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

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[The West Coast Building on Fort Harrison Ave. Photos by Mark Bunker.]

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.

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[The Lee Arnold Building, with the West Coast Building in the distance]

 
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[The symbol for the Flag Service Organization on the Arnold Building]

 
“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.

“At one point, Miscavige was talking about moving all of management from the Hollywood Guaranty Building down to Flag. It sounds like he might have, if it’s got the FSO symbol on it. He might have moved all the executive divisions, and Flag crew, the hotel guys. But they couldn’t fill those two places up,” DeVocht says. “But if they moved all of management down there, that’s a fucking story.”

With the cavernous Super Power Building just down the road already filled with empty office space, what could they do with these two buildings, we asked former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder.

“They have so much space in Clearwater it will probably be more empty offices with one person per floor, like they have one person per Potemkin Village front group offices along N. Ft. Harrison Avenue,” he says, referring to the cute new storefronts the church opened for its various sneaky front groups.

Whatever they’re up to, the usual tactics to keep the public away from the ceremony are being put in place, as Mark Bunker watched them move potted plants into position.

 
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Bunker also shot us a short video to show the preparations underway…

 

 
If you can get by tomorrow afternoon to see what’s going on, we’d love to get your reports.

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 24, 2016 at 17:20

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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