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But now we wait till and be. Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of Scientology Fair Game, the podcast. Hey, Mike, highly, we have a special guest with us today, Mark Bunker. Welcome. Hi there, Mark. Hello. I'm thrilled to be here. Thank you.


I'm back with thrilled to have you. We appreciate you once again showing up for us and continuing the fight.


I am so excited that you're doing this podcast. I love it. Do you?


Yeah. Yeah. And have you had enough of us yet, Mark?


No, I don't know that I've I've heard Richard Bahah being interviewed in a long form format like that. That was great to hear. And I always thought that. So you're you're continuing to strike a blow and it's very needed.


Well, it's a collective effort. Small group, but mighty group.


Let me tell you something that yes, when I first moved here in 2000, I was working for the Lisa McPherson Trust.


And what we're talking about Clearwater. Sorry, when you said you're right. Clearwater, yes.


Sorry. And there were times when we would see the big celebrities being paraded out by Scientology, John Travolta would testify in Congress or whatever. And I always felt, well, look what we're up against. You know, they have John Travolta. We have this motley little crew trying to speak up and and make a difference. Spielberg could have done my job better as the head of the multimedia unit for our our cause. But he wasn't available, so it was left to me.


Yeah, but now it's great to have someone like you who can come forward and actually bring attention to the other side and the abuses. So, I mean, it's it's a game changer. Let me try that again. It's a game changer. Yes. Well, thank you.


I think it's a collective. Like I said, I couldn't do this without brave people like you and our contributors who've spoken to me and Mike. I couldn't do it without Mike. We all worked together as a unit and we all rely on each other to help get get the news out of what Scientology has been up to and is up to. But let's can we briefly talk about for those who didn't see the aftermath, because we've had you on the aftermath and we certainly did talk about Lisa McPherson.


Could you briefly go over you were never a Scientologist.


We should say that you are probably the most respectful person on the other side that I have ever seen in in this world of people trying to expose Scientology.


And I think you have you are your your success is greatly because I think you're so respectful of not disparaging or ridiculing Scientology beliefs, but rather exposing the crimes of Scientology. And you've had I've seen that YouTube videos of you where you have respectfully tried to speak to representatives of Scientology who have attacked you.


You even got one out, right, because of your manner and because how respectful you are. I think you've been successful.


I myself have not achieved that graciousness of what you are. Me, me either. And neither has what I will say that is.


But you are an example of how one should go without deprogramming people because of the way you do it. It's purely out of love and wanting to help people to get out of this toxic organization. But also you've done it in a respectful way. When you're not engaging with Scientologists one on one, you've done it in a way just in the way that you communicate, in the way that you tell the stories of Scientology.


But anyway, let's go over your history, the Lisa McPherson, where you came from, how you got involved in in this whole thing just for people who don't know. Sure.


Well, I first heard about Scientology back in 1980 when 60 Minutes did a piece on Clearwater about, you know, the the takeover of the town that was attempted with Project Normandy. And it was a fascinating story.


But at the end of Normandy is I'm sorry, isn't is a name of an operation from same name by Scientology. Yes.


It was one of the covert operations aimed at the complete takeover of Clearwater. And all of these operations were discovered when the FBI raided Scientology's headquarters in. Washington, D.C. and L.A., so they had all these written orders about setting up the mayor, Gabe Casares, at that point on a phony hit and run accident and all sorts of other things to try to derail his career.


And that was solely because Gabe Casares, who was the mayor of Clearwater at the time and the chief of police at the time, they started to investigate, like, who are these people? Right. Like, why are they coming under a false name? They found out they came under a false name.


And so the mayor, of course, and the police, they were right. That's correct. Right.


Absolutely. Police, absolutely. They were the mayor primarily started asking questions early on because this mysterious United Churches of Florida bought the Fort Harrison Hotel, a historic hotel here in the city, and the central meeting place for the city where people would always have their events. So suddenly this group came in and gave notice that there were armed security people on the top of the Fort Harrison Hotel. And this. Security forces surrounding both of their buildings and he wanted to know who they were and which took about a month to realize that it was Scientology and the city got pretty upset about that, that trickery that why did you have to come in undercover?


Why couldn't you just say who you were? And then, of course, when a few years later, when the FBI raids happened, when we saw all of the nefarious things that Scientology actually did, that wound up with the ten top leaders of Scientology going to prison, including L. Ron Hubbard, wife, wife Mary Mary Sue and Hubbard himself fled into the desert for the last 10 years of his life and let his wife take the fall for him.


A nice guy that he is.


Well, yeah, so.


So so the fair gaming had started meaning trying to destroy Gabe's career. The mayor trying to set him up. Like you said, they uncovered this, the secret documents to destroy gate, which is, you know, called fair game. And so that this has been going on for quite a while. So now you just to go back for one minute, you were never a Scientologist. You worked in radio in the Midwest, right. The mid 80s, you moved to L.A. and you worked as an actor and trained as a video editor.


Right. With KMBC, you won a regional Emmy Award in 2006 from the Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards for report on San Diego State report that you did in San Diego concerning issues with the border. So in 1999, you moved to Clearwater to produce to to investigate this death of this woman who was a Clearwater. She lived in Clearwater, Lisa McPherson, Lisa McVerry.


She was doing services there in Scientology, right?


Yeah. She was a she actually lived there. She had moved there. Oh, she did. OK. And so the death. So so what what what grabbed you about the Lisa McPherson death?


Well, it was an amazing tragedy. I'm sure the fact that they held this woman in a room at the hotel for 17 days until she died and the Scientologists. Right. And the story was just horrifying. So a lot of people were concerned about this and enough so that there was a criminal case launched here.


So, Mark, so you moved to Clearwater and really because of the death of Scientologists, a young woman named Lisa McPherson? Correct.


Essentially, I had started really looking into Scientology around 1998. So, OK, in the 18 years from the 60 Minutes piece until 98, I was fascinated by cults. But without an Internet around, there wasn't any chance to really research Scientology at all. And, you know, I just put it in the back of my mind, but I started reading the Internet newsgroup, all religions, Scientology, which is where a lot of former members and critics were hanging out, sharing information.


And I discovered that there was a very noted Espie who lived just a few blocks away from me, a fellow named Dennis Erlich, who had his home raided for allegedly posting copyrighted 083 material.


OK, so now let me just go back for one second, so to speak. If if we don't already know everybody, is that that it stands for a suppressive person and that is a label that Scientology gives anyone who's telling the truth about it simply now. So, Mike, can you tell us a little bit about before we go into or can we go into a little bit about who Lisa McPherson was? Sure, Lisa McPherson was a very dedicated Scientologist, so dedicated, in fact, she'd moved from Texas to relocate to Clearwater and was engaged in Scientology auditing at the Clearwater facility, the flag land base, it's called.


