To Live With It...
State Boys Say Chilocco Is A Done
May 11, 1989 - About 80 persons appeared at the Newkirk City
Commission meeting Monday evening for an informational session
on the Chilocco Indian School project. Present at the meeting
were Mr. Howard Miles, designee of the Commissioner of Health,
who presides over the Oklahoma Health Planning Commission; Mr.
Leroy Bridges, public affairs specialist with the Oklahoma Department
of Mental Health; and Mr. William Mehojah, chairman of the Kaw
Tribe, along with several members of the Chilocco Development
Authority. Mr. Miles, Mr. Bridges, and Mr. Mehojah were at the
meeting at the invitation of Mayor Garry Bilger.
Miles explained to the group the purpose of the Health Planning
Commission, which is to oversee the growth of health services
in the state so that they occur in an orderly fashion and along
guidelines of an existing 4 year plan. He said the operators
of the proposed Chilocco project have complied with the existing
rules and regulations of the State of Oklahoma, and that they
have been issued a Certificate of Need, that the statutory period
of objection is over and that the certificate is not subject
to recall, even in court.
next step, Mr. Miles said, is for the Oklahoma Health Department
to issue a license, which, in the case of alcohol and drug abuse
facilities, concerns only the physical facilities. The buildings.
Plans are presented to the State Health Department, which assigns
an architect, who approves the plans. Then the work proceeds,
and when finished, the State Health Department inspects the
facility for compliance with the approved plans. If the facility
is approved, it is licensed. The State Health Department license
applies only to the physical facility, and has nothing to do
with the program or staffing. That falls under the Department
of Mental Health, which certifies the program and staffing,
and is Mr. Bridges' department.
Bridges said that plans for the Chilocco project were submitted
and will go through the regular process just like any other
project in the state. He said that once the facility has been
licensed by the State Health Department... when the facility
has been approved... the State Mental health Department will
send an inspection team to the site to approve the program,
if it complies with the normally accepted standards for such
facilities in the State of Oklahoma.
said that according to documents submitted to his department
by the operators, the staff would consist of "certified
alcohol and drug counselors, certified drug counselors, medical
doctors, and nurses... This is the kind of program that all
of the people comply with before they are certified in the State
the patients, Mr. Bridges said "All of 'em will be referred
from other states into here except the local Indian people who
will be given a chance to have first choice on beds out there
if they are not able to pay. The local Indian people. All the
rest of them will be from other states. Nobody from Oklahoma
except the Indian people."
Bridges pointed out that if the program and treatment proposed
for the Chilocco center does not violate the laws of the State
of Oklahoma, the state can not refuse to issue a Certification
from the Mental Health Department.
said he called Mr. John Wilson, of the Alcohol and Drug Authority
of the State of California, who reported they "had no problems"
with the organization. He presented several other instances
of reference checking his department had made in regard to the
matter, and reported that no negative information had been received.
the presentation by Mr. Bridges and Mr. Miles, there was a question
and answer session.
response to a question about prior notice, Mr. Miles pointed
out that notice was published in the Newkirk Herald Journal
in January of this year that the operators had applied for their
Certificate of Need, well in advance of the hearing.
a question concerning the unanimity of the decision to lease
Chilocco, Miles said he couldn't answer, but that the documents
his department received were in order. He said the Bureau of
Indian Affairs had approved the lease contract, but that he
didn't know if the decision by the Chilocco Development Authority
had been unanimous or just by majority, and that he had no information
concerning any internal problems of the CDA.
the validity of the CDA's decision to lease Chilocco comes under
question, then the matter would be in the jurisdiction of the
Federal Courts, he said. One person suggested that the authority
of a tribal chairman was in question due to an election dispute.
questioner was assured that no Indian Health funds would be
used, that no money from any governmental agency would be used
in establishing the center.
a legitimate service, and they've received a legitimate hearing,
and a legitimate authority to proceed." according to Mr.
