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Pastor’s ‘premature’ announcement of July 22 event causes A&E to cancel ‘Aftermath’ taping

[Pastor Willy Rice]

Clearwater, Florida Baptist preacher Willy Rice of Calvary Church had a bold statement to make about the Church of Scientology. The problem is, he might have made that statement too soon. Or at least, someone who works for him did.

That’s the story we’re hearing now that it has turned out the July 22 taping of an episode of A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath series at Calvary Church was initially confirmed to us by the Aftermath team, and then was pulled after Pastor Rice’s “premature” announcement created chaos for the network.

Aftermath‘s co-star, Mike Rinder, had developed a relationship with Pastor Rice, as numerous Facebook posts show, going back several months. Pastor Rice then wrote up his announcement to his congregation, saying that on July 22, a taping of the show would be held there that would not be a church event or even a Christian event, but a chance for Clearwater residents to get answers about Scientology and about Remini’s show. The message also denounced Scientology as a cult and said, “Our community has been tormented by this Goliath for far too long.”

Yesterday afternoon, while Rice was out of town, one of his employees sent that fiery message out to the Calvary congregation. Naturally, it then began to be forwarded widely, and a copy ended up in our inbox. We asked the Aftermath team about it, and were told that the taping was indeed happening. With that confirmation, we published the message. We were also told that the Aftermath team would give us a public statement about it, but they never did.

It now appears that the dissemination of the letter caught A&E flatfooted, and the legal and logistical issues around a public forum in Clearwater quickly got out of hand.

“The response was overwhelming,” we’re now being told. “But the event on Saturday [July 22] is not happening.”

That’s really disappointing to us personally. Thankfully, the Clearwater hotel we’d booked a room with let us cancel without penalty. So there’s at least a silver lining.

Besides watching Leah Remini and Mike Rinder in action with Pastor Willy Rice, we were really looking forward to meeting Bruno the MinPin.

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,810 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,567 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,913 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,407 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,447 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,159 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 685 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,774 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,914 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,234 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,209 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 565 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,867 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 974 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,376 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,249 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 830 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,335 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,579 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,688 days.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 13, 2017 at 20:00

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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  • Oh, well: we live to fight another day…

    • RexAinsfree

      Yes. Nothing says it couldn’t happen sometime in the future.

    • Liberated

      It’s ok..it’s not the end of the world.
      It’s not over, the response to this event was too big to ignore.

    • PeaceMaker

      Was it you who posted a shoop of a mob and a burning building?

      • Yes, an old one rejigged, with a reminder that Clearwater should behave itself after going to church.

        • PeaceMaker

          Thanks for the response. I’m hoping that and the pastor’s comments about throwing stones weren’t taken the wrong way.

          • Only by Scientology.

          • chukicita

            Do you mean when he was referring to David and Goliath?

            • PeaceMaker

              Yes. Slinging a rock, actually: “Our community has been tormented by this Goliath for far too long. Someone has to pick up a rock and a slingshot and trust God with the results.”

              I think they didn’t get quite enough advice from Mike Rinder, who presumably would have helped them avoid using language that then played into Scientology’s hands (as used by the CofS spokesman Ben Shaw).

            • flyonthewall

              there it is

            • Supper Powers

              Someone should put him in their employ for his consultative work.

      • flyonthewall

        and?

        • Supper Powers

          Do not question it.

          • flyonthewall

            I know he’s got some self-righteous condescending know-it-all bs to say about it

            • Supper Powers

              He knows everything. He does the research for us.

            • flyonthewall

              we should be very grateful and deferential

            • Supper Powers

              Maybe he will start making YouTube videos for us.

            • Glen

              Gee Fly, for an funny, smart, open minded guy like you this is sort of a self righteous condescending know-it-all bs kind of statement.

            • Supper Powers

              Nah. The guy is a dick.

            • flyonthewall

              Shut up Glen. Or is it Glenda?

            • Glen

              Just don’t call me late for dinner, pal.

            • flyonthewall

              We’re having chicken. Hope that’s ok with you

            • Glen

              I certainly hope you are not threatening me with rubber chicken. That would be a dick move.

            • Supper Powers

              Who threatens people with rubber chickens anymore? That’s so out of fashion. Now, sit down and eat this chicken I fried for you Glenda.

              Damn it. What is with people?!

            • Glen

              Now you’re talkin’, Sup. We be lovin’ our fried chicken.

