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Late Night: L. Ron Hubbard Jr.

[picture of L. Ron Hubbard in cowboy attire with a camera]

HOST—VOICE OF: Believers think of L. Ron Hubbard as a genius and a saint; detractors call him a fraud and, according to his own son, one of the biggest con men of the century.

HOST—ON CAMERA: Whether L. Ron Hubbard is alive or sane is also up for grabs. Our guests are Ron DeWolf, who is L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. He split with his father in 1959 and is now trying to gain control of his father's estate in the courts. Also with us is Vaughn Young, a Scientologist for 15 years, a professional writer now working on an unauthorized biography of L. Ron Hubbard, Sr. Good to have you both with us, gentlemen. (to Ron DeWolf) You think your father is alive?

RON DeWOLF: I don't really know. Um, the—there will be a court hearing June 10 that will decide, at that time the judge will decide whether he's missing or not.

HOST: If he were alive, where would he be?

RON DeWOLF: I haven't the foggiest.

HOST: Cold weather? Hot weather?

RON DeWOLF: It would have to be warm, probably sea level.

HOST: Phoenix?

RON DeWOLF: Could be, that was his old stomping grounds.

HOST: Well, you're watching, we'll give you the first call—313-872-4040 (phone number shown on bottom of screen). Everybody hold off until we wait and see if L. Ron Hubbard, Sr. calls in. Going back a long time ago, when Dianetics first came on the scene, it was really the first of all the self-help books, wasn't it?

[caption—"Ron DeWolf (L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.), former Scientologist]

RON DeWOLF: Yes, it was, and it was an enormous seller in the 1950s.

HOST: Right. Um, what kind of a man was L. Ron Hubbard, Sr. then who wrote that book?

[picture of LRH at a desk]

RON DeWOLF: Quite flamboyant. Uh, at the time he wrote it in the late '40s, uh, he was pretty broke and, uh, he had told friends and, uh, associates that the way to make a, a million was to start a religion. And that's how he got started. And he wrote the book Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health at Bay Head, New Jersey in about a month or so.

HOST: You were, uh, with him for a long time, involved in Scientology yourself. How would you describe what Scientology is all about and what the Church of Scientology is all about?

RON DeWOLF: Well, to put it in layman's sort of succinct terms, um, Scientology, uh, says basically that 74 trillion years ago, uh, everyone willed themselves into existence and through space opera games, uh, and science fiction sort of things, they have created this universe. This is a universe created by you, me and everybody else. And, uh, now we find ourselves trapped into bodies, and the goal of Scientology is to, uh, get untrapped from these bodies and to return to this god-like state which is called Operating Thetan.

HOST: How do you do that?

RON DeWOLF: Through, uh, applied philosophy, through, um, sitting down across from each other in chairs with e-meters, which is a skin galvanometer with a meter dial on it and, uh, through answering questions and asking questions. It, um—this is supposed to release the various charges and the problems one has had throughout all of these centuries and hundreds and thousands of reincarnations to get the charge off of it as if it was these incidents were a charged battery; and by doing so, um, this is supposed to return you to this state of high ability.

HOST: In print, I've read that you've described your father as, uh, the Devil, Hitler, total fraud, a con man—pretty strong language from a son toward his father.

RON DeWOLF: Yes, but true.

HOST: In what way? In what manner?

RON DeWOLF: Well, he was very deeply involved in black magic from early teenage years, uh, which, uh, was the, the use of drugs and hypnosis as an example; he used to conjure up these demons and thereby plug into them or have them plug into him and a lot of his early writings, which could be called spirit writing, um, so he was very deeply involved in black magic as an example, especially from Aleister Crowley which was an English black magician. And around 1947 or so he decided that he was the Beast 666 incarnate, because that was what Aleister Crowley was and he died in 1947.

HOST: Supposedly right now about six and half million people are involved in Scientology. You think they're all getting ripped off?

RON DeWOLF: I think so.

HOST: Talk about that a little bit. In what way are they getting ripped off?

RON DeWOLF: Well, just from a basic viewpoint of, of it doesn't deliver. Um, that to me is basic fraud, it does not deliver. Um, as an example, you get into what is called the Operating Thetan—or OT, as Scientology calls it—levels, uh, and, uh, at various times even clear through the '50s to present, you should be able to have these abilities of telekinesis, moving objects around. Um, there's even been people who have tried to like teletr—teletransport, walk through walls, um, ESP and this sort of thing. And I've never seen it able to produce that.

HOST: People get happier through Scientology?

RON DeWOLF: Well, you can get happy, um, through, uh, having a nice picnic in the park, talking with your boy or girlfriend. And—

HOST: Do some people get happy by going through the auditing sessions and the counseling of Scientology?

RON DeWOLF: I would say so, just simply a matter of talking over one's problems and what have you.

