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David Miscavige wants to turn Clearwater into Scientology’s Vatican — but can he?

Rod Keller has really worn the shoeleather this week getting us the drop on what David Miscavige will face as he continues his takeover attempt of Clearwater, Florida…

On Tuesday, Scientology leader David Miscavige will be meeting individually with Clearwater city councilmembers after the unprecedented one-on-one sitdowns were delayed from last week. The meetings with Miscavige are not only exceedingly rare, but they will occur just two days before the council holds a March 16 vote whether to purchase a 1.4-acre parcel of land on the Clearwater waterfront that is owned by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

The parcel was once intended as the new downtown home of the aquarium, a project Scientology opposed. The aquarium changed its plans, making the land available. The city’s plan to purchase it is part of a waterfront redevelopment effort it calls “Imagine Clearwater.” But Scientology would like to get its hands on the land to build another hotel for its wealthy members who come to town for expensive services.

While Miscavige’s request to meet the city council members struck many as simply an intimidation play, the church then revealed a surprise — it has its own plan to redevelop Clearwater’s downtown with private money, and has been rapidly buying up property to make it happen. (While the Scientology plan was a surprise to the public and apparently also to the council, the plan was presented to the City Manager Bill Horne and the Community Redevelopment Agency director Seth Taylor by Scientology leader David Miscavige back in October.)

It’s a pretty interesting choice facing the city council: Spend considerable taxpayer money to buy the parcel as part of its waterfront redevelopment in defiance of the Church of Scientology, or give up and let Scientology take the land in an auction as the church spends millions to make the downtown area into its own Vatican. (Scientology isn’t telling the public yet, however, just what outside businesses it might bring in for this plan.)


While the focus has been on the aquarium parcel, we had another question: What are the properties in the new business district proposed by Scientology, and who owns them? The district is 16 city blocks, bounded by Osceola Ave., Drew St., Myrtle Ave. and Pierce St. with Clearwater’s main street – Cleveland – running down the center. We called up the owners at the properties asking which were for sale and which weren’t to get some idea how much Scientology could really get done.



[Peace Memorial Church]

The district includes property belonging to two religions. Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church on Fort Harrison Ave. is built in the same Mediterranean revival style as Scientology’s Fort Harrison Hotel. Two stained glass windows in the church were designed and signed by famed American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. The church has not received any offer to purchase the building, and it is not for sale. The Christian Science Reading Room on Cleveland St. is a more modest storefront building. A representative did not respond as to whether or not they have received any interest in purchasing it.



[Municipal Services Building]

Four levels of government have property in the district. The city owns a large office building and several other properties. A city spokesperson says, “The city is not interested in selling City Hall, the Municipal Services Building, the Municipal Services Parking Garage, the Police Department Headquarters, or the Garden Avenue Parking Garage.” City Hall and the police building are not in the district, but it is clear the city is not planning to sell property to Scientology.

Pinellas County owns an office building on Osceola that is home to the sewer and water department, and shares a parking lot with Peace Memorial. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority owns a bus terminal and parking lot in the district. The county says it has received no inquiries to purchase either of them. As with most government bodies, they would have to follow a process to declare them redundant and put up for auction rather than sold privately.

The State of Florida operates a probation and parole office on Park St. A representative from the Department of Corrections tells us the office is on a long term lease and, “we would expect anybody who wanted to purchase it would contact us first.” So far they have not been contacted.


[Cleveland Street Post Office]

The Cleveland Street Post Office building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and also built in the Mediterranean revival style. “At this time, the Clearwater, FL, Cleveland Street Post Office is not for sale and no offers have been reported,” says a spokesperson. But in 2015 the city thought it might be for sale, and then-Vice Mayor Jay Polglaze proposed repurposing the building as a restaurant or as retail space. That plan never solidified, and the Post Office would have to put the building up for auction rather than sell or donate it to the city.



[Social Reform buildings on Fort Harrison]


[Grand opening of West Coast and Flag Crew buildings]

Scientology already has several properties in the district. They include the Coachman and Clearwater Bank buildings on Cleveland, the row of storefronts for social reform groups on Fort Harrison, the West Coast and Flag Crew buildings along Pierce, and the Mariner Hotel on Park. None of the largest or best known buildings, such as the Fort Harrison Hotel, the Super Power building, or the Oak Cove are in the district.



[Station Square Condos]


[One Stoppe Shoppe]

Wealthy Scientologists own a number of large properties, including the SkyView tower (under construction) famous for future penthouse tenant Tom Cruise. There are also the Station Square condo tower and many small offices and shops, such as the One Stoppe Shoppe which for many years has been selling everything a Scientologist in a hurry might need, from toiletries for impoverished Sea Org members to the locking briefcases members must purchase to hold confidential OT materials.

Recent Purchases


[Atrium Building]

Intermediaries for Scientology recently spent about $11 million in purchasing stores and empty land at the eastern edge of the district. They spent $13 million on the Atrium, a glass office tower on Cleveland. When it was purchased by the city in 1993 it was planned as the new City Hall. A change in elected officials brought an end to that plan and the building was auctioned off shortly after.

Vacant/For Sale


[The former Sage nightclub purchased by Scientology sits between two vacant storefronts]

[Vacant lot for sale at Drew and NE]

There are a number of empty storefronts on Cleveland St., the main street of Clearwater and barometer of economic conditions in town. But most of the available land is along Drew at the north end of the district. There is nothing preventing Scientology from purchasing these properties; they don’t require permission from City Council.

What’s Left?


[Dunkin Donuts and Bank of America sit on opposite corners on Cleveland]

The two main properties left are Clearwater Tower owned by Autoloop, LLC and the Bank of America Building owned by Jacob Real Estate Services of Tampa. Each is about as large as the Atrium. Autoloop bought the Clearwater Tower in September, 2016 to hold their offices and be a center for tech companies in Clearwater, and is unlikely to sell. A representative from Jacob Real Estate tells us, “The [Bank of America] building is not for sale. We have a great deal of interest at the moment from prospective tenants.” Nall Lumber on Drew says they have not received any inquiries. Dunkin Donuts offered a partial denial that they were for sale, “We’re unable to comment on this matter but are proud to serve the community in Clearwater.”


[Angie’s Restaurant at Cleveland and Myrtle]

[Emily’s Restaurant at Park and Garden]

Two much-loved diner-style restaurants are located in the district, Angie’s and Emily’s. Magicar auto detailing is located on Myrtle. Starbucks and the Grindhouse coffee shop are relative newcomers to downtown at Cleveland and Fort Harrison. With abundant empty storefronts along Cleveland it’s hard to imagine Scientology wanting to take over a large number of open businesses. In all of our calls to businesses in the district, we were unable to find any that were for sale, or had received a recent inquiry about selling.

We were also only able to locate one business owner who was aware of or invited to the meeting Scientology has planned for property owners at the Fort Harrison Hotel on Monday night. One business owner who was not invited was unofficially told, “don’t worry” by a Scientology executive. But he is worried. “I have my life savings in this place so I’m getting concerned.”

The big question about Scientology’s business district plan is what do they want from the city of Clearwater. They are offering to eliminate the problem of empty storefronts; they are offering to bring in major retailers and jobs; they are offering to re-landscape Clearwater’s main street, even though it received a $2.9 million landscaping in 2011. They are offering to save the taxpayers about $55 million dollars if they can now decide not to build the Imagine Clearwater complex to revitalize downtown. Individual briefings with David Miscavige on the project for city council take place on Tuesday, just two days before the vote on the aquarium property, which Scientology covets. The timing is certainly right for a deal to be cut.

Something Scientology may want from the city is help from the city in purchasing the remaining vacant properties for a reasonable price. An active Scientologist posted this on Facebook this week, and it reads as if he has been briefed by the church on the project. “Darkened windows that ancient owners are holding onto without improvement hoping for a buyer, usually for the Church to buy at enormous prices.”


Scientology may be finding the remaining vacant properties too expensive. But for the city to help, they would have to use “eminent domain,” a procedure usually reserved for the creation of public utilities, parks, transportation, or other projects in the public good. Using eminent domain to create a retail district for private owners is controversial, but a somewhat similar project was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 2009 case Kelo v. City of New London.

Mark Klein is a Clearwater real estate broker with Klein & Heuchan, a company he helped found in 1983. He thinks the new district will help the Clearwater economy and real estate market. “Any time you slot more people and more retail there’s a synergy. Most of the retail stores there are already owned by members of the church, so it’s not going to be negative; it’s going to be positive. Some people may not think it will be positive because they think there is a controlling factor, but I don’t look at it that way.”

He thinks the plan will boost the real estate market, raising prices. “It’s supply and demand, right now there is too much supply, and this may raise demand.” Klein discounts the idea that Scientology will ask the city for help on the price of properties. “They’ll never get eminent domain. That’s ridiculous.”