            • flyonthewall
        • PeaceMaker

          That’s all I remember of it, was there something else?

  • Eclipse-girl

    I wished for such an episode. I am sad it is not happening

    Thank you Tony O for being the consummate journalist that you are

  • flyonthewall

    My man! Setting the record straight

  • The church should go on with an event anyway.
    It still would be a valuable thing.
    With the publicity it would stll be packed.

    • AntoniaW

      Well now there’s a thought…

    • RexAinsfree

      Good idea. Pastor Willy could have an annual “Info BBQ & Picnic”. Keep people aware foster camaraderie among the local (non-$ci) community.

  • 3feetback-of-COS

    hmmmm “the response was overwhelming.” Sounds like there was a lot of interest. Maybe they need a bigger venue? Like a football stadium????

  • 3feetback-of-COS
  • Len Zinberg

    Thanks for clearing it up, Tony. It sounds like the A&E lawyers weren’t consulted and may have simply panicked. Regrettable, but understandable.
    Next time…

  • flyonthewall

    Willy should of been cool about it and been more discreet

    • AntoniaW

      Not necessarily his job to be cool – though I agree that being discreet might be part of the job description.

      • flyonthewall

        i meant cool as in temperature wise

        • AntoniaW

          me too. But then I’m a semi-lapsed British Catholic – these darling religious Americans are easily overheated, IMHO. (Ducks)

    • AntoniaW

      Rethinking in light of TO comment above: ‘Premature, my ass.”

      So more dirty tricks by the Cherch. No surprise there. Long to know what happened.

  • AntoniaW

    Given a premature announcement, “the legal and logistical issues around a public forum in Clearwater quickly got out of hand.” Easily imagined. The battle continues, and it’s going our way. Thanks TO for clarifying, and for fighting (& winning) the battle.

  • PeaceMaker

    For reference, below is the TBT article.

    There is not yet much in the way of comments, but it will be interesting to see how the local community reacts to this.

    Calling Scientology a dangerous ‘cult,’ Calvary Baptist Church pastor intended to help A&E film episode for Leah Remini series
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/calling-scientology-a-dangerous-cult-calvary-baptist-church-pastor/2330358

    • Kestrel

      I’m glad they quoted the Cof$ spokesperson. You could cut the hatred in his words with a knife.

  • chukicita

    I am really sorry that this happened for the people who are working on the show. I hope they realize that this situation illustrates exactly why their work is so important.

    I am even more sorry that our community won’t get to have the open discourse, the conversation we have needed here for decades.

    • RexAinsfree

      Spot on. Illustrates exactly.

  • Tony Ortega

    Oh, and if I may make an editorial comment separate from the story itself…

    “Premature” my ass.

    • AntoniaW

      Right. So there is a lot more that you will be unravelling…

    • Marie Rivera

      So you don’t believe that Tony? interesting!

    • chukicita

      And what about the part about not really being open to the public?

    • Sherbet

      Oh? OH?

    • MrDobalina242

      It wasn’t premature in any sense of the word. Mr Ortega confirmed the event with the Aftermath team prior to publishing. If they wanted to wait they could have asked then. I’ve lost a bit of respect for A&E. They love the ratings but balk at the chance to do some good with it?

    • pdxuser

      Well, the church’s statement came out before A&E had a statement ready, so the church did get ahead of A&E. The church basically announced to Scientology, “Come turn this thing A&E is doing into a circus, you’ve got a week and a half to plan.”

  • RexAinsfree

    I think Big Pharma has a pill to help manage Premature Announcement Syndrome.

  • joan nieman

    It is a set back but not a grave one. The mere fact that this was about to happen is a victory within itself.

    • chukicita

      I think just getting the idea out there that this would be a desirable thing to have happen might help it come true. How OT! Do we have to write up wins if it does?

  • Luv2LuvEm

    Bummer. Some of my favorite episodes from season 1 were the Reddit AMA episodes (which I remember there being 2 but I can only find one now?) and this seemed like it was going to be along those lines (but better.) Although it sounds like the response from the public was much bigger than they had anticipated? Maybe they’ll still get to do it in the future.

  • downtherabbithole

    What kind of threats did Blinky give this time?

  • Marie Rivera

    I don’t understand how it can be premature it’s not like it’s months away it’s next weekend. I’m confused….so the pastor wrote that letter for the congregation but he didn’t send it, somebody else sent it?

