The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 22: Jamie DeWolf

On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...

The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology

#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)

For several years, a man named Jamie DeWolf has been getting noticed for his slam poetry. But now, it looks like he's really about to break out. Why? Well, we posted this video recently, and the response was pretty huge. Just watch and you'll probably understand why:

Credit: Snap Judgment's series, "Drama Momma!"

Several friends of Runnin' Scared sent me copies of that video seemingly all at the same time recently, and after I posted it here on July 21, it spread quickly, showing up at the Washington Post and getting DeWolf and radio show Snap Judgment a lot of exposure. In Boston this week to compete in a national slam poetry competition with his regular troupe, Tourettes Without Regrets, DeWolf spoke to me on the telephone about his growing celebrity as a Hubbard descendent.

"Some people think I'm just coming out of the gate, the start of my anti-Scientology career," he says. But it was more than a decade ago, in 2000, that he first dramatized his family background. Today, however, he has a hard time looking back at that performance, saying that it was "an incoherent mess." He had a lot more to learn about his famous great-grandfather and about Scientology. He's been apt pupil ever since. But he's rarely talked openly about it. (He also had a different name then. Born Jamie Kennedy, he has taken his mother's maiden name, DeWolf, to avoid confusion with another comic named Jamie Kennedy.)

"I think it's funny when people think I'm trying to cash in on the Scientology aspect, because I've actually kept away from it a long time because of the hassle," he says.

After that first performance, his mother was visited by a couple of men claiming to be poets who were interested in his material. She got them to admit they were Scientologists. They subsequently branded him an "anti-religious slam poet" in a flier.

That same year, 2000, DeWolf was invited to Clearwater, Florida to host a benefit concert for the Lisa McPherson Trust, and was stunned by what he saw.

"It's absolutely crazy. Like an alternate universe. These little bus lines, with people getting on and off in their Sea Org outfits," he says. "It's a city they bullied their way into and devoured. I went out there to host the Lisa McPherson benefit concert. I was meeting a lot of ex-Scientologists, like Vaughn Young and Jesse Prince."

But for DeWolf, the experience was almost too much. "I realized that if I continued down that path, it could consume me," he says. "I didn't want it to take over my life."

Since then, he says he hadn't been using Hubbard in his act. But recently, he was asked to do so by Snap Judgment's Glynn Washington.

"I had a really difficult time. How could I put this into one monologue?" he says. There's a lot about Hubbard and Scientology to talk about: "Anytime anyone asks me about it, I tell them, are you ready to sit down and listen to me for an hour? There's so much to it."

He thought about multiple bits that he could do in a full one-man show -- and he may still do that in the future. But for the Snap Judgment gig, he needed one short piece. Then, he says, he realized that the trick was just to concentrate on the father and son story of L. Ron Hubbard Senior and Junior.

"That to me was kind of a big moment, figuring out that trick, and then turning it into a performance. Just a poetic, storytelling thing," he says. "I wrote it just two days before the show."

It was a mad dash of writing and rehearsing, but it wasn't something he did lightly, he adds. "My mom was in the audience. It was very important to her," he says. "All my family is more than well aware of how dangerous it is to talk about him."

DeWolf asked me if I'd been to the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition in Hollywood. (I did go once, but with Tory Christman, and she was recognized as an ex-church member and "apostate" so quickly by employees there, we were kicked out before we could get past the lobby.) "I've been there three times. I go in and I don't fuck with them. I take a friend. But the ending is something. You go through this whole tour of this fictionalized life, and then you get to the end and this huge operatic music starts and there's a bust of L. Ron. And you see all these diplomas and certificates on the wall and then the wall folds out and there's even more certificates, and then the wall folds again and even more certificates! and the music goes Waaaaaahhhh!"

For DeWolf, it was less than impressive. "The main problem with L. Ron was the motherfucker couldn't stop lying. He couldn't find just one lie and stick with it," he says.

