Editorials of the Sun
It's the Scientologists who are acting bizarre
The Clearwater Sun
It's ironic that Scientology spokesman Richard Haworth has accused Clearwater Sun Staff Writer George-Wayne Shelor of "bizarre behavior."
Haworth has announced he will no longer respond to questions from the reporter. He accused Shelor of a long list of offenses, including an attempt to break into the sect's headquarters on S. Fort Harrison Avenue.
And, Haworth added, Shelor was abetted in the attempted break-in by Clearwater Sun Managing Editor Sam Fenton.
Flabbergasted by the charge, Fenton said he and, Shelor were approached by a guard while trying to light a cigarette in a side doorway of the Scientology building on a windy day.
Even as Haworth's allegations were being discussed at the newspaper, a report came in from Clearwater Police that a Scientology guard had been arrested on a charge of false imprisonment. Police said the security guard, Roy Rodriguez, chased and handcuffed a former sect member who was walking near a Scientology building on Cleveland Street.
A rock had earlier been thrown through the window, police said.
It was the second incident in three months involving apparently paranoid behavior by a Scientology guard. Police said they lectured another guard for subjecting a passing bicyclist to a "sidewalk shakedown" May 3.
Earlier this year, police were summoned twice to Scientology headquarters when visiting members of the sect were forcibly prevented from leaving for the airport.
Given the police record and the evidence submitted to courts in the United States, Britain and Canada, it's the Scientologists who deserve to be called "bizarre."
They have also been described in courts of law as: paranoid, sinister, dangerous, exploitative, fraudulent, coercive, conspiratorial, lawbreaking, violent, threatening and corrupt.
Were it not our duty to provide the public with their side of the many allegations against the sect, we would be the ones refusing to speak to the Scientology leaders.
As it is, we will continue to report their statements, and if they refuse to answer Shelor's calls, we will assign a go-between.
It sounds childish, we know. But that's what happens when you get mixed up with Scientologists.