    • AntoniaW

      Pressure has been applied somewhere.

      • Marie Rivera

        Well I thought that initially. But then I blew it off because it was too soon I thought. Apparently not?

  • downtherabbithole

    I am so tired of hearing about how the COS rapes our legal system.

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    Move it up to this weekend do it anyway and combine it with the sunday service. Because fuck Scientology.

  • Glen

    The letter from Pastor Rice, premature or whatever, was one of the strongest statements I have ever read about the adverse effects of $ci on the community of Clearwater. I took it as a man of faith calling out a bully that has tried to control the area and commits abuses. Predictably, $ci played the religious bigot card and I imagine behind the scenes much pressure was brought to bear as befits this “goliath” with unlimited funds.

    I applaud the strength and bravery of Pastor Rice and his statement will remain a template for future engagement.

    • Puget Buckeye

      Well said, Glen. I’m hoping this was simply a false start and we’re now just waiting (ever so patiently) for the main event. No matter how you slice it, you can’t unring this bell. We now know how at least one local clergy member feels about Scientology.

      • Glen

        I think there is a particular energy in Clearwater right now. After all the glad handing, safe pointing efforts by $ci with the aquarium land deal, they were met with steadfast resistance by a more informed public looking out for community interests over narrow $ci interests. And then for $ci to immediately go on the attack aimed personally at the aquarium and it’s director and have Yingling be the point person for delivering tons of material to try to thwart the unrelated tourist tax money coming to the aquarium was a very stark picture.

        On top of that, Leah’s show continues to have a major impact in terms of making the abuses visible and understandable. Because $ci has unlimited funds and locked in minions, it is a formidable force. But their actions are so proscribed and nasty that it actually helps people become more aware of the abuses. They have no ability to self reflect and self correct.

        So when a moral man like Pastor Rice has become educated and answers a call (like Leah did) to try to stop the abuse, it is a powerful thing with a righteous message. As much as $ci may try, I think they will eventually get little play with the religious bigot card directed at a venerable and actively positive part of the Clearwater community.

        I think it is a long and continuing battle but the $ci’s abusive practices will come home to roost.

  • Storm Chaser

    “The response was overwhelming”, is an indicator that there’s this huge pent up demand for an open community forum of some kind… maybe Calvary wasn’t the best place for it to happen, but it DOES need to happen. Hopefully someone is working on that.

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    Pastor Rice, in my humble opinion, needs to get on the phone and call every other church and spiritual group in the Tampa Bay area except Scientology and make the case for an ecumenical congress of allied publicly beneficial non-profit groups and hold a non-denominational group council that raises the question of the Scientology stain on religion and what they are going to do about it.

    I would think that there is enough suspicion of ‘fair game’ involved in canceling this event that the only proper response is to go full bore with the combined might of legitimate congregations to put this before the good people of Clearwater and by providing a local forum for the issues that Mike and Leah are exposing, begin to end the unholy influence of Scientology and it’s criminal reign.

    • AntoniaW

      I like this.

    • Excellent idea. What a delicious irony if a real “United Churches of Florida” sees the end of Scientology in Clearwater 🙂

    • PeaceMaker

      I’d like to see them focus on abuses, and measures that all people of good faith should be able to agree to.

      One that occurred to me recently, is that no tax exempt religious group should ever be able to have members or staff sign any sort of agreement waiving their First Amendment rights to free speech, whether as part of services or employment, or in exchange for a financial settlement. Gag orders should be for businesses, not religious non-profits. That’s the sort of thing that would constrain the ability of Scientology and other abusive, controlling groups, to exploit our legal and regulatory systems to their advantage, in that example by preventing the world from finding out everything that is really going on inside.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I wanna see anonymous alongside “Baptists against Scientology tax exemption” and “Methodists against Scientology tax exemption and “Catholics against Scientology tax exemption” and LDS against Scientology tax exemption” and “Lutherans against Scientology tax exemption” and “Unitarians against Scientology tax exemption” and “Muslims against Scientology tax exemption” and “Buddhists against Scientology tax exemption” and “Salvation Army against Scientology tax exemption” all marching around Flag and every other Scientology presence in the Country and the world.

