The Adrian Loveridge Column – Creating Opportunity in Real Estate

While watching an episode of Caribbean Life on HGTV (Home and Garden Television) hosted by our very own Cherita O’Dell recently, highlighting available property opportunities on Barbados, it struck me as one of the areas that really needs much greater attention to attract increased foreign exchange.

According to available data, over 96 million households in the USA have access to HGTV and in 2016 the network overtook CNN to become the third most-watched cable channel in the United States.

While our larger real estate agents appear to have found their place in the marketplace, both locally and internationally, there are dozens if not scores of smaller agencies, that appear to operate in isolation and seeming lack of collective direction.

Whether this is down to individual egos or the sheer inability or fear of working co-operatively as a group to maximize reach, awareness and share costs?

Recalling the very many promotional trips I personally took overseas, the primary concentration was never about our small hotel, but showcasing the destination. At the end of the day, it is the customer who makes the informed decision, based on preferred likes and budget.

What is to stop around ten of the more creative smaller real estate agents producing a weekly video, showcasing our vast range of possible second or retirement homes?

This could be aired via YouTube and any number of social media channels.

Of course the same video could display all the contact details of each partner agent, with websites to secure more information.

Despite current foreign exchange rates in some key markets, there still are comparative ‘bargains’ when you take into account certain locations within the United Kingdom and the added warm weather benefits that a tropical location could help to reduce a long British winter.

Add the possibility of reducing investment costs by offering home rental letting and it’s already beginning to make justifiable economic sense.

The British equivalent to HGTV in the United Kingdom could well be the very popular series produced by Channel 4 TV, A place in the Sun.

They go that extra mile by including a simple click on link to available properties for sale on Barbados and at last website viewing, listed over 800 possibilities.

Is there a way that our national marketing agency could build on these linkages?

Naturally every second home owner becomes a potential long stay visitor and almost certainly introduces family members who could conceivably return, year after year.

Not for a second, am I ignoring the vast choice of online real estate find portals like RightMove, On the Market, Prime Location and Zoopla, but if there is another dimension, could we be missing out on a lost opportunity?

Surely we have a duty to explore?

Also, is there any way our local banks can become more proactive in offering overseas clients, mortgage facilities? After all, surely any perceived risk by the lender is based on the value of the property and the ability to service debt payments?

46 comments

  • peterlawrencethompson

    I will accept that you are well intentioned Adrian, but encouraging Barbados property sales to rich Europeans and North Americans is a terrible idea that contributes nothing to the long term development of the Barbadian economy and society.

    Let’s think this through, shall we?

    Your stated objective is to “attract increased foreign exchange.” The expat buyer pays in forex and that is supposed to help our economy… but wait a minute, what happens when that buyer sells the property? The price has increased and the buyer simply takes even more forex back out of Barbados! So there is a net LOSS of forex in the long run, not a forex gain.

    Well what if s/he sells to another expat who in turn sells to yet another expat and so on? Then the forex is a benefit to our economy, no? Well, kind of, if you want to sell our island to foreigners in increasing amounts until the end of time… with eventually the only land remaining in Bajan hands is that which the foreigners don’t want. Meanwhile the inflationary effect of the foreign money has driven up property prices until the ONLY people who can afford property in Barbados are foreigners.

    Everybody knows that this pattern started decades ago and the only thing which has slowed it down are the effects of the 2008 recession. Several local fortunes were made in the real estate development industry between 1980 and 2008: Terra Carribean, Ron Karp Realty, COW Williams, Altman Real Estate, etc. You yourself note that the “larger real estate agents appear to have found their place in the marketplace, both locally and internationally,” but let us stop using euphemisms. It is the White real estate developers and agents who have “found their place in the marketplace…”

    Now at this point there will be the usual howls of protest that I am ‘playing the race card,’ that racism has nothing to do with it, that these individuals ‘don’t see race,’ that they are colour-blind and cannot possibly be racist. In fact I am acquainted with some of these real estate professionals myself and they appear to me to be decent individuals. However, to be colour-blind is to be blind to history… in a word to be simply blind.