Right. And she in the midst of her participation in Scientology. Had an incident where she sort of went crazy, not sort of she did, she had a little car accident. She jumped out of a car, took off her all of her clothes and was running naked down the street. And when the emergency medical services arrived, they shuffled her into the back of an ambulance and took her to the local hospital, Morton Plant Hospital, where she was to be put under psychiatric review and put into the into care at the hospital.


And when her boss, Benetta Slaughter, heard about the fact that this had happened, Scientologists.


Yup, very much a Scientologist.


She contacted the Office of Special Affairs and Benetta and a number of people from the Office of Special Affairs went to Morton Plant Hospital and basically strongarmed the people on duty at the hospital to let Lisa go with them on the guarantee that they would look after her.


They took her to the Fort Harrison and put her in a room where she was put on what is called the introspection rundown, which was a thing that Hubbard developed, which he said solved and cured insanity and psychosis, and was the last remaining reason why psychiatry even needed to exist on planet Earth. And now with the introspection rundown, all would be well, the introspection rundown requires you to have a person completely muzzled in an isolated circumstance with no contact with other people, nobody talking, nobody doing anything.


And Lisa McPherson was in that room for 17 days being watched over by maids, not trained people, not nurses, not anything, just maids her. And she deteriorated to the point of being unresponsive. And those maids thought, oh, well, she's getting better because now she's not in a psychotic state anymore.


In truth, she was very near to death by that point. And that was when the Scientologists in charge decided that they were going to drive her to a hospital in Newport Richey, which is 45 minutes away, rather than taking her back to the Morton Plant Hospital, which is three minutes away because there was a Scientology doctor who was on duty in the emergency room and she was dead upon arrival at the hospital.


And that is a summary of the story of Lisa McPherson, and that resulted then in both a civil case by her aunt, who was a surviving relative, and a criminal charges being filed against Scientology for negligence by the state's attorney for the 6th District, Bernie McCabe. And that also was the impetus for a group of people mostly who had some familiarity with Scientology coming to Clearwater and conducting protests and generally protesting what had happened and that these abuses had to stop.


And that's kind of where Mark Bunker comes in. And that's where I first met Mark when he showed up because he was taking the videos for the what was called the Lisa McPherson Trust, which was this little group that had been formed by Bob Benton, our mutual friend, and was undertaking an effort to expose what had happened.


Right. Right. So it was Bob Minton, Stacey Brooks, Mark bonker Jesse principalists. Right. There was. Yes. Good people.


Sorry. Yes. Sorry, Congressman. Yes. Like Jeff Jacobson, there was a whole bunch of people who are still around and still, you know, speaking their mind. We don't really need to go into what happened with the criminal investigation. But ultimately, that got dropped because of the amount of money and resources that Scientology had to bring in.


The leading criminal pathologists in the world, fresh out of the O.J. Simpson trial to contest the findings of the medical examiner of Pinellas County and that that was sort of overwhelming force applied to this poor woman, Joan Wood, who eventually realized that she was going to be eviscerated on the stand and changed her findings. And that resulted in the criminal case being dropped. But the civil case went on for many years and ultimately was settled. Right.


Didn't Marty Rathbun, who is a former high ranking Seahawk member who then left whistleblower but now is back in Scientology, didn't he?


Isn't there an affidavit that states that he destroyed evidence that would have really put David Miscavige at the head of this lawsuit and responsible for the death of Lisa McPherson?


Well, there are certainly there is an affidavit and he also spoke on on video with the then St. Petersburg Times, where he said that there were documents that were in the pricklier folder of Lisa McPherson, the file that is kept for the auditing, and that he had removed and destroyed incriminating documents that were contained in that file.


Yes, I wish I wish to put those up, Mike, on our website. We will put the documents on Scientology, Fair Game, dot com, everything that we talk about every week. I always put everything up on that website so that if people are wanting to see what it is that we're talking about when we refer to Operation Freak out with with Paulette, then I put a copy of that on that website so that people can see it for themselves and know we're not just making stuff up.


So I started to meet Scientologists or former Scientologists in real life and really started to learn more about the organization and the really amazing kind of mind control factory that L. Ron Hubbard created so early on. I was not as respectful as I've come to be in the first year or so. I would make some wisecracks and I remember one video that I was narrating that somebody else shot of a picket. I did a piece of narration that said, well, there's an idea, not an ideal.


There's an org. That's where really stupid people go to find out about Xenu. Now, still pretty reasonably, but, you know. But once I started to learn more about it, it didn't seem to be helpful at all. And when I joined the Lisa McPherson Trust, which I was thrilled to be a part of initially, I was not going to be part of that group. But like a month before the LMT opened in. Water Bob Mintern had an altercation with a Scientologist security guard, and Bob had to go on trial for that.


And Stacey felt that if I had been there with my camera, this wouldn't have happened or we would have evidence of it.


So because you don't believe because there wasn't an incident?


Well, there was an incident and Bob got really frustrated as he was trying to make a phone call. This one lone Scientology security guard with his camera got in Bob's face and Bob took his protest sign and kind of used it to shove them away and hit the guy in the head with it.


But this person wasn't actually a security guard. His name is Rich Howard. And he was an Oza person. Now explain what he is, Mike, really quickly, the Office of Special Affairs, the replacement for the Guardian's Office, the dirty tricks Department of Scientology, of which you were a part of the week.


I was the head.


OK, yes. Rich held the he was out there in order to goad Bob. No other protesters into doing something that they could then be prosecuted for.


Right. So, Mike, tell people that is what you guys would do. You would sit in a room and say, now, listen, we want you to go out there. We want you to try to entice Mark Bunker and the and the Lisa McPherson Trust and anybody who's exposing us. We want you to go out there and goad them so that we can get them arrested so that we. So you tell Scientology employees as they head up some like employees and you tell them to do this, right?


Absolutely. This was a calculated effort, right. Because you couldn't get them away any other way. And Moscovitch, it was like this was the nightmare.


Every day there were picketers outside of the Fort Harrison and the and the, you know, the most friendly, the friendliest place in the world, which is what Scientology tells all their people around the world to persuade them to come to Clearwater.


This is the friendliest place in the world. And outside every day were people with picket signs saying you killed Lisa McPherson and David Miscavige beats people and et cetera, et cetera. And this drove him crazy. So the efforts that were made to put an end to these protests sort of had no limit. They were we'll close the sidewalk. Oh, we'll get an injunction. All we'll do, we'll get in their face. They push and shove and then we'll document it and then we'll take it to the police and they'll have no no option but to prosecute, because if they don't, they know that we'll make such a big deal about the fact that they're favoring the protesters, et cetera, et cetera.


And this happened like for the entire time that the Lisa McPherson Trust existed. Then you see those people showing up, you know, screaming in people's faces and getting right up in their face.