Miles, "If they do what they said they were gonna do, they'll
be all right. And if they don't do it, there is a process that
works that will usher them across the state line."
added, "Let's just assume there is no such thing as Narconon,
and all we re talking about is the Church of Scientology. What
difference does it make?" If they do what they've applied
for, and they do what they've been approved for, he said, then
they have complied with state law.
if they start making it into something more than that, they
start doing things that exceed their authority, if they violate
the laws of the state in any manner than they have to answer
we can go on is the history of what they've done, the record
they've made in the United States and their statements they've
said the terms of the agreement between the operator and the
CDA were none of the state's business. "The business arrangements...
are not a function of our commission."
response to the question of law enforcement and state regulation,
Miles said, "Well, first of all let me say that there is
control. The Chilocco Development Authority and Narconon both,
have placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the State of
Oklahoma for operation of a health care facility."
are not functioning as Indian country he said, "The county
sheriff will have police jurisdiction there, State Highway Patrol
will have jurisdiction there, State Bureau of Investigation
will have jurisdiction there, the investigative staff of the
State Department of Health... will have jurisdiction there.
So it will not he without government controls."
could have sought exclusion from state laws, and in light of
court decisions recently, they could have gotten exclusion,
he said, but instead, they voluntarily placed themselves under
Bridges responded to a question about payment for services at
Chilocco. He said that all patients will be from out of state,
except local Indians who do not have the ability to pay. "Nobody
pays for it"
have provided 25% of the beds for the local Indian people, and
nobody pays for it. They would be provided that opportunity."
prison was a possibility at one time at Chilocco," one
member of the audience said, "but the problem was jurisdiction.
They couldn't waive jurisdiction then, so I don't see how the
state can change jurisdiction now."
Baldwin, a member of the CDA answered that the State of Oklahoma
couldn't afford the $17 million to construct the prison, jurisdiction
was not the problem.
lady said she would have preferred the prison, "I know
something about the Church of Scientology, I know a lady and
her son is in it - and I know what happened to them," she
said. "That's why I am so concerned." She received
a round of applause.
in the audience asked if patients would be restricted to the
Chilocco facility. Mr. Miles said State law prohibits restricting
movement of residents. Mr. Bridges said there were already three
treatment plants in Kay County, and saw no reason to be concerned
about the freedom of movement that Chilocco patients would have.
- they are somewhat isolated, these are not prisoners."
Bridges said they are just people like us who have alcohol or
drug problems, who have insurance. He said they just want to
come here for treatment and go back home.
Bridges pointed out the CDA members in the audience, Dave Baldwin,
Cynthia Stoner, and Mr. Mehojah. He noted that Bill Grant, who
was not at the meeting, had told him just last week what a wonderful
program Chilocco was. Bridges asked Mr. Mehojah to confirm Grant's
attitude, which he did.
lot of the workers out there will be local Indian people, they're
gonna be trained and brought on." Bridges said. He suggested
there was nothing to fear from them.
responded to a radio reporter's question about the alleged connection
between Narconon and the Church of Scientology: "the answer
we received was that there was no direct relationship between
the Church of Scientology and Narconon. That there were members
of the Church of Scientology who had been involved in the creation
of Narconon, but the two organizations are totally separate.
We questioned whether or not the philosophy of L. Ron Hubbard
would be used, because they were mentioned in the application.
And it was pointed out that only 4 methods, not the philosophy,
would be utilized. Those methods with the exception of sauna,
are common to all alcohol and drug treatment procedures. The
sauna, well we don't have any feel for it..."
then referred to the lady who said she knew someone in the Church
of Scientology, "I've shared the same experience and I
think my reaction probably was very similar to hers." But
that experience, he said, was not grounds for refusing permission
to operate in the state.
told the radio reporter that counselors will be certified in
Oklahoma "by a local certifying group that certifies all
the alcohol and drug counselors."
of the members of the CDA told of being in a Narconon facility
last week in downtown Los Angeles, and gave glowing reports
of what they saw there. They told of people cured of addiction
in only 10 weeks, and of a five year follow-up program.
said that most Narconon facilities are out-patient clinics,
and that the Los Angeles program is the only in-patient program
in operation. He said the OHPC had checked with state people
in several states while gathering information for the certificate
of need hearing.
