Marcus Dalrymple, Perth Father was a Scientologist


Silver Meritorious Patron
The Hearld

8th June
Three people with very different stories talk about how their fathers influenced their lives
Marianne Taylor @MarianneBungo Features writer and columnist

Marcus Dalrymple, Perth
Father was a Scientologist
AS is the case for many young children, the world around me collapsed when my parents divorced. It was 1982 and I was eight years old. But for me this devastating event was further complicated by the fact my father had become a Scientologist.
My dad Raymond was loving, warm, generous and mostly absent. He worked abroad in the oil industry and his interest in the Church of Scientology started when a friend gave him a copy of the book Dianetics, written by its founder, L Ron Hubbard. He started doing Scientology courses back in Scotland and tried to get my mum involved, even putting her through some of the sect’s “purification” and “detox” rituals, but she wanted nothing to do with it. As the association deepened, he also gave them thousands of pounds.

There was no way back and, divorce sealed, Dad set off for St Hill Manor in East Grinstead – Scientology’s UK headquarters – to become a full-time member. All this put my mum in an awful position: she wanted to prevent me from being embroiled in this world, but I was desperate to see my dad.
I was eventually allowed to visit him when I was 12, with cast-iron guarantees that he wouldn’t try to involve me in the religion.


In 2003 Dad had a heart attack and because of his Scientology beliefs he wasn’t interested in getting the treatment necessary to prolong his life. Instead, he bought a 1000cc motorbike and took up surfing. In the August of that year he was involved in a crash and he and his girlfriend both died. He was only 52. The accident wasn’t his fault but I can’t help but think he would still be here if he had just eased off the proverbial gas. But that was never “Big Ray”, whose motto was: “Burn out, don’t fade away.”

[email protected]