HOST: So how can you say if people are getting better, that they're getting ripped off?

RON DeWOLF: Because again they are paying money for claims, they are paying money on claims that, uh, my father has made and, um, again it's not being delivered.

HOST: Did you make some of those claims yourself when you were in the church?

RON DeWOLF: Sure. I was the director of training for several years, trained a lot of Advanced Clinical Course people, quite literally hundreds if not thousands of them.

HOST: What's your motivation for trying to get control of your father's estate?

RON DeWOLF: The motivation of it is, um, money. It's—

HOST: You want money.

RON DeWOLF: Yeah, the—

HOST: You want a piece of the action that he got by ripping people off.

RON DeWOLF: Yes. And, uh—

HOST: Yes?


HOST: Yes?

RON DeWOLF: Yes. It's a—

HOST: You want—

RON DeWOLF: It's a matter of law, not of morality, and a matter of, of, of gathering up the assets. I'm not—I'm not the only heir.

HOST: Now wait a minute, wait. You say your father was the Devil, he acted like Hitler, he was a fraud, he was a drug abuser, he was a person abuser, he's ripped off countless millions of people, and you want a piece of that action.

RON DeWOLF: Yes, as far as the—as far as the assets are concerned, yes.

HOST: Why? Why would you even want to go near that money?

RON DeWOLF: Because I think I can do some good with it.

HOST: What would you do with it?

RON DeWOLF: Oh, I'd probably get a—use it to get involved in Special Olympics, get involved in helping, uh, retarded, handicapped, um children, and when all of that was done, probably go fishing.

HOST: We have a couple of pictures of, uh, property that's owned by Scientologists, I guess the, the Church of Scientology. And, uh, they're pretty magnificent structures. We'll take a look at one on the screen right now.

[Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida]

HOST—VOICE OF: Uh, this is located in Florida. They, uh, had some hearings there last year in Clearwater, Florida as to whether the church should be there or not.

[Celebrity Centre, Los Angeles, California]

HOST—VOICE OF: There is another picture which is a celebrity—I guess a place where celebrities go for their auditing, and this is out in California. What do you think the estate might be worth right now?

RON DeWOLF: We figure that it's in the neighborhood of a billion dollars.

HOST: A billion dollars.

RON DeWOLF: Um-hmm.

HOST: Would you like to have a house like that?

RON DeWOLF: I don't think my wife would like to clean it.

HOST: But if you had some money, you might get a bigger house, huh?


HOST: Okay. Vaughn Young, you're a Scientologist. What do you think of, uh, the arguments, the motivations, the definitions that have been co, caused by Ron DeWolf?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Well, a lot has been said and I congratulate you on bringing out the motivation because it's actually changed over the number of months; it was "to protect my father's estate", other times it was "to protect the heirs". So now we get down to the nitty-gritty—

HOST: What was said was true—

VAUGHN YOUNG: But really, really, what—there's, there's another aspect to the thing. Um, Mr. DeWolf, um, is part of—is part of actually another tradition. You had, a number of years ago you had Clifford Irving and his biography of Howard Hughes. You had Janet Cooke and she won a Pulitzer for what amounted to be a total and complete hoax. We had the Hitler diaries. What you have here is "The Hitler Diaries, Part 2". Mr. Hubbard came out with, uh, his best-selling book, it's now on the Time magazine bestseller list, UPI bestseller list, Battlefield Earth, back in October. Mr. DeWolf followed on this and suddenly his father was about to move back into the book-selling business again, as a writer, and—

HOST: This is his fiction—


HOST: His science fiction book.

VAUGHN YOUNG: And father was petitioned, I believe it was in November, end of October, beginning of November. Knowing that his father is private and does not care to appear. And the same way that Clifford Irving counted on, on Hughes.

HOST: Now let's get specifically what do you think is going on here?

VAUGHN YOUNG: What I think there is—

HOST: You think L. Ron Hubbard, Sr. is alive?


HOST: You—

VAUGHN YOUNG: The judge even said last Friday, that he says as far as he's concerned, he's alive. And, um, Mr. DeWolf has two weeks to try to disprove that. And the judge has already said that he believes that the communications with Mr. Hubbard are sound [???]. What there is is here is the case of, like the "Dearest Daddie" story, the "Dearest Mommie" story, the, the son who tries to follow in the father's footsteps in whatever way he can. Um, Mr. DeWolf, as far as the research that I've had, um, probably is a matter of what psychologists call transference—

HOST: How do you mean that now? Let's be specific.

VAUGHN YOUNG: That, that he takes his own experiences and ascribes them to another. Um, along the way, as far as my own research I interviewed, for example, um—I mean, it's not pleasant but the allegations have been made towards his father—a woman that he knows, he was married to her, that, uh, she's told me the story—she cried, she shook—about the beating that was administered for 13 hours. Um—

RON DeWOLF: Good heavens, no—

HOST: What's all that about?