And that was the the sort of response.


And and ironically, you can see this person that we just talked about, Marty Rathbun.


You can see Scientology attempting to do that to him right there outside his house.


They're trying their fair game and his wife, Mozi, and they're out there and they're making fun of him. They concocted this little group called the Squirrel Busters. And Squirrels, just so you know, is Scientology term for a group of people who leave Scientology and then are using Scientology outside the control of Scientology.


They call them squirrels. Right. Right. Yeah, so. Exactly. So and Mike, not to go over this lightly, because.


I know because you're you're you look at it differently, I think people will be surprised to know that there is an organization calling itself a church because you like to just kind of let this go by too quickly, sitting around going, all right, now, bunkers out there and Minton's out there.


So what we want you guys, I mean, it is insane that a place calling itself a church will be it is so vindictive that they purposely try to get people into an altercation. Just how we got them.


I mean, it's really sick like it. It's very sick. And that's not even the worst of it. That's just like the fifth grade level. Yeah.


Yeah, that's yeah. That's elementary school business. Yes. Yes. But but, you know, like we're talking to Mark Bunker. Yeah. And Mark Bunker has been the object of these sort of operations to he's been arrested, he was arrested outside of gold for filming people who were protesting at gold.


So Mark, you're outside Golden Era Productions, which is where Wychwood going Clear goes over. If you haven't seen the documentary, you should see it. This is where Mike and many former executives were beaten, held against their will. People still cannot get out of the gold base. This is in Riverside County in California. You're out there. People are picketing. They are exercising their their freedom of speech, their right. I mean, they're out there that are harming anybody.


They're not disrespectful. They're just. They are doing what people do who want to protest against the evils of the world and you're filming it. How did they get you arrested for picketing?


It was a fascinating day taking it. It was the culmination of months and months and months of effort on Scientology's part to close off the road that ran in front of gold. They wanted the county to make that a private road for them. And there were countless so that people couldn't stop their right and people couldn't film.


People couldn't break people out. People couldn't jump over the fence. And it's the only reason for that.


And I started going to the Riverside County meetings and speaking out there because there were a number of people who were objecting to this, including people who had no interest in Scientology at all, but protested other things like sexual assaults and and stalkers being released and things like this. So they were passionately trying to stop the shutdown of this road. They eventually were able to say that picketing. Is fine out there, we warmed we wore down the county enough that they said, OK, you can you can protest in front of the gates, you can't block traffic.


So we all said, well, let's go down there and test it out. So we all went from from the county commission meeting. Still, I was still wearing my suit from my parents and Scientology just exploded. And they're one of their executives there put me under citizen's arrest. For largely blocking the driveway, I saw her name, I can send you the video of it and I can look up her name for you, but but she was somebody who was there at all the county meetings to pushing her side, OK?


But they were so upset that they lost that that whole adventure of theirs. That one other person got arrested first and I you know, I was caught on camera saying to somebody, I wonder how much. It is to to bail yourself out of this, because I didn't have a lot of money on me, huh, when I thought I what the heck, I'm going to move closer and I'm going to shoot this video of the guy being arrested.


And at that point, they put me under arrest. And it was wacky and the sheriff, you know, loaded me into the back of the car and drove me to the precinct. And along the way we got to talk about Scientology and stuff he didn't know. And the upshot of it is I got him to do a welfare check on the sister of one of the women who was a former member who was with us that day. So by the time, you know, they they had me booked and held there for a couple hours.


They went out and checked on the sister that my friend had not talked to in a long time. So I still couldn't talk to her, but at least they found out she was there and she was safe. And then I was. Know who said that she was safe?


I to it, you know. So, you know, Mark, I know it sounds great. I know it sounds great for you to say that you got him to do a welfare check. We you know, we've been here before where I mean, that's like going up to somebody who you're doing a welfare check who is being beaten by her husband in front of her husband says, ma'am, are you being beaten by your husband? No, no, no.


Everything's great.


So it's kind of ridiculous to to carry all this facade that the sheriff's department is willing to do welfare checks in any cults because they're not educated in cults. And how Scientology works, they don't know that the person that they're claiming to be a nurse of somebody there is, in fact, not a nurse.


Probably you are right. But they accept that as an answer. Sorry. Thank you. I appreciate that. I don't hear that often, Mark, just so you know. So once in a while to hear that I'm right, everybody would just live in it for a second. I it when you're cursing like a sailor. So this. Oh yeah. This being polite to you is maybe the wrong way. Maybe I should be getting in your face a little bit more.


You know, I get that every day from my own family. I don't need it from you. Yeah, I like you. You're a nice guy. You're you're nice to me.


I'm nice to. I mean, that arrest was Mike knows this is Mike knows this because he's been here many times.


Where why are you wearing that. Are you gaining weight, Lee. Are you pregnant at your old age.


And you sound like a man, OK? Let's go back for one moment. I just wait, wait. Let's it right. Well, let's just finish this, because you didn't get prosecuted for they didn't charge me with anything.


They just held me there. Right. The another of the protesters for an hour or so. And he was starting to make plans to, you know. How he was going to deal with this and I said, just relax, there's there's not going to be any problem. And we were let go. No, I had to call my TV station to say I'm sorry. I'm not going to be there in time for my shift for the 6:00 p.m. news because I'm in jail.


But they were kind of amused by Scientology having arrested me, the whole thing.


Yeah, yeah. Mark, you know that there is a list of contributors to Jeff Stone and the other people that were on that Riverside County board. And I will have that on our website. Scientology Fair Game dot com. It shows that Sea Org members from the gold base were donating to those officials, those Sea Org members don't have a penny to donate. That money is coming from Scientology. And in fact, that is a violation of fiber, one of the three Scientology as an organization no religious organization is allowed to support.


Particular candidates for election and certainly not give money to them, so they channel it through Sea Org members, the people from the local public affairs office of Golden Era Productions.


So these people now make these people make the who we're talking about here are these employees of Golden Era Productions and Riverside County. These people make you work with them side by side for for years and years. What do they make a week?


Well, they're supposed to make 50 dollars year, but that was really rare, but often times months on end, I remember Claire or someone that we talked to somewhere said I got my total income for the three years that I worked a Golden Era Productions, and it was two thousand dollars for three years.


Mike. So at best, Catherine Frazier, who's been here many, many times, and a woman named Muriel. Muriel Dufferin. Yes.


And Michael Dufresne. So basically it's Catherine Frazier and Muriel Dufresne up and down this page. OK, now, when you look at the amounts, somebody might go, that's not a big deal. Three hundred dollars. Three hundred and sixty dollars. One hundred. When you're talking about a Sea Org member who maybe makes 50 dollars a week giving to Ray Wilson for supervisor, Chuck Washington for supervisor, friends of Stan Sniff for sheriff and coroner over Russ Bow for county supervisor.


When you see Catherine Frazier and this Catherine and the other one over and over again. Yeah, it is shocking and disgraceful and it makes sense why we have had virtually no help from Riverside County.


Scientology, and this is just one, Mike, this is just one page that we got this one. We haven't even looked into it since.


Right, right. And of course, those two are the two that show up every time there was a protest. Every time the media shows up, every time there needs to be an event with the police, when the police when the Riverside Sheriff's went to check on him.


But it was Kathy Fraser is the one that was dealing with them when Mark Headley got run off the road on his motorcycle when he was trying to escape, it was Murielle, the friend that showed up to deal with the police there, and it was Kathy Frazier who showed up and confronted Louis Thoreau on the street, the street outside a gold gold base.


She's a nasty, nasty piece of business. Go ahead.


And she was on Anderson Cooper, right? That's Jeff Hawkins ex-wife. She's one of the wives. She's the wife. Right. Go ahead, Mark.


She was the one who I believe did the citizen's arrest on the charge, of course.


I'm Dr. Wendy Walsh, host of the podcast Mating Matters. I believe nearly every human behavior is motivated by a desire for love, sex or to hedge your reproductive odds. I think women have this ability to plant these mental bombs into a man's mind.


But the thing about humor is that the value of humor, it goes up. We're wired to reproduce.


To them. It was a super female. It was a giant female, and they were lured into it to trying to mate with it.


The science of love is fascinating. It's a bizarre form of biohacking, really. If you have the seven hour question, you are more likely to be involved in an affair. Yes, that's where some of the research gets really intriguing. There's so many ways to be a human, but I must say sex between three people can get complicated.


In a nutshell, the Kinsey scale looked at two things sexual fantasies and actual sexual behavior. Listen to mating matters on the radio, Apple podcasts or whatever.


You listen to your podcasts, to planning Charlemagne, the God here. And it is a privilege and honor to introduce to you a new podcast, Great Shot, No Chaser, hosted by a queen named Taslim Figueiro. She is the hood whisperer in this game of politics. Debuting on my new Blackfin Podcast Network on NPR Radio, this is Taslim Figaro. On my podcast, we'll cover politics, black lifestyle, racial justice and food for the soul to inspire you.


Concept is true to me. Subscribe now listen. Straight shot no chaser. What Taslim Figural on the radio app. Apple podcast or wherever you get your pocket. Anyway, you guys are going to look into this, how could people find this? Is this a public document? I mean, if somebody wanted to look into this because, you know, this is 2013, but how could people find this information?


Yes, it's public records. Donations to to political candidates are absolutely public records. You just have to go to the right place to find them somewhere like Elderado. Got it.


Yeah, but the people should be doing that for for their own cities and finding it. And, you know, they certainly don't know that Catherine Frazier is a sewer member, but certainly we could start a running log of Sea Org members.


Now, Mike, this is this is a win for for us, for the Office of Special Affairs, the Department of Scientology that waste everybody's time and resources and police resources for which they pay no taxes for. But this is a win in your eyes, right, as a person who is the head of Oza?


Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Any anybody that gets arrested, anybody, then, you know, that's like step one. That's a win, but a real win is a prosecution.


And I was going to say and Mark, you now that we're talking about this gold one, didn't you also get arrested in the arrest in Chicago was more substantial and this happened. Right.


But no, you say more substantial, Mark. It was like more serious, but the actual substantial ness of it was nothing.


I mean, these things are completely manufactured, like jigged up and organized and plotted and planned.


And but I can't even remember what the Chicago one was.


I just it's just very short. My memory. Shortly after we open the LMT doors, we get a call from this married pair of dentists up in Chicago who had taken some courses or paid for some courses in advance that they never took. They got hooked in through the the business seminars and then they got sucked into Scientology from that and spent a lot of money there. But they were trying for two years to get back. Twenty thousand dollars that they paid in advance and never used.


And Scientology refused to give them the money back. So they called us and I booked a flight to to fly up there and do an interview with them on video. And as soon as we hung up, they called us back and said, Mark, your phones must be bugged because suddenly the the woman who was in charge of the Chicago org was sitting in their waiting room with a check. And wanted to settle. And and we said, well, I'm still coming up, so, you know, we'll we'll get the story.


They chased her out of the waiting room that day and when I arrived. Got off the plane, they called me to say she's back, she's sitting in the waiting room again, and I said, well, keep her there because I'll come in with my camera and we'll get some footage, which I did. And she, of course, fled immediately. And I followed her down the hallway and into the elevator asking her questions about this. And it was the start of a multiday journey there that ended when I went to join the dentists at the Chicago org to do a little bit of interview with them before they went in to have settlement talks to get their money back.


And as we arrived at the front door on the public sidewalk, I lifted my camera onto my shoulder and said, So tell me what's going to happen here. Before they could answer, two guys in black leather jackets came rushing out the front door, went right between the two dentists and grabbed me by either arm and arrested me for trespassing on a public sidewalk. And suddenly, like five to seven squad cars started roaring up to the scene, it got so embarrassing that these two guys in the black leather jackets turned out that they were off duty officers who were paid by Scientology to be waiting for me to get rid of me.


But I heard one of them who was holding on to me say to another officer, this is Paul, these cars off. This is too much. So I had to go stand trial for this in a in a court room that had never had a trial before. And we hired I mean, this is normally a place where people go in for these little misdemeanors and pay forty dollars. Sixty dollars, fine. And that's it. They plead guilty, pay a fine.


They're done. But we decided, well, this is what Scientology wants. They want to say that I was trespassing and I'm a criminal. So we decided to hire an attorney and fight it. So it ended up costing Bob about sixty thousand dollars to defend me. But we went through a full trial and it was fascinating. And we got to put the police on the jury and on the witness stand rather than to the jury to find out that they paid him each 300 bucks to be waiting there for a few hours where they were fed all of these stories about how dangerous I am.


And given all the the dead agent material that they had waiting for them, and they would put these guys into a frenzy. So their duty was to get rid of me.


Right. And this is part of the fair game tactics is where they give you they give people packets of of made up, like you said, they have to. The Saint L. Ron Hubbard wrote that anybody who's exposing Scientology is a criminal. And so they have to try to make that come true at all costs. They have to try to make you a criminal like a criminal. Me, this has to be true. And this justifies the activities of Scientology, Scientologists and Sea Org members.


Right. Because they believe, as we did to Mike, we believe that there are crimes. L. Ron Hubbard says there are crimes for which this person should go to, could go to prison. Make no mistake about it, 100 percent.


Every time we find people criticizing and I'm using his words, not mine, Scientology, they turn out to be criminals for which they could be in prison for.


