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Shop Owner's Scientology Sign Leads to Business Coalition

The response to a sign put up by Travis Wilkinson, owner of Berry Beautiful Salon, incited him to form a business coalition providing similar signs to members.

Travis Wilkinson's first sign is just a warm up.

Wilkinson, a Southern Baptist, said it's "hurtful" that people think he's a Scientologist and that customers often think his business is associated with the church simply because it's located downtown.

He is the owner of Berry Beautiful Salon and Spa, and he placed a sign in front of his business stating “Notice: this is one of the only spas in downtown Clearwater not owned by a Scientologist" in September.

Because of the support he has seen from the community since putting the sign up he is creating the Clearwater Small Business Coalition, which will offer members similar signs to place in front of their businesses.

He doesn’t see anything wrong with the signs that read: “Notice: This Business is Not Owned by A Scientologist.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing discriminatory about that,” Wilkinson said. “It’s simply a statement of fact.”

He said there are about 15 businesses interested in joining him. But they are waiting for at least another 15 members before they put the signs out, Wilkinson said.

“All those signs would go up on the same day,” Wilkinson said. “It would have to be a unified effort because people are afraid.”

Related coverage:

Shop Owner Sign Makes Clear He is Not Scientologist

What Clearwater's Saying: Scientology Sign at Local Business

imominous October 14, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Scientologists are delusional and cannot evaluate data. Putting up a sign that says "Not owned by Scientologist" is NOT the same thing as "Anonymous Not Welcome." So once again, we have a cult member whining about something her own "church" does. As Hubbard said, "The criminal always accuses others of his crimes." From watching Scientologists over the years, he was correct in this instance. Alma dear, "Not owned by cult member" is NOT the same thing as "cult members not welcome." So quit your bawwing, you're only looking delusional and foolish.
DeElizabethan October 14, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Duh? Duh!
Tony Schiano October 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Lived in Clearwater 20 years, Scientology everywhere. As long as they don't bother me......I won't bother them. Businesses are businesses all should welcome PAYING customers. If posting a sign brings more business GREAT!
imominous October 15, 2012 at 12:07 AM
But Tony, they DO "bother you," every time they talk some idiot politician into spending money that would be better used elsewhere. Like downtown, all pimped up on your dime, benefits nobody but the cult. Does that not bother you?
Sandy October 15, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Tony...what bothers me is this. I am a friendly person; I was raised to "live and let live...each individual is on his/her own journey". I love downtown Clearwater; I love walking to wherever I want to go, whether it's to the library, a restaurant, or to a park to enjoy the day. What I don't like...and what I find extremely annoying...is people barging in front of me without regard to where I'm walking and not having the DECENCY to say, "Excuse me" or showing they were sorry for their rude behavior. When driving, I think it's really ignorant of these people to simply step off a curb in front of me, expecting me to stop...like it's their Xenu-given right to have others bow to them because they are so "enlightened" and the rest of us are lowly peons who haven't a clue what's really going on in this world. I watch this happen time and again, even when I'm not driving. I believe Florida's law states that drivers will yield and stop for pedestrians in legitimate crosswalks. It doesn't not state one must yield to illegal jaywalkers who have their heads in the clouds. At imominous...I appreciate your dialog; but I must interject that one of the reasons we purchased a home in Clearwater was because Cleveland Street has been spruced up. The politicians need to get on the slumlords who do nothing to improve the buildings they own, like those in the 600 block of Cleveland Street. If the guy can't afford to improve them, he needs to sell them to someone who can and will.
Sandy October 15, 2012 at 04:51 PM
PS - Tony, I am obviously referring to the rude Scientologists that have no regard for anyone except themselves.
Jason Bartolone October 15, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments and strong opinions. Has everyone seen Jack Mortimer's blog post about downtown revitalization? http://clearwater.patch.com/blog_posts/downtown-on-the-rise You're all welcome to weigh in with your own blog - we want to hear your thoughts! http://clearwater.patch.com/blog/apply
karen October 17, 2012 at 02:01 PM