an example of how the investigation works he told an anecdote
about a nursing home operator who wished to locate in the state,
but when investigation proved the man's previous operations
had been closed by health officials in six states, he was refused
a certificate. "He had no standing because his history
was all negative."
try to check deep enough to try to determine something about
the character of the applicant Miles added.
many doctors, someone asked, and from where, and how often will
the state check the facility? Bridges answered that most places
like this contracted with local doctors. "Quite often,"
he responded to the query about inspection.
added that the facility would be inspected at least 6 times
a year, unannounced. He said the program meets the legal requirements
of the state, and "that's the end of it"
Tribal Chairman Mehojah reviewed the history of Chilocco for
the group, and said the CDA had been working to find a use for
the land. He said they had tried to do what they felt best for
the economic benefit of the Indian people, and to provide jobs.
He said the contract they have entered into has a 5 year review
clause, but that a corporation needs a long term lease in order
to recoup their investment. He said the BIA had approved the
contract as a sound document that would protect the Indians.
He also told of his visit recently to the Los Angeles facility
where he observed people undergoing treatment.
Mehojah's comments, Miles informed the group that if they had
any reason to believe that the operators were not complying
with state law that they should contact the State Attorney General,
the Commissioner of Health, or the Commissioner of Mental Health.
and Herald Journal Publisher Bob Lobsinger sparred a bit over
an editorial, for which Lobsinger offered apology. Then they
sparred again over references in a recent story. Miles suggested
Lobsinger had misread the material, but changed his mind when
Lobsinger produced the magazine and showed him the passage in
segment of the meeting ended, and commissioners proceeded to
other items on the agenda.
Editorial Comment By RWL - 11 May 1989
now. Haven't I been put in my place.
guess now I know better than to mess with big, important folks
it turns out, is a wonderful program after all. They said so.
And that, of course, is what AP reported last weekend, gutsy
organization that they are.
we already had enough of Narconon's own material to tell you
what they would say about their program. Of course it's wonderful.
What else would you expect them to say?
thought you had a right to know what they weren't saying. And
we found plenty they were staying quiet about.
is no shame in not knowing the difference between an ugly duck
and the goose that laid the golden egg. The shame is in not
changing ones thinking when one finds out the difference.
Miles, from the Health Planning Commission is a likable individual
in a tough spot. His head is not hooked to an E-meter after
all. He simply has to live by somebody else's regulations. Mr.
Bridges is a fine fellow, too, with a sincere, personal interest
in trying to help the Indian people. But he's in the same situation.
Which boils down to the fact that the state can do nothing about
the situation because everything is quite legal.
says it is not connected in any way with the Church of Scientology.
Fine. It was just started by Scientologists, and Scientologists
run it. But that is a coincidence of nature...
that next week, Doc S. announces he is going to start a Birth
Control Clinic that adheres to the methods of John Paul II.
What are you to believe about his operation?
deal is no different. A consistent history and long term reputation,
documented in print doesn't change just because one refuses
to read it or check it out. No matter how many times you "play
it again, Sam," the record stays the same.
all like the Chilocco project to be the grand and glorious establishment
it's makers say it will be... helping humanity and providing
economic assistance to the Indian people as well.
But I'm afraid if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck,
and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck.
Newkirk Drug Clinic May Be World's Biggest
May 18, 1989
of a drug rehabilitation center scheduled to open later this
year on the Chilocco Indian School grounds north of here say
the facility has the potential to be the biggest of its kind
in the world.
residents in this northern Oklahoma town eight miles from the
Kansas border are concerned Narconon International is a front
for the Church of Scientology, and, instead of rehabilitating
alcohol and drug addicts, it will recruit new members and raise
money for the controversial group.
person overseeing renovation work at Chilocco for Narconon is
identified as an "experienced purification rundown in charge"
by the Church of Scientology's official newsletter.
Scientologists to staff huge Oklahoma facility," reads
a headline in the February 1989 issue of "The Auditor,"
a copy of which was made available to "The Oklahoman."