    Structural racism is not about individuals who fail to invite Black people to tea or who do not have Black friends and colleagues… that is trivia. Structural racism is perpetuated by failing to take history into consideration and pursue policies without looking at the long term implication of these policies on the wider society, particularly the effect on the powerless and dispossessed.

    A policy of encouraging the sale of Bajan property to foreigners is, in its effect, racist. The short term benefits to the society are fleeting and illusory. The local wealth it generates ends up disproportionately in the pockets of a racially stratified White elite and that exacerbates social inequity. The price of property becomes inflated beyond the reach of most Bajans and this removes a necessary plank of economic resilience and self sufficiency from the wider population. In short, it is a terrible policy.

    Like

  • @ PLT

    Well said. Money laundering is a big problem in Barbados – over paying for property on the ludicrous basis that the island is ‘so nice’, encouraged by dubious estate agents.
    It is another failure of the black professional class. Instead of buying property in these exclusive areas, they took the easy way out by hijacking sugar plantations and turning them in to their middle class ghettoes with the bogus names of Heights and Terraces. Barbados is a failed state.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson
    April 29, 2019 11:26 AM

    I will accept that you are well intentioned Adrian, but encouraging Barbados property sales to rich Europeans and North Americans is a terrible idea that contributes nothing to the long term development of the Barbadian economy and society.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Man, will wonders never cease?

    You got it … still confused in your thinking but you are there!!

    Hal is also there too.

    I have seen a property valued at $3 million sell for $12 million, get flipped a couple of months later for $18 million and then be advertised for $25 million, no development to justify the appreciation, no oil being found or for that matter, gold..

    It is the colour of the money and not the skin that is the problem.

    I understand Oprah owns a property on Turtle Back Ridge!!

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ PLT

    Well said. Please note the same “ones” opposing Sandals have no problem with selling out the country to foreigners.

    Like

  • Hal

    “Money laundering is a big problem in Barbados – over paying for property on the ludicrous basis that the island is ‘so nice’, encouraged by dubious estate agents.”

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You are sharp today!!

    Like

  • Some of the key findings in a report from 2006, 13 years ago:

    “In most of the countries surveyed, the real estate sector has been identified as an important sector being used to facilitate tax fraud and money laundering. There are no reported official figures or statistics about the dimension of the problem; one country, Austria, has reported an estimation of the amount of fraud involving the real estate sector of approximately € 70 million.”

    “The countries reported that the three most common methods and schemes used are: price manipulation (escalating prices make it easier to manipulate prices of properties and transactions), undeclared income / transactions and the use of nominees and/or false identities, and corporations or trusts to hide the identity of the beneficial owners.”

    “The method of concealing ownership has three main variations: a) onshore acquisitions through offshores companies and/or through a complex structure of ownership; b) unreported acquisition of properties overseas; and c) use of nominees.”

    “In terms of performance over the last three years, most countries surveyed reported difficulties in measuring the results of their tax administration’s compliance activities during the period requested. Since most of the projects are in their early stages, it is too early to give comprehensive results. However an indication of amounts at stake is the result of a nationwide project in 2006 by the Irish Revenue focusing on compliance in the construction sector. The project involved 1,615 site visits during which 1,188 unregistered individuals were identified. In addition, 3,872 audits were completed. As a result of the various actions €125million euro was recovered.”

    https://www.oecd.org/tax/crime/realestatesectortaxfraudandmoneylaunderingvulnerabilities.htm

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John
    Well will wonders never cease? You do seem to understand what is at stake here despite your penchant to quote historical trivia to buttress ahistorical blindness to the fundamental horror of our history.

    Much damage has already been done to the Barbados economy by the greed that attends the sale of property in Barbados to foreign buyers. The fact that some of the foreign buyers are crooks laundering money is only further poison in an unhealthy dish.

    Like

  • @Peter

    There was a lively debate in the 80s and 90s surrounding if Barbados should enact alien landholding (and related legislation). The consensus was that Barbados is a FDI dependent country and such legislation if introduced would have sent the wrong message to potential investors.

    Like

  • “Well said. Please note the same “ones” opposing Sandals have no problem with selling out the country to foreigners.”

    Mr. Skinner

    It is wrong for you to make such a generalized statement.

    I am one who is opposed to Sandals and I have a “problem with selling out the country to foreigners.”

