Church President: Hubbard Left Most of Estate to Scientology Church
BOSTON (AP) _ Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard left more than 99 percent of his personal estate, valued at ″tens of millions of dollars,″ to the group, a Scientology leader said.
″After substantially taking care of family members, Mr. Hubbard has given his life’s work to the church,″ Heber Jentzsch, head of the group for the past four years, said at a news conference here Thursday.
Hubbard, 74, died of a stroke Jan. 24 at his California ranch.
Church leaders had said Hubbard’s will, which was signed the day before he died, provided for his wife and four of his five children. A fifth child, Ronald DeWolf, had been disinherited for denouncing his father and the group, called a brainwashing cult by some critics.
Attorney Michael J. Flynn, who represented DeWolf, was on vacation and unavailable for comment, Flynn associate Michael Tabb told The Boston Globe. Flynn has said DeWolf will contest Hubbard’s will, which requested no autopsy because of his beliefs. His body was cremated.
DeWolf had sought an inquest into his father’s death, but that was denied by the county coroner in San Luis Obispo, Calif., because Hubbard was attended by a licensed physician when he died.
Tabb said his law firm had secondhand information that Hubbard’s estate could be worth up to $600 million. But Earl Cooley, national counsel for the church, told the Globe that figure was ridiculous. Previous estimates had been put at $280 million.
Cooley said an executor has not been appointed and the value of the estate has not been determined.
Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1954, based on writings in his 1959 book, ″Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.″ Followers strive toward a ″clear state″ by using a lie detector-like device called an ″E-Meter,″ coupled with exercises and counseling.