RON DeWOLF: This was a—I don't know which woman he's talking about but that's—

VAUGHN YOUNG: Carol Latt [????]

RON DeWOLF: 13 hours? No, no—

VAUGHN YOUNG: Well, anyway, I have the police report when the police were finally called in.

HOST: Wait-wait-wait-wait-wait—now, what are you trying to say here, though?

VAUGHN YOUNG: What I'm saying is, is that the things that have been described, the stories that have been described about his father, the black magic, the drugs, the beatings, the frauds—

HOST: Um-hmm—

VAUGHN YOUNG: —are stories from the man's own life.

HOST: Didn't the man grow up in that house?


HOST: Grew up in the house for a long, long time.

RON DeWOLF: Right.

HOST: I mean, how, how do you discount all of that?

RON DeWOLF: Well, what he's trying to say is, is that he medically speaking from a psychiatric viewpoint, um, my father's paranoid. So what he's trying to say is—

HOST: Well, how do you know that? You haven't been in touch with him since 1959.

RON DeWOLF: No, because as far as he's concerned the whole world is his enemy. He attacks his enemies through, uh, a thing called the Fair Game policy.

HOST: If you haven't talked to your father since 1959, how do you know what the state of his mental health is in? Or do you think—

RON DeWOLF: Because we have an extreme amount of evidence to prove it. This was why we, um, why we brought the petition, um, to see if he was missing or not. And that's specifically what the petition is all about.

HOST: Well, now, let's get down to it. Do you think he's missing, do you think he's insane or do you think he's dead?

RON DeWOLF: If he is alive, he's mentally incompetent to handle his own affairs, and we believe he's being manipulated. Now the first—


RON DeWOLF: By—we don't really know the specific number—the specific people that are doing it, but we're honing in on it now.

VAUGHN YOUNG: Dennis, an important point on that is—

HOST: Let me just ask the folks to jump on the telephone. 313 in Detroit, 872-4040. Vaughn Young and Ron DeWolf, who is L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. Go ahead.

VAUGHN YOUNG (caption—Vaughn Young, Scientologist): The judge Friday reiterated again that all the evidence that he's speaking of was thrown out. There's no evidence left. There's nothing to substantiate the case that he brought back in November, that has been actually the podium for him going around to the media. The judge says as far as he's concerned he's alive and he's choosing to remain private. And that's what the judge said in the court was going on—

HOST: Let's just put aside for a second.


HOST: What do you—how do you describe Scientology to somebody who's just stepped off of a, a spaceship?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Somebody who just wants to know?

HOST: Sure.

VAUGHN YOUNG: As I say, it's an applied religious philosophy and the best way to find out is to read a book. It's, um, it's about people, about life, you know, it's about you and me, and you just read about it.

HOST: Why has Scientology always been surrounded by controversy?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Because back in 1950 when he published the book he took on, uh—he took on the medical profession and the psychiatric institute. And when you said that that was the first self-help book, that was important. In other words, you, you could learn about it yourself. In other words, he undercut it, he, he carried it out to sort of like in a very democratic fashion. And that made a lot of people very upset. Plus, the things that he said about the, the, um—

HOST: Well, why has it always been surrounded in controversy? Why are people always moving? Why are churches—why is Clearwater or Florida having a debate as to whether Scientology should stay or go? Why do people say that they've been threatened and intimidated? Mister—

RON DeWOLF: Fear, force, intimidation and blackmail.

HOST: Mr. DeWolf said he personally beat people when he worked in Scientology. He personally beat them. He personally intimidated, personally got their sex lives, personally threw it up to them to hold everybody in line. Are you saying that—are you saying that what he is saying there is a lie?

VAUGHN YOUNG: What I'm saying—

HOST: Are you saying that's a lie?


HOST: He says he beat people—

VAUGHN YOUNG: I don't—listen, I can't say as far as what he says he did in 1952; I wasn't there. I do know—

HOST: So there's a possibility that as a Scientology teacher or auditor, he beat people.

VAUGHN YOUNG: If he did, it is in clear violation of all the policies at the time—

[Ron DeWolf laughs]

VAUGHN YOUNG: —and that's the point. But I do want to say—

HOST: Why are you laughing?

RON DeWOLF: Standard policy.

HOST: Standard policy.

VAUGHN YOUNG: What I'm saying is that since 1959, and he can't blame it on his father, he has committed fraud, he has beat children, he has—and I've got statements as far as administering hallucinogenics to his own children—

[Ron DeWolf laughs]

VAUGHN YOUNG: He's even—he's even beat his own son who suffers from Downs' syndrome—

HOST: How do you know that?