Narconon, the article states, gets Scientology founder L. Ron
Hubbard's "technology applied broadly in the society."
state officials who approved a certificate of need for the facility
say it should not matter who operates the facility as long as
they follow accepted practices and standards in the field.
of five Indian tribes who stand to earn $16 million over the
next 25 years by leasing the Indian school campus to Narconon
say they have visited Narconon's drug rehabilitation facility
in Los Angeles and are satisfied the organization is legitimate.
Miles, with the State Department of Health and a member of the
Health Planning Commission which approved a certificate of need
license for Narconon in January, said no one opposed the organization
then and now it is too late to appeal the state decision.
still must get a license and be certified by the state, Miles
over Narconon developed after the Newkirk newspaper published
two stories quoting various publications that Narconon was associated
with the Church of Scientology, which often is referred to as
more of a cult than a religion.
Cook of Enid, with the Oklahoma Cult Awareness Network, said
Narconon is a "front group" for Scientology.
in the September 1981 issue of "Reader's Digest,"
then-senior editor Eugene H. Methvin called Narconon "Scientology's
biggest social reform gimmick."
said state officials could find no link between Narconon and
the Church of Scientology and that California officials were
satisfied with Narconon's 25-bed drug rehabilitation center
in Los Angeles.
to published reports, the joint Narconon-Chilocco Development
Authority received $200,000 from the Association for Better
Living & Education, an organization identified in "The
Auditor" as part of Narconon.
and Leroy Bridges, with the State Department of Mental Health,
tried to assure about 100 people who jammed into a public hearing
held here last week that the state would inspect regularly the
facility once it opened.
of several buildings on 165 acres of land leased by Narconon
is underway with the facility scheduled to open in August or
opened, the program will be veiwed by Mental Health Department
workers for certification, Bridges said, and will be reviewed
continuously at least six times a year.
Miles said Narconon is subject to punitive action if workers
operate outside the law or its program outlined to the state.
is a legitimate enterprise, proposing to do a legitimate service,"
he said. "If they do what they said they're going to do,
they will be all right, and if they don't do it, there is a
process at work that will usher them across the state line."
Duff, president of Narconon, said the 23 year old agency is
not directly connected with the Church of Scientology.
a non-issue question," he said.
Duff said the church is a supporter of Narconon and provides
Hubbard, Duff said, once gave Narconon $75,000 because Narconon
uses five of his methods-complete withdrawal, supplements, balanced
diet, exercise and using a sauna.
a science fiction writer who started Scientology in 1953, died
in 1986. Advertisements for his 1950 book, "Dianetics;
The Modern Science of Mental Health," still can be seen
first, the Narconon facility at Chilocco will use five or six
of the 80 buildings on the campus in developing a 75-bed facility.
costs are expected to cost at least $400,000, Duff said. About
a dozen Indians have been hired to do the work and three Narconon
staff members are at Chilocco.
Duff said 25 percent of those beds will be set aside for indigent
Indians who suffer from chemical substance abuse.
is being developed as a national program and most of its clients
will be referred to the facility from Narconon offices throughout
the country and will come from other states and Canada, Duff
said he expects Narconon will employ a staff of about 35 and
said he did not know if Edna Fulton, now serving as project
director at Chilocco, will continue in that capacity.
"The Auditor" article stated that Tom Armstrong, identified
by Cook as a Scientologist leader, will be in charge of the
Chilocco project and that Fulton will be a member of the core
would not discuss the specifics of the contract with the five
Indian tribes that make up the Chilocco Development Authority-Pawnee,
Ponca, Otoe-Missouria, Kaw and Tonkawa-saying only the tribes
would divide $16 million over the next 25 years with an option
to renew the lease another 25 years.
Letters To The Editor - May 11, 1989
Official speaks Out...
society today is faced with a battle against drugs that can
literally destroy our future generations.
are 500,000 or more people dealing drugs in the United States
alone selling billions of dollars in drugs each year and our
children are the customers.
International is in the forefront of the battle against drugs
and is saving lives around the world through its' drug prevention
and rehabilitation programs.
the last 23 years Narconon has successfully rehabilitated tens
of thousands of drug addicts and has spoken to over 1/2 million
students in schools, parents, teachers and professionals in
the community through the Narconon drug education program.