As a tax paying resident of Clearwater I object to more public funds going into downtown. It is pretty enough now. If it can't fill those empty stores now, there's something else the matter. Scientology may be at least part of the problem, but it may even be more than that. Instead lets look at where the potential lies. Drew street is getting pretty run down, but there are people living near it, and if it were a more interesting place to shop and dine, it could be easily accessed by people living in other areas of the county, north and south. Keene Rd makes it accessible. Also, once people started coming that far they might even venture to downtown. There are already some little. Restaurants and food shops that cater to Mexican and other cultures. Wouldn't it be interesting to see an area in Pinellas county that had a multicultural flavor, sort of like tarpon Springs but with more cultures represented. You could dine at little outdoor restaurants, visit outdoor markets, buy specialty items, etc. the City seems locked into an outdated vision. Why not think creatively? Instead of trying to make something work that hasn't, look at what is ready for improvement before we lose that, too.
Alma Winterworth October 17, 2012 at 06:28 PM
And before the Scientologists came, Cleveland Street looked like one of those desolate streets in a Clint Eastwood movie! Their church-members, crew--and also the taxes they pay on all the non-religious purchases and properties do help enrich the area. Some haters don't want to admit it, but history and the numbers make the case.
Sandy October 17, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Alma, I remember what Cleveland Street was like 10 years ago, before the new bridge re-directed all the traffic off of it - there were always non-"church" people walking around, especially on the weekends. None of this has anything to do with the fact that members of the "church" walk around downtown like zombies, are rude and inconsiderate, don't make eye contact with peons who aren't "enlightened" according to their way of thinking, and walk out into the back streets of downtown Clearwater without looking for traffic at all times of the day - especially when a herd of them is disembarking from a bus - as tho' it is their right to do so. As far as I know, jaywalking is still against the law. Traffic only has to stop for those in legitimate crosswalks. If anyone hates anyone, it's the Scientologists who hate anyone not connected to their "religion". If they believed in freedom, they wouldn't be so paranoid as to have over 100 cameras hidden all over the place.
DeElizabethan October 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Alma Winterworth: Are you giving credit to the scio's for our current downtown renovations? Hardly! Look at Miami Beach, Ft Lauderdale, Dunedin ad most other cities looked like 30 years ago. Cities do evolve with time. Clearwater evolved in spite of the scios and it is doing poorly because of them. Clearwater residents are to be commended but the officials need more backbone in speeding it up a bit.
Travis Wilkinson October 18, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I just finished another interview with CBS channel 10. It will air tonight at 6pm.
Anonymous October 18, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Mr. Wilkinson, You are indeed a bigot! Religion does not deter customers for your day spa. It is the business that you offer with your racist ways,discriminating against others.
DeElizabethan October 18, 2012 at 05:49 PM
By your statement it's very obvious that you don't understand the issue at all. OR that you are a bigot and racist discriminating against others. Most likely since you use the anonymous name, you are a troll by your chosen words.
Sandy October 18, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I totally agree with DeElizabethan. Anonymous is the only bigot here.
Travis Wilkinson October 19, 2012 at 12:18 AM
http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/278745/250/Business-owner-seeks-other-non-scientology-businesses I figured the press would spin this thing at some point and they finally did. This aired tonight on the local CBS station. The reporter twisted the interview and the president of the chamber met with me after his interview (I didn't know at the time what he had said) and had a completely different attitude with me. I thought I had met two faced people in my time, but this guy really takes the cake, I guess I won't be joining the Clearwater Chamber.
DeElizabethan October 23, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Knowing the organization and how they operate, I'm sure it is absolutely true. I will look forward to the progress of this story. This is a something that needs to be open to the public, to the government of Clearwater as well as the world where their underhanded tactics prevail.
Local October 23, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I'm confused. Does the Anonymous poster think Scientology is a race now? Silly Scientologists.