So why, I asked him, does he have a tattoo of the Scientology symbol on his right arm, which is clearly visible in the video? "I am a huge fan of irony," he says. "Also, on my left arm is the symbol for the Zodiac killer. I knew I had the power in me to be a killer or a god. And they are reminders to me that artists have the potential to go wrong."

Besides, he says, he's branded by Hubbard in a different way. "It's my DNA. It's my flesh. I'm pretty much wearing L. Ron all up in me, when I look at the mirror. And when I look at my brother, who looks just like him. It's freaky."

There's no mistaking the red hair on Jamie's head, and he says L. Ron also passed on his manic creativity. But it can't be very good for Scientology that a direct descendent of its founder is so openly calling him a liar and a con man.

In fact, Scientology has always had an uneasy relationship with Hubbard's far-flung bloodline.

Margaret Grubb
Jamie DeWolf's maternal grandfather, Ron DeWolf, was born L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. -- but was called "Nibs" by the family. He was the son of L. Ron Hubbard, Sr. and his first wife, Margaret Grubb. (Hubbard's first two wives, Margaret Grubb and Sara Hollister, have essentially been written out of existence by Scientology, perhaps in part because Hubbard was married to both of them at the same time at one point. Oops.)

Hubbard groomed Nibs as his successor, but by the late 1950s L. Ron Jr. had had enough of Scientology and bolted. His father then turned his back on him.

Ron DeWolf
In 1982, convinced that his father was dead (Hubbard had gone into hiding), he sued for control of his father's estate. By then he'd dropped his father's name and had become "Ron DeWolf."

Marty Rathbun recently told me that Ron DeWolf's probate case was the second-worst publicity nightmare in Scientology's history, only behind the fallout from the 1977 FBI raids that busted up "Operation Snow White" -- the church's widespread infiltration of government offices.

In 1983, DeWolf gave what is still an interview worth reading, to Penthouse magazine. It contains gems like this: "99% of anything my father ever wrote or said about himself is untrue."

DeWolf's suit was dismissed when Hubbard proved to the court's satisfaction that he was still alive and in control of his faculties. Well, at least for the moment. Hubbard died a few years later, in 1986. DeWolf died in 1991 of diabetes. But not before making quite an impression on his grandson Jamie.

That memory results in a powerful line in the video:

One day my grandfather led me to a bookshelf and showed me volumes of his father's works. He said, "Your mom says you want to be a writer. Well, don't believe everything you read. But believe everything you say."

It's been many years since Ron DeWolf had any kind of presence in the media, and it's remarkable to see his grandson bring him so vividly to life.

Quentin Hubbard
After Nibs disappointed him, Hubbard tried to groom another successor in Quentin, the first son of his third wife, Mary Sue Whipp. But young Quentin also struggled with the role his father was trying to impose on him. He may have been gay, a sexual identity that Hubbard considered "1.1" on the "tone scale," which equates to "covertly hostile." (Don't get me started about tone scales and dynamics. The point is, L. Ron considered homosexuals to be perverts, which would have made it tough to be his gay son.) Quentin apparently killed himself in 1976 with carbon monoxide poisoning in Las Vegas at the age of 22.

If you consider Hubbard's bigamy, his failed relationships with his sons, and having his third wife Mary Sue take the fall for Operation Snow White -- she did prison time while he was only an "unindicted co-conspirator" in an infiltration of government offices that had his fingerprints all over it -- L. Ron Hubbard has not shown the sort of mastery over his own family that he promised his technology would do for the rest of the world.

For that reason, we're ranking L. Ron's descendants fairly high on this list. Jamie DeWolf has the opportunity, with his talent for writing and even more talent for delivery, to become a major embarrassment to Scientology, and it sounds like he's just beginning to tap that potential.