It may be ridiculous, but the creation of the retail district is being conducted by David Miscavige himself. Miscavige personally handles projects that are considered impossible by others, such as the resolution of the IRS conflict or the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case. He plans to meet with city council personally before the aquarium vote, and that may indicate there is another part of the plan that the church hasn’t revealed yet.

— Rod Keller


Bonus items from our tipsters

Scenes from the LRH Birthday event last night in Clearwater…



HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,688 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,791 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,285 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,325 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,037 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 504 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,622 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,792 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,112 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,087 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 443 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,745 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 852 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,254 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,127 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 708 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,213 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,457 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,566 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on March 12, 2017 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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    • beauty for ashes

      Is that a gremlin on the card? And why is Grandma holding on to her fake boob so insistently? Is she afraid someone is going to take it away?

      • Kestrel

        It’s where she keeps her cash. Wouldn’t you if you were at a scientology event?

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          When I’m in Barcelona I keep 50 euros and my credit card in my bra when I’m out and about. I had my bag snatched the first time I went and the bastards got away with my Rouge Noir lipstick from Chanel! Oh, and all my money 😀

          • Kestrel

            I’m afraid to ask where you store your prized lipstick on trips to Spain nowadays.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              In my ear 🙂

          • Dibythesea

            Ok I did not upvote the fact that you were mugged but I can relate to traveling with cash in alternative places for safety. As you know, I “lost” my wallet last time I traveled abroad:(

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Yes you did! They were the cutest muggers, though: three of them and none of them were older than 8.

          • beauty for ashes

            I am so sorry about the Chanel lipstick. 🙁 It’s not like we buy them every day.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              I shouldn’t complain. Barca is super-safe in terms of violent crime but they do have a bit of a bag-snatching problem.

            • beauty for ashes

              You can always complain to me about losing Chanel. Once my sister gave me a pair of black patent Chanel shoes that were hand me downs. Too big! Too strappy to fake it too!! I’m still sad.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Nooooo! *hugs*

      • EricS

        Maybe she is trying to protect her BTs. (Boob Thetans)

    • Maybe Marseilles would’ve shown up clearer, or Rider-Waite been more familiar than Thoth? 😉 Or even…

  • Gflded

    Just finished watching ‘My Scientology Movie’. Louis Theroux is such a calm gentleman. I really enjoyed watching him. Marty…hmmm. Not sure. During the session with all the actors (can not remember what it’s called..TR’s?) did he really think the kids would buy into it..really? Is that what he was upset about?? He could be snarky but I do wonder what other convos where not in the movie. I also imagine the hole being much, much worse then what was in the movie.
    I sure as hell hope the cult is NOT threatening anything to do with that precious baby!! I get his anger over that, however, I do not think for one second that Marty never used that bs with other people.. Overall, a very good movie. I will be looking into other projects that Louis has done. He really impressed me.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Interesting. I found Marty very compelling in the film. Yes, he came across as complex and scratchy, but he was fascinating to watch as a study in lost power and there were moments when I truly felt for him. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂

      • Jimmy3

        I thought he was actually kinda funny in the first half of the film. Or at least in on the joke. He takes a creepy turn tho.

        • beauty for ashes

          WHEN DID YOU GET TO SEE IT? I mean HOW? dammit. jealous.

        • Rathburn was almost engaging in the first part – but that was when he was selecting the actors and ‘directing’ the show. He was in charge and the centre of attention.

          That’s what Marty is all about – being in power over others.

          The moment Louis was asking the questions, and proving to have the upper hand, all of that evaporated though.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Actually that sums it up really well for me. Good job, JamesJamesJames!

      • Gflded

        He was VERY compelling! I also had a moment of sympathy for him..such an awful cult to be apart of….But the “Key to the Kingdom” comment…ugh.

      • I found many of Rathburn’s appeals to the sympathy of other’s (e.g. the scene where he bemoans the fact that that he is unemployable in the wider world) contrived and manipulative – and often designed to distract.

        He spent so much of his life deceiving himself that it now proves impossible to assess when (or even if) he is truly sincere. I hate to say it, but he seems to have lost himself in this way, by treating emotional appeals as nothing more than a means to an end.

        There is no actual content to the man – only a need for attention and power that is justified by Scientology.

        • Gflded

          The smirk during the hole scene irked me

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          I do get what you’re saying, but I have to say I saw those moments as genuine if fleeting. I always want to see the best in people, though.

          • Me too. Sometimes, however, it really isn’t there. At other times it’s simulated in order to manipulate people who are looking for the best in others. I’ve been had once or twice by that tactic.

            It’s one of the foundations of the con, and Rathburn’s admired guru was a consummate con man.

            I don’t like it, but there it is. Sometimes there is no ‘best’, nor empathy – only self interest.

        • “contrived”
          Thanks, I’ve been trying to find the right word for my impression of him.
          Never the slightest bit natural, unguarded, spontaneous.
          Contrived. Perfect.

          And this “no actual content to the man”. Yes.
          Reminds me of the famous quote about a place: “There’s no there there.”
          (Gertrude Stein)

    • Yes. Rathburn was tutoring those actors in the first of the Training Routines (TRs). Having spent so much of his life with people who took TRs deadly seriously he was very miffed when the actors wouldn’t – couldn’t – take it seriously.

      This is why Scientology tries so hard to draw people in sight unseen – because if they revealed ‘the tech’ up front, nobody would take it seriously.

      Rathburn’s contrived anger over the ‘hip hip hooray’ thing was a way of distracting from this failure – and distracting himself from the fact that none of it impressive outside of the Scientology bubble.

      Louis has a genius for drawing people out – including a famous English showbiz paedophile (one Jimmy Saville) whom he practically persuaded to reveal himself on camera years before the story finally broke (after the creep’s death, unfortunately).

      • Gflded

        Wonderful explanation. I was kind of shocked that he seemed to believe they would “believe”…hope he gets the help he needs

        • Not only that, but he obviously thought was the actor’s fault for being so dense. It was not his fault for failing – it was their fault for being incomprehensibly obstructive.

          It’s a cliché I know, but people like Rathburn have to know they have a problem before they seek help. He’s too arrogant for that. Even if he did, his guru, Hubbard had a lot to say about evil ‘psychs’. Sadly, he will continue to apply (his version) of Scientology.

          One thing I think you have to bear in mind when you assess Rathburn’s behaviour is that he was, for years Miscavige’s enforcer. He admits he destroyed evidence in the Lisa McPherson case and is still rather proud of being a “Scientology Warrior”.

          • Gflded

            He did seem ..irritated? with them. Hard to wrap my head around the craziness ..wonder how this all affects is wife…
            That’s Discusting about Lisa…makes my stomach burn

            • The actors were incredulous and laughing at ‘the tech’. Rathburn’s self-esteem depends on his ‘status’ as a ‘technical expert’. This was too much to be tolerated.

              I don’t want to be pessimistic here – people do change. They can redeem themselves, too. Mike Rinder, for example, is doing a bloody good job.

              Trouble is, others never change. Judging by his behaviour, Rathburn is one such. He has always been manipulate. I don’t think he can. It’s a tragedy, but there it is.

            • Gflded

              I know..but come on ..the ashtray? How could they not giggle? Poor Marty. He may be a lost cause

            • Absolutely. It’s impossible to take the Ashtray thing seriously from the get-go. It has to be gradually introduced to you after careful preparation after removing you from all other influences. It has to become familiar in a social milieu where everyone accepts it.

              However, the ashtray thing is supposed to teach Scientologists how to project ‘intention’ so that they can ‘postulate’ (effect the world by the power of their will) when they reach the OT levels.

              Even the preparatory TR is an ‘advanced’ technique that people only learn after they have been isolated within the Scientology bubble. If you get that far, you have to take it seriously. Rathburn rose to ‘high office’ after years of concerted effort. He took it absolutely seriously and still seems to do so.

              I think Louis understood that for Rathburn, questioning the TRs was blasphemy and for the actors it was utterly absurd. He wanted to see what would happen when he put the two together. Bad man.

            • Gflded

              Louis? Hmm. I think it was genius. He got quite a reaction from all. I am not sure he expected how troubled Marty would be from it though. Marty should have known on some level how this would be precieved. Especially, if like you state, this practice happens after yrs of indoctrination into the cult.

            • Rathburn’s self-esteem is based on his ‘status’ as a ‘technical expert’ in Scientology. Questioning ‘the tech’ is not just an attack on his beliefs, it’s a attack on his very being.

              Also, well spotted. Louis expressed some reservations about how badly Rathburn took it all in interviews afterwards. I agree he probably underestimated how much effect questioning things that are, in the face of it incredibly implausible. It’s hard to understand, from the outside, how seriously Scientologists take this stuff.

