“Marriage Hats” – A Rare Pamphlet Written by the Woman L Ron Hubbard Abandoned, and Published by the Church of Scientology

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Thanks to a kind contributor I have acquired a scan of a rare 36-page pamphlet, written by Mary Sue Hubbard (the third wife of L Ron Hubbard). Entitled “Marriage Hats”. It consists of ‘marriage guidance’ for Scientologists from the then ‘first lady’ of the organisation.

It’s notable for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it’s one of a very few texts that were written by someone other than L Ron Hubbard and published by the Church of Scientology. As the Church became more repressive, and  Hubbard established himself as the only source of valid information for Scientologists, these publications were withdrawn and are now rare and difficult to obtain.

Also, the author Mary Sue Hubbard (née Whipp) was, for many years, the de facto deputy leader of Scientology.  Hubbard abandoned her in 1976 when  Scientology’s “Snow White“project (which his wife organised on a day-today basis) was compromised, and went into hiding.

This project had been tasked with:

  • ‘Correcting’ US government records concerning Scientology
  • Gathering intelligence which could be used to promote Scientology’s interests using illegal means.

Mary Sue was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000 for her involvement. She served one year, and never saw her husband again.

She was not to know how badly her marriage would turn out when she wrote this pamphlet. It unselfconsciously presents the Hubbards as a model couple and shows the incredibly dated social attitudes of the Church of Scientology – an organisation which is still mired in the 1950’s.

Hats title page.pdfMary Sue: A Rare Rival to To L Ron Hubbard

The title page clearly show that this 36-page pamphlet was published by the Church of Scientology in 1974 and had received its official approval.

In the early days of Scientology there were a variety of books written about Scientology and published by the Church by authors other than L Ron Hubbard. When the organisation entered a repressive phase, all of these were all withdrawn from publication and effectively suppressed. They are now quite rare.

If you find an ‘official’ book from this period which does not list L Ron Hubbard as its author, it is probably well worth acquiring.

The convention subsequently used by the Church to revise Hubbard’s turgid writing for a modern audience is to list partly original books as, “Based on the Works of L Ron Hubbard”.

Introduction and Study Tech

misunderstood words.pdfDespite the fact that this is a brief (36-page) pamphlet, tribute must be paid to L Ron Hubbard.

It opens with an “Important Note” which describes a basic tenet of Scientology’s “Study Tech”. This claims that the only reason a person does not understand a text is that they passed over an individual word that they did not understand without looking it up in dictionary and insuring that they thoroughly understood its meaning.

For example, the word ‘abandoned’ appears in the title of this post. According to Hubbard, if you happened not to understand this word’s meaning, and passed over it to read this far, it would be impossible for you to understand anything I have written up to this point.

Passing over a ‘misunderstood word’ is considered to be a calamity by Scientologists.

Critics suggest that this doctrine functions to suppress doubt. If you don’t understand Hubbard’s writing, you are told that you must have passed by a misunderstood word – the possibility that it might be confusing because it is contradictory or wrong is not available for consideration.

This doctrine also explains the perceived need for an extensive  glossary of Scientology terms (pp 19-20) in a brief pamphlet. This is provided to ensure that only the most orthodox interpretation of the text is possible.

The Meaning of ‘Hats’ in Scientology-speak

Hubbard on Hats.pdfReaders unfamiliar with Scientology’s complex (and often ungrammatical) specialised terminology may be confused by the references to “Marriage Hats” – it’s nothing to do with the silly things that people traditionally wear on their heads during weddings.

If you find Hubbard’s definition (left) unhelpful, a ‘Hat’ in this context is simply a well-defined job role.

A new Scientologist who has (for example) been given the job of recruiting new members will will be ‘hatted’ (that it trained) for that job. while he is working at at it he will be “wearing his hat” (that it, doing the job he was trained for).

Scientology is a very compartmentalised organisation, partly due to the importance placed on members ‘wearing their hats’. If you are given a particular job, you are expected to concentrate upon this to the exclusion of all else. Offering advice, or criticising the job performance of another person is liable to get you into serious trouble for not wearing your hat &/or attempting to wear someone else’s.

