Jonathan [Graham Harlin] Verne 2003, 2005
> Guest Character
Jonathan Verne Oscar Redding
Occupation: Con Artist
While at a One World festival,
Stuart Parker was having car trouble, when along came Jonathan Verne. After offering to help,
Jonathan left Stuart with his card and an invitation to a talk he was giving at the festival later
that day. After a string of failed relationships, Stuart felt like he could do with some guidance
and so he went and listened to what Jonathan had to say. The concepts of Life Mechanics, Jonathan’s
organisation, made a great deal of sense to Stuart, as they compared life to driving a car,
encouraging Stuart to get back in the driving seat.
Stuart agreed to attend another
of Jonathan’s sessions and this time, he took Taj along with him. Jonathan became pally with both
of them and took them along to the pub for a drink. It seemed that they were both starting to
understand the concepts of the organisation and they both began to attend regularly. But when Jonathan
began to ask for donations and Stuart started giving a great deal of money, Taj pulled out, as he
became suspicious of the whole thing. Stuart wasn’t to be swayed though and Jonathan told him that
he had the ability to give some of the talks himself. While Stu overcame his nerves and managed to
give the talk, he later learnt from one of the other members, Troy, was actually planted to encourage
the people in the crowd to donate more money. Jonathan quickly explained to Stuart that he didn’t like
deceiving people like that, but he had been unable to come up with another method of raising the cash
needed to run the organisation.
With Stuart firmly caught up in Life Mechanics,
he began to make enemies of his old friends. Jonathan even went as far as to suggest to Steph Scully
that her cancer was a result of her own negative thoughts. After a nasty bust-up with his housemates,
Toadie and Connor, Stuart decided to move out, and Jonathan was quick to offer him a room at his
impressive apartment. He explained to Stuart that his home had been a gift from a billionaire who
he’d helped with Life Mechanics. Jonathan then announced that he’d be going interstate for a while and
needed Stuart to take over the running of the local division, even making him sign a contract.
Unfortunately, a few weeks later, a journalist uncovered the truth; Life Mechanics was a huge scam and
Jonathan Verne had been conning people out of huge sums of money all over the country, then vanishing
into the night.
A couple of years later, Erinsborough resident Alex Kinski was diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma and found himself looking for alternative forms of treatment. He met Jonathan, now masquerading as therapist Graham Harlin, who asked him for $5000 for a six-week course of treatment. Alex quickly backed away, but mentioned the man to his doctor, Karl Kennedy. Karl set up a meeting with “Graham” and found out as much as he could, but it wasn’t until Steph was at the surgery for a check-up that she spotted the man’s flyer and made the connection. Karl arranged another meeting at the Scarlet Bar and informed Stuart, who promptly headed in there and finally arrested the man who’d almost ruined his life.