Wednesday, January 23, 2013
A federal lawsuit filed in Tampa on Wednesday by a California couple alleges fraud after they say they gave $320,000 toward the construction of the "Super Power" building that has yet to be completed.
Wednesday, January 23
Editor's note: This story was updated at 2:50 p.m. to include comment from the Church of Scientology. A federal lawsuit alleges the Church of Scientology misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from a California couple that were intended to construct a new building in Clearwater, TBO.com reports. The suit, filed by Luis A. Garcia Saz and his wife, Maria Del Rocio Burgos Garcia, at Tampa's federal courthouse Wednesday, claims the couple gave $320,000 to the church toward the construction of its "Super Power" building that remains incomplete more than 14 years after a groundbreaking ceremony. The suit alleges less than half of the total $200 million in contributions for the downtown building have been spent on construction, …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
At this time of year, people ask how Scientologists observe the holiday season. To answer that question, the Church of Scientology International provided the following.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Pat Harney, spokeswoman with the church, writes about the next phase of a 25-year campaign to combat drug abuse.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Recently filed court papers allege the Church of Scientology spent up to $30 million on perks to influence judges and attorneys in the wake of church member Lisa McPherson's death in 1995.
A former Church of Scientology official claims the organization spent up to $30 million to cover up the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson in Clearwater, according to an ABC Action News reports. The Tampa attorney who represented McPherson's family after she died, told the news station he has sworn statements from Scientology's former No. 2 in charge, Marty Rathbun, alleging that the church spent lavishly on perks to try to influence judges and attorneys in the McPherson case. Attorney Ken Dandar is now being sued by the Church of Scientology, which says Dandar failed to adhere to a settlement agreement from the McPherson wrongful death suit that said he would never again represent someone suing Scientology, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The …
Thursday, October 11, 2012
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 …
Monday, September 17, 2012
Travis Wilkinson, owner of Berry Beautiful Salon and Spa, is putting a sign up in front of his business to let the public know he is not a member of the Church of Scientology.
CLEARWATER, FL -- A local business owner wants to make clear first he is a devoted Southern Baptist. Too many people come into Travis Wilkinson's business, Berry Beautiful Salon and Spa, assuming he is a member of the Church of Scientology because of the shop's proximity to downtown Clearwater. “And as a devoted Southern Baptist, for people to think I’m a Scientologist is very hurtful to me personally,” Wilkinson said. He wants people to know not every business downtown is owned by the church or one of its members, so he is getting the finishing touches made on a directional sign to place out front of his salon saying just that. “Notice: this is one of the only spas in downtown Clearwater not owned by a Scientologist” is emblazoned in red …
Friday, October 7, 2011
The church ended a five-year struggle with the City of Clearwater Thursday, a day before the city would have begun a collections process to obtain the sum of the fines.
In what may have been the largest monetary city code violation in Clearwater's history, the Church of Scientology paid a six-figure sum of money Thursday to end a five-year battle with the city over code violations in a downtown building. Thursday, the Church of Scientology paid the city $413,500 that had built up over code violation's at the church's Flag Building, 215 S. Fort Harrison Ave., which takes up an entire city block. $Had the church waited another day, the fines would have been over $450,000 and the city would have begun a collections process to obtain the fines. The genesis of the fines began when, during construction of the building, the church began building up $250 in fines daily as the city code enforcement believed the …
Thursday, August 25, 2011
The city's Code Enforcement Board fined the Church of Scientology $413,500 for an expired permit for the construction of the Flag Building. Church officials said they are looking at their next options, which could include appealing the fine in court.
Playing a “shell game” with the city could cost the Church of Scientology more than $400,000. The city’s code enforcement Board reduced a $451,500 fine for expired permits to $413,500 during its meeting Wednesday. However, that was a large difference from the $45,250 an attorney for the Church offered. Now, church officials said they are looking at their next options, which could include appealing the fine in circuit court. Pat Harney, spokeswoman for the church, did not say what exactly the next step will be though. She did say the final touches to the interior are being completed on the seven story mecca building. “I’ll leave that up to the legal guys,” she said. “Our argument is that we were in functional compliance in 2007,” Harney …