The Chronicle Telegram
22 January 1990
Within weeks of their involvement, the
Gearys said they were unable to resist
signing checks, arranging for loans and borrowing from the dental practice to
pay Scientology for more seminars. The paper said the couple showed a reporter
canceled checks to Scientology totaling more than $180,000.
MEDINA (AP) — A dentist and his wife say they spent
$200,000 during five months of training seminars and
programs run by members of the Church of Scientology.
The experience nearly wrecked his dental practice and required
months of hospitalization and deprogramming for his wife, Bob
Geary of Medina said.
Geary, in a story Sunday in the
Akron Beacon Journal, claimed
his wife was held captive for more than two weeks by
Scientologists in California.
The Gearys said they recovered most of the money they paid the
Scientologists but rejected a $44,000 settlement offer which
they claim would have required them to
remain silent about their
August Murphy, a spokesman for Scientology's San Francisco
mission, said Mrs. Geary was taken by Scientologists to a cabin
in California in the fall of 1988 but was never held against her
He said the church made a settlement offer to the Gearys because
it was church policy to return donations when members choose to
Geary said his ordeal began at a seminar for professionals
offered for free by
Sterling Management Systems of Glendale, Calif., which was labeled by the Gearys and other former
Scientologists as a church front organization.
Murphy said there "are Scientologists working for Sterling, but
it is not part of the church at all."
Geary said after he attended a three-hour Sterling seminar in
May 1988 in Cleveland, he was told be needed more seminars to
improve his practice. He signed a $10,500 check to attend a week
long seminar in Glendale, Calif.
The Gearys signed up for additional work at Scientology's San
Francisco mission. They returned home for a month, but in
mid-July, flew back to San Francisco for 10 days of intensive
"auditing," a term the church uses for counseling but described
by former members as brainwashing.
Within weeks of their involvement, the Gearys said they were
unable to resist signing checks, arranging for loans and
borrowing from the dental practice to pay Scientology for more
seminars. The paper said the couple showed a reporter canceled
checks to Scientology totaling more than $180,000.
The newspaper said the couple claimed that a Scientologist
forged Bob Geary's name to a check for $20,000 when he didn't
"move fast enough" to pay for additional seminars. Murphy denied
Mrs. Geary said she later returned to San Francisco for further
auditing. She alleged that Scientologists held her captive for
more than two weeks in a cabin near Mount Shasta to correct
behavior that could harm the organization.
Geary said Scientologists refused to tell him his wife's
whereabouts and that she was not returned home until after he
and his lawyer met with several Scientologist representatives.
After Mrs. Geary came home, the family sought help from the
Awareness Network [beware,
the CAN was
taken over by a scientologist
which identifies Scientology as a dangerous cult.