Daily Mail: "Scientology town Clearwater"

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology town Clearwater where members pay $100k to learn super human powers | Daily Mail

    EXCLUSIVE: Inside the town Scientology built - Clearwater, Florida, where Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley rule with palatial estates, Sea Org members live six to a room and pay $100,000 for to learn super human powers

    By Chris White in Clearwater, Florida, 31 March 2015
    • The beautiful resort town of Clearwater has millions of tourists every single year - but few ever set foot in the downtown area
    • Exclusive photos show the extent of Scientology's grip on the city
    • The church owns 67 buildings over ten square miles, including motels, training centers, offices for 'Special Affairs' and 'religious retreats' worth more than half a billion dollars
    • Sea Org members earn $50 a week and work seven days starting at 7am and ending at midnight
    • They pay for the right to run around a pole in circles for hours until they realize the error of their ways, says one former member
    • 'You never get to see your family. That's how it was for me. I was there from 1973 to 2007,' former executive director tells Daily Mail Online
    The anti-Scientology documentary Going Clear is shocking the world with its devastating insight into the inner workings of this most secret of religions.

    The lives of Scientologists, especially hardcore Sea Org members - the top of the Scientology food chain - seems like another strange universe.

    But for one area of Florida, Scientology's impact has been devastating. It's where it has built its headquarters and rules the place with an iron fist. The beautiful resort of Clearwater has millions of tourists every single year - but few ever set foot in the downtown area.

    Even residents steer clear and avoid annoying the city's real power brokers. Welcome to Scientologyville. It's taken over the city in the last forty years and now owns dozens of buildings worth well in excess of half a billion dollars.

    Continued with open comments here:
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  2. Existence of article: good.
    Accuracy of article: Daily Mail.
    • Like Like x 5
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    John Travolta to host premiere of 'The Forger' at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre

    By Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times

    John Travolta has strutted red carpets at movie premieres his entire career but never in Tampa Bay. Not even for The Punisher, which he filmed here in 2003.

    That changes April 18 when Travolta presents the U.S. theatrical premiere of his latest film, The Forger, at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre. All proceeds from the premiere benefit the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

    General admission to the screening is $35, including popcorn and soft drinks. A limited number of VIP meet-and-greet tickets — including a photo op with Travolta — are available for $175. Tickets go on sale April 4 at 10 a.m. at the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office, by calling (727) 791-7400 or by visiting

    Travolta, a two-time Oscar nominee, will appear on Cleveland Street outside the Capitol, which will feature live entertainment, spotlights and bleachers for spectators.

    Preshow festivities are free and open to the public.

    The event is similar to fundraising premieres Travolta arranged for his movies including Wild Hogs and From Paris With Love in Ocala, where he and wife Kelly Preston have a home.

    Travolta has been a frequent visitor to Clearwater over the years, often flying a personal airplane from Ocala to attend functions at the Church of Scientology headquarters, a short distance away from the Capitol.

    In past years, the star of such iconic films as Pulp Fiction, Saturday Night Fever and Grease made local appearances at the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg and the International Indian Film Academy Awards in Tampa.

    Continued here:
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  5. ravenanon Member

    Is this premiering anywhere else? Has his star fallen that low?
    • Like Like x 2

  7. amaX Member

    yet another event i can't attend in clearwater. my guy fawkes bandana mask would have looked so good with the new blouse i got for easter.

    that's right---presale tix and i couldn't take advantage of them.

    • Like Like x 2
  8. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    He looks unhappy that Tom Cruise has taken away his "Face of Scientology" status.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    John Travolta presents 'The Forger' at Clearwater's Capital Theatre (w/trailer)

    By Steve Persall, Times Movie Critic, Tampa Bay Times

    By his count, John Travolta visits Clearwater five days a week when possible yet hasn't entered the revitalized Capitol Theatre.

    That changes Saturday when the star of Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction appears at the Cap with his new film, The Forger, with proceeds benefiting the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

    It's the latest example of the two-time Academy Award nominee using his movies as fundraisers for causes. Mostly these red carpet events occur in Ocala where he lives.

    This one's in downtown Clearwater where he regularly worships at the Church of Scientology.

    "My friends are there," Travolta said. "My church is there, and I've been going down there since 1976."


    The Forger is available on DirecTV, with a limited theatrical and wide VOD release April 24.

    "It's a wonderful film that also admires the arts within the subject and story line," Travolta said. "I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to use this film to raise money for the arts in Clearwater?"
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  10. GibbousWaxing Member

    April 18?

    You know what that is in California?

