The Super Power(s) Webpage

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Building plans move forward
St. Petersburg Times
Saturday October 28, 1995
By Thomas C. Tobin

CLEARWATER - A long-delayed construction project that would dramatically change the downtown landscape is back on schedule, according to a city memo.

Construction of the Church of Scientology's Super Power building is expected to begin in late spring, said the memo from Scott Shuford, the city's top planning official. Shuford said he and another planner recently met with Scientology officials.

The organization announced the building in 1991 as part of a $38-million renovation and construction program in Clearwater. The last construction start was planned for March 1994, but Scientology decided to complete some of the renovation projects first.

The building would rise along the east side of N Fort Harrison Avenue, directly across the street from the Fort Harrison Hotel, Scientology's signature building in Clearwater.

As originally envisioned, it was to be a six-story domed structure with 175 rooms for Scientology "auditing" sessions, 19 larger classrooms, a Scientology bookstore and a 2,500-seat auditorium.

However, Shuford's memo alludes to some changes, as well as some new hurdles, for the project.

He said the building would be three stories, not six. It also would have a parking garage, a new feature apparently inspired by the city's decision last year to require more parking spaces for new downtown projects.

That requirement brought bitter attacks from Scientology officials, who accused the City Commission of trying to impede the Super Power project. City officials denied that, saying the parking requirements also applied to other entities, including several other downtown churches.

Shuford said in the memo that Scientology also might have to submit to an expensive and time-consuming state review of the project, as well as scrutiny from the city's Design Review Board.

He said Scientology officials "indicated that they will begin looking into these issues immediately."

Neither Shuford nor Scientology spokesman Brian Anderson could be reached Friday for comment.

Despite indications the building could be shorter than originally planned, it still promises to be an imposing new presence in downtown.

The main part of the building would contain 170,000 square feet of floor space. That is more square footage than the city's new police station and municipal building combined. Both buildings are under construction one block east of the Super Power site.

It is also more space than any other commercial office building in downtown Clearwater. And those comparisons do not include the auditorium, which would be an additional 80,000 square feet, according to Shuford's memo.

It was not clear whether the changes in the project would affect the cost, which in the past has been estimated at $24-million. Scientology also has said in the past that the new building would bring an additional 300 staff members to Clearwater.

The building will be designed for a series of training courses dubbed "Super Power" by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Clearwater, the spiritual headquarters of Scientology, would be the only place in the world where that course was offered.

According to Scientology literature, Super Power courses enable a participant to "predict and build the future" and think better. It also "restores his power of choice."

The auditorium, Scientology officials have said, would have theater-style seating, high-tech sound and a Broadway-style stage. The organization has said it would use the auditorium 10-12 weeks a year and offer it for public events the rest of the time.

Posting information:
From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Big Suprise
Date: 31 Oct 1995 14:48:28 +0100

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Circa Dec 1995
SCIENTOLOGISTS CALL FOR BUILDERS

The church asks its members worldwide to help construct its Super Power building. Some could work for as little as "sheer pleasure."

by PETER WALLSTEN
Times Staff Writer

CLEARWATER- THe Church of Scientology is aksing its members worldwide to come to Clearwater and help build its massive, domed Super Power bulding downtown.

In a survey sent out this week, the church seeks "professional Scientologists" to create sculptures, carry out engineering work, and even supervise aspects of the project, expected to begin in the spring.

"We are also looking for professionals who know how to put a building together and to manage the personnel who will construct the building," the pamphlet says. "In fact, we are looking for anybody who ahs been involved or is involved in the design, planning, and construction of buildings."

The new facility will be designed for a series of courses dubbed "Super Power" by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Clearwater, the international spiritual headquarters for the church, would be the obnly place in the world where the ocurses would be offered. They are not available now.

According to Scientology literature, Super Power courses enable a participant to "predict and build the future" and think better. The courses also "restore the power of choice."

"It's a form of pastoral counseling which increases a person's abililty to be positive in life and succvessful as botha n individual and in their work area," said Scientology spokesman Brian Anderson.

The Super Power project is planned for the site across S Fort Harrison Avenue from the Fort Harrison Hotel, Scientology's signature building in Clearwater. At 170,000 square feet, it would be the alrgest commercial office building downtown.

City memos in October said the 3-story building would include rooms for Scientology "auditing" sessions, classrooms,a nd a Scientology bookstore. In additions, the Super Power complex would house an auditorium on the top floor of the building.

