3.14.2008

Florida Stories: Why do we want to get out of Florida so badly?

To answer that question, I must explain how we came to be here in the first place. Since Clearwater, Florida is definitely not a place we would have chosen to live, what in the world would make us move here? Well, brainwashing is the simplest answer. We were "good" members of $cientology and we did what was expected of us -- and we didn't think about it. We sold our house in San Diego and moved to Florida. We didn't like it much at first and we hoped that it would get better. It didn't.

Here's what we didn't like:
The heat.
The humidity.
The bugs.
The mold and mildew.
The humidity combined with the heat.
The rats.
The really stupid people.
The ugliness of the town of Clearwater.
The deadness of the town.
The humidity.
There are no freeways.
There's nothing pretty or beautiful to look at (okay, there must be something.)

Once we woke up and knew that we were not $cientologists any more, all that was left was selling this house and getting out of here. The waking up was in the summer of 2006; the selling of the house was last week.

So, of course, one of the reasons we want to leave is that Clearwater is buried in $cientology. The biggest of their organizations is here and attracts people from all over the world. They've bought and renovated several of the historical buildings in Clearwater. And of course, there's the Super Power Building, which they've been working on for ten years. They hit up $cientologists for the money to build this monstrosity to the tune of $142 million. The building is not finished and the thing that it was built for isn't finished and the city of Clearwater has been fining them for being so overdue on finishing, but they don't care. They can't finish the building because they have nothing and no one to put in it.

There are also many businesses owned by $cientologists -- I worked for one until we were declared "suppressive persons," at which time I was fired. Our tax preparer was a $cieno and now she won't do our taxes. The contractor who did all the major projects on our house is a $cieno. I ran into him at the market, he wouldn't look at me. The $cieno friends we had likewise won't acknowledge that they know us. They are very weird.

$cientology casts a pall over this part of Florida. Clearwater is a dying town and many long-time residents believe it is directly because of the presence of $cientology. You can look up all the awful things this "church" did when they arrived here. Just Google Gabe Cazeres.

But the really good news is $cientology itself is dying. There have been outspoken critics for years and they've chipped away at the cult while being targets of harassment and worse. Now comes Anonymous. I'm so happy they're here. They're like the calvary arriving in the old westerns. They've put together an excellent video. It's only 14 minutes but will show you why they're involved. We didn't join in the protest on February 10, but we will tomorrow.

We haven't enjoyed living in Florida, and it's possible that we came here just so we could wake up from our nightmare. We are so happy to be out of the cult of greed and power. We are so happy to be moving on.