The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#6: Anonymous
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord

Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


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My Voice Nation Help

I just discovered you, fell in love and it all happened by accident for the hatred of SCIENTOLOGY and the evil smurf, LOL. Is this my fairy princess tail? You are truly the prince of sanity!!!  thank you, can't wait to see your shows, diainetics proved that genetics will dominate. I'm bowing and kissing your hand, your Grace.

Truly, SP Cinderella

Goodreasonnews Billy
Goodreasonnews Billy

Scientology is a vile scam that doesn't even deserve the ironic respect the Voice awards it here.

Bob Peterson
Bob Peterson

I met Jamie at the 2000 benefit at the LMT. He had a lot of energy and since he has grown and refined his act.  As I recall we didn't make a lot money, (I did the banking for the Trust), but we had a good time and it drove the Scientologists wild.  They hired their usual batch of PI's that were placed around the entrance to where it was being held.  Mike Krotz had a fun time sneaking up on them; they scared easilly.  As to "NIbs" I think one of the main reasons he left was that he couldn't make a living and feed his family on what he was being paid.  Hubbard had a real phobia about anyone but him making money on Scientology; even family members.  Nibs was treated like a slave for all of his hard work and got only crusts for his efforts. 


I'll pull up the old rocking chair here and tell you about Jamie Kennedy DeWolf's gig in Clearwater, where he participated in a fund raiser for the Lisa McPherson Trust. Oh, no! He was trash talkin The Commodore!  I remember hearing how some Scientologists in their serious suits stopped in at Jamie's mom's house in an attempt to shut him up by pressuring her.

DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I AM THE GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER OF L. RON HUBBARD! she announced at the door. They were stunned into silence. O NOEZ! Reportedly they left, and never returned. Would have loved to be there for that!


Jamie said that "the main problem with L. Ron was the motherfucker couldn't stop lying". That is so true. Ironically, the current leaders of the Church of Scientology suffer from the very same ailment. Tommy Davis, the spokesperson of the Church, got so caught up in the church's lies, that on occasion he had to stom out of an interview, because he could no longer answer anything in a believable or even slightly plausible way.


Is that Mary De Moss at 7:24 in the video?


Wow, that video was amazing.  Stunning, really.   DeWolf puts a fascinating angle on $cientology with regard to the fear and shame born by the descendants of L Ron Hubbard.  I also like his point about ironically having a scientology tatoo-  that it's branded in his DNA anyway. 


Tony, have you seen the 1967 television interview with Hubbard? I think you can find it in Mark Bunker's channel. In it Hubbard says that he's been married twice but then later says he didn't have a second wife.


Not only does Hubbard "tech" not work 100% of the time, as Hubbard (and the mini-Hubbards like Miscavige and Rathbun) claimed, it didn't work hardly ANY of the time with Hubbard's own family! Nor did it work for his closest associates, or Hubbard himself. No disease-free, long, happy life, with a perfect memory and super powers. Jamie makes a good chronicler of the true family legacy, once the money component is a few generations removed.

With Nibs and Jamie, the only family who spoke out, the Hubbard family legacy appears to be bright SPs. Okay, Hubbard's ex-wives spoke out, and of course they are honorary SPs as well.

Since Quentin committed suicide at 22, and never felt free enough to speak out publicly, it was a watershed when Nibs (Ron Jr. aka Ron DeWolf, grandfather of Jamie) spoke out on talk shows, and to Penthouse what it was all about. That significant act came and went, UNTIL THE WEB.

Essentially, what Miscavige and Rathbun are doing, is trying to preserve the legacy of a pot of money and delusion, a narcissistic con game of power and control, which is the only thing they've been trained to do.

Jamie is dealing with the true Hubbard legacy left to him in his genes: his intelligence, creativity, and torment. He "knows."

Anon A
Anon A

There aren't many Scientologist celebrities that have had long-standing marriages, but John Travolta is admittedly one of them (despite the various rumors concerning his sexual preference, of course).  Thus, Travolta is quick to attribute the stability and long life of his marriage to Scientology.  But the same question comes up whenever I hear Scientologists make this claim about Scientology "tech" strengthening their family bonds, namely : why didn't it work so very well for the "source" himself, L Ron Hubbard? 

