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SUNDAY SUN 14 MAR 95

Snatch court case brings cult girl and mum back together


A NORTH mum has been reunited with her daughter who signed a billion-year
contract with a religious sect. 

Pensioner Margaret Wilson and 23-year-old Kathleen hugged in the courtroom
where a North man is accused of trying to kidnap the young woman from the
Scientology cult. 

And in an exclusive interview from the sect's headquarters Kathleen
revealed last night: "I love my mother; and we want to sort things out
between us." She and Margaret, 63, had not spoken for two-and- a-half
years since Kathleen joined the Church of Scientology. 

But they were finally reunited last week when Kathleen's former flatmate,
Steven Cooper, went on trial, accused of trying to kidnap her from the
religious movement. 

The jury are expected to retire tomorrow to consider their verdict. 

They heard how Margaret sparked off the case by telling Cooper she was
worried about Kathleen's welfare and feared she would be sent to America
for training. 

The jury were out of court on Friday afternoon when Margaret, of
Guisborough, Cleveland, walked into the room. 

LOVE

Kathleen, sitting in the public gallery, stood up, walked over to her mum,
and gave her a hug. The pair then spent 10 minutes in a waiting room,
chatting for the first time in years. 

Kathleen said last night from the Scientology HQ in East Grinstead,
Sussex: "I do love my mother but I feel she doesn't understand what's
going on in my life. "We used to be very close but these days I'm closer
to my dad. 

They split up when I was 11. "When I saw my mum, I went and put my arms
around her. It made me feel sad.

"I do feel guilty when I have upset her. But I'm 23 and should be able to
live my own life. 

"I'm going to stay here. I consider it my home."

Her mum had ticked her off in the court waiting room, saying: "You've made
your father and me ill with worry. Why haven't you been in touch?"
Kathleen first left her native North East more than two years ago to live
with friends in Bognor, Sussex. 

She then joined the Church of Scientology and signed a billion-year
contract with the movement, she told the jury. 

The court in Lewes, Sussex, heard how Kathleen works from 9am to 10pm six
days a week, for a weekly wage of 33. 

Her main duty is filing. 

She told the jury how she underwent a process called "auditing" when she
joined the sect, revealing secrets about her life while holding an
electronic machine called an E Meter.

RESCUE

But she denied court claims that she had been turned into a "robot."
Prosecutors say Margaret asked Cooper to rescue Kathleen from the cult's
headquarters. 

Margaret is said to have feared that her daughter would be moved to
America for further Scientology training. 

Cooper, 27, originally from Saltburn, Cleveland, denies attempted kidnap
and affray in November 1992. 

He is alleged to have taken a Rottweiler dog, grabbed Kathleen as she
walked in the Scientology HQ gardens and tried to bundle her into a car. 

Up: Martin Poulter > Scientology Criticism > UK Media Archive