Scientology and the Clearwater Police
Clearwater police officers accepted off-duty jobs from Scientology in 2000-2001, accepting a total of $176,000 a year from Scientology. They were called by some “Scientology’s police force.”
Scientology snuck into Clearwater, Florida in 1978 under the assumed name of United Churches. Since then they have come to dominate the small town.
I lived in Clearwater for two years, working with a group called the Lisa McPherson Trust which was helping people defrauded and abused by Scientology. I documented the police officer’s bias during that time.
VIDEO PRODUCED IN SEPTEMBER 2000
Since Anonymous has been protesting in Clearwater, they report the police have been cooperative and professional. This video reflects our experiences in 200-2001. At that time, the police had softened their stance on Scientology at the behest of City Manager Mike Roberto, who had made a peace agreement between Clearwater and Scientology. Just a few years prior, the police department had issued a declaration stating they knew all about Fair Game and other nasty practices of Scientology:
That was five years before our arrival. Members of that same police department then were willing to take Scientology’s money for a cushy job sitting with Scientology security guard Antonio, eating Scientology’s food and listening for hours at a time about what criminals we were. I caught Antonio one day handing a copy of a magazine to an officer which had the phony story of how Bob had ripped off the Nigerian government of $5 billion dollars. I confront them and marched over to Sid Klein’s office to complain. Most people think I’m fairly unflappable when it comes to Scientology. Indeed, nothing Scientology did really got a reaction from me but seeing officers in this situation made me blow my stack because they should and in many cases did know better, or at least their bosses did.
This video is about that time frame. It is about the officers who clearly allowed themselves to be used and put themselves in the position to appear biased, and specifically points out some instances where we felt they went over the line such as my hammer attack when the only thing the officer who worked for Scientology needed to know is that I worked for the LMT before siding with Mr. Hammer Guy.
There’s a reason the paper was concerned about the officers’ off-duty jobs. There’s a reason why Judge Pennick called them “dangerously close to being Scientology’s police force.” There’s a reason why retired Police Lt. Ray Emmons and Gabe Cazares were happy to be in this video. This video is about that time.
I’m glad the Clearwater Anons have had a good relationship with the police.
The local newspaper ran an article and editorial about Scientology’s use of off duty police officers as private security guards on Watterson Street.
This prompted an angry response from Police Chief Sid Klein and a reprimand from Klein’s superior about the appropriateness of his behavior.
Church Pays Those it Reviled
March 11, 2001
After hearing Judge Penick tell City Attorney Rob Surette that the Clearwater Police Force was dangerously close to becoming Scientology’s private security force, Deborah O’Neil prepared this story.
Police Work for Scientology
March 22, 2001
Following their original story from Deborah O’Neil, the St. Petersburg Times published this editorial.
Keeping the Peace
March 30, 2001
Police Chief Sid Klein’s letter protesting the editorial is published.
Letter by Chief Triggers Reminder
March 30, 2001
Clearwater’s Interim City Manager Bill Horne issues an e-mail reminder that all such letters to the editor should be run through his office for approval.
Mark Bunker at Clearwater City Commission
April 5, 2001
I responded to Chief Klein’s letter at the Clearwater City Commission Meeting.