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The man who fell 50ft. to his death

Title: The man who fell 50ft. to his death
Date: Monday, 29 July 1968
Publisher: Daily Record (Scotland, UK)
Authors: Stewart Ross, Gordon Airs
Main source: link (78 KiB)

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A MAN who came to Scotland to study scientology fell 50 feet to his death yesterday from the rear bedroom of a hotel.

James Stewart, aged about 35, travelled to Edinburgh from South Africa with his wife to study at the new Scottish Scientology Headquarters, the Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence.


This is the cult founded in 1951 by Lafayette Ron Hubbard, a cult which, it is claimed, helps its followers to resolve their problems.

Mr. Stewart and his wife—also a student at the academy—were staying in the Raemar Hotel, at 99 Leith Street, Edinburgh.

He fell from his bedroom window on to the grassy courtyard behind the building.

Later a spokesman at the academy in Edinburgh's South Bridge said that Mr. Stewart had been suspended because it was found that he was an epileptic.

He said: "Mr. Stewart had a history of epilepsy and as such was refused permission to continue Scientology training."

He said Mr. Stewart had studied Scientology in South Africa. His wife had been a more serious student.

Last night a Scientology spokesman in Edinburgh released a further statement—said to be on behalf of Mrs. Thelma Stewart—and refused any interviews with her.

The statement said: "As I mentioned to the police, these fits and this illness has been an old thing which started long before Jimmy came into scientology and so had nothing to do with the subject.

"Mrs. Stewart doesn't know how it happened. But she does know it had nothing to do with Scientology.

"When we discovered he was an epileptic we suspended him.

"Obviously if a person suffers from an illness like this I would imagine if he is overtaxing himself it could aggravate the situation."


The spokesman said that Mr. Stewart's epilepsy was perhaps overlooked when he joined, or perhaps he omitted to mention his illness.

Mr. Stewart had been an encyclopaedia salesman.

Edinburgh City Police said last night that they would not be issuing a statement on Mr. Stewart 's death.