Up: Martin Poulter > Scientology Criticism > UK Media Archive

Soldier stole 'to pay sect'

Daily Telegraph, 14 June 1995


A CORPORAL in the Army Pay Corps with an exemplary record stole GBP 15,000 to pay off loans he had been persuaded to take out by the Church of Scientology, a court martial in Plymouth was told yesterday. Brett Parker, a 23-year-old bachelor, was drawn into the religious sect after being stopped by a girl in the street in Poole, Dorset. He was invited to attend a local Scientology centre and admitted to the court that he was curious and was physically attracted to the girl.

Paul Tildon, defending, said Parker was persuaded to part with GBP 100 for 'more help' after which another attractive woman took him into a separate room and said he needed a special type of training session. She made flattering remarks about his intellect and advised him to pay GBP 1,100 for more tuition. He wrote a cheque, which cleared out his savings .

Within days he was offered a special 'package' which would cost a further GBP 13,500. Parker told them there was no way he could pay and the church organised loans of GBP 13,000 over five years.

Parker later tried to pull out of the agreements but to do so, with interest, would have cost GBP 20,000.

He then stole money from the Army which should have been paid out to servicemen on trips or on leave.

However, Parker did not spend all the money servicing the loans. He spent GBP 1,500 on a Caribbean cruise, GBP 2,500 on a car and compact disc system, GBP 1,500 on insurance and GBP 1,500 on a holiday to Ecuador.

Parker was sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment. He was also formally dismissed the Service and reduced to the ranks.

Up: Martin Poulter > Scientology Criticism > UK Media Archive