    With all the concessions granted to Sandals, their first choice rum is NOT Cockspur, Old Brigand, ESAF or even Mount Gay………. it is Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum. Coffee??? Blue Mountain Jamaican Coffee.

    The all-inclusive, 5-star, luxury resort in St. Lawrence, also boast about having 11 restaurants, which includes Italian, Oriental, Indian, French, English and one called “Spices” that serves Caribbean cuisine. A perusal of “Spices” menu, indicates there aren’t any Barbadian dishes.

    Sandals’ top management are Jamaicans who enjoy duty free concessions on everything. They are even exempted from paying VAT and income taxes.

    If you, Mr. Skinner, do not have any problem with “these types of things,” and you feel PROUD singing in Butch Stewart’s choir, then that’s good for you….. knock yourself out.

    I also believe certain things in Barbados should be reserved for Barbadians.

    That’s why I’m opposed to non-nationals squatting on lands owned by the Crown and Barbadians. When pressured to move I’m sure they will insist that government provide them with land, while Barbadians have to face the credit unions, banks and financial institutions for mortgages.

    I’m also opposed to non-nationals:

    …………hawking on the sidewalks and in front of public markets, while Barbadians have to rent market space.

    …………illegally erecting stalls on the environs of the old Fairchild Street market, WITHOUT permission, where they are allowed to sell food and beverages WITHOUT the required liquor licenses, health certificates and appropriate toilet facilities, while the vendors who were relocated from that old market to Golden Square Market and have to PAY rent, are subjected to verbal abuse by the supervisors and general workers of the market….. and are forced to close their businesses before the stipulated time.

    ………..being allowed to come into Barbados to benefit from health care, day care, primary, secondary school and tertiary level education at the expense of Barbadians taxpayers.

    Like

  • @PLT
    Your stated objective is to “attract increased foreign exchange.” The expat buyer pays in forex and that is supposed to help our economy… but wait a minute, what happens when that buyer sells the property? The price has increased and the buyer simply takes even more forex back out of Barbados! So there is a net LOSS of forex in the long run, not a forex gain
    +++++++++++++++++
    I thought I heard the PM say that one of the reasons that the Gov’t is relaxing the foreign exchange rules is because the proceeds from some of the sales of property in Barbados never reach Bajan shores as they are consummated in NYC/Toronto etc. The Gov’t proposes that if you purchase Real Estate in Bim with foreign currency then when you dispose of it, then you can take your foreign currency with you. It seems the Gov’t is hoping that some of the properties are not resold but in the meanwhile the Treasury benefits from sales taxes etc.

    It can be termed the “half a loaf is better than no bread strategy”.

    Like

  • It seems the Gov’t is hoping that some of the properties are not resold but in the meanwhile the Treasury benefits from sales taxes etc (and the funds remain in Barbados).

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Artax
    All inclusive properties tend to have a broad selection of restaurants beverages etc. I don’t see why Sandals should be any different. I read in the papers a very positive assessment of Sandals contribution to our industry.
    You conveniently forgot that Sandals is employing 1300 people. I also read they support many community efforts etc.
    Is Sandals a good or bad corporate citizen so far? Has our tourism profile suffered because of having Sandals here ?
    As for the rest of your piece, I can only say that we can agree on some things but it’s our fault that after fifty years of independence we can’t even control vending.
    Strange thing is that Butch Stuart built an international brand while after sixty years in tourism we have been unable to match his achievement. By the way he is from tha Caribbean.

    Like

  • David
    April 29, 2019 5:42 PM

    @Peter
    There was a lively debate in the 80s and 90s surrounding if Barbados should enact alien landholding (and related legislation). The consensus was that Barbados is a FDI dependent country and such legislation if introduced would have sent the wrong message to potential investors.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The issue really is what sort of investment do we need?

    What is the plan?

    Could we identify the investors since the 1980’s and say which investments met the requirements of the plan?

    The answer is of course not … the Physical Development Plan did not exist as per the laws of Barbados.

    You will find Lenny St. Hill and others fighting that battle from the 1980’s.

    Its all a matter of record..

    Where we are now is where any business would be that had no plan!!!

    You’ll also find alot of the rot set in with the change in the Company’s Act 1982.

    The previous Act from 1910 required a shareholder return to be made every year!!

    Like

  • @John

    Agree with your position. Concessions in the case of Sandals for example were fished out based on some arbitrary position by a minister. It was not informed from a strategic plan for the country.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @John
    “The issue really is what sort of investment do we need?”
    ++++++++++++++++++
    Exactly! We need foreign investment along the lines of Lenstec. We need technologically astute companies that employ a highly trained, well paid workforce to produce high value items that are lightweight enough to be shipped economically to anywhere in the world.

    We do not need more tourism investment to create what are essentially 21st century plantations: low wage jobs to provide personal services for (relatively) rich foreigners.

    We do not need any more Oprah’s buying mansions on these nouveau plantations to distort the local property market.

    Like

  • Mr. Skinner

    RE: “All inclusive properties tend to have a broad selection of restaurants beverages etc. I don’t see why Sandals should be any different.”

    I know about the all inclusive concept. My POINT is that, with 40 years tax free concessions, the first choice rum should be a Bajan brand and NOT “Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum.”

    Certain stipulations and obligations should have accompanied those concessions.

    You also mentioned Stewart is from the Caribbean, which adds to my point that, with the level of generous concessions granted to Sandals, the Caribbean restaurant, “Spices,” should have local dishes on its menu.

    I have not “conveniently forgotten that Sandals is employing 1300 people,” most of whom are on a training exercise, while others are employed as housekeepers, gardeners, bellmen, security guards, stewards, cooks, pool-men, etc. And I know of the treat they have taken at the hands of the Jamaican managers.

    RE: “I also read they support many community efforts etc. Is Sandals a good or bad corporate citizen so far?”

    I’m not impressed or will I jump and dance because Sandals supports community efforts. With 40 years of tax free concessions, they SHOULD be OBLIGATED to SUPPORT MANY community efforts.

    It isn’t at all strange that Stewart built an international brand, because the man is wealthy. He owned Air Jamaica, which he sold to Caribbean Airways; he owns the Jamaica Observer. He managed to exploit vulnerable Caribbean governments experiencing economic challenges into granting him generous concessions.

    RE: “Has our tourism profile suffered because of having Sandals here?”

    The playing field is not level. As such, it’s unfair to the other stakeholders in the industry.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ PLT

    Are you aware that while we talk pretty about attracting high paying jobs, we have employers here paying workers $250-300 per week?
    All of a sudden we want to call Sandals a plantation.
    Let us have a real debate about who has been exploiting our workers.
    I am not attempting to put standard on a pedestal but I find the attacks to be grounded in a false sense of hysteria occasioned by opportunistic politicians who have sold this country down the river while earning millions of dollars in legal fees.
    We need less hypocrisy .

    Like

  • @ Artax
    Could you tell me why these “ stake holders” never produced a brand comparable to Sandals.
    They were focused on chasing every poor Black vendor off the beach and squeezing out every small entrepreneur out of the industry.
    Seek out some local manufactures who never got a real chance of supplying what is essentially basic furniture.
    Let us talk about why they never supported local agriculture. Let us talk about how they constantly pressured government after government for all types of breaks and never delivered.
    Let us talk about how they never reinvested and allowed properties to run down.
    Let us have a real conversation about underlying racism in the industry.
    Sandals is just a scape goat.
    Go and have a chat with the Construction people who are begging the government to let the other Sandals project go forward.
    I am interesting in poor Black people eating not the fanciful footwork of a political class that is offering them nothing.

    Like

  • Agree Sandals is a scapegoat used to carry out the interest of a few political class
    The same few who are hotel business owners who have feverishly behind closed doors borrowed from govt and has not returned payments in form shape our fashion.(read the auditor general reports as far back as 2006)
    All this long talk about Sandals concession however does not null and void what the Hotel Industry owes the treasury in loans for many years with interest totalling in millions of dollars
    Hilton has been sucking the nipples of givt for years
    Yet no picking of teet has been said amongst the political class
    Needless to say that wether it be concessions or loans the effect can be counted in dollars and cents

    Like

  • In bringing tourism issues to table every thing must be included
    Start with loans
    Tax waivers
    Money meant to help improved stock delivered by govt but nothing worth while shown as improvement
    These belly aching Hotel moguls see Sandals as the boogeyman and will bring down heaven and hell to stop Sandals from moving forward

    Like

  • What strikes me every time I drive around is the lack of utilization of what ever miniscule land resources we have.

