Movie star Tom Cruise was used this week as bait for a Scientology real estate deal in Clearwater, Florida.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Scientology cult leader David Miscavige met with members of the Clearwater city council to persuade them to back his plans to turn Clearwater into a Scientology hub. The Times reports that Miscavige told Clearwater Vice Mayor Bill Jonson that Tom Cruise would be involved in the group’s Entertainment Center.
There has been speculation recently that Cruise — who’s been offloading his real estate in Los Angeles and Telluride– was planning to move to a new luxury triplex penthouse that’s being constructed in Clearwater atop a Scientology building.
From the Times:
In the 10th floor ballroom of the church’s Fort Harrison Hotel, Miscavige, who is rarely seen in public, put on a theatrical display of his vision for Clearwater’s urban core using blown-up before-and-after renderings and video simulations on a large flat screen TV. Miscavige avoided having to open the meetings to the public and the press because he invited council members one-by-one to sit at a conference table to hear his pitch.
According to the Times, Scientology has acquired $260 million worth of real estate in Clearwater since 1975. Through shell companies– meaning not use their own name– they purchased $26 million worth of property since January 1st of this year.