VAUGHN YOUNG: According to the—I'm telling you, according to the statements, signed statements and the interviews that I have. Now, I have evidence; this man has no evidence—

HOST: How can you say that? You haven't even—you need to put some stuff on the table here, you can't just say that.

RON DeWOLF: See, what I'm talking about—

HOST: He can't say that—he can't say that. That's not good journalism—

VAUGHN YOUNG: No, no—[pointing to Ron DeWolf] but he can say it. This is the point of this. He has said it—

HOST: I don't know that he's said anything—

VAUGHN YOUNG: He's said some outlandish things about his father.

HOST: He's said that—he's criticized the church—


HOST: He's, he's—

RON DeWOLF: I've criticized my father—

HOST: You've criticized—

RON DeWOLF: —who is the church as far as I'm concerned, personally.

HOST: Okay. Um, so both of you don't have much evidence—you don't have much evidence about your father, he doesn't have much evidence about you.

RON DeWOLF: Yeah, well— [laughs]

VAUGHN YOUNG: You want the evidence?

RON DeWOLF: Let's tick—let's, let's tick off some things which people can look up if they want to. Objective—one: You have 70,000 documents in federal court, Washington, D.C. Uh, this was a result of Scientology's Operation Snow White in 1977 in which they, something like 5,000 Scientology secret agents invad—infiltrated 136 government agencies; 11 people are now in jail, including my father's third wife. Uh, just March 3, just March 3 you have up in Toronto, Canada, 100 police officers raided the Scientology main headquarters in Toronto, and—

HOST: Now let must just stop on that for a second. Why are—why are all these police officers go raiding churches?

VAUGHN YOUNG: I think we need to ask the police that question, actually, because there's, there's—he says Toronto, nothing came out of it. The whole thing is like folding—

HOST: —cases of bribery—

RON DeWOLF: —I know you don't—

HOST: Let me get—let me get some folks in on the phone.

[Vaughn Young hands something to the host]

HOST: Let me take a look at that while we're talking—

VAUGHN YOUNG: That's the police report on the wife beating.

HOST: Let me take a look at that. Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #1: Thank you. My name's Dan Devaney.

HOST: Go ahead, Dan.

CALLER #1: Uh, hi. I'm calling from Houston, Texas.

HOST: Go ahead.

CALLER #1: Okay, um, my question is for, uh, Mr. DeWolf, and it's concerning any possible connections of Scientology to the EST training and, um, anything, um, an offshoot of Scientology.

HOST: Um-hmm.

RON DeWOLF: Yes, it is. Werner Erhard was a Scientologist, and the beginnings of EST, uh, are the Scientology training routines—or in Scientology, they're called TRs.

HOST: Okay, thank you very much. Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #2: Uh, hi, Dennis, this is Steve from Denver.

HOST: Go ahead, Steve, good to have you with us.

CALLER #2: Uh, thank you. Uh, I have a two-part question. Uh, it concerns an article in a magazine called The Realist which is put out by a fellow named Paul Krassner that came out about 10 years ago. And in the, um—in this issue of The Realist, Paul Krassner claimed that, um, you, Mr. DeWolf, were ready to publish this type of exposé against Scientology but at the last, a certain moment, you withdrew; and also, there was allegations apparently, you know, allegedly made by you that the Justice Department, the government, was infiltrating Scientology. So I was wondering whether, you know, why this didn't come about 10 years ago and also whether the government may have infiltrated and used Scientology.

RON DeWOLF: I think the government has, for good, sound criminal reasons, um, and through the period of 1969-72, 10 years ago when that article thing came out, I got avalanched on, because 99% of what my father ever wrote or said about himself is totally untrue, and one could not perpetrate or keep up the, the myth that he has, uh, put across to people and the membership and the public, uh, when all these facts came out. And I wrote what thought was a very innocuous article, a few minor facts about his life, like he didn't graduate from college even though he said he was a nuclear physicist, uh, etc., etc. And, um, so, uh, Scientology was extremely powerful in those days and, um, I was sort of like the voice in the wilderness so I was pretty well forced to back off of it and, uh, sign some documents that said that dear old Dad was a wonderful fellow and all of that kind of thing just to protect my children and my family, I felt.

HOST: Do you fear for your life?

RON DeWOLF: I have at various times.

HOST: Do you now?

RON DeWOLF: Much less than I did, um, and, uh, because Scientology has always been pretty, uh, pretty damn militant.

HOST: Hmm. Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #3: Hi, this is John from Fort Wayne.

HOST: Hi, John.

CALLER #3: I want to ask two quick questions of both gentlemen and then hang up and listen.

HOST: Go ahead.

CALLER #3: I want to ask Mr. DeWolf if he's not a Scientologist now, then what religion does he esp—espouse? And I want to ask the other gentleman, um, if he has always been a Scientologist, and if not, what was he before?

HOST: Thank you.