    I put the reason down to the brainwashing that has occurred since the 1960’s.

    First goal I think is to demonstrate the brainwashing for what it is, plain evil.

    Like

  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ Peter Lawrence Thompson

    Men such as yourself & Mr William Skinner WILL ALWAYS BE CONSIDERED RADICALS

    Here you are, in the middle of Loveridge ‘ s Tourism article saying what so few have ghe balls to say which is, snc I quote

    “…Exactly! We need foreign investment along the lines of Lenstec.

    We need technologically astute companies that employ a highly trained, well paid workforce to produce high value items that are lightweight enough to be shipped economically to anywhere in the world…”

    And, as quietly as some souls would have left this transient shell before dawn this morning, so too does your wisdom slip quietly into this digital ether, UNNOTICED BUT BY A FEW.

    You can’t blame Mr Loveridge and his predisposition towards Tourism and its optimization

    Few carpenters know masonry.

    But the fact is that, like Mr Loveridge would have his trade secrets that he would not share here about marketing his products, so too, you also have secrets which detail that IT model.

    One which would take time to realize …especially when beseiges by these “visionaries” of the duopoly

    Like

  • In every thing we do it has to be driven by vision and strategy. Not off the seat of the pants of a politician.

    Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran, speaking at the annual Tourism Industry Conference on Monday, said: “Against this backdrop, we need two types of responses – strategies that will best position us to benefit from long-term growth opportunities, and tactical measures to deal with volatility and challenges in the short term.

    “Essential to the efficacy of both these responses is the need for all stakeholders in the tourism sector to come together to coordinate efforts and resources.”

    This third tranche of TDF money will broadly support three key areas, namely, the developing of products to keep Singapore a destination of choice, leveraging technology to increase productivity and improving manpower skills.

    Among other things, investments will be channelled towards niche sectors with potential for growth – the cruise industry, for example – as well as supporting the adoption of technology, such as data analytics or retrofitting of hotel premises.

     

    https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapore-tourism-industry-to-get-s700-million-boost-over-next-five-years

    Like

  • Here is a bit about Sigapore’s FDI strategy.

    Singapore is open to foreign investment and offers tax benefits that businesses can enjoy after registering with the Economic Development Board. The government is continuously supplying the national economy with public investments. Examples include transportation infrastructure projects (such as the high-speed train line between the city-state and Kuala Lumpur) or programs encouraging the transfer towards the future economy. In 2017, the government mobilised more than US$8 billion (about 2.5% of GDP) to improve productivity and boost innovation in 23 associated industries in growth sectors. The main obstacle to FDI lies in the fact that the country continues to hold a monopoly on certain key sectors (financial services, professional services, media, telecommunications). Government-related enterprises play a dominant role in the domestic economy and, in turn, in investment.

    For those who hate to read, here is a snippet to explain how the Economic Development Board functions.

    About EDB

    The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent. Our mission is to create sustainable economic growth, with vibrant business and good job opportunities for Singapore.

    What is the Barbados’ strategy as it pertains to investment? Not now but through the years. We have been weak on developing strategy.

    Like

  • Peter maybe bajans shouldnt set their sights so high,after spending the last few weeks on the rock I would be happy if someone would realize that a three legged table will not rock and go into the furniture business attn surf side cafe. Four beers dover 10 bucks four beers nicky beach well thats a different kettle of fish, no the rich are needed I am sure property taxes, sales taxes and tips are usually tied to to the cost …so the more it costs the more in extras are reaped. You are never going to compete if you think high salaries and production profit go hand in hand. Here is a strategy …..when your working no matter where be helpful ,affable , and conscientious chances are you will always have a job and make more than the next guy especially in the service industry because barbados as some hub of manufacturing is a pipe dream.

    Like

  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    Here is an informative excerpt from your blog

    You said and I quote

    ” ..This third tranche of TDF money will broadly support three key areas, namely,

    1…the developing of products to keep Singapore a destination of choice,
    2…leveraging technology to increase productivity and
    3…improving manpower skills.

