My name is Kathy Raine, and I was a student at Harry’s Church of Scientology for about 4 years. My husband was a staff member for him. I can attest that everything Margie says about Harry is true, as I witnessed it.
I was forced to take out loans over about a 2-year period totaling to $45,000, and hand it over for courses I would take way in the future. The money had to be paid in cash. And when I received insurance money from a serious car accident in was injured in, Harry took $15,000 of that, too.
I was constantly sent out for more money. I had family members and old friends co-sign for me at the banks, and for credit cards. When I begged not to have to add on to my monthly payments with even more loans, I was threatened with expulsion from Harry’s group. I worked about 70 hours a week at 2-3 jobs to try to keep up.
I saw many people buy their entire set of Scientology courses, then be ordered by Harry to have to take expensive auditing (counseling), which if they couldn’t get more money right away, would be taken off their account. Then they would have to start all over to buy their classes again. This was my biggest fear, and I constantly tried to “keep my head down”.
There was no mercy. At Christmas we had to give hundreds for Harry and Avra’s presents; hen all over again a few months’ time for Harry’s birthday. And we had to constantly buy books from Harry’s bookstore at the Center.
I know people who got divorced, alienated their families, and/or went bankrupt thanks to Harry. When he came up with Avatar, many of us were close to financial ruin.
At first I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to do any more Scientology courses, and that I could get a refund on my money for the classes I hadn’t taken. I was always given the impression that my money wasn’t touched until I was ready to do the next course, then that amount would be deducted from my account. But when we asked for our accounts back, things got ugly.
One night I came home and told my husband that I had decided I wasn’t ever going to step foot back in Harry’s Center. We had never dared talk about this before, and I was relieved when he respected my decision. My husband left Harry shortly thereafter.
When Harry’s group fell apart, I think only about 3 staff members stayed with him. As far as I’m concerned, he owes me all the money I ever spent at his Center, beyond the point when I feel I “snapped” over into being one of his cult members — when I was convinced that I had to go “Clear”, and later “OT”, when I was worn down by lack of sleep and poor nutrition, when I was married to a staff member, when he had a folder full of my “overts” (sins), when I worked for and with other Scientologists at my jobs, when my only friends were Scientologists because my old friends and family had had enough, and when I was so in debt that I figured I had better stick it out.
Because never in my right mind would I say “OK” to someone asking me to give up my old spouse, take these courses where you stare into someone’s eyes and answer the same question over and over for hours and hours, go $45,000 into debt in short-term personal loans, work 2 full time jobs and have time left over to put my butt in the Scientology classroom for 18 hours a week, and finally embarass myself by trying to bring other unsuspecting victims into this madness to go through what I was going through… Yes, I do have some responsibility for all this, but let’s think.