Coastal town now is awash in 'Squirrel Busters' - 2011-07-11
INGLESIDE ON THE BAY — The first time Charlie Orr saw the group of men outside his home, wearing odd helmets and sky blue shirts with a "Squirrel Busters" insignia on the chest, he assumed a neighbor had a rodent infestation.
"I thought, 'Well, we had a termite man out here. Maybe we have a squirrel problem I didn't know about,'" he recalled.
But as Orr, 70, and other residents of this idyllic coastal community of palm trees, elegant white skiffs and pastel-colored homes soon learned — to their continuing regret — the Squirrel Busters had no interest in tree-climbing varmints.
Instead, they were targeting Orr's next-door neighbor, Mark Rathbun, 54, a high-level defector from the Church of Scientology who has become an outspoken critic of the church, denouncing its leadership as despotic and abusive.