RON DeWOLF: Okay, very quickly, my father was very deeply involved in black magic, Satan activity and what have you because he wanted to be the most powerful being in the universe anyhow. Um, because he had proved to me, quote-unquote, proved to me that, um, Satan really existed, uh, through just simple logic I decided, well, then God must exist. So I'm sort of your basic Christian at the moment.

HOST: Go ahead.

VAUGHN YOUNG: Well, as far as myself, I got into Scientology in '68 when I was working on my PhD., uh, in California. Before that, the earliest thing, I guess, before that was growing up as a Baptist.

HOST: Do you—are you on the staff of Scientology?

VAUGHN YOUNG: No, I'm not staff.

HOST: Have you ever, uh, conducted sessions?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Yes, I have.

HOST: You have.

VAUGHN YOUNG: Yes, I have.

HOST: So you're an auditor.

VAUGHN YOUNG: Yes, I'm a trained auditor.

HOST: And you hit—they hook people up with the little meters and they hold on to the meters and then you ask them questions and—


HOST: —depending upon how they react, respond to certain lines of questioning, like a—like a lie detector, I guess?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Well, it's, it's—it's a baromatic [???] reading; you can do it without the meter and you're trained to do it without—

HOST: And you probe that particular area and try to get people to unblock that which is causing them some confusion.

VAUGHN YOUNG: According to how they feel about it, their issue, yes.

HOST: How much does a session cost?

VAUGHN YOUNG: It ranges from—there's no cost, I've done an awful lot of auditing myself, I was running a drug program, as a matter of fact, in a prison for a long time, um, just as a volunteer, with no cost—on up to, I don't know, they run $50, $75, I'm not familiar—

RON DeWOLF: $300 or better.

HOST: Somebody pays $300?

RON DeWOLF: Um-hmm. Some gentleman called me wanted back $5735 for 25 hours of auditing.

HOST: Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #4: Hello? Philadelphia, I'm waiting.

HOST: Hello, there, you're on the air.

CALLER #4: Okay. Hello, my name is Peg Kline, I'm calling from Philadelphia. I'm very curious about something. I was asked to make this brief and I will. I have been a television producer, local television, for some time now in three or four different cities. And we have systematically refused to have Scientologists on because they represented a point of controversy. Nobody is ever sure of why; however, every time we air a Scientology program, we get waves of response; it had to be an equal time problem. However, what was Mr. Hubbard? I can see, I can finally see him. Now I can finally see a troubled child coming out, a troubled, cast-off, neglected child. I am wondering now, what are you trying to accomplish? Do you want your father's money, your fame, or your father's love? What is it you want?

RON DeWOLF: It would have to be both, they're all so true. You see, I'm—I have rather interesting here; I have—I've been under like a triple whammy for years. First of all, besides the drug and hypnosis, because he was trying to make me, at the time when I was young, the heir apparent. Drug and hypnosis as a kid used on me by him; plus being the son of somebody who's famous or infamous, however you may view it, being the son of L. Ron Hubbard; plus having Scientology. So most people just have Scientology to get out of their head. It took me the last 25 years to slowly sort all that sort of stuff out.

HOST: Are you bitter?


HOST: Are you angry?



RON DeWOLF: I've been very angry at various times, but I've also found that such emotions and feelings are, um, quite self-destructive to the person feeling them. It doesn't do any good to hate. So my, uh—I'm really pro-truth. I'd like to see all the facts come out and as I said, if I have to expose myself in order to expose the real, honest and true facts of my father and Scientology, then—then so be it.

HOST: Mr. Young, your body language suggests that you're about to go through the ceiling!

[Ron DeWolf laughs]

HOST: What's the matter over there?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Oh, I mean, he tells it so convincingly and the—it's still, there's no evidence, there's no eyewitnesses, there's no documentation that has been presented into the courts that has been retained—

RON DeWOLF: Oh, yes there is—

VAUGHN YOUNG: No documentation has been retained by that court, it's all been thrown out as, as irrelevant—

RON DeWOLF: It hasn't been thrown out because it wasn't a part of the court proceedings—

HOST: Well, now, what are you talking about and what's he talking about? What, what evidence?

RON DeWOLF: We have an awful lot of evidence coming in on the thing, like—

HOST: Why point? Just give me some specifics here.

RON DeWOLF: I'm talking about his—say, his medical records.

HOST: Yeah?

RON DeWOLF: Um, the fact that he was a hypochondriac, the fact that he also, uh, was using illegal drugs, that, uh, he was being, um, manipulated, the fact that he really was paranoid from the evidence that we have, from a pure medical standpoint.

HOST: Aren't we all, to a degree?

RON DeWOLF: Yeah, I would suppose so.

HOST: How old is he now?

RON DeWOLF: He would be 72.

HOST: 72.

