Since some of the materials which describe the $cientology cult could be
considered to be copywritten materials, I have censored myself and The
Skeptic Tank by deleting any and all possible text files which describes
the cult's hidden mythologies. I have elected to quote just a bit of the
questionable text according to the "Fair Use" legal findings afforded to
those who report. - Fredric L. Rice, The Skeptic Tank, 09/Sep/95
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Subject: St. Petersburg Times series, won 1980 Pulitzer [05/14] NEW!
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 15:15:01 +0200
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Church entered Clearwater on path of deceit
The Church of Scientology came to Florida's Suncoast in late 1975
wearing a cloak of secrecy that concealed a dagger of deceit.
The mystery began Oct. 27. The Fort Harrison Hotel was purchased by
Southern Land Sales and Development Corp. for $2.3-million hard cash, and
then a few days later the old Bank of Clearwater building for $550,000.
For whom? And why?
A middle-aged man in a green jump suit appeared in mid-November to say
that he, Sorel Allen, was "director of membership and public affairs" for
United Churches of Florida. He said the buildings would be leased to United
Churches, a new organization organized by laymen interested in the
religious truths of all denominations, and he said this ecumenical group
would hold meetings and seminars for persons of all faiths, and everything
would be very open.
But Kenneth Seidenberg, an attorney for Jack Tar Hotels, told the St.
Petersburg Times on Dec. 5 that the sale of the Fort Harrison was "one of
the strangest transactions we've ever dealt in." Southern Land Sales
wouldn't even give Jack Tar its telephone number, he said.
"We have never been involved in this cloak and dagger (kind of deal),"
Seidenberg said. "They have been so secretive that it has been driving us
crazy as to who they are and what they are."
United Churches was not the answer.
Documents recently released in the Washington trial of nine
Scientologists tell the real story. On Nov. 26, 1975 -- nine days before
Seidenberg expressed his frustration -- L. Ron Hubbard, founder and
commodore of the Church of Scientology, issued a secret Guardian Office
Order headed "Program LRH Security. Code Name: Power."
Flag, the church's program office, sort of a theology center, had been
at sea aboard the church-owned yacht Apollo for several years. The precise
reasons why the church maintained a headquarters operation on a ship are
not known. But now it was coming ashore. The quiet Gulf Coast city of
Clearwater had been chosen as the new site.
Hubbard's directive said the church should establish a permanent office
there. He stated the following goal: "Really attain PROAC (public relations
office area control) in the CW (Clearwater) operating area for the
organizations operating there, sort out any weak spots or potential threats
internal or external and handle ... Dynamite spots should be predicted far
in advance ... and handled before any repercussion occurs."
That same day, Henning Heldt, Scientology's deputy guardian for the
United States, received a letter from someone named Ron, which read: "We
have found a whole part of a condominium to rent. It is 5.3 miles from the
FH (Fort Harrison). We have been negotiating on it as a simple rental ...
It will be UC (United Churches) or SLD (Southern Land Development) -- I
don't know what name the mission is using for the negotiation.
"As the office of LRH (Hubbard) will be there, the bus and phone lines
will have to lead to there ...
"There will be an LRH private office at the FH (that is easy as I just
drive in the garage and enter the third floor garage elevator hall door and
go on up. There will possibly be a personal office at the bank bldg if they
get it clean. This is rougher as one has to step out of a car and walk to
Ron told Heldt what he would be doing:
"Probably my best layout is to get very well known in the CW area with
a camera in my hand and my Universal News press card taking pictures of
'beautiful CW' which is the local button (they hate tourists and also
retired people). My photoshoot people will continue, as I have a whole org
(translation: organization) for that sort of thing ...
"So I think the exact plan will be that I play operations above
security, slide in on personal PR (translation: public relations) as that
well known photographer very visible with a whole crew camera in hand and
living in a nearby town. Not push it. Just let it seep in. My portrait of
the mayor will hang in city hall never fear ... And we count on your B1
(translation: information office) to very quickly pre-alert any trouble so
I can go fishing until you handle.
"AND WE COUNT ON YOU GUYS TO MOW IRS DOWN AND WIN ACROSS THE BOARDS.
"That is the way it will have to be played within the realities of the
scene ... So the program is attached."