Past estimates have said it will cost $24-million. After the church announced its plans for the building in 1991, mailings to members solicited donations.

This week, the Los Angeles-based church sent out several thousand surveys to members around the world, but concentrated them mostly in the United States, Anderson said in a written response to questions from the _Times_.
"There are over 8 million Scientologists around the world, and many have professional backgrounds," Anderson wrote. "We have expansion projects going on in nearly every area where we are located, and professionals or craftsmen within our own membership often come forward to assist in those projects."

This would not be the first time Sciewntologists have helped with a construction project in Clearwater. Some church staff emmbers worked on the renovation of the old Bank of Clearwater building.

Anderson said soliciting help for construction projects is ocmmon practice, but that most workers are not Scientologists and that "in Clearwater the large bulk of the work is done by local craftsmen and tradesmen."

A city building official said the church could employ anybody it wanted, but that state and county regulations require a licensed contractor be in charge.

"We need to make sure everything is done according to code and the contractor who ahs the permit is ultimately responsible, as are the builders," said Kevin Garriott, supervisor of central permitting for the city.

The pamphlet says church staffers, known as the Sea Organization, or "Sea Org," would "be spearheading the design, planning, and construction with the assistance of a professional firm of architects and engineers. (Scientologists) all over the planet may qulaify to help in one way or another. By filling out this survey, we will know if you qualify."

The survey asks respondents to list their skills, describe how they could help and estimate how much time they could spend working.

It also asks, "What exchange do you consider that you would need?" and provides several choices, including working for the "sheer pleaure of helping to get this building built," "training awards," rooma nd board or a weekly wage.

The survey asks and answers a series of questions, such as "Who WIll Benefit From This? The answer: Every man, woman and child on planet Earth because it will put planetary clearing right within our grasp."

Plans for the building have undergone a series of changes and dleays since it was first announced in March, 1991. It was originally slated to be a six-story building.

"To add to the aesthetics of the facility," Anderson wrote in his response to the _Times,_ "there will be an active and beautiful water fountain outside that will be designed in such a way as to convey the concept of 'clear water.'"

--Information from Times files was used in this report.
----------------------------------------------------
(Note by archiver. It is evident this article was typed in by hand, all typos were left in place)

From: "M. Council" council@luna.cas.usf.edu Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Front page news Date: Tue, 26 Dec 1995 15:22:43 -0500

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Circa Dec 2000:
The names of the 1 Million dollar 'Legion of Honor' contributors for the $uper power building construction site was just released in the new 'cornerstone newsletter' from Flag.
I'll list the names below, but I think it would be interesting to get some biographical/feedback from this NG as to who these people are, in and around scientology and what they do in life to allow them to just fork over 1 million of their own money for a $cientology 'cause'.

The top spot of fleeced '1 million' dollar contributors has to go to the entire *Feshbach* family;
Joe and Cindy Feshbach-----------------------1 million dollar
Kannon and Kurt Feshbach---------------------1 million dollar
Kathy Feshbach-------------------------------1 million dollar
Mathew Feshbach------------------------------1 million dollar

OTHERS;

Elizabeth and Michael Baybak-----------------1 million
Trish Duggan---------------------------------1 million
Bob Duggan-----------------------------------1 million
Meir Ezra------------------------------------1 million
Aviva and Gal Ezra---------------------------1 million
Sally, Craig, Laurel and Marissa Jensen------1 million
Mirielle and Ron Pollack---------------------1 million

500,000 dollar contributors:

Dr. Lloyd Austin - Rosa Prieto & Jose Serrano Barrera
Marilena & Franco Baggio - Ruth and Bill Bowen
Phil Carlson - Laurie and Douglas Dohring
Linda, Miles and Michael Drazkowski -
Ingrid and Chet Eccles & family
Sikica & Jeff Feldman - Emma Garces
Claire Guignon - Kezbom, Turbin, Marsh & Novitsky
Jenny and Kurt Listug - Sandra & Eric Mitchell
Phyllis Mueller - Adriana Salamerenda
Felicidad Serrano and German Perez - Reed Slatkin
Barbara and Rolf Springer - Jim Tomlinson
Dr. JoAnn & Dr. Randy Yamada -
June Zwan - Dr. Bryan Zwan

From: "Zorrosblade.......Z" zorrosblade@earthlink.net
Subject: 1 MILLION dollar $uper Power Contributors
Date: 26 Dec 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology

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(new article)
And this about donations collected:

The following is from an undated scieno publication, apparently issued annually, called 'The Cornerstone'. It says 'Ninth Edition'. The copyrights are 1996.

