LOS ANGELES -- Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard has asked a judge in a handwritten letter to dismiss a suit filed by his son that claims he is dead, writing 'I am alive and well,' attorneys said Monday.
Attorney Barrett Litt said at a news conference that he filed a petition Monday in Riverside Superior Court to dismiss the probate case filed by Hubbard's son, Ron DeWolf, who asked to be named trustee of his father's estate.
In a letter addressed to Judge David Hennigan, Hubbard, 71, stated he hardly knew his son and disputed DeWolf's claims that his fortune was being mishandled by church officials.
Hennigan's secretary could not immediately confirm receipt of the petition or letter.
'And there should be no concern on your part about my health, which is good, my existence or anything of the sort because I simply have my work to do and I would risk breaking contracts if I did not complete it,' the letter said.
'Thus, I want to reassure you that I am alive and well and working at my own trade.'
Hubbard has not been seen in public in several years and his attorneys said he is too busy writing a sequel to the science fiction book 'Battlefield Earth' to make a public appearance or appear in court to settle the controversy of his existence.
'I am and always have been a writer and, as a writer, to do one's job one can't be involved in the constant noise and hurley burly of distracting things,' Hubbard wrote Hennigan.
The letter was the second signed by Hubbard that was released by church officials in the past week in an attempt to quiet allegations the Scientology founder is dead.
Attorneys for Hubbard and the church obtained affidavits from ink, handwriting and fingerprint experts stating that both letters were authentic.
Attorney Stephen Lenske said the four-page letter should resolve the key issue in the Riverside probate case -- whether Hubbard is missing.
'This letter conclusively proves he is not missing ... L. Ron Hubbard is very much alive,' Lenske said.
In a separate court action, the church filed a $42 million suit in Los Angeles district court against De Wolf's attorney, charging him with abuse of process. Church attorney John Peterson said Michael Flynn tried to extort a $1.6 million legal settlement by threatening to file 150 more suits against the church.
Hubbard's lawyers would not disclose whether they had ever seen or spoken to the recluse, citing confidentiality of attorney-client relationships.