            • Gflded

              It really is a strange concept. I think Louis thinks he knows a lot, but like you said no one can really grasp it unless you have been there. Also, I did not realize Marty was still practicing it. Thought he was completely out.

            • He made a living from Independent auditing for some time . Scientology objected to this. That’s what the dispute with the ‘squirrel busters’, which led to his wife’s court case was all about.

              For a time, people thought he was putting it all behind him. This is why so many people here were so astonished when he ended a court case which would have protected his family and seriously damaged Scientologys’ ability to persecute people in future. The possibility that he has sold out to Scientology is a disappointment, for them too.

              My take is that Rathbun never, ever, really gave up on Scientology. He just elected himself head of the one true faith.

            • Gflded

              I hope dropping the case and his radio silence is not because of CoS bullying his family. The email in the last court case really does have me baffled. It is just such a 180 from what I have read about his leaving and seeming to fight against CoS.

            • He ran away from ‘the hole’, but I don’t think he ever really left. He was never fighting the CofS, either. He had a vendetta with David Miscavige.

              The notion that he was turning against Scientology itself was wishful thinking on the part of people who supported him and hoped he would make a better life for himself.

              Sadly, he seems to prefer the attention.

            • Gflded

              Sad indeed…

            • EricS

              Not necessarily years actually. It could be your second course, after the communication course. That is how it worked out in my case, and was common at the Mission that I started in.

          • beauty for ashes

            I’m finding it entertaining that you are spelling it “Rath _ Burn” instead of how he spells it, “Rathbun” or as I always want to spell it “WrathBun” 😉

            • Really? That’s a complete accident. I’ve always ‘seen’ it spelled that way until this moment, when I went back to his website and saw that you were right.

              That wasn’t sarcasm. It was a genuine and enduring misperception.

              I hope you find that even more entertaining 🙂

            • Baby

              NOW THAT is funny OB.. hahahhaha

            • I suppose many English names use the ‘burn’ ending and ‘bun’ doesn’t make sense because here that’s a fancy, round bread product.

              My mind has made a ‘correction’ and eye has slipped over the actual spelling for all this time.

            • Baby

              I used burn for maybe a year.. and someone corrected me..I don’t know who. I ‘m sure that is why I found it so amusing..xo

            • I only stopped calling him ‘Marty’ after his betrayal of the Israeli guy – I didn’t want to be familiar with someone who could do that – so I got off easy.

              I find it fascinating that I just didn’t see it…

            • Baby

              Yeah.. that’s what I find fascinating too.. funny isn’t it..

      • Joe

        He misses wielding influence and power so much, it’s almost palpable.

        I think that’s why he got so mad at Tony and the Bunker because we DARED to question his motives surrounding the abrupt firing of his legal team. Like who are we, who is anyone, to say that what he does isn’t brilliant.

        • Rathburn’s legal team may also have earned his ire by being smarter than him – and people like him do not like taking qualified advice.

          Even those who think that Rathburn was bought off by Miscavige have to admit that his arrogance made it easier for him to dump his legal team.

          • Joe

            and what he doesn’t understand is that firing his legal team was an objectively bad move from pretty much every angle so when people questioned it, his freaking out seemed so shady.

            “Why’d you turn off all your fire alarms?”
            “I wanted to stop worrying about fires.”
            “You know that’s not how it works right?”
            “You’re rooting against me and my family!”

            • That’s the mad part – if he had seen it through, he would have had legal protection against CofS harassment and a lot of money. He could have retired and lived a comfortable life.

              One conclusion is that he preferred betrayal to obscurity.

          • Missionary Kid

            I’ve been reading your Comments on MartyMark, and I find them the best explanation I’ve read of his behavior.

            • Thank you.

              I’ve puzzled over the man because he provides a rare, extensive and public example of the behaviour or a ‘true believer’ – and these are the people who really fascinate me. He has actually been thrown out, and retains the conviction that every else in Scientology is marching out of step.

              He’s an exception in some ways because he achieved ‘high office’ in the CofS. However, for many declared Scientologists their self-esteem is bound up in the supposed superiority that was conferred upon them by their ‘knowledge’ of Scientology. They work so hard to rationalise their difficulties with the CofS because they cannot bring themselves to surrender that.

              Even his refusal to engage with simple questions reveals the issues that he is most insecure about because he has chosen to deal with them by simple denial

              It’s interesting to think to Rathbun as an extreme case, which you can observe, and apply the lessons learned from him to Independents and other stubborn Scientology dissidents who remain believers.

            • Missionary Kid

              “Even his refusal to engage with simple questions reveals the issues that
              he is most insecure about because he has chosen to deal with them by
              simple denial”

              I believe that MartyMark is, like all of us, insecure, but while most of us don’t deny that we have insecurities, he does. That is his weakness. $cientology gave him the certainty that he had become homo novis, with superior intellect and powers, and I believe he clings to that. To acknowledge that he even has insecurities is to deny him the illusion that he is superior.

              Perhaps, to MartyMark, because Miscavige turned on him, the only explanation could be that Miscavige is the apostate. He possibly believes that he is the One True Apostle of LRH, and everyone else is wrong.

            • That ‘Miscavige has corrupted the tech, and that’s the reason it hasn’t been working’ is the rationalisation behind a lot of independent organisations.

              Rathbun takes that further, though. The arrogance that his taste of power gave him made him believe that he is the personification of the ‘only true faith’. His problem is that his faith is so pure nobody else is worthy to stand beside him.

    • Juicer77

      That scene made me wonder so much. Rathbun didn’t seem to understand the actors were *acting*, not submitting to $ci training.
      I would loooooove to see the cutting room floor footage from that movie.

      • Gflded

        I sure would too.

      • Susan black

        He didn’t seem to understand the actors were acting? wow…gotta see this

        • Juicer77

          Watch it with no preconceived notions. Once_Born had a different take on it. I would be interested to hear what you think once you’ve seen it!

      • Actually, I saw that scene as a break from the acting in the reconstruction. When Rathburn was ‘teaching’ the actors they were taking a part but reacting as themselves.

        • Juicer77


    • Frodis73

      You can find tons of old stuff from Louis on the net, youtube, etc. Happy viewing, he has done some great stuff.

      • Gflded

        Thanks Frodis! I will def. look

  • Forest Bird

    For what it’s worth, the CoS could easily buy the Christian Science building. That’s all but dead as a religion, and unlike the CoS, they’re not interested in keeping up the Ptempkin village empty reading rooms. They’re in denial about how bad it is, but they’re still shutting down their reading rooms left and right.

    Anyway- that area should be a goldmine and the church has a lot of nerve acting as if they aren’t the sole reason people don’t want to invest in Clearwater.

  • Susan black

    What’s with disqus? it wouldn’t let me post an hour ago. and now it says there are 51 comments. i tried refreshing. i’ll try again.

    • Frodis73

      I don’t know but between my computer and disqus I am ready to shoot somebody, myself. Disqus has been really messed up for me.

      • Susan black

        i hear ya. but no shooting. unless it’s a baddass water pistol.

      • Gflded

        Disquis made my poor dog upside down when I posted his pic…😫

        • Susan black

          ya see? disqus is mean.

          • Gflded


      • Ann B Watson

        Disquis is out of control today. Every picture I want to post from my camera roll that is right side up, it prints upside down and backwards. Has done that quite awhile. Then Disquis enjoys snacking on my replies even when I have the newest thingy set for comments. And Siri is Sulking, something about my not paying attention to her…💖

  • Observer

    This is the best visual representation of Scientology that I have ever come across.

    • Jimmy3

      Good on him for wearing his ass helmet.

      • Observer

        An absolute necessity in Scientology.

        • ze moo

          The buttplug or the ass helmet?

          • Observer

            The helmet.

    • If we hadn’t seen Shortarse tittuping towards his podiums multiple times, I’d swear he was mounted on castors.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      throw in the Elron butt plug and it’s definitely all-in with Xenu time 😉

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Ooh, ooh! Am I late with this? Am I?! *bouncing*

    “NEW EPISODE! Ross and Carrie speak with Louis Theroux, filmmaker and journalist extraordinaire, about his new film: “My Scientology Movie”. Hear all about the Church’s response, Louis’ visit to the Los Feliz Mission, his complicated relationship with former high-ranking church official Marty Rathbun, and more in this exciting dialog between Louis and two of his biggest fans.”

    • Gflded

      That was great. Louis is such a cutie.

    • Kestrel

      First I’ve heard of it.

  • downtherabbithole

    OT: What is with the crazy weather in the north country? Enjoy a unseasonably balmy 60 degrees for a spell and than snap, freeze your ass off temp again. I so do not like being tease in this way.

