Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Beware, protesters: Scientology has been training attack dogs at a Clearwater warehouse


We have a really strange story for you today. We have no idea what Scientology is thinking on this one, but its employees have been spotted training guard dogs to attack at one of its Florida properties.

One of the Church of Scientology’s less well known facilities is a laundry building owned by the Flag Service Organization which is on the northeast corner of N. Hercules Ave. and Calumet St, about four miles east and north of the Fort Harrison Hotel, the Flag Land Base centerpiece in downtown Clearwater.

The building sits on a large parcel at 2000 Calumet St., which includes trees and a lawn. And on that lawn, Scientology employees have been seen training guard dogs, including an exercise having the dogs attack a man wearing a special protective suit.

“Last week they had a guy in the ‘attack’ suit and we were watching the dogs attack him. This week they’ve been walking the dogs back and forth working them with commands,” says our eyewitness.


At our request, our tipster managed to take a photo of a man with a dog to back up his observations, but he said the exercises with the attack suit were already concluded.


Here’s a map we put together to help you understand what you’re looking at in that photo, with the p.o.v. of the photographer pointed out…


Protests at Scientology facilities reached a peak in the early months of 2008 as the Anonymous movement turned its attention to the church. But demonstrations today tend to be much smaller and more sporadic. Why would Scientology need trained attack dogs at the Flag Land Base?

One of the most prolific protesters at the Flag Land Base is Alex Hageli, a/k/a Darth Xander. We asked him if he’d seen Scientology security guards with dogs.

“Two separate times that I can recall. Last time about a year ago. Both times in front of the Fort Harrison Hotel,” he told us.

We asked for his reaction to what our tipster had seen, dogs being trained to attack.

“It’s definitely an escalation of things. Especially considering the lack of any consistent protester presence at Flag for the past several years now. Even with that, they have at least one private investigator there seemingly all the time (the guy who Mark Bunker chatted with when David Miscavige opened the remodeled West Coast Building), plus one or two more for big events like the birthday party. If anything, things should be cooling off. There’s definitely no need for training attack dogs.

“The first time they brought a dog out it kind of startled me. I got used to it after awhile, but I didn’t realize they are apparently keeping and training them (I thought maybe they had borrowed the dog or something). Maybe with the injunction being a non-issue now they feel they need to ramp up. I don’t know. The paranoia runs deep.”

We sent a message to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw yesterday, asking for some clarification on why the Flag Land Base needs attack dogs. We’ll let you know if she gets back to us.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on September 23, 2016 at 07:00

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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email