Daily Mail: "Scientology town Clearwater"

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

  1. Quentinanon Member

    The osabot staffing the scientology misinformation center in Clearwater is Amber Skjelset and was likely the droid who wrote this press release. She has difficulties dealing with facts and prefers to default to lies and puffery about scientology because that gets her stats up.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's more about her:"Amber Skjelset"
  3. Quentinanon Member

    Only a scientologist would put lots of value on being the grandson of a notable musician.
    Most WOGs are not impressed.
    Also like how she cannot provide a genuine smile of enjoyment. It's always that condescending, disgusted grin that screams grandiosity.
  4. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Hey, we got Jamie DeWolfe... ;-D
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology stealth opening: Tomorrow, David Miscavige will dedicate two buildings in Florida

    By Tony Ortega, June 24, 2016


    Scientology leader David Miscavige is getting more and more sneaky about his grand openings, and this time we caught him just in time.

    For some reason, Miscavige has been waiting until the last minute to give his followers information about specific dates and times in a couple of big recent openings, including the new television studios in Los Angeles that opened on May 28. Plans for the Ideal Org opening in Atlanta were also conducted on a need-to-know basis as well.

    But even our regular sources inside the church hadn’t heard a peep about the event that’s happening in Clearwater, Florida tomorrow as Miscavige will host ribbon-cutting ceremonies on two adjacent buildings simultaneously.

    We only know about it because a reader of this website noticed the giant red ribbon that was put up today on the West Coast Building at 118 N. Fort Harrison Ave., a building that we’ve heard a lot about over the years.

    And once we realized that the West Coast Building was getting an opening, we asked Mark Bunker to check on the building next door. And sure enough, the Lee Arnold Building, which is at 121 N. Osceola Ave and shares a parking lot with the West Coast Building, also has a big ribbon on it and the parking lot has a stage set up and equipment for carrying cameras.

    “I asked a Sea Org worker about it, and she said the event will be at 1 pm tomorrow,” Bunker told us. “I asked her what the buildings were for, and she said ‘Sea Org management.’ Then another guy came over and told her not to talk to me.”

    In 2013, we wrote about the odd circumstances of Scientology purchasing the Arnold building, and how it might have been related to keeping independent Scientologists from buying it — a rumor they had deliberately spread.

    [ ]

    Now, both buildings have been renovated, and it’s a little unclear why they’re getting a grand opening.

    “They never normally do any kind of grand opening for a management building,” Tom DeVocht tells us. He worked in the West Coast Building as a Sea Org executive for about 15 years, from 1986 to 2001.

    “I was on the third floor, and I ended up giving up my wing to Miscavige and renovating it for him. I moved in next door, and the new conference room was right next to my office. That’s how I was able to hear when Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun were getting beat. And that’s where I first got choked by Miscavige,” he says. “It was October, during the Lisa McPherson court case. I got called in, and Miscavige says, ‘I want you to bust up all the sidewalks in Clearwater around our buildings. Tell the city we’ll pay for it, and bust them all up so they can’t get on our sidewalks.’ I mean, it was crazy.”

    DeVocht says he went to the state department of transportation because some of the avenues facing their buildings were state roads. “They looked at me like, are you crazy? I went back and told Mike and Marty, and they were like, ‘Oh, fuck.’ Miscavige comes in and says, did you get the permit? Uh, no sir. And he starts screaming at me, ‘You’re in the enemy camp just like the rest of them!’ And he jumped on me, grabbing my tie right on the knot, and he was choking me. That’s the first time I got attacked. That’s how desperate he was about the Lisa McPherson Trust protests.”

    What memories. And now, the place has been renovated, but we’ll have to wait to find out exactly what Miscavige plans to do with the place. We asked DeVocht if he had any idea.

    Continued here:
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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    David Miscavige gets ribbon-happy in Florida: It’s the Scientology social media review!

