His son, who left Scientology and is now a Christian, wants to find out.

Where is Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard? Many would like an answer to that question, especially Ronald E. DeWolf, Hubbard’s son. DeWolf, who believes his father is either dead or totally disabled mentally, is seeking to have him declared legally missing so that his assets, estimated to be from $100 million to $1 billion, can be frozen. DeWolf, who says he has become a Christian, has petitioned a California court to appoint him receiver of those assets.

The March 1980 disappearance of the 71-year-old Hubbard came in the wake of the 1979 and 1981 convictions of 11 church officials for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, and theft of government property. This climaxed a prolonged cloak-and-dagger campaign of criminal activities by the church against a long hate-list of supposed enemies. Last month, Hubbard’s third wife was sentenced to four years in prison for her role in these operations.

DeWolf, who changed his name from L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., in 1972, maintains that a shakeup in Scientology’s leadership about a year ago—in which 150 staff members left the cult—brought to the front a cadre of “young Turks.” DeWolf contends the new leadership is pirating away millions of dollars in church funds and that if his father were alive and in his right mind, he would never permit such “wholesale thefts.” DeWolf has also speculated that his father might be held incommunicado by the new guard.

Not everyone agrees with DeWolfs speculation. Paulette Cooper, whose 1971 book, The Scandal of Scientology, led to vicious harassment and withdrawal of the volume from circulation, believes Hubbard is alive. She claims to have seen recent letters bearing ...

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