara three weeks after the divorce was filed scandalized Hubbard's family, who deeply disapproved of his treatment of Polly. The couple moved to a rented trailer in North Hollywood in July 1947, where Hubbard spent much of his time writing science-fiction stories for pulp magazines.

After Hubbard was convicted of petty theft in San Luis Obispo in August 1948,[24] the couple moved again to Savannah, Georgia.[25] Hubbard told his friend Forrest J. Ackerman that he had acquired a Dictaphone machine which Sara was "beating out her wits on" transcribing not only fiction but his book on the "cause and cure of nervous tension".[26] This eventually became the first draft of Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which marked the foundation of Dianetics and ultimately of Scientology.

The Dianetics years[edit]

Hubbard conducting a Dianetics seminar in 1950

The final version of Dianetics was written at Bay Head, New Jersey in a cottage which the science fiction editor John W. Campbell had found for the Hubbards. Sara, who was beginning a pregnancy, was said to have been delighted with the location. In three years of marriage to Hubbard, she had set up home in seven different states and had never stayed in one place for more than a few months.[27] She gave birth on March 8, 1950 to a daughter, Alexis Valerie. A month later Sara was made a director of the newly established Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, an organization founded to disseminate knowledge of Dianetics. The Hubbards moved to a new house in Elizabeth to be near the Foundation.[28] Sara became Hubbard's personal auditor (Dianetic counselor)[29] and was hailed by him as one of the first Dianetic "Clears".[30]

Dianetics became an immediate bestseller when it was published in May 1950. Only two months later, over 55,000 copies had been sold and 500 Dianetics groups had been set up across the United States.[31] The Dianetics Foundation was making a huge amount of money, but problems were already evident: money was pouring out as fast as it was coming in, due to lax financial management. By October, the Foundation's financial affairs had reached a crisis point. According to his public relations assistant, Barbara Kaye, Hubbard became increasingly paranoid and authoritarian due to "political and organizational problems with people grabbing for power."[32] He began an affair with the twenty-year-old Kaye, much to the annoyance of Sara, who was clearly aware of the liaison.[33] One evening he arranged a double-date with his wife and Kaye, who was accompanied by Miles Hollister, an instructor in the Los Angeles Dianetic Foundation. The dinner party backfired drastically; Sara began an affair with Hollister, a handsome 22-year-old who was college-educated and a noted sportsman.[34]

The marriage broke down rapidly in the following months. Sara and Hubbard had violent rows, sending Hubbard into a depression. Kaye recalled later that "he was very down in the dumps about his wife. He told me how he had met Sara. He said he went to a party and got drunk and when he woke up in the morning he found Sara was in bed with him. He was having a lot of problems with her. I remember he said to me I was the only person he knew who would set up a white silk tent for him. I was rather surprised when we were driving back to LA on Sunday evening, he stopped at a florist to buy some flowers for his wife."[34] In November 1950, Sara attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills. He blamed Kaye for the suicide bid and summarily dismissed her from the Foundation.[35]

Hubbard attempted to patch up the marriage in January 1951 by inviting Sara and baby Alexis to Palm Springs, California where he had rented a house.[36] The situation soon became tense again; Richard de Mille, son of the famous director Cecil B. de Mille, recalled that "there was a lot of turmoil and dissension in the Foundation at the time; he kept accusing Communists of trying to take control and he was having difficulties with Sara. It was clear their marriage was breaking up – she was very critical of him and he told me she was fooling around with Hollister and he didn't trust her." She left Palm Springs on February 3, leaving Hubbard to complain that Sara "had hypnotized him in his sleep and commanded him not to write."[37]

Letter sent by L. Ron Hubbard to the FBI on March 3, 1951, denouncing his wife and her lover as Communists.

Three weeks later, Hubbard abducted both Sara and Alexis with the aid of two of his Dianetics Foundation staff. In the early hours of February 25, Sara was bundled into the back of a car and driven to San Bernardino, California, where Hubbard attempted to find a doctor to examine his wife and declare her insane. His search was unsuccessful and he released her at Yuma Airport across the state line in Arizona. He promised that he would tell her where Alexis was if she signed a piece of paper saying that she had gone with him voluntarily. Sara agreed but Hubbard instead flew to Chicago, where he found a psychologist who wrote a favorable report about his mental condition to refute Sara's accusations.[29] He subsequently returned to the Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. There he wrote a letter informing the FBI that Sara and her lover Miles Hollister – whom he had fired from the Foundation's staff and, according to Hollister, had threatened with death[38] – were among fifteen "known or suspected Communists" in his organization.[39] He listed them as:

SARA NORTHRUP (HUBBARD): formerly of 1003 S. Orange Grove Avenue, Pasadena, Calif. 25 yrs. of age, 5'10", 140 lbs. Currently missing somewhere in California. Suspected only. Had been friendly with many Communists. Currently intimate with them but evidently under coercion. Drug addiction set in fall 1950. Nothing of this known to me until a few weeks ago. Separation papers being filed and divorce applied for.

