Church of Scientology refunds R22 000 and apologises

sallydannce

Gold Meritorious Patron
I’m not sure if this has been posted – had a good search but could not find.

Posted in full as from a subscription database.


Church of Scientology refunds R22 000 and apologises
Yunus Kemp
30 April 2008
Cape Argus

The Church of Scientology in Cape Town says it has refunded R22 000 to a man who complained to Argus Action that the church had not provided counselling he had paid for in 2002.

Earlier this month Pierre Kleinsmith told Argus Action he was not willing to go through a procedure the church insisted he should submit to before a decision could be reached concerning a refund.

He said he had paid the money for counselling, known as auditing, because at the time he needed help in coping with emotional problems suffered since he experienced a traumatic event at the age of 11.

But no counselling was given, and he eventually got the help he needed elsewhere. Now he wanted his money back.

Erica Chesler, spokesman for the Church of Scientology, told Argus Action at the time that if Kleinsmith followed the correct procedures, a claims verification board would consider his request before ruling on whether or not he should be refunded.

This week Chesler sent Argus Action an e-mail saying: “Mr Kleinsmith has now received all his funds back. The full R22 000 was paid back to him.”

Kleinsmith had phoned Argus Action after the report appeared to say he had received a cheque from the church, but had not yet cashed it. He could not be reached yesterday for confirmation of payment.

Chesler said Kleinsmith had paid the money to the church when the counsellors, or auditors, were training in the US, and he had agreed to wait.

“All these auditors are back at the church and providing services daily to parishioners.

“We do regret that the period he waited was excessive and for that we apologise, and have sorted this out internally.”

If he had followed the standard procedure for getting his money back, “he would have received his funds a long time ago”.

She said Kleinsmith had agreed in writing, when he paid for counselling, that he was entitled to a refund if not satisfied; that he would follow the internal procedure for such refund; and that he would “negate such a refund should he determine to approach legal council or the media to ‘pressure’ the church”.

Although he had violated those agreements, the church had decided to refund him.


A week earlier this article appeared:

Counselling contract ends in stress
Maureen Marud
23 April 2008
Cape Argus

Six years after paying the Church of Scientology R22 000 for counselling he did not get, Pierre Kleinsmith of Cape Town wants his money back.

But Erica Chesler, president of the church in Cape Town, says Kleinsmith must first submit to questioning with the use of an electronic device known as an E-meter that will “locate the area of stress or upset” he is experiencing.

Once Kleinsmith talked about it and “feels a lot better”, he would fill in forms which the church’s claims verification board would consider before ruling whether or not he should be refunded, she said.

“I am not willing to do that,” Kleinsmith told Argus Action.
“I paid them for counselling I never got. I have since been given the help I needed. I don’t want anything to do with the E-meter or the Church of Scientology. All I want is my money.”

He said an “excellent sales pitch” had persuaded him in 2002 to pay the Church of Scientology for counselling known as auditing.

At the time he needed help for emotional problems he was experiencing, and which he eventually traced back to a traumatic event he endured at the age of 11.

He had waited through months stretching into years for the church to provide the auditing he had paid for.

“They never delivered and probably never will because they never had and still don’t have auditors,” he claimed.

For the past six months he had been asking for his money back, but the church had ignored his pleas and those Legalwise made on his behalf, saying he had signed an agreement not to involve a third party in any dispute he had with them.

Chesler told Argus Action that the agreement Kleinsmith signed set out the procedures he would have to follow if he wanted a refund. These included filling in forms and the use of an E-meter.

The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, quotes a 1999 thesis by Laura Kay Fuller, a Californian student of American Studies, saying that Scientology insists that the E-meter is the final indicator of the truth. In addition to this, Scientology uses the E-meter as a lie detector, according to the thesis.

But Chesler said: “The very principles of the E-meter are what he paid for initially. That is how auditing takes place.

“The E-meter locates the area of stress or upset and the person is asked to explain the upset that keeps showing on the E-meter. The person, once he explains it, feels a lot better.”

She said the church now had two practising auditors. There had been none when Kleinsmith paid for auditing.

“The auditors were in training, which was a known fact. We were just not really sure at what stage they would come back.”

It had taken nearly six years for them to begin auditing because the training had gone on longer than expected.

Wikipedia notes that it has become standard practice within the organisation for members to sign lengthy legal contracts and waivers before engaging in Scientology services, a practice that contrasts greatly with almost every mainstream religious organisation.

In 2003, a series of media reports examined the legal contracts required by Scientology, which state, among other things, that followers deny any psychiatric care doctors may prescribe to them.

Kleinsmith had the last word: “They are not willing to fax me a copy of the contract I signed in about 2000, at least two years before I paid for auditing.

“I cannot remember what is in that contract. They gave it to me to read with a couple of dictionaries to help me understand the ‘misunderstood’ words.
“They say I can come in and read the contract, but I don’t want to do that.”


http://www.capeargus.co.za/
 

Leon

Gold Meritorious Patron
You can tip your hat to me on that one. I gave him his auditing and got him winning and then walked him through his refund cycle.

Story from Cape Town now is that the CofS has moved out of its plush quarters in the Reserve Bank building into the property they purchased a while ago - which property is still unrenovated - and are trying to rent out the main portion of it to get income.

As for the bit that he would have had his money long ago if he'd gone about it "the right way" - Yeah right, as we say in Kiwiland.
 

Neo

Silver Meritorious Patron
You can tip your hat to me on that one. I gave him his auditing and got him winning and then walked him through his refund cycle.

Story from Cape Town now is that the CofS has moved out of its plush quarters in the Reserve Bank building into the property they purchased a while ago - which property is still unrenovated - and are trying to rent out the main portion of it to get income.

As for the bit that he would have had his money long ago if he'd gone about it "the right way" - Yeah right, as we say in Kiwiland.

:hattip:

CVB (Claims Verification Board) bank accounts held by Orgs are usually severely underfunded, so when someone makes a claim for $20,000-$25,000 it takes some time for them to even find the money. This is not why they take so long to pay it - they're just trying to be very difficult. But most times they don't have the money handy. Imagine what multiple refund requests of a sizable amount would do to an Org. My local Org has $1,000,000 of undelivered services. Yes, $1 million (says I in my best Dr Evil voice, LOL).
 
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