Wise Beard Man visits Scientology's new Fantasyland in Clearwater - 2015-07-14
They're a series of cute little shops extending north of the Clearwater Bank building, an area that's always been of some interest in Scientology's "mecca" of downtown Clearwater. It was in the Clearwater Bank building that church executives Mark "Marty" Rathbun and Mike Rinder spent four years plotting strategy as the organization dealt with the legal fallout after the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson. Meanwhile, at 33 N. Fort Harrison, a little north of the bank, the church critics who operated the Lisa McPherson Trust kept her name in the press and gave Scientology leader David Miscavige heartburn. More recently, we've seen lots of footage as Alex Hageli ("Darth Xander") made a specialty of filming Sea Org workers coming and going in the alley behind the building from their mess hall to their course rooms or quarters.
But then more recently, the entire block was put under wraps and fumigated as it went through a facelift. And finally, this week, we got to see what Scientology is doing with the property: It's opened up its own version of Disneyland Main Street!