Is Scientology breaking the law?

Allegations of illegal imprisonment by Scientology

excerpted from

"Management Seminar" Harrowing Experience

Alabama, Wednesday December 12, 1990.
By TERRY DEAN, Staff Writer

"We now feel like we've been raped. We feel so invaded. We say, "l still can't believe this happened to us"

Dee Rowe, wife of local dentist Glover Rowe D.M.D., described their recent harrowing experience in what was supposed to be a "management seminar" in California. Dr. and Mrs. Rowe said they were held against their will by a religious cult and were forced to endure brainwashing attempts.

The first seminar the Rowes attended was held Oct. 18-25 in Glendale, Calif., and they attended a second seminar Nov. 15-22 in Orange County, Calif.

"They put a telephone in front of me and said I should call every member of my family and tell them I was a member of the Church of Scientology. I refused," said Mrs. Rowe. "At that point, they said, 'but you see Dee, you have to.' I said, 'No I don't have to,' and they said I couldn't leave until I did ."

After arguing with them for two hours, Mrs. Rowe convinced them to let her leave, saying she would call her family from her hotel room.

Dr. and Mrs. Rowe were then separated, she said, and she was taken into a room where her back was placed against a wall.

"FOR SEVEN hours, a man drilled me, tried to brainwash me," said Mrs. Rowe. " l begged him to let me go, he kept saying, 'but you see Dee, you can't.' He tried to get me to confess to crimes. He started getting me to tell him sex stories. He made me list every overt sin I had committed. They insisted I write down everything I had done wrong. I couldn't list anything bad enough to please them. They tried to get me to tell them crimes other people I knew had committed. I learned later that this was for blackmail purposes."

Mrs. Rowe bolted out the door at this point, out into the highway and tried to scream for help.

A man then jumped out of the car, Mrs. Rowe said, and began to chase her.

"They were waiting at the hotel," said Mrs. Rowe. "At the restaurant next door, two men came running and chasing me through the restaurant. I began screaming, 'Call the police, call the police!' In the meantime, we called a cab and went to a populated area."

MRS. ROWE said the police had advised her to go to a populated area because the cult members would follow her home. The three went to Irvine, California.

"They were with him every minute," said Mrs. Rowe. "Glover couldn't even go to the bathroom by himself. The baby, Barbra, and I got out of there. We had police escorts all the way home. We were very scared, That was Thanksgiving Day."

"Friday, I decided to call GIover and see if he was okay," said Mrs. Rowe. "I disguised my voice. Glover answered."

"ARE YOU alone?" Mrs. Rowe asked.

"No," Dr. Rowe said.

" Are you being held against your will? " Mrs, Rowe asked.

" Yes ," Dr. Rowe said.

Mrs. Rowe said she and her husband are in the process of filing a lawsuit against Scientology and the Sterling Corporation.

UPON DOING research, the Rowes discovered that their experience is by no means a solitary incident. Mrs. Rowe said the California police were "not even surprised" when they reported the cult's behavior.

This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.