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Tony Ortega: The wealthy donors keeping Scientology afloat

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, May 3, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    There's a related post in another thread.

    We have your Scientology ‘Maiden Voyage’ robo-call invitation, Los Angeles!

    By Tony Ortega, June 23, 2017

    Over the next four weeks, Scientologists around the world are being called down to their local orgs for a series of videos that were shot recently on the church’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds, which spends its time in Caribbean waters (but as we reported earlier, has fewer places to drop anchor).

    https://whyweprotest.net/threads/tracking-of-the-freewinds.50634/page-32#post-2611471
  2. Independent Scientology News Twitter blocked by Trish Duggan.


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  3. Attached Files:

  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    How Humira, the world’s best selling drug, is helping to finance Scientology into the future

    By Tony Ortega, July 11, 2017

    Quote:

    The always reliable Jeffrey Augustine has scored another fascinating document for us that we are happy to share with you today.

    It’s a tax document showing that the richest Scientologist donors in the world, Bob and Trish Duggan, recently found a way to make sure that millions more will be going to the church each year, and with no end in sight.

    That’s the conclusion we’ve come to after looking at the tax document Jeffrey found and sent to us recently. It’s a 2015 tax return for the Bob & Trish Duggan Foundation, and it has some eye-opening numbers.

    <snipped>

    With their Foundation, the Duggans have set aside pharmaceutical stock so that it may reliably generate around $3 million every year for the church, without doing anything at all.

    That’s not to say that Scientology leader David Miscavige won’t be hitting up the Duggans for even more money every year, but it allows for a steady flow of millions to the church year in and year out, and without any “regging.” (Scientology officials who hound members for donations are “registrars” or “regges” for short.) We don’t know if this new arrangement has anything to do with the 2016 death of Charmaine Roger, the registrar who was assigned personally to the Duggans. But we can imagine that it’s an arrangement that will make things easier for both sides.

    The upshot? The better AbbVie does selling Humira and other drugs, the better the Church of Scientology does. That’s pretty ironic for a church that openly hates the pharmaceutical industry and pushes for a “drug-free world.” And we also can’t help wondering how the people who run AbbVie feel about it.

    Here’s the document. Our thanks again to Jeffrey Augustine!

    More at http://tonyortega.org/2017/07/11/ho...lping-to-finance-scientology-into-the-future/
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  5. Quentinanon Member

    Three million bucks a year tax free is quite generous, but to put that in perspective, the Flag Service Morg would gross 1-2 million a week as of 2013, so, minus operating expenses could net 3 million bucks in a month.
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    The new list of Scientology donors is out early this year — and the biggest whale is missing!

    By Tony Ortega, November 30, 2017

    Quote:

    Our thanks to the tipster who got us the new Impact magazine right away, something we always look forward to. But please be aware, there are several things unusual about this newest publication from the International Association of Scientologists.

    First, the timing. Each October, the IAS holds a big weekend party, usually in East Grinstead, England, and on Saturday night Scientology’s biggest donors — what we refer to as “whales” — are recognized with big gaudy trophies for reaching a new “status” level of giving during the past calendar year.

    And even though those trophies are handed out in October, it’s usually not until some time in February that the issue of Impact comes out with photos from the event, and we get a chance to see who the new crop of biggest donors is and their new statuses.

    So, it’s pretty unusual for us to be getting this magazine so early, and we don’t know why David Miscavige might have rushed its publication. Just a guess — might it have to do with the apocalypse of bad press caused by Leah Remini’s recently-completed second season of Scientology and the Aftermath? We don’t know.

    But even stranger than that is to see who was named biggest contributor to the cause.

    For years, it’s been the same family at the top, a dedicated clan that has given orders of magnitude more money than anyone else. We could always count on them getting the biggest trophy and the only photo that included Scientology leader David Miscavige.

    And once again, it’s the Duggan family that has come out on top. But hang on, there’s something very off about this. Take a look.

    [IMG]

    Trish Duggan and family?” Hey, where’s Bob?

    Last year’s event (which was reported in the Impact that came out this February, at its usual time) featured Bob and Trish Duggan and their kids being recognized for the “Invictus” level of giving, which was invented for them. At that time, we estimated that it represented $80 to $90 million in cumulative donations to the IAS — which didn’t count their many other major donations to building projects around the world.

    [IMG]

    As we’ve pointed out numerous times before, Bob and Trish got into Scientology in the 1970s, and Bob has a long career as an investor and entrepreneur. But he really struck gold with a cancer drug put out by his company Pharmacyclics, which was subsequently bought for $21 billion by pharmaceutical giant AbbVie. Bob’s personal wealth went up almost to $4 billion (Forbes currently has him just under $2 billion). Also, Bob and Trish adopted a lot of children, and we reported a fairly strange story about that, which Bob has tried to have Google suppress.