    Yesterday, Scientology leader David Miscavige presided over the grand opening of two adjacent buildings in Clearwater, Florida. The West Coast Building, which the church has owned or leased since 1981, has housed the offices of the Religious Technology Center, of which Miscavige is the Chairman of the Board (and that’s why Scientologists call him “C.O.B.”). Next to it is the Lee Arnold building, which the church purchased in 2013. It’s been renamed the Flag Crew Administration Building, and the two renovated office buildings will “represent key facilities for the managing and administration” of the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, according to Scientology’s press release about the event. The announcement also claimed that 3,000 Scientologists attended the event, which, judging by Scientology’s math at such gatherings, means there were probably closer to 800.

    Continued here:
  7. RightOn Member

    Picture is def. shooped
    The whole right side of the picture is one big blur.
    What is that in the back? A pair of floating arms with no head?

    And this stalking case is very reminiscent of Sparrow's case. Stalking and following.
    Moxon rears his ugly head again.

    And wtf is up with Poodle's hair? It looks SO out of date and ridiculous.
    Maybe since the "TV" station opened, he is looking for more of a televangelist hairdo? :p
    Egad! he is one delusional piece of work. :confused:

    DM's hair at :20 (Jim Carrey) although the beginning of the vid does describe the COS to a "T".
    And actually the end too!

    • Like Like x 3
  8. Bunker shot some video in Clearwater on the day of the event. If Mark Bunker actually showed up around here and talked to us transparently about his film projects, he might have saved me from having to apologize for him filming vertically.

  9. DeathHamster Member

  10. The Wrong Guy Member

  11. bellends
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology leader meets one-on-one with city officials over key downtown Clearwater parcel

    By Tracey McManus, Tampa Bay Times


    Scientology leader David Miscavige has met one-on-one with each City Council member to discuss a key piece of waterfront land — the first gesture of its kind in the decades-long struggle between the Church of Scientology and the city over downtown real estate.

    In hour-long meetings held Friday and Wednesday at City Hall, Miscavige updated council members on the organization's activities around the world and emphasized its interest in three parcels on the southwest corner of Pierce Street and Osceola Avenue. Together they form a vacant, grassy lot owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

    The city, however, also has its eye on the property, having hired consultants to include it in a master plan currently underway to help revitalize the downtown waterfront. The 1.4-acre lot, now used for overflow parking, sits between City Hall on the north and the church's 13-story Oak Cove religious retreat on the south.

    Although the city has not yet submitted an offer to the aquarium, the church approached the nonprofit several months ago with a $4.25 million offer and tentative plans to convert it into a "passive park," aquarium executive vice president Frank Dame confirmed on Wednesday. Property records show the aquarium bought the property in 2012 for $2.1 million.

    In an email response to the Tampa Bay Times, the church stated: "There are no plans to turn it into a park but rather to fully develop the property for visiting parishioners, which would also result in an increase of the tax rolls."

    Mayor George Cretekos and other council members said Miscavige mentioned a potential "open space" in his meetings with them. The fear, according to Cretekos, is the church would end up using the land for religious purposes, thereby exempting it from paying taxes.

    "We want to make sure that property has its best use and will benefit the entire city," the mayor said. "But by the same token … I doubt my colleagues would want to get into a bidding war with the church or anybody else for that matter. It's up to the aquarium to decide what is in its best interest and in the community's best interest."

    City Manager Bill Horne, citing ongoing negotiations, would not comment on whether the city would match the church's offer, but any purchase would have to be approved by the City Council.

    Though many of its properties are exempt from taxes, the church is still the largest taxpayer in downtown Clearwater because of hotels and other spaces that are not used for religious purposes. Still, Scientology is continuing to expand its real estate footprint at a time when the city is working to revitalize the sleepy urban core and bring more retail, residential, restaurants and other business uses.

    "That's where we have a conflict with the church," Cretekos said, adding his Friday meeting was the first one-on-one sit down he's had with Miscavige in almost 10 years on the council.

    Horne, who sat in on all five meetings, said the conversations were cordial and lived up to recommendations made by Urban Land Institute consultants in 2014 that the city and church should improve communication. Miscavige also mingled with city officials at the July 4 celebration in Coachman Park, the first time the leader has visited the city's annual event, Horne said.

    In their statement to the Times, church officials also pointed to the evolving relationship with the city.

