Dianetics Author Crazy, Wife Charges
April 23, 1951
Torture, kidnapping and bigamy charges today were made by his wife against L. Ron Hubbard, 35, fabulous leader of Los Angeles' "Dianetics" cult.
Mrs. Sara Northrup Hubbard, 25, daughter of a wealthy Pasadena family, charged in suing Hubbard for divorce that "he is hopelessly insane and crazy."
She expressed fear for the life of their daughter, aged 131/2 months, victim of an alleged kidnapping by Hubbard and Richard B. DeMille, son of Producer Cecil B. DeMille.
She also charged Hubbard, head of the $1,000,000 Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation, 2300 S Hoover St., "repeatedly subjected her to systematic torture."
It included "loss of sleep, beatings, strangulation and scientific torture experiments," the young wife declared in action filed in Superior Court by Atty. Caryl Warner.
Following one ordeal of torture, the suit charged, Mrs. Hubbard was hospitalized for five days and kept under guard by her husband, who, she said, had been diagnosed as insane by competent psychiatrists.
Mrs. Hubbard also accused her husband of marrying her bigamously Aug. 10,1946, and asked $500,000 damages if the court proves her bigamy charges true.
Hubbard, head of a new psychology whose followers practice self-analysis, "dominated her physically, mentally and emotionally," her suit alleges. It quoted Hubbard as telling her once:
"I do not want to be an American husband. I can buy my friends whenever I want them.''
He "further said that he did not want to be married, yet divorce was impossible for a divorce would hurt his reputation," the suit charges, "and that she should kill herself if she really loved him."
Mrs. Hubbard declared her 131/2 -month-old daughter, Alexis Valery, was "abducted from her crib" last Feb. 23 by Hubbard and Frank B Dressier, a "Dianetics" associate, and hidden from her by them and DeMille.
Her suit detailed a nightmare incident at 1 a.m. the following day in which Mrs. Hubbard allegedly was "dragged out of bed attired in a nightgown" by Hubbard, DeMille and Dressler.
"By use of threats, strangulation, torture and false promises to return her child," the suit said "they carried and kidnapped her to Yuma, Arizona."
Hubbard is still in Yuma and the child-"if alive"-is in hiding under an assumed name in West Los Angeles, Mrs. Hubbard charged.
"Even now she would not bare the truth to the world," the suit declared, "except for the compelling advice of [her] attorney that she tell the truth, for the truth will bring back her baby, if alive."
In torturing her, Mrs. Hubbard said, her husband once kept her awake in their Hollywood apartment for 96 hours, then gave her an overdose of sedatives which resulted in her hospitalization for five days.
On another occasion, she declared, Hubbard caused her "serious personal injury" by starting up the car "intentionally" as she alighted from it.
"By reason of the foregoing crazy misconduct of Hubbard," the suit said, "she is in hourly fear for both the lives of herself and her infant daughter."
Seeking divorce, annulment or separate maintenance, the suit also asked the court to compel Hubbard to submit to psychiatric examination. Competent psychiatrists, the suit declared, already have recommended that he be confined "for treatment of a mental ailment known as paranoid schizophrenia."
The suit charged Hubbard "frequently" strangled his wife and that shortly after last Christmas "he violently strangled her and sadistically ruptured the Eustachian tube in her left ear, resulting in an impairment of hearing."
Hubbard kidnapped the child and abducted his wife to Yuma, she said, when he learned that she had informed his superiors in the "Dianetics" cult of his mental condition.
Mrs. Hubbard's 12-page
complaint identified Hubbard's previous wife as Margaret Grubb Hubbard,
of Bremerton, Washington, whom he divorced December 24, 1947, in Port
Orchard, Washington, over a year after his present marriage began.