more misery," the Senior Cat told me some days ago. He was referring to a local group where the leader had managed to take the life savings of a gullible woman with a disability. The court has ordered the return of the money but I rather doubt it will happen. Certainly the cult leader is fighting it.
I wonder how much difficulty Katie Holmes will have getting money out of Tom Cruise too.
Scientology is something my family does know something about. My mother's brother was, briefly, involved. He was a prime candidate for capture by just such a group. He was brought up in another cult. So was my mother. Their parents were "Christian Scientists".
There is nothing "scientific" about Christian Scientists. They are not considered to be Christians by the mainstream religions either. Those who adhere strictly to their beliefs accept no medical treatment at all. Children have died in agony because of the beliefs of their parents. Other children have gone without necessary medical treatment that could have changed their lives.
My mother never quite gave up her own belief in the teachings of the cult. Her brother did give them up but he moved to other things. Scientology was one of them.
I was in my teens at the time. My uncle was reading literature that, to me, made no more sense than the "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" that my mother still treasured. Both lots of writing were nonsense in my view and in the view of my brother. My brother made an impressive looking "e-meter" with wires and batteries, dials and needles. We thought it was funny.
We thought it was funny until my uncle realised he was being taken for a fool and left the group - or tried to leave the group. When he tried to leave the phone calls started.
My uncle was living with his mother at the time. It was a temporary arrangement because of his work but the Scientologists made the most of it.
They would phone at all hours of the day and night. Changing the phone number did not help. Cars appeared at the front of the house. My grandmother was approached in the street. On one occasion she was told by phone that he was seriously ill following an accident - only Scientology could save him.
I answered the phone on one occasion and was told the same thing. I responded by telling them I would go to the police if they did not cease making the calls. After that there were several occasions on which I answered the phone and the caller at the other end simply hung up. There were no caller ID facilities available then but I assumed they were from the cult. My brother had the same thing happen to him after he gave them the same message.
The cult members attempting to recruit in the city got short shrift from me and my brother as well. Our loathing of the other cult, Christian Science, was enough to ensure we did not get involved whatever inducements they might seem to offer.
I cannot remember how long all this went on for but it eventually lessened. Over the years there would be the occasional "reminder" but they appeared to give up.
After my uncle died the people who had bought the house he had lived in with my grandmother contacted us. There was a letter there - from the Scientology organisation in America. It was a reminder that he had once belonged to the cult, an assumption that he still really wanted to be part of the cult. The cult had not bothered to check to see if he was still alive. Their arrogance assumed he would be and that he would still come back to them after forty years away.
Katie Holmes is going to have problems for the rest of her life too.