Heber Jentzsch

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Heber Carl Jentzsch
Born (1935-11-30) November 30, 1935 (age 80)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation President, Church of Scientology International
Salary USD$Unknown
Net worth USD$Unknown
Spouse(s) Yvonne Gillham
Karen de la Carriere
Children 1 (died 2012)
Website Scientology Bio at the Wayback Machine

Heber Carl Jentzsch (born November 30, 1935) has served as president of the Church of Scientology International since 1982. He has not been seen publicly since 2004.[1]


Heber Jentzsch was born in 1935 in Salt Lake City[2][3] and grew up in a Mormon family, and identified himself as a "believing Mormon".[4] He is the son of polygamist Carl Jentzsch (who was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)[5] and Carl's third wife Pauline; Heber has 42 siblings.[6] While Heber Jentzsch was never baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his first name was inspired by the Latter-day Saint apostle Heber C. Kimball.[5]

Jentzsch was educated at Weber College in Ogden, Utah and the University of Utah, where he graduated in 1959 with a degree in communications.[5][7] He also studied Eastern religions.[8]

Before his involvement with Scientology, which he joined in 1967, Jentzsch was a journalist with the Los Angeles Free Press and an actor, having a bit part in the movie Paint Your Wagon.[9][10] The Internet Movie Database lists Jentzsch with one credited acting appearance, a small part playing a Nazi in one episode of the 1960s television series Combat!, and with an uncredited role in the movie 1776.

According to Jentzsch, two events of his life were pivotal: the arrest of his father in 1955, and himself being cured in the Scientology Purification Rundown from radiation burns he had suffered from since he was 15.[5]

On July 2, 2012, Alexander Jentzsch (Heber Jentzsch's son with Karen de la Carriere) died after an accident. De la Carriere stated that she had not seen Alexander for 2 years, because she was shunned from him after it was revealed she had been criticizing the Church. She also revealed he was suffering from pneumonia at the time he died, and painkillers had been used to mask his pain, rather than the usual treatment of antibiotics. Alexander was 27 at the time of his death.[11]


During the 1970s, Jentzsch became the public relations director of the Church's later-notorious Guardian's Office, serving as the Church's chief press spokesman.[12] He has continued in this role since his promotion to the post of President of the Church of Scientology International; in January 1986 it fell to him to inform the press of the death of L. Ron Hubbard.[13] He has often appeared in newspaper interviews, aggressively defending the church on several occasions.[14] Despite his media prominence, Jentzsch has often been referred to as a titular president[15] and described as "the leading spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International" in Church publications.[16]

Arrest and trial in Spain[edit]

In 1988 Heber Jentzsch was arrested in Spain along with 69 other members of the organization.[17][18] Jentzsch was incarcerated in a Spanish jail for about three weeks.[19] He was released and fled to the United States after Scientology paid a bail bond of approximately $1 million. Sixteen people, including Jentzsch, were charged with "illegal association" and various other crimes including tax fraud and endangering public health. The trial of the indictees began in February 2001, but Jentzsch himself did not turn up; the prosecution called for him to be given a 56-year prison sentence.[20] However, the Madrid Provincial Court threw out all but the conspiracy charge and eventually ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove this charge as well.[21] In April 2002, the charge was formally dropped. The court also ordered that the bail bond deposited for his release in 1988 be returned to the Church along with interest, which nearly doubled the original amount.[22]



  1. ^ The troubled life of Scientology president's son, Daily Mail, 8 July 2012.
  2. ^ [1] Village Voice, 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Inside the Church of Scientology". Larry King Live. 1993-12-20. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Utah-Born Scientology President Says the Religion Saved His Life", The Salt Lake Tribune, 9.12.1992
  6. ^ "Scientologists march on courthouse", UPI 20.5.1985
  7. ^ University of Utah Alumni Association, April 2004
  8. ^ Jentzsch biography in John Naisbitt, High Tech High Touch: Technology and Our Accelerated Search for Meaning, p. 253. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2004.
  9. ^ Curran, Ron (April 4, 1986). "Scientology: The other side of the looking glass". LA Weekly 9 (19). 
  10. ^ "Scientology - The Road to Total Freedom?". Panorama. 27 April 1987. BBC. BBC1. 
  11. ^ Beth Stebner (2012-07-08). "Scientology: Son of Church president Heber Jentzsch had troubled life | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  12. ^ Omar V. Garrison, Playing Dirty, p. 142. Ralston-Pilot, 1980. ISBN 0-931116-04-X
  13. ^ Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky, p. 354. Lyle Stuart, 1990. ISBN 0-8184-0499-X
  14. ^ "Jentzsch appears on talk show Geraldo in 1991".  (available at [3] as of 8 Feb 2016)
  15. ^ Mystery of the Vanished Ruler, TIME, January 31, 1983
  16. ^ Heber C. Jentzsch, official biography at the Wayback Machine (archived January 13, 2009)
  17. ^ UPI (1988-11-22). "51 Scientology leaders charged". The Ottawa Citizen. pp. A13. 
  18. ^ Koff, Stephen (1988-11-24). "Judge orders Scientology leader jailed". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  19. ^ FOLLOW-UPS: SHAMED IN SPAIN, Fortune, January 16, 1989
  20. ^ Agence France-Presse (February 8, 2001). "15 Scientologists on Trial". The New York Times. p. 13; Section A; Column 6; Foreign Desk; Late Edition - Final; Dateline: Madrid, Feb. 7; Length: 87 words. 
  21. ^ "Spanish Court Acquits Scientologists", Associated Press, December 3, 2001
  22. ^ "Spanish court drops charges against Scientology chief after 14 years", Agence France Presse, April 11, 2002

External links[edit]