Sandy October 23, 2012 at 03:34 PM
So why was the guy from the Chamber of Commerce so nervous? Guess he got his marching orders from the "church".
imominous October 23, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Any community with Scientologists can expect them to infest Toastmasters, fraternal organizations, COC, etc. This shouldn't surprise you. It's what they do.
DeElizabethan October 24, 2012 at 04:21 PM
A little education on how a group or a person gets these awards would be helpful to you. They are very easy. Basically ask and it's given. Cof$ knows this and how to ask. They could never be proved and are strictly PR which people are blinded by. Yes the lower levels can provide some gain, but that gain can be found elsewhere also. If and when one learns the dangers and lies of the cult, by honestly looking, then one should stop contributing to it further. The trouble is one gets hooked on a few gains and it blinds them to all the evils perpetrated by the so called church.
imominous October 24, 2012 at 06:22 PM
You're right; more than one city mayor has admitted to rubber-stamping requests like "L. Ron Hubbard Day" that come across their desks. This is proof that L. Ron Hubbard is not as famous as Hitler, who would never get a day named after him. However, a few years ago, a Sci-friendly city councilman from National City in Socal put in for a L. Ron Hubbard Day, and it was voted down! In the Scientology gradient, all the useful stuff IS at the lower levels and at cheaper prices. Any ex-Scientologist who is being honest admits that they benefited from the lower levels and that's what kept them going up the bridge. Over 2000 of them are out and speaking out. It amazes me that they've treated people like cash cows and possessions for fifty years and never expected reprisal. It's like, if you're a dick to twenty people, chances are a few of them will bop you in the nose. And Scientology has been a dick to thousands of people...would not want DM's job these days!
Sandy October 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I got a notice that this was posted on this dialog. I can't find it anywhere.... steve szmidt also commented on Shop Owner's Scientology Sign Leads to Business Coalition. "What does not add up to the above comments are all the recognitions Mr Hubbard have and are receiving every year, world wide. More keys to cities, more humanitarian awards, more recognitions for crime reduction, etc., than any other person in history. I've seen my daughter go from a shy person who had problem saying thank you, to a high spirited and outgoing person who loves to help others. And yes, I'm a proud Scientologist myself. Steve" My response: This certainly says NOTHING about your parentling skills, STEVE. Or should I say, your lack of parenting skills. My children were raised in the Episcopal Church (a REAL church) by two parents who have been happily married for 35 years now...and counting. Although they have a sound foundation in the EPISCOPAL CHURCH, my husband and I never depended on ANY church's dogma to give them the confidence or ethics they need to be good, happy confident adults. We depended solely on the love we have for each other and our belief in the one TRUE God, not some made-up alien god that a failing L. Ron Hubbard came up with out of his deluded mind. May I remind you that L. Ron Hubbard is DEAD?
Sandy October 24, 2012 at 11:24 PM
PS. - Steve Szmidt...may I suggest you take a course or two in English at the local community college? Lord knows you need at least one remedial course.
imominous October 25, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Ron is Gone, but the Con Lives On...
BULLET November 04, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Today I noticed that on the new pillar that I think Clearwater built at the corner of Gulf to Bay blvd and Court st....... The East Gateway district the gateway to downtown .....Looks like a SCIENTOLOGIST symbol was placed on it..Like a dog pissing marking its territory >>>East Gateway... Gateway to Scientology
DeElizabethan November 04, 2012 at 08:12 PM
That is sooooo funny, now I will just have to take a look at it. I'll be back! Hope others give their view.
BULLET November 04, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Whats next ? A wall around this town and armed Sea Org?????
Sandy November 04, 2012 at 08:26 PM
@ Alma...where does it say anywhere that Scientologists are not welcomed at Berry Beautiful Spa & Salon? The owner simply put a sign out telling everyone the business is NOT owned by a Scientologist. If anything, someone trying to get out of the clutches of the "church" of Scientology should RUN to Travis to ask for help in getting away from them. Go back to drinking your Kool-Aid....good girl...Xenu is watching over you.
BULLET November 04, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Should have taken a picture Its Gone ????

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