  • MarcabExpat

    Tony, I certainly hope you have laid in the blankets, snacks and and cat food! (And that nobody in the Bunker has to go outside much, tomorrow.)

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Oh, why? Are you lucky things getting snow again? We got a grand total of one teaspoon of snow all winter 🙁

      • MarcabExpat

        Me? I’M sitting down here in Florida with the air conditioner going and the shades all drawn to keep out the glare. It’s already March, after all.

        But New York City is apparently facing an imminent Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon or whatever they’re calling this one. I’m just glad that so far it hasn’t been dignified with an actual name, like they give hurricanes. The Weather Channel keeps trying to do that.

        • ze moo

          Sorry Expat, it is called winter storm Stella. If any one named Stanley starts shouting out that name, they are either cursing the snow or in a revival of Street Car Named Desire. Ether way, it is better than owning a business near the Stupor Powerz building.

          • MarcabExpat
            • ze moo

              It is only 18 inches. Two years ago my brother sat out nearly 7 feet in 2 days. It took the plows 4 days to get the streets open again. Being NYC, it will take 2 days to plow all the streets.

          • Rasha

            There is that, yes. *gasses up snow thrower with a grin….*

        • Jimmy3

          They’re gonna run out of names and it will only get confusing. “We’re calling this one the Snowden! Brace yourself folks!”

          …..So…. It’s in Russia???

          • MarcabExpat

            See, that one’s actually clever. And topical!

            • ExCult.Jan

              Read that as tropical.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner


          • MarcabExpat

            Yes, and I love snow, but Tony seems to hate it. Or at least slush, which is what it will soon be in the city. Stay warm and dry, Bunker crew!

          • Observer

            As long as the power stays on. They’re forecasting possible outages for us.

    • Rasha

      12-18 inches from 5am Tuesday to 2am Wednesday forecast for me. Pfft. Bring it.

      • Rasha, are you in Russia?

        • Rasha

          Hehe! Outside Бостон.

          • iampissed

            I guessed right….what do I win?

            • Rasha

              I keep waiting for the prize for being right some years ago….

            • iampissed

              I got a big teddy bear once at the fair. Riding it down the stairs was fun.
              ETA: This would explain a lot.

            • Rasha

              That is so cool! ^_^

            • iampissed

              Well the turn at the bottom took some getting use to.

            • Rasha


          • Ah, понятно. 🙂

            • Rasha

              Холод холоден, напиток и друзья теплые ….

            • Очень хорошо.

            • Rasha

              Спасибо. Я не знаю русский, я просто знаю своих друзей.

            • Пожалуйста. Я знаю Английский немного иногда. У тебя хорошие друзья.

            • Rasha


    • iampissed

      Just gives him more time to spend in The Bunker.

    • Missionary Kid

      It’s 94 F (34 C) here in the desert.

  • ze moo

    This is a make or break moment for Clearwater. Either abandon the downtown to Miscavage or run their own urban renewal plan.

    The leaks of the Clam plan are ridiculous. No way will any real high end retail ever go there. They would not put up with any lease that requires clam arbitration for any dispute. And the streets don’t provide enough parking to support an Aldis. Given the history of $ieno promises to Ciearwater, no one should expect that to change. Any promised ‘revival’ will take 20 years to begin and in the meantime, no taxes on anything in the area. Clearwater will rue the day they trusted Miscavage.

    I hope the city tries to keep the area for themselves. At least with 2 bidders, the building owners get more money. Now if the city just fakes that correctly, they can help the owners and cost Miscavage more money. There really is no reason for the city to want to keep that area. Yeah, some admin offices are there, but the city doesn’t have to sell them. They would be good for keeping an eye on the hordes of bOrg that inhabit the area.

    Stupor Powerz and the other clam attractions don’t seem to be doing well. Now Miscavage wants to double down and buy more? This is what happens to graduates of Trump University.

    • beauty for ashes

      He has too much money at his disposal. Someone should really fix that.

  • outraged

    I can see it now. The Sinistine Chapel, the devil and Miscavige reaching out to touch fingers barely draped in well cut suits flying high above the heads of the exalted exhausted sea orgers.

    • Would actually make a great image.

      • outraged

        I know! Someone….someone…..

        I guess I could paint it. I am an oil painter. A quick rendering of the Devil and David Miscavige. Yes!!

    • Observer

      The Sinistine Chapel–I like it!

      • outraged


  • iampissed
    • Rasha


      • iampissed

        Thank you

    • beauty for ashes

      Ha ha! I just bought zyrtec in bulk so I don’t have to keep forgetting and run out.
      Sorry. I has itchy eyes too!

    • MarcabExpat

      My husband just came in sneezing his head off from yard work. Can’t wait for rainy season to kick in.

  • Sejanus

    So Clearwater…gonna make a stand or…
    bend over and turn your asses into a $cientology bike rack?

  • Jimmy3

    Speaking of warnings, all the ladies who attended the LRH birthday bash are still under a Creepy Mathers Advisory until the morning of the 14th.

    • Rasha

      …wait… it expires???

      • Jimmy3

        Not really. They just have to keep renewing it or people forget.

  • daytoncapri

    Clearwater will be the laughing stock of a city if it gives in. I was there recently on a bike trip, it’s sickening how much Scientology dominates the downtown.

    It does not need to go any further, and … just look at the demographics…there are plenty of future snowbirds who are going to want to move in. Clearwater proper can have a future every bit as solid at C Beach without the cult.

    To use an oldtimer saying, Clearwater needs Scientology like it needs a hole in the head.

    • beauty for ashes

      like a fish needs a bicycle 🙂

      • iampissed


        • beauty for ashes


  • beauty for ashes

    Does owning all of this property somehow make this scientology property less valuable should they happened to become a defunct bankrupt religion? Does owning more property makes the property less valuable in the long term? Anyone have a degree in urban planning ?

  • flyonthewall

    Good news everyone! The Lego Apollo series is on my blog now. I was holding out in the hopes of taking better pics but I knew that would never happen and with all the talk of Marty’s dead blog I got to feeling bad about having a dead blog of my own. All the same pics but now in blog form! And with educational links and videos etc.

    • You are a good man, Fly.

    • MarcabExpat

      Oh, wow. You are amazing.

    • Jimmy3

      I don’t care what everybody says about you. I’m very proud of you.

      • MarcabExpat

        Sssssh, we all are, but keep a straight face, man.

    • Observer

      You need to get some kind of job with Lego.

      • beauty for ashes

        Lego needs HIM!

      • flyonthewall

        man, you should see some of the real builders’ stuff out there. Makes mine look like baby stuff.

        • MarcabExpat

          Yes, your ship is less realistic. It’s much cleaner and better put together than the real Apollo!

          • beauty for ashes

            He should have painted some cling wrap white and wrapped it around a frame!

      • chukicita

        He could be our inside guy at Legoland!

    • lori banister

      Very, very cool.

    • Gflded

      That is amazing!

    • iampissed

      Who needs clay.

    • Kestrel

      Impressive work, Fly.

    • Baby

      Fly.. This is absolutely amazing.. OMG you have the patience of a Saint. When I watch Mac create his fly ties same patience..

      Absolutely beautiful.. I checked each picture and you have got the details nailed. I’m just so impressed.
      IF you are that bothered by your pictures I did this with Picmonkey..( Free)

      Just auto adjusted ( Push one button) and sharpened .. took 1 min. and self explanatory ..Now.. this is important. For anyone else it isn’t a big whoop.. but if it bothers you than you can mess with it.. Your pictures tell the story with or without the photo editing.

      I was just saying.. You don’t need an expensive camera..( Plus I can do anything for you if you don’t want to mess with them.. ) but as I said.. your pictures are fine.

      Either way I can’t imagine in a lifetime anyone tackling this the way that you did.. Great babyf5

      • Baby

        I showed Mac.. He smiled at your work.. and said.. ” He’s got the details down.. that’s a hell of a lot of work..”

        PS.. he said that the picture difference isn’t enough to mess with..

        • flyonthewall

          thnx Baby!

          • Baby

            I need a hobby.. Something to be passionate about.. Mac has got his fishing.. I had my art ..but sigh..

            I can see you now designing and planning and creating.. And it’s noon and you work until midnight.. ( at times) and you tell Fly lady you’ll come to bed in a minute..( In between spending times with the kids..and they come in to hang out with dad..and give him ideas)

            and then make your way in at 2 ..and you lay down with thoughts of fitting parts together.. and thinking about your next step..

            I can see it all now in my mind’s eye..

            I need a hobby that I am passionate about.. hmmmmm.. I love to write.
            but I’ve been saying that for awhile. We’ll see..

      • JJ

        Now make some little Lego peeple tossing another little Lego peeple off the deck…

    • ExCult.Jan

      Fabulous blog!