"Super Power unleashes the Super Power of a thetan and with its release a new civilization will be realized here on earth"
....

"As announced by Senor CS International at the 1995 Maiden Voyage Anniversary, Super Power will be released broadly to the public when the new FSO delivery building has been completed, and those persons who contribute to getting it built will be first in line to receive Super Power once it is released."
....

"[the project] is a tax-exempt organization . . . Your donations in excess of the value of tangible benefits received [i.e. the pens, mugs and other memorabilia] is considered a charitable contribution, deductable to the fullest extent . . ."

[In order to become part of the "Cornerstone Club" you must contribute at least 35,000 US Dollars. ]

"Cornerstone Club Member Honor Roll"
"LEGION OF HONOR" [ Unspecified amount of donation. My guess is 500,000+ US$]
Trish & Robert Duggan
Kathy Feshbach
Kurt Feshbach
Matthew Feshbach

"FOUNDING MEMBER" [Unspecified amount of donation, My guess 250,000 - 500,000+ US$]
Rosa Prieto &
Jose Serrano Barrera
Ruth & Bill Bowan
Laurie & Douglas Dohring
Michael Drazkowski
Cindy & Joseph Feshbach
Claire & Bob Guignon
Sally & Craig Jensen
Aviva, Gal & Meir Ezra
Ariana Saltamerenda
Felicitas Serrano &
Jose A. Vargas
Barbara Springer
June & Dr. Bryan Zwan

"KEY CONTRIBUTOR" [ 100,000+ US$ ]
Stan Albro
Peter Alexander
Dr Lloyd Austin
Mr & Mrs Urs Baumann
Franco Baggio
Alessandro Baggio
Marilena Baggio
John Beach
Betsy Belden
Gerhard Bonhage
Char Byrnes
Dr Guy Callahan
Kim Bright-Cassano & Ray Cassano
Rober Cefail
Dan W. Charpentier
Peter Cross
Mr. & Mrs John Coale
Sandi Codding
Irene & Jack Dirmann
Paul Dolan
Chet Eccles
Sikica & Jeff Feldman
Ewald fink
Ronit & Yariv Gilboa
Mary Gordan-Stairs
Edeltraut Groz
Manuela Gubig
Hedwig Gubig
Gerhard Haag
Steve Heard
Jeanette & Benjamin Holenstein
Peter Jackson
Dr Kamini Baxter-Kapoor
& Dr Steve Baxter
L. D. Services, Inc
Jeanie & Bernardo Lan
Margaret & Dr Lawrence Leong
Susan & Dr Robert McCarty
Magda Morra
Dr & Mrs Robert Neuwirth
Mark Nickels
Vicki Felix-Norton & Jim Norton
Willie Nuesch
Mireille, Nathan & Ron Pollack
Jennifer Potter
Cotty Rendon
Donna & Robbie Robinson
Mr & Mrs Oscar Saldriaga
Gary Scarborough
Indira & Jitan Shah
Tim Shipman
Diana Venegas-Singer & Dr David Singer
Reed Slatkin
Dr Neal Springer
Rolf Springer
Jason Sund
Dr Roberta Tibbles &
Floyd Gardner
Pat Towne
Larry Trainor
Juan Villareal
Michael Wilson
Dr Joann Yamada
Dr Randy Yamada

"CORNERSTONE CLUB MEMBER" [35,000+ US$ ]

250 names that I'm not typing in!

If the scienos are not lying, there seem to be about 16-20 million dollars of donations represented by these names.

From: smokesig@ix.netcom.com (Neal Hamel)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: scieno big money donors: 'Cornerstone Club Member Honor Roll'
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 19:30:22 GMT

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The groundbreaking ceremony for the Super Power building here in Clearwater was November 21, 1998. I was just looking at photos from the December 1999 picket here, and they had it built up to the ground floor (there's a sub-level and the slab was done).
(snip)
The official Scientology web site says there will be 1500 auditors working in the super power building in 300 auditing rooms. I fail to see where these 1500 auditors are going to come from.
Also there's this whopper...

