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Clearwater bar owner under surveillance has a surprise for Scientology: He’s expanding

[Clay Irwin and friend]

We have some follow-up information for you in the case of Clay Irwin and the camera he found facing his house in Clearwater, Florida.

On Saturday, we told you that Irwin, owner of the Lucky Anchor Irish Pub on Cleveland Street, had sent us some photos of a time-lapse Brinno camera he found on the property next door.

Irwin opened his pub at the beginning of the year, and at the time he expressed an eagerness to get along with the Church of Scientology, whose “Flag Land Base” surrounds his bar. But since then, he’s had some run-ins with the church, which began in February after he made an impromptu visit to the unfinished penthouse being prepared for Scientology celebrity Tom Cruise just down the street.

Irwin was subsequently not invited to a presentation made by church leader David Miscavige for Cleveland Street business owners, and he says that he’s been feeling that he was being watched since then.

On Friday, his Miniature Pinscher, Bruno, was barking at something on the neighbor’s property, and Clay went to take a closer look.




That’s when Clay spotted something next to what looks like a round water-meter box. As you can see, the camera, with some duct tape on its all-weather plastic housing, tended to blend in with the metal behind it.


Clay tells us that the camera was aimed at his driveway, and we told him that it suggested that someone was recording license plate numbers of visitors to his house, which we’ve seen in previous Scientology spying operations.

Yesterday, he managed to catch his neighbor and asked her about the camera. He says that the woman, a Scientologist, told him that she didn’t know anything about it.

Clay tells us that his attorney will be contacting the church to ask why it might be recording Irwin’s property. We sent a request for a statement to church spokeswoman Karin Pouw, and we’ll let you know if we hear anything back from her.

Clay removed a memory card from the camera and has been attempting to find out what it had recorded. He’s been unable to open its files, but he wanted us to see how enormous they are. The first two are dated the middle of February, right around the time Clay made his visit to Cruise’s condo.


While we were messaging Clay about what he’d found in the camera, he sent us additional news as well.

Taking advantage of a new city initiative which is handing out grants to encourage new business, Irwin is opening a second bar, with pool hall and 2-lane bowling alley, across the street from the Lucky Anchor.


[The Lucky Anchor on Cleveland Street…]

[…and the property across the street where Irwin’s pool and bowling hall is going.]

And, he tells us, he’s being more wary of his surroundings.

“I’m taking my dog out on another camera hunt,” he told us, with a laugh.


HowdyCon 2017


HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25 at the Residence Inn Denver City Center. Go here for details.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,786 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,543 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,889 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,383 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,423 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,135 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 661 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,750 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,890 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,210 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,185 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 541 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,843 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 950 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,352 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,225 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 806 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,311 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,555 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,664 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 19, 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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