    We also learned earlier this year that in 2015, Bob and Trish put a million AbbVie shares into a foundation that is earmarked to give about $3 million a year to the Church of Scientology.

    But now, in this new magazine reporting on an IAS gala that happened just a few weeks ago, Trish Duggan and her kids are being recognized for the same status, “Invictus,” which they reached last year. And that has us a bit confused. We can think of a few different scenarios.

    1. Bob simply couldn’t make it to the IAS gala this year because of a previous commitment.

    2. Bob and Trish split up, and Bob decided not to make the scene.

    3. Bob and Trish split up, and Bob ditched Scientology.

    We’re going to assume that #1 is far more likely than the other two, with #2 being far more likely than #3, which would really shock us.

    Our numerous helpers are digging and digging, hoping we can find some answers to this question. If you know Bob or Trish, please tell them we’d love to know what’s going on.

    So let’s move on to the other big donors who were recognized this past October.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2017/11/30/t...y-this-year-and-the-biggest-whale-is-missing/
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    DID BOB BLOW? Evidence that Scientology may have lost its biggest donor of all time

    By Tony Ortega, December 9, 2017

    Quote:

    We hesitated to assume that the photo was proof that Bob and Trish had split up. But very quickly, one of our researchers found hard evidence of it: County records in Florida showed that in February and March, Bob and Trish had split up their properties, with a $3.9 million Belleaire Beach house going to Trish, and a $1.2 million Clearwater office building going to Bob.

    And the more we thought about it, the more we came back to that photo of Trish with her new “Invictus” trophy.

    It’s unprecedented for a donor to be given the same trophy two years in a row. The whole point of those trophies is to motivate these richies to give even more than they did last year. After you break through and give a cumulative $1 million, for example, you reach the status of “Gold Meritorious.” But then you’re staring at “Platinum Meritorious,” a trophy you get only when you reach $2.5 million in donations.

    What did it mean that after Bob and Trish had been named “Invictus,” Miscavige then gave Trish her own Invictus trophy all for herself?

    Could it be, we wondered, that it was his way of saying that she deserves a trophy for sticking with Scientology after her breakup? And if that was the case, was it an admission that Bob Duggan has flown the coop?
    Our first hint that this might be the case came that same day we posted last week’s story, when we heard from a Duggan family friend.

    Bob and Trish had not only broken up, we were told, but Bob already was in a new relationship, with a woman he worked with at his fabulously successful cancer-drug firm, Pharmacyclics.

    Her name is Mahkam “Maky” Zanganeh, and today she’s a board member with Bob on their new Silicon Valley pharmaceutical business venture, a firm called Pulse Biosciences.

    <snipped>

    We see no evidence that Maky has any involvement in Scientology, and frankly, we’d be pretty surprised if she ever went near it with a background like that.

    <snipped>

    The family friend, however, insists that the two are a couple. And another family friend, a former Scientologist who spent considerable time with the Duggans when he was still in the church, tells us that it was obvious Trish Duggan was the dedicated church member in the family, and Bob was mostly just going along.

    By giving her the Invictus trophy, is David Miscavige acknowledging that he still hopes to get Trish’s half of the Duggan fortune, and that Bob is a lost cause now that he’s run off with his sciencey new girlfriend?

    More at https://tonyortega.org/2017/12/09/d...-may-have-lost-its-biggest-donor-of-all-time/
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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Erika Christensen shows off her new Scientology trophy for donating half a million bucks

    By Tony Ortega, May 25, 2018

    Quote:

    We’re fortunate that one of our loyal tipsters lives in Italy, where for some reason Scientology publications reveal some things that the magazines here don’t. In this case, we’re talking about an issue of Impact magazine which shows that David Miscavige handed out more trophies to wealthy Scientology donors at the New Year’s event in Los Angeles, something we associate more with the big IAS gala that takes place in England in October.

    We have photos of all the “whales” who got trophies at the event, but naturally what really caught our eye was seeing actress Erika Christensen with her family picking up a Silver Meritorious trophy. Now let’s be clear, because the rest of the press always seems to get this wrong. An IAS trophy is not for a single donation but for cumulative giving — so this means Erika’s family has ponied up $500,000 over what might be a long period of time.

    The IAS is only one way that Scientologists give donations, but we’ll leave it up to you to decide whether half a million is a lot of money in lifetime donations from a Hollywood actress and her family.

    As for the other whales who were featured in the magazine, we’ll note that the figures tend to be higher in October, and that this crowd is LA-centric, reflecting the location of the event. Here they are.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/05/25/e...ogy-trophy-for-donating-half-a-million-bucks/
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology celebrates 30 years of duping wealthy people on the high seas!

    By Tony Ortega, July 1, 2018

    Quote:

    Thanks to Pete Griffiths for making us aware that Scientology has posted its photos from this year’s Maiden Voyage activities at its website.