        Scientology is the biggest reason, along with prosperity con artists, excuse me “preachers” that the ultimate end game could very well be ALL public benefit groups losing all their tax exemptions. Unless the good people, the ones who actually help the society, band together to get them put out of business. It’s a true religious crusade that could be backed by any group that truly has helping society at their core values.

        • PeaceMaker

          I suggest focusing on things like laws and regulations that would expose and limit abuses in fundraising and employment, and financial transparency. Those should be agreeable to anyone who doesn’t really have misdeeds to hide, and would probably expose enough information to lead to Scientology’s losing its tax exemption, without leaving other groups concerned that a direct challenge on tax exemptions might leave them in jeopardy next.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      Editing to add:

      It just seems to me that because Scientology claims tax exemption as a non-profit, that other non-profits could have legal standing to challenge that. In that Scientology’s abuse of the non-profit status threatens their own status and the status of other genuine non-profit groups who do have genuine public benefit.

      Who better to police the status of non-profit groups than those who have a vested and genuine interest in the legitimacy of the exemption and the RIGHT to police the granting of that exemption when agencies such as the IRS will not or cannot do so?

  • OOkpik

    Pastor Rice hath spoken!
    The toothpaste won’t go back in the tube now. And that’s a good thing!
    Others will rally, knowing that their voices will be heard.
    Thank you, Pastor Rice.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Benshaw came out hard against the brave pastor in the TBT article, perhaps signalling some sort of scorched earth, “fair game the dolphins” strategy which could result in the cult finally getting its “Battle of Portland” public protest mojo back on…you know, it has been a very long time since they got out there and really Confronted and Shattered the SPs.

      Does the cult still have that sort of feisty spirit in it, or has lil davey gone soft from beating up young boys and demented SO “elderlies” who keep whispering behind his back, “He’s not a real boy”?

      Glad to see the good pastor taking such a firm and uncompromising position on the cult and it’s effects on the CW community. Hope he’s ready for what that could bring. I’m just glad that we’re now in an era where folks are very hip to the cult’s evil ways and, when they pull that evil cult biz, they get exposed and shut down QUICK!

      • chukicita

        They could bring out Chill EB and be all defiant and resolute! They could pull up in the new IAS Mobile (the Fiat engine purring like an enraged sewing machine).

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Because the location was going to be in a church, maybe A&E was afraid that it could be construed that they where siding with and/or endorsing that particular religion. Who knows. Anyway, I saw this comment on Facebook and it made me chuckle…
    (refresh)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d50fb1bf05786f4860e4a92168e486a913c30b721e3092abfdab68ee97f2436.png

    • Syd

      Good point. I’m sure the COS would have portrayed themselves as victims being demonized by these bigoted, intolerant hate mongers.

    • madame duran

      That doesn’t make any sense to me.

      This wasn’t a church event.
      This wasn’t even a Christian event.
      The church building only served as venue for the public forum.
      Pastor Rice’s letter made those points VERY CLEAR.

      The concern over endorsement of a religion…how is that an issue? What would be the conflict of interest? A&E is a media channel, not the government. This isn’t a case of separation of church and state. The “Aftermath” crew were there just to film a public discussion on Scientology. How is the LOCATION of that discussion an endorsement of anything? For pete’s sake, some voting stations during elections are held inside churches!! Would you say that any voter who casts their ballot there are endorsing religion? I’m sorry but the logic of that argument just flies right by my head. Totally bizarre.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        I’m not talking about the separation of church and state. It’s the optics of it being on church grounds while discussing another “church”. It could be implied as “See, we are at a GOOD church”. When I see outside entities and organizations holding events in CO$ buildings I do connect them as somehow giving their tacit approval of the CO$ and their policies. Same type of thing here.

  • chukicita

    Sweet muscular Xenu, Ben Shaw is predicting hate crimes, as quoted in the Tampa Bay Times. My eyes rolled almost completely around.

    • flyonthewall

      and if there are no hate crimes, manufacture them

      • chukicita

        I bet he was rooting through his garage for spray paint and a brick while he was talking to the reporter.

  • TheMirrorThetan

    Have your own damn meeting, Pastor Wiliie.
    The way it spread so quick and all the good wishes they received has proved there is a huge demand in your community for it.

  • Syd

    Well crapola. I can imagine that it was beginning to look like things could get out of control really fast had they proceeded. Too bad.

    • chukicita

      It also could have gone fine. We had press conferences during the pickets of the late 90s. I remember Sylvia Stanard came to one.