This functions to insure that no individual understands very much about how the organisation functions as a whole, and helps to enforce unthinking obedience.

Scientology doctrine is supposed to be universally true – so the same ideas that are applied to the running of a Scientology Org are deemed to apply to other areas of life – even marriage.

Scientologists –  Learn From the Perfect Couple

Mary Sue familyL Ron Hubbard’s “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” opens with the famously immodest statement that,

The creation of Dianetics is a milestone for man comparable to his discovery of fire, and superior to his invention of the wheel and the arch.

Mary Sue Hubbard opens her pamphlet in a similar style

In all of man’s history there has never been a clearcut statement of the principal duties of the game of man and wife. Here, at last, one is supplied, the result of experience distilled from one very successful marriage.

It strikes me that, for as long as we have been human, couples have been subject to laws, traditions, conventions and no end of advice regarding their relationship. Of course, this pamphlet was published by the Church of Scientology, so it claims to provide the only valid guide to successful marriage in all of human history.

The “very successful marriage” which is used as the exemplar and basis for her advice is, of course, that between Lafayette Ronald and Mary Sue Hubbard. It is claimed that the text of the pamphlet was written by Mary Sue to help two anonymous Scientologists (who were presumably newly-wed) and published by popular demand after others supposedly found it so valuable that they began copying and distributing it by hand.

This kind of story seems to indicate that, during this period, the cult of personality that surrounded L Ron Hubbard extended, to some extent to his wife and family.

Back to the 50’s – Feminists Beware

traditional marriageMary Sue makes it clear that she (and, by implication, Scientology) supports a ‘traditional’  – even reactionary – concept of marriage.

Women have frequently “dumped their hat” as wife and Mother to become business-women, executives or artists. Husbands in turn have sometimes “dumped their hat”as providers and leaders of the family.

There’s little doubt where the power lies in her ideal relationship. It’s also an interesting touch that, while women “frequently dump[…] their hat” (that is, abandon their responsibilities) men only do so “sometimes“.

According to Mary Sue, optimum behaviour in a marriage is obtained by following very clearly defined rules which are provided by Scientology – including ‘disciplinary’ procedures which must be applied when there is conflict in the relationship.

It just so happens that optimum behaviour exactly corresponds to the traditional ideas about marriage apparently held by the Hubbards.

The Main Duties of a Wife /Husband

According to Mary Sue, the duties of a wife include:

Cooking and caring for the family, living within her husbands financial means, handling the household budget, shopping, cleaning, washing and ironing. The wife is also expected to “look after birth control” keep herself “[…] clean, attractive and womanly”, provide a traditional role model for the children and (above all) defer to her husband.

Above all she must bear in mind and follow Scientology practices in all family interactions.

If you think you have stumbled into a bizarre 1950’s situation comedy, wait until you hear the duties of a Husband. These include:

The provision of money, food, clothing shelter, family leadership and decision making (“His word is final”). However, he is also expected to “Be human” and occasionally provide “[..] flowers and a little surprise gift” and look after DIY,  financial  and legal matters.

The fact that the Hubbard’s marriage ended with L Ron in hiding from the law and Mary Sue in prison suggests that L Ron Hubbard may have failed to live up his responsibilities regarding legal matters.

If if all still sounds unbearably twee, it’s worth bearing in mind that it was written by the head of Scientology’s secret police – a woman who wielded considerable power over others, and organised “Snow White” the most extensive infiltration of the US Government in history.

The Sales Pitch

Books and tapes.pdfIt wouldn’t be a Scientology publication if there wasn’t a sales pitch. this pamphlet has one on its last page (34  -image right). It consists of  list of books and tape-recorded ‘lectures’ – all by L Ron Hubbard.

Other Publications By Mary Sue Hubbard

Mary Sue was also credited (at least in early editions) with compiling “The Book of E-Meter Drills” (1965)  and writing an obscure internal document – HCO PL 5 Apr 72 I “PTS Type A Handling”.

