Scientology's town - 2004-07-18
It is the weekly meeting of the Clearwater chapter of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, business people using Hubbard's business techniques. Akin to a chamber of commerce for Scientologists, WISE members network, recruit employees, share business tips and hear lectures on topics such as marketing.
And they refine ideas for new businesses for downtown Clearwater.
For Scientologists, opening a business is "just as natural . . . as taking a shower and putting their shoes on," said WISE's Tampa Bay area president, Bud Reichel.
In Clearwater, the shoes fit especially well.
Scientologists now own more than 200 shops, restaurants, service outlets and small businesses in and around Clearwater's downtown. Many employ fellow Scientologists. WISE's Clearwater membership stands at 687, more than triple what it was five years ago.