    "The Church is further committed to the revitalization of all of downtown Clearwater, and pursuant to the ULI (Urban Land Institute) study, the Church is following their recommendation to take an active and cooperative role in assisting the City in accomplishing that objective," the statement said.

    Council member Doreen Caudell said the city has long coveted the prime waterfront lot, but it is vital officials wait to see the consultants' final bluff master plan document, due by December, before deciding on a purchase of the property.

    Potential city uses for the lot have ranged from a parking garage to a hotel or retail space. And a church purchase could be a lost opportunity for those public uses.

    Continued here:
  13. RightOn Member

    ""We want to make sure that property has its best use and will benefit the entire city," the mayor said"

    You mean like all the already tax free properties that the cult owns that benefits the city? :confused:
    The cult breaks the law every single freakin' day. They should not have tax exemption Cretekos!
    But of course, that is not up to you to decide, but the idiotic IRS.
    But you can say no to the "bully on the block", but will you George? :rolleyes:
  14. Scientology leader meeting with city officials over Clearwater land.

    WTSP: Scientology leader meeting with city officials over Clearwater land

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Scientology leader meeting with city officials over Clearwater land

    Sarah Hollenbeck, WTSP 12:20 PM. EST July 07, 2016

    Two groups, one prime waterfront property in downtown Clearwater. The Church of Scientology and Clearwater city leaders are both interested in the land next to Clearwater City Hall and the Oak Cove Hotel at the Southwest corner of Pierce and Osceola, currently used as an overflow lot and owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

    The City has been eyeing the property for years to use as part of its downtown waterfront renovation.

    The Church of Scientology wants to buy the land to build a project to house visiting parishioners.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Editorial: Clearwater Marine Aquarium should reward voters' faith | Tampa Bay Times


    Clearwater voters took a leap of faith nearly three years ago by approving an ambitious plan for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to build a new home on the city's downtown bluff. That grand vision failed to pan out. Now the aquarium has an opportunity to demonstrate its appreciation for the public's confidence in its mission by selling to the city a key piece of downtown property for a fair price.

    The aquarium bought the 1.4-acre lot in 2012 as part of its plan to move to an adjacent site now occupied by City Hall. Voters in 2013 approved a referendum to allow the aquarium to pursue a long-term lease with the city, and the aquarium hoped to build a three-level facility with a price tag of up to $160 million. Early projections suggested the new attraction could draw more than 2 million visitors a year and be the long-sought cornerstone to rejuvenating downtown.

    It was a calculated risk worth taking, and voters long wary of development on the bluff approved pursuing the project. But faced with raising $28 million in private donations in a relatively short period, the aquarium announced last year it was abandoning the plan and would expand its current home on Island Estates. So the aquarium no longer needs the downtown vacant lot, and its decision on whom to sell it to will have long-term consequences.

    Predictably, the city is not the only potential buyer. The Church of Scientology, which already is the largest taxpayer in downtown Clearwater and casts a long shadow over the entire area, appears eager to buy the land. Tampa Bay Times staff writer Tracey McManus reported Thursday that Scientology leader David Miscavige has met individually with each City Council member to discuss the property. Miscavige ordinarily does not show up at City Hall, and his personal appearance reflects Scientology's keen interest in the land.

    So does the $4.25 million offer an aquarium official says the church has made for the property, which is double the aquarium's investment. But the aquarium's decision has to be based on more than money. It is a longtime institution with deep roots in Clearwater, and it should take the long view.

    The aquarium's project would have been a game changer for a city that has spent decades trying to redevelop downtown and become less dominated by the Church of Scientology. The need for private development is just as great now as when the aquarium's plans were announced and voters embraced them. And that vacant land is just as key to downtown's future as it was then. The adjacent property won't be occupied by City Hall forever, and there aren't other sites that have such potential for triggering a downtown revival.

    It is not even clear what the Scientologists would do with the aquarium property if they bought it. The church suggested to aquarium officials it could be a passive park, then indicated this week the parcel would be developed for their members and placed on the tax rolls. But the church also could use the land in ways that would exempt it from property taxes. The last thing Clearwater needs is more downtown land owned by the church and off the tax rolls.

    At the very least, the aquarium should keep the land until a final city master plan for the downtown bluff is submitted by consultants in December. That should shed more light on how this vacant parcel fits in a broader vision, and city officials can make a more informed decision about whether to spend public money to buy the land.

    It's understandable that the nonprofit aquarium needs a good price for its property to protect its financial future. The city also has to act in the best interests of taxpayers and not overpay for the land. But Clearwater voters stepped up on behalf of the aquarium when asked to embrace a vision for downtown. The aquarium should reward that faith and be just as committed to a brighter future for the city when it sells the property.

    • Like Like x 3
  16. JohnnyRUClear Member

    13 times in that article, the Church of Scientology is deceptively called a "church" by the author. Interestingly, the Church of Scientology correctly capitalizes the "C" in "Church" when referring to itself.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Mann Ace Member

    Why do you say deceptively? It is a church, according to the law, and the author is just following accepted practices when referring to it. We don't think it is a church, but that doesn't matter. Newspapers have books of accepted usage. The author is just following the rule book.
  18. According to the IRS it is a "religious organization". The registered named of the organization is "Church of Scientology". There is no law that says it is a "church", a term whose origin and common usage denote a Christian organization. Calling it "the Church" in context is understood to be a short form of "Church of Scientology". Calling it "the church" is arguably incorrect.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. DeathHamster Member

    The Mormons call themselves a church, and they aren't Christian either.
  20. Mann Ace Member

    • Like Like x 1
  21. Mann Ace Member

    I just looked at my (hard copy) Random House Unabridged, published in 1966. Definition #12 says "A place of worship of a non Christian religion."
    I think the article used the term correctly. None of us think of COS as a religion, but grammatically, if not logically, it can be called a church.
  22. I agree it is arguable. In practice, virtually all entities that use "church" are Christian or at least Christian-derived (like the UUs). Using "church" for a Muslim, Jewish or Hindu place of worship would be incorrect.

    Certainly the choice of "Church" by Hubbard -- combined with their "eight dynamics" cross -- was clearly intended to make people think it is Christian.

    As an aside I do think of "Scientology" as a religion in the sense that it was deliberately constructed to meet the definition of a religion. However, I do not think the Church of Scientology is a legitimate religious organization even according to the minimal standards imposed by the IRS.
    • Like Like x 1
  23. Mann Ace Member

    I am only talking about the grammar and usage. To me, the COS is a straight up con. But I think Mormonism is too, and yet the Mormons I know are good and decent people. So it becomes really hard to make blanket judgements on the people who follow religion, even clever con jobs like COS.
    • Like Like x 1
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Today, Tony Ortega published this update from Rod Keller:

    Scientology will hold a briefing in the Ballroom of the Fort Harrison Hotel on July 13 with guests from the City of Clearwater on making the city safer, and effects of Scientology’s social betterment programs.

    Hear from local City Officials and the Office of Special Affairs on what are the exact steps to take towards making Clearwater the safest city! Get briefed on the incredible changes that our 4th Dynamic Campaigns have made in our local Community so far and what is in store for the upcoming months.

    • Like Like x 2
  25. Agreed. The simplest thing to do is stop trying to pretend there is an inherent difference between a "real" religion and a "fake" religion and don't give religious groups exemptions from laws. They can have tax breaks for any actually charitable work they spend money on and freedom to practice their religion doesn't require state subsidy.
    • Like Like x 4
  26. Sensible, but do you think Scientology should get tax breaks for all the "charitable work" they spend money on?
  27. If they actually started to do real charitable work then yes. Subjecting them to the same scrutiny as non-religious charities would inherently result in a different kind of organization emerging. They would still be selling woo but they may no longer be criminal.
  28. anoninoob Member

    I believe this is what Australia's "Public Benefit Test" is all about.
    • Like Like x 2
  29. 127

    Since they already get tax breaks and tax money for their "non-religious" "real charitable work" does that mean "a different kind of organization (is) emerging"?
  30. I don't know what you are trying to say.

    Designated religious organizations face virtually no financial scrutiny from the IRS. The CoS agreement with the IRS covers all of their subsidiary organizations, including the "non-religious" ones (that still don't do real charitable work) which certainly minimizes the scrutiny they face.

    Moreover the "non-religious" organizations funnel money uplines in a way that would be blatantly illegal if the parent company was actually recognized as a for-profit entity.

    If you applied something like the Australian "Public Benefits Test" to the Church of Scientology it would make their current method of operating unfeasible in a manner that would impact all of the "non-religious" subsidiaries as well.

    However, if it did reform itself into something that was still stupid but not criminal why should they not be treated like every other stupid-but-not-criminal entity?

    I personally think collapse is more likely than reform but the CoS has defied predictions in the past.
    • Like Like x 1
  31. Quentinanon Member

    How ironic that Clearwater is the fourth most criminally active municipality in Pinellas County.
    What is this that the "team of OTs" who occupy downtown Clearwater can't make it the city "without war, crime and insanity" after 40 years?
    So, they really cannot "improve conditions" with their "social betterment" programs?
    Safe by what means and to the benefit of who?
    Would the unstated beneficiary here be the scientology organization?
    Would the means be harassing protesters against scientology?
    • Like Like x 2
  32. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Pizza-hiding tech.
    • Like Like x 1
  33. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Sorry if this should get posted somewhere else
    • Like Like x 1
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    The cult just published this press release:

    Downtown Clearwater Scientology Information Expands Offerings, Answers Questions

    The Scientology Information Center announces new videos bringing greater understanding about the vast world of Scientology.


    With the ever increasing flow of daily visitors and interest in the community of those who want to see for themselves, “What is Scientology?” Ms. Amber Skjelset, the Manager of the Scientology Info Center in Downtown Clearwater is pleased to announce the addition of 100 new videos illustrating different aspects of the Church of Scientology.

    These videos provide visual tours of every major Church of Scientology across the U.S. and the world, interviews from community world leaders on their use of the social betterment programs, testimonies of Scientologists of what Scientology means to them and information about the basic beliefs and tenets of Scientology.


    “I have found that most people are curious and want to learn more about Scientology,” said Ms. Skjelset.

    “These videos are short and to the point and show many interesting aspects of our religion and our beliefs and give a clearer perspective of Scientology. For example, people want to know what our basic core beliefs are. Well, there’s a video that covers that.”

    “I’ve learned so much viewing these videos. It’s crazy how much Scientology is doing in the world that you’ll never see covered in the news. I’d highly recommend it to anyone,” said Mark, a frequent Information Center visitor.

    More here:
  36. RightOn Member

    "It’s crazy how much Scientology is doing in the world that you’ll never see covered in the news"

    uhhh... yah think that's because they are not actually doing anything? :confused:
  37. tippytoe Member

    "It’s crazy." [full stop]

    • Like Like x 1
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    For 30 grand or so, Scientology will let you into its shrine to L. Ron Hubbard. Here’s a peek.

    By Tony Ortega, January 31, 2015


    Thanks again to reader Rasha, we have a first look at another entertaining Scientology publication today, in this case Source magazine, the publication of the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.

    Source does its best to entice wealthy Scientologists to “Flag,” where they can progress up Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom,” to some of its most expensive upper-level offerings.

    That includes, of course, Scientology’s crown jewel, its “Flag Building” that was opened in 2013 and is more colloquially known as the “Super Power Building.” It takes up a full city block, and Scientology raised something like $200 million to construct it, which took about 20 years. Mike Rinder found documents that spell out what Scientology is charging members to set foot in the place, and he estimated that a typical Super Power experience is going to run a Scientologist about $32,000.

    For us, there was one particular treat about the Super Power Building in this edition of Source — it’s our best look yet at the shrine to L. Ron Hubbard that we had first noticed when we published leaked renderings for the building back in early 2012. Those plans called for a museum to Hubbard focusing on his years running Scientology from sea (1967-1975) as the Commodore of his own small private navy.

    The centerpiece of it would be his office on the yacht Apollo recreated to exacting detail:

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 2
  39. when COB drops the body, I wonder if they will build a shrine to him?
    • Like Like x 1
  40. The Wrong Guy Member

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