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DOCUMENT TITLE: Third letter from "Hubbard," this one to the Rocky Mountain News
SUBJECT: Reprinted copy of the third of three letters purportedly written on 3 February 1983 by the missing L. Ron Hubbard "proving" that Hubbard was alive ; media accounts of the letter
PARTIES: Purportedly, L. Ron Hubbard; Sherman Lenske and Stephen Lenske, Hubbard attorneys who delivered the letter, both Special Directors of the corporation known as "Church of Spiritual Technology" (CST); Howard C. Doulder, U.S. Treasury Department document examiner; Richard L. Brunelle, forensic chemist with Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF); Author Services, Inc. (ASI); Meade Emory, former Treasury Department personnel as Assistant Commissioner of IRS, architect of the corporate restructuring and Hubbard probate papers
BACKGROUND AND NOTES
Below is the text of the third of three letters purportedly written 3 February 1983 by the missing L. Ron Hubbard, this letter going to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado to accompany a written "Question and Answer" interview that "Hubbard" was sending to the paper. Following the text of the letter below are media accounts about it. (See our overview of the three letters here, our report on the first one here, and our report on the second one here.)
As with the other letters, this one came through Sherman and Stephen Lenske. A Washington Post story says, "Denver's Rocky Mountain News recently reported that Hubbard had given it an interview, ending 15 years of refusing to speak to the press, but the interview consisted of written answers to questions submitted through Hubbard's lawyers. His attorneys say they must keep confidential whether they even know where he is." The story goes on to identify "Hubbard's lawyers" as Sherman and Stephen Lenske.
And as with the other two letters, this one carried the same methods of "authentication" by two Treasury Department personnel hired by the Lenskes, and their rent-a-cop assistants from the Los Angeles Police Department, all of which has been thoroughly covered in our overview and in the reports on the other two letters.
There's a rather major problem with this third letter from the Lenskes, though, because in it "Hubbard" claims that the answers are his. Unfortunately a writer named Robert Vaughn Young, in discussing how he claims he was contracted by the Lenskes to work on a "biography" of Hubbard, says that he, Young, and not Hubbard, wrote the interview:
"I had already ghosted...the interview in the Rocky Mountain News."
---Robert Vaughn Young, 23 Feb 2000
As with the earlier two letters submitted to two separate court, it is almost certain that what was sent to the Rocky Mountain News was not the original letter: there is later substantial evidence that Sherman Lenske's modus operandi for such "evidence" was to keep originals in his safe, and submit "certified copies," with attached affidavits from hired experts attesting to the "authenticity" of the originals. This resulted in no one but Lenske and his hired experts ever getting to actually view the originals. And to this day, as far as can be determined, no one has seen any of the originals.
Here is the text of the letter to Sue Lindsay, reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, followed by excerpts from several media reports about it:
(3 February 1983)
Dear Mrs. Lindsay,
Here are my answers to your 54 areas of questions. It is always a pleasure to discuss my first love--writing. You may rest assured that you have an exclusive. And to alleviate any concern others may have, I am giving you this in my own hand.
Sincerely, [signature] L. Ron Hubbard
PS Say hello to Pikes Peak from an original Rocky Mountain boy!
[The letter itself, with a thumb (or finger) print is reproduced in the issue. Text taken from a reprint of 20 February 1983 section of Rocky Mountain News that was published with permission by Church of Scientology of California (CSC)]
The Associated Press
February 21, 1983, Monday, PM cycle
Hubbard Son Disagrees With Handwriting Expert on Letter
DATELINE: CARSON CITY, Nev.
BODY: Ron DeWolf, the son of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, says he disagrees with a handwriting expert's claim that a letter signed by Hubbard was authentic.
DeWolf, who changed his name from L. Ron Hubbard Jr. after resigning from the church in 1959, says his father is dead and is seeking to become trustee of his father's assets.
...The Rocky Mountain News published a handwritten, 7,000-word letter Sunday signed "L. Ron Hubbard" and said the letter's authenticity was supported by forensic document expert Howard Doulder.
DeWolf said he didn't know who wrote the letter, and can't say exactly where or when his father died.
But, he said, "When people have their hands caught in a billion-dollar cookie jar, they are willing to try just about anything. I would imagine they are getting kind of desperate."
For every expert insisting his father is alive, DeWolf said, "We can supply an expert that says differently." ...
February 21, 1983, Monday, BC cycle
DATELINE: CARSON CITY, Nev.
BODY: The son of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard said today he still believes his father is dead, despite a letter a forensic expert says is valid.
...A handwritten letter signed ''L. Ron Hubbard'' was published Sunday by the Rocky Mountain News. The newspaper said the 7,000-word letter was authenticated by forensic document expert Howard Doulder of Los Angeles as having been written by Hubbard.
''For every handwriting expert the church supplies saying the documents are written by my father, we can supply an expert that says differently,'' DeWolf Said. ''It can be a real donnybrook.''
DeWolf said he does not know where his father may have died, and he does not know who could be writing the letters if the man is dead.
DeWolf...said his father's church has accumulated a fortune worth more than $1 billion. He asked the court to to name him trustee of his father's assets, alleging Church of Scientology officials have stolen millions from Hubbard. ...
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