Spain an outside study was done that showed 69.2% of those that
completed the Narconon program were successfully off drugs after
2 years. In Sweden an outside study found that 78.6% of those
that finished the program were successfully off drugs after
have recently acquired a 25 year lease of the former Chilocco
Indian Agricultural School from the Chilocco Development Authority
made up of representatives from the Kaw, Otoe-Missouria, Pawnee,
Ponca & Tonkawa Northern Oklahoman Tribes.
national drug rehabilitation program is being set up at Chilocco
with 75 beds and we are currently in the process of complying
with the Oklahoma State Department of Health - fire, safety
& health codes.
facility represents a powerful tool against those that are pushing
drugs and there will be those that will not want Narconon to
succeed at Chilocco because they are for drugs and are on the
other side in the battle against drugs.
recent article in the Newkirk Herald Journal critical of Narconon
and our efforts to stop drugs was simply a collection of old
articles and opinions. If the writer of this article was to
have done an article in 1933 about a Jewish project in Germany
based on research in newspaper articles back then, what would
have this article said? Put them in the oven" If his "research"
consisted of paraphrasing articles about Native Americans written
100 years ago what would his article have said?
is very simple. Narconon is a non-profit public benefit corporation
with the job of saving lives and getting these former drug addicts
back into society as productive drug-free members. This is our
job and has been for the last 23 years. Our success is based
on hard work and a drug rehabilitation program that was developed
by L. Ron Hubbard, on of the most acclaimed and widely read
authors of all time. The Board of Directors of Narconon International
adopted this program because it is highly successful and has
proven itself over the years. Only those that are in favor of
a drug ridden society or those who are directly profiting from
the drug racket would oppose such a program.
look forward to the Narconon Chilocco New Life Center becomes
a bright spot in society bringing new life to those addicted
to drugs and it has been an honor to us to be able to work with
the Kaw, Otoe-Missouria, Pawnee, Ponca, Tonkawa, the Oklahoma
Indian Business Development Center and the Oklahoma Health Planning
invite you to call or visit our facility once we are underway
and as employment is available we will be notifying the local
papers. If you have questions about Narconon I would love to
hear from you. Please write: John S. Duff, President, Narconon
International, 3540 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 300 Los Angeles, CA.
John S. Duff
Editorial Comment By RWL - 11 May 1989
Pretty 'Clear' On That!
have this terrible urge to refer to the writer of the above
letter as "Duffy Duck", but we won't, simply because
we feel a certain sympathy for individuals so taken in by the
ruse of Scientology. Beyond that, personality is not at issue,
no more than is qualified and appropriate drug rehabilitation,
or freedom of religion.
is at issue is the long and spurious reputation of Scientology.
Documented in print since the imagination of the first "Thetan.".
articles," he calls them, without refuting their accuracy.
As old as Scientology itself. And as new, too. Scientology's
own magazine, The Auditor, in it's February 1989 edition further
confirms our opinion. "Trained Scientologists to staff
huge Oklahoma facility," brags the headline of one article.
And yet with straight face they tell us there is no connection.
Americans will tolerate practically anything one chooses to
believe in the name of religion, if they are convinced it is
a religion to begin with. Scientology is science fiction. Unlike
religion, it was science fiction at its conception, albeit good
enough science fiction that the naive amongst us began to believe
it was real science.
when the scientific community in mass began to debunk it did
it decide to become a "religion." And that, my friends,
is why it has been so poorly tolerated in spite of the legal
manipulations it has undertaken to make it look like religion.
It remains what it has always been. Science fiction. Accepting
the occasional abuse of religious freedom is still preferable
to limiting religious freedom.
is a successful business enterprise. It accepts people who are,
or think they are, in trouble. Often it even relieves them of
their real or perceived problems as it allows them to brainwash
themselves down the unending path of L Ron's "unique methods
is simply one of many methods Scientology uses to get their
"technology applied broadly in the society," as The
Auditor gently puts it. Hubbard said it more bluntly in a 1960
Communications Order to his followers: "It is a maxim that
unless you have bodies in the shop you get no income. So on
any pretext get the bodies in the place..." If the "shop"
can offer a service, like drug detox, along the way that will
be paid for by insurance or some other third party, then so
much the better.
have little doubt that the Narconon drug detoxification methods
work as well as any other dry-out clinic. We find it interesting
that L. Ron Hubbard claims patent to food, exercise, and vitamin
therapy. We'll concede sauna baths may be his own idea. And
we will give him full credit for the "counseling and training"
sessions that go along with it.