  • Intergalactic Walrus
    • Joe

      Someone tell Elton John we found his lost mannequin.

    • AntoniaW

      Well, I tried to say something, but I don’t know why:

      “As proud Scientologist I am bullied and discriminated lately by very famous Hollywood Publicist who hates Scientology! We must stop Religious Hate! Love and Peace are only way to survive.🙏💝💎

      Antonia Willis “Oh, you poor confused boy. You need to do some serious studies in history & anthropology. L Ron Hubbard was an interesting conman from the mid-20th century, and some people are still paying for/buying into his old, discredited ideas. Please look after your wallet, and look after your poor parents who have evidently drawn you into the Hubbard nonsense.”

      • Kestrel

        I don’t know that his parents are scientologists, but I do believe his mom needs to watch her wallet, because I don’t think he makes enough money on his own to pay for services.

        • Observer

          I seem to recall someone posting something where his mom said she wasn’t wild about the Scientology.

          • Intergalactic Walrus

            Mom $eem$ willing to do anything to make him a star.

            • AntoniaW

              Yep, & this seems to include a wholesale acceptance of Scientology. But correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not judging by anything other than obvious press reports.

            • Intergalactic Walrus

              You ought to see the stage parents who drag their kids to these tacky “talent” showcases at CCInt, hoping the church will launch them into stardom. Granted this “kid” is well past his expiration date, but she seems to fall into that class of parent.

            • Kestrel

              What’s amazing about that is that it appears she is a lawyer in the entertainment industry in Europe. One would think she would see herself in these people.

            • AntoniaW

              Quite. The psychology of delusion here is fascinating.

            • AntoniaW

              That makes total sense. Poor deluded sods, both of them (mother and son).

        • AntoniaW

          I’m just guessing, because the poor creature never appears without Mama & partner in the background. If she didn’t want him to be a part of Hubbard World, surely she would have cut the cords…?

          • Kestrel

            She might have considered cutting the cord when he turned 30.

            • AntoniaW

              Ha! Too right

    • Observer

      My guess: the “bullying” and “discrimination” are simply the publicist telling KK he or she won’t take KK as a client because KK has no discernible talent.

      ETA: and refuses to call him “the god”

      • Jimmy3

        He set the world record for eating donkey roids. And you’re not even supposed to eat them. They don’t metabolize like that. Still, I’d say that’s a talent.

        • Observer

          I wouldn’t think there’s much call for or money in that kind of talent, in spite of all the gold lamé.

          • Jimmy3

            He could be the Joey Chestnut of donkey roid eatin’.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        He probably tried to hire a real professional publicist (instead of his usual clam hack?) to publicize his upcoming birthday party at CCInt. And nobody wanted the job.

    • downtherabbithole

      Young, naive, and hopeful. Too bad he thinks he will find whatever it is he is looking in COS. I do not care for this young man, but it is sad to see any young person taking the path of Scientology

      • MemeticTheory

        Thanks, downtherabbithole. I feel sadness for all destructive cult members and, if for nothing else than my own peace of mind, I wish only freedom and wellness for them. It even encourages me a tiny bit when a few of them engage rather than deflect and run.

    • Baby

      OOOOOOh sunglasses at night don’t look a bit douchie..

      • Rasha

        Oh, lol. Back when it was important to act out the lyrics as they were sung… Always wondered what he was doing during the closeups…. Nice use of stereo sound, though… I do miss ithe 80’s… The video didn’t need to have anything to do with the song…..

        • Baby

          oh Rashie.. smooches..

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Kuba is perfect for $cn! I predict that this young sleepy-eyed god is going to be one of $cn’s leading celebs in the near future!

    • And it doesn’t occur to him that calling himself “The God” for showbiz purposes might to be considered offensive to Jews, Christians and Muslims (monotheists all) among others.

      That’s an astonishing lack of self-awareness.

  • Off topic. Tomorrow we expect rain/snow (and a real camera to take photos with).
    Tonight it looks like this (couple hours ago). How is your evening?

      • ExCult.Jan

        Front moving in…..

    • Rasha

      Looking for a load of snow on Tuesday, but right now, it’s a stunning Full Moon. Crystal awesome.

    • Jimmy3

      I’m watching The Man From U.N.C.L.E starring Superman, Big Russian Guy and Pretty Lady. It’s actually really good, but I am The Man From A.D.D. and I keep having to pause it. Then later tonight I’ll catch that Katy House show.

    • Kestrel

      Enjoyed a day with friends in the country and family in the city. Wildflowers are blooming two months early and the calves in the pasture look healthy and happy.

    • Observer

      We’re supposed to get around 3 inches. So glad I work from home!

  • downtherabbithole

    Completely random stupid thought – when putting on Chap Stick do you go beyond you lips ?

    Good thing it has no color or I would look like a clown.

    With that stupid thought, I am off to go ponder other stupid things. Have a wonderful evening everyone.

    • Jimmy3

      I just bite a chunk off and chew it.

    • Kestrel

      Not on purpose.

  • OOkpik

    I still don’t get why Clearwater’s city council members would agree to individual meetings with Miscavige on his home turf regarding city planning. It seems highly unprofessional and unethical to agree to this obvious divide-and-conquer ploy by an organization steeped in lies and chicanery from the moment it darkened Clearwater’s back door.

    Clearwater should be screaming “NEVERMORE!!!”

    • Baby

      signing off in a minute.. but you know Owl.. It is getting harder and harder to gather any sympathy for Clearwater.

      Or maybe it’s just me… xo love baby .. I’m off..

      • OOkpik

        I hear you, Baby.
        Take a few ((hugs)) with you, Sweet Stuff.

    • grundoon

      They do it to evade the Open Meetings law, which kicks in whenever two council members are in the same room.

    • nunyabidnes

      Sounds like that loophole needs to be fixed. If someone meets multiple members of a government group individually within 30 days, the law should kick in to avoid this kind of thing.

  • Qbird

    Got a Question, kinda OT: If you were speaking to a person who says they are not a scientologist, but
    [lol] they claim christianity… and yet, they bring up Scn. & defend it every time you talk to them…
    What could you say to them or ask that only a scn would know?
    How to identify a scientologist by what they say (using wog® talk)?

    weird Q, I know.

    • Jimmy3

      Ask them if Scientology is accepting of other religions. Ask them how they know that. Trap trap trap trap trap

      • Qbird

        nope, they say they “don’t know about Scn & that they are not, BUTT”, they’ve visited ORGs and know they are beautiful.

        • Jimmy3

          Ask them to demonstrate how beautiful they are using only clay. Trap trap trap trap trap

          • Qbird

            no can do… no clay behind the bar. lol

            • Jimmy3

              If you ask them they might say something like “if I had clay I would”
              I dunno. I’ve already failed this mission. But this mission is a trap trap trap trap trap

            • Qbird

              Thx J3Xs ~ here have some Stewski


          • iampissed

            Don’t need clay..Legos.

        • Jimmy3


          • Qbird

            that would amaze me. I wonder if they’d ever tell me of their 1st win.
            that interests me the most.
            that “ah-ha” moment.

    • Ask them if they respect HCOPL’s and HCOB’s.

      • Qbird

        Do you think they might react to that with any honesty?

        • OOkpik

          If they don’t , they are probably a Scientologist! 😉

          • Qbird

            and if they say, “wth are you saying/asking me?”
            Would they react as if they really DON’T know what you’re talking about?

        • Body language.

    • ExCult.Jan

      Did they watch Aftermath?
      Do they agree with disconnection?
      Have they bought any cherch books?
      Have they Googled $cientology?
      Have they checked out The Bunker?

      • Qbird

        check to 1st Q. Answer: no
        2nd, subject has not come up. Not talking that deeply about Scn.
        3rd: when visiting org, I did ask this. Answer: hesitation, then “no”
        4th: I did not say they should.
        5th: as above ^^^ & so not mentioned.

        • ExCult.Jan

          I would use them bringing up Co$ as an opportunity to raise these questions.

    • Quick empathy

      Ask them if they watched Leah Remini’s show or read her book. Scientologists are told not to watch or read things that are critical of scientology.

      • Qbird

        I asked, she said no.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Start talking $hit about Hubbard, and by $hit I mean the reality of his life vs the made up nonsense that the CO$ preaches. No one defends him as a person unless they are a clam, as they are the only ones with a stake in the LRH mythology. Also if they know the CO$ lingo they have most probably studied the tech (or are a CO$ watching buff who’d have no qualms de-bunking it as bull). It takes a while for outsiders to be able to translate LRH’s nonsensical blatherings into English. Another possibility is that they are close to someone in the CO$ and feel they need to defend it to keep from being disconnected.