The latter deals with Church of Scientology policy which described how to deal with “Potential Trouble Sources” (PTS).

“Potential Trouble Sources” are people –  the friends &/or relatives of Scientologists who are criticising the Church, attempting to persuade them to leave or otherwise provoking doubt in the minds of believers.

Typically, the solution to this ‘problem’ is to require the Scientologist to ‘disconnect‘ from anyone designated to be PTS – that is, cut them off, and have no further contact with them whatsoever.

Despite the lightweight character of “Marriage Hats” Mary Sue was no innocent. This document demonstrates that   she was  committed to the enforcement of Scientology’s most controversial practice disconnection.

17 thoughts on ““Marriage Hats” – A Rare Pamphlet Written by the Woman L Ron Hubbard Abandoned, and Published by the Church of Scientology

  1. when i was a newly wed (1977) the:”wasband” had me read this and use it in our marriage. We are divorced 10 years now. Friday would have been our 37th anniversary. The cult told him to leave me; I am a SP.

    • When an outsider (like myself) reads this kind of document it’s easy to be distracted by the banal comedy of it, and overlook the fact that it was taken seriously by real people who attempted to apply its teachings to their lives. I doubt that ever went well.

      Although “Wedding Hats” is relatively benign, it still contains a lot of Scientology, and makes it clear that you are expected to apply Scientology ethics within a marriage… Experiences like yours show people like me that the consequences of Scientologists accepting this nonsense as holy writ were likely more unpleasant than might be expected.

        • Indeed.

          Also, I know of two very happy relationships where the the man acknowledges the better judgement of his female partner and freely defers to it in most important decisions. This works well for them, and shows that the simplistic ‘one-size-fits-all’ Hubbard approach just does not begin to accommodate the diversity of real human relationships.

          My observation is that successful relationships are marked by mutual respect and equal partnership, not blind obedience to narrow and inflexible rules.

      • And we outsiders also must note that Celebrities such as Kirstie Alley, Leah Remini,and Kelly Preston aren’t expected to follow this booklet. Of the three, Alley is divorced, and Remini had an affair with a married man (who she married after he divorced his first wife).

        It appears that following Chrurch rules is optional for celebrities.

        • Not only celebrities, of course, but Mary Sue Hubbard, too.

          Far from being a submissive helpmate for L Ron (which she advised women to be in “Marriage Hats”) Mary Sue held down an ‘executive’ post in the Guardians Office (the precursor to today’s OSA) and wielded considerable power in the Scientology bureaucracy.

          After you have got over the nonsensical content of her pamphlet, you then have to note how hypocritical her behaviour was – ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

          Of course, the Church of Scientology did not have the opportunity to show how selective its rules are in this case – the pamphlet was withdrawn from publication in 1978 after the “Snow White” storm broke and Mary Sue became just another ‘unperson’.

  2. “Offering advice, or criticising the job performance of another person is liable to get you into serious trouble for not wearing your hat &/or attempting to wear someone else’s.”

    I don’t believe this is correct. If someone isn’t doing their job properly, anyone can write a “cramming order” (requiring them to the Qualifications Dept. for retraining) or write a report or an ethics chit (i.e. Things That Should Not Be report or a Job Endangerment chit if the person’s improper actions are impacting your ability to do your own job). If the cram or report is in error, the author can expect a Dev-T chit or their own cram. OTOH, if someone orders you to do something off-policy that they think is your job, you can cram them. (This happened to me once, I crammed a higher-up to who thanked me for getting them properly educated. Those silly Scientologists!)

    Jobs are very rigidly defined, so if you can prove the person isn’t applying the proper LRH policies (and remember, *everything* is covered by LRH policy), you are encouraged to point out that there’s a problem and let Qual sort them out. This comes back to the opening statement on giving up study – if someone doesn’t do their job right, it means they had a misunderstood word in an LRH policy that applies to their job. No other reason. Because Ron knows all!