The long train-wreck that was LRH's family life is yet another thing Scientologists are very good at ignoring.


Well, it may be a little premature to elevate Jamie to these ranks, but, I enjoyed his monologue and, who knows where it'll go from here? :)

On another note though, it's important to shine the light on the *real* Source of Scientology evil, and, that's not the tiny current fuehrer of furor, that dwarf of dementia and pope of pathetic, David Miscavige, hollow be his COB.

This won't sit well with the 'new' crop of 'Independent Scientologists', but, the Source of Scientology's evil is Source; Elron Himself, who designed the Cult to be exactly what it is today, if you ignore that, by now, Ron thought it would be ruling the World.

Interesting to watch the scramble as the 'Independents' follow the bouncing Party Line to agreement that Tony Ortega has, sadly, failed to differentiate Scientology from the 'Church of Miscavige', as they like to call it :)


Scientologists, former and current know what this means:  

"My mom was in the audience. It was very important to her," he says. "All my family is more than well aware of how dangerous it is to talk about him." But for those Hubbard clan members who have been forced over the years into rigid silence by Scientology fair game harrassment tactics and legal manuvers, I would think that Jamie DeWolf's words slam like a hammer, breaking away chunks of the oppressive bond they have been forced to share. .  Jamie's work is pure poetic justice. And so it is, for people who intimately know the truth about L Ron Hubbard and Scientology, and for the uninformed, a blessing.


Just being a stickler, Jamie should be in Top 25 list of Potential New Cripplers, but hey, as a stand-in for Nibs, okay, and his latest monologue simply floored me.  Wow, now I really want to see a picture of his brother.  There's usually a third-generation lookalike in family lines. 

Loved his description of Flagland in Clearwater.  It truly Is an alternative universe.  From the same county, I can tell you most people here I know avoid that area like the plague.  I am very relieved to hear Jamie has recognized the need for balance.  Terrific, Jamie, and thank you!

I believe his greatest blow to scientology is his open admission of an inherited mental illness and utilizing psychiatric therapy as one of the tools to help him live a happy and successful life. 

When it comes down to it,  living a happy and successful life is The way all of us who've been sucked into the scientology vortex are crippling scientology today.   The only 100% true scientologist is one who actually does see the truth, and promptly leaves. I'm an Irony fan too.


Brilliant slam poetry! Jamie evidently has inherited L Ron's creativity in addition to the red hair. Glad he's using it to more productive and entertaining ends. I would love to see him in person.

"And the first time I saw a Psychiatrist, when he asked me if mental illness runs in my family, all I could say was YES. Yes it does. When I told him my great grandfather was a cult leader that enslaved the minds of millions he accused *me* of having delusions of grandeur".

Moar Jamie, moar!


Thanks, Tony, for reminding us of what has gone on over the years, and of all the things that are still happening today. My happiest day will be when this information becomes a collection of curious trivia about a forgotten twentieth century cult.

Jamie Dewolf
Jamie Dewolf

this is Jamie DeWolf and yeah, that's pretty dead on. That was his first out at that point. all the money went up to the top, and Nibs literally couldn't survive off it anymore. but he had also seen plenty and it was only gonna get worse.

T Wells
T Wells

Not to mention those over-the-top attempted "character assassinations" Scientology churns out on people (ex-members or people who talk to them)  they want to harm --- documented.   They lie with no conscience, like drinking a glass of water, and believethey are superior!

    Scientology has become known for its lying and for its evil modus operandi they try to bait with "help" and  "do-gooding". 

Scientology has lost touch with reality.     It is known as the Lyingtology.   That, with questionable mental health and unlimited resources to break and manipulate the law, should have decent citizens very concerned indeed.


No, but the girl could pass for her kid sister, lol


Part of that DNA includes his maternal side of the family, the Waterbury's,  who were  pioneering spirits and also a long line of impressive creativity and  talents.  May (LRH's mom) was an early feminist, quite intelligent, and likely her teaching skills and creative coaching were responsible for Hubbard not ending up in a mental ward or institute. 

We all have a Hubbard or two hanging from a withered limb on our family trees, whether we know it or not.    It should be noted that back in the day, having a family member with any kind of mental defect or illness affected the Entire family and in no good ways.  It could mean certain careers would be off limits, or job loss, social quarantines.   Marriage was another problem.  Disclosure of family with psychiatric ills was mandatory at one time.  I'm not talking here about the person who was mentally ill, but the family members of that person.  This resulted in minor mental problems camouflaged as character peculiarities, or to the extreme, sending a child "away" and denying they even existed.  

It's good to know that we're a more advanced species these days, although the glare of reality tv shows and Tea Party fan noise  reminds me there's still work to do. Still, Jamie has a lot of family to be proud of in those genes.


Makes you appreciate the benefits of having great grandparents who lived and died in blessed obscurity. I don't know much about mine but I'm pretty sure none of them left a trail of tears and thousands of saluting mind slaves.  To L. Ron...hip hip hurray!


I can't help it.  Wondered if those "secret poets" were wearing headcams.  A Squirrel Poets Society?  a subsidiary of the Secret Squirrel Society?  Hope Jamie travels with an assistant with a camcorder, digital camera and backup batteries.  It would be The Stupidest Thing that scientology could do (send the headcams his way) so naturally it's highly possible.   If Tommy Davis was interviewing, I'd Pay to buy that vid.  You hear that scientology?  I'd pay to see it.  I'm pretty darn sure there'd be thousands of customers.


Sometimes, when I despair of any real action happening in terms of law enforcement, etc., I take comfort in knowing the Scientology, not only as an organization but as a subject, has no real future.  Dianetics, which may once have sounded plausible, is already absurdly outdated by advances in the fields of neurology and psychology, and as those continue and become popularized, the foundation of the "religion" will come to seem as laughable as the theory of "humours" or Lamarckian genetics.

We may not see the wrongdoings of the group get the comeuppance they deserve, but rest assured that Scientology will never, ever, be more persuasive than it is today -- and that's not very persuasive at all.


Thanks Jamie, and thanks to your family as well.  This is an some cross to bear to say the least.  Your grandfather did a lot of courageous things and he is owed a lot of props. I'm glad that you are there to help remind us, and thanks for your courage.


Thanks for doing this Jamie.  It takes guts.  But I'm glad you haven't let it consume you.  Best of luck to you in the future. 



Brilliant! Love it! Thank you, T Wells!


As far as "real action" goes, it's almost like we've hit a glass ceiling. While our efforts have informed many people on the street, getting a politician or government office to look at the blatant fraud and quackery is almost impossible. It's that thing the Scientologists do; digging for dirt on enemies, or making it up if they can't find some. Google Gabe Cazares, Clearwater Mayor, Scientology blackmail. Interesting stuff that explains why none of our officials are willing to take a stand. So, I guess we keep informing the citizenry until Scientology just sort of withers and dies, making official involvement unneccessary.


I believe another element of the inevitable decline of $cientology is the exploding availability of much more compelling philosophies or theologies.  

Decades ago, Dianetics was readily available, but there was limited access to alternative religions.  Now, a few strokes on the keyboard and oceans of eastern philosophy are instantly available-  Taoism, Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, Vedanta, etc.

But the kicker is, these philosophies read well.  They don't set off red flags, like Hubbard does.  Wise people respect them, and can have meaningful discussions and constructive exchange of ideas.  In comparison, scientology is a mix of obvious lies, disingenuousness, and incoherence. 


But real philosophy doesn't give Free Personality Tests and Free Stress Tests on street corners!


Yep. Real philosophy ages well. Pseudoscience does not.

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