The great-grandson of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard has made no secret of his disgust for his famous relative's life's work. But in a new interview this week on CBS San Francisco, Jamie DeWolf blasted the secretive organization for ruining his family, and said former church member Katie Holmes was lucky to get out while she and her daughter still could.
While DeWolf never met his great grandfather -- a man he describes as a “portly red-headed, charismatic, lying, con-man pseudoscience self-help author” -- he nonetheless has grown up in the church's not-so-friendly shadow. His grandfather, Ron DeWolf, changed his name after famously leaving the church, but the youngest DeWolf said he nevertheless watched helplessly as his mother struggled to come to terms with an organization that eventually "destroyed and devoured both her grandfather and her father."
The stand-up comedian, who has gotten in trouble for poking fun at the church in the past, said he could be in danger just by agreeing to the interview. But he said he refuses to be silenced by what he refers to as a “pyramid scheme that sells secrets and they sell them under the guise of self-help.”
This is not DeWolf's first brush with the church. In 2000, DeWolf was invited to Clearwater by the Lisa McPherson Trust. His performance did not go unnoticed and DeWolf said church officials showed up at door days later.
"Within two to three days Scientologists were at my door with fake cover stories claiming that they were performers doing a show with me. They had people following me, they were on me immediately,” DeWolf said in the interview.
His subsequent monologues garnered him attention from a variety of media outlets, including the Village Voice, which named him #22 last summer on their list of the "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology."
As far as the church's famous (and former) first couple is concerned, DeWolf said Tom Cruise, Scientology's "golden mascot," is just one more sad "victim of the mirage that my great grandfather created around himself.”
The media has been scrambling to verify what role, if any, Cruise's involvement in the church played in the couple's highly-publicized divorce. Holmes, who was herself raised Catholic, lost no time in enrolling her six-year-old daughter Suri in Manhattan's exclusive Convent of the Sacred Heart as soon as the ink on the settlement was dry.
DeWolf said there's no doubt in his mind that Scientology played a factor in the split. "The more [Holmes] saw behind the curtain, the more horrified that she probably was,” he said.
CBS San Francisco contacted the Church of Scientology for comment, but the request was declined. Church officials did release a statement, however, discrediting the famous great grandson.
“Despite his public representations and self-promotion, Mr. DeWolf is not knowledgeable about the Church of Scientology or its founder,” spokesperson Karin Pouw said in the statement.