    Thirty years ago, in 1988, Scientology first started sailing its barge, the Freewinds, after purchasing it from a previous owner who had called it the Boheme. Since then, the vessel has been used to deliver the highest auditing level on Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom,” known as “Operating Thetan Level Eight” or OT 8, to wealthy church members who consider it the ultimate rite of passage.

    Those who have been through OT 8 tell us that it’s actually the ultimate rooking. After years and perhaps millions in fees and donations, you learn that it’s all been for naught and you’re no closer to learning who you are than when you started. But hey, you get that certificate.

    And every summer, that 1988 maiden voyage is celebrated with another round of fleecing of Scientology’s most wealthy and dedicated members. This year, to mark three decades of floating on the Caribbean, Miscavige has really pulled out all the stops. We’re going to take a look at some of the images posted by the church and ask for your thoughts about them.

    <snipped>

    Actual Scientology caption: “Dignitaries, musicians, dancers and friends in the island nation of Barbados send off the Freewinds in celebration of her 30th Maiden Voyage Anniversary cruise. As one island Minister said, ‘In every island, you are highly regarded, and highly appreciated.'”

    <snipped>

    Actual Scientology caption: “Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, launches a week punctuated with captivating nightly events and briefings covering the legacy of Freewinds’ accomplishment on her Pearl Anniversary.”

    <snipped>

    Actual Scientology caption: “‘We thank you for your valuable campaigns and achievements to create a peaceful Cartagena.’ — Captain, National Police of Colombia”

    Translation: “We have no idea what you do on that ship, but we love that you spend a shitload of money in our port every year.”

    <snipped>

    Actual Scientology caption: “An energetic recap celebrated the historic launch of the Scientology Television Network in March and a behind the scenes look at Scientology Media Productions. In fact, attendees discovered how the Church-owned and staffed Hollywood studio generates original content and manages the million-and-one details involved in broadcasting to the world.”

    <snipped>

    Actual Scientology caption: “Rounding out the presentation was an international review of how the religion’s expansion is impacting local Scientology Churches around the world, with numbers walking through their doors now highest in the religion’s history.”

    And another one! Wow. Of course this claim about people breaking down doors at Scientology orgs is utter bullshit, but it’s amazing to us to see so many new young figures being allowed to share the podium with Miscavige. Oldtimers, tell us what it means!

    <snipped>

    Actual Scientology caption: “Dan Sherman presents an illuminating tale of L. Ron Hubbard’s fight for human rights in Southern Africa. In particular, it tells of Mr. Hubbard’s legendary Bill of Rights and Constitution for Rhodesia—a document designed to break down walls of racial prejudice at the height of apartheid.”

    Of course, what would a Maiden Voyage celebration be without Dan Sherman spinning a tall tale about L. Ron Hubbard. Human rights in Africa! That’s rich.

    <snipped>

    Actual Scientology caption: “On behalf of the National Colombian Police, General Carlos Ramiro Mena Bravo presented Mr. Miscavige with the Brigadier General Jaime Ramírez Gómez Inspector General Transparency Medal. In presenting the medal General Mena declared: ‘The National Police praises, acknowledges and materializes our great gratitude for all the training, motivation and respect Mr. Miscavige has given, not only to every police officer and Colombian military officer, but to every citizen that has benefitted from L. Ron Hubbard’s technology and the humanitarian campaigns he inspired… Thank you for your invaluable support in helping us build a new society and for making us part of your team.'”

    Well, they saved the biggest whopper for last. It’s pretty amazing what results Miscavige gets when he spreads his money around. The nations of the Caribbean just love him so.

    Until next year, suckers!

    More at https://tonyortega.org/2018/07/01/s...rs-of-duping-wealthy-people-on-the-high-seas/
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology fundraiser: ‘It was commonplace to lie to church members to get donations’

    By Tony Ortega, July 14, 2018

    Quote:

    Continuing with our Saturday series of book excerpts, we’re happy to give you a substantial look at Kay Rowe’s book Over the Edge: A Pawn in the Scientology Money Machine, which came out last year. She is giving us a look at the world of asking other Scientologists for money, which is a neverending quest under David Miscavige.

    https://tonyortega.org/2018/07/14/s...ce-to-lie-to-church-members-to-get-donations/
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Nancy Cartwright goes home as Scientology ‘Ideal’-izes the world

    By Rod Keller, July 29, 2018

    Quote:

    Scientology continues its drive to renovate or relocate every single Scientology org to be a new and improved “Ideal Org.” Scientology believes in balance among its continents, and the theory is that opening Ideal Orgs globally will drive planetary clearing. It’s not enough to expand in one region, the organization has to be seen as expanding everywhere. The boom that is seen at a new Ideal Org is exciting, but in a year or two that turns to bust, leaving a beautiful but largely empty building behind. Since our global roundup in 2016 Ideal Orgs have opened in almost all continents, and there are more on the way.

