A Giant Has Passed

It is heartbreaking tonight to see the news that Gabe Cazares has died. He was a terrific man, a brave man and a kind man. I’m so glad I had a chance to meet him and share some time with him while I lived in his town of Clearwater, Florida.I’m afraid I don’t have the words to convey how important Gabe was and why I truly consider him an American hero. He stood up to Scientology when they snuck into his town under an assumed name. He was the mayor at the time and took it upon himself to find out who this group was and why they came to his town under a cloud of lies and fraud. Continue reading “A Giant Has Passed”

The Memorial Brick Controversy

Jeff attempts to purchase an engraved brick in memory of Lisa McPherson.
Jeff attempts to purchase an engraved brick in memory of Lisa McPherson.

Posted to alt.religion.scientology:
Sometime in August 2000 Mark Bunker and I attended a meeting of Citizens for a Better Clearwater at a deli in downtown Clearwater. We learned there of their project to turn a small alleyway off Cleveland Street into a park. They were going to sell bricks where people could place a message on them to raise money, and these bricks would be interspersed through the brickwork walkway in the park.
On September 14, 2000 I wrote a check to Citizens for a Better Clearwater for $45.00 to purchase a brick for the new park. CBC had basically one rule about what could be on the brick, that there could be only one memorial brick per deceased. They later added that a committee would review each message. My brick was to say “Remember Lisa McPherson, 1959-1995.”
On September 21 I sent an email to Citizens for a Better Clearwater asking if the Scientology security cameras would be staying in the park (there were 2 on the Scientology building that makes the west wall of the park). I got a nice letter back thanking me for my brick purchase, and they didn’t know if the cameras would be staying or not.
On October 7 I sent another check for $45.00 to Citizens for a Better Clearwater to again purchase a brick to help pay for the park amenities. This one was for a friend and it was to say “in memory of Congressman Leo Ryan.”
About a week ago I was over by the park and noticed they were putting bricks in finally. I asked the worker how they were dispersing the message bricks and he said just as they came off the pallet and in no other particular order. I was glad and looking forward to seeing where my bricks might be placed.
The above is the entire extent of my contact with Citizens for a Better Clearwater, until today. Today I got a letter from CBC dated February 27 and signed Doug Williams, Treasurer.   Here is the letter:

Dear Mr. Jacobsen,
Citizens for a Better Clearwater is a private, non-profit organization which is committed to improving the city and forwarding a message of unity amongst its citizens and development for the downtown.
We have reviewed your application along with your correspondence on the matter and do not feel that we can accept donations for a brick from you and still maintain the message of community harmony that we seek. We are therefore returning your brick donations.

First off, what on earth was disharmonizing about my bricks?
Second, why did it take them months to let me know about this rejection, especially since they had sent a letter thanking me for the orders previously?  Third, what “correspondence” are they talking about?  I only ordered the bricks and asked about the security cameras, that’s it.
I suspect now what I had heard as rumor, that CBC is controlled by Scientology. What other “community” would be in disharmony over my bricks?
So now I have a check for $90 and a bitter taste in my mouth.
–Jeff Jacobsen, March 2001