Up: Martin Poulter > Scientology Criticism > UK Media Archive

SUNDAY SUN 20/08/95 - [headline unknown]

Article: A NORTH girl who signed a billion-year contract with a
controversial religious cult has married in a ceremony she kept secret
from her parents. 

Kathleen Wilson, 24, invited her mum and dad to a Church of Scientology
blessing of her marriage but NOT to the register office where she wed a
fellow cult member Peter Howell, 30, three days earlier. 

Despite the invitation, her heartbroken mum Margaret, 63, boycotted the
ceremony and the blessing at the cult's headquarters. 

A court heard earlier this year how she suggested that her daughter should
be snatched from the cult, whose membership includes stars like Tom
Cruise, John Travolta and Priscilla Presley. 

The boyfriend of Kathleen's best friend was later cleared of trying to
kidnap her from the sect. 

Kathleen's father Ray did make the 640-mile round trip to see his daughter
at the Scientologist RQ in West Sussex. 

But Margaret, 63, refused to travel from her home in Guisborough,
Cleveland, to the service.


She said: "Wild horses wouldn't drag me there. 

Kathleen might be my only daughter but I wasn't going to go among that

"She begged me to go but I refused point blank. I don't agree with what
they do or believe in and I can't believe my Kathleen has married one of

"I've always tried to bring her up properly and protect her but I can't do
anything against these people. She seems to be spellbound by them all." 

Ray and Margaret are separated, so he travelled from Brotton, Cleveland,
to the Scientology castle, in East Grinstead, with a friend. 

He said: "I didn't even know Kathleen had a boyfriend but the lad didn't
seem a bad person. 

"On the day I was happy to see my daughter - but I'm not proud of her like
I should be." 

Ray said Kathleen wrote to tell him she was marrying Peter, and then
visited him two weeks before her big day. "She didn't mention the register
office wedding to me, I was just told about the blessing. The only reason
I went down is because she's my daughter."

Speaking from the Scientology HQ, Kathleen said she was upset that her
mother didn't arrive.

"I invited her but she didn't turn up. I got engaged in May, after the
court case. I waited until that was all over first.

"I was only engaged for a month and got married on June 11. I've known
Peter for around a year." 

After her Scientology blessing, Kathleen went on a five-day honeymoon in

She added: "I had a lovely time and I am very happy." 


The Sunday Sun reported how Stephen Cooper, 27, was acquitted of trying to
kidnap Kathleen from the cult's HQ in November 1992. 

Kathleen, his old flatmate, is now launching a civil claim for
compensation over the bungled rescue attempt. 

She still works six days a week at the Scientology HQ, where she has
signed a billion-year contract, for a wage of about 33. 

Up: Martin Poulter > Scientology Criticism > UK Media Archive