Entertainment

Scientology founder's great-grandson explores family religion in monologue

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jamie DeWolf is a name you might not recognize, but he's a direct descendant of a man who is known to millions around the world.

"He was the subject we never talked about at the kids table at family reunions but he was my great-grandfather, L. Ron Hubbard," DeWolf told an audience during a monologue performance.

After a stint in the Navy during World War II, Ron Hubbard moved to Los Angeles and wrote science fiction stories on commission.

Hubbard's book "Dianetics" was the blueprint for Scientology, the religion he ultimately founded. It became a worldwide empire with Hubbard at the helm.

As the church grew, it became controversial for its secrecy and the alleged harassment of people who left the church, including Hubbard's own son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., Jamie DeWolf's grandfather.

"My grandfather was pretty much hunted until his last days," DeWolf said. "He was harassed, he was sued, and he was threatened. He was constantly followed."

In his one-man show, DeWolf details how his grandfather had to keep moving from place to place, eventually changing his name to DeWolf.

It's a story the American slam poet took years to uncover, pumping reluctant relatives for information. He finally got enough to tell the story of his grandfather, and great-grandfather in a monologue he calls "The God and The Man."

"He was not a messianic god who grew up as a blood brother of Indians, and then went to the Far East, and studied with wise men, and then was a fighter pilot and a submarine commander and a nuclear physicist," DeWolf said. "He was a hustler."

As the great-grandson of someone so controversial, DeWolf said he's struggled accepting his family's history.

"Did he do reprehensible things? Sure," DeWolfe said. "But he's still my great-grandfather. I still would have loved to have met the guy. I'd love to hear his tall tales, but I'd sure never pay him $100,000 to tell me how aliens possessed my body."

According to DeWolf, the show, which has made him a cause célèbre in anti-Scientology circles, is not an attack on the church.

"It was really my testament to my family history, my genealogy, and why I was who I was," DeWolf said.

DeWolf's next performance of "The God and The Man" is scheduled for March 10 at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol, which is in Sonoma County.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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