Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

by Steven Girardi

Tampa Tribune - March 13, 1994

The Retold Story

The Church of Scientology, forever dissatisfied with media coverage, solved that problem last week.

The Scientologists printed their own newspaper, an eight-page tabloid called Freedom, and paid The Tampa Tribune to stuff it inside Friday's Pinellas editions and to drop another 100,000 copies on doorsteps around town.

If you haven't read it, let me summarize: It says - in many, many more words - Scientology is good; those who criticize it are bad.

Big surprise.

It extends the olive branch: "It is time to stop listening to the voices of discord and to put old animosities behind us," in the words of Scientology public relations man Richard Haworth.

It then uses it to whack assorted local people, including but not limited to: Clearwater mayor Rita Garvey and former city commissioners, Police Chief Sid Klein and former detective Ray Emmons, anyone involved with the 1983 public hearings into Scientology, the St. Petersburg Times and assorted executives, and the Clearwater Sun - a newspaper that no longer exists - over events dating back to the 1970s.

"I believe the people of Clearwater want to know the truth about what is going on here in Clearwater and also want to know the real story about the Church of Scientology," Haworth says.

No question about that.

Haworth laments that the newspapers never told the real story about Scientology.

He probably just forgot how residents eventually found out that the United Churches of Florida, which bought the downtown Ft. Harrison Hotel in 1975, was really the Church of Scientology.