Then they began trying to make a dent in the social media world to cast the article as a bigoted assault on scientology and highlight the wonderful contributions they make to Clearwater. Freedom magazine has a twitter account @Freedommag and on October 21 they began sending out tweets.
This is the tweet that is pinned to their page:
As you may note, it has 31 likes and 4 comments. With 15,000 local scientologists and 10 million worldwide you would think they could do a little better than that…
Scientology has the ability to tell amazing lies with a straight face. And they are astonishingly easy to disprove. Just start with the FIRST LINE of this tweet.
Two of these buildings (the MONSTER SP Building and the Oak Cover) serve absolutely NO purpose for the community. Members of the community cannot enter these buildings and if they try to do so they will be escorted out. SOME members of the community may occasionally be invited to the Ft Harrison when they have a special PR event. But you must be INVITED. You cannot simply walk in. The SP Building took an entire city block off the tax rolls. Yes, scientology pays bed tax on occupied rooms in the Ft Harrison and Oak Cove, and some percentage of property tax on those buildings. They hide behind this, claiming they are the “largest taxpayer” in downtown. Might be true, they own almost all of it that is not government owned property. The real analysis of this is — what if the Fort Harrison and Oak Cove were Marriott hotels? Or Holiday Inns? Or 4 Seasons? How much would THEY be contributing to the city — property tax, bed tax AND a massive infusion of tourists that spend money in the community. Scientologists do NOT. They are discouraged from staying or eating anywhere other than in the scientology facilities. They are NOT encouraged to spend time at the beach or local attractions — this is considered being “dilettante”. And most from out of town are desperately trying to finish the training or scientology auditing they paid for so they can go home to their family or return to their jobs.
And then we get to “Now the Church is planning its next project.”
Just ask the city how much they know about this “project” or whether they are being consulted. It is made to sound like everyone should be giving them a standing ovation — they are ONLY planning whatever is best for scientology.
Then we come to this one:
One like, no comments. I bet this is because they deleted all the comments.
This is utterly shameless. I saw this tweet and responded to it with this:
Scientology is compelled to attack anyone that says anything, no matter how factual it is, that they don’t want said. Tracey McManus is simply the latest victim of their smear campaign.
But it goes on.
This next one is quite correctly PAST TENSE. When the Aquarium stuck to its agreement to sell a piece of land David Miscavige wanted to the city, Miscavige had a hissy fit and unilaterally withdrew this “plan”. He had dangled it as something he was “planning” to do if the lot was sold to him, and when his plans were dashed, his downtown “redevelopment” was unilaterally trashed and he stopped communicating to the city altogether.
This is now recast as “here is our amazing plan that you rejected.”
They even have a video about the “Oak Cove” — it is really NOT a joke that if any who is NOT a recognized scientologist tries to set foot on this property, they will be escorted out. If they were to say “wait, you put out statements that this is for the community, and I am a member of the community and I want to come in” they would then call the CWPD who would dutifully show up (spending YOUR tax dollars to do so) to issue you a trespass warning.
This next one is also especially rich.
Yes, scientology pours hundreds of millions of dollars into its buildings.
Yes, they spent some money purchasing and upgrading the buildings along N. Ft Harrison as a sort of Potemkin Village to be able to promote “look how we are open and friendly.” This is a TINY percentage of the property they own and these spaces are specifically designed to display scientology front groups “good works” to the world. There are numerous OTHER properties that sit empty and forlorn, even across the street on N Ft. Harrison.
“Around every corner” you can find another piece of empty property owned by scientology or scientologists.
This next one is their big winner as far as comments go. I suspect someone feel asleep at the switch and had not deleted the negative comments when I checked the twitter feed.
Here is a screenshot of the first comments — after the first one which was from 21 Oct all the rest are less than complimentary and it continues on from there. I guess the person responsible for this account just did their job the first day they posted it and then feel back to sleep. By the time you read this, they will probably be deleted again:
This one is another blatant lie. As I said in my article, the easiest proof this is not true is that Miscavige can barely scrape together 2300 to attend the L. Ron Hubbard Birthday Celebration at Ruth Eckerd Hall. This is the same venue they have been holding this most important event on the scientology calendar at every year since the 1990’s.
