Religion: A Sci-Fi Faith

The mystery began to unfold last fall in sleepy, sun-drenched Clearwater, Fla. The Southern Land Development and Leasing Corp. decided to buy the 270-room Fort Harrison Hotel, a downtown landmark, and a nearby bank building. Southern Land stated that the hotel would stay open, but another spokesman announced that it would become a center for the United Churches of Florida, a new ecumenical outfit that soon won endorsement from twelve local clergymen.

When 200 tight-lipped strangers moved into the hotel, rumors flew that the Arabs or organized crime were behind the project....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!