    As for wearing someone else’s hat, actually, this usually gets the *other* person in trouble. If they aren’t doing their job, you may have to bypass them and do it for them. This automatically puts that person in a condition of Danger (see Intro to Scn Ethics). If the person doesn’t step to it, they can be put in a condition of Non-Existence, The idea is that if you aren’t doing your job, you may as well not be there. OTOH if someone tries to do your job and you can prove you’re already doing it, I think you can get them for outhattedness, but I don’t remember which report/chit that is.

    • I take your point, and refer anyone interested in the details of the Scientology policy to your comment. I will let the passage in the post stand because, while it may be wrong (or, at least, incomplete) it still describes the way things work in practice.

      The function of “Admin Tech” (including the procedures which you describe) is patently not efficient administration. Neither ‘study tech’ nor the management culture which operates it are fit for this purpose.

      The formal rules require endless make-work to be done before achieving the most trivial aim (i.e. by requiring to distribute three paper memos before you can do the most trivial thing). Nonsense like this means that everyone has to keep their head down and work hard at their own job to achieve the most trivial things. As a result, ordinary members don’t get an overview of the organisation. Although they are part of the bureaucracy that run it, they don’t know (for example) how much of the money they raise goes ‘uplines’, tor how inefficient the administration is and can be impressed by news of ‘achievements’ that never actually took place.

      Also, the culture is which ‘Study Tech’ is embedded is a law unto itself. Hubbard’s rules are so complex and unclear that, in practice, the people with power can interpret them to mean whatever suits their purpose. This means that Qual are not going to be interested in efficient administration either. Like everyone else in a snitching culture they will be desperate to keep themselves out of trouble (and prepared to drop someone else in it to insure this). They will pick whatever LRH policy suits them in circumstances, whether it makes sense or not.

      ‘True believers’ might take the policies you describe seriously for a while, and try to use, believing that they are designed to make things run more smoothly. They will soon learn that these complex rules are really a tool of internal politics whose real function is to keep people obedient and in their places.

      I think that we can agree that ‘Admin Tech’s’ only functional success is to keep people in their place. As long as they keep they head down, concentrating narrowly on their particular job, they remain ignorant of the organisations overall activities.

    • “The function of “Admin Tech” … is patently not efficient administration.”

      Well… I wouldn’t entirely agree. Now, keep in mind that I worked for a WISE company, not the Co$ itself, so MMMV (the first person version of YMMV).

      The problem with Admin Tech is not necessarily make-work; in fact I found it rather efficient, because everyone is using the same set of rules. If two people disagree on how to do something, you go to the green books and obey policy.

      No, one of the primary problems with the Admin Tech is that LRH thought he knew everything about everything, when he really didn’t. Some of it is brilliant (his marketing scheme: survey people to find out what they want then tell them that you have it); some of it is foolish (managing finances week-to-week rather than drawing up a budget). We were repeatedly stymied by the inability to do some things because they weren’t allowed for in LRH policy. But we were also largely free of the BS that happens in other corporations, because original ideas were frowned upon; it was all up to LRH. Sometimes dictatorship is better than democracy.

      There were occasionally “dueling policy” issues where one person would point to one policy and another would point to a different one. LRH was nothing if not verbose.

      But I suspect the biggest problem in the Church is that policy is being ignored, particularly Standing Order #1. You can write to LRH (or your company’s Source) any time about anything, and straighten out any bullshit. I have seen this applied, much to the embarrassment of the ED. If everyone takes the Admin Tech thing seriously, it works pretty well…

      But inevitably you run into limits, and those are the limits of LRH’s competence. I suspect that is what is happening in the Church. They try to follow policy, and things eventually grind to a halt, because LRH wasn’t the business genius he thought himself to be. There is no inlet for new information, so they try to make it go right. I think you can understand 85% of Church idiocy if you read the Condition Formulas (which must be applied weekly by Church workers and Admin Tech company staffers alike). You will find the method of their madness in these steps in the Danger Formula:

      5. Reorganize the activity so that the situation does not repeat.
      6. Recommend any firm policy that will hereafter detect and/or prevent the condition from recurring.