MILES HOLLISTER: Somewhere in the vicinity of Los Angeles. Evidently a prime mover but very young. About 22 yrs, 6', 180 lbs. Black hair. Sharp chin, broad forehead, rather Slavic. Confessedly a member of the Young Communists. Center of most turbulence in our organization. Dissmissed [sic] in February when affiliations discovered. Active and dangerous. Commonly armed. Outspokenly disloyal to the U.S.[40]

In another letter sent in March, Hubbard told the FBI that Sara was a Communist and a drug addict, and offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could resolve Sara's problems through the application of Dianetics techniques.[41]

Sara filed a kidnapping complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department on her return home but was rebuffed by the police, who dismissed the affair as a mere domestic dispute.[42] She finally filed suit at the Los Angeles Superior Court in April 1951, demanding the return of Alexis. The dispute immediately became front-page news: the newspapers ran headlines such as "Cult Founder Accused of Tot Kidnap", "'Dianetic' Hubbard Accused of Plot to Kidnap Wife", "Hiding of Baby Charged to Dianetics Author".[43] Hubbard fled to Havana, Cuba, where he wrote a letter to Sara:

Dear Sara,

I have been in the Cuban military hospital and I am being transferred to the United States next week as a classified scientist immune from interference of all kinds.

Though I will be hospitalized probably a long time, Alexis is getting excellent care. I see her every day. She is all I have to live for.

My wits never gave way under all you did and let them do but my body didn't stand up. My right side is paralyzed and getting more so. I hope my heart lasts. I may live a long time and again I may not. But Dianetics will last 10,000 years – for the Army and Navy have it now.

My Will is all changed. Alexis will get a fortune unless she goes to you as she would then get nothing. Hope to see you once more. Goodbye – I love you.


In reality, the very much un-paralyzed Hubbard had made an unsuccessful request for assistance from the US military attaché to Havana. The attaché did not act on the request; having asked the FBI for background information, he was told that Hubbard had been interviewed but the "agent conducting interview considered Hubbard to be [a] mental case."[43]

Sara filed for divorce on April 23, charging Hubbard with causing her "extreme cruelty, great mental anguish and physical suffering". Her allegations produced more lurid headlines: not only was Hubbard accused of bigamy and kidnapping, but she had been subjected to "systematic torture, including loss of sleep, beatings, and strangulations and scientific experiments". Because of his "crazy misconduct" she was in "hourly fear of both the life of herself and of her infant daughter, who she has not seen for two months". She had consulted doctors who "concluded that said Hubbard was hopelessly insane, and, crazy, and that there was no hope for said Hubbard, or any reason for her to endure further; that competent medical advisers recommended that said Hubbard be committed to a private sanitarium for psychiatric observation and treatment of a mental ailment known as paranoid schizophrenia."[45]

In May 1951, Sara filed a further complaint against Hubbard, accusing him of having fled to Cuba to evade the divorce papers that she was seeking to serve. By that time, however, he had moved to Wichita, Kansas. Sara's attorney filed another petition asking for Hubbard's assets to be frozen as he had been found "hiding" in Wichita "but that he would probably leave town upon being detected". Hubbard, for his part, wrote to the FBI to further denounce Sara as a Communist secret agent. He accused Communists of destroying his business, ruining his health and withholding material of interest to the US Government. His misfortunes had been caused by "a woman known as Sara Elizabeth Northrup . . . whom I believed to be my wife, having married her and then, after some mix-up about a divorce, believed to be my wife in common law."[46] He accused Sara of having conspired in a bid to assassinate him and described how he had found love letters to his wife from Miles Hollister, a "member of the Young Communists." Her real motive in filing for divorce, he claimed, was to seize control of Dianetics. He urged the FBI to start a "round-up" of "vermin Communists or ex-Communists", starting with Sara, and declared:

I believe this woman to be under heavy duress. She was born into a criminal atmosphere, her father having a criminal record. Her half-sister was an inmate of an insane asylum. She was part of a free love colony in Pasadena. She had attached herself to a Jack Parsons, the rocket expert, during the war and when she left him he was a wreck. Further, through Parsons, she was strangely intimate with many scientists of Los Alamo Gordos [Alamogordo in New Mexico was where the first atomic bomb was tested]. I did not know or realize these things until I myself investigated the matter. She may have a record . . . Perhaps in your criminal files or on the police blotter of Pasadena you will find Sara Elizabeth Northrop, age about 26, born April 8, 1925, about 5'9", blond-brown hair, slender . . . I have no revenge motive nor am I trying to angle this broader than it is. I believe she is under duress, that they have something on her and I believe that under a grilling she would talk and turn state's evidence.[47]