RON DeWOLF: So you see, this—this petition I filed on November 10, 1982, uh, was to ascertain whether or not L. Ron Hubbard was missing or not. Now coming up June 10, the judge will make his final decision—

HOST: Well, now—

RON DeWOLF: —on that one point.

HOST: Well, now Friday, didn't he, uh—didn't a letter—

RON DeWOLF: —they said he might be, yes.

HOST: Didn't a letter arrive in court that was—

RON DeWOLF: Correct.

HOST: —allegedly written in ink that could only have been doctored up by somebody in February of this year, and his fingerprint was there and it said—

RON DeWOLF: Yes, our experts are looking at it—

HOST: —and it said—well, somebody else has already looked at it, right?—

RON DeWOLF: You see, just—everybody thinks this is a one-inclusive, one-shot deal, but the, uh, this ascertaining whether or not my father is missing or not is only the step one—

HOST: Now do you think he's been kidnapped by the Church of Scientology?

RON DeWOLF: We don't know yet.

HOST: But you think it might be a possibility.

RON DeWOLF: It could be. We do know that he's being manipulated.

HOST: Now, when you say that, what do you mean—he's being manipulated?

RON DeWOLF: Well, for instance, um, we have some very recent strong evidence that shows that his funds were being invested in organized crime—

HOST: How do you—

RON DeWOLF: —in Arizona.

HOST: Like—like how so? I mean—


HOST: —tell me about that.

RON DeWOLF: It's in a corporation called—I think it's called Intercap, in Arizona.

HOST: Well, okay now, I don't know anything about the organization, we want to be very careful about what we say—

RON DeWOLF: That was a—that was a financial organization of my father's, not necessarily that of the Church of Scientology, so I wanna make that very clear. The point is that step two, see—step one was to find out if he's missing or not. Step two, now—if the court adjudicates him being alive—

HOST: Yeah?

RON DeWOLF: —um, then, uh, we will be filing in the next three to four weeks, we'll be filing a petition for conservatorship.

VAUGHN YOUNG: Who—I'm just curious, like if this has sort of been, like, planned out, who—who planned this step one and step two? I'm just sort of curious; it's a bit unusual, you know.

RON DeWOLF: No, it's just naturally the basic way to go. You have to first of all establish if somebody is alive or not before you can go on to the next thing. There was a great—there was a great, um, question about him being alive or not, and the only thing that kind of—

HOST: So you think he's gotta be alive now.

RON DeWOLF: He could be—is as that once that—once the court adjudicates that he's alive, for crying out loud, everybody and their brother is gonna be looking for him throughout the world.

HOST: I don't know—who else was saying he was dead?


HOST: —except you?

RON DeWOLF: There was an awful lot of questions. You see, here's an interesting thing—

HOST: But-but-but you were the one that raised this fact that he's probably dead.

VAUGHN YOUNG: That's right.

HOST: So who's gonna be looking for him that wasn't looking for him before you stepped forth and said, "I think he's dead"? I mean, everybody, I guess they're still looking for him, those that were looking for him.

RON DeWOLF: Yes, yes. To the people inside Scientology, to the membership, they were saying he was alive, he—

HOST: Yes—

RON DeWOLF: —was well, he-

HOST: —right. Right—

RON DeWOLF: But to the outside, other courts, they were saying, "Well, we've had absolutely no contact with him whatsoever. Um, and if he's proven to be alive in this present court proceeding, then—

HOST: But you—you were born and raised with him. You grew up with him. Isn't it his MO, if the heat gets a little tough, to go lay low for a little while?

RON DeWOLF: Through the years, he has—

HOST: Yeah, but that—

RON DeWOLF: —like Howard Hughes.

HOST: Yeah, but, I mean, so, so this is nothing new. He used to do this all the time, when he left New Jersey and went some place to Arizona—

RON DeWOLF: Right. He was always cutting and running, right.

HOST: Yeah, so? I mean, what's the big deal? I mean, he, he's—I mean, he might just be doing that again.

RON DeWOLF: Could be.

HOST: Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

'CALLER #5: Hello, this is Robert from Houston, Texas.

'HOST: Go ahead, Robert.

'CALLER #5: I would like to get back to some issues. Would either guest please respond to the Scientologists' view towards electroconvulsive therapy. And I'll hang up.

'HOST: Okay. Vaughn Young.

VAUGHN YOUNG: I'd like to. It's, it's—it's something that Mr. Hubbard attacked very strongly very much in 1950; he found it abusive, he found it medieval, he found it to be absolutely—I mean, there was no words that he could not use that were not strong enough. He was—

HOST: Was that of electroshock therapy?


HOST: Okay. Well, sure—

RON DeWOLF: I'm against it, too.