    I wonder if DM plans to celebrate.
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    This is somewhat relevant:

    Vision for Clearwater veterans memorial to become a reality

    By Mike Brassfield, Tampa Bay Times, April 16, 2015

    The city of Largo has a dignified-looking veterans memorial in one of its parks. So does Dunedin. The same goes for Oldsmar. But up until now, a veterans memorial in Clearwater's Crest Lake Park has existed only as a idea in an artist's rendering.

    That's about to change. A Tampa Bay veterans group has reached a crucial milestone in its quest to build a memorial plaza in the park's southeast corner, to be visible from passing traffic on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. Construction will begin in about a month and should be complete by Veterans Day in November.

    The nonprofit Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance has raised $150,000 through donations from hundreds of individuals and support from some local companies. It also got a monetary boost from the Church of Scientology, which contributed an undisclosed sum to the memorial fund as part of its community outreach efforts.


    The group declined to reveal how much it received from the Church of Scientology. The Veterans Alliance is not affiliated with the church. Although Scientology's presence downtown remains controversial in Clearwater, the church occasionally donates money or dispatches volunteers for various community causes, such as the veterans memorial or the recently reopened Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Center in the North Greenwood area.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. RightOn Member

    just in time to prove they contribute to the social betterment of Clearwater when people come poking around huh?
    They give money for a vets memorial while they try to entice vets into Narconon
    • Like Like x 2
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Travolta thrills Clearwater crowd with donation

    By Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times, April 18, 2015

    John Travolta was complimenting Saturday's audience at the Capitol Theatre for supporting the arts with their attendance, when the announcement came that $38,000 was raised for the Marcia P. Hoffman School for the Arts.

    Recognizing a cue as actors do, the two-time Academy Award nominee sweetened the pot. "Because of your generosity," Travolta said, "I would like to add another 12 (thousand) to make it $50,000."

    A crowd of nearly 700 fans, just settled from one standing ovation, gave Travolta another, at a fundraising screening of his latest movie, The Forger.


    Travolta didn't take questions from the press. His reluctance to address the media wasn't surprising, after his statements last week to the Tampa Bay Times, praising the Church of Scientology he joined nearly 40 years ago. The actor, who along with Tom Cruise give Scientology its celebrity cache, also spoke out against the HBO documentary Going Clear that accuses the church of abusive and intrusive tactics. Travolta's comments made headlines nationally, drawing more attention to the documentary, now one of HBO's highest rated ever.

    Aside from a few Scientologists strolling nearby in uniforms, there was no visible evidence outside the Capitol of the church or its detractors. A pair of sidewalk evangelists chiding people in line about the world ending were the only theological intrusions.


    Arriving later but equally starstruck was Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, who called the event "another gem in the city's crown." Cretekos was particularly pleased that Travolta's Scientology connection didn't attract any protesters. "People realize this is a fundraiser to help youth excel in the arts,'' he said. "That trumps everything."
    • Like Like x 2
  14. anon8109 Member

    So far on Rotten Tomatoes, out of six reviews all of them were negative.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    That's right.

    The Forger | Rotten Tomatoes

    A contrived thriller that wraps a gritty Boston milieu redolent of a Dennis Lehane story around a sentimental heart, with a high-stakes art heist that belongs in a more robustly plotted Hollywood studio picture.

    - David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

    Nothing feels fresh here - not even Christopher Plummer hamming it up as a crusty-coot grandpa - and Philip Martin's routinely polished direction only underscores the cliche-composting of Richard D'Ovidio's script.

    - Dennis Harvey, Variety

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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    John Travolta puts on a happy face at The Forger premiere... following controversy surrounding HBO Scientology documentary Going Clear

    By Kayla Caldwell for MailOnline

    John Travolta has been surrounded by controversy since the release of HBO's Scientology exposé Going Clear at the end of March.

    However, the 61-year-old star has remained in good faith with the church, and put on a happy face while attending a premiere for The Forger on Saturday.

    The actor was all smiles as he greeted crowds at the Clearwater, Florida theater to celebrate the upcoming thriller.


    He seemed to be in good spirits for the premiere, stopping to pose for selfies with fans along the carpet, and giving the crowd the thumbs up sign.

    Not photographed with the actor were his wife of 24 years, actress Kelly Preston, and their children Benjamin and Ella Bleu.


    Recently, John found himself defending his relationship with the Church of Scientology, following the premiere of HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & The Prison Of Belief.

    The doc claims that Scientologists hold a 'blackmail file' on John to stop him leaving the faith, which includes 'damaging material' from his sessions with auditors at the church.

    However, in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, John said: 'I haven't experienced anything that the hearsay has (claimed), so why would I communicate something that wasn't true for me?'