  • iampissed
  • Chee Chalker

    Disappointing but good to know the interest was overwhelming

  • madame duran

    Well, that sucks. I was seriously looking forward to it.

    That said, it’s not a complete loss. Scientology now knows that it doesn’t have the support of the Calvary Baptist Church. Pastor Rice’s letter is a strong indication that local leaders are on to the cult and are willing to take a stand against it. Government, businesses, churches…they are all seeing Scientology’s true colours and refusing to back down. David Miscavige realizes that a large segment of the population–both in and outside Clearwater–were interested in attending the forum. His smear videos aren’t dampening enthusiasm for “Aftermath” nor changing the public’s negative view of Scientology. That’s got to burn.

    How is notifying the congregation about a PUBLIC event that was scheduled a week from now considered “premature”? How else were people to be informed on such short notice? Nah…something about that explanation doesn’t wash. Why would someone from the church office send out a letter without authorization? Why would the A&E lawyers and producers be “spooked” by a SUCCESSFUL turnout to a planned event? Aside from requesting/hiring more private security for a larger crowd, what other legal or logistics complications were there? If anyone was concerned about Scientology interference, it would’ve happened regardless of the event cancellation or not. Scientology attacks against critics are universally EXPECTED (see the pastor’s letter). Prepare as best you can but they shouldn’t stop an event or a person from moving forward. I’m puzzled by the sudden panic reaction.

    I still plan on framing that letter. Put it right next to the one by Leah Remini’s stepmother. Such a beaut.

    I hope that this coming together of the Clearwater community will continue to happen in the days, months and years to come.

    • Glen

      You have great taste in framed letters.

  • Nat-leficent
    • Liberated

      Bruno rules !

  • madame duran

    Passing thought: some officers from the Clearwater Police Department didn’t want to upset their cult master by providing extra security for the CICS Christians, wogs, SPs and degraded beings event–a clear conflict of THEIR interests…so they weren’t willing to serve the public (gotta protect the cult hand that feeds you off-duty, overtime pay). Not enough cops managing security, therefore, cancel event.

  • Jimmy3

    I see what’s happening here. If you’ve seen Braveheart, you know what’s happening here.

    • Supper Powers

      Someone is being disemboweled?

    • RexAinsfree

      We’re all going to paint ourselves with woad?

    • Observer

      Face paint and kilts?

      • Supper Powers

        Secret marriage?

    • chukicita

      Tribal white folk?

    • Nat-leficent

      Who is going to get pulled apart by the horses?

    • flyonthewall

      I will call the right of prima nocta with your new wife?

    • Observer
      • flyonthewall

        always with you and the pizza cactus

        • Observer

          You’re just jelly because I have the magical pizza cactus and you don’t.

      • Pia Pill

        Is that a flowering pizza cactus? 😊

  • Robert Eckert

    Tony, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get a chance to meet Bruno soon.

  • Kaarli Makela

    Going to Clearwater like going to Moscow … smart to watch for ‘bugs’ and ‘accidents’ …

  • Liberated

    This is o/t…..Jimmy Carter is hospitalized for dehydration, he’s going to be fine – but he was building homes in Winnipeg and became dehydrated.
    He is such a decent good man.

    Sometimes it’s nice to realize that there are good, kind people in the world.

    • Glen

      And sometimes they live to be 92 years old and continue to do good works.

      • Liberated

        Yes, I meant to put his age.
        Isn’t he something?

    • Pia Pill

      Bet there were NOT any cameras too (where he was working … bet it was for Habitat for Humanity stuff)! Bless him …😊

      • Liberated

        Yes, there was a photo and it was habitat for humanity.

        When people wished him well, his response was ” drink plenty of water and keep building ”
        and he’s gonna be 93 in Oct. wow

        • Pia Pill

          Yes …. I didn’t realize he was that elderly! Good on him …

        • Pia Pill

          Was referring to camera crew etc (please don’t now tell me that the news cameras were there ….. lie to me or omit data if necessary; I have had a really bad day …. my stomach even hurts …. I take things way too seriously!) 😊

          • Liberated

            No no no …it was just a still shot and perhaps it wasn’t even that site.

            I saw the info on Rachel Maddow tonite….it’s all good. 🙂

      • Puget Buckeye

        And not a Scientologist in sight to help our their fellow man. Not for a photo op, but simply because it’s the right thing to do.