    As a nation, we have done the first poorly.

    The second and third ones we have not ever touched

    And this is why I’ve been pushing the rapid response IT initiatives being led by the Third Party Movement

    Fellows like Mr William Skinner and Mr Kammie Holder and Mr peter Lawrence Thompson who, in making these deliverables, in these times, will emote the requisite actions

    SHOW THAT IT CAN BE DONE THEN THE REST FOLLOW!!!

    Like

  • Some of this conversation has been ongoing for a long time. Most of the time nothing new is introduced, just a rehash of what has been said before by others. Until we can move some of this talk to the point of action, we will be here doing a recycling of ideas.

    The problems are known, some answers are known. Next step… when, how, who

    Like

  • Could this happen in Barbados ?

    Who’s behind the smiling faces of some Airbnb hosts? Multimillion-dollar corporations

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/biggest-airbnb-hosts-canada-corporations-1.5116103

    Like

  • Industrialisation by invitation clashes with MAGA!!

    America is providing incentives to prevent the flight of jobs.

    American Manufacturing jobs are going home!!

    However, next time you go to the optometrist and order a pair of spectacles, ask where and how those lenses are made.

    I get the impression the surfaces are machined by local industry ….. but I could be wrong.

    Maybe Lenstec makes them.

    Pretty sure I saw a local person I know delivering an order and suspect it may not be from lenstec.

    Point is, technology gets easier and easier to use and more and more readily available.

    Come up with a product idea and investigate the technology to make it.

    You may find you can get into a market relatively cheaply and early if you have your head on your shoulders and your brain is working.

    Don’t rely on foreign investment as a be all and end all.

    Trust yourself and what talent God has given you..

    Like

  • forget asking how the glasses were made,isnt that the reason bajans wear glasses so they look smart and know all the answers. Your chances of being prime minister diminishes if you dont have a pair on because you are obviously not bright enough for the job. So forget the glass and just buy the rims and be even smarter.

    Like

  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ John the Quaker

    You said and I quote

    “…Come up with a product idea and investigate the technology to make it.

    You may find you can get into a market relatively cheaply and early if you have your head on your shoulders and your brain is working.

    Don’t rely on foreign investment as a be all and end all.

    Trust yourself and what talent God has given you..”

    This is precisely what Peter Lawrence Thompson and Mr William Skinner have been saying here for ages.

    But I’ve been noticing that while there is never any traction for similar ideas first voiced by black people here on Barbados Underground, when a white body say it, it is readily endorsed and QUICLY IMPLEMENTED THEREAFTER

    Keep your echoes of these ideas up and we can expect adoption soon.

    Like

  • Trust yourself and what talent God has given you..”

    This is precisely what Peter Lawrence Thompson and Mr William Skinner have been saying here for ages.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    I thought PLT admitted to being an atheist!!

    Like

  • @Hants

    What is responsible for the measles outbreak in the great USA? Should Barbados issue a travel ban?

    Like

  • Barbados had a close call. LAST YEAR. Doan wanna friten nuhbody.

    “The guests began arriving at the cruise ship port of call in Bridgetown, Barbados on Friday, June 15, where the gleaming white, nine deck, 440-foot vessel awaited. By 6:00 p.m. the following afternoon, more than 250 of the world’s most dedicated Scientologists were on the dock or already on board and standing at the rails in the island breeze. The atmosphere was full with anticipation as the Royal Barbados Police Band steel pan drums cut the balmy air and local dignitaries wished all a fond farewell. And as the Freewinds guided her bow from the dock, setting her course seaward bound, a spectacular firework display lit up the Bridgetown sky in honor of her 30th Anniversary.”

    Like

  • @Patrick Neuhaul

    On behalf of the BU household please accept our deepest condolences at the passing of your mother.

    Like

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  • The guests began arriving at the cruise ship port of call in Bridgetown, Barbados on Friday, June 15, where the gleaming white, nine deck, 440-foot vessel awaited. By 6:00 p.m. the following afternoon, more than 250 of the world’s most dedicated Scientologists were on the dock or already on board and standing at the rails in the island breeze.
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