Clearwater Sun

Nancy and her neo-Nazis

December 1979


  So here come these Scientologists dressed up as Nazi storm troopers, goose-stepping along Myrtle Avenue toward the offices of the Clearwater Sun.

And with them comes Nancy Reitze, their stony-eyed Madonna of propaganda, bearing a sheaf of off-the-wall prose that talks about persecution and Nazis and Jews and pre-war Germany.

The entire procession, looking as if it had just escaped from a Munich beer hall, stops in front of the Sun and proceeds to seig-heil and orate and just have a marvelous time trying to embarrass the Sun and our editor and reporters and whomever might be standing around.

It happened at 2 p.m. Friday in broad daylight, and at last Clearwater and the world got a chance to see Scientology in its true colors.

Thanks, Scientologists. We needed that. We knew that sooner or later you’d take off those civilian clothes and wear your natural plumage. But we didn’t think you’d call in the TV cameras and other news media to witness your doing it.

Nothing we can write could describe Scientologists any better than they did themselves on Friday. In their attempt to point an accusing finger at the Sun, the cult further convicted itself.

The cult’s members are, shall we say, miffed at the Sun for telling the truth about Scientology. The wienerschnitzel follies they staged on Friday was their way of diverting attention from themselves.

Thousands of Suncoast residents switched on their TV last night and witnessed the Scientologists-Nazis. Newspaper readers awoke this morning to find the story on their front lawns.

We predict the reaction of most viewers and readers was the same as the bystander near the Sun on Friday who wanted to slug one of Ms. Reitze’s Wehmacht.

He said he’d fought those so-and-so’s in World War II, and he was ready to do it again.

If the Sun was supposed to be intimidated by all these antics, we aren’t. We feel the same way about the Scientologists, only moreso.

Readers who wish to express their own feeling about Scientology may do so today at 11 a.m. at Clearwater city hall.

A rally and parade will be held. It will a chance for all of us to exercise our freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and our freedom from fear.

Persons who attend this event will be showing they are fed up with Scientologists, with out-of-town interlopers and their neo-Nazi charades, with vacant-eyed men and women who walk our downtown streets with their engrams dangling.

Friday, Clearwater got its clearest view of the Scientologists.

This morning, we hope Clearwater will show the Scientologists a clear, unmistakable view of us.