Sunday, June 16, 2024

Tom Cruise’s Clearwater Revival Plans Have No Credence as Florida City Fights Scientology Take Over


As I told you yesterday, the plan is on for Scientology to take over the major retail districts of Clearwater, Florida. Cult leader David Miscavige made an appeal last week to the city council, trying to persuade members individually at the local Scientology headquarters that the group should be allowed to move in and “save” their city.

On April 20th  the Clearwater City Council will meet to vote on buying a key piece of downtown property, a former aquarium desired by Miscavige as part of his “take over.” The meeting had been set for tonight but the Scientology attempt to influence the vote has caused a delay.

This week, Miscavige told all about one member of the city council that Tom Cruise himself was in favor of a new entertainment center including movie theaters and a bowling alley in the aquarium space. Cruise, it’s understood, is going to be living in the penthouse of one of the many buildings Scientology just purchased downtown under a pseudonym.

Doreen Caudell, the one city council member who refused to meet with Miscavige, sent a letter to the mayor of Clearwater saying that Miscavige should meet with the public in an open forum. Caudell, a lifelong resident, isn’t someone Miscavige wants to fool around with. According to her bio, she’s embedded in the city’s political, business and social fabric.

I obtained exclusively a copy of Caudell’s letter. She wrote:

These individual meetings, requested exclusively by Scientology, ignore transparency and inappropriately snub our great community and our citizens from commenting on Scientology’s retail plan. As the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, our wonderful and strong business advocate for downtown and our region, correctly stated, ‘we need open communication and coordination on downtown development plans.”

She continued:

We, as a council, have received an outpour of comments from our community detesting the private meetings Scientology arranged. I think we all completely agree with our strong community in this matter. The citizens of Clearwater elected us, and I insist on standing up for them, if you, sir, will not.

Caudell is bolstered by a single sentence from a report commissioned by the city (and noted in the Tampa Bay Times): “The significant presence of the Church of Scientology members spending time downtown contributes to a sense of alienation among non-members.” In other words: the cult members are freaking out the regular people.

So far, Cruise himself has not made an appearance in Clearwater. But one city council member told me of Miscavige: “He’s very dynamic. And he’s only five-foot-five.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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