Visiting Scientologists decided to make Clearwater their home, to be near their mecca, until today the city contains the most thriving and dynamic community of Scientologists, well over 10,000 strong. [end quote]

Now, having lived here some months, I can say pretty confidently that there are probably about 1000-1500 Scientologists in Clearwater, unless most of them have agoraphobia.

From: cultxpt@primenet.com (Jeff Jacobsen)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Super Power Building... Super Slow?
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 03:17:46 GMT

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From this web site: www.cisar.org/swoe/swoe11.htm
In 1995 an internal Scientology publication
(The Auditor, issue 284, ca. August 1995) printed excerpts of a speech held by one of the senior executives of Scientology aboard their ship. He announced "never before released" information about a soon to come scientological therapy, called Super Power. During the speech he quoted L. Ron Hubbard: "You've always had the idea of clearing the planet, right? All right, this is how we'll do it. First we clean up all the staff with Super Power and then we use it to clean up the public. And then we clean up the government. And that's how we'll clear the planet."

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Er, no; Super Power dates back to the 70s, unless I'm severely mistaken. It may well have been rehashed, but it's not new material. (snip)

From: av282@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Martin G. V. Hunt)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: ATTACKS ON REMAILERS IMMINENT!
Date: 10 May 1996 07:16:55 GMT
--------
(snip)
Super Power is really an auditing rundown which was known as the Humongous Rundown during its pilot.
(snip)
From: inForm@primenet.com (Rev. Dennis L Erlich)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Clear Air next?
Date: 7 Apr 1996 09:57:01 -0700
Organization: inFormer Ministry

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(snip)
9.) The Super Power Project , earlier Religious Trust , was designed in 1990 to create funds of 35,000,000 $ (Quota of 1991) for a new gigantic delivery-building in front of the Fort Harrison.
10.) The Flag Renovations Project (Flag Renos) was the organization, which did the planning, building and renovating of the Scientology-buildings. It was composed of Sea Org-members, Scientology-publics and non-Scientologists.
(snip)
13.) In 1991 a lot of propaganda was made for the new delivery building, which was planned to be built in front of the Fort Harrison-hotel. 35,000,000 $ should be sponsored by the public into the Religious Trust Project to finance the construction. Several experienced Sea Org member formed the project. They travelled through the United States and regged the most wealthy Scientologists.
In Fall 1991 the whole project was cancelled. The I/Cs of the enterprise were RPF ed and sent to Los Angeles. Eva Zacharias, who was part of it, told me that the regges created a lot of bounced cheques and falsified their statistics.
In 1992 a new project with new personnel was created. Its name changed now to Super Power Project .
(snip)
From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Declaration of Martin Ottmann
Date: 14 Jun 1996 00:26:58 +0200

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PJ Shooter (an383741@anon.penet.fi) wrote:
> Let me see if I've got this right.
> The new building will be the sole
> source of Super Powers (SP) training.
> The training was developed by LRH.
> No one has received this training.
> Who will be qualified to teach it?

People *have* received this training/processing. The last time I was at Flag, which was freakin' March 1993, my auditor wore a purple trenchcoat-sort-of-thing (TSOT). A red TSOT meant they were class VIII. The purple TSOT meant they were a Super Power auditor, having both received it and trained to perform it on someone else.

So, like everything else, they're bootstrapping.

From: whatis@yyz.com (Whatis)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: OTs versus Super Powers
Date: 5 Jan 1996 18:57:48 GMT

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Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary

"Super Power
A super fantastic, but confidential series of rundowns that can be done on anybody whether Dn Clear or not that puts the person into fantastic shape unleashing Super Power of a thetan. This means that puts Scientologists into a new realm of ability enabling them to create a new world. It puts world Clearing within reach of the future. This is a parallel rundown to Power in Saint Hills which is taken by the Dn Clear. It consists of 12 seperate high power rundowns which are brand new and enter realms of the tech never before approached. Power is still very much in use on the Grade Chart but is for those who didn't go Clear on Dn. (LRH ED 301 INT)".

Hmmm. Sounds like this is the stuff being scavenged by Miscavige in their latest get rich quick scheme in Clearwater. No date on this.

This copy of the DSTD was printed in 1982.

Pope Charles
SubGenius Pope Of Houston
Slack!

