Hubbard Left Most of Estate to Scientology Church; Executor Appointed
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) _ L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, signed his will the day before he died, leaving 99 percent of ″tens of millions of dollars″ to the church, a Scientology leader said.
Hubbard’s will, signed with a scrawling signature and accompanied by his thumbprint, was filed Wednesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. Hubbard, 74, died of a stroke Jan. 24.
The exact amount of Hubbard’s estate was not disclosed, but church leaders said the will provides a trust 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 cult by some critics.
The rest of Hubbard’s estate was left in a trust for the organization he founded.
″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 Thursday at a Boston news conference. He said the estate was valued at ″tens of millions of dollars.″
Superior Court Judge Harry E. Woolpert on Wednesday named Norman F. Starkey, a minister of Scientology and a longtime friend and business associate of Hubbard, as executor and special administrator of Hubbard’s estate.
DeWolf, represented by lawyer Michael J. Flynn, has said he will contest the will.
Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1954, based on writings in his 1949 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.