Correct. They have to make that true. So they they go out there, they ridicule you. Mark, I've seen horrible videos. They send you know, they're mean as Scientologists out there to to ridicule you, make fun of you, what they call bull baiting, where they try to get a reaction from you so they can have you arrested. And this is what they do, like you said, to off duty police officers, to pieces who know nothing about you.


They sit in a room, they go, this person's evil, this person's destroying everything good.


They they they're hell bent on destroying us because they don't have a career or whatever that whatever they tell these people, these are not Scientologists.


And you would think that they would be smart enough to go. I don't know about that.


I mean, really, this guy looks it's so weird to me, for lack of a better word, that that these guys and people who are hired to do this, who are not part of the organization, agree to do this for money. It's shocking to me.


Well, realize there are a bunch of people of those type of people who will not let you end up with the bottom of the barrel. Right. Doing this sort of shitty, dirty work, which is great.


And they show up to your home. They're stalking your children. They're, you know, it's good. And Scientology is putting people in other, you know, in danger by doing this. These people are probably went through the Scientology drug program, which is a farce Narconon program. These people are are are not stable. In my case. This is my estimation of some of these people that I've experienced. And it's scary. It's scary because they're putting these people.


In your vicinity, that would not be near you in any other world or circumstance.


Exactly. That's exactly right.


And that's that's all part of the we are going to intimidate you into silence. Right? Right.


And people should know when Scientology sends Scientology has a policy that says make it known. So when people like we hear this all the time, well, if you saw him, I mean, he can't be. Well, they want to be seen by everybody. Scientology is a policy that says make yourself seen so you can intimidate people into silence. You want to be scared of these people. They want you scared that things are going on. Then you start to think, are they my trees?


Are they are they am I am I in the house? Have they been in my house? Are they planting listening devices because they have done all of these things.


And so it's not made up. It's not an unfounded fear that you would have.


But so, Mark, you are fair game with people. They've been following you for how many years? How long have you been engaged in this?


Well, they became aware of me probably somewhere late, 98. Ninety nine is when I started working with Bob Mintern. And but. Right.


But you've been they've protested outside your house and you were and then they had and then they got an injunction against you in your own town where you were not allowed to be ten feet from a Scientologist in downtown Clearwater. And yet there is no body else in downtown Clearwater that isn't a Scientologist.


Yeah, and that injunction was aimed at everybody involved with the Lisa McPherson Trust or associated with us and any ten gentle way that they could pretend would be part of the injunction. But that all sprang from that incident that Bob had with Richard. Howd it started out? Just an injunction against Bob. And then there were four of us who worked at the LMT who were added to it. And eventually it grew to thirteen names. And I'm the only one who's still around.


Right. And this is 20 years ago. Right. But they use it against me and anyone who has dared to try to protest even when none of us were living in Clearwater.


And the injunction is still in place today, might I say, because we had you on the aftermath and we went to a local park in downtown Clearwater that was supposedly open to the public.


And when we arrived in the park, Mark, just you were just sitting there by yourself on a park bench, a Scientology bench. What was it? Seven police cars showed up.


I think it was three, maybe four, seven police officers and three police cars.


Thank you, Mike. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. This was all on the basis that Scientology calls up and says there's a guy who's pressed trespassing and violating a court order.


And, you know, we saw on the episode what happened.


The mike points out to the officer, Mike says, sir, listen, I wrote this injunction so I know what the injunction is, that this park wasn't even here when we did this and he was having none of it. He was like, yep, you need to move on. And we're like, why? It's a public park. You need to move on. Mike kept saying, you understand that the park wasn't even here when we wrote this.


What I what Mike was part of this.


Martin Mike is a big part of the reason why there's even to against you.


Mongar. Oh, I know.


But they were having none of that, that we asked to be trespass by somebody in the Church of Scientology. And they wouldn't do it. They wouldn't come out. They would not confront us. Mike, as Scientologists do they talk a big game and then they don't want to come out and trespass us.


We stood there for, what, forty five minutes, take pictures.


I mean, it was lovely. The people who were driving by were beeping and yelling love and support. Exactly.


But but which which reminds me of where I really wanted to talk to Mark about today, which was we joked with you when we were doing that shows saying, Punker, you should run for mayor. Why don't you get yourself elected as the mayor of Clearwater?


And lo and behold, last year. Oh, actually, earlier this year excuse me, there was an election and you managed to get yourself elected on to the city council of the city of Clearwater. And much to the chagrin of Scientology, you are now here on our show as an official elected representative of the people of Clearwater on the City Council of Clearwater. And for everybody who was listening and was unaware of this, we offer our heartiest congratulations. And there is a bit of a story that goes along with how this came about and what happened.


In that election and I really want to talk about that, because I think it's very. It's very instructive and it greatly expands upon some of the things we touched upon in the aftermath episode Mark. Tell me tell me from your view, like the story of getting elected now?


Well, it was in the back of my mind from the time I moved back to Clearwater in 2013. In fact, in a video I mentioned, hey, maybe I'll be wise beard mayor someday. And by the way, Mark, why don't you and also why did you want to do this?


Why did you find this important? Because this is not about getting this is not just about being somebody who wants to get in there to ruffle feathers. I mean, you really love Clearwater.


You love downtown Clearwater. And you and you your heart is truly in the right place, which is why I supported it.


And thank you for your support. It was an enormous help. You and Mike. Both, of course.


Mark, I think anybody who hears you speak and knows you just sees your heart. But I just want people to know why it was so important.


Well, I mean, I Clearwater has been special to me ever since that 60 Minutes piece back in nineteen eighty and moving here. In 2000. Was an amazing experience, the two most fascinating years of my life, I got to meet and get to know Gabe Casares, who was still around at the time, and I did a video interview with him, as well as Ray Emmons, who was the police officer, the detective who was in charge of investigating Scientology.


So we all became friends when the L.A. closed, I went back to San Diego, was working in TV news, and then in 2013, I decided, let's go back to Clearwater and see if I can make a difference. It wasn't until a little push from you and Mike in the taping of that interview for Aftermath, where in unison you said now if only somebody would run for office. And you and Mike both turned to me and said, Mark.


And that amused me. And I thought, well, yeah, I've been talking about it for so long, I should do it. So I had a chance to to run it.


But what difference do you think needed to be made? That's what I'm just trying to get get at. So I ran because for decades nobody has addressed Scientology within the city council. Nobody has taken them on since the mid 90s. And it was very frustrating that this was the case when the people in the city really wanted to be part of the agenda. And. I ran hoping to make a difference not just on Scientology, but to to help in every way possible with the city, but I found that what people really responded to was the fact that somebody was willing to say the word and willing to take them on.


And having been on your show was a big advantage because there were people who recognized me from the aftermath and even people who didn't recognize me. If I knocked on the door and said, I'm Mark Bunker, I'm running for city council, I believe it's important to stand up to Scientology. And I've been doing that for 20 years. They would say, say no more. You got my vote. So that's how important it is for a lot of the people in the city.


