This is the 4th of a 5-part interview series with former Scientologist Tim DeWall. We’ve covered how he got into Scientology, joined staff and even ran the Tampa Church of Scientology for many years. Now we are going to cover what happened after he left staff and what life is like for a public Scientologist in one of the most in-your-face Scientology communities in the world, Clearwater, Florida.
Scientology moved in to Clearwater in 1975 when L. Ron Hubbard decided that would be the ideal place to setup Scientology operations in the United States. They moved in covertly under assumed names and using fake companies in order to get a foothold before any of the local residents knew what was happening. Since that time, and despite a lot of public protest, the Church has made Clearwater a stronghold of Scientology activity, spending a lot of money to secure themselves as a permanent resident there and get in good with the local politicians, community leaders and police.
As a result, many high-level Scientologists view Clearwater as the ultimate destination spot to live and work and it has the second highest concentration of Scientologists in the world next to Los Angeles. Scientologists have referred to the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater as the Mecca of Scientology.
Tim and his wife Sylvia got out of Scientology just last year after decades of involvement. Let’s pick up now with Part 4 of our interview and see what it’s like to be a Scientologist in Clearwater.