In an article published today in the Australian, titled “Police take up Scientology complaints,” I spotted this passage (my emphasis):

“I [Kevin MacKey] know of several people who were coerced into giving up inheritances and pushed to the point of bankruptcy from these actions.”

Then two cases involving inheritance popped in my mind.

First, in 1986, in a Forbes article titled “The prophet and profits of Scientology”:

“In 1983,” says Larson, “I manipulated a half-million-dollar inheritance out of Bob B… He was naive as hell. D.M. (David Miscavige) called me up in the middle of the night [about Bob B…] He wanted the money. “What’s all this got to do with religion?” Larson muses. “I can’t believe the things I did.”

Isn’t this something? According to Larson, the current Church of Scientology boss, David Miscavige, told him to go after someone else’s inheritance. “He wanted the money”…

Second, circa 1985, in CBC’s “The Fifth Estate”, the mother of a Scientologist recount when the Scientologists came in to milk her:

[…] And her explanation was that she wanted to become ‘clear,’ and really at this point I still didn’t know what she was in, and when I refused her the fact that there is no way I would give her $15,000, this fella immediately said ‘Well if you haven’t got the $15,000, would you take a mortgage out on your home?’ and I said ‘Definitely not!’ And I said my ‘Well my husband would become worried sick if I ever thought of giving her that much money and having to take a mortgage out. And when we refused, they immediately said ‘Well can she have her inheritance?’ My Heavens! I’m not dead yet! It was unreal.

L. Ron Hubbard would approve:

It will be found that those who will pay more were the most able to begin with and have the greatest value to others. Their worth as persons is greater.

[Ref.: L. Ron Hubbard, 9 May 1965, “Auditing Fees”]

The latest accounts add on top of a thick pile more evidences that “Hard Sell” is a core Scientology practice.

I will conclude with this quote from a former member:

Our job as Scientologists is to suck every dime we can from a person. We convince them that they are saving not just this world but the entire universe!

[Former scientologist, “‘Management Seminar’ Harrowing Experience,” Dec. 12, 1990, Cherokee County Herald]

Addendum Nov. 19, 2009: How can one argue about this Scientological pattern of extracting as much money as possible from people? To add to the above nearly 20 years old article, here is a quote from an article published today in the Australian:

Detheridge describes an “inhuman, cold-hearted and money-fixated culture” within the church.

“I have witnessed, and participated in, concerted efforts to extract as much money as possible from parishoners with absolutely no regard for the financial security of the individual or [their] family,” he wrote.

[“Science or fiction?,” Nov. 20, 2009, The Australian]

Addendum Feb. 2, 2010: One more story of Church of Scientology going after the inheritance of a member:

He was living at home with his parents in 2001 and making $7 an hour when he inherited cash and stocks with a total value of $25,000, Durni said.

Soon after telling a Scientologist official of his inheritance, she said, his family’s house began receiving mail with new credit card accounts for Fred, including expensive charges to the Church.

[“Outside Critics Are Unacceptable,” Feb. 2, 2005, Buffalo News]

Outside Critics Are Unacceptable