      • Qbird

        I have spoken on LRH. They listened. They didn’t defend, but damn, those orgs — & the library especially was wonderful. quite, beautiful.
        Got to the whole subject by way of talking about telephone scammers… confidence tricksters, how they work.

        • Intergalactic Walrus

          Then I’d come down on the side that they are not clams. Clams go nuts if you even hint that LRH wasn’t perfect in every way. Even their body language at that point starts giving them away. Maybe your person is just not that bright?

          • Qbird

            gotcha fine there, yes perhaps, could be, it’s an odd thing. to be sure.
            TY for your thoughts.

            she wants to talk about animal spirits next time.
            I say, like the Hawaiian Aumakua?
            She, “huh?!”
            okay, next time.

    • Rasha

      If they are active in mentioning it, but hesitant in answering questions about it, I’d say that that (depending on your relationship) they are (if a known friend or acquaintance) just asking for support, one way or the other, or (if a newly met person) a recruiter.

      There is no one more committed to a cause than a new convert.

    • Rasha

      Is it a single person, coming into your workplace, and bringing up Scientology? If so, I’d say they are likely newly converted and are tasked with bringing up stats… Seems their way…

    • Missionary Kid

      I would ask them what they would do if someone criticizes $cientology. Also, ask them to read Bare Faced Messiah or Blown For Good or, or course, TUML. Get them to watch Leah Remini’s Aftermath. If they’re unwilling, or if they give Co$ answers about those sources, that include criticism without actually reading or watching any of those, they’re a clam.

      • Qbird

        we’ll see.

        • Missionary Kid

          Have them explain $cientology’s philosophy to you. If they say, “Read a book” or something else like that. They’re a clam.

    • grundoon

      Sounds like they don’t really know much about Scientology.

      You could ask them what A-R-C means. It should be a favorite subject for any Scientologist, new or old.

    • Anion

      Why do you want/need to know if they are or not? I don’t mean that in a snotty way, just that you mention below that these people are customers and so you have to serve them/sell them things/whatever it is you do.

      So why not just change the subject, when they bring it up? Or smile politely and let them talk, then say something noncommittal and bring the conversation back to whatever it is they’re purchasing? Smiling and saying, “Oh, okay. And did you want those flamjams [obviously, insert real product name] delivered, or will you pick them up?” in response to some defense of Scn will both be sanity-preserving for you–just refuse to engage!–and will hopefully get them to drop it, at least eventually.

      Honestly, I’d probably assume they are, and behave accordingly–which would be, for me, exactly as I’ve said above. Refuse to engage. Talk about other things, if you must talk to them, and change the subject or don’t make any kind of substantial reply if they bring it up.

      • Qbird

        Excellent sound advice. Thanks Anion.

        • Anion

          You’re very welcome! I’m so glad I could be helpful!

          Heh, I’ve worked a lot of customer service jobs in the past (and am a woman who’s had her share of men trying to start conversations in public places, lol), so I’ve gotten quite good at smiling and being friendly while at the same time refusing to offer any kind of opinion, express any kind of viewpoint, or agree or disagree with anything they say (as well as pretending things I find offensive aren’t offending me at all). Saying things like, “Huh, interesting,” and then *immediately* bringing the conversation back to whatever it is they want/need–the thing that’s the reason you’re speaking to them in the first place–almost always works.

          And if they keep bringing it back up or refuse to leave the topic…let them talk. *You* don’t talk, you just let *them* talk. It’s impossible for one person alone to have an argument or verbal disagreement, so if you aren’t offering any opinions, then there’s nothing for them to disagree with. They will eventually run out of steam, allowing you to change the subject (and even if they *still* don’t, it doesn’t matter. You’re not risking anything or putting anything out there, you’re just smiling vaguely and letting them prattle on. No skin off your nose). And if you smile and are friendly and gentle about it, they might not even really notice that you didn’t give an opinion or express any thoughts–so they still feel warmly toward you, which makes dealing with them easier.

          Let us know how it works out! 🙂

          • Qbird

            Hey – wow – even more insightful info. cool
            Customer service: Always be sincere, even whether you mean it or not.
            Smile no matter what!
            You lookin’ for a job? Can you start Mayday?
            when the flowers come back?

            eta: listen with no opinion expressed. that’s the ticket. thx again.

          • Qbird

            Hello there, Anion.

            I wanted to thank you again for this sane & apropos comment.
            You, customer service, a woman.
            Me, a bartender & server (for over 2 decades) also, a woman.
            Men with alcohol in ’em… interesting. Talking to The Public — not always pleasant but usually so, I have found. I manage. Thousands of ppl served & very, very few mishaps & conflicts. Although, the ‘bad apples’ are always memorable.

            I have employed all the techniques which you describe here and in your 1st post to me, for years now w/ these folks. I imagine if my schtick, my bar rap, my words, are so offensive, they would take their business elsewhere, but they do not. They arrive every winter, half a dozen visits / season & cheerfully engage me.

            What’s weird is that they always seem happy & relaxed during our encounters no matter what it is that we are chatting about; they seem very friendly, but then the dude complains @ the front desk that I talk too much about Scn. It’s that specific. This is a first for me with a customer. Hence, my question to the board.

            It is quite possible that I will see these folks again one more time before the snowmobile season ends… with your advices in mind, I’ll let you know how it goes… if you are interested.

            Cheers, Q

            eta: also, I like this motto of yours:

            • Qbird
            • Anion

              Ah, I see. Is there any way you can have mgmt. around to listen? To prove you’re not the one who keeps bringing it up?

              I wonder if it might even be possible, in that situation, to, if they bring it up, say something like, “Oh, let’s not get into that! *little laugh* Tell me about your travels/shopping trip/museum visit/whatever.” Like, actively shut it down, rather than passively?

              And I’m definitely interested, please do let me know how it works out!

            • Qbird

              Oh Hi Doll! Yeah, just last night as a matter of fact — mgmt, is always around to listen. Wonderful, your suggestions, in line with mgmt & my own schtick, works very well. Guy can’t argue iffn I no take-a the bait. Perfect. Everything all good. See you again tonight. 🙂
              Conviviality – it’s the bomb diggity.
              “Hold that thought! I’ll be right back!”

            • Anion

              Awesome! I’m very glad to hear it, thanks for the update!

              & yep, they can’t argue if you don’t take the bait. Seems so simple, doesn’t it, but it can be so difficult to do in practice. 🙂 Lol at “Hold that thought!” Perfect way to lower the tension/deflate the arguer.

            • Qbird

              Yeah, so it’ll be business as usual, Anion, from here on out.
              thx again for your interesting advice, so sane, so kind of you.
              Cheers until next time ~

            • Qbird
    • I’d suggest just listening and then deflecting the conversation back to the point.

      Scientologists online (when someone starts a review with ‘I’m not a Scientologist but… they are) almost always give themselves away by using Scientology terms &/or its distinctively warped grammar.

      Even a ex I know occasionally says things like ‘you need to get some reality on that’. They give themselves away.

      • ‘you need to get some reality on that’. – lol

        • He argues persuasively that the indoctrination never quite leaves you.

          Also, he points out that the vocabulary damage is less intrusive than habits of thought – for example meeting people and absently assessing their place on the ‘tone scale’ – something you have consciously rejected.

          • yeah i know what he is talking about, they are “Defaulting” when pressured! I have seen it too. Also Leah Talks about this.. But i have to say, that educate your self and find new words, definitions and concept’s helps a lot.. this is where “Ordinary” people like you those around here, is a HUGE help 🙂

            • I appreciate that.

              I originally began commenting here because I wanted to understand a mindset that is so utterly different from anything in my experience if has always fascinated me. I’ve often felt that I’ve been using exes to satisfy my curiosity. It makes me feel better to know that ideas might be passing both ways.

            • Let me ask you something… This ex.. does he let you speak out or does he interrupt here and there, so it’s hard to keep the topic on the track?

            • We are both equally bad at interrupting.

            • hmm… maybe it’s just normal ha ha… i find it annoying

          • eta: with “ordinary” i mean Non-scientologist or the kind :-O

    • Bavarian Rage

      Cut straight to the chase…Ask them what they think of the Xenu story. (I know, I know…I’m neither daring nor s___-disturbing enough to take my own suggestion, but you gotta admit, if they’re closet scientologists, their eyelids will twitch and their nostrils will flair. A definite tell.)

  • JJ

    I don’t know. Big fish in a shrinking pond? At least if the centralize we will have a pretty good idea of where they are…? S’ a weird thing but what else can CoS do really? Buy bigger and bigger spaces to hold fewer and fewer people… Isn’t it like the building at Gold is a massive building with four people working in it, not including DM and Lou?
    What would be surprising would be CoS opening it’s door to the homeless and destitute, advocating for better education, entry level jobs and health care for the masses and attempting to “clear the planet” by being big hearted and determined to see fairness and justice reign across the board.
    What are they doing, isolating themselves into a bigger nut with more tacky shiny walls to keep the rif-raf out and positioning themselves for the wog-apocalypse… beh…

  • Baby

    Went to fridge for a diet coke..and Mac said.. ” Honey I am going to be late tomorrow from work because I’m having dinner with a woman I graduated with. ”

    Awww Mac.. so sweet of him to be honest..