What is unique about Hubbard's methods is not that he feeds
his patients, or exercises them, or gives them vitamins. The
"unique" part is that his counseling and training
methods dissipate dependency on drugs while creating dependency
on Scientology. And maybe that's not all bad, if only they were
straight forward enough to admit it.
would be interesting to know how many Spanish Narconon patients
were Scientologists after their treatment. That would tell us
an awful lot more than cure rates. We suspect the number is
are some of our concerns about Narconon and Scientology. But
in a fashion true to their historical reputation and background,
they have failed to address them, and instead resort to calling
our citizens drug racketeers "in favor of a drug ridden
society..." for questioning their motives.
a duffy... I mean daffy world they want us to live in, we're
pretty "clear" on that.
Underway At Chilocco Indian School
- Renovations have begun on buildings at nearby Chilocco Indian
School, according to Simon Hogarth, a representative of the
Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) which owns
Narconon, the proposed drug rehabilitation center to be located
on the grounds.
press release issued Monday by Hogarth said that Narconon has
obtained a Certificate of Need from the Oklahoma State Planning
Commission to establish a 75-bed facility at Chilocco for drug
and alcohol abusers.
center is currently employing 25 people and now has one local
volunteer. Edna Fulton, the Executive Director, is from Los
Angeles, California. Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Culleeney recently arrived
with their two children from Glendale, California. Mr. Jim Davidson
is from Bristol, Virginia. The volunteer was not named.
local residents are employed on the renovation crew and five
local residents are working in the office and are beginning
on the job training, according to the release.
have been working closely with the Native American Leaders at
the Chilocco Development Authority," Miss Fulton said,
"and look forward to bringing back life to the Chilocco
to it's promoters, "The Narconon program, which has proven
successful throughout the world, utilizes the drug rehabilitation
technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard, philosopher, humanitarian
and one of the most acclaimed and widely read authors of all
release continues, "Narconon's program is a completely
drug-free method of helping abusers to kick the habit. It combines
a regimen of vitamins with the use of sauna and exercise, which
enables an individual to rid his body of toxic drug residues.
The program not only safely gets a person off drugs, but eliminates
the adverse effects of drugs that continue long after such substances
have been ingested."
release continues, "The Chilocco program will service people
from all over the United States who wish to free themselves
from the debilitating consequences of drug and alcohol abuse."
Fulton predicts the renovations will cost in excess of $1 million
and the program plans to provide more jobs for local residents.
Visitors are invited to tour the grounds during daylight hours,
seven days a week. Opening of the facility is now scheduled
for September, according to Hogarth.
Scientology Now Steps Right Up To Controversy
St. Petersburg Times
Reprinted 13 July 1989
FLA. Dec. 23, 1988 - After years of sparring with the townsfolk
and veiling itself in secrecy, the Church of Scientology has
succeeded in turning Clearwater into its spiritual mecca. Scientologists
quietly run teen nightclubs, schools, day-care centers, management
consulting firms and other businesses, records and interviews
the strategy of the organization, longtime observers say, is
to confront controversy, gain converts and make money - lots
of it. Scientology's Clearwater operation brings in $1.5-million
to $2-million a week, say church watchers who include Clearwater
police, former Scientology security chief Richard Azneran and
former Scientologist-turned-author Bent Corydon.
schedules show how the dollars add up: 12 1/2 hours of basic
Scientology counseling in Clearwater costs $8,000, not counting
meals and accommodations.
brochures boast that Clearwater has the "largest community
of Scientologists in the world," with more than 1,000 Scientologists
served by "several hundred" staff members. Authorities
cannot confirm those numbers, but the claim itself is a dramatic
change from the secretive Scientology of 1975, when the organization
used an assumed name - United Churches of Florida, Inc. - to
buy the Fort Harrison Hotel for $2.3-million in cash. Armed
guards ringed the downtown hotel, and for weeks the church would
not reveal its true identity.
stealthy move was followed by deep suspicion between the Scientologists
and community leaders. Church documents seized by the FBI later
would show that Scientologists tried to frame then-Mayor Gabe
Cazares with a hit-and-run accident, and Bette Orsini, a St.