    Since our last article on the Western US, Scientology has opened Valley, Silicon Valley and Salt Lake City Ideal Orgs. The upcoming org in Santa Barbara is moving 25 miles to Ventura, and the money is coming from Los Angeles area Scientologists. The word “completion” in the event poster is not entirely accurate as they are far from finished. Every donation helps their cause but this shortfall can only be covered by the small group of Scientology “whales” who donate to every Ideal Org.

    Last night was so exciting in California. We are only $2 million away from having an ideal org alliance to go into construction on the Ventura Org. That means the California having the most ideal orgs even more than some continents will be all Ideal!! My husband and I were silver humanitarians for the Valley org and last night we became alliance platinum humanitarians for Ventura/Santa Barbara.

    In the last two months we went from Silver meritorious to platinum meritorious with honors in the IAS that is four statuses in two months. I am an audiologist which is a hearing specialist and I test people hearing and fit hearing aids and we don’t make a lot of money.

    However I have the privilege for my first time this year to go on maiden voyage and be with COB for almost a week and for what that man does to make this religion work the way RH wanted it to and making them vision come true I have to disagree totally with the physical universe because we cannot miss this target this time for a cleared planet. It is a very difficult thing to do if you look at what you have in the bank because that is in physical universe and who wants to live on this planet the way it is? After you see tonight‘s event and all the things we are doing please help in anyway you can to get these ideas orgs done.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/07/29/nancy-cartwright-goes-home-as-scientology-idealizes-the-world/
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Oh gross: Scientology Sea Org now saluting donors who give for ‘Ideal Orgs’

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, August 19, 2018

    Quote:

    We’ve been following the progress of the Columbus, Ohio org to renovate their future Ideal Org home, and last week they held another fundraiser. We have an unusual level of detail on how everything happened.

    This money is all for renovations — the building was purchased in 2010 and has sat empty since then. The event theme was “Boots in the Sky,” referring to the 1952 essay by L. Ron Hubbard on individual responsibility. Despite the surreal imagery of floating footwear, it is one of the most inspiring writings in Scientology and is frequently used in fundraising and to recruit volunteers. It comes with a hint of guilt: if you want to improve yourself with Scientology you should be ashamed not to take responsibility for the success and expansion of the group.

    <snipped>

    Sea Org members saluted the top donors who have reached the level of New Civilization Builder for their contributions to the ideal org. Lynn Hinshaw is president of a Columbus area roofing company. We asked former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder if this is typical or not. He tells us “This is amazing. This would have been unthinkable to ‘the Commodore.’ He said the lowliest Sea Org member would be ‘lionized’ anywhere they went. He positioned Sea Org members as the Masters of the Universe. But it is hardly a surprise in today’s Scientology bubble where money is the God that has replaced Hubbard.”

    The policy he is referring to is Flag Order 137 issued 12 September, 1967 as Hubbard was refitting ships that would become the Sea Org fleet. But times have changed in Scientology, and now SO members can salute publics. We asked former SO member Aaron Smith-Levin for his reaction. He agrees with Rinder about the past, but added, “Even if I was still in the SO, this would not be a big deal. Unlike the actual armed services, saluting is not really a thing in the SO. There are no policies about saluting. Not even COB [Miscavige] is saluted. If COB walked into a room everyone would stand up, but no one would salute.”

    “So my take is that it is just the SO trying to show their respect to the public who are actually doing what the SO wants of them. It’s kind of like saying, ‘You may not be in the SO, but by your actions you show you are one of us.’ One could say that Miscavige saluting Cruise began to blur the lines between how an SO member could be viewed compared to how a public could be viewed. If Miscavige did it then it’s OK to do it.”

    Clint and Rita Anthony, Craig and Tina Slack, Brad and Alice Spence are all Columbus based Scientologists. With the awards and salutes completed the fundraising began. Scientology fundraisers are emotional events. “Shills” are prepared on whom the master of ceremonies can call on to keep the momentum going. Members are encouraged to match or exceed the other donations to show how dedicated they are to the cause. At least two of these donations were for $100,000.

    The event climaxed with Nancy Cartwright encouraging Columbus publics to make a final donation to reach the event’s goal of $1.6 million. Perhaps they would have donated this much without Cartwright, but the power of celebrity to influence one’s decisions is high, in society as a whole but even more in Scientology. Achieving wealth and fame is an indicator how being a strong thetan and that you are at cause over your condition and environment. The size of your donation can indicate your spiritual progress in Scientology, and everybody wants to be seen as a success.

    More at https://tonyortega.org/2018/08/19/o...-now-saluting-donors-who-give-for-ideal-orgs/
  15. It's like reading the honor roll for stupid.
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    See the Scientology-like ad for Scientologist-owned ABCMouse, made by Scientologists!

    By Tony Ortega, August 21, 2018

    Quote:

    We seem to catch people by surprise every time we point this out, but ABCMouse is not only a hugely successful digital educational enterprise, it’s also helping its owner, Age of Learning founder Doug Dohring, funnel millions of dollars in donations to the Church of Scientology.

