Scientology's Reed Slatkin


The Business Journal, Tampa Bay - 21 september 2001 - tidbits


Magazine probes Clearwater connection to investment scam

"Scientology, EarthLink and the Missing $500 million" states a headline on the Esquire magazine October 2001 cover.

The inside story is about Silicon Valley's Reed Slatkin, a day trader the Esquire article states promoted computer models to set up an investment fund that grew to more than $500 million.

Now Slatkin, a Church of Scientology International parishioner, is reported to be bankrupt and under federal investigation for what Esquire reported attorneys called one of the "biggest investment frauds in American history."

Esquire reported that Slatkin told Security and Exchange Commission lawyers he obliged his investors through a sense of duty, as prescribed by L. Ron Hubbard, Church of Scientology founder.

Esquire quoted Slatkin: "These people (investors) called me and said, `I want to go on full time (Scientology) training down in Clearwater. Can you help me?' "

Esquire also reported that in 1994 Slatkin met Sky Dayton, founder of Atlanta, Ga.-based EarthLink Inc. and graduate of the Delphian School, a Scientology-affiliated boarding school in Oregon. Slatkin and a fellow Scientologist are reported to have invested $100,000 in EarthLink in exchange for a 40-percent share of the new company.

Today EarthLink is a billion-dollar business, the third-largest Internet service provider in the country.

Scientology spokesman Aron Mason told investigators in writing that the church knew nothing about the missing investment money, reported Esquire.

KEEPING OUT THE DOUBT: Next time you attend a hockey game or concert at the Ice Palace, please exercise a little patience when entering the building.

Within a week of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, new security measures were put in place at the downtown Tampa arena. The bags of all nonemployees, including members of the media, will be checked from time to time as they enter the building.

"This practice is not meant as an inconvenience to anyone and will help ensure the safety of everyone working or attending an Ice Palace event," stated a memo to media outlets.

While media types tend to react badly to new rules placed upon them, whether by an editor or the government, the new security measures should be taken to heart by anyone trying to come into the building with a few "extras" inside a backpack or purse.

The bottom line these days is that if you can't carry an item in your pocket or hold it in plain sight, leave it in your car.

The Ice Palace is among numerous venues around the country implementing heightened security in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, both of which do not have immediate events on their calendars, are expected to follow with changes shortly.


Do you have an item for the Baysider? Drop Mac McKerral a line at mmckerral@bizjournals.com or call him at (813) 342-2472.


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