      From the Normal Formula:

      1. Don’t change anything. The way you maintain an increase is when you are in a state of Normal Operation, you don’t change anything.
      3. Every time a statistic betters, look it over carefully and find out what bettered it. And then do that without abandoning what you were doing before. Those are the only changes you make.
      4. Every time a statistic worsens slightly, quickly find out why and remedy it.

      And from the Affluence Formula:

      4. Discover what caused the Condition of Affluence and strengthen it.

      So you see? If we harangued the crap out of our high rollers and our donations were in affluence, do it again next week. If sending guys with cameras on their heads to Marty’s house increases Marty’s annoyance, do that again too.

      Interesting discussion, and I hope my contributions are useful.

      • Your contributions are fascinating – I’m a ‘never-in’ and a large part of my motivation for writing this blog is to understand how and why people like you and me become entangled in fringe ideas to such an extent thatthey (at least) comply with them and (at most) actually become ‘true believers’. The best part of this journey has been learning from people who have been Scientologists &/or worked according to Scientology ideas.

        I would suggest your experience in a WISE company would be different to that of a Scientologist in an Org. The people who work in a commercial company are more likely to find informal ways around silly policies to get a definite, objective job done for their customer while management looks the other way. In a Scientology Org, it’s not even clear what the product of the purpose actually is, and if you ignore a counter-productive policy, you are more liable to reported by your supposed comrades. In Scientology even the sensible parts of Study tech are more likely to be used for control and internal politics than to advance the interests of the organisation.

        I can only see things like “Admin Tech” from the outside. Nevertheless, we seem to agree that the fundamental problem is that Hubbard “[…] thought he knew everything about everything”. From my perspective it seems that Scientology was a means for Hubbard to to gain daily recognition for this delusion.

        He was rejected by his first military posting thanks to the US Naval Attaché to Australia who complained that:

        […] By assuming unauthorized authority and attempting to perform duties for which he has no qualifications, he became the source of much trouble… This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think he has unusual ability in most lines.

        If he behaved like this under military discipline, what must he have been like to work with in a company? Little wonder that the only job he ever held down was as a freelance fiction writer. Scientology was (among other things) a means of enforcing acceptance that he had “unusual ability in most lines”.

        Once people had accepted the (patently false) idea that Scientology was based on ‘rigorous scientific research’ Hubbard could hold forth on almost any subject by incorporating into Scientology. This is probably why the doctrines of Scientology are such a disparate grab-bag of subjects – “Admin Tech”, “Study Tech”, advice about the right way to clean windows… whatever came up. The subject matter was almost irrelevant – the point to justify Hubbard’s belief that he knew it all and was always entitled to the be centre of attention.

        It is possible to cherry-pick aspect of his pronouncements that seem to make sense – but that’s not the point of a good organisational policy. Such a thing ought to make sense as an integrated whole. Scientology doesn’t – in fact, it often contradicts itself. When people point of that parts of it are sensible, I observe that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

        Also, a good organisational policy ought to include means to continually improve it with new ideas, and change it to adapt to new conditions. Even if ‘Admin Tech’ really was perfection when Hubbard wrote it (it wasn’t) it’s now decades out of date. It cannot adapt to any of the changes that have taken place since Hubbard died, and has no way of doing so.

        As for standing order No 1… your experience of speaking truth to power is evidently different to mine. I learned in several big organisations that you don’t go over your managers head because everyone (including the man at the top) resents this, and will get you for having done it. The experience of ‘whistle-blowers’ bears this out. Like many of Hubbard’s ideas, this looks good on paper to a man with no experience in the field – but does not work in the real world.

