The testimony of L. Ron Hubbard Jr (7 May 1934–16 September 1991)

Posted on August 31, 2010 by

News Herald

“Mr Hubbard: do you think you are quite mad?”

“Oh yes! The one man in the world who never believes he’s mad is the madman.

Granada Television 1967 documentary on Scientology

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard Jr, who changed his name to Ronald DeWolf when he went into hiding, was the son of L. Ron Hubbard, inventor of Dianetics and founder of Scientology, and his first wife, Margaret (Polly) Grubb. Ron Hubbard Jr. claimed that, like King Duncan, he had been ripped untimely from his mother’s womb, destined to be one of the several abortions she experienced at the hands of her husband but surviving the experience. It seems more probable, since he manifestly survived, despite a birth weight of only one kilo (2.2 lbs), that Ron Jr was simply born prematurely, and his memories of familial abortions were from a later period in his life. DeWolf remembered that when he was six years old he saw his father performing an abortion on his mother with a coat-hanger. LRH himself stated in a private document (his Admissions) that he aborted five of Polly’s seven pregnancies. The seventh was a daughter, Catherine May.

His mother Polly told him that his father made repeated attempts to invoke the Devil for power and practices: “My mother told me about him trying out all kinds of various incantations, drugs and hypnosis… His initials for it were PDH — pain, drugs, hypnosis. The use of PDH, coupled with black magic, was an effective for brainwashing or mind control. You’ll see throughout early Scientology literature, ‘PDH.’”

In his 1982 interview with News Herald, DeWolf described his father as a wife-beater. “He used to beat her up quite often. He had a violent, volcano-type temper, and he smacked her around quite a bit. I remember in 1946 or 1947 when he was beating up my mother one night. I had a .22 rifle and I sat on the stairway with him in my sights, and I almost blew his head off.” He also said: “To be perfectly frank, my life’s been pretty much of a disaster and a miserable mess because of Scientology—and you can quote me on that.”

L. Ron Jr. agreed to be interviewed first by News Herald in 1982 and then by Penthouse after waiting many years, until his five older children had left home. His various accounts are reasonably consistent with each other regarding the personal details and very consistent with what we are increasingly understanding about the origins and purpose of the hypnotic-induction mechanisms that are at the heart of Scientology. It adds to his credibility that he described his own participation in the early days, though it is not to his credit. And his understanding was manifestly passed down inside his own family. None of his children or grandchildren has ever been a Scientologist. His grandson, Jamie DeWolf or Kennedy, (born 1977), is a blistering and very public critic of Scientology. In an article in the East Bay Express Jamie said that “Scientology is the most brilliantly engineered pyramid scam I’ve ever seen. L. Ron Hubbard–you can never say that he was an idiot, by any means. He was very intelligent, very sort of evil, malicious; a sort of overman, his will against the world.”

In June 1983 Ron DeWolf gave his famous interview to Penthouse Magazine. In it he claimed that “99% of anything my father ever wrote or said about himself is untrue.” LRH claimed at various times to be highly educated and widely travelled, a brilliant nuclear physicist, explorer, writer, filmmaker, soldier, and humanitarian, indoctrinated into the secret knowledge of many cultures, eager and able to eliminate the ills of modern society. In other contexts he claimed to be Satan incarnate and was in fact a con man, a drug addict and, by some accounts, a drug dealer and an accomplice of the KGB.

As Hubbard’s son made public many very unwelcome facts about Hubbard, the cult brought its considerable weight to bear on him and, as was only sensible, he recanted. His first public confession and its withdrawal appears to have been made in 1972. On tape he said that he had no knowledge of any wrong-doing or illegal acts or brutality against anyone by members of Scientology, and that he had lied in his testimony. In ‘A Piece of Blue Sky’, former Scientologist Jon Atack wrote that DeWolf accepted a financial settlement from Scientology after his father’s death in 1986 and agreed to make no further comments. This would also be understandable. Bent Coryndon, who co-authored Messiah or Madman? with Ron Jr. speculated that his decision to accept this settlement was influenced by recent emergency surgery which had left him weakened and heavily in debt (he died in 1997, aged 57, of the complications of diabetes). Concerned for the future welfare of his family (his youngest son was disabled) he signed various prepared documents. Coryndon said: “I don’t believe for a moment that Ron Jr. ever considered these prepared statements to be accurate representations of his thoughts and beliefs.” What is surprising and convincing is not that the statements he made about his father were denigrating, or that he was repeatedly forced to deny their truth, but that he persisted in making these very grave accusations.

Indeed, the Penthouse interviewer saw a man with a mission. “His desire to tell his story after all these years was of vital importance … and he spoke with a firmness and intensity befitting a person who claims to be risking his life by speaking out.” With all the comparative information that we now have, compared with 1972 or even 1983, there can be little doubt that he was telling the truth.

DeWolf remembered his father as a man who abused alcohol, drugs and women, and who boasted about it to his son. He was a “broke science-fiction writer” when he first claimed he could make more money selling a religion.

DeWolf was sixteen when his father’s book, Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, was published in 1950. This strange amalgam of science-fiction, psychoanalysis and magic was well-received by the public but the authorities, including the American Medical Association, were less convinced. Ron Jr remembered several times watching his father packing thousand of dollars in shoe boxes and moving to a safer place.

Through the 1950s, Ron Jr helped his father organise the new movement. But even then he had some reservations. In 1953 he married but never allowed his wife or any of their six children, or any of their six grandchildren to get involved. Scientology, as led by his father, was becoming increasingly violent and family life suffered. Hubbard, always greedy, was involved in drug dealing and money laundering. DeWolf finally parted company with his father in 1959, in one version over his involvement with the Russians, in another because his wife gave him an ultimatum: “Scientology or me”. By then there were no doubt many other reasons.

After 1959 he and his family lived in hiding, under an assumed name, well aware of what his father and his father’s followers were capable of doing to him and to his family. Given the fate of his half-brother Quentin in 1976, one is not surprised. Quentin was found unconscious in his car which had a hose running into it from the exhaust pipe. DeWolf was not alone in believing that Quentin had been murdered for failing his father. DeWolf stated that Quentin was a drug-abuser but the essential cause of the rift, and of his father’s implacable hostility, was that Quentin was a homosexual.

DeWolf testified to the ruthless Fair Game policy, “almost a terror campaign”, employed against those who spoke out against the cults. He said that they spent $500,000 trying to silence Paulette Cooper, who wrote a book The Scandal of Scientology. The press was intimidated by this tactic. The main weapon was the lawsuit, designed not to win but to harass, delay and exhaust the enemy financially, physically and mentally.

DeWolf defined Scientology as “a power-and-money-and-intelligence-gathering game”. It proposes a sci-fi version of Creation, trillions of years ago. It teaches that we are all fallen gods, but can return to a higher state by auditing which frees us from our bodies. The Church of Scientology was founded by LRH in 1953 to avoid harassment by the IRS and the medical profession. Previously there had been no thought of giving it a religious aspect.

Penthouse: “Didn’t your father have any interest in helping people?” LRH Jr: “No.”

In the late 1940s Hubbard Sr was always broke and told his son, and a lot of other people, apparently on several occasions, that the way to make money was to start a religion. He did just that, though at first his best-selling book Dianetics was not religion but a do-it-yourself manual of psychotherapy, which he wrote in a month. Unexpectedly it became a best-seller and made him a lot of money. J.W. Campbell and a few others set up the Dianetics Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

DeWolf declared that his father did no research at all prior to writing Dianetics. In fact he had been working on it for some years. Hubbard often said he had put thirty years of research into it but what he really did was take bits and pieces from other people and give them his own spin. Dianetics allegedly documented the results of Hubbard’s intensive research on almost three hundred “case histories.” But DeWolf says categorically that there was no research. “All were subcreated by Dad. None of them were case histories whatsoever; they were done strictly out of his mind, sitting at a typewriter in a few weeks time.” These “real-life experiences” were “the result of his obsessions with abortions and unconscious states… In fact the vast majority of those incidents were invented off the top of his head. The rest stem from his own secret life, which as deeply involved in the occult and black magic.” This involvement with demonology began when he got hold of Aleister Crowley’s book The Book of Law in Washington, D.C. when he was sixteen. He was interested in the Moonchild, a type of Satanic conception, and in embryo implants–getting a demon to inhabit the body of a fetus.

After 1947 when Crowley died, Hubbard came to see himself as the Beast 666 incarnate, the Devil, the Antichrist, just as Crowley had done. He believed that he could become the most powerful being in the universe. Satanism was the only religion in the house. “What a lot of people don’t understand is that Scientology is black magic that is just spread out over a long time period. To perform black magic generally takes a few hours, or, at most, a few weeks. But in Scientology it’s stretched out over a lifetime, and so you don’t see it. Black magic is the inner core of Scientology–and it is probably the only part of Scientology that really works. Also you’ve got to realise that my father did not worship Satan. He thought he was Satan. He was one with Satan. He had a direct line of communication and power with him.”

Hubbard claimed he could cure cancer by auditing, and charged $10 or $25 an hour for this. Cancer was alleged to be a sex problem as it was caused by cells dividing out of control. “They would address a guy’s entire sex life.” Sex was also a great means of control. “You have complete control of someone if you have every detail of his sex life and fantasy life on record.”

A person who had become a Scientologist either toed the line, or found himself in trouble. His certificates would be cancelled, local Scientologists would be instructed to disconnect from him and information about him would be spread to his wife and family and his employer. “It was straight-forward blackmail.” Another tactic was the ethics review board, which could sentence defaulters to manual labour, handcuffed to a bed, or locked in a chain locker. This was later. In the 50s things were simpler. DeWolf just beat them up. In those days he weighed about 240 pounds. He remembered that one girl was locked up in a shack in the desert for at least two weeks. Why was it not reported? People were afraid to speak out. They were afraid, with reason, that the same things might happen to them. If there were no grounds for blackmail then imaginary crimes were invented, as they still are.

DeWolf was director of training for the organisation. He personally trained thousands of people and invented many of the Scientology processes and procedures. He was very deeply and directly involved over seven years.