From: wbarwell@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM (William Barwell)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Super Power
Date: 14 Apr 1996 11:05:52 -0500

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"For $35,000 donated the person is awarded:
1. 40% reduction on the requested donation for Super Power auditing.
2. A special Validation Pin.
3. One's name engraved on a plaque and mounted on a granite wall in the Atrium of the new building.
4. Key and Membership to the Cornerstone Club, a Flag Land Base club exclusively for members.
5. A recognition plaque which attests to the role played in putting the new building there for Super Power and FSO expansion.
6. A confirmed invitation to the ceremony for the laying of the foundation of the new building.
8. [sic] A limited edition 1 oz. pure silver coin."

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: an451544@anon.penet.fi (Prignilliu)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 04:38:04 UTC
Subject: Re: Fact-Free Postings
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Dear alt.religion.scientology,

Have I got a deal for YOU!

You donate FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS to the Super Power Expansion Project and guess what you'll get, according to a bulletin I just received from the Super Power Expansion Project at Flag:

For the FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, you get three things!

A. You get a Super Power Polo Shirt (worth $ 21.00)

B. You get a Flag Alumni Jacket (worth $ 31.85)

C. and you get your name entered on the Flag Alumni Honor Roll (worth nothing).

Hey, that's a great deal if you need a $ 4,947.15 LOSS!

And just think, it goes to a Super Power Building! (I guess the cult has started rent control subsidies for Body Thetans.

I even have a BETTER deal for you!

Donate ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS and you get FOUR things!

A. You get a gold super power ring (slightly better than you find in a cracker jack box because this one is 18K) and get this Hubbard chauvinist pig routine: the man's watch is worth (according to this brochure) $ 525.00 and the woman's watch is worth $ 375.00. (Goes to show you how far less value the cult places on women who donate a hundred grand...)

B. You get awarded the status of key contributor (with that and a roll of Charmin you can wipe your ass comfortably)

C. You get special "promo" footage of public acknowledgement (by Sea Org slaves) of your contribution (for being a gullible shmuck) at a foundation laying ceremony (part of the Body Thetan Day Block Party Event, no doubt). That's worth the price of a pine float (a famous Scientology drink of a toothpick and water served at all Sea Org dinners).

D. And I saved the best for last. When you donate ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, you EVEN get a 50% discount on SUPER POWER! Hey, who could ever resist a deal like that --- paying $ 100,000 so you can save 50% on further ripoffs! Only the cult could come up with a gem like that one.

Net Loss on Deal # 2: $ 99,475 to $ 99,625, depending upon your sex (or I should say Pain and Sex). Alas, I guess it is smarter to be a woman in Scientology, their loss is smaller.

From: Steve Fishman xenu@ix.netcom.com
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Fishman - Super Power Ripoff !!! What a deal !!!
Date: 27 Apr 1996 15:22:08 GMT

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From a CSI publication, 1994, Updated information on taxes and your donations. 16 pages.
I am posting this so any Scientologists lurking here will know which of the cult's offerings are tax deductible in the U.S.

P.13-14
List of Services qualifying for charitable contribution deductions

Processing:
Super Power

(Available only to Sea Org staff members)
Super Power Auditor Course

From: Ted Mayett teddy@skylink.net
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Updated Taxes
Date: Wed, 06 Mar 1996 05:35:14 -0800
Message-ID: 313D9492.2C08@skylink.net

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From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Clearwater: Scientology wants break on housing
Date: 27 Mar 1996 23:19:58 +0100

SCIENTOLOGY WANTS BREAK ON HOUSING
St. Petersburg Times
February 16, 1994
By Wayne Garcia

CLEARWATER - The Church of Scientology wants to loosen city housing codes to allow more Scientologists in Hacienda Gardens, an apartment complex that is home to hundreds of the church's students and staff.

The change would cut in half the required living space and eventually provide homes for the 300 new Scientology staff members needed for the ""Super Power"" facility, said Richard Haworth, a spokesman for Scientology's Clearwater-based Flag Service Organization.
The $24-million Super Power building, a six-story counseling center, is scheduled to be built on the site of the former Gray Moss Inn on N Fort Harrison Avenue. Groundbreaking is set for March, but Scientology has yet to submit its construction plans to the city.

The Hacienda Gardens request is set to be heard today by the city's Board of Adjustment and Appeal on Building/Flood Control.

Hacienda Gardens, 551 N Saturn Ave., has 200 units populated, in large part, by members of Scientology's Sea Organization, who wear Navy-style uniforms and sign billion-year contracts to devote themselves to Scientology.

