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Grieving Mother Says Scientologists Banned Her From Seeing Her Own Son's Body

Photo by Archie Tucker via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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The grieving mother of a man who died earlier this week said she won't be allowed to see her son's body because she's no longer a member of the Church of Scientology.

Alexander Jentzsch, 27, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, but so far his mother Karen de la Carriere has not been able to say a final goodbye, according to the New York Daily News.

De la Carriere used to be a Scientologist and married to Heber Jentzsch, who is technically the president of the Church of Scientology. She said she was "disconnected" from the rest of the practicing Scientologists in her family—including her son, his parents-in-law and his wife—after she left the church in 2010. She's been an outspoken critic of the Church, and has been giving interviews to news outlets (such as Us News and The Hollywood Reporter) interested in learning more about what the Church's role may be in the TomKat divorce.

She told the Daily News that even news of her son's death didn't come quickly—a friend in Scientology passed along the information "secretly" via Facebook. When she heard the news that his body had been transferred to a funeral home, she made a bee-line to the home so she could see him but when she arrived, the funeral director said his son's wife said explicitly that she was not allowed.

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"I still believe in the scriptures of Scientology, but the church is an evil, demonic, mean-spirited organization," she told The Daily News. "I'm Alexander’s mother, but I’m persona non grata."

De la Carriere reached out to Jentzsch's mother-in-law to see if she would help her, but instead the mother-in-law said she needed to go through the church's Office of Special Affairs. Unsurprisingly, de la Carriere didn't bother because the Church's spokeswoman Karin Pouw said she "has not contacted the church." The spokeswoman told The Daily News that her claims were "irresponsible speculation."

Jentzsch's father-in-law found his body Tuesday night around 8 pm after he complained of a fever. He had taken NyQuil and other medications. There is no foul play suspected, and it is not suspected that he committed suicide. Results from the toxicology tests are still pending, so the coroner's office has not ruled on the cause of death.

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