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.”
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.”