And sure, and what would you like to see happen? I mean, what's ultimately the ultimately would be great if we can curb some of the abuses and get some investigations going that would show that they don't deserve their tax exempt status. If we can revoke if we can convince the IRS somewhere down the line to revoke their tax exempt status, that's approximately 15 million dollars a year that would go back into the city coffers that will help us restore the downtown.


We've been trying to redevelop that for ever, ever since Scientology came to town. And it's impossible. The downtown is dead because of Scientology and the city tries to ignore it. Now, let's just set that up. Can we. Can we.


Yes, I agree. Now, can we talk about this for one minute? Could you guys live there right now? I was I lived in Clearwater. I was in the sea organisation and employee of Scientology when I was underage there in Clearwater. And I and I know what goes on.


And I know with children and I know what what is still going on, because it's it's the policy of of Scientology. They don't consider children, children. So they don't see anything wrong with working children from 8:00 in the morning till midnight. That's what I was doing when I was 12, 13 years old.


But you don't get to see that, right, because they're getting bussed in and you can't just walk into any Church of Scientology, even though it says all are welcome and they claim to be, you know, just an open book.


But when I was there, I won't even mention the years it was a ghost town. Now it is a ghost town. And it looks like a bad version of like Solvang or if you've ever been to solve it, you know, I'm talking about your Disney World Disneyland, but like a bad version of it.


Right? There's these store fronts that that are just that storefronts. There's nobody ever in them.


But the teenage employee of Scientology sitting there manning the phones that are not ringing and it's just wasted space up and down Cleveland Street, up and down.


Is that the right street, Mike? If I recall Fornaro or Harrison, and there's virtually nothing going on in this amazing, cute, could be cute, could be thriving downtown of Clearwater.


And it's you know what? I'm not even a mile from the beach like. Yeah, it's it's like it's the it's the perfect Florida small town, and there are many of them around who are flourishing and prospering, it is the only one that isn't is because Scientology has has purchased the buildings most of downtown Clearwater.


And they're doing that today. Right. My dad and Tracey McManus do a story about this recently from the Tampa is a Tampa Bay Times.


Yeah. Yes. It's now the Tampa Bay Times. Yes.


Tracy McManus did an amazing story late last year where she dug into the property purchases that had been made in downtown Clearwater in the previous two years and found that a hundred properties in downtown Clearwater have been purchased, purchased either by Scientology or by Scientology affiliated corporations, entities, people, many of them farkash, many of them above market value.


And that, in effect, the downtown area, the square mile of downtown, or I guess it's a like about a half a mile square of downtown Clearwater, is either owned by Scientology, Scientologists or Scientology affiliated companies, or it's owned by the city or county. And there is very little else that remains in downtown Clearwater.


And what does this was purpose of that, Mike? What is the purpose of of Scientology going to like, let's say, a rich parishioner and says, go buy this building that's on the Wall Street and under? What is the purpose of all of this?


Well, there's two purposes, Leah. One is simply keeping everybody else out. I mean, the one thing Scientology does not want is a lot of wogs around non Scientologists.


Yeah. They do not want those people around their facilities. They don't want people looking in the windows of the Fort Harrison to see another Lisa McPherson. They don't want people knowing what's going on and seeing kids coming and going at all hours of the day and night. They don't want that. They want Clearwater to be, as L. Ron Hubbard laid out originally in Project Normandy. But then subsequently it's been published, the first Scientology city. They want to control the entire thing.


Second part is probably, you know, basically the same thing.


But the fact that David Miscavige was rebuffed by the Clearwater Aquarium and the city of Clearwater concerning purchasing a piece of property that he wanted and he wanted it an aquarium lot that was in downtown that was that effectively overlooks both the Fort Harrison and the Oak Cove, which is another one of the big buildings down there, and that the head of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium at the time, David Yates, had made a deal with the city for the city to buy it.


And when Miscavige came in and tried to strong arm him and the aquarium into selling it to him for three and a half times its appraised value, and he refused saying, no, I already gave my word, I have a deal with the city. Miscavige had a hissy fit.


He had been parading himself and Tom Cruise and John Travolta and various other people in front of the city with these grandiose plans that he said he was going to carry out to revitalize downtown Clearwater.


They were going to bring movie theaters. They were going to get all these high end stores, everything was going to be done, and Scientology is going to take care of the whole thing. And he said, except it's conditional on you getting selling us that lot. Right.


And as soon as that didn't happen, he went, OK, screw you. And he stopped talking. And there was all communication with the city was cut off for years. And instead they enacted a plan to go and buy the whole place.


It's almost like, you know, you see in the movies, the little guy won't sell his right his thing to the. So they build a skyscraper all around it and cut off all his light and blah, blah, blah, and make it impossible to live there. And that is what has happened in Clearwater and other than the Tampa Bay Times and Tracy McManus. Nobody was saying anything about this, right?


It was just going on and everybody was sort of sitting back going, well, we can't offend the Scientologists, so we better be careful with that or not do or say anything because they'll get mad and they like.


It's it's what Mark was saying, that people, elected officials in Clearwater, had become afraid to even say the word, they would talk about the religious organizations in Clearwater if they had to address anything about Scientology, it would always be put in these broad stroke terms.


Right. Religious organizations and, you know, charitable LaBella's and this and that. And nobody would even utter the word Scientology until Mark Bunker came along and said, I'm not afraid of Scientology. Right.


And by the way, we should talk about that, Mike, that because we the taxes. Right, that Scientology doesn't pay that mark brought up. Right.


And the impact on the community is why. It's important that we pay attention to this, everyone. It's not just Clearwater, Florida, downtown Clearwater, Scientology has the goal to do this in every city in the world, not just in America, in the world. This is what they are attempting to do.


And they have succeeded in Clearwater, Florida. Right, so they claim that they're their largest taxpayer in downtown Clearwater. OK, but but but what this ignores is how much tax they would be paying if they were not exempt, as you were as you brought up. Mark, the taxpayers of Clearwater are subsidizing or subsidizing, which, like you've said many times when we talk about California, we talk about much more.


Probably there's not one Scientologist in Montana.


That's one, I think about moving there because, you know, when people ask me why is there no like Scientologists in Brooklyn? I know anybody who has any values, like family, deep seated values or like families that really love them and care. You're not going to fucking see a Scientologist coming from that shit.


How we got into it, I'll never know, I blame my mother in the 70s on her maybe being high still on the mushroom, which she took in late 60s. But anyway, so we are all paying for this in some way because Scientology religions have tax exempt status because they supposed to be benefiting the public.


Everyone. Hey, Mark, do you know if Scientology volunteers with anybody, do they feed the homeless or do they just open up their their private park for winter wonderland? And just for PR purposes, what do they feed the hungry? Do they how's the homeless? Do they do anything charitable with their tax exempt money?


