We Asked the Church of Scientology How They're Combatting Coronavirus. This Is Their Wild Response. - 2020-04-05
On March 30, the Tampa Bay Times published an eye-opening story concerning the Church of Scientology's reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the piece, journalist Tracey McManus reported that members of the Sea Org, the more militant wing of the church, were "still packing buses as they moved from living quarters to church buildings" and "sitting shoulder to shoulder" around Scientology's Flag Building—or Spiritual Headquarters—in Clearwater, Florida. Furthermore, she quoted Clearwater City Councilman Mark Bunker who claimed, "It's not a healthy situation. I've heard from a lot of family members, families who have been (estranged) from their kids in the Sea Org and they are worried to death about the conditions they are living in."
The Tampa Bay Times piece came on the heels of a March 24 story by Tony Ortega, the world's leading Scientology reporter, who'd obtained a March 13 letter from Scientology leader David Miscavige to his adherents referring to the COVID-19 crisis as "the current hysteria" and "planetary bullbait."
"You can see he was totally being denialist about the whole thing," Ortega told The Daily Beast. "Their big thing is 'good works,' or trying to make a show that Scientology helps society. The thing they came up with is they decided they have these chemicals that are the best at disinfecting the environment, and they've created these yellow-jacketed sanitation teams who go door-to-door offering to sanitize offices. They're trying to turn it into some sort of public relations campaign."