    Last October, Doug and his wife Laurie were celebrated with their new trophy at Scientology’s annual IAS gala in England after their cumulative giving had reached $20 million. That puts the Dohrings in the very top of wealthy Scientology donors, and there’s no question that they’re helping to keep the organization going despite declining membership.

    It’s simply not a stretch to say that Doug’s fabulously successful ABCMouse is helping to keep Scientology afloat, one toddler mouse-click at a time.

    And now, we have even creepier evidence to cement that connection. ABCMouse has a new set of ads coming out, and they were made by a Scientologist-owned company, TXL Films. Perhaps not surprisingly, they look an awful lot like the ads Scientology itself puts out, like the one it pays to show during the Super Bowl each year.

    Here’s one of the new ads put out a few days ago by TXL films. Veteran Bunker readers who have been watching Scientology ads for years will see the resemblance right away:

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/08/21/s...logist-owned-abcmouse-made-by-scientologists/
  17. DeathHamster Member

    http://www.reasoned.life/2018/08/ias-donor-quick-analysis/
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Giving Scientology TV a run for its money — it’s the premiere of the Bunker network!

    By Tony Ortega, September 18, 2018

    Quote:

    We have some really significant stories coming soon, and we want as many people as possible to see them. So we’re trying something a little different today, and we hope we can count on your help.

    Yes, the Underground Bunker is finally dipping its toes into the world of video. Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to put up with your proprietor on screen. We’re taking a subtler approach, and we hope it’s a compelling one.

    Hey, if David Miscavige can have a DirecTV channel that shows the same dozen propaganda programs over and over 24 hours a day, the least we can do is throw him a little competition. And mercifully, we’re keeping our videos very short — 90 seconds or less.

    We’re choosing particular issues in Scientology that we’ve covered here before, and presenting them in a way that we hope will draw people back here to the Bunker to seek more information.

    And that’s where you come in. We’re hoping you’ll share these videos far and wide. Post them to social media, email them to your friends, accost people in the street — whatever it takes, let’s get this conversation going.

    So here goes. Let us know what you think, and please suggest subjects for future videos.

    Continued with a video titled How is ABCMouse helping Scientology stay in business? at
    https://tonyortega.org/2018/09/18/g...money-its-the-premiere-of-the-bunker-network/
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bonus items from our tipsters

    By Tony Ortega, October 1, 2018

    Quote:

    Our thanks to the tipster who sent us the latest issue of Planetary Dissemination, a newsletter put out by Scientology’s publishing arm, Bridge Publications. In it, we learn that Scientology is spreading the good word about L. Ron Hubbard in digital editions of his books, and audiobooks, but we also learn that there’s a special way that Scientology’s whales — big donors — can give donations specifically for this effort.

    And what’s a donation without a donation status? Yes, not only can you become “meritorious” with your IAS donations, but if you give to the publishing dissemination campaigns, you can become an “ambassador” or even better, a “luminary”! Here’s the list of dissemination bigwigs, and we’re sure you’ll recognize the usual lumbering cetaceans.

    [IMG]

    Source: https://tonyortega.org/2018/10/01/d...correspondents-agree-scientology-still-sucks/
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Thar she blows: The ‘whales’ who are keeping Scientology afloat in 2018

    By Tony Ortega, December 3, 2018

    Quote:

    Each October, the whales return to East Grinstead, England in an annual migration that we find absolutely fascinating.

    We’re talking, of course, about the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) events that take place each year over an October weekend in England, when Scientology leader David Miscavige gathers his biggest donors to honor them with new “statuses.”

    Scientology makes a game out of giving the church huge sums, begging big donors — we call them “whales” — to turn over more and more in the hopes of reaching a new status level, a bigger trophy, and the prospect of being feted at the IAS gala and included in a subsequent issue of Impact magazine.

    That issue (#163) just reached us, and we have to say we’re pretty blown away. Although everything we saw from the event itself indicated that the crowds are getting smaller and smaller, Miscavige has more whales than ever turning over huge amounts. It’s one of those wild paradoxes about Scientology: As membership shrinks, big donors have actually increased. There is simply no doubt that membership has dwindled, the church is having a tougher time finding new recruits, and it’s having staffing problems at its existing facilities. Two recent defectors who had access to internal documents tell us worldwide membership is now fewer than 20,000 people.

    But the people who remain, many of whom have been members for decades or grew up in the organization, are the truly dedicated. And among them are some pretty wealthy people forking over huge piles of money. This is the longest list of people giving $1 million or more that we’ve ever seen.

    It’s really important to keep in mind that these are cumulative amounts. Someone credited for giving $5 million, for example, may have given only a few hundred thousand in recent months that enabled them to get past that plateau. Although, as you’ll see, even Impact magazine is making note of some people who have been turning over prodigious sums in a short amount of time. [For an explanation of how we know what amounts the statuses represent or the estimates we’ve made for some of them, see our methodology here.]