Well, one thing I know they did do was help reopen the Martin Luther King Center in town. And, you know, all the things they do are measures of safe pointing to say that we good do good work. But the individual Scientologists who are helping out, I'm sure there they are all well-meaning and believe that they're making a huge difference in the world.


Well, no, they think they're making a huge difference in the world by what you're talking about as a policy called save pointing. There's also a policy called a public image, Mike. And we should also put those up on the website at Scientology Fair Game.


So Scientologists don't believe they're doing good, Mark.


They believe they're doing good for Scientology because they want to just get a photo so that they can say they did this. But it is to contribute to Scientology's PR machine. That is solely why I did anything that I did as a Scientologist, not because I actually believed in any other organization doing any work, quote unquote.


I we believe that we were doing better because and the only work worthwhile and the only reason why we would appear at these things is to make Scientology look good.


So it's not that they believe they're doing right by the organization they're pretending to be part of, this is a purposeful action taken on by Scientologists.


Yeah, that's a sort of a fringe benefit, right? If there's something if something good happens there. Yeah, OK. But what really is important is have I created goodwill and good PR for Scientology by whatever it is that I do? And that's the only criteria that any Scientologist uses to determine what they do when they don't do right.


So they do spend hundreds of millions, millions of dollars of trying to destroy who they perceive as enemies. And I'm pretty sure they're not putting hundreds of millions of dollars into anything that helps any real charitable organization or really doing the work to help people in general.


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Right there, they're definitely not making the contribution that they pretend to make when they say we're saving the planet through our drug rehab programs and, you know, their prison projects and it's all theater stuff into the church and and moneymakers.


But, you know, it did have an impact on the folks at the Martin Luther King Center in the North Greenwood neighborhood. At most forums, I got a really great reception everywhere I went. I had a lot of people coming up afterwards and thanking me for being there at that one, which was a predominantly African-American meeting. They didn't want to hear about Scientology at all and they were quite upset when I would bring it up. Why? Well, one guy came up to me at the end of it and and said, listen.


They were here to help us put on a new roof. They said, yes, they they donated thousands of dollars to us to get this right, thousands out of the billions that they've got. So it effectively got them on Scientology's side, which was the real goal. But still, it was you know, it was really good that that those things were done because it was.


Oh, the kiddies got in. No, they're not in there outside the door. You come in, they're hearing you now saying we're missing out.


OK, but I can tell you why.


Very simply because the chief PR of Scientology in Clearwater is Pat Harney, who happens to be African-American.


And Pat Harney has spent a long time seeking to create what, as Mark called them, safe points in the African-American community, which is relatively small in Clearwater and is a sort of a confined area of downtown Clearwater Edge of downtown Clearwater.


And she has spent a lot of time trying to make friends there and obviously has done so. And those people are thankful for what gets done. But if you look at it from the perspective of Scientology for the investment of a few thousand dollars and telling some people to go volunteer to put up their roof, they just got a bunch of allies and they're counting them on their statistics.


This is Pat Hanis statistic. The number of allies that she has who will speak up in defense of Scientology. And like we see those phony ministers that show up for Ed Parkin's events, it's the same sort of thing. So, yes, we know that there are certain things, but that they are they are ancillary benefits. I think I think it's great that they gave the North Greenwood Association or whatever it was called, make a new roof and participated and contributed in that.


But in the overall scheme of things, Scientology probably took in fifty million dollars in the last six months and they tossed a few thousand dollars and told a few volunteers to go up there and help them with their roof. And that is where the problem really lies. It is not benefiting the community to the degree that they are taking from the community.


Correct. They are sucking the life out of Clearwater. They are sucking tens, hundreds of millions of dollars out of their own people who come to Clearwater. And what gets given back is a big zipp when you compare those two things. But I wanted to talk a bit more about what happened when you were being. Going out to those places and having those candidate forums, because I came to a few of them and I just want to. Make particular mention of one of the other candidates who was running for your seat, which is Alicia Santtana.


Because Mr. Santtana was the Scientology stalking horse for your campaign, he showed up with his sidekick, hecklers and his prepared briefing sheets from the Office of Special Affairs to take pot shots at you. Right, yeah, yeah, and his campaign manager, months before he signed on with the Liscio had come up to one of the other candidates who who was successful in her campaign as well, Kathleen Beckman. He approached her and said early on, listen, I would love to be your campaign manager.


And I've got a solid block block of 11000 votes and all the money in need. But we're going to we're going to tell you which seat to run for. And she said, no thanks. And, you know, late in the game, Allessio got in and it turned out that this guy became his manager and started showing up with Scientologists, hecklers to kind of derail anything I said that involved Scientology and cheer and boost him. And it was quite amazing to see.


And I talked to Liscio at. An event in North Greenwood not long after that, and I said, you know, at the meeting you at the forum, you said that I have hate in my heart. Do you really believe that? And he said, yes, yes, I do. Which and he's a Scientologist is not a Scientologist.


No, but he was happy to forward their line, their their life.


Right. Right, right. And it didn't help. And I mean, he he came in I don't know if he was last, but he was at least four for four out of five. OK, yeah. And there's something important about this, though, is.


Scientology has long told politicians in Clearwater that they have this huge bloc of votes and this huge amount of money that they will throw behind, and they have gotten the number of politicians in Clearwater and in Florida to speak on their behalf and step out on their behalf, including Pam Bondi, who was the former attorney general of the state of Florida.


And Olysio Santana took it upon himself to become the Scientology candidate in this race for the city of City Council for Clearwater.


And it proved that Scientology does not, in fact, have this enormous, powerful voting bloc. Right, because he came forth and Mark Bunker one, they couldn't even and this is not a huge election.


There are six Mark Bunker, one with six thousand one hundred and seventy votes. This they couldn't even round up six thousand one hundred and seventy votes to beat Mark Bunker.




And so I hope that Clearwater gets behind Mark and contributes to the efforts to expose the crimes of Scientology.


Yeah, I hear you, Leah. The people of Clearwater here. You too. And I understand getting through to the city officials is not easy. But as they told me, I've already changed the dialogue in the city, so we're not going back. There's going to be more and more people openly addressing Scientology now. And I'm hoping we have a second candidate on the city council in two years when the next race is on because you need three out of five votes to get anything done.


So if we have to suppressive people on the board and we could just convince one other person that we need to take action, that would make a huge difference.


And also, I want to add that there is one elected board in Clearwater that is dominated by Scientologists or the Downtown Development Board, which are the only people eligible to sit on that board, are owners of property in downtown Clearwater. And the only people eligible to vote for people sitting on that board are owners of property in downtown Clearwater. So guess what, Leah, huh? Four out of the seven of them are Scientologists. Mike Rinder that.


