Eighty years ago today . . . on the 17th day of June . . . in the year 1931 . . . a baby girl is born in Rockdale, Texas . . . the proud parents are Harry Hughes Whipp and his wife, the former Mary Catherine Hill (born in Rockdale in 1898) . . . other members of the family living in Rockdale at the time include an older sister, Nancy Catherine . . . as well as the maternal grandma, Catherine M. Hill nee Walden . . . this baby girl is given the name Mary Sue . . . her maternal grandparents were in Rockdale before 1900, which is when her Grandpa Hill is enumerated as a book seller . . . in 1910, he is listed as the owner of a book store in Rockdale . . . by 1934, when Mary Sue's little brother, Harry, is born, the family is living in Harris County, Texas . . .
Mary Sue Whipp would grow up to become the 3rd and final wife of Lafayette Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology . . . it has been said of the Hubbards that . . . They were indeed an unlikely couple – a flamboyant, fast-talking extrovert entrepreneur in his forties and a quiet, intense young woman twenty years his junior from a small town in Texas. But anyone who underestimated Mary Sue made a big mistake. Although she was not yet twenty-four years old, she exercised considerable power within the Scientology movement and people around Hubbard quickly learned to be wary of her. Fiercely loyal to her husband, brusque and autocratic, she could be a dangerous enemy. . . .