    So let’s take a look at all of the cetaceans in this issue, from the biggest whales down to the “Patrons,” who have turned over a cumulative $50,000. If you know something about the people you see, please let us know. We’re always curious to know how these rich Scientologists made their fortunes.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/12/03/t...s-who-are-keeping-scientology-afloat-in-2018/
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology is quick to cry ‘bigotry,’ but these photos prove David Miscavige’s hypocrisy

    By Tony Ortega, December 7, 2018

    Quote:

    On Monday, we had a lot of fun bringing you the latest list of Scientology donors who were celebrated at the October IAS event in East Grinstead, England. But the richies and their big donations are not the only reason for celebration at the annual shindig held under a big tent at Saint Hill. Freedom Medals are also handed out, and in Scientology world, that’s a big deal!

    The most notable winner of all time, of course, was great thetan Tom Cruise, who not only got a Freedom Medal in 2004, he was awarded a special large Freedom Medal of Valor by his best bud, church leader David Miscavige. Sadly, we don’t have any evidence that Tom and his medal showed up at the event this year. But we do have the new winners from Impact magazine, along with a blurb about each of them from Scientology’s website.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/12/07/t...he-new-winners-of-scientology-freedom-medals/
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology reveals it has a secret donor with an NFL connection giving millions

    By Tony Ortega, December 13, 2018

    Quote:

    We want to thank our reader in Greece who alerted us to a pretty amazing situation. An entire 2-hour Michael Chan talk given to Scientologists in Athens had been posted to YouTube, and if we hurried we could get a look at it before Chan pulled it down (which Chan said would happen soon).

    Michael Chan is such an interesting figure in Scientology. You see, church leader David Miscavige may have given himself the role of emcee and ringleader at Scientology’s major annual events, but his rah-rah addresses really have very little content that one would characterize as “the tech.” What we’re saying is, Miscavige is no preacher. You’re just not going to hear him give a room a speech about the wonders of auditing and what they can expect to experience on the OT levels.

    But if you’re the Church of Scientology and you need to convince people to fork over the big bucks for those pricey levels, you really do need someone to preach the gospel about L. Ron Hubbard. In recent years, that role has largely fallen on a single man — Michael Chan, who is constantly barnstorming around the world, giving what he says are about a thousand different talks about all aspects of Scientology in order to wind up the local rubes and get them to fork over the big bucks for the mysteries of the upper levels.

    Several years ago, we had a tipster get into a Chan lecture, and learned that he was spinning some of the wildest stuff, telling Scientologists that once OT 9 and OT 10 are released (OT 8 is currently the highest you can go), they would be able to literally clone themselves and live for hundreds of years.

    Chan, in other words, is one of the few figures who really gets to traffic in Hubbard’s outlandish cosmological ideas underpinning Scientology. And for that reason, Chan’s talks are top secret and the only indication we usually get about them are advertising fliers.

    So when we learned that an entire Chan lecture was online, we were pretty excited. We can tell you there is definitely some nutty space opera stuff in this talk, but what really stunned us was something else entirely — an anecdote Chan included about an hour and a half into his talk, revealing that someone connected to the NFL has secretly been giving Scientology millions.

    Say what? In fact, Chan ended up dropping a lot of clues about this mystery moneybags, and we’re hoping you’ll help us figure out who he’s talking about. Take a look at this video we’ve put together in the name of Fair Use:

    <snipped>

    Isn’t that fun? If you have some idea who the mystery donor is, please let us know.

    And we’re sure that Steve Tisch, New York Giants owner, is thrilled that Scientology’s Michael Chan is going around telling people that Tisch is a miserable human being despite his substantial wealth.

    But hey, Scientology can help him with that!

    More at https://tonyortega.org/2018/12/13/s...donor-with-an-nfl-connection-giving-millions/
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Finally, Scientology spells out its crazy ideas in a video you weren’t supposed to see

    By Tony Ortega, December 17, 2018

    Quote:

    On Thursday, we told you that an Underground Bunker reader in Greece revealed to us that an entire Michael Chan lecture had been uploaded by Scientology to YouTube. This was something we were very excited to get a look at, we explained, because Michael Chan is just about the only thing Scientology has in the way of a circuit “preacher,” and his appearances are top secret.

    In Thursday’s story, we focused on something we didn’t expect to find in Chan’s two-hour lecture: His tantalizing description of a wealthy donor who has given millions to Scientology with only a minimum amount of involvement in Scientology or its courses. According to Chan’s clues, that mystery donor had worked for NFL owner Steve Tisch, and we’re still hoping to learn the man’s identity.

    As fun as that tidbit was, however, it wasn’t the main reason we were looking forward to seeing a Chan lecture. And that’s why we have a second Fair Use video excerpt for you today.