Petersburg Times investigative reporter, was targeted as a Scientology
"enemy" and harassed.
some things have changed in 13 years - among them the way Scientology
presents itself. "It's obvious that there's some effort
to be less visible, in terms of either making attacks on people
or in terms of making more of a splash around here," said
Jim Sheeler, Clearwater's community development manager.
want to be part of the community," said C. David Carley,
Jr., chairman of the Citizens Bank of Clearwater, "And
you cannot blame them for that."
officials, most notably spokesman Richard Haworth, are frequent
guests on local radio shows and a prime=-time staple of Vision
Cable's community access channel. "They have a public relations
campaign to present themselves as the person you work with,
your friend, or the person next door," said Randy Kabrich,
programing director for Q105-FM, a station on which Haworth
has denounced Scientology's detractors. "And I am not aware
of any other religious group, cult or non-cult, that has gone
to that extent."
officials and their lawyers would not comment for this series
of articles. Asked again for comment (after last week's story
first appeared) chief Scientology counsel Earle C. Cooley of
Boston said, "The article that appeared... is the most
vicious and malicious perversion of the truth that I have seen
in 32 years."
it's hard to tell when the Scientologists are involved in an
event or promotion. Some visitors say they were invited to Clearwater
by innocuous-sounding groups that turned out to be promoting
Scientology principles or programs.
instance, leaders of American Indian tribes were brought to
the Fort Harrison in February (1988) by the Concerned Businessmen's
Association of America. Their invitations mentioned programs
for drug and alcohol abuse prevention, but said nothing about
Scientology, according to Indians who received them.
Concerned Businessmen's Association, based in Glendale, Calif.,
is a group of Scientologists.
thought it was going to be a group of concerned businessmen
who had money to help Indian tribes," said Raymond Reyes,
then executive director of the Coeur d'Alene tribe in Idaho
and now director of Indian education at Gonzaga University.
"I thought it was going to be a group of fundees who could
meet funding sources, Instead, it was all this L. Ron Hubbard
Concerned Businessmen's Association did not respond to repeated
calls and a letter from the St. Petersburg Times.
Rep. Floyd Flake, D-N.J., accepted a trip to attend a black
history and arts seminar at the Fort Harrison last year. He
said he thought the sponsoring group was called Celebration
of the Arts.
did not know it was Scientology," said Flake's press aide
Edwin Reed, who also attended. "We didn't really realize
that, but with L.Ron Hubbard's (pictures) all around, (we thought),
"What in the heck is this?""
and public relations
a question many Clearwater residents are still trying to answer,
despite Scientologists' attempts to fade into the mainstream.
Former mayor Cazares said, "Just the fact that they're
quiet doesn't mean that they're not active. The nature of the
beast has not changed."
residents "still believe that something is going on,"
said current Mayor Rita Garvey, "The general public is
still leery and would like to see them out of town, which of
course is not a reality, but the public's still concerned."
are Pinellas government officials. The City of Clearwater and
the church are in the midst of a five-year legal fight over
an ordinance that, if enforced, would require Scientology to
disclose extensive information about its finances. The church
says the law is unconstitutional.
there's Scientology's tax bill; with more than $21-million in
assessed property, the Church of Scientology is the biggest
property owner in downtown Clearwater. Since moving to Clearwater,
the organization has assembled 12 properties on nine parcels
of land. It hasn't paid property taxes since 1981, and its tax
bill to date stands at $2.84-million, said O. Sanford Jasper,
Pinellas tax collector.
Property Appraiser Ron Schultz argues that Scientology should
have to pay the taxes. To that end, County Attorney Susan Churuti
said in court documents that the church's Clearwater operation
is merely an "alter ego: of California-run Scientology
operations - which, according to a federal judge, helped enrich
the group's founder, L.Ron Hubbard. The Pinellas tax battle
may be settled in court in 1989, said Circuit Judge Howard P.