Fortunately for Sara – as it was the peak of the McCarthyite "Red Scare" – Hubbard's allegations were apparently ignored by the FBI, which filed his letter but took no further action. In June 1951, she finally secured the return of Alexis by agreeing to cancel her receivership action and divorce suit in California in return for a divorce 'guaranteed by L. Ron Hubbard'. In return, she signed a statement, evidently written by Hubbard himself, retracting the allegations that she had made against him:

I, Sara Northrup Hubbard, do hereby state that the things I have said about L. Ron Hubbard in courts and the public prints have been grossly exaggerated or entirely false.

I have not at any time believed otherwise than that L. Ron Hubbard is a fine and brilliant man.

I make this statement of my own free will for I have begun to realize that what I have done may have injured the science of Dianetics, which in my studied opinion may be the only hope of sanity in future generations.

I was under enormous stress and my advisers insisted it was necessary for me to carry through an action as I have done.

There is no other reason for this statement than my own wish to make atonement for the damage I may have done. In the future I wish to lead a quiet and orderly existence with my little girl far away from the enturbulating influences which have ruined my marriage.

Sara Northrup Hubbard.[48]

Interviewed more than 35 years later, Sara stated that she had signed the statement because "I thought by doing so he would leave me and Alexis alone. It was horrible. I just wanted to be free of him!"[49]

On June 12, Hubbard was awarded a divorce in the County Court of Sedgwick County, Kansas on the basis of Sara's "gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty", which had caused him "nervous breakdown and impairment to health." She did not give evidence but left Wichita as soon as Alexis was returned to her.[50] Speaking to Scientologists around this time, Hubbard blamed shadowy outside forces for the bad publicity: "We have just been through the saw mill, through the public presses. Every effort was made to butcher my personal reputation. A young girl is nearly dead because of this effort. My wife Sara."[51]

Life after Hubbard[edit]

After divorcing Hubbard, Sara married Miles Hollister and bought a house in Malibu, California.[52] For his part, Hubbard sought to disavow Sara. In his October 1951 work The Dianetics Axioms, he explained his marital problems as being entirely the fault of Sara:

The money and glory inherent in Dianetics was entirely too much for those with whom I had the bad misfortune to associate myself ... including a woman who had represented herself as my wife and who had been cured of severe psychosis by Dianetics, but who, because of structural brain damage would evidently never be entirely sane. ... Fur coats, Lincoln cars and a young man without any concept of honor so far turned the head of the woman who had been associated with me that on discovery of her affairs, she and these others, hungry for money and power, sought to take over and control all of Dianetics.[53]

Hubbard during his 1968 British television interview, asserting that he "never had a second wife".

Many years later, one of his followers, Virginia Downsborough, recalled that during the mid-1960s he "talked a lot about Sara Northrup and seemed to want to make sure that I knew he had never married her. I didn't know why it was so important to him; I'd never met Sara and I couldn't have cared less, but he wanted to persuade me that the marriage had never taken place. When he talked about his first wife, the picture he put out of himself was of this poor wounded fellow coming home from the war and being abandoned by his wife and family because he would be a drain on them."[54] His desire to write Sara out of his life story was evident in a 1968 interview with the British broadcaster Granada Television, in which he denied that he had had a second wife in between his first, Margaret, and the present one, Mary Sue:[55]

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."

INTERVIEWER: "What happened to your second wife?"

HUBBARD: "I never had a second wife." [56]

Granada's reporter commented: "What Hubbard said happens to be untrue. It's an unimportant detail but he's had three wives... What is important is that his followers were there as he lied, but no matter what the evidence they don't believe it."[57] To this day, Church of Scientology biographies of Hubbard's life do not mention either of his first two wives.[58]

Hubbard also rewrote the account of why he had been involved with Jack Parsons and the OTO in the first place. After the British Sunday Times newspaper published an exposé of Hubbard's membership of the OTO in October 1969, the newspaper printed a statement by the Church of Scientology that asserted:

Hubbard broke up black magic in America... L. Ron Hubbard was still an officer of the US Navy because he was well known as a writer and a philosopher and had friends amongst the physicists, he was sent in to handle the situation. He went to live at the house and investigated the black magic rites and the general situation and found them very bad. Hubbard’s mission was successful far beyond anyone’s expectations. The house was torn down. Hubbard rescued a girl they were using. The black magic group was dispersed and destroyed and has never recovered.[59]