    As we said last time, Chan inhabits a pretty unique place in Scientology. He’s constantly traveling around the world whipping Scientologists into a fervor over, well, Scientology. He’s one of the few people who speaks out on L. Ron Hubbard’s arcane “tech” and the secrets of the upper levels.

    You see, Scientology loves to play a game about its underlying ideas. Those of us who have taken the time to actually read L. Ron Hubbard’s books, or listen to his lectures, know for a fact just how outlandish his ideas were about the nature of the universe and our place in it. But the vast majority of the public is unacquainted with that material, and so the church does its best to pretend that Scientology sounds no more eccentric than a mildly unusual self-help group. Invisible “thetans” with no size or mass that exist as immortal beings? Trillion-year-old brainwashing attacks by “evil psychiatrists” from the planet Farsec? A 75 million-year-old genocidal attack that peopled the Earth with unseen entities inhabiting our bodies today? Counseling techniques to help you remember your trillion-year-old past and regain your status as a god?

    Sure, it’s all in there in Hubbard’s writing and lectures. But Scientology does its best to pretend that those of us citing those ideas don’t know what we’re taking about. You’re never going to hear a Scientology spokeswoman or high-priced lawyer, or even church leader David Miscavige discuss this stuff, even behind closed doors. (In Miscavige’s case, not only is there the Hubbardian prohibition of ‘verbal data,’ but he seems to know that his tech credentials are suspect and so he never preaches the space opera gospel at the big annual events.)

    And that’s why it’s so unusual, and satisfying, to get a video recording of someone like Michael Chan talking openly about Scientology’s absolutely nutty ideas that yes, are going to cost you hundreds of dollars an hour over several years to learn for yourself.

    We’ve put together a short video of Chan talking about this stuff, sparing you the long segments when he was talking about what a child prodigy he was (in fact, he painted quite an L. Ron-like picture of himself), and boasting about his huge business success and riches. We get you right to the good stuff — your own history as a being in this universe, and how you ended up on this prison planet, as explained by an official Scientology representative speaking at an official Scientology program:

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/12/17/f...-ideas-in-a-video-you-werent-supposed-to-see/
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bombshell video reveals secret Scientology plan to find real 'Obi-Wan Kenobis' by recruiting thousands of new members a week

    Only two or three new recruits joining each week, preacher reveals in leaked sermon highlighting bizarre 'Space Opera' beliefs

    By Emma Parry, Digital US Correspondent, The Sun, January 8, 2019

    Quote:

    Scientologists are on a bizarre quest to recruit thousands of new members a week to unearth superhuman “Obi-Wan Kenobis” they believe are living among us.

    The plans were outlined in a leaked video taken at a secret meeting of Scientologists last month.

    It shows a sermon by Scientology “preacher” Michael Chan, who reveals some of the religion’s secret "space opera" beliefs which are usually shared only with high-level Scientologists such as Tom Cruise.

    Chan tells worshippers they all used to be gods of their own universe trillions of years ago before they were imprisoned on Earth.

    He says: “Early on the track you had your own home universe and you could create anything at will you wanted to.

    “But you got a little bit bored - imagine being born into a life where anything you did became true.

    "You’re shooting basketball a hundred foot away, nothing but net every time. You go fishing and only get big fish.

    “At some point you got a little bit bored, it would be like Michael Jordan playing basketball with five-year-olds... So at some point you decide to join universe with other spiritual beings to have someone to play with.”

    A rebellion ensued and the gods - or “thetans” as Scientologists call them - were banished and imprisoned on Earth where they were forced to live an endless cycle of lifetimes in human bodies, Chan explains.

    Now, according to Chan, less powerful “thetans” are taking over - and Scientology must aggressively recruit new members to find the powerful "thetans" who he likened to Star War’s character Obi-Wan Kenobi - who he says are still out there, living among us.

    Chan warned Scientology branches - known as “orgs” - were only managing to recruit one or two new starters a week - and need to be recruiting thousands to "find them".

    He goes on: “So 5,000 years ago, in the times of ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, when there were only 85 million bodies, with billions and billions of ‘thetans’, only the most able 'thetans' were able to get a body.

    “And this is how you would have seven-year-olds in Sparta going out on their own and surviving - because everyone was very powerful at the time.

    “This is how the slaves of Egypt built the pyramids. The slaves 5,000 years ago were more able than the kings today.

    “So as the bodies have sex and there’s more bodies and now as we’re pushing eight billion bodies, much less able ‘thetans’ are now getting into bodies - and now you have the mess we have now…

    “This is why it’s so important for our IdealOrg strategy, when we are looking for these players on our planet - now 7.7 billion people - at one or two first starts a week - we are never going to find these people."

    He added: "We need orgs producing hundreds of first starts, and thousands of first starts, a week.

    "Because Obi-Wan Kenobi and their like is on this planet - and we must find them.”

