Church requests that trial be moved - 2003-05-23
CLEARWATER - Earlier this spring, as the Church of Scientology prepared for its biggest trial in recent history, professional researchers combed Tyrone Square Mall asking Pinellas residents what they thought of the church.
"A cult," said person after person.
"Scam," said one. "Crooks," said another.
The researchers, hired by the church, questioned 300 people. Their findings were grim: Four out of five had unfavorable things to say about Scientology.
The church concluded that the negative opinions Pinellas residents hold toward Scientology are so deep and widespread, it could not get a fair trial here.