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Scientology vs. the mayor: The full Gabe Cazares interview from 1997’s Secret Lives

Gabe_Cazares_SLWe have another leak of raw footage from Channel 4’s excellent 1997 documentary, Secret Lives — L. Ron Hubbard, this time with former Clearwater mayor Gabe Cazares.

The film, one of the better ones made about Scientology, contained numerous short clips from interviews of people who knew Hubbard. A source is releasing to us the full interviews with these participants for the first time. So far, we’ve seen interviews with Hubbard’s literary agent, Forrest Ackerman, his press assistant and lover, Barbara Klowden, and one of Hubbard’s fellow science fiction colleagues, Arthur Jean Cox.

In this 15-minute video, Gabe Cazares remembers what it was like to be mayor of Clearwater, Florida when Scientology invaded in 1975.

In 1966, forced to leave the US and England ahead of investigations and process servers, Hubbard had prepared his “Sea Project” which would result in a small armada — including his flagship, the yacht eventually named the Apollo — plying the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and then the Caribbean. But by 1975 Hubbard was tired of running Scientology from sea, and after docking in the Bahamas, he began a massive and covert invasion of Clearwater.

As Cazares says, they called themselves “United Churches of Florida” as they began to buy up prominent locations like the Fort Harrison Hotel. “I had never heard of them,” Gabe says, which made him suspicious. But then he learned — the whole town learned — that it was really Scientology and they were following invasion orders.

By 1997, when the interview takes place, the invasion was complete, downtown Clearwater had become a Scientology ghost town, and the church had begun construction on its biggest project so far — something they said would be their “Super Power” Building.


Cazares called it “the biggest brainwashing factory in the world.” (After fundraising of over $200 million, the facility was finally opened up in November 2013.)

Cazares talks about how Scientology would use out of town attorneys to purchase property so people in Clearwater didn’t know it was going to the church. And if anyone objected, “they’ll sue anyone at the drop of a hat,” he says.

He also talks about the Snow White Project, Scientology’s infiltration of government offices by its “Guardian’s Office” spy corps, which resulted in a 1977 raid that was the biggest in the FBI’s history. Eleven top Scientology officials were ultimately convicted and sent to prison in what was the largest infiltration of the federal government in American history.

“It’s unbelievable that after this court case the Scientologists have bounced back,” Cazares says, and he adds that it’s incredible that the IRS, in 1993, gave Scientology the tax exemption it had so desperately wanted even after what happened in Snow White.

We are disappointed, however that the interviewer doesn’t ask Gabe about how he was targeted by the Guardian’s Office once he became a vocal critic of Scientology’s expansion in Clearwater. Cazares was targeted in a number of ways, but just to mention one example, in 1976 he made a trip to Washington DC. There to greet him was a Scientology operative posing as a local reporter who introduced Cazares to a young woman (also a Guardian’s Office spy) who offered to drive him around town for a tour. When she drove through Rock Creek Park, she swerved and appeared to hit a pedestrian — who was also a Guardian’s Office operative. She then sped off, and GO records show that Scientology discussed how it could use Cazares’ involvement in the fake hit-and-run to destroy his political career.

Enjoy this short talk with Gabe Cazares, one of the few who stood up to Scientology when it was at its most underhanded…



Live-Stream of Dublin anti-Scientology conference

Jon Atack, John Sweeney, Russell Miller and more will be speaking at Pete Griffith’s latest conference in Dublin. We’re counting on our commenters to give the play by play as this video goes live at 1:30 pm Eastern time…


Live streaming video by Ustream

The Dublin Scientology mission put out a hilarious press release about some of the participants in today’s conference. Here are some excerpts…

Pete Griffiths is an organiser of the hacktivist group known as “Anonymous”, well known for wearing intimidating masks. People purporting to be part of Anonymous have been responsible for hacking the website of Fine Gael and stealing documents containing details of thousands of subscribers and giving them to the Evening Herald; crashing the websites of Irish banks; crashing the Australian Government’s website after the Government brought out legislation restricting online porn including child porn; assaulting epileptic sufferers via websites; and many more. Anonymous members have been arrested and jailed around the world…

When Church staff first toured John Sweeney through some of our buildings in England we showed him what we do and gave him considerable access. What did he do? He abused and harangued every single Scientologist interviewee, including well-known ones, arrogantly dismissing any statements they made about the benefits they had experienced in Scientology with a cursory “well you would say that, wouldn’t you?” He was not interested in anything positive, he was (in his words) “only looking for the negative”…

Russell Miller is the author of a 1987 unauthorized biography of L. Ron Hubbard called Bare Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard. The book was a cheap attempt to capitalize on Mr. Hubbard’s name following his death in January of 1986. Miller relied on a handful of disaffected ex-members for his book. These people comprise a miniscule fraction of the millions of successful men and women who apply Mr. Hubbard’s discoveries to their lives with excellent results. Yet such people and their many successes are not mentioned in this book.


LucifersBridgeCoverGeorge White turns his OT 8 experience into a book

As part of our “Up the Bridge” series, we reached a milestone when we talked to George White about his experiences with “original” OT 8.

That’s the nearly mythic and short-lived course capping the “Bridge to Total Freedom” which the Church of Scientology today says is really a hoax. But George was the first person to come out publicly and say that he had been in the small class of Scientologists who experienced original OT 8 on the cruise ship Freewinds in the summer of 1988 (and he had the certificate to prove it). And, more importantly, he had convincing testimony that he did receive, in fact, the controversial issue which has L. Ron Hubbard describing himself as the antichrist, and in which Hubbard calls Jesus a “lover of young boys.”

Now, George — under his original name, George Witek — has written a self-published book recounting that experience, but also explaining his ideas about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology’s “technology.” Lucifer’s Bridge (available at Amazon) is a lengthy personal take and harsh critique of Hubbard’s creation considered against the long history of human ideas. In the latter parts of the book George talks about his experience on the Freewinds.


Bryan Seymour on the Warburton surprise

Our friend, the excellent Australian television journalist Bryan Seymour, has the first interview with the remarkable organizers in Warburton, who fended off Scientology’s attempts to place a drug rehab center in their town…



Blimey, can you spare a dime for a billboard?

Would Scientology, with all of its piles of wealth, use a London billboard campaign to extract even more donations from its members? Of course it would!


Thanks to our tipster who forwarded to us this latest push for Scientologists to open their wallets…

There is exciting IAS news that I wanted to write you about personally. The How We Help ads have now started playing across London on electronic billboards in 16 prime locations across the city!

Some of the areas are Edgeware Rd, Tottenham Court Rd, Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, New Kings Rd in Hammersmith, Wandsworth Rd in Vauxhall Cross, and the Marriott Hotel in SW5. See the attached picture of one location.

You helped make this occur – THANK YOU!

Now in order to continue to do these huge dissemination actions — continued support of the IAS is needed. If you know of someone who could donate, pass the word and get them to help. And if you could see yourself doing a donation now please do so!

Thanks again, and remember – every donation makes a difference.

Love, Ginger


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Actual Facebook caption from the Belleair (Florida) mission: “Happy kids after their Group Processing with their auditor! Join us every Sunday at 1pm. Call Sarah at 727-501-9996 to reserve your spot!”


Comment from our tipster: “The hardware in Samara, Russia isn’t nearly as nice as the whale trophies at Flag.”


“Each generation decides what kind of world it wants,” says this Facebook post from The Way To Happiness association in the Baltics


Scientologists, in ur Kiwi Culture Day at Rotorua Ngongotaha Railway Park, messing up ur booze…


Teacher training at Drug-Free Pakistan…


It’s Super Power Guy!


Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 6, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


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