Sea Org members, as they are called, spend 10 to 14 hours on the job daily. That unusual work schedule, and the fact that they eat their meals at Scientology dining halls and not at home, means that the city's normal living standards aren't necessary in Hacienda Gardens, Haworth said.

""The units are used primarily for sleeping and are seldom used for cooking, entertaining, etc.," the Scientology request said. ""If this variance is not granted, then, among other results, the applicant will be required to acquire additional property for housing purposes, which property will then be removed from the tax rolls.""

Haworth said the change would affect housing only for single Scientologists. Married couples stay in separate apartments.

Haworth said he did not know how many people live in Hacienda Gardens but said the complex is about 90 percent full.

The Scientology request asks that in 120 apartments, the city's minimum dwelling space requirements be cut in half. For a 700-square-foot apartment, for instance, the change would boost the number of Scientologists allowed from six to 13.

The change is also needed to compensate for losing half of an apartment building to the Keene Road widening project, Haworth said. The Keene Road corridor runs along the west side of the Scientology apartments.

The Church of Scientology makes its international spiritual headquarters in Clearwater. Scientology officials say they are a legitimate religion, an assessment backed up by court rulings and a decision by the Internal Revenue Service to exempt Scientology from income taxes. Critics, however, contend Scientology is a money-making scheme or cult.
By Scientology estimates, 600 staff members work in the church's Flag Service Organization facilities in Clearwater. It is not clear how many of them live at Hacienda Gardens and how many live in the former Quality Inn motel on U.S. 19, the other major building that houses Scientology staff.

Both facilities are largely off the tax rolls under a settlement reached last month between Scientology and Property Appraiser Jim Smith.

In April 1992, city building officials cited the church for overcrowding in 34 of the Hacienda Gardens apartments. Scientology officials moved staff members around to alleviate the overcrowding, which they blamed on the logistics of renovating the facility.

According to documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service, Scientology is spending $4.2-million to fix up the apartment interiors and to landscape the entire complex. Haworth said that work, begun in about 1990 and delayed in favor of other Scientology construction projects, could start again as early as August.

Correction (2/17/94): The Keene Road extension project would run to the east of the Church of Scientology's Hacienda Gardens apartment complex. A story Wednesday gave an incorrect location.

===================
From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Clearwater: Scientologists cited for crowded apartments
Date: 27 Mar 1996 23:21:13 +0100

Clearwater: Scientologists cited for crowded apartments
St. Petersburg Times
April 20, 1992
By Curtis Krueger, Laura Griffin, Rhonda Holifield

CLEARWATER - The Church of Scientology has been cited by city building officials for overcrowding in apartments.

In recent inspections, city officials determined that 34 apartments were overcrowded at Hacienda Gardens, a complex at 551 N Saturn Ave. used mostly for church staff.

James Bond, the church's director of renovations, said some of the residents would be moved to different apartments, so that no apartments would have more occupants than the city code allows.

Scientology spokesman Richard Haworth said Friday that the church was in the midst of renovating Hacienda Gardens and that people were being moved during the work.

"We have and always will work closely with city officials on all of our renovations work," Haworth wrote in a statement.

The city requires apartments to have at least 150 square feet of floor space for the first occupant and 100 additional square feet for each additional occupant.

At several of the Scientology-owned apartments, more people appeared to be living in the apartments than should have been allowed, according to city documents. Housing inspectors said they found as many as 10 beds in an apartment, and said beds often were set up not only in the bedrooms but in the living and dining rooms of the apartments.

The Scientologists seemed cooperative and willing to solve the problems, said Building Inspector Bill Phillips.

Hacienda Gardens houses church staff members, many of them members of a Scientology group called the "Sea Org", short for for Sea Organization. Sea Org members sign billion-year contracts and wear the Navy-style uniforms that are a familiar sight in downtown Clearwater.
Clearwater is the international spiritual headquarters of Scientology. While some people say Scientology is a bona fide religion, others call it a money-making outfit or a cult.

The city's inspection last month was not the first indication of overcrowding at Hacienda Gardens. After a 1986 fire at Hacienda Gardens, firefighters found 10 beds in the apartment. Haworth later said only seven people actually lived in the two-bedroom apartment, and he added, "We're interested in efficient utilization of space."

A police officer said in a 1988 report that 12 people were living in one Hacienda Gardens apartment that he visited.

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