Project Normandy, 2015: Paulette Cooper has landed in Clearwater - Scientology's 'Mecca' - 2015-06-28
Now this is going to be fun. We arrived in Clearwater yesterday and reunited with some great people and met plenty of new folks. And it's all been in advance of perhaps the most anticipated stop on our book tour so far.
In 1975, tired of running Scientology from the sea, L. Ron Hubbard ordered the takeover of downtown Clearwater, Florida in a secret operation he called Project Normandy. Under the name "United Churches of Florida," Scientology got possession of the Fort Harrison Hotel and other properties before Clearwater Mayor Gabe Cazares knew that his town was under invasion.
It's forty years later, and Clearwater is still coming to grips with its creepy downtown that's all but dead except for the young Sea Org members walking around or being bussed from one Scientology building to another.