Rives. Several years ago, the church offered to pay its tax
bill in a display of public spirit - as long as the money was
considered a "gift" rather than a tax. But Schultz
said he was in office to assess taxes, not gifts. He declined
the offer, and insisted on calling taxes just that: taxes.
the church presses its tax case in the courts, it continues
to extend its influence in the community and court public opinion.
The church's own publications reinforce the theme of a community-minded
public relations strategy.
scientology magazine Impact recently recycled this message from
group founder Hubbard: Hit for the key sports by whatever means,
the head of the women's club, the personnel director of a company,
the leader of a good orchestra, the president's secretary, the
advisor of the trade union - any key spot. Make a good sound
living at it, drive a good car, but get your job done, handle
and better the people you meet and bring about a better earth."
hold key spots in a variety of ventures around Pinellas, and
several private businesses in Clearwater - Snow Software, Arlene's
Childcare and Making Magic, Inc., a distributor of velvet art,
among them - are run by church members, according to a Scientology
directory. These businesses' owners would not talk to a reporter,
saying their religion has no public relevance.
Clearwater enterprises, however, have stronger ties to the church:
True School, Jefferson Academy and Singer Consultants.
School, at 1831 Drew St., and Jefferson Academy, 1740 N. Highland
Ave., are private "Hubbard Method" schools that use
an approach developed by Scientology's founder.
Godfrey, one of two teachers at Jefferson, said that "Hubbard
educational technology deals only with education ... The school
has absolutely no connection with the Church of Scientology."
Godfrey and the other teacher, Sandy Mesmer, are listed as "participating
members of the Church of Scientology" in Who's Here?, a
directory of church members around Tampa Bay.
for True School, an advertisement in Who's Here? lists "child
auditing" among the school's programs. Auditing, a form
of counseling, is the basis of Scientology practice. True School
officials did not respond to a reporter's requests for an interview.
Consultants, 1001 S. Myrtle Ave., is a management consulting
firm catering to chiropractors. Like California-based Sterling
Management Consultants (dentists) and Uptrends of New Hampshire
(computer professionals), Singer is licensed by Scientology
to teach Hubbard "management technology." Marketing,
billing and staff development are emphasized and clients say
Scientology is touted as a self-improvement option.
managers did not return a reporter's calls, but last year said
they don't recruit for the church. However, a recent Singer
advertisement in a directory of Scientologists said that "more
people have been moved onto and up the Bridge" - a term
referring to fulfilling Scientology's goals - "by this
group than any other in history, and this is just the beginning."
McKay, once a Scientology public affairs official, serves on
the executive committee of the Pinellas County Republican Party
and represents a Clearwater voting precinct.
conducts herself admirably," said Edrie Kennedy, the GOP's
parliamentarian. "She is officious, she is not pushy, she
is a really good member." Ms. McKay did not respond to
several telephone messages from a reporter seeking her comment.
teen nightclubs Off Limits, in Clearwater and Brandon, are owned
and operated by a partnership of at least two Scientologists.
Off Limits serves no alcohol and "provides a safe place
for kids to have fun," said part owner LaVonna Applebaum.
licenses and state corporate records show that the partnership
that owns the clubs is named Tone 40 Limited. "Tone 40"
is a term distinctive to Scientology: it is the ultimate level
on Scientology's "tone scale" of existence, which
runs from 0.1, for dying, to 40, for "serenity of beingness,"
according to the Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary.
church has absolutely no connection with the business, just
as the Catholic Church has no connection with businesses owned
by members of that church," said Ray Cassano, listed on
state records as the sole director of Tone 40 Limited.
Stone, 18, is a former bouncer at the Clearwater club, 14100
U.S. 19 S. He said Ms. Applebaum used to tell employees, "Why
don't you all go to the classes with us? It's good for your
attitudes. It's good for your tempers."
Applebaum said, "Quite frankly, if I can find a way to
help somebody, I try to help - if they ask for it. If they did
not ask for help, I would not offer it."
said he did not seek that advice.