Ronald Edward DeWolf (May 7, 1934 - September 16, 1991), born Lafayette Ron Hubbard, Jr., also known as Nibs Hubbard, was the eldest child of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and Hubbard's first wife, Margaret Louise Grubb.
Hubbard Jr. was born prematurely
; his father constructed a makeshift incubator with a shoe box, later a cupboard drawer, and used blankets and an electric light bulb to keep the baby warm.
He later said that his birth was actually the product of a botched abortion
his father (Hubbard Sr.) attempted on his mother.
Contradictory relation with his father
Hubbard Jr. helped his father in the early days of Scientology but later rejected his father and Scientology, changing his name to Ronald DeWolf. On November 6,1982, in a Riverside, Calif., court, DeWolf sued for control of his father's estate, saying that his father was either dead or incompetent. His father was proved to still be alive, and when he died in 1986, he left his estate to the Religious Technology Center
Comments about Hubbard Sr.
In a lengthy 1983 interview with Penthouse
magazine, DeWolf stated that "99% of anything my father ever wrote or said about himself is untrue."
In the same interview, he said that his father had claimed to be Satan
incarnate, a con man
, a KGB
accomplice, and a drug addict. In his opinion Scientology would be little more than a cult
that existed to make money. DeWolf later said the article contained "a false charge about my father and drugs [...]; the story I had weaved about my childhood; and my father's so-called harassment and manipulation of others. [...] In the past, I have said and written things about my father which I deeply regret and which caused him and me great pain. The Penthouse interview is an example. But Penthouse by its nature has a limited circulation and a dubious reputation."
Sued by Mary Sue Hubbard
In 1984, Mary Sue Hubbard
filed a $5 million suit for fraud against DeWolf for his 1982 suit to gain control of L. Ron Hubbard's estate.
Co-author of Hubbard biography, retracted
DeWolf was named as co-author (with Bent Corydon) of the 1987 edition of a highly critical book about Hubbard and the Church of Scientology titled " L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?
". His author credit was removed from subsequent editions of the book and DeWolf soon called the parts referring to him "no more than wild flights of fantasy"
and "to the extent that any portion of this book is based on my communications with Bent Corydon, whether written or oral, the book is inaccurate and false".
Per affidavits Ronald DeWolf presented to a court in 1987 his knowledge about the doing of his father L. Ron Hubbard
and the Church of Scientology
already ended in 1959 (Affidavit of May 20, 1987 and Affidavit of July 1, 1987).
The critics' explanation of the retraction
In A Piece of Blue Sky
former Scientologist Jon Atack
Nibs [L. Ron Hubbard Jr.] accepted a financial settlement from the Scientologists after his father's death in 1986, agreeing not to make further comment.
In the updated revision of L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, Bent Corydon comments:
In the case of L. Ron Hubbard Jr.'s 1986 "legal settlement" with Scientology, he had accumulated sizable hospital bills due to recent emergency surgery. This left him weakened and heavily in debt. Concerned about the welfare of his family he finally agreed to a "settlement". This included his signing various prepared documents. I don't believe for a moment that Ron Jr. ever considered these prepared statements to be accurate representations of his thoughts and beliefs. The man was under duress.