  3. “She was not to know how badly her marriage would turn out when he wrote this pamphlet. Shd be when she.
    When Family Time was cancelled in PAC ’88 or ’89 IIR, Kate Howsen (Mike Howsen’s wife) wrote to MS to assist in getting us SO members back our rights as parents. She was ‘decked’ and soon after left SO.
    My husband of 24 years had been told many many times to divorcee me over the 11 years we spent living together while I was off base raising the kids and supporting his medical, uniform ect.
    Finally when I moved to Santa Clarita of course we had to get a divorcee but did we ever speak about it together 1st? No – NOT allowed to discus future plans that did not include being on staff. I always thought it was a good marriage and we did very good raising 4 children together even under SO conditions but he did not originate to leave with me and I could not bring it up. I’m not particularly regretful of the whole thing but it still just amazes me that I could have been so suppressed I would not speak to my very own husband about our future.

    • Thanks for the correction, which I’ve now fixed.

      Forgive me if I find the sentence “of course we had to get a divorce” shocking. The notion that this can at least seem to be obvious is evidence of the degree of control exercised by the Sea Org over its members.

      I think that personal relationships – especially those with children – must represent one of the greatest threats to commitment to the Sea Org.

      It’s interesting that that the Sea Vendetta against children (including the unborn) has intensified with the collapse of Scientology recruitment. Once, Sea Org members could be replaced relatively easily, because Scientology had the media cowed, and the public was largely unaware of its activities and true nature. Since then, Sea Org members have become a rare resource (to the extent that they have to be trafficked from other countries). The best way to insure that their loyalty to the ‘the cause’ is not transcended by two of the strongest human bonds is to make sure that those relationships are quashed or never arise in the first place.

      Raising four kids under Sea Org conditions is, indeed a considerable achievement.

  4. Hey scicrit, I’m new here but I thought this may be an interesting research project for you. Upon, reading Tony Ortega’s latest post about Elron’s writings about women, I recalled seeing a hardbound book written by Mary Sue Hubbard. I believe it was called The Second Dynamic or something close to that. When I researched it and found this similarly titled pamphlet but NOT a book, hmmmm. I was a new scn in 1981 at Flag and I would have seen it there… somehow. I wonder what gems you might find there if my recollections are correct. I believe them to be correct because at that time I had many questions on the second dynamic and was referred to this book then and I was told that not much was written on the subject of 2D. I must have borrowed it from someone to read it. It would have been considerably longer than 36 pages. As you probably know, very few books written by others besides Elron made it to IA (Issue Authority) by scios officials. Maybe it was buried so deep so as not to be found ever again. Curious…

    • One of the things that concern me is that the very early days of Scientology are passing out of living memory. Also, the CofS is eager to suppress the early literature, giving the impression that ‘the tech’ is eternal and unalterable when, in fact it has always in a state of flux and is even now being changed to suit the agenda of the ruling regime.

      I have come across a variety of books about Scientology, written by people other than Hubbard, which were generally sold as simple introductions. Copyright for these was held by the CofS, not the author. Consequently, when Hubbard banned any book not written by himself (in 1983) https://scicrit.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/the-church-of-scientology-bans-its-own-books-pt-1-introduction/ new copies could be made to disappear quite efficiently. Since people often dispose of their books when they leave Scientology there are a shrinking number on the second-hand market.

      Soon, we will lost the ability to investigate certain aspects of the origins of dianetics and Scientology because there will be neither testimony nor documents from that time.

      I’m an English ‘never-in, and acquire this stuff by deep searches of the Internet and occasionally through contacts. I’m really in the wrong place at the wrong time to do this sort of thing. Being able to hunt through Flag would, I don’t doubt, provide me more material in a day than I could ever publish – but that is never going happen.

      Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. However, I’m always open to contributions from anyone, anywhere, who has anything of interest. I’m sure a lot of historical material has been binned by ex-Scientologists who just want to get the stuff out of their sight, too.

      Please, if you have anything unusual, contact me https://scicrit.wordpress.com/contact-us/ before you throw it out.

      PS: Sorry for the delay. I have the comments section set up so that I have to approve a persons first comment only. Your future comments will go though immediately.

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