The One Stoppe Shoppe in Clearwater:
discrimination and bigotry

click here for copyright

On December 3rd, I was running out of film. I entered the "one stoppe shoppe" near the corner Cleveland / Harrison and bought two rolls of KODAK 400 film (24 exp), paid with cash, and left. One minute later an angry male person stormed out of the store and told us that we should never enter again - because he was a Scientologist and that we are protesting against (I was wearing a $CIENTOLOGY KILLS T-Shirt). I said that this is religious discrimination, he agreed! At first I was angry to have done business with a Scientologist (he offered to refund, said that he had been upstairs and hadn't seen what happened) - but then I realized that a Scientologist had actually helped me in my activities! He later came out again and tried to snap a polaroid foto of me. I was able to fotograph the guy through the store window:

My opinion on his behaviour is that it would have been OK to ask me not to come into his store with the T-Shirt, but it is not OK to discriminate against the protesters. Since Scientology is considered a religion by the IRS, his behaviour is religious discrimination!

Bob Minton leaving the store;
Fotographed by Shy David
The next day Bob Minton had a similar problem. He entered the store without such a T-Shirt to buy a coke. He was asked whether he was one of the protesters. He waved three $100 bills and said "does this look like scientology money"? (Another version is that he was asked whether he was a Scientologist, and said "If I were a Scientologist I wouldn't have any money.") He was asked for his name (which Bob gave), and the face of the store guy went white and he was told to get out. Bob left and went to the vending machine that was also operated by the store. After Bob got himself a coke, the manager disconnected the machine! The manager called the police; Bob was not arrested, but the officer told that the manager had already called several times.

Copyright Grady Ward,
used with permission

(Grady shot this foto shortly 
after the Minton incident)

Picture by Shy David

He had walked behind Bob Minton,
holding his picket sign, unaware of what
was going on. When employees started 
to yell at him, he aimed his camera and shot, 
just before getting thrown out of the store.

On the following day (5.12) Valerie Emanuel was also prevented from buying at the store. (real name known by me) told of a similar story that happened on 8.12: "I figured I would get a 'Clearwater' T-shirt for my kid. I saw a sundries store and attempted to enter. They advised me I couldn't because of the T-shirt I was wearing."

Grady Ward was with me, and he posted on 16.12: I can testify under oath that Tilman specifically asked Paris if this was an example of religious discrimination and Paris' explicit and enthusiastic affirmation that yes, it was precisely that -- religious discrimination.

News from 18.8.2000: Paris Morfopoulos speaks out! (on bottom of page) or here:

Paris Morfopoulos speaks out! from Xenu on Vimeo.

News from 23.9.2001: Article by the St. Petersburg Times: Scientologist merchants can bar critics: A ruling says church opponents are not protected from discrimination and can be refused service.

Former FSO staff member Martin Ottmann told me that the One Stoppe Shoppe is frequently used by FSO staff to make copies, and that it is usually packed full of people, because copy machines are not available for all staff. The result is that the staff has to go out to the One Stoppe Shoppe and pay for the copies themselves, from their tiny pay (around $25 a week, sometimes less). The situation is so bad that staff sometimes don't even get approval for office material (e.g. a new typewriter cartridge), so again, some pay it from their own money. In other words: the One Stoppe Shoppe profits from the greed of scientology.

Copyright notice:
Unless credited otherwise, all pictures on this web page are the property of Tilman Hausherr and have been taken in December 1998. If you are one of the primary subjects on a picture you can ask me for a print, and you can also make as much copies as you want, as long as all published copies have the text ("Copyright Tilman Hausherr 1998"). For everyone else: you may not reproduce the image in any way. If you do want to use a picture, send me an e-mail; I will usually grant permission to most people critical of Scientology.

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