Scientology's Harassment of UK Citizens

The newspaper article from the Tonbridge Courier and the East Grinstead 

Tonbridge Courier
Friday, July 14, 1995

Cult threatens legal action over defamation


By Sheila Gow

THE THREAT of legal action hangs over a young Tonbridge man who is accused 
of conspiring to "injure and defame" the Church of Scientology.

But Richard and Judy Price of Lionel Road, claim that they have done nothing 
unlawful - they are just fearful for the welfare of a close relative who 
joined the organisation - and are now suffering from harassment and 

After Richards sister became a church member five years ago, they sought 
help from a support group in a bid to get her out.

They also spoke to a researcher from a programme, The Big Story, which 
claimed to expose Scientology as a cult masquerading as a religion and was 
scheduled for transmission last night (Thursday).

Legal investigators acting for the cult have twice been to the Prices house 
- the last time at nearly midnight when a letter was pushed through the door 
and a man was heard running away. The couple reported the incidents to 

"It was very frightening - I dont want unsolicited people at the house late 
at night," Judy said, "I couldnt sleep because of it and I now feel 
verinsecure. I know that we are opposed to Scientology but this is a fre
e country and we have a right to speak our minds. We have done nothing 
unlawful - we have just tried to get Richards sister out of it."

A letter from East Grinstead solicitor, Peter Hodkin, accused Richard of 
taking part in The Big Story campaign and claimed that "other unlawful and 
tortuous acts are planned." He warned of possible actions in nuisance, 
trespass, defamation and public order offences.

Judy said that her husband became very worried when his sister joined the 

"She was very excited but he realised it was bad news," she said, "When he 
tried to talk to her about it she became very unpleasant and shunned us 
and it completely changed her character."

They hope that by sharing their experiences they can warn others who could 
become involved simply by answering questions from High Street researchers 
or taking part in personality tests.

Spokesman for the Scientogists, Peter Mansell, said that it was not the 
churchs policy to frighten or cause distress. He had not seen the 
solicitors letter but felt that it had been sent to anyone thought to be 
connected with the television programme.

I "dont think it was anything personal," he said. "It was probably 
just a warning for the benefit of those that had been interviewed. I have 
nproblems with people who oppose our beliefs but so many of the stories 
that are spread about us are wrong."

Mr Mansell said that the church had also suffered harassment from the 
television reporters making the programme. "So who is bugging who?" he 

[caption:] Richard and Judy Price who claim they are suffering from harassment
and intimidation from the Church of Scientolgy after a close relative joined
the organisation.