HOST: Well, I think we all are, all three of us, we agree here. Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #6: Hi, my name is Clyde Antha [???] and I'm from Los Angeles. Um, it's my understanding from what I've read in the papers here in Los Angeles that the judge in Riverside County has accepted the documents that were presented there last Friday that Mr. Hubbard is indeed alive; and I'd like to know how Mr. DeWolf will explain that. But secondly, I'm rather curious as this case has been going on for quite some time, um, why after 20 years of separation from his father, Mr. DeWolf has been pursuing a rather costly, expensive legal pursuit, and I wonder where his finances are coming from.

HOST: That's an—that's an interesting question. Yeah—

RON DeWOLF: I have, uh, no finances.

HOST: So the lawyers are taking it on contingency.

RON DeWOLF: Well, I can't really mention that, I mean, with that sort of arrangement. But the, the point is is that, um, the—it is not—the judge has not made up his mind yet, and we still have three weeks to, uh, to make up our mind, but it's like a fork in a road. All we really wanted to find out was the decision, what—is he legally alive or not? And then we would fork off in one direction or another. That's it—

VAUGHN YOUNG: He told—he told Cable Network News it was 40% contingency.

RON DeWOLF: No I did not. [starts laughing]


HOST: You didn't—

RON DeWOLF: —mention, of course not.

HOST: Now, you've got the big interview in, like, Penthouse magazine.

RON DeWOLF: Right.

HOST: Now, do they pay you for that interview?

RON DeWOLF: I haven't been paid for any of those interviews; no, of course not. I was—I kind of liked that Penthouse interview, especially the picture. Being a Hubbard, I wanted to go for the centerfold, but they said it would take too much makeup and too much foam rubber, so they just picked the head shot of me.

HOST: Okay, good enough. Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #7: My name is Noelle Biggs and I'm calling from St. Petersburg, Florida.

HOST: Go ahead, Noelle.

CALLER #7: Hi. I watched the Scientology hearings on television, and I want to know is, if there really is no such thing as a Fair Game policy, why were so many of the former Scientologists who testified so terrified and scared to death?

HOST: [to Vaughn Young] You care to explain the Fair Game policy?—

VAUGHN YOUNG: Could I please, first of all, because—

HOST: Explain the Fair Game policy.

VAUGHN YOUNG: It's been—it's been mischaracterized, it really has been. There was—in fact, the thing that's sometimes pulled out is, um, the early version. There's been a long, long history of, of every religion to have its own code to be able to expel a member of the, of the group, and thereby afford no protection to that member. In other words, you leave the protection of the group, and the Catholics have that, the, the Jews have that, the—any other group has that. That thing, what that said and when you read it, you actually read what it said, and when he—what he, Mr. DeWolf will say, he says that a person could be, uh, harmed. No, it says that the person is not afforded the protection of the church. It says "May be" by others and not afforded the protection of the church. In other words, they left the protection, the fold, and thereby they cannot receive any other further protection of the church—

HOST: Are we talking about—

RON DeWOLF: They can—

HOST: —legal protection or are we talking about mental or spiritual protection? I mean, we're talking about a church, we usually talk about spirituality—

VAUGHN YOUNG: Well, there's spirituality. At the same time, there have been instances in the past where, like, um, perhaps legal protection might be brought up on behalf of—

HOST: Now the question was, why did it appear—some hearings were held on television—

RON DeWOLF: Any, any—any organization that has any sort of a thing like that in the 20th century is really wrong, whether it be internal or external.

HOST: The question is, why did the people appear to be scared? Who were testifying against the Church of Scientology.

VAUGHN YOUNG: Mr. DeWolf has said for a long time—

HOST: Why do you think that they were scared?

VAUGHN YOUNG: I don't believe they were scared.

[Ron DeWolf starts laughing]

HOST: Well, they still—are you still on the line?

CALLER #7: [laughing]

HOST: Are you still on the line? Hello—

RON DeWOLF: Scared stiff—

CALLER #7: Yeah, that's a joke!

HOST: That's a joke.

CALLER #7: A lie.

HOST: Now tell me, where were these hearings held?

CALLER #7: Uh, they were held in Clearwater. They were on cable television—

HOST: Okay, that's what I was thinking you were—

RON DeWOLF: May 5, 1982.

HOST: May 5, 1982, did you have it in like—say, what went down there? What happened?

CALLER #7: Well, they, um, the—oh, God, I cannot think; but the mayor of Clearwater held hearings and Mr. DeWolf can explain it to you. And people, not people that had been asked to leave; people who had, say, had a week's vacation and decided to leave the church were harassed like crazy; all sorts of horrible things—you know, they told them all sorts of horrible things that happened to them, and these weren't people who were asked to leave, people that had decided of their own accord to leave the church—

HOST: Okay, now, what do you—what do you—you're down there in Florida, and, uh—are you in Clearwater?

CALLER #7: Right near there.

HOST: Well, what do you think of this whole shooting match?