The only thing you can say about this — more comments than likes? Because the vast majority of comments are not positive. And it must be at least slightly incongruous that out of the 15,000 scientologists, not even the number of people featured in the magazine could like this tweet (there are more in the mag than are pictured)?
This is just ha ha funny filler.
ScientologyTV is not seen by anyone outside of those forced to watch it inside the bubble of scientology.
One like and no comments?
Now that is a fan base.
And finally, in anticipation of the story dropping, they put up the obligatory plug for David Miscavige. 4 likes says it all.
Hey scientology — social media has a huge disadvantage for you.
It is OUT IN THE OPEN. Everyone can see it and can see what you do.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: I will be making a short appearance this morning on Michael Smerconish show on CNN around 9:30 am EDT to talk about Clearwater.
Abby Ration says
Here, in action, is the very definition of being ratioed on Twitter: when the ratio of comments to likes is so very imbalanced. This is a term originating on Black Twitter, but, alas, I don’t know which person to correctly credit with the origination. It may have been Mikki Kendall, @Karnythia.
Just Wondering says
The CCN video with Mike Rinder from this morning is back on the internet for viewing again, but you might have to watch a commercial, first.
Thanks JustWondering for posting it for everyone! Very kind of you.
Just Wondering says
Jennyfur, you are welcome.
Chris Shugart says
It’s gotten to the point that whatever outrage I can manage to muster has been unraveled by the ridiculous burlesque production that the COS has become. How can one take any of their juvenile silliness seriously? They’ve regressed into a non-stop replay of the Monty Python dead parrot sketch. “This church has passed on! It is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. . .
Espy J & D says
Love the Python analogy… Remarkable plumage, the Norwegian blue= Ritzy ideal orgs -look nice, but DEAD
If it wasn’t nailed to the perch (tax exempt) it’d be pushing up the daisies…
I live in the Tampa Bay area. I have never met a Scientologist. It’s a very diverse area. I’ve met Wiccans, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Christians of various types, people following indigenous religions, plenty of “none”, but Scientologists? Zero.
15,000 Scientologists. Right. Unless they’re all packed inside those Clearwater buildings like sardines, I don’t think so. Maybe 150.
Good to know! It’s such a beautiful area. Being from Southern California where even some of the crappiest beach areas have ended up gentrified, skyrocketing in price and developed within an inch of their lives, it’s shocking to see them have such a chokehold on a city like that.
I think some people who live in areas where you just have some really quiet towns that stay that way because it’s a smaller area (similar to where I grew up – so miss sleepy towns vs this rat race sometimes!) may not realize just how shocking it is to those unaware of Scientology to see a prime beach town just dead in the downtown area. It plain doesn’t happen… so it says a lot about how toxic co$ is that it could have that effect on a place as desirable as Clearwater!
Todd Cray says
Bright Future? And they’re offering up the SP Building and Ft H Building as evidence?
The Ft H building has been under scientology management since 1976. The SP since 1998.
So is downtown Clearwater teeming with throngs of tourists? Are they getting in line to patronize restaurants in these buildings? Are conventions coming into town to use these facilities and spread their business far and wide all over Clearwater?
The “bright future” of these buildings has been ongoing for decades now. And if the present of this “future” is any indication, it’s clear what the future will inevitably hold!
The more I think about it I’m shocked that the citizens of CW have allowed elected officials to help sccamology ruin their city for 4 decades now.
Zee Moo says
Thanks for the heads up Mike and especially a big thanks to Tracy McManus and the TBT for popping the the $ceno balloon.
Sadly, all that can be done has been done by outing the take over situation. All of the Clearwater residents already know not to go near Clamville. With the demise of the Anchor, what reason do non-clams have to go near there? Only the aquarium and the beach are accessible to the general public.