    So I said.. ” Make sure you look nice babe.. I don’t want her to think that I married a bum.. ha..”

    So My husband has a date tomorrow evening and I’m worried that he won’t shave tomorrow morning. Mature true love is a wonderful thing, eh?

  • Missionary Kid

    I heard that the Indies in L.A. had an LRH birthday party last night. That would be the last thing that I would celebrate. On the other hand, most of the indies that I’ve met are nice people. They are entitled to celebrate or believe anything they want, as long as they aren’t harming others.

    • Rasha

      This ^^^_^. Even as I persist in not believing many things, I still give gifts at Christmas, Valentine’s Day and make a killer cross-cultural Thanksgiving Dinner®. Thing is, they’re all family and friend-based. It’s all about being together, not apart. So, yeah. Live well, and let others live well. I’m with ya.

    • Their LRH is a product of their imaginations.

      I suspect that all religious figures historically undergo this process. However, since the Internet became ubiquitous, the truth cannot be suppressed and it is not forgotten.

      Perhaps, with time, some of them can still transform their fantasy LRH to a benign figure, and behave well. Whatever they will practising them, we can be sure it won’t be Scientology.

      I’d exclude Independent auditors who are charging over $100 per hour for their ‘services’ from the ‘aren’t harming others’ categories, but I’m a grump.

      • Missionary Kid

        As a recovering fundamentalist, I believe that the attributes of Jesus gained stature as they were passed from person to person in an oral tradition before they were ever written down in the gospels. What we have in the New Testament is a product of imaginations from disparate sources.

        I also like to point out that the standards of proof in Jesus’ time and the present are far different.

        One difference in the followers of LRH and Jesus is that we have an independent record of LRH’s supposedly superior life, and that record shows him a liar. Even without the internet, the knowledge of LRH’s life existed. It just wasn’t as available.

        The people who continue to believe that LRH had some special knowledge have chosen to ignore independent facts that are readily available. Either they are like drug addicts, they continue on, trying to recreate the initial rush that they experienced in an early auditing session, or they refuse to admit that they got caught up in a con that originated from LRH.

        To charge $100/hour is, indeed not a good thing, because it harms the person’s pocketbook who engages them. At least a large portion of that isn’t being sent “uplines” to support an evil organization.

        On the other hand, Heinlein said that you need to charge for something so that people value what you’re telling them. I don’t believe Heinlein would ever follow LRH, like van Voght did.

        • Bart D. Ehrman is a man you have probably heard of (of not, read his books). He is a biblical scholar who had a similar journey. Originally a fundamentalist believer he gradually lost faith by examining the source documents and learning a complex story which casts doubt on the ‘divinely inspired’ bible.

          He learned that the Gospels were not written until many years after the events they described; that passages had been interpolated from other texts; that generations of barely literate copyists had corrupted the text; that the text had been changed to settle political disputes in the early Church and much more.

          Ehraman’s writing made me wonder if there was any possibility of getting at the truth of the events that inspired the biblical stories – or if they are so distorted and ‘corrected’ that they actually constitute a collaborative work of fiction.

          This has made me wonder if the days when world religions organisations can rise up out of nowhere are no more, because they can no longer mythologise their past, and the future of religion is in the diffuse, chaotic world of ‘New Age’ woo.

          • Missionary Kid

            I read Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus several years ago and gave it to my ultra-fundamentalist sister. It had no effect, because, I believe, she never read it.

            I knew that the gospels weren’t written until after the epistles for quite a while before I read Misquoting Jesus. What Dr. Ehrman gave me was all of the changes made over the years by their translators.

            I knew that the gospels were actually taken from multiple sources, and that there probably never were disciples named Matthew, Mark Luke, and John. Ehrman points out that, given the occupations of the disciples, they logically were totally illiterate. I hadn’t thought of that before.

            I often compare the molding of the stories of Jesus to LRH ‘s reinventing himself and the subsequent molding of his story by the Co$. NOTE: I’M NOT COMPARING LRH TO JESUS, JUST THE EX POST FACTO HISTORICAL REVISIONISM.

            As my friend Frank says, a lot of religions spend time trying to prove, “My imaginary friend is more powerful than your imaginary friend.”

            • Bear with me here… it’s a long story, but I get to the point eventually.

              I grew up in England at a time when lip service was still paid to Christianity by the general population and the Clergy still has some influence. My parents were prominent members of the local Church of England… and I wasn’t. I feel my mother was slightly disappointed by the fact that ‘faith’ just slid off me, and I could never, for a moment, accept the possibility of their imaginary friend.

              The congregation was ageing even then – and they were very good people, whom I loved. It ever anyone could have converted by example, it was them. My rejection of their faith was due to the fact i cold not accept the basic ideas of Christianity because they were unsupported and full of contradictions.

              As I grew up, the institution declined. The local Church went from an attendance of hundreds for midnight mass, to a handful of elderly worshippers. Eventually, the uneconomic building was sold off, demolished and turned into sheltered accomodation within 20 years.

              The culture here has radically changed, and the implicit acceptance that religious people were somehow better than you, and should be respected for that, simply disappeared, along with popular knowledge of Christian doctrine. The UK is now, for all intents and purposes, a secular society.

              One of the things that changed even my unbeliever’s attitude towards Christianity was a a passage in the first book I read which mentioned Scientology – “Cults of Unreason” by Dr Christopher Evans.

              This was a survey of fringe beliefs and the first half was a detailed account of th e career of L Ron Hubbard up to the point when the Sea Org set sail. At the time of writing, a lot of information (since leaked) was unknown – but it’s still an excellent read for its effortless insight.

              The passage in question comes at the end:

              Perhaps all successful and enduring religions in their early days go through sensations and controversial birth pangs, laced with wild talk, rash promises and extravagant behaviour designed to secure for the movement a precious foothold in an aggressive world.

              It is only once a cult is established and its reality no longer questioned that the long haul to forget the failures of the past and glorify the success of the present can begin. With this in mind one asks – in the most idle and speculative way – a leading question.

              Supposing that the world rolls on for a thousand years and people are still walking about on this peculiar planet., and supposing also that Scientology is still around (you may say”God forbid”, if you please) what then will the mythology of Scientology look like? And what stories will people be telling of Mr Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, his teachings and his first disciples?

              When I read that (circa 1973) I thought it possible that I was watching the birth of a new world religion, and Scientology would gradually morph into something that presented itself quite differently to the way it did at the beginning.

              This revelation reflected back on Christianity (as Evans almost implied, when he mentioned “disciples”). What was the Early Church, and the life of Christ really like at the beginning? Can we ever know, even in outline? I decided that it was likely so mythologised that it was hardly any real events has survived. Did Christ even exist, or was he a composite of a number of Jewish teachers?

              Years later, Ehrman confirmed this perspective with his meticulous scholarship, but it was one I already held.

              There is a scene in the Bible where Christ promises the disciples that his Kingdom will come when some of those present are still alive. It didn’t, and the promise of physical resurrection of the dead had to be put off, and put off for more than 2,000 years (and has troubled theologians ever since).
              That strikes me as a perfect example of Evan’s ,”wild talk, rash promises and extravagant behaviour.”

              Ever since reading Evans, my definition of a world religion has been ‘a cult + 1,000 years’. Recently, I have speculated that the future of religion lies with a diffuse cloud of ‘New Age’ beliefs, which people pick and choose like food at a cafeteria because:

              a) Traditional organised religion is becoming irrelevant, and declining
              b) Since the Internet became ubiquitous, it has become impossible for cults to forget and suppress their past, and therefore new organised religions are finding it harder to replace the declining ones.

              We have journeyed through different cultures, from different starting points and reached the same conclusions.

            • Missionary Kid

              It’s ironic that here in the United States that religious organizations, particularly the fundamentalist type, have extended their political power over the last 40 years. A lot of that is because they are far noisier than more traditional sects.

              I look at Europe and what I see is a population that is bored with a state supported religion. Here, with the supposed separation of church and state, religious groups hold far more sway. I believe that there are many reasons.

              We have always had a very mobile population. As the country grew, people migrated west. The civil war sent troops thousands of miles away from home, when previously, aside from migration, most people had only been less than 50 miles from where they were born. The gold rush in California and subsequently other states contributed to the migration.

              As in Europe, there has been a steady growth of cities, especially with the use of mechanical farm equipment that made the required labor on farms to decline. WWII transformed the US from a primarily agrarian society to one where the majority of people live in cities or urban areas.

