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Scientology... or science fiction?

Title: Scientology... or science fiction?
Date: Saturday, 29 May 1982
Publisher: UPI
Main source: link (230 KiB)

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CARSON CITY, Nev. — The former L. Ron Hubbard Jr. shed his father's name in a simple legal maneuver. Shedding the effects of his powerful church is another matter.

Left behind are bitter hatreds, fears for his safety only half-jokingly laughed off, charges of money-grubbing and wrongdoing and deep emotional scars. The Church of Scientology counters that the wayward son is merely fantasizing.

Ron DeWolf, 47, first born offspring of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the brilliant and controversial force behind the fabulously wealthy and influential Scientology organization, hasn't seen his father since he left the "Org" 23 years-ego.

Today, living in a modest townhouse apartment in Carson City with his wife and youngest son, DeWolf is still caught up in a love-hate struggle with his father and obsessed by the turbulent chain of events he helped put in motion.

A mild-mannered man whose red hair is now streaked with gray, DeWolf was involved in the Dianetics-Scientology orgnization since before its incorporation as a church in 1953. With three grown sons in the military he now works as security chief at a Carson City hotel-casino. "It takes a con to know a con," DeWoff said.

One of the founding members of an early Church of Scientology in New Jersey, he walked out on his father in 1959. He continued to "audit" church members for cash until 1982, however, and admits to having accepted over $3,000 from his father and church officials in the 1960s.

"I walked out because of my children," he said in an exclusive interview with UPI. "My first and primary, concern has been my family."

"I got tired of seeing people who would destitute themselves, sell their homes, empty their bank accounts, walk out on their families," he said. "That really got to me. I had such a screwed up childhood that family for me was incredibly important."

DeWolf said he waited for more than 20 years to tell his story in part because he feared prosecution for extortion, blackmail and other crimes. He repeated many of his charges in testimony early this month during a hearing by the city commission in Clearwater, Fla., on the operations of the church.

"You take all of the grade Z science fiction you've ever read and put it together and it spells Scientology," said DeWolf, who personally taught 27 advanced Scientology courses in the United States and England between 1953 and 1959. Some of the lectures were given while he was stoned on drugs, he said.

His life since breaking with his famous father hasn't been easy.

"When you believe you're a God, it's a little hard to go back to being a human being," he said. "The fall from Mount Olympus is very long and hard. Twenty years of guerrilla warfare has taken its toll on my health."

"The validity of the charges made by Ron DeWolf need only by weighed against the ethics of his actions," countered church spokesman August Murphy. "For years he has made these very same allegations and repeatedly has turned around and retracted them, labeling them as false, malicious and vindictive."

[Picture / Caption: Ron DeWolf: "When you believe you're a God, it's a little hard to go back to being a human being."]