CALLER #7: I think it's—I'm totally against it, and as far as I'm concerned, from what I've read and the article in Penthouse magazine, I agree that it should—that Scientology should be considered a cult; and I am totally against it.

HOST: Yeah? Okay, thank you. Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #8: Hi, this is Bill from Rochester. I grew up in Roches—in Riverside, California, and my view of this organization is that, one, they charge a lot of money; I'd like you guys to discuss the kind of fees that people have to incur to get involved in this. Two, they have high-pressure sales, and that makes me question to what extent they can even call themselves a religion. Um, the other thing I'd like you to focus on is—it's obvious that DeWolf has a stake in the outcome of these legal matters, which I haven't been following. What is the, uh, potential stake in the outcome of this other gentleman with you tonight?

HOST: Okay, uh, very quickly because we covered it a little while ago from 0 dollars up to $300 an hour; both of those figures were mentioned, $75 an hour, that was a figure mentioned. The stake for Mr. DeWolf is very, very high because he believes the assets could be as high as a billion dollars. And Mr. Young will now say what is in it for him.

VAUGHN YOUNG: I get to visit Detroit tonight. [starts laughing]

HOST: That's one reason, okay. You would like to see the Church of Scientology continue.

VAUGHN YOUNG: Yes, very much so. And as you said, there's a—there's an awful lot, there's millions of people, uh, who also vote in that direction, a lot of fine people. Um, Mr. Hubbard himself has—he's been recently been getting proclamations and commendations from various cities for his work in, uh, drug abuse areas and for his other contributions. I think the man has made a contribution and this should continue. We will always have in an organization a few instances of individuals that, um, get out of hand, that are—

HOST: When did he get a proclamation? Who gave him a proclamation? for something he did in the drug field?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Um, we had, um, Austin, Texas, there's a proclamation by the mayor there in recognition of his work.

HOST: Recently?

VAUGHN YOUNG: Yeah. Just a couple weeks ago.

HOST: Okay. Was there anything in that question we didn't get [???]

VAUGHN YOUNG: I don't think so.

HOST: Okay. Hi, there, you're on PBS Late Night.

CALLER #9: Uh, hello?

HOST: You're on the air.

CALLER #9: Okay, I want to ask about—I understand that, uh, Charles Manson was very involved in Scientology and that part of his philosophy came up—his Satanistic views came from Scientology and that was the basis of his, um, whole philosophy and I want to get a comment on that.

[shot of Vaughn Young smiling and shaking his head]

HOST: Well, interesting. I don't know what the answer's gonna be, but I heard the same thing. And Mr. Young is smiling.

VAUGHN YOUNG: You know, that—that one was retracted in about—corrected back in about 19, um, what was it about 1973, that there was that rumor going around, that it was retracted; and I even believe Mr. Bugliosi [Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor in the Manson trial and author of Helter Skelter, the book about the Manson murders—Sue] helped out on that. I was not there at that time.

HOST: Okay. Any quick comment?

RON DeWOLF: I think that he was, but I don't know about the, the all-inclusive basis for all of Manson's activities, but I do know he was involved.

HOST: You know he was involved.

RON DeWOLF: Yeah, well, some of the people that were in and around him at the time have, um, walked and talked, which seems to happen a great deal even more recently over the past couple of years, but, um, there was some involvement with Scientology—

HOST: Now, let me ask you this question—if your father is: a) not alive—

RON DeWOLF: Um-hmm—

HOST: —or b) not, you know, sane, you know—

RON DeWOLF: Um-hmm—

HOST: What do you think will happen to the Church of Scientology?

RON DeWOLF: I don't really know. Um, people have asked me that question before, and quite honestly that would really have to be up to, um, the members, and, uh, the one thing that I think that's important here is that the people can believe as they please, but you can't do as you please. And the problems that I have had and the, the hypercritical, uh, activities that I'm, I'm against is these actions like Fair Game, attack the attacker, etc., etc., etc. And, as I said, people, if—you can believe in cannibalism, as an example, but you can't practice it.

HOST: You're not trying to trade on your father now and pick up some loot, are you?

RON DeWOLF: No, I mean, not so far as continuing Scientology because I don't think it works. But that still again, under the Constitution is an important point: People can believe as they want but they can't do as they want.

HOST: Okay—15-second comment, Mr. Young?

VAUGHN YOUNG: I'd just like to say that it's gonna—it's gonna out that this is, this is "The Hitler Diaries, Part Two" and he's living on the fame of his father and on the good name of his father and, uh, his father is very popular and recognized, as I said, by individuals and cities.

HOST: Gotta go. I thank you both for being with us, Ron DeWolf and Vaughn Young. We're gonna take a little break, friends, and when we come back on the other side, we're gonna talk about the ultimate in personal computers next on PBS Late Night.

[then the announcer mentions upcoming shows]

Transcript by Batchild