    • daisy

      Winnipeg , its a wonder he is not frozen.

      • Liberated

        Well it was today so isn’t it hot there ?

        • daisy

          I was kidding. I lived there for 25 years , but you are right it is mosquito season . You have to wait until August for the winter.

          • Liberated

            25 years huh…whoa girl.

  • chukicita

    The Times article says that Calvary Church has 6,000 members and has been there since shortly after the Civil War, right there on McMullen-Booth road, named for some of the oldest non-native residents. I bet there are less than half that number of Scientologists left in CW.

    • Kaarli Makela

      Booth, you say?

      • chukicita

        McMullen and Booth are both old family names in CW.

    • Glen

      I wonder how in tune the congregation is with Pastor Rice and how they feel about a spokesperson from $ci accusing him of being a religious bigot.

    • PeaceMaker

      The signs I see indicate fewer than 1,000 public Scientologists left in Clearwater, and not that many more in the whole Tampa Bay area – they no longer even overflow Ruth Eckerd Hall, which seats 2,180, and that’s probably even when there are a lot of senior Sea Org at events there. Sea Org members account for something like 2,000 to 3,000, John P. has a pretty good estimate on that.

  • chukicita

    Ben Shaw doesn’t have the f’ing rank to say what is “un-Christian.”

  • Jimmy3

    If it were actually planned for the 22nd, how did an announcement 10 days out catch them off-guard? Would they have been more comfortable announcing it just before that weekend? Send out an email at the end of business hours on Friday? Like BTW, tomorrow at noon there’s this thing! You don’t wanna miss it!

  • chukicita

    In the a.r.s. Week in Review of April 30, 1995 it is reported:

    “Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater held a seminar on Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientologists recently. The seminar was announced as being run by Craig Branch of CAN.
    “‘They don’t care about Clearwater,’ Scientology spokesman Richard Haworth said of CAN. The ‘Rev. (Bill) Anderson (pastor of Calvary Baptist) is not in control. He is being manipulated … (by people) who will stir up a bunch of stuff and leave all of us with the upset.'”

    “The enmity between Scientology and CAN is deep-seated. CAN is “a national group of perverts and criminals that prey on members of churches,” Haworth said. CAN leaders have accused Scientology of being a dangerous cult.”

    “Members of the other churches singled out for the seminar say they aren’t concerned about it.”

    Message-ID:

    • Puget Buckeye

      What is CAN?

      • Liberated

        Cult awareness network….scien sued them and ended up taking over the org.
        So when someone calls a clam answers.

        • Puget Buckeye

          Good God! I think I’ve asked that stupid question before! Thank you. Again.

          • Liberated

            Just whenever you think they can go no lower……well they do !

          • Liberated

            On a different disgusting topic…did you see what trump said to Macron’s wife today ?

            You’re in really great shape…..unbelievable.
            I’m surprised he didn’t try and grab her by her you know what !

            • Puget Buckeye

              Yes, I did see that. At first I thought it was “fake news” but then I saw it again and again. It seems like the man is not well versed in ordinary social graces. He seriously needs to go to finishing school. And learn how to make “compliments” like that. Open mouth, insert foot.

            • Liberated

              He’s a pig.

  • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

    “Those bigoted Baptists bungled badly when they blasphemed Scientology,” bleated Ken Delusion. “Butthurt and bloviating Ben Shaw was bent on bashing the Baptists brutally when COB secretly said, ‘Ben don’t bother, I bribed the local wog cops and buried the baloney Baptist blitzkrieg in backhanded bureaucracy and bullshit. Boom! That backstabbing Baptist clambake was banned faster than the bogus B1 banknotes we palmed off on all those addlepated barbiturate abusing bitches in Bulgravia!'”

    • Puget Buckeye

      Swell! Now do it with all S’s!

      • EmmaDaoust

        Thufferin’ thuccotathsth

        • Puget Buckeye

          Wipe screen.

          • EmmaDaoust

            Yeth. Thith time I wath prepared.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      “Becoup bigoted Baptists bungled badly by blaspheming bitterly buncombe bleaters.” There. Fixed it for you.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      Sizziling Scientologists seek serious sanctions suppressing spiritual solidarity suspicious seniors succor.

  • Sejanus

    My money is on it happening but perhaps on another day.
    It just seems like such a good fit.
    Too good to abandon.