Now, will Clearwater be a Johnstown or a Salt Lake City?
David Miscavige should take Sarge’s word, “….he said he failed…..”
Hubbard said he failed, Sarge told Lawrence Wright.
Miscavige should make this the new strategy for Scientology.
Give the Scientologists their money back, tell them the truth.
Hubbard said he failed.
Order the Scientologists to all read “Going Clear…’ and clay demo the Epilogue chapter.
The final pages of the Epilogue chapter of Lawrence Wright’s “Going Clear…” book are vital information with more details.
That photo of DM is not flattering. I’m surprised it was okayed. A little photoshop might be in order.
My bet is that photo is heavily photoshopped. Miscavige’s intense alcoholic diet is catching up to him. In his recent live appearances at The IAS gala he looks even skinnier than usual. Sort of like a corpse with makeup.
like a bobble head, skinny body and big head. That’s how he looks lately.
Does DM smoke also?
Espy J & D says
Hi Cindy, from what I’ve read, he’s had the $cieno “smoke like a chimney” tech perfected for many years. I do recall seeing on The Bunker comments that he had perhaps quit (2016) but… kinda doubtful.
He’s obviously had “bobblehead” on his mind a bit recently! 😀
George M White says
Spot on. I have noticed the forced smiles lately.
Abby Ration says
Well, just like all the rest of us homo saps, Miss Cabbage is aging, and it usually takes away some of our earlier prettiness. Oh, shock, the horrors! He has something in common with wogs & SPs!
Roger Larsson says
Sitting on the dock of the bay watching ships rolling in.
Sitting on the dock of the bay watching clams making it up to land.
Sitting on the dock of the bay watching clams making progress.
LRH and DM had MU’s. They thought make = take.
Just Wondering says
Has anyone compiled a good list of people and addresses/email addresses so that people who are outraged can send letters asking that their tax exempt status be revoked? This might be a good time to send a flood of letters so that it can finally be given serious consideration. Thanks to anyone who can even give me one to get started. They are buying these properties with the money that they should have been used for paying taxes. Thanks Mike Rinder! Good show on CNN this morning. For anyone that didn’t see it, here’s the link.
Jerry Hack says
Says the video is no longer available, and I can’t find it anywhere. Very suspicious.
I clicked on the link, and it did take me to the CNN website but then it said “this video is no longer available”. I then did a search for Mike Rinder and it jumped me to two “stories” featuring Leah and news about her and Mike’s Aftermath show. No story from this mornings interview.
Why would CNN take this down?
This is Saturday, Oct 25, at 9:49 PST. ” video is no longer available!?!
I tried to access the CNN link and I got a message that it was no longer available. Scientology trying to thwart the truth again?
Mike Rinder says
Have asked CNN what is happening with link
Mike Rinder says
I just checked on twitter and the link is there. I retweeted it.
Just Wondering says
Good , because here’s how it looked when I sent the link to a friend at 11:02 this morning. Well, now I don’t see how to upload an image. But here’s what it said under the link and as part of the link: “Scientology buys most of Downtown Clearwater, Florida – CNN Video.” And there was a picture from the graphic in the story.
Jay Tee says
Ha! I like the way you call the Super Power Building the “SP” Building!
Too funny, Mike.
Mary Kahn says
Nice job reporting the truth, Mike.
Michael Winters says
The reason they lie so easily is because they live in a detached reality built by Hubbard. “…serve the community in a multitude of ways.” To them this is true because they think they are clearing people and therefore helping to Clear Clearwater of it’s aberrative people and SPs. Do they actually help a community as a church would? No. In fact they don’t help anyone unless they are getting paid or there is a good photo op involved. What they really do: Take a lot of money and force feed their parishioners with enough brain-washing and ethics which results in these over the top mind-numbing wins and “success stories” that don’t ever seem to last or make a difference in the real world.
