Scientology: What is it? Part 4.

Street Protest Against Scientology

Image by infomatique via Flickr

A Family Business.

In my previous post in this series I noted that in certain circles a great deal is made of Meade Emory’s involvement with Scientology, he is the mastermind, the man who orchestrated the ‘take over’ of scientology by the IRS. Reading the materials available Emory certainly seems to have been a guiding hand in the formulation of the agreement between scientology and the IRS, and I believe it was he who looked at the case papers within IRS who said, ‘this is not cost effective’ and devised a plan to neutralise the situation.

It occurred to me whilst reading the available materials that since Emory was such a central character in this little melodrama that it might be worth finding out a little more about who he was. So: being a curious sort, I looked up what I could find. The first thing that popped up was his obituary, in the Seattle Times, which begins:

George Meade Emory, 79, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on October 8, 2010. He was born in Seattle to prominent lawyer Frederick DeWolfe Emory and Marion Burton Emory on February 26, 1931. He was proud of his Emory ancestry, tracing his lineage in this country to the mid-seventeenth century Eastern Shore of Maryland, and to the illustrious Benjamin Franklin.”

It was at this point that my brain tugged me up short and said READ THAT AGAIN. Which I did, thinking to myself, ‘Wasn’t Hubbard’s grandmothers maiden name Ida Corinne DeWolfe, and didn’t his son adopt the surname DeWolfe to distance himself from his father.’

Now I know in my heart of hearts that coincidences do happen, and that in some circumstances that is exactly what they are, coincidences and nothing more: but I find I am very suspicious of them when they do.

So letting my curiosity tug me along, I began to wonder how common a name DeWolfe is in the USA, so remembering that there is a page on the web called ‘How many of me‘, I thought I would check it out. Here’s the link if you want to look yourself.

According to ‘How many of me’, when I searched there were 1,544 people in the U.S. with the last name DeWolfe, Statistically the 18892nd most popular last name in the United States. Now bearing in mind that I have no way of verifying if this number is even vaguely accurate, I am taking a certain amount on trust. However equally I have no reason to believe that ‘How many of me’ are defrauding their users either, so perhaps we can conclude that this is the ‘ball park’ as the Americans would phrase it. (Tell the truth these days most everyone else does too)

Ok so now my coincidence alarms are clanging like crazy, a relatively uncommon surname turns up in the family history of two individuals involved in the top echelons of Scientology.

So curiosity tugging persistently at me I thought lets have a look if there is an identifiable historical connection between the two families. The easiest way to do this is through genealogy, fortunately Americans are somewhat interested in tracing ancestry, witness the family history of one Barack Obama turning up an ancestor in Monegall Ireland for instance, who‘d have guessed it.

Ok so I now need to beg an indulgence from you dear reader, as genealogy is not everyone’s cup of tea

The best free tool to research genealogy I have so far found is ‘Roots Web’ Here’s the link if you want to explore it yourself.

Again I have no reason to suspect Roots Web are involved in a large scale fraud of their users, so I feel fairly confident that what I found is as accurate as might be expected.

Concerning Emory the first thing I noticed was that his father had
held onto the double barrelled name DeWolfe Emory, it only became clear to me later why George Meade Emory had then dropped it again, I will think about this in the nest post.

I followed the genealogy of Emory’s DeWolfe ancestors back as far as I could from Washington State, through North Carolina (1800-1880 or so) back to Connecticut, and a certain Levi DeWolfe senior born on 9 May 1760 in Newington, and died on 23 Jan 1849 in So. Farms, Connecticut, but seems to have lived in Bethlehem Connecticut for quite a while because most of his children were born there. The historical chain for Emory’s DeWolfe ancestors in freely available genealogy tools ends here unfortunately.  There is one genealogy which gives this Levi’s fathers name as also Levi, but no further information about him, and this may be a confusion with one of Levi‘s children who was also
called Levi. This is supported by several other genealogies describing the already identified father and son as Senior and Junior.

However another approach to genealogy is to identify the first person with a given surname in a particular area and work forward.

Working Forward from Balthazar DeWolfe, (The first DeWolfe of this line in the Americas) we do indeed encounter a certain Levi DeWolfe of about the right age and in the right place. It cannot be said with certainty, that this is the same person, but it is highly suggestive.

Now I tackled Hubbard’s DeWolfe ancestors.

I followed Hubbard’s Grandmother Ida’ ancestors back through New Hampshire and various other places encountering a certain Edward DeWolfe  born on the 12 MAY 1768 in Middletown, Middlesex, Connecticut and died in in Springfield, (I do hope the Simpson’s are not going to come into this) Erie, PA. Whilst checking the map to see how close these places were to each other I noticed that there is a town in the area called Waterbury. Now that name rings a bell too, Oh Yes Hubbard’s mothers maiden name, another curious coincidence?

Both these DeWolfe lines converge in Connecticut at the same time and roughly the same area, with births deaths and marriages within twenty miles of each other which was another interesting coincidence.

Ida DeWolfe’s line can then be traced back further to Balthazar DeWolfe born in 1620 in Sagan, Selesia {Germany} and reputedly the first DeWolfe in America. Following this line back it becomes clear that from Balthazar’s arrival the DeWolfe’s had not strayed far from Connecticut, until around the time of the War of Independence. .Presumably things got uncomfortable and everyone scarpered.

The practical upshot of this is that there is a high probability of a family connection between Lafayette Ronald Hubbard and George Mead Emory. Historically people kept track of their relatives more thoroughly than they do today, (Both my grandmothers knew ancestors four generations back and who was related in the local area) since it seems unlikely to me that among a population for the entire state of 142,470 at the time, people with the same, and relatively uncommon family name living within 20 miles of each other would have no connection whatsoever. The state is about 5000 sq miles,  and this  gives a population density of about 25 people per square mile.

Which gave rise to my speculation that Scientology had in some way become a DeWolfe  ‘family business’. Now to be absolutely honest at this stage it is not really possible to know if this is at all important, but it is interesting that there is a strong possibility of a connection. Though 200 years is quite a stretch of time. However further research throws up some interesting things to be considered in
another posting.



About Transremaxculver

An entirely fictitious username I created for posting on 'alt.religion.scientology', Scientology is something of which I am highly critical. For those of you who don't know, the Church of Scientology have a habit of making life very uncomfortable for even the most legitimate of critics, which is why this username is completely anonymous. Anyway I have become quite fond of this username, and although it has to some extent outgrown it's original purpose, I think a blog is perhaps the right place for me/it to continue to grow and develop.
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