By 1970, Sara and Hollister had moved to Maui, Hawaii. Sara's daughter Alexis, who was by now twenty-one years old, attempted to contact her father but was rebuffed in a handwritten statement in which Hubbard denied that he was her father: "Your mother was with me as a secretary in Savannah in late 1948 . . . In July 1949 I was in Elizabeth, New Jersey, writing a movie. She turned up destitute and pregnant." He claimed that Sara had been a Nazi spy during the war and accused her and Hollister of using the divorce case to seize control of Dianetics: "They obtained considerable newspaper publicity, none of it true, and employed the highest priced divorce attorney in the US to sue me for divorce and get the foundation in Los Angeles in settlement. This proved a puzzle since where there is no legal marriage, there can't be any divorce."[60]

Neither Sara nor Alexis made any further attempt to contact Hubbard. Sara broke her silence briefly in 1972 to write to Paulette Cooper, the author of The Scandal of Scientology. She told Cooper that Hubbard was a dangerous lunatic, and that although her own life had been transformed when she left him, she was still afraid both of him and of his followers[61] whom she later described as looking "like Mormons, but with bad complexions."[62]

In June 1986, following Hubbard's death, the Church of Scientology and Alexis agreed a financial settlement under which she was compelled not to write or speak on the subject of L. Ron Hubbard and her relationship to him. An attempt was made to have her sign an affidavit stating that she was in fact the daughter of L. Ron Hubbard's first son, L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.[63] Sara herself did not comment publicly on her former husband until she was interviewed in July 1986 by ex-Scientologist Bent Corydon several months after Hubbard's death, which had reduced her fear of retaliation. Excerpts from the interview were published in Corydon's 1987 book, L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?.[38]


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index – Sara N Hollister
  2. ^ a b Starr, p. 254
  3. ^ a b Pendle, pp. 85–87
  4. ^ Starr, p. 235
  5. ^ Starr, p. 256
  6. ^ Starr, p. 366
  7. ^ Pendle, p. 203.
  8. ^ a b c d Pendle, p. 204.
  9. ^ Starr, p. 288 fn. 31
  10. ^ Starr, pp. 302–303
  11. ^ Pendle, p. 247
  12. ^ Miller, p. 116
  13. ^ Quoted in Miller, p. 118
  14. ^ Miller, p. 120
  15. ^ a b Quoted in Miller, p. 126
  16. ^ Corydon, p. 258
  17. ^ Miller, p. 127
  18. ^ Pendle, p. 270
  19. ^ Miller, p. 129
  20. ^ Miller, p. 131
  21. ^ Miller, p. 132
  22. ^ Miller, p. 133
  23. ^ Miller, p. 134
  24. ^ Miller, p. 142
  25. ^ Miller, p. 143
  26. ^ Miller, p. 144
  27. ^ Miller, p. 147
  28. ^ Miller, p. 152
  29. ^ a b Atack, p. 117
  30. ^ Lamont, p. 24
  31. ^ Miller, p. 161
  32. ^ Miller, p. 166
  33. ^ Miller, p. 168
  34. ^ a b Miller, p. 170
  35. ^ Miller, p. 172-3
  36. ^ Miller, p. 174
  37. ^ Miller, p. 175
  38. ^ a b Corydon, p. 287
  39. ^ Miller, pp. 177–179
  40. ^ Quoted in Miller, p. 180
  41. ^ Atack, p. 118
  42. ^ Miller, p. 179
  43. ^ a b Miller, p. 183
  44. ^ "Letter indicates Dianetics founder, baby fled to Cuba". Los Angeles Daily News. May 1, 1951. 
  45. ^ Miller, p. 184
  46. ^ Miller, p. 189
  47. ^ Quoted in Miller, p. 190-191
  48. ^ Quoted in Miller, p. 192
  49. ^ Corydon, p. 285.
  50. ^ Quoted in Miller, p. 193
  51. ^ Hubbard, L. Ron (June 1951). The Dynamics – Interior and Exterior. 
  52. ^ Quoted in Miller, p. 185
  53. ^ Hubbard, L. Ron (1951). The Dianetics Axioms. 
  54. ^ Quoted in Miller, p. 267
  55. ^ Evans, p. 27
  56. ^ Secret Lives: L. Ron Hubbard
  57. ^ The Shrinking World of L Ron Hubbard
  58. ^ UPI staff (May 21, 1982). "Official biographies of Hubbard do not mention Margaret Grubb or Sara Northrup". United Press International. 
  59. ^ "Scientology: New Light on Crowley". Sunday Times. 1969-12-28. 
  60. ^ Quoted in Miller, pp. 305–306
  61. ^ Atack, p. 122
  62. ^ Corydon, p. 294
  63. ^ Corydon, p. 290-291