    Those 40 years Travolta has spent as a Scientologist are addressed head-on in the film, which claims that church elders have blackmailed the Hairspray actor into being one of their most visible cheerleaders.
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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    There are now fifteen reviews of The Forger on Rotten Tomatoes, and every one is negative.
    • Like Like x 4
  19. Mr. Magoo Member

    From Showbiz 411:
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  20. laughingsock Member

    CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - In a recent survey contracted by the city of Clearwater, hundreds of residents were asked to pick two phrases to describe the city.

    Fifty-three percent of people chose the beach experience, while 50 percent associated Clearwater as the home of the Church of Scientology.

    When asked about Clearwater's reputation to outsiders, the Church outpolled the beaches.

    But when "outsiders" familiar with the area were asked the same questions, only 9 percent mentioned "Home of the Church of Scientology,” and half of the respondents did not know where the Church of Scientology is based.

    The city is "rebranding" itself, which eventually means a new logo, catch phrases and marketing materials.

    "We are asking the branding company to see if [Scientology is] something that the locals have a bias toward, do outside people know it's here? Do outside people have the negative connotation with the church that maybe some of the residents have?" public communications director Joelle Castelli explained. "The brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room, and the branding is what you do to affect it."

    The survey clearly shows most outsiders think highly of Clearwater's beaches, its visitor accommodations and family-friendly atmosphere. That will become the basis of the new branding, with no mention of Scientology.

    "With any product or anything you're trying to promote, you wouldn't move forward promoting the move forward with the positive," Castelli said.

    The Church's presence is certainly a local issue. When residents were asked about Clearwater's greatest shortcoming compared to other Tampa Bay area communities, 49 percent selected "Mystery around Church of Scientology."

    Fear and distrust of the Church was also seen as a challenge in several survey subsets, including Scientologists. But survey respondents also saw the Church as one of Clearwater's strongest assets, and improved relationships with the Church as one of the greatest opportunities for growth.

    In a written statement to FOX 13 News, the Church said the following:

    "We welcome a branding survey. The survey was quite clear that a significant percentage of residents consider Clearwater: “Home of the Church of Scientology” and that people think that the Church is an asset for improving properties. That is inescapable. Yes -people want to know, what is Scientology? And we are addressing those questions by sponsoring events for non-profits in the Fort Harrison -over 100 such events in the past 3 years- [as well as] with a website that fully addresses all the questions that people have: and through our Freedom Magazine to give residents a full view of what the Church is and what we are doing to help.

    As the 2014 Florida State University Study shows - the impact of the Church of Scientology in Tampa Bay is not just the 917 million dollars of economic impact, but there is the impact of the significant contributions that the Church and our parishioners make to the area's quality of life."

    Huh....the city of Clearwater is looking for opinions of the cult...
    • Like Like x 2
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Clearwater celebrates 100 years as a city

    By Mike Brassfield, Tampa Bay Times


    Scientology: In 1975, a secretive out-of-town company bought the landmark Fort Harrison Hotel. The real buyer was the Church of Scientology, founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

    Their arrival was a turning point for Clearwater. The mayor at the time called Scientology a cult. In retaliation, church members staged a phony hit-and-run accident to try to discredit him.

    Since then the church has become a dominating presence downtown, buying up nearly 70 properties. Relations between the city and the church have calmed down quite a bit, but for many residents the controversies surrounding the Scientologists have never completely died.
    • Like Like x 2
  22. RightOn Member

    So is the COS going to have a float in the parade?
    Passing out booklets? They are not going to let this opportunity to disseminate pass, are they?
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Several Clearwater officers disciplined for unrelated internal affairs cases | Tampa Bay Times

    The Clearwater Police Department released several internal affairs files Wednesday afternoon that resulted in suspensions, written reprimands, and a resignation.

    Here's the relevant paragraph:

    Officer Raniel Heredia received a written reprimand and remedial training for arresting an Illinois lawyer who was protesting the Church of Scientology on Fort Harrison Avenue. Heredia thought the lawyer was violating a trespass warning.
    • Like Like x 7
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Clearwater Academy’s Argi Radani – He Makes Things Go Right | Sec Check

    This video from the 2015 graduation ceremony of Clearwater Academy is interesting because of the amount of Scientology’s special language that flows into an address by a departing football player. Argi Radani is a graduating senior, and led the school’s 8-man football team to a state championship.

    Only in a Scientology school would somebody praise Study Tech, or say that they have the ability to communicate with anybody about anything. But the best quote comes at 5:12:

    True success is being able to lead a group of people, and command a space with so much certainty that people around you have no choice but to become successful.

