Bizarro Smear Campaign: Candidate Gregg Weiss Accused of Scientology, Anarchy in West Palm Beach Commission Race (PHOTO)

Categories: Broward News
A leading supporter of West Palm Beach City Commission candidate Shanon Materio has warned voters that a Materio loss will expose the city to the danger of having an Operating Thetan (member of the Church of Scientology) in a position of leadership. Not only that, the warning goes, the miscreant's "governing philosophy" is that of "a budding anarchist" and/or "violent 'Earth Liberation Front' extremist" or (at best?) "maybe just a good old-fashioned socialist."

If that doesn't scare voters away from Materio's opponent, retired businessman Gregg Weiss, nothing will.

scientology headquarters.jpg

The warning came in an email blast from GOP lobbyist Anita Mitchell, who, along with her daughter, WPB City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell, is a highly vocal, well-connected Materio partisan. The information "speaks for itself," lobbyist Mitchell wrote, concluding that "we don't need this kind of philosophy governing our City." Unprompted, she declared that Scientology is not a religion.

Mitchell's "information" consists of two things. One is a photograph of Weiss, in a ship's cabin, wearing a T-shirt that reads: Scientology Volunteer Minister. The other is the phrase "social ecology," the title of the program in which Weiss holds a degree from UC-Irvine.

Regarding the T-shirt, Weiss told New Times it was "borrowed on a sailing trip" when his clothes got wet. "It's two sizes too large," he noted.

Mitchell told us she's heard that Weiss has given two, differing explanations of the incriminating garment. "He said it was on a ship. He also said it was a gag." Ya think? (We'd like to state for the record that we could, if we wished, provide a photograph of ourself in a T-shirt that reads: "I AM HIP-HOP." We're not.)

Mitchell did walk the Scientology claim back a baby step or two. "I probably shouldn't have said that," she said when pressed. At the same time, she added, "I stand by it. If he's not a Scientologist, he should say so." Hopefully, he'll also take the opportunity to clarify what else he isn't.

As for "social ecology," Mitchell's "investigation" relies on that modern Sybil, the internet. The most inflammatory part of her email is drawn whole hog from a website run by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a tobacco- and liquor-industry front group. The remainder appears to be drawn from a Wikipedia entry on libertarian socialist Murray Bookchin, and it is a fair description of Bookchin's philosophy.

We, less imaginatively, thought it good to look at the actual, you know, course descriptions of the Irvine program -- which has no connection whatsoever to Bookchin. The program consists of classes in criminology, psychology, and planning. Scary stuff.

Apprised of that information, the canny Mitchell dared call it conspiracy. "The university's not going to say it's anarchy," she told us.

"I'm not doing this mean-spiritedly," Mitchell said. "It's what you find when you Google -- here's his background. Kind of like investigating someone who's in the KKK or the John Birch Society."

In reply to a text message, Materio's campaign failed to disassociate itself from the Mitchell email, declining to comment. Speaking to the Palm Beach Post Materio offered up the "everybody does it" defense.

Weiss told us this: "Nothing in the email is accurate as it relates to me." Asked specifically about the "Scientology" claim, he replied, "I'm Jewish."

Here's the text of the email -- and the offending photo

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frankd4 topcommenter

voo-doo, stoicism, reformation under henry viii, lutheranism, scientology and on and on and on are ALL goofy to some and comforting to others - so what ?

a persons ability to govern may or may not have anything to do with their particular faith

what you have here is a cost-effective way of getting public attention during a campaign for a position with relatively small and temporary implications since a WPB commissioner can be a block-of-wood and not really matter much


NASA should have sent Anita into space instead of Edgar - and left her there.  Materio should publicly apologize for Mitchell's e-mail or resign.  Preferably, the latter.


I enjoyed the article. Mary sounds like Joe McCarthy. Thanks for turning me on to a new area of study. I totallly agree with Social Ecology; I'll have to read Bookchin! I wish I could vote for Greg.


Weiss needs to explicitly deny being a Scientologist or having Scientology connections. the "I'm Jewish" doesn't cut it, because I personally know a Scientologist that identified as being jewish, and another with being Catholic. Even if you believe the "my clothes got wet" story, then we should know who he's chummy enough  with that would lend him that shirt. Scientology is a dangerous criminal cult, and we need to know where they have influence.


Not bizarre at all. When you understand how Scientology indoctrinates it's members to help the organization "clear the planet" in order to achieve the aims and goals of Scientology as a totalitarian organization, you would understand the concerns in that email and the information provided which gives perspective to what Greg Weiss is going after in his run for commission member. Scientologists are encouraged to gain placement all areas of government and rise to positions of power in order to make Scientology acceptable and it's practices put into use. 

Voters need to keep Shanon Materio ( who I never heard of until reading this article ) on commission just for these very facts.  You can read about the history of other politicians and Scientology here at this excellent article. Scientology, Politics, and Public Money by Professor Dave Touretzky
http : // www /~dst/Stop-Narconon/Baca/Scientology_and_Politics . html

(omit the spaces for direct link)


Hate to be an editor here; what with the biting and stinging that the fire ant is known for. But Sybil should be spelled Cybele. Also, maybe someone should forward Ms. Mitchell's missive to Clearwater HQ, so they could confirm or deny, or neither confirm or deny, Mr. Weiss's status as a Clear. Or Ms. Mitchell's impending classification as a Suppressive. Whichever.



I am an official card carrying member of the Socialist Party USA.

As a socialist, capable of free thinking, here's what I believe in.

1.  Affordable access to healthcare -- for all. This is a human right.

2. Strong unions and tax the living snot out of the rich. A vibrant middle class is crucial to the success of our nation -- and this bullshit of "I got mine, so fuck you", is myopic.

3. I believe in science over religion and fantasy, education over the bible, discussion over war, clean air/water over deregulations, and lower cost blow jobs.

In the end, concentrating the vast wealth of our very rich nation, in the hands of a few (about 14,000 families) is a recipe for disaster.

Your pally.


PS Thanks for the great writing, it's a real joy to read.

fire.ant topcommenter

@dc14522 Oh? A mere denial will satisfy you? Don't you know Scientologists hold themselves above normal standards of right and wrong, and will do or say anything to insinuate themselves into positions of power? How could you be so gullible? Nothing less than Weiss's withdrawal from the race will do!

fire.ant topcommenter

@JustCallMeMary Indeed, without Materio's watchful eye "those very facts"--and Weiss's telltale t-shirt--might have slipped by the public and into office. Let's check his underwear too, so we know he's not also a secret Mormon, taking marching orders from Salt Lake City.

fire.ant topcommenter

@LeonHiddell544CampAlways nice to hear from my favorite patsy.

But "Cybele"? Really?

"The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god."

-Heraclitus. (According to Wikipedia, anyway.)


@ChazStevensGenius It's all well to believe one would want socialism in Amerca but try living it.

Only 3 countries left under socialist government or constitution:  Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Republic of Cuba, and People's Republic of China . Compare that to the many other countries who once declared their system or Constitution as Socialist and eventually chucked the whole thing. 

 All that glitters is not gold. Just saying... 


@fire.ant @ChazStevensGenius It's funny you say that.

I'm up in DC working.  When I cabbed in from Reagan (DCA), crossing the Memorial Bridge (right behind the Lincoln memorial), there were a pair of little black helicopters emblazoned with NERT on the side scanning the inbound traffic.

I was looking around for Keifer Sutherland...


@fire.antYou would laugh your ASS off if you knew who pays my bills. Rest assured, I sell my talents, but not my soul,

Fucking crack the fuck up.

Unfortuately, I am not allowed to discuss any of the particulars.

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