Scientology in Clearwater


  • Do you know what the Church of Scientology’s goals for Clearwater REALLY are?
  • Do you know the effect the Church of Scientology has on your local community?
  • Do you know how much money the Church of Scientology is NOT paying towards property taxes? This burden is being carried by the other property owners in Pinellas County.
  • Do you know that the scientology businesses in downtown Clearwater are trying to push out anyone who doesn’t agree with their way of thinking? Click here to contribute to “Project: Identify Scientology businesses in downtown Clearwater”.

Scientology Plans in Clearwater

Do you know what the Church of Scientology’s goals for Clearwater REALLY are?

They plan to take over the town. They want to make Clearwater into Scientology’s first ALL-SCIENTOLOGY town. Oh, they’ll tell you they like other businesses their, too. But that’s because they don’t yet have a member of Scientology running one of those types of businesses… yet. Also, they don’t mind YOU coming into town and spending your money. That means more money for Scientology.

There are numerous news articles published quoting Scientology spokespeople about their plans for Clearwater. Here are some.


  • Scientology’s Town. July 18, 2004. “As Scientologists launch unprecedented expansion, downtown Clearwater’s identity is at stake. ” “Scientologists now own more than 200 shops, restaurants, service outlets and small businesses in and around Clearwater’s downtown. Many employ fellow Scientologists.” “The church owns 21 buildings and about a dozen vacant lots in Clearwater, a portfolio valued for tax purposes at $46-million.” “City Council members are in a bind. They want to save a downtown that has circled the drain for decades. But voters have thwarted them in recent years and, perhaps unknowingly, made it easier for Scientologists to press forward.”
  • New school to use ideas of Scientology founder September 9, 1998. The opening of a Scientology school for children. “Chipman downplayed the school’s ties to the Church of Scientology, which has its spiritual headquarters in Clearwater. She said some students come from non-Scientology families. ‘I don’t pay attention to that,’ she said. ‘We don’t ask’ families about their church affiliations.”
  • Four key Clearwater Scientologists 2004. Ben Shaw, Bennetta Slaughter, Mary Story, Elias Jafif.
  • BBC News, John Sweeney followed and spied on in Clearwater by Scientology 14 May 2007 “After a long day with Mike and Donna we went back to our hotel [in Clearwater] at midnight, only to find [Scientology spokesman] Tommy Davis waiting in the lobby with his own black-clad Scientology cameraman. He harangued me for talking to the heretics. I told him that Scientology had been spying on the BBC and that was creepy.”
  • One Clearwater resident’s experience of Scientology in Clearwater. 27 May, 2007
  • Clearwater Florida: The Mecca of Scientology September 24, 2007 “But mostly, folks in this Gulf Coast city have come to accept that Clearwater is to Scientologists what Salt Lake City is to Mormons, what Mecca is to Muslims.” “By church tallies, around 12,000 Scientologists now live and work in and around Clearwater, a city of 110,000 residents. Scientologists now sit on the boards of civic groups. They own businesses downtown.”
  • Rolling Stone: Inside Scientology “There are buses — a fleet of gleaming white and blue ones that slowly crawl through town, stopping at regular intervals to discharge a small army of tightly organized, young, almost exclusively white men and women, all clad in uniform preppy attire: khaki, black or navy-blue trousers and crisp white, blue or yellow dress shirts.”
  • How scientology-watchers are treated September 17, 2006. “Lonsdale said he is making a ‘pseudo documentary’ about Scientology and its effect on downtown Clearwater for a local cable access show.” “A Scientologist was charged recently with assaulting him.” “That’s what brought Lonsdale to a City Council meeting, where he ended up in a fight with a Scientologist over redevelopment issues. The Scientologist followed his car home.”


Church of Scientology properties in Pinellas County Florida

The Church of Scientology tries to throw people off by telling them that they are the highest payers of property tax in Clearwater. That might be true enough, because they (as a group of corporations) own more of the larger and more valuable properties than any other single person or corporate entity. What they are not telling anyone is the amount of taxes they are not paying into the county and city tax coffers because of some tax-exempt statuses. The amount of property taxes NOT collected from these buildings, because of WHO owns them, has to be made up by all the other property tax payers in the county.

As of 6/01/2008, the Church of Scientology owns 78 parcels in Pinellas County valued at $88 million (by the County Property Appraiser). They only pay 48% of the $1.8 million in annual property taxes due to various exemptions.

As of 5/11/2008, the Church of Scientology owns 76 parcels in Pinellas County.

Anyone can check the public records at any point in time by going to the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s Office website and checking for owners by name, checking for anything that begins with “Church of Scientology”.