SPeaking my Truth says
RE: “They are discouraged from staying or eating anywhere other than in the scientology facilities.”
When I was in Sea Org at Flag I remember having a day off and going to eat in an outside restaurant, also connecting my iPod Touch to their free Wi-Fi to communicate to old friends in the “outside world”.
(I couldn’t own smartphones or computers as a Sea Org Member, but I managed to have an iPod Touch and I used it to connect to “the world” every time I could; a bathroom in Coachman Building was the only place inside the base from which I could connect to the hotspot in the bus station down the street to download my emails.)
The restaurant was in a far away neighborhood and I felt safe to access Internet from there, but nonetheless when I got out I was approached by a Flag security guard dressed in civil clothes, who told me I should go closer to the base because I was in a dangerous neighborhood for Scientologists.
He didn’t catch me disobeying the “no Internet” rule (as a matter of fact nobody did, it never came out in the hundreds of hours of confessionals I received afterwards), but it was very weird to find out a security guard was patrolling an area so far from the Flag base, just to make sure no “external influences” could affect Scientologists.
So, yes, they are creating a “Scientology Island” inside Clearwater and guarding its boundaries to keep other people out and their own people in; nothing they are doing is “for Clearwater”, their only interest is consolidating and expanding their own fiefdom.
How long were you in and how long have you been out? Thank goodness you had your iPod Touch – it was likely that little connection to your old friends and life that kept you from losing yourself completely in there.
Also great insight as to what it’s like from the perspective of someone in the SO, living in CW. I wonder if, similar to the “Posse of Lunatics” era, this effort will ring to false to members still-in that it will trigger another exodus?! (Hoping!)
SPeaking my Truth says
It’s a long story, it took most of my adult life and I’m still recovering from it.
Most of all, I didn’t accept injustices and the arbitrary use of force in a system that was supposedly based on the highest level of reason.
I still thought Scientology was a workable way to change the world, at that time, but I had lived through real dangers (bad neighborhoods and so on) in my life prior to Scientology and I was able to recognize injustice and abuse for what it really was, not accepting it and getting regularly in trouble for protesting it, until I finally got out.
I started to question the whole subject of Scientology some time after I left the Sea Org, after comparing it to real life and seeing too many points where it was not as workable as I had been instructed to believe.
The pressure (control) to have Sea Org staff disconnected from the external world is heavy (and it is a suppression in itself), injustices and abuses happen all the time and people will inevitably decide they have had enough of that kind of life.
Only the chronic victim-type people will stay, the ones who really have a robot-like attitude in life, but they are the ones who need constant orders and lack initiative, so they will finally help the destruction of the whole system by overwhelming the executive structure (and this is already happening, based on my personal observation).
The exodus is still happening, people are leaving and they will continue to leave.
There is nothing the Church can do to avoid it, you can’t keep a group together with force and lies alone, those factors are the basis of a revolt, as LRH himself rightly said in one of the Technical Training Films.
If one can’t revolt against the whole system (imagine a person in a group like that, he sure doesn’t think he can fight it all by himself from the inside), he can certainly decide to get out and disconnect from the source of pain and suppression (the Church) to start living a real life again.
I’m sure it will happen; more and more people will leave, until the whole Church will eventually disintegrate.
The only factor we can’t really predict is the time factor: how long will it take?
“Most of all, I didn’t accept injustices and the arbitrary use of force in a system that was supposedly based on the highest level of reason.”
Excellent job on CNN, Mike!
You ask what I did on FB about the actual economic impact is – if all of those buildings were being used as intended – highest/best use. if the Ft Harrison was a Marriott – say 200 rooms at $300 a night, plus hotel/tourism tax per night, plus $$ spent in restaurants, shops, attractions vs. what is brought in now. Not to mention the impact of people coming to town for major conventions-downtown is always a draw for visitors.
Roderick Keller says
The next project they refer to is obviously the LRH Hall.
Thomas Thomas says
Unfortunately for them, you can’t delete negative replies on Twitter the way you can on another platform!