Getting a refund from Scientology can be done but a lot of the success is based upon how hard you are willing to fight for it and how much noise you can generate. John Barrow became dissatisfied with auditing and Scientology in general and decided concentrate his energy on his Mormon faith. He had paid Scientology a lot of money over the years and had a lot of it in his account that was to go for future services. Before he died he got some of it back but then the cult decided to keep the money instead of paying it back. They claimed that as a religion they did not have to return anything. Where have we heard this before?? But his widow stood her ground until Scientology tired of the bad PR and settled with her. She got most of the loaf; which is a lot better than none.
This is something those who want refunds should remember. Fight hard and fight long, and above all else make noise.
John Barrow refund case summary
[note: this is my summary based on the documents from the case that I got from the courthouse. I have no other information than from these documents other than a call to the Plaintiff attorney I asked if his client was happy with the settlement and he said yes.]
John Barrow joined the Church of Scientology in June of 1991, one month after marrying Ms. Freeman and 2 years after a near-fatal accident. Within 2 years, Barrow had paid $150,000 to Scientology. Barrow joined Scientology for the mental and physical benefits, not for any religious reason, and in fact continued as a practicing Mormon throughout his life.
In the course of his Scientology activity, Barrow had developed paranoia enough that he began carrying a gun. Barrow had a violent confrontation with his wife, and even moved out of the house for a time in mid-1992. He lost his job. In June of 1992 Barrow had decided that Scientology was not working for him and he wrote a letter asking for a refund.
Mr. Barrow died February 2, 1993.
By July of 1993 AOLA had refunded $54,730. By August of 1993 the Phoenix org had refunded $6500 of a total of $43,072 of services paid for but not received. John De Niro, of the Phoenix org, wrote letters with certain portions of repayments, indicating that more repayment would be forthcoming.
When payments stopped, Freeman tried through Scientology channels to recover the remaining funds owed. Since this did not work, Mrs. Barrow sued on January 14, 1997 for the money paid with no services rendered, and also for services rendered, since Chantal Code of AOLA had determined that the services provided by the Phoenix org to Barrow were “not properly done,” according to Freeman’s affidavit.
Scientology’s attorneys then began an aggressive attempt to get out of any more payments by claiming that they are a religion and therefore do not need to refund anything.
To read the extensive documents of this case go here: http://www.lisamcpherson.org/cos/freeman_case.htm
For something a bit more fun listen to Hubbard doing an imitation of himself: