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Daily Mail: "Scientology town Clearwater"

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

  1. Quentinanon Member

    If David Miscavige is so concerned about the WOGs at the Aquarium getting $26 million after they turned down his $15 million, and not feeling comfortable in Clearwater, in the interest of efficient use of "church" funds, the scientology crime syndicate should move their operations out of Clearwater to the Int Base where they have plenty of room for expansion, better security and no WOGs to deal with.
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology in Ruins? Sea Org Vanishes From Clearwater, Florida?

    By Ester Antonio, Inquisitr

    Quote:

    Clearwater, Fla. Is used to having these Sea Org members in suits walking around all day along Cleveland Street towards Fort Harrison Avenue because this is where the Church of Scientology is located. However, over the past weeks, fewer members have been spotted around.

    According to Tampa Bay Times, the Sea Org members would sometimes outnumber the passersby on the street. It was not until last Thursday that the streets cleared up.

    Community Redevelopment Agency Director Seth Taylor said that there is a possibility Sea Org instructed their members to boycott the shops on Cleveland Street.

    Continued at http://www.inquisitr.com/4202366/scientology-in-ruins-sea-org-vanishes-from-clearwater-florida/
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    ‘Source’ magazine offers a glimpse into what goes on at Scientology’s Florida ‘mecca’

    By Tony Ortega, May 27, 2017

    Excerpt:

    ...as a Scientologist, you have the right to donate money to the next monument in David Miscavige’s MEST collection:

    Source24619.jpg

    We also love the subtlety of Source magazine. Take this pimp for New OT 4. Who wouldn’t be excited for becoming “free from the effects of drugs”? Sounds great, doesn’t it?

    Source24624.jpg

    It’s a shame they don’t explain that on New OT 4, you’ll be paying about $10,000 to free not your own body from drugs, but the invisible space junkies that are attached to you as “body thetans” who were abusing drugs millions of years ago in other galaxies. We are not kidding.

    (And it sure would be interesting if someone could ask Greta Van Susteren about this, as we’ve pointed out in the past.)

    Yes, there are some pretty unusual processes that people do at the Flag Land Base, and they’re not only weird, they’re not cheap. One of our favorite is what’s done on the massive sixth floor of the Flag Building (also known as the “Super Power Building”) which is a domed space surrounding a lighted column. Scientologists pay about $2,500 to spend hours running around that lighted pole in the center of the room.

    SPRunning2-e1484540654591.jpg

    That’s what the “Cause Resurgence Rundown” is, running around a pole for hours until you have some kind of “cognition” or epiphany. (Supposedly something besides, “Am I crazy for paying for running around a pole?”)

    More at http://tonyortega.org/2017/05/27/so...o-what-goes-on-at-scientologys-florida-mecca/
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    As Scientology coverage blows up, get ready for major network attention on Clearwater

    By Tony Ortega, May 31, 2017

    Excerpt:

    ...amid all of this swirling drama, there’s an unlikely figure who is getting more and more attention for being in the eye of the storm: Tavernkeeper Clay Irwin, who seemingly had no idea what he was walking into when he started up an Irish pub, the Lucky Anchor, on Cleveland Street at the beginning of the year.

    We’ve written about Clay’s hilarious impromptu tour of Cruise’s unfinished palace. And how he was subsequently snubbed when Miscavige invited Cleveland Street business and property owners to hobnob with Scientology celebs John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and Kelly Preston. (Though Irwin gained some measure of satisfaction when he ran into Preston while walking around town, as can be seen in the photo above.)

    Irwin has now posted on his Facebook page that he’s in great demand from the networks, which are apparently digging into the Clearwater story. Last Thursday he was interviewed by NBC’s Lester Holt for Dateline, and ABC is knocking on his door next. But what he didn’t say on Facebook was that his rising press stardom has Scientology in something of a panic.

    “A half hour before the NBC interview, they called me, trying to get me to cancel it,” he told us in a phone call yesterday. How, we wondered, did Scientology think it could convince him to spurn Dateline at such a late hour?

    “They offered to send the celebrities to my bar so I could get some attention for it,” he said.

    Irwin turned them down.

    And this is what it has come to. In its spiritual mecca, Scientology’s once-legendary slate of celebrities aren’t glamorous enough to charm a bar owner out of his big chance for network exposure.

    Wow, that’s gotta hurt.

    More at http://tonyortega.org/2017/05/31/as...dy-for-major-network-attention-on-clearwater/
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Quentinanon Member

    Clay Irwin is a loyal officer of the Marcabian Fleet and the scilons never guessed we could plant a base in the midst of their base.
    Party on Marcabia!

    Marcab-zm2.jpg
    • Like Like x 1
  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Clearwater in negotiations with Scientology for land swap | Tampa Bay Times

    By Tracey McManus, June 1, 2017

    Quote:

    Two months after the Church of Scientology lost out to the city on buying a crucial downtown property it needed for its campus, church leaders are now negotiating a land swap to fulfill both parties' redevelopment needs.

    The City Council is scheduled June 14 to vote on whether to trade three city-owned properties, two being small parcels around the footprint of the proposed L. Ron Hubbard Hall at S Fort Harrison Avenue and Court Street, in exchange for a vacant lot east of downtown the city needs for parking for the retail portion of the Nolen apartment complex.

    Scientology is under contract to buy the vacant lot adjacent to the Nolen for $625,000 from a company managed by developer Guy Bonneville with an agreement to then swap the property for the three city parcels, according to the contract.

    Community Redevelopment Agency director Seth Taylor said when the city inquired about buying the lot directly from Bonneville's company in September, Bonneville conveyed he would sell the lot to the city only for "well above the assessed value."

    When reached by the Times Tuesday, Bonneville declined to comment on the negotiations or whether he offered Scientology a better deal than the city. Bonneville is also the manager of his father-in-law's company that owns the Times Clearwater bureau building at 1130 Cleveland St.

    Along with the two parcels surrounding the proposed L. Ron Hubbard Hall site in the land swap, Scientology would also acquire the city's citation processing center at 28 N Garden Ave. adjacent to the Garden Street parking garage.

    City Manager Bill Horne said the land swap would save taxpayers money because the value of the three parcels is far below the price of what the city would pay if it bought the vacant lot for the Nolen directly through Bonneville at his inflated price.

    The value of the city's three parcels total $425,000, according to appraisals ordered by the city in February. The city also obtained an appraisal of Bonneville's vacant lot adjacent to the Nolen, which is valued at $600,000.

    "We're making what we believe to be the best business decision," Horne said. "I realize there's a lot of people that are going to try to interpret what's going on to mean all types of different things. But the church had been interested in the city properties for a while and we found a good way to address what our needs are and what they wanted. We don't really have an overarching need for those parcels."

    The City Council was scheduled to discuss the land swap at its work session Tuesday, but Horne and Taylor said the item was pulled because church officials hadn't returned their calls or emails for two months and they were unclear of the status of the deal. The silence followed the city's April 20 purchase of a 1.4-acre vacant lot from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for $4.25 million. The church had offered the aquarium $15 million for the site, which borders its 13-story Oak Cove religious retreat and is across the street from City Hall.

    Horne said Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw called him Tuesday after the city's work session to arrange a meeting.

    Continued at http://web.tampabay.com/news/scient...ations-with-scientology-for-land-swap/2325713

    Clearwater land swap with Scientology

    By Tony Ortega, June 1, 2017

    Tampa Bay Times reporter Tracey McManus has a new piece today about a land swap being considered between the city of Clearwater, Florida and the Church of Scientology. No, the swap does not involve the 1.4-acre parcel the two were just wrestling over a couple of months ago, so calm down.

    But Mayor George Cretekos did admit to McManus that he’s not entirely comfortable with the idea of swapping parcels with the church so soon after the bruising fight they all just went through, and good for him.

    We talked to Cretekos recently and asked him what we were asked by many readers: What would keep the city from selling the City Hall-adjacent parcel that the city paid the Clearwater Marine Aquarium $4.25 million for, but that Scientology leader David Miscavige had said he would fork over up to $15 million to own? Cretekos assured us that he was committed to the city’s “Imagine Clearwater” plan, which is why it bought the land from the aquarium.

    Eventually, he told us, the city would produce a “request for proposal” regarding the 1.4-acre parcel — outlining specific desires for how they wanted the land used — and then open the bidding to anyone, including the church itself. But even if the church did offer a bid, it would have to abide by the RFP and deliver what the city wants for the land use.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2017/06/01/re...ntology-warrior-with-the-help-of-mark-bunker/
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    NBC proves that it still has no idea when it comes to Scientology

    By Tony Ortega, June 4, 2017

    Quote:

    On Wednesday we told you to expect the big national networks to get into the Clearwater land story because it was so easy for them — a public land purchase, public records, and officials willing to go on the record.

    Cleveland Street tavernkeeper Clay Irwin told us he was interviewed by NBC’s Lester Holt for what he thought would be a segment on Dateline. Instead, what aired was a 2-minute piece on the nightly news about the land deal. Irwin didn’t make the cut.

    But that’s not why he’s fuming mad after it aired. What bugs him is that NBC somehow flipped the script to make Scientology not the bully in the story, but the victim. Here, take a look:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news...n-church-of-scientology-and-city-959623235696

    With help from Scientology attorney Monique Yingling, the network framed the story as one of Scientology being discriminated against when its huge $15 million offer for a piece of dirt was ignored. What the network didn’t tell you is that the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s plans to use that land for a downtown expansion was undermined by the church. That’s why the aquarium had a vacant lot to sell, because Scientology had gone out of its way to ruin the aquarium’s hard work to make a downtown wing happen.

    And that’s why, anyone should be able to see, that the aquarium was not interested in rewarding Scientology for its bullying behavior by handing over that prime piece of real estate to the church. Not when the city had plans for it that might actually, all these years after Scientology’s original underhanded invasion, begin to resuscitate the dead downtown.

    The aquarium, by selling that parcel to the city for its assessed value ($4.25 million) stood up for the people of Clearwater and spurned Scientology’s $15 million offer for what would be another off-limits crowd-killer.

    How do you turn that story into one in which Scientology was victimized by discrimination? Apparently, some networks are still shitting their pants when it comes to covering the Church of Scientology. What a shame.

    Source: http://tonyortega.org/2017/06/04/ar...e-this-to-promote-l-ron-hubbard-to-your-kids/
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church of Scientology Accuses Florida City of Discrimination Over Land Battle

    B y Kerry Sanders and Xuan Thai, NBC News

    Quote:

    In this small beachside community sits a 1.4-acre patch of dirt that has become a flash point in a fight between church and state.

    The Church of Scientology offered $15 million to buy the vacant piece of land in the city's downtown from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The city of Clearwater offered $4.25 million. But somehow, the city in April still won the bidding war — and now the church is claiming bias played a role.

    "I think that there was religious discrimination with respect to the church. That the city somehow made this into a Scientology issue, when it did not need to be," the Church of Scientology's attorney, Monique Yingling, told NBC News. "For some reason, the city wanted to keep that property out of the hands of the church."

    City officials want the land for a larger downtown restoration plan and reportedly considered partnering with the church to redevelop downtown. The officials vigorously deny that they sought to undermine the sale in any way.

    "It's such a silly argument — it's offensive," said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos.

    Suspicion and mistrust between local government and the church dates back to the 1970s, when Scientology — then under the late founder L. Ron Hubbard — quietly bought an old 11-story hotel in downtown Clearwater and renovated it into its spiritual headquarters.

    Known locally as the Flag Land Base, or "Flag," the building takes up an entire city block in Clearwater's downtown district. Since then, the church has scooped up dozens of properties throughout the area as part of a sprawling complex of buildings and a patchwork of parcels.

    "When they redevelop a property it looks beautiful. They do a good job in that. They go out into our neighborhoods and provide some volunteer services, which is also very well-received," Cretekos said. "But they also do some things that concern people because they're not necessarily up front and open with you."

    He said the church has a history of buying properties downtown using corporate names, leaving some residents and business owners worried about the church's intention to expand, according to Cretekos.

    "The church has facilities all over the world. They seem to have a large presence in Clearwater, but Clearwater's a small town," Yingling said. "It has absolutely no interest in taking over the city. It has no interest in managing the downtown. It has no interest in putting retail in the downtown that it would run or manage."

    Church leadership says the 1.4 acres of land was part of a $60 million expansion project that was to be built with the city as a partner. The church produced an animation showing how the land fit into a massive retail and entertainment complex. But now, without that land, the church says the deal is off.

    "It's dead because it was part of a partnership and the city rejected the partnership," Yingling said.

    Although the church said its dispute with the city is over and it is moving on, it has now turned its attention to the land's previous owner, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

    The church recently filed an extensive critical report with county officials in April about the aquarium's tax-exempt status, questioning how the organization's staff spends its multimillion-dollar budget and arguing the aquarium is less a "tax-exempt rescue mission" and more a "for-profit entertainment center."

    Aquarium officials are not worried.

    "We're one of the top-rated nonprofits in the country, year after year after year," said David Yates, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium's CEO. "We're just moving on with life and this can't distract us from the work we do."

    As for the 1.4 acres of land, the mayor says the city now owns it, but adds that plans to develop it into green space or for commercial use or something entirely different are still a work in progress.

    Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news...-city-discrimination-over-land-battle-n767946
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Clearwater City Council to vote today on land swap with Church of Scientology | Tampa Bay Times

    By Tracey McManus, June 14, 2017

    Quote:

    The City Council will vote today on whether to swap land with the Church of Scientology, the first negotiation to emerge since the church in April lost to the city on buying a crucial downtown property it needed for its campus.

    Scientology is under contract to buy the vacant lot adjacent to the Nolen apartment complex east of downtown for $625,000 from a company managed by developer Guy Bonneville with an agreement to then swap the property for three city-owned parcels, according to the contract.

    The church would acquire two small properties around the footprint of the proposed L. Ron Hubbard Hall at S Fort Harrison Avenue and Court Street, along with nine parking spaces on Watterson Avenue that abut the northwest portion of the parking garage at 28 N Garden Ave.

    City Manager Bill Horne said the city needs the lot next to the Nolen to provide parking for the nearly completed complex's retail portion. He said the deal would save taxpayers money because the total appraised value of the three parcels is $425,000, far below the price of what the city would pay if it bought the vacant lot for the Nolen directly through Bonneville.

    When the city inquired about buying the lot directly from Bonneville's company in September, Community Redevelopment Agency director Seth Taylor said Bonneville conveyed he would sell the lot to the city only for "well above the assessed value," which is $600,000.

    Bonneville, who also manages his father-in-law's company that owns the Times Clearwater bureau building at 1130 Cleveland St., declined to comment on the negotiations.

    At a city work session Monday, director of engineering Michael Quillen said there are downsides to parting with the three properties. The nine parking spaces on Garden Avenue serve the public and employees of nearby businesses.

    Continued at http://www.tampabay.com/news/scient...ote-today-on-land-swap-with-church-of/2327153
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Clearwater City Council again thwarts Scientology land deal | Tampa Bay Times

    By Tracey McManus, June 14, 2017

    Quote:

    The City Council blocked another land deal involving the Church of Scientology Wednesday night, adding uncertainty to its already tense relationship with downtown's largest landowner.

    Discussions began late last year over the city trading three properties it owns to the church for a lot east of downtown to be used for retail parking. The church wants two of the city's parcels for part of its proposed L. Ron Hubbard Hall downtown.

    But the City Council voted 4-1 to postpone a decision indefinitely, with member Bob Cundiff in opposition.

    "I'm not saying I'm not willing to do the deal at some point, I'm just not ready to do it today," council member Hoyt Hamilton said.

    At a work session Monday, Engineering director Michael Quillen said the city might need each of the three parcels in the future. On Wednesday, City Council members expressed concerns about parting with them.

    Scientology has been under contract since January to buy the vacant lot on Cleveland Street for $625,000. It is currently owned by a company managed by developer Guy Bonneville. Under terms of the proposed agreement, the church would then swap the property for the three city-owned parcels.

    This week's shift in attitude was the first sign of hesitation expressed by city officials since negotiations with church began, according to attorney Katie Cole, who is representing Scientology in the deal.

    Cole said the church has a $75,000 non-refundable deposit tied to the deal.

    "Until Monday, after months of negotiation and discussion with the city staff, the church was not aware of any concern that this would be anything other than surplus property," Cole said.

    Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

    The land swap would involve the church trading the lot it has under contract, which is adjacent to the Nolan apartment complex on Cleveland Street, in exchange for: 600 Franklin Street, which holds the former fire marshal building; a parcel on the northwest corner of S Garden Avenue and Court Street with seven parking spaces; and nine parking spaces on Watterson Avenue that abut the Garden Avenue parking garage.

    Wednesday's vote comes on the heels of the city buying a 1.4 acre vacant lot on Pierce Street for $4.25 million from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The church wanted the property for its adjacent Oak Cove religious retreat and had upped its offer to the aquarium twice to $15 million before the city's purchase.

    City Manager Bill Horne said the church stopped returning the city's emails and phone calls after the City Council bought the aquarium land in April. The council had originally been scheduled to discuss the swap of the three-unrelated city parcels last month, but the vote was postponed because of the lack of communication until Scientology officials met with Horne and city attorney Pam Akin May 31.

    City Council members on Wednesday did not set a date to revisit the land swap.

    The value of the city's three parcels totals $425,000, according to appraisals ordered by the city in February. The city also obtained an appraisal of Bonneville's vacant lot adjacent to the Nolen, which is valued at $600,000.

    Community Redevelopment Agency director Seth Taylor said when the city inquired about buying the lot directly from Bonneville's company in September, Bonneville conveyed he would sell the lot to the city only for "well above the assessed value."

    Bonneville declined to comment on the negotiations or whether he offered Scientology a better deal than the city. Bonneville is also the manager of his father-in-law's company, which owns the Tampa Bay Times Clearwater bureau building at 1130 Cleveland St.

    Hamilton, the council member, acknowledged the city would have been gaining higher valued property than it would have given up in the deal. But city engineering staff said the Franklin Street property could be used for stormwater retention in the future, and Hamilton wasn't confident about giving up the two other properties that hold valued parking space.

    Source: http://www.tboseen.com/news/localgo...l-again-thwarts-scientology-land-deal/2327316
    • Like Like x 1
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Smile, Clay Irwin, you’re on creepy camera!

    By Tony Ortega, June 17, 2017

    Quote:

    Clearwater, Florida tavernkeeper Clay Irwin messaged us a couple of photos yesterday, asking us if he should be concerned.

    He explained that Bruno, his Miniature Pinscher, had been barking at something in the bushes on the property of his neighbor. Clay went over to see what it might be, and found this item, with a short metal rod stuck into the ground. He says it was well hidden, but he could see that it was pointed at his house.

    We asked Clay if the lens of the Brinno camera had been aimed at his driveway.

    “Yep. Totally,” he said.

    A similar camera, you will remember, was mounted on a tree facing the driveway at Marty and Monique Rathbun’s house in Texas when they were under intense surveillance by Church of Scientology operatives. Rathbun, who used to run such operations before he left the church in 2004, said that the purpose of such a camera was to capture images of license plates so private investigators could determine who was visiting the house.

    “No flipping way,” Irwin said when we explained this to him.

    We’ve written about Irwin several times. He’s the owner of the Lucky Anchor pub on Cleveland Street in Clearwater, which he opened at the beginning of this year, right in the middle of Scientology’s “Flag Land Base” campus. He told us he was determined to get along with his church neighbors when he opened for business, but since then he’s had some run-ins with the organization that have complicated that relationship. A construction worker drinking at his bar took Clay on an impromptu tour of Tom Cruise’s unfinished condo down the street, for example, and seemingly because of that Clay was not invited to a presentation about downtown development that Scientology leader David Miscavige gave local business owners which included John Travolta, Kelly Preston, and Kirstie Alley. Clay later ran into Preston, however, and she seemed friendly.

    Most recently, he’s been giving network television interviews about the latest controversies in town regarding Scientology. Since then, he says he’s been feeling like he’s being watched.

    “I’ve been feeling like I have been followed,” he says. “I took the camera inside and opened it up. I searched the serial number online, but I didn’t find anything. I took the card out and my laptop is downloading files from it right now. They’re huge files.”

    He found that the camera used four AA batteries, which lasted for 80 hours before needing to be changed, according to its specs. The camera looked like it had been there for numerous days, and so the batteries would have been changed several times, he estimates.

    We told him we’d be interested to learn what he finds in the images recorded by the camera. He said he’d be happy to share that with us.

    Source, and photos:
    http://tonyortega.org/2017/06/17/pa...im-about-scientology-against-lawrence-wright/
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Quentinanon Member

    OSA has just got to find out the identities of all the possible Marcabian agents visiting Clay. It gets their stats up.
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

  15. The Wrong Guy Member

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