    The bombshell video, filmed in Athens in early December, was shared with The Sun Online by Scientology expert Tony Ortega, who has spent years exposing the church’s alleged wrongdoings on his blog The Underground Bunker.

    He said the sermon reveals the secret beliefs the religion tries to keep hidden - except to those who have spent thousands of dollars to take their courses.

    He told Sun Online: “This video is significant because Scientologists are not supposed to talk about specifics of Scientology even to other Scientologists - it’s called verbal data.

    “The founder Ron L Hubbard was very smart that way because he knew that if people talked about Scientology it would just sound crazy - so people only talk about it in very vague terms.

    “The only person who has been talking about these wild and crazy ideas is Michael Chan, who is the nearest thing to a preacher they have - he goes around the world, to city after city to get Scientologists amped up and ultimately give more money.

    “We knew this from descriptions but we never actually saw him in action because it’s all top secret - until this video.

    “He talks about how you ultimately became trapped in this body to the point you don't even remember that you were once the god of your own universe.

    "And that's part of the goal of Scientology trying to remember all of those lifetimes to help you regain those godlike powers so you'll once again have power over matter, energy, space and time.

    “He keeps using the example of Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars and I think he was only partially using it metaphorically - he really seems to think Obi-Wan Kenobi is out there.

    “And that's why it's so fascinating because I tell people this ‘space opera’ stuff and the Scientologists all deny it - but they can't deny this, this is their guy onstage talking openly about these ideas.

    “That's why I was so, so happy to finally get this video.”

    Ortega also believes the video shows that Scientology - which claims to be the fastest growing religion in the world - is actually “in trouble” because it is only recruiting one or two new members a week.

    He said: “This is one of the few times anybody has admitted how bad things are for Scientology right now because on the video he admitted they're only getting one or two new starts a week - that’s terrible.

    “There's no question. Scientology is in big trouble. It's been shrinking and shrinking.

    “I talked to people that were former top executives who had access to enrollment numbers around the year 1990 - probably their biggest expanse - and they had about 100,000 people.

    “Now I have two recent former defector executives who think it's no less than 20,000 around the world.

    "They've never had the billions that they claim, never. They always just flat out lie about that."

    More at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8142698/video-reveals-scientology-plan-find-obi-wan-kenobis/

    Scientology EXPOSED: ‘Preacher’ reveals Obi-Wan Kenobi plans | Daily Star

    https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/we...y-exposed-preacher-star-wars-conspiracy-video

    Leaked Scientology Sermon Reveals Plans To Recruit Real Life 'Obi-Wan Kenobis' | LADbible

    http://www.ladbible.com/news/news-l...als-plans-to-recruit-obi-wan-kenobis-20190108
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Uh-oh. Someone trusted a whole bunch of money to a wealthy Scientologist.

    By Jeffrey Augustine, The Underground Bunker, January 10, 2019

    Quote:

    Increasingly, as Tony has shown with reports about its ‘whales,’ Scientology and David Miscavige are relying not on growing membership but extracting as much money as possible from Scientology’s wealthiest donors. So, we like to keep an eye on those rich church members, which has been getting more and more interesting lately.

    In particular, we’ve been looking at a wealthy Scientologist named David Gentile (pronounced “gen-TILLY”). In 2013, Gentile founded GPB Capital Holdings, an investment company headquartered in New York. The company’s website shows that its managing director is another Scientologist, Manuel Vianna, someone we’d noticed was working with fellow Scientologist Matthew Feshbach at Feshbach’s Okyanos Heart Institute in the Bahamas.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2019/01/10/u...le-bunch-of-money-to-a-wealthy-scientologist/
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    FBI drops in on wealthy Scientologist’s company

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, March 6, 2019

    Quote:

    Last month, Jeffrey Augustine told us about David Gentile, a wealthy Scientologist whose investment company, GPB Capital Holdings, had raised $1.8 billion on high-risk investments into car dealerships and waste management. And increasingly, the company was coming under the scrutiny of the financial press.

    Yesterday, that press attention got a lot hotter when Investment News reported that the FBI paid an unannounced visit to GPB last week: “The FBI entered the firm’s Manhattan offices on Thursday, along with officials from the New York City Business Integrity Commission.”

    According to the BIC’s website, its mission is “to eliminate organized crime and other forms of corruption and criminality from the public wholesale markets, the trade waste and shipboard gambling industries.”

    Gentile sent out a letter to his investors, telling them that the company has been going through a process of strengthening its oversight practices. “On February 28, 2019, authorities came to GPB Capital’s New York offices and collected material. We believe the visit, while unscheduled, was a continuation of this process and we will remain cooperative with any inquiries.”

    Meanwhile, Jeffrey tells us that in a lawsuit between GPB and a former director of the company, the former director recently filed a counterclaim and accused GPB of being a “Ponzi scheme.” Yikes.

    Source: https://tonyortega.org/2019/03/06/when-scientologys-disconnection-is-forever-and-other-developments/
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