Contact: Local contact: December97@juno.com


Arnie Lerma alerma@dgs.dgsys.com

Jeff Jacobsen cultxpt@globalcrossing.net

The third annual peaceful demonstration against the Church of Scientology will be held in Clearwater Florida this December 5 and 6, 1997. Clearwater is the spiritual world headquarters of Scientology. Last March about 30 protesters came from around the United States and from the Clearwater area to protest Scientology's harsh treatment of its critics and its own members. There were other protests around the world as well, mostly organized on the internet. Critics point out the harmful and dangerous practices of the church, their exorbitant and aggressive monetary requirements, their policy of attacking anyone they consider an "enemy", and their own incarceration of members deemed problematic to the church.

Many people have been hurt by these practices.

Lisa McPherson, a 36 year old Scientologist, died December 5, 1995 at Scientology's Ft. Harrison Hotel in downtown Clearwater. After a 17 day stay while under the care of fellow Scientologists, Lisa lost approximately 40 pounds, had scabs and bruises all over her body, was severely dehydrated and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital many miles from the hotel but with a Scientologist doctor on duty. "We don't want the church's quack medical practices killing anyone else," said demonstrator Jeff Jacobsen. "We want the church to renounce their practices of incarceration and to stop hurting people both inside and outside their organization."

Last March in front of the Ft. Harrison Hotel protesters were individually surrounded by Scientologists who used their signs to cover and hide protesters' signs. During the candlelight vigil in memory of Lisa McPherson held across from the Ft. Harrison Hotel where Lisa died, mourners were taunted and pushed, and even had their candles blown out by Scientologists.

On Friday December 5 there will be a press conference during the day including several ex-Scientologists who will explain the cruel treatment inside Scientology. There will also be a candlelight vigil in Lisa McPherson's memory that evening at 6:30pm in front of the Ft. Harrison Hotel where Lisa died, on the second anniversary of her death.

On Saturday December 6 there will be a peaceful demonstration across from the Ft. Harrison Hotel at 210 S. Ft. Harrison. The protest is designed to inform the public about Scientology's harmful practices and actions.

For further information: