Scientology founder’s great grandson rails at cult

The great grandson of the founder of the Church of Scientology will urge Irish people to steer well clear of the controversial religious movement at a conference in Dublin today.

Jamie DeWolfe, an American poet, has stood up against the controversial religion that his great-grandfather, L Ron Hubbard, founded.

His grandfather Ronald DeWolfe helped build Hubbard’s scientology empire in the 1950s but later denounced the founder as a fraud.

The conference has been organised by former scientologist Pete Griffith who believes there are about 50 members of the church in Ireland, not 500 as claimed by the organisation.

The church, internationally, has two high profile members — Hollywood actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta — who believe scientology is life-affirming, empowering and the secret of their success.

However, Mr Griffith believes the two actors are victims just like all the other members of the church.

There will be 16 speakers at the conference, which is being held in the Teacher’s Club in Parnell Square and 12 are ex-members of the Church of Scientology.

Also addressing the conference are academics and family members who have been affected by the church.

Mr Griffith, an active scientologist for seven years, persuaded people to join the church when he worked at its Cumbria mission in Britain: “I hope they have come to the conclusion it is a cult and have left because I feel guilty about convincing them to join.”

The Church of Scientology is based in Abbey Street, Dublin, and Mr Griffith has staged protests outside the building.

Mr Griffith said the conference was to convince people that scientology was a con. “What they promise you, they don’t deliver on.”

He said the conference was also for current members of the church. “Everyone who is out still has a lot of sympathy for those still inside. We want to wake them up by just giving the facts and telling the truth.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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