Thursday, October 21, 2004

Here are some excerpts from decent articles from the
St. Petersburg Times about David Miscavige: one of the leaders of the Scientology religion

David Miscavige

Although David Miscavige does not live in Clearwater, this town is very important to him because factually Clearwater is the spiritual headquarters of the Scientology religion.

Most religions suffer prejudice in their earlier years - the Christians in Rome certainly didn't have an easy time of it. Neither did early Mormons. Scientology is a new religion, and relations between the church and the city of Clearwater were strained for the first 20 or so years.

Although the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organizations (the name of the Scientology church in Clearwater) provides advanced services to Scientologists from all over the world, many have moved to Clearwater and made it their home.

I think Mr. Miscavige was disturbed by the animosity in the community toward members of our religion. And he took the time to better this relationship personally.

He granted an interview with the St. Petersburg Times which entailed several days of meeting with staff from the paper and touring them through Scientology facilities on both coasts.

This started the trend of St Petersburg and surrounding towns realizing that Scientologists are very good neighbors, are just like other folks, and have a great deal to offer the community.

Here are some of the articles the St Petersburg Times has written covering these actions by David Miscavige, and the ultimate result - an excellent relationship between Scientology in Clearwater and the Clearwater community.


Robert Trigaux

David Miscavige

He may not agree, but his organization's expanding presence in Clearwater has had more economic impact than religious significance to the area. Miscavige is the Los Angeles-based head of the Church of Scientology, which in recent years has become the dominant developer in the city's downtown area.

Currently headquartered in the Fort Harrison Hotel, the Church of Scientology has spent millions in a steady acquisition of property and buildings.

Clearwater's traditional leadership is by no means comfortable in the growing Scientology shadow, but city officials are trying to make peace with the church (and its opponents) and reap some benefit of urban redevelopment from such a well-financed organization.

As a young man, Miscavige studied to become a Scientology minister. He later worked with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to help produce training films and materials. Miscavige's real coup for the movement came in 1993 when he helped end the 40-year war between the Scientologists (seeking to protect their tax-exempt status as a religion) and the Internal Revenue Service.

Jan 1, 2000
G.G. Rigsby

In downtown Clearwater, more than 3,000 Scientologists gathered to mark the new year, but also to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

A self-help book published in 1950 by L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics led to the founding of the Church of Scientology four years later.

At the Los Angeles event, Church leader David Miscavige emceed a three-hour documentary on Scientology's history, from its early days after Dianetics, to the church's arrival in Clearwater in 1975, and on to the present as Scientology constructs its first-ever new building - a mammoth headquarters downtown that will be the centerpiece of a $ 60-million to $ 90-million expansion.

August 22, 1999, Sunday, 0 South Pinellas Edition


CLEARWATER - The icy relations between the city of Clearwater and the Church of Scientology appear to be defrosting as dozens of church members leaped to the defense of the embattled city manager.

After city commissioners sharply criticized City Manager Mike Roberto recently, hinting that his job was on the line, the letters and e-mails started pouring in.

Of the 36 letters and e-mails to City Hall and 44 pro-Roberto letters to the St. Petersburg Times, nearly 80 percent were written by Scientologists.

Church officials said this was no orchestrated effort, just a spontaneous effort by Clearwater citizens.

But the church's Los Angeles-based leader, David Miscavige, said the response is likely due to Roberto's unprecedented efforts to open the lines of communication and include Scientologists in talks about downtown redevelopment. But Miscavige cautioned that he also thought Roberto had made some missteps, including taking staffers on a retreat that cost the taxpayers $ 15,000.

"I worry about that being perceived as some sort of blind support," Miscavige said of the "mutual respect" he shares with Roberto. "I don't want to appear to be going to bat for the guy."

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