              People are used to moving with their jobs, and, if they go to college, they usually move away from home.

              What does this have to do with religion? All this mobility means that church, schools, and interest groups are what have provided the way in which people interact with each other outside of work because people have not grown up around their neighbors.

              Since schools only account for a portion of one’s life, (although once one has children, schools become important again) churches and interest groups provide the centers of socialization. Churches, particularly the fundamentalist ones, have made themselves social centers that take up a person’s time.

              The megachurches, which are usually based around a charismatic (pun intended) preacher have flourished, and they provide social activities nearly ’round the clock. Thank goodness that there is some waning of religion happening now, but, particularly in the South, churches and religion have a great deal of power.

              In the South, there is a secondary religion, and it is football, be it high school, college, or professional. (That’s written only partially tongue in cheek).

              There is a lot of lip service paid to religion, and unfortunately, the Republicans, as a part of their strategy to take over the government, came up with the Southern Strategy, which meant that they courted a lot of the religious groups.

              50 years ago, Jews and Christians really didn’t get along, and that was because of Christian’s attitudes towards Jews. The Catholics, in particular, used to call Jews, ‘Christ killers’. Fundamentalist Protestants looked at Jews as a target for conversion.

              That has changed because of the fundamentalist Christians, looking at the establishment of Israel as a sign of the end times. They also look at war in the Middle East as a sort of Crusade, and again a sign. They are all too comfortable with war, IMO.

              Unfortunately, religion comes into play when a person is running for office. Even though Obama seems to have regularly attended church, you still have a bunch of nuts proclaiming that he is a Muslim.

              While a lot of this has happened in my lifetime, at 72, I find myself more and more atheistic.

  • Mockingbird

    Even if Miscavige buys all the available real estate that won’t change the fact that the cult is shrinking, hated by almost all Americans that have heard more than a little about it and the reality that these new buildings will be empty too will eventually sink in. Miscavige can pull Sea Org members and new recruits to Flag and the LA area only so much to fake expansion. His shell game has lots of real estate and cash but very few people.

    It’s just a delaying tactic in my opinion. Of course, that may satisfy him as he just keeps Scientology going today. He has no concerns with the long term future.

    • scottmercer

      Well, if he dies, he dies.

      • Baby

        Well, if he dies he GOES TO HELL.

        there..fixed it Scott

  • JJ

    Here’s one. You know how they release the census every what 70 years. When they opened up the last one I looked at Hollywood and L.A. and the residences listed people and occupation read like this: actor, actor, actor, waiter, actor, landscaper, actor, screenwriter, cab driver, actor, waitress, typist, actor…
    Clearwater, Flo 2020: Scientologist, Scientologist, Scientologist, barrista, Scientologist, city employee, Scientologist, actor, Scientologist…

  • LongNeckGoose

    How many feet above sea level is the Flag complex?

    • JJ

      Exactly. Looks like four…

      • LongNeckGoose

        Oceanside real estate is essentially worthless. Every educated person understands that sea levels are rising. Insurance companies are edging away, and the property owners are starting to unload their parcels quietly. Once Miami’s water & sewer systems are overwhelmed by salt water, the bottom will drop out of the market immediately, all over the Eastern Seaboard.

  • GrangerFX

    Join Scientology today and get your own personal Ideal Org! Just think. You can have a large and lavishly decorated empty building all to yourself. It’s the perfect place to keep your twenty sets of “A Bridge to Nowhere Phase X”. You will have 18 different rooms in which to practice your solo NOTs. Each Ideal Org comes with 180 cases of “Away with Happiness” you can hand out on the street to passing gawkers*

    *May require some filing.

    • JJ

      From your very own front porch of infinity.

    • In Plymouth (UK) the rotting ideal Org is a old hotel. It has more than 50 bedrooms, two ballrooms, kitchens, laundry and other utility rooms.

      According to the 2011 census there were only 30 Scientologists in the entire area (including staff) and inside information suggests that they have the same number today.

      They could all move in and practice Scientology there with room to spare, and still have two big spaces for major regging ‘events’.

      • GrangerFX

        That’s the one I had in mind. I was just thinking about what would happen if the COS kept buying buildings long after the last org could fund one and kept losing members. In the end you would have one person per org and then one per ideal org.

        • It strikes me that as the number of buildings grow, and the numbers of members decline, there’s got to be a crossover point where they just won’t be able to sustain the illusion that they are a functioning organisation with a religious purpose.

  • Rasha

    ‘Night Bunks. Full screen and headphones….

    • GrangerFX

      I have watched this about 20 times so far. I watch it whenever I need a quick pick-me-up.

      • Rasha

        Love is beyond distance.

        • GrangerFX

          21 times.

    • Baby

      night and sweet dreams honey..

      • Rasha

        *shnuggle* mmmmmm mah bunker…… ^_^

  • GrangerFX

    Narconon Placerville CA is still out of action. There is a truck parked there now (it was empty back in late December) so I guess they have someone watching the place.

    • Baby

      Thanks Granger! Woo Hoo..

      I keep forgetting to ask.. Is that a Tapeworm in your Avatar? if not what is it..? : D

      • GrangerFX

        It is a topographical map of Horseshoe Bend, AZ.

        • Baby

          Oh Thank God.. cause I hate tapeworms.. cool video thanks..

          • GrangerFX

            It’s also the icon of my app “Scenic Map”. I set it once in Facebook and now it follows me around somehow.

        • Baby

          OMG Granger you took this Drone Picture? Amazing.. How fun! Just beautiful.. I want one!

          • GrangerFX

            Available at every Apple Store.

            • Baby

              I bet you are enjoying yourself.. Looks like so much fun to play with..

    • Missionary Kid

      Google Hangtown, CA.

  • Todd Tomorrow
    • Baby

      A successful podcast.. PUKE..OK night Todd love you boo..

      • Todd Tomorrow

        Kisses sweetie. Love you back!

  • To lurkers and under the radars, OSA and everyone really – have a brand new good fresh day/week.

  • PeaceMaker

    I was reading the pieces over at the Tampa Bay Times, and noticed that someone posted a list of all of Scientology’s long-languishing building projects in cities around the world. I’ve seen most of this piecemeal, but didn’t realize there were quite so many that they have left as decaying eyesores. I think there may even be a couple more, and one in Africa is an AO for which they don’t really even have the excuse of not having completed local fundraising. It shows how deluded they are to be putting forth the idea of their coordinating this huge new project, when Super Power took them 15 years and they still have so many other projects stalled for about as long.. If they were a child, you would tell them to finish what they have started before beginning anything else new. Also, there was an interesting point of speculation that they are dangling the prospect of the big development project, in order to get the one particular parcel that they seem to want so desperately that Miscavige made a visit to lobby for it last year, too – the vote in Clearwater City Council about taking over the property from the aquarium just happens to be coming up.

    UNITED STATES: Battle Creek, MI; Boston, MA (derelict historic property put back on market, bought newer office building that still sits empty); Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Kansas City, MO; New Haven, CT; Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA (abandoned historic property put back on market, renovated existing building); St. Louis, MO

    CANADA: Toronto, Ontario (vacated existing building but have not renovated it); Montréal, Québec

    ENGLAND: Birmingham; Manchester; Plymouth; Sunderland

    SOUTH AFRICA and ZIMBABWE: About half a dozen abandoned major projects, not all historic downtown buildings.

  • Rasha

    ……strrrreeeeeettcccchhh….. yeh, just waking up to be all like, click the heart….

  • Dave Reams

    I feel sorry for this actor because now people are going to mistakenly accost him on the street yelling “rapist!”, casting directors won’t touch him with a ten foot pole and women will feel a visceral revulsion in his presence – no, “Danny Masterson” is not a good look this year!“,

  • Jack99

    Louis Theroux is guest on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF on Thursday. Could be interesting.

  • Mike Rinder: Clearwater on the Brink


    • Faux Gibbler

      Scientology is such a sham.

  • Juicer77

    Welcome, newbies and lurkers and under-the-radars. The tide is turning. May it carry you toward freedom. f5

  • Dave Reams
    • Missionary Kid

      How many people know what a separator is? Since I spent time on a farm as a kid, I do.

      $cientology is a separator that separates money from the marks.

      • Dave Reams

        Thank you Missionary Kid for making that clear!

  • denise

    Pray to God this city council has some brains and votes this down. What does the Francis WIlson Theatre think of all this?

  • Jake

    I would be nice for the city to report what the economic impact scientology has had on Clearwater, honestly would you open a business in that block owned by Scientology, also armed with the knowledge that a great number of employees within that area makes @ 50.00 a week on a good week.

    Maybe a dollar store could thrive, but at this point that area has been killed.