Are you kidding me? Is that correct? And there's a fifth member who is not a Scientologist, but she's a lawyer at Scientology. Go to law firm of Pope Johnson. Hang on a second.


You guys does Clearwater. Now, what does this board call? That's the downtown development board.


The Downtown Development Board. This is the board that decides what's going to be developed in downtown Clearwater. Four out of the seven board members, Arzenta and the fifth one works for Scientology.


They don't have that much power. What they have is a small budget of two out and some thousand.


Well, I'll tell you what.


I'll tell you what, they have some power because ain't shit going down downtown Clearwater but Scientology, what can people do about this?


I mean, when what can people do about not having four out of the seven while five really on the side of Scientology?


Well, there's really nothing that you can do about it, because only the people who live downtown can vote and they have the votes to win.


So if there were enough, it's not even live on it's own property in Dallas.


No, I think you can live or work downtown as well. But definitely they have. Well, there is something you do well. If you work any if you work in downtown clear, which is not likely because there's no businesses down there to work in, because Scientology owns everything and they don't actually have any businesses for people to work in and they probably wouldn't have non Scientologists working there.


You can. Try to get on this walk or you can vote not to have the majority of Scientology on the board.


Yes, it's possible to even just dissolve the board if the city wanted to, which I mean, there has been some talk about doing.


But really, if if Scientologists can win an election, they can they can sit on the board. Now, this board primarily deals with a budget of how do we promote downtown? Should we have an arts festival? Should we have bands playing music on the street so they don't have a lot of power? And they're an advisory board for the city council. So they they make some decisions that then come to us and then we can say yes or no.


So it it's not like they have a lot of power, but because it's such an amazing story that they control this board, a lot of people are convinced that the city council itself and in most city officials are Scientologists.


That's not the case. I find a lot of support within the city for being tougher on Scientology. It's just a matter of how how do we find the evidence for the police could go in and and do a raid? How do we how do we prove all of these things? I think it's important for us to be communicating. And, hey, I'd sit down with I keep offering to sit down with David Miscavige. You know, they keep saying, oh, we're going to have a meeting with him soon.


I volunteer. I'll go in and negotiate. For some reason they won't be there. But things are changing slowly. And I think we do have the possibility to to really make a difference.


Well, I've got someone in mind. I bet you do.


So so I don't live in Clearwater, just by the way.


So it's well, I might have to buy a property in Clearwater being that it's just for sale. I love it. I love it.


Well, listen, Mike, we've always talked about I said, let's open up some kind of business in downtown to get it going. Get it going. Yeah, something going. So go ahead.


Mark, did you talk to an owner downtown who has not sold the Scientology? She'd be happy to open something there, whether it's your ice cream shop or if there's any other project you want to put in there.


That could definitely let me hear from the city of Clearwater what they want. What does the city of Clearwater downtown. What are you all missing?


Well, pretty much everything you could tweet me, but there are a couple of coffee shops. There's some restaurants opening up that are doing quite well.


There's one bar, right, Mike? There was one bar that opened up in downtown, but Scientology fair game him. Yeah.


Yeah, that was that. Yes, that that is no longer there. But there are some other establishments that are opening. You know, Mark. And I will also say the new mayor that was elected at the same time that Mark was Frank Hibbard is very business oriented and is seeking to change the way the city addresses bringing businesses into downtown, which is a good thing.


Yeah, we just sent out a request for developers saying that we've got some property here along the bay front where we're putting in our beautiful new imagine clear water park. And we we asked for proposals out of the fifty developers we reached out to, only two responded. And and we that minus in the paper, talked to at least one or two of them that said Scientology was the reason. And I'm sure many, many more of the developers. Felt the same way, but having gone on record, in effect in Monday's work session, we were talking about the development downtown and I asked, do we know the reason why these other forty eight developers?


Did not want to make a proposal, and they said, well, we reached out to three or four of them, but, well, we should get on the phone and and talk to all of them to find out what the problem is, because I think we'll find that people are just wary about being associated with. I don't know that it's scary to me. Well, no, no, I don't know that it's wary of Scientology. It's that because Scientology owns the town, No.


One, there's no reason to go down there. So if I'm a developer, I say this is where are the people? It doesn't matter to me if they're Scientologists. Do they eat ice cream? I mean, they're more than welcome in here, but it's not the opposite, right?


Scientology doesn't want your businesses in there. They want Scientology businesses in there, God forbid. Mike and I opened up an ice cream shop in downtown Clearwater. What would happen? A Sea Org member might walk in, a Scientologist might walk in. They might go, oh, my God, oh, I have to leave. They will leave our ice cream shop. They will not spent one cent in there because they are taught you are not allowed to contribute to non Scientologist businesses, but especially especially people they label enemies.


So we would get no Scientology business if, God forbid, a Scientology business in downtown Clearwater said, hey, you should watch the aftermath or put up the the foundation, the Aftermath Foundation, which is there to solely help anybody trying to leave the Sea Org, you know, Scientology, right.


If that business put up something in support of the Aftermath Foundation, there would be an internal meeting with Scientologists and I'm not sure about Sea Org members.


I'm talking about parishioners who have flown in from Sweden, from New York, from Germany.


You are not allowed to go to that place.


And they already do that. Now, Mike, by the way, when I used to go there as a parishioner, they used to go, how much money are you putting on your, like, food account? I go, well, I might want to eat, you know, in a normal place, you know, one day. And they're like, no, no, no, no, you don't you don't go eat at other people's places.


Like, you don't do that. You spend your money here, Leah.


Absolutely. And and this is touching upon a whole nother subject, which, you know, banker got refused service along with Jeff Jacobson at a pizza place in downtown Clearwater that was owned by Scientologists.




And that was on was that on Fort Harrison Street that it was the name of that person? Well, there was there was a restaurant that's not there that Jeff and I went to back in 2000 that that kicked us out. That was that's closed.


And that's my point, that Scientology plays both sides. They say we want to be accepted, but we won't accept you.


Right. Right. So I hear from a lot of people who have stories about what it's like to do business downtown, how there's one sign shop that I went to for some of my campaign materials, all of his. Customers were businesses located downtown and they got chased out of downtown, and that severely hurt his business, even though he's not located down. We need to have a safe way for people to come and share their stories about how Scientology intimidates business people.


There has to be a way for us to do that so we can say this is the impact that Scientology is having on our businesses downtown.


I is it. I don't know how to do that yet, but that's something we we need to set up. I'm very happy that we're talking openly about Scientology now and there is progress being made, even though it's slow. But we will make a difference in Clearwater.


I know you will if anybody can. You will. Thank you, Mark Plunker.


Thanks so much. Mark, it's always a pleasure to talk to you.


Thank you both.


Thank you to all of you for our continued to support this podcast. We so appreciate it until next time.


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