From the beginning the cult was very profitable for his father. The last time DeWolf saw Hubbard he claimed to have at least $20 million salted away. This fortune came from auditing. Course went on until a person could no longer pay. “People would sell their house, their car, convert their stocks and securities into cash, and turn it all over to Scientology. [For that] we promised them the moon and then demonstrated a way to get there. They would sell their soul for that. We were telling someone that they could have the power of a god–that’s what we were telling them … People believe this. You see, Scientology doesn’t really address the soul; it addresses the ego … Fine professors, doctors, scientists, people involved in the arts and sciences, would fall into Scientology like you wouldn’t believe. It appealed to their intellectual level and buttressed their emotional weaknesses.”

But it was mainly about money: “A poor man can’t be a Scientologist.” Poor men work as staff for $50 a week and the hope of some free sessions.

DeWolf’s view of cults was clear: “They’re very dangerous and destructive. I don’t think that anyone should think for you. And that’s exactly what cults do.”

Stories of collaborating with the Russians during the Cold War are no more and no less convincing than other events of the times. Ron DeWolf claimed that his father and an unidentified British Labour Party official worked for the Russians and that his father was paid £40,000 which he used to buy Saint Hill manor in East Grinstead, Surrey. Hubbard did not collect information himself but sold personal information revealed during auditing. The most important was the specifications for a infrared heat-seeking missile which were disclosed by intensive auditing of one of the engineers in the early 50s. “There were great infiltrations clear to this day [1983].” He claimed that The KGB trained East Germans who came to London via Denmark and then went on to the US disguised as Scientologists. On it is said that L. Ron Hubbard was offered a research job by Amtorg, the Soviet trading company in New York. But by 1971 Hubbard believed the Russian intelligence agency, Smersh, was part of an anti-Scientology plot.

The key to manipulation was sexual drives, desires and fantasies. “You promise to fulfill their fantasies or you threaten to expose them–very simple … And you find this by brain-washing, through auditing, through interrogation, investigations, following them, photographing them, tapping their phones, whatever.” Ron DeWolf knew all about it; it was what he did. But he seems to have drawn a line at working with the KGB. He said he took after his grandfather, who had been a lieutenant commander in the navy and an honourable man. He attributes to the influence of this man his ability to reject Scientology, once he began to understand that his father was “a sick, sadistic, vicious man. I saw more and more parallels between his behaviour and what I read about the way Hitler thought and acted.” He understood very clearly that he would be attacked if he left Scientology. Not killed outright–that would be a kindness–but destroyed in every other possible way. Many Scientologists are sadistic, “very Gestapo.” Many would not stop at murder. But he left anyway and spent twenty years in hiding.

“The one super-secret sentence that Scientology is built on is: “Do as thou wilt.” That is the whole of the law. It also comes from the black magic, from Aleister Crowley. It means that you are a law unto yourself, that you are above the law, that you create your own law. You are above any other human considerations. Since you came into being by an act of will, you can do anything you will. If you decide to go out and kill somebody–bam!–that’s it. An act of will. Not connected to any emotions or feelings, not governed by any ethics or morality or law. They are very vicious people. Totally into attack. … For years I’ve been able to counter them–to stay alive–simply because I was one of them.”

DeWolf confirmed that Hubbard beat up women, went into insane rages, was paranoid about his food, and used enormous quantities of drugs to further his black magic and “to break open the doors to the realm of the deep.” He claimed that Hitler was involved in the same black magic, an Egyptian method which was “very powerful and very workable and very dangerous.” It is achieved, much more slowly, by the Operating Thetan techniques. “But, of course, it takes a couple of hundred hours of auditing and mega-thousands of dollars for the privilege of having your head turned into a glass Humpty Dumpty–shattered into a million pieces.* It may sound incredible gibberish but it made my father a fortune.” We have all seen the raving OT graduates waving their OTV and OTVIII certificates over their heads. “This is a turning point in my eternity… My space has expanded so much. I am able to grant so much beingness now. For the first time in my existence I am comfortable with who I am. My attention is out and I’m instinctively being across my dynamics… All that’s left is theta- so light, so free, so cause.”

They might be less enthusiastic about Hubbardism if they had encountered its founder towards the end of his life. Towards the end of his life Hubbard’s health, both physical and mental, deteriorated badly and he became increasingly reclusive: “a testament to the fact that Scientology didn’t work.” He lived in a trailer and went back to writing very bad science fiction,, including the 850-page Battlefield Earth, which John Travolta turned into perhaps the worst film ever made. Unkempt, fearful, heavily sedated, separated from his family, Hubbard Sr. lived until January 1986, but never again saw his son. “And really, as far as crimes go, I think my father has received the ultimate punishment, which is being locked and trapped in his own insanity. There’s no way out for him.”


* Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.


“The key to sorting someone’s head out about Scientology is L. Ron Hubbard,” says DeWolf. “He is ‘source’, ’cause’, ‘creator’ and ‘founder’. Lay the true and actual man and his past out and the ‘construct’ falls apart. There’s no need to argue or even debate.”