Birthday: May 7, 1934
Died At Age: 57
Sun Sign: Taurus
Also Known As: Lafayette Ronald Hubbard Jr.
Born Country: United States
Born in: Encinitas, California, United States
Famous as: Son of Scientology’s founder Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
Spouse/Ex-: Henrietta Elizabeth DeWolf
father: L. Ron Hubbard
mother: Margaret Grubb
children: Alexander DeWolf, Deborah DeWolf Kennedy, Eric DeWolf, Esther DeWolf Cauch, Harry DeWolf, Leif De Wolf
Died on: September 16, 1991
place of death: Carson City, Nevada, United States
Cause of Death: Diabetes
U.S. State: California
Who was Ronald DeWolf?
Ronald DeWolf was the eldest child of the Church of Scientology’s founder Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. As a teenager, he was highly influenced by his father and when the latter founded his church, he actively participated in it, helping to formulate many of its principles. Very soon, he began to be considered second-in-command, not only taking scientology classes, but also enforcing discipline and visiting other centers, including one in London. But by the age of 25, he became disenchanted with the working of the church, realizing that his father was not what he thought him to be and left the church at the instigation of his wife. Thereafter, he was always on the run, being harassed and chased by his father’s men, who wanted to silence him because he knew too much. All these took a toll on his health and his died at the age of 57 of diabetes complication.
Childhood & Early Life
Ronald Edward "Ron" DeWolf was as born Lafayette Ronald Hubbard Jr. on May 7, 1934 in Encinitas, a beach city located in Southern California, United States. His father, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, was the founder of the Church of Scientology and an author of science fiction and fantasy stories.
His mother, Margaret Louise Grubb, was his father’s first wife. Born elder of his parents’ two children, Ron had a younger sister named Katherine May Hubbard. From his father’s later marriages, he also had five half-siblings; Alexis Hubbard, Quentin Hubbard, Diana Hubbard, Suzette Hubbard and Arthur Hubbard.
At the time of Ron’s birth, his parents were living in Laytonsville, Maryland, but had gone to Encinitas for a vacation. He was born there two months prematurely, weighing only 2 pounds 2 ounces, spending the first few days in makeshift incubators, made out of shoeboxes.
After spending around a year in Laytonsville, the family moved to New York City in 1935 and to Bremerton, Washington, in 1936, eventually settling down in a little wooden house at South Colby. It was here that young Ron spent his early childhood.
From 1937, he saw less and less of his father as the latter began to spend more time first in New York City, and then in Pasadena, where he got involved with other women as well as in occultism. Meanwhile, he was also away at sea, doing his war duties.
Although Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was away a lot of time, he did not fully abandon his family until his divorce in 1947. In an interview, DeWolf had later claimed that his father, himself a heavy drug-user, had laced his bubble gum with Phenobarbital, when he was around ten years old.
After his parents’ divorce, Ron was raised mainly by his mother. However, he continued to see his father and was heavily influenced by his doctrines. Later he confessed that as a teenager he believed in Satanism, adding that “it was the only religion in the house!”
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Church of Scientology
In 1953, Ronald DeWolf, known until then as Lafayette Ronald Hubbard Jr., helped his father to establish the Church of Scientology, later serving as its Executive Secretary. Very soon, he was being treated as his father’s heir apparent, learning the ropes directly from him.
Initially, he was involved in every aspect of the organization, taking scientology classes, visiting the Scientology offices abroad. He also helped his father to formulate the doctrine of ‘Fair Game’, which dictates the church’s policies towards its perceived enemies.
Before long, he was disillusioned with the rampant hypocrisy and immorality he saw around him, realizing that his father did not follow his own preaching. He later said, “I began to see that my father was a sick, sadistic, vicious man”, drawing parallels between his and Hitler’s thoughts and behaviors.
His father’s autocratic behavior often ended up in violence, in which Hubbard Jr. was forced to participate. He was also unhappy that the profit earned by the church was appropriated by his father, with large sums of money being regularly transferred abroad. Dealings in drugs were also another issue.
Finally in 1959, when his father was in Australia, Ron fled the Church of Scientology with his wife and two children. But life after defection was not at all easy.
After he left the Church of Scientology, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard Jr. was perpetually harassed by the church, which used on him the same doctrine of ‘Fair Game’ he had once helped to formulate, being stalked and threatened with death. As a result, the family was continuously on the run.
Since he knew too much about the church, attempts were made to silence him. To protect his family, he had to change his residence as well as his job constantly. The children were taught to use guns for self-protection.
In 1972, he finally changed his name to Ronald DeWolf and decided to keep a low profile. But that did not help much. He was further terrified when in 1976 his half-brother Quentin Hubbard died under mysterious circumstance. He was sure, it was a murder.
In 1981, he wrote his unpublished autobiography, ‘The Telling of Me, by Me’, in which he denounced Dianetics and Scientology. Later in the decade, he gave several interviews, making sworn statements about his father.
Convinced that his father was dead, he applied for probate on November 6, 1982. However, Hubbard Sr. was alive and so nothing came out of it. In response, his stepmother, Mary Sue Hubbard, filed a $5-million suit for fraud against him in 1984. We do not know about its outcome.
Hubbard Sr. died in 1986. By then, DeWolf was in considerable debt, incurring huge hospital bills due an emergency surgery. In the same year, he signed a legal agreement with the Church of Scientology, agreeing not to make further comment about his father, in return for financial settlement.
In 1987, a book entitled ‘L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman?’ was published by Lyle Stuart Inc. Written by Bent Corydon the book was based on extensive interviews with DeWolf and was highly critical about Hubbard Sr. and the Church of Scientology. It also had DeWolf’s name as the co-author.
Because he had already signed a legal settlement with the Church, DeWolf now retracted his statements. He also claimed that his views had been distorted and the book was inexact, demanding his name as the coauthor be removed. However, his demands were not met.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1953, Ronald DeWolf married Henrietta Elizabeth DeWolf. They had six children; Deborah DeWolf Kennedy, Leif De Wolf, Esther DeWolf Cauch, Eric DeWolf, Harry DeWolf and Alexander DeWolf.
His grandson, Jamie DeWolf (Kennedy) remembers him as a loving grandparent, who visited them every Thanksgiving and bought him Star Wars toys on his birthday.
A diabetic patient, he lost a foot to the disease. Yet, he continued to work, serving as a security guard at the Ormsby House Hotel Casino in Carson City, Nevada, at the time of his death.
Ronald DeWolf breathed his last on September 16, 1991 in Carson City. He was then 57 years old and was survived by his wife and his children.