Utah scientology co-responsible for murder?

From: tilman@berlin.snafu.de (Tilman Hausherr) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Utah scientology co-responsible for murder? Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 07:51:26 GMT [cc to Deana] Here another case in which scientology might be co-responsible for a murder: a guy got into scientology and was prevented to seek mental help. Of course, after it happened, he was never a scientologist (I include the disgusting letter to the editor). Note also the words "The church was never an issue in his prosecution or sentencing", which translated into "The church was an issue in his defense". KILLER: SCIENTOLOGISTS TALKED ME OUT OF NEEDED HELP Salt Lake Tribune 26.1.1992 By Stephen Hunt DRAPER -- Gary Don Beals says he might not have murdered his father and tried to kill his mother if not for influence by the Church of Scientology. Beals told the Utah Board of Pardons Friday that church members talked him out of getting needed psychological help and also turned him against his parents. ``They didn't believe in therapy,'' Beals said. The church was also allegedly bleeding Beals dry of cash. Beals contributed heavily to the church and went ``beyond his means and into debt,'' said parole board chairman Pete Haun. Scientology is a new-age religion founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. The church believes in self-healing and self-help via pseudo-psychological methods. But by the time Beals killed his father -- he had been hearing voices for about two years -- he probably needed the help of a professional. The crime occurred March 5, 1989 at the home of Beals' parents in Taylorsville. While urging their 32-year-old son to seek counseling, he went berserk. Getting a butcher knife from the kitchen, he stabbed his mother, Lawana Beals, 51, several times. When Beal's father, Arthur Don Beals, 55, tried to intervene, Beals stabbed him several times. His mother grabbed a baseball bat and struck Gary in the head several times to no avail. When the baseball bat failed to stop Beals, Mrs. Beals fled the home to call police. Gary then shot his father to death with a .38-caliber handgun. Beals said he had been carrying the gun with him all day because he believed ``people'' were after him. ``If I wouldn't have got involved with Scientology, I wouldn't have committed this crime,'' Beals told the parole board. Charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, Beals later pleaded ``guilty but mentally ill'' to manslaughter and was sentenced to 1 to 15 years in prison. Beals first spent a year at the Utah State Hospital. After receiving the maximum benefit possible there, Beals was transferred to the Utah State Prison, where he has been about four months. Letters to the parole board indicate Beals' mother has forgiven him, Mr. Haun said. She hopes he will come live with her when he is paroled. The state hospital believes Beals can function in the community if he takes his medication and receives mental health therapy, Mr. Haun said. But he wants Beals to spend another couple of years in prison to see how he adjusts. Beals will appear again before the board in January 1994.

Letters to the Editor Salt Lake Tribune 20.2.1992 BASELESS CHARGES On Jan. 26, The Salt Lake Tribune ran an article concerning prisoner Gary Don Beals' hearing before the Utah Board of Pardons. Beals was denied parole for the 1989 murder of his father and attempted murder of his mother. Beals' statements to the board, which attempted to shift the blame for his crime to the Church of Scientology, are baseless and false. The church was never an issue in his prosecution or sentencing. Beals pleaded guilty and insane. Beals was very sporadically in contact with the Church of Scientology, where he purchased books from the church bookstore. From the outset, Beals expressed problems with his parents. He was repeatedly encouraged to resolve these problems through communication. Due to Beals' failure to abide by the church's guidelines to resolve his family situation, he became ineligible for church services more than a year before he committed his crime. Beals never sought any sort of advice from the church for psychological help. The Tribune coverage from 1989 indicates the subject did not even come up until Beals' parents decided to talk to him about seeking such help. The sad part is that, like many criminals, Beals is looking for a scapegoat. The truth is there isn't one. Beals now has two more years in prison to seek reform. Your reporter apparently could not see past his own journalistic myopia of what is news, regardless of its truth or consequence. JOAVA GOOD Executive Director Church of Scientology Salt Lake City

Either the Salt Lake Tribune or the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) has made an error in the date of the murder of Mr. Beals. According to the SSDI he died on March the 15th and not on March the 5th as is printed in the newspaper.

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Other Scientology related deaths