    Continued here:
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  25. Kilia Member

    The scientologist's gobbledy-gook just proves how truly insane they are.
  26. RightOn Member

    soooooooooo no college I presume?
    Or does he have a free ride? I am sure the COS will intervine and persuade him to join the Sea Org or at the very least staff??
  27. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Can he spell?
  28. Mr. Magoo Member

    Here's a Clearwater Academy success story fer ya. At least he's not in the sea org.

    clearwater academy.png
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  29. Mmmm - valuable final product.:p
    • Like Like x 1
  30. Far more valuable than anything produced by anyone in the Sea Org, though. And tastier.
    • Like Like x 1
  31. RightOn Member

    probably on staff and works at Drunkin' Dognuts to make ends meet?
    • Like Like x 1
  32. The Wrong Guy Member


    Clearwater Police Chief Visits Scientology Foundation For A Drug-Free World | Sec Check

    Today Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter visited the new facility for the Scientology front group Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Slaughter has been on the CWPD force for over 22 years.

    Scientologist Julieta Santagostino (left) is the In Charge (or I/C) for the Foundation.

    • Like Like x 4
  33. Quentinanon Member

    Dan Slaughter looks affably stupid.
    And he proves it with the photo op.
  34. RightOn Member

    This makes me so angry
    Here are all the Clearwater phone numbers in case someone wants to ask WHY
    Daniel Slaughter
    Fax 562-4343
    (Do not use email to report crimes or incidents in progress. This email address is monitored during weekday business hours only)
    • Like Like x 1
  35. RightOn Member

    So he has been police chief for 22 years? EDITED, only police chief since 2014.
    And he doesn't think it is a conflict of interest to go to the Foundation For A Drug-Free World ? *cough*
    There's a lot of Slaughters in COS completions. Just sayin.....
    Is he any relation to David and Benetta Slaughter?
    he is also a member of the City of Clearwater Economic Development

    ""This agency has never been closer to the citizens than we are right now," he said, "and it will continue to be a mission of this agency to build on that relationship."

    • Like Like x 1
  36. Quentinanon Member

    "This agency has never been closer to the citizens than we are right now," he said, "and it will continue to be a mission of this agency to build on that relationship."
    Like when your underling falsely arrested a peaceful protester on the sidewalk by the S.P. building this year?
    A truthful statement from Doorknob Dan would be:
    "This agency has never been closer to the scientology cult than we are right now, and it will continue to be a mission of this agency to build on that relationship."
    • Like Like x 1
  37. Quentinanon Member

    My photo editorial of scientology cult influence over the Clearwater Police chief:

    • Like Like x 3
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    David Jolly, George Cretekos attend Scientology-hosted, star-studded tribute to Clearwater's centennial

    By Peter Schorsch, SaintPetersBlog, September 6, 2015


    More than 400 residents of the Tampa Bay area gathered this past weekend for “Clearwater: A Century in Music” at the historic Fort Harrison in downtown Clearwater. This event was one of the official Clearwater Centennial Events held in honor of Clearwater celebrating its 100th year as a city.

    The Fort Harrison is the international religious retreat for the Church of Scientology.

    Performances by Academy Award nominated actress Anne Archer, 22-time Grammy Award winner Chick Corea, prominent impressionist, TV and film actor Jim Meskimen highlighted the show, which took the guests through 100 years of Clearwater’s history through its music. Most noted of these performances was Meskimen’s version of “Singing in the Rain” in celebrity voices, and Corea creating a choir out of the guests, who performed along with him.

    Lisa Mansell, the Public Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology, welcomed attendees and talked about the work that the Church and its parishioners have done in the community to help combat societal ills such as drug addiction and human rights abuses.

    A special presentation was then done to the City of Clearwater by Congressman David Jolly. This presentation was made to the Mayor of Clearwater, George Cretekos.

    This was followed by a concert, narrated by Archer. Highlights such as the construction of the Capitol Theater, the dedication of Coachman Park, the drafting of the song “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones at the Fort Harrison and the founding of Jazz Holiday were covered. Musical styles represented included Jazz, R&B, Broadway and rock and roll.

    After the concert, guests were invited to dance or to enjoy desserts and refreshments out by the Fort Harrison pool.

    Said one guest as she was leaving, “I’ve always wanted to come into the Fort Harrison but I never knew I could. I did not know that such a beautiful auditorium existed in Clearwater. It was a really amazing concert and a beautiful event with incredible music. I’m very glad I came and I’m very impressed!”

    Source, and open comments:

    By the way, two years ago, the author of that article also wrote this:

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  39. [IMG]


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