A Quick Tour of Clearwater

November 30, 1999

A few days before the Lisa McPherson Memorial Picket, Scientology once again showed the lengths to which they will go to stop the voices of those who would criticize them. 

Scientology spent tens of thousands of tax free parishioner's money to stop a small band of people from speaking out.

Patricia Greenway took these pictures as she escourted me around their properties.

This is the rear of the Ft. Harrison. Not only had the sidewalk been torn out but barricades prevent walking on the grass.

Heavy equipment was in use as we approached the Ft. Harrison.

This man was interviewed on camera by Patricia. His firm was hired to tear up the sidewalk. Another company has been hired to lay a new sidewalk. No timetable is known. However, Scientology insisted that the sidewalks were to be torn out by the time of the picket.

Scattered around the Ft. Harrison were these ominous signs. 

 

This warning sign was placed right outside Lisa McPherson's room.

The spot where critics would normally lay a wreath in Lisa's honor became the location of a Freedom magazine rack. 

The front of the Ft. Harrison was completely engulfed in a massive structure of metal and green mesh.

 

A view down the side of the building

Getting some video footage of the Scientologists working on the scaffolding in front of the Ft. Harrison. They told us they are working for Brian Anderson. 

Two blocks away from the Ft. Harrison is the headquarters for Boy Scout troop 313. 

On the main street downtown we encountered young Scientology children posted in front of all the the church's properties. They were manning booths with christmas displays, selling food, pushing the Drug Free Marshalls and practicing singing on a makeshift stage. Other children were seen working as they decorated the downtown area.

The two young girls singing had very nice voices and were clearly having fun. The other children were far more glum. The children ranged from 8-12 years of age and looked very pale and sickly. One older girl was in charge of them. She sold several ice creme cones to Patricia, which Patricia offered to the children working the booths. Only two accepted the cones.

We will not put their pictures on the site to protect their privacy but it was one of the saddest sights we've seen.  

The Scientologist children were not just being used as workers but also as small human shields whom the church hoped will prevent critics from picketing.

It is clear that Scientology hoped to make their critics look like villians as they picketed Christmas and spoiled young children's fun.
 

We spotted an RPF worker in his black boilersuit as we visited the downtown area. He was, of course, unable to talk with us.
 
 

To lighten our spirits, I sat in Santa's chair which is being used to block the front door to OSA's headquarters.

 

 

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Dan Murnan