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GUEST,josepp BS: History of Scientology-by josepp (78* d) RE: BS: History of Scientology 14 Jul 12


David Miscavige stood before 10,000 cheering people at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on October 8, 1993. Miscavige is the current head of the Church of Scientology and the 10,000 were the faithful of the Org. The message he had to deliver announced the end of twenty-five years of war with the Internal Revenue Service: Scientology was now officially a religion and was now tax-exempt. The crowd erupted wildly.

Why did the IRS change their policy? The Org launched what amounted to another Operation Snow White. Using their vast network of private investigators and spies, they gathered intelligence on the IRS and its various agents and other employees, according to the New York Times. The Org basically uncovered some dirty laundry the IRS didn't want the public to see. The Org investigators also pursued disgruntled IRS employees and financed a whistle-blowers campaign. Having gathered their evidence and having their team of attorneys organize it into a solid case, the Church of Scientology began to file lawsuits against the IRS. They didn't care whether they might lose or not. They knew they would never see the inside of a courtroom. The IRS simply did not want their dirty laundry exposed in a long, bitter trial and the Church of Scientology's lawyers knew it.

In 1991, Miscavige walked into the IRS headquarters without an appointment and barged in on the IRS commissioner, Fred T. Goldberg. This was unheard of and yet Goldberg met with Miscavige instead of having him thrown out. Miscavige offered to withdraw the more than fifty suits pending in exchange for tax-exemptions. Goldberg caved in and formed a committee that eventually ruled that all of Scientology's entities would be tax-exempt. The IRS issued thirty letters of exemption to some 150 churches, missions and corporations. Tax auditors were ordered to lay off the outstanding issues between the Org and the IRS. Furthermore, the IRS refused to release information on whether the Church of Scientology should still pay back taxes even though they always publicly disclose such information against religious organizations. That could only mean that the Org would also pay no back taxes. In January of 1992, Goldberg left the IRS but still refuses to comment on what he and Miscavige had discussed at a meeting so impromptu that Goldberg did not even have it written on his appointment calendar.

Nor has the Church of Scientology mellowed out in the years since Hubbard's death. If anything, it has grown more dictatorial and draconian. Hubbard seems almost to be reaching out from beyond the grave, unwilling to let his ever-degenerating presence fade. In the aforementioned town of Clearwater, Florida, the Church of Scientology began setting up under the name of United Churches of Florida in 1975. They began buying up buildings in the downtown area including the Fort Harrison Hotel, considered a landmark. They also bought the old bank building. Some of the documents seized by the federal raid in 1977 were the Org's own internal memos. Among them were various plans to destroy Gabe Cazares, who was mayor of Clearwater at the time. Other memos urged the taking over of workplaces as well as civic and community organizations. They have set up cameras all over the town. No one who comes into Clearwater could possibly avoid being photographed. Every car and its license plate is photographed. The license number is run through their computers. Those who arouse suspicion are followed, often times very openly. The Clearwater Scientologists have a very large staff of security and private detectives. The regular police on the street are chummy with the Scientology security police and do not interfere with them.

Many businesses are now owned or run by Scientologists and they can and do refuse service to people whom they have deemed enemies. Critics of Scientology in Clearwater report that buying gas, eating at a restaurant, shopping at a drugstore and the like are getting increasingly harder to do because they are being refused service. Complaining to the police even with videotapes to prove the allegations are met with lip service and not much more. The city council is squarely on the side of the Scientologists and are now, in fact, dependent on them.

When critics attempted to picket places that had refused them service, they were arrested and a judge, Thomas Penick, told the critics where they may and may not picket. Those critics who even appeared in certain areas without picket signs were still arrested. Penick also issued an injunction that states that Scientologists and their critics must stay away from one another but this works against the critics because there is almost nowhere downtown where they can go or they will be in violation of the injunction and be arrested.

The people of Clearwater will not speak out against the cult. They are clearly afraid. The cult has a well-known reputation for how they handle critics and defectors. On December 5, 1995, Lisa McPherson, 36, had spent eighteen days in the care of Scientologists. She had obviously been tortured. She had bruises and welts, was flea-bitten and dehydrated. On the brink of death, the Scientologists took her to a New Port Richey physician some forty-five minutes away—he too was a Scientologist. McPherson was dead on arrival. They were charged only with abusing a disabled person and practicing medicine without a license. Eventually, these charges too were dropped. No one has been tried for the death of Lisa McPherson, whose case is now closed.

The cult now owns about 39 parcels of Clearwater land valued at about $43 million. They own a huge amount of property worldwide but Clearwater has become their chosen headquarters.

The Church of Scientology is now working on erecting what will be the tallest structure in downtown Clearwater: a huge Scientology cross.

In 2000, Gabe Cazares stated, "This twenty-fifth year of the presence of Scientologists in Clearwater can be celebrated as the year the occupation was completed. I don't exaggerate when I say that this is an occupation."

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