Could this Ron have been LRH himself? Who knows?
Two days later -- Nov. 28, 1975: Heldt issued a new directive, "IRS:
Endure." He quoted Hubbard: "Views of the scene are optimistic at this
time. However knowing the insane, we must be fully prepared and positioned
to get right on operating throughout the U.S. and work until we get a
straight jacket on IRS no matter what they do ... Earlier I advised a new
corporation be set up in every org (organization) area in U.S. to parallel
the actions of each org and simply sit there dormant, but ready to hire the
old org's staff and continue, non successor, in new quarters."
The directive said: "Flag will continue to operate as C of S of C
(Church of Scientology of California). C of S of C will be leasing space
from United Churches of Florida, a non-profit corporation which will in
turn be leasing from the owner of the buildings."
The plan called for organizing "Dormant Corp." and "Mother Church
Corp." for possible future use should the church lose its tax exempt status
and IRS seize its assets. It also directed that means be found "of
safeguarding cash reserves from IRS seizure or wipe-out."
Dec. 5: With Clearwater folk still trying to decide what this United
Churches business was all about, the Guardian Office of Scientology issued
directives on Project Power.
One goal was to "establish the indispensability of United Churches" in
the community. The directive said:
"The overall plan is to locate opinion leaders -- then, their enemies,
the dirt, scandal, vested interest, crime of the enemies (with overt data
as much as possible). Then turn this over to UC who will approach the
opinion leader and get his agreement to look into a specific subject (which
will lead to the enemies' crimes). UC then 'discovers' the scandal, etc.,
and turns it over to the opinion leader for his use. Ops (operations) can
be done as a follow up if needed to remove or restrain the enemy.
"Example: B1 finds the Clearwater Mayor as an opinion leader and Mr.
Shultz as his enemy. Overt (and suitable guise) investigation of Shultz
shows him to like little girls and that he walks in the park every Sunday
when he attempts to drag little girls into the bushes. B1 turns this data
over to UC. UC goes to the Mayor and gets his OK to look into 'what can be
done to beautify Clearwater City Park.' Shortly after the mayor gives his
OK to look into the park, UC 'discovers' that there are undesirables in the
park and turns the data over to the Mayor. Several days later UC
'discovers' that Mr. Shultz molests little girls in the park and turns that
over to the Mayor managing to get press on the whole park campaign and to
make a friend out of the Mayor. Now if Shultz is also a potential enemy of
ours (which he might be after the above is done) and the Mayor or newspaper
hasn't removed him from a position of power the OPS (operations) does."
Church functionaries were directed "to fully investigate the Clearwater
city and county area so we can distinguish our friends from our enemies and
handle as needed". Dossiers were to be compiled on medical societies,
clinics, hospitals, police departments and agencies, public relations
firms, drug firms, federal, state and local government agencies, city
council, banks, investment houses, local representatives in Congress and
Florida's two U.S. senators.
Finally, the directive called for protecting "ourselves against any
potential threat by taking control of the key points in the Clearwater
area." This was to be accomplished by determining key news media and
political leaders and gaining either their allegiance or control over them.
It didn't work that way. Instead of winning the friendship of Mayor
Gabriel Cazares, United Churches -- which was still fronting for the Church
of Scientology at this time -- found him critical of their secrecy.
"I am discomfited by the increasing visibility of security personnel,
armed with billy clubs and Mace, employed by the United Churches of
Florida," the mayor said. "I am unable to understand why this degree of
security is required by a religious organization ..."
Reporters had been working diligently to find out who was behind United
Churches. They were finally successful. But on Jan. 28, just as they were
ready to publish their stories, Rev. Arthur J. Maren of Los Angeles arrived
in Clearwater for a news conference.
He announced that the Church of Scientology of California was the new
owner of the Fort Harrison and was also behind formation of United
Churches. The Church of Scientology had kept its involvement secret, he
said, because it didn't want to overshadow the work of United Churches.
The secret was out.
Stories about this new religion, Scientology, began appearing in The
St. Petersburg Times and the Clearwater Sun. Mayor Cazares continued his
criticism of the church and its methods.
And the church? Did it turn the other cheek?
Hardly. That's not part of Scientology's creed.