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Can you help solve this odd Scientology financial mystery?

RamsayDetailWe’re calling on the super-sleuths who frequent the Underground Bunker to help us out in an intriguing little mystery.

It involves a large payment to one of Scientology’s key entities, and in a manner that seems to defy explanation.

Here’s the background. About a year and a half ago, a man named Jonathan Ramsay inquired with the Church of Scientology about the accounts left behind by his father, Peter Ramsay, a Toronto Scientologist who died three years ago.

Peter had left about $17,000 on account for services — something that’s very common. Scientologists are encouraged to pay for their future courses well in advance of actually taking them, so that when they do arrive at a facility to perform a certain set of processes, the bill has already been paid.

But in Peter’s case, he would no longer be taking courses. And his son, who was not a Scientologist, wanted to know how he could get the $17,000 credit returned that his father would no longer have a use for.

At that point, he was told to go fish. Scientologists have a hard enough time getting refunds or repayments, but a non-Scientologist? Fat chance.


Then, in October, Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis, suddenly had a change of heart. He wrote a letter to Jonathan, offering to have him go through Scientology’s internal “arbitration” in order to get his father’s money back.

This became an issue recently in the federal fraud lawsuit brought against Scientology by Luis and Rocio Garcia. They’re suing over the way they say they were lied to in order to donate several hundred thousand dollars. Scientology wants them to accept its arbitration scheme, too, but they would rather hash things out in court. Besides, they say, there is no arbitration in Scientology, it’s just a sham policy that doesn’t really exist. So in October, Judge James D. Whittemore asked Scientology provide evidence that it does, in fact, conduct arbitrations.

Six days later, Ellis sent his letter to Jonathan Ramsay, asking if he wanted to try it out.

At a court hearing last week, this was held up as evidence that Scientology was trying to create evidence of its arbitration scheme after the fact, and it made the church look pretty bad.

But now, we’ve heard from Peter Ramsay’s brother, Robert Ramsay, who says that he and his nephew have been heartened by the coverage of the Garcia case by the Underground Bunker. And he wanted to know if we could help him with a bit of a mystery.

Robert and his nephew Jonathan have been going through Peter Ramsay’s documents, learning as much as they can about the money he gave Scientology. And they ran across a very odd receipt that we want to show you.

It indicates that in June 1989, Peter Ramsay agreed to give a payment of $5,300 to the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA), a place where high-level Scientology processing occurs at the “Big Blue” complex in LA. (In today’s terms, that’s about $10,200.)

The payment was for the balance after Peter had paid $400 up front for “New OT V Audited NOTs” — one of the “Operating Thetan” levels — and for the first 12.5-hour “intensive,” or set of processing hours. As Bruce Hines explained to us when we learned about New OT V in our series, “Up the Bridge,” it can take several “intensives” to get this level done, which is about “waking up” the unseen alien entities stuck to you, known as “body thetans,” and driving them off.

Yes, in other words, Peter Ramsay was paying about $450 an hour to drive away invisible space cooties in a Scientology exorcism.

But that’s just standard Scientology, and nothing unusual.

What struck Robert Ramsay as he was going through his brother’s receipts was a puzzling wire transfer receipt stapled to the rest of the paperwork on his brother’s OT V transaction.

The receipts show that on June 14, 1989, Peter Ramsay paid AOLA $5,300 with the use of three separate credit card payments.

But there’s another receipt showing that on the following day, the same amount, $5,300, was drawn on something called the Irving Trust Company, with payment to a “P and N Jewellers,” and Peter Ramsay is listed as the remitter.

Robert tells us his brother did not own or work for a “P and N Jewellers,” and he doesn’t understand why the wire transfer was made the day after his brother had already paid AOLA with credit cards. He’s wondering what this transaction represents, and so do we.

We told him that if we posted it to the site, someone might have a good idea, and he agreed that we should do it.

We also called up Mat Pesch, who had worked in finance at Flag, in Clearwater, Florida. He said the transaction sounded completely unfamiliar to him.

Can one of our readers help us out?

Here are the receipts…


Peter Ramsay Receipts AOLA

UPDATE: As we expected, our smart commenters figured things out pretty quickly. And here to put it into some context is former Scientology executive Haydn James…

Back in 1989 AOLA had a weird practice going on (some might call it illegal). If a public couldn’t make the agreed payment or make all of it by Thursday at 2pm (that magic time) AOLA arranged for another — a 3rd party public — to “loan” the money or shortfall amount so AOLA received it all. The three separate credit card payments indicates this might have been the case. Whoever owned the jewelery store may have loaned the money and the wire transfer was the payment back. I remember, back in 1989 this practice was a huge flap in the church so it’s possible this is an explanation. It is something the church will not want to revisit, by the way, which gives those seeking refunds a little leverage. Out of an average weekly income of a quarter million dollars up to 80 percent was loaned. They called it “rollover.” The flap was huge.

As our commenters figured out, the owners of the jewelry concern used their credit cards to pay AOLA on behalf of Peter Ramsay on a Wednesday evening, when Scientology registrars are scrambling to get payments in before the Thursday weekly “stats” deadline. Ramsay then repaid the jewelry story owners the next day by having the amount (plus exchange rate fees) wired to their business.

And we find the whole thing a fascinating look inside the high-pressure world of Scientology “regging”!


Another wild Hungarian fundraiser

Those Budapest fundraisers get wilder all the time. This one took place last Saturday night.


Here’s a translation of the titles, from Peter Bonyai…

00:10 The black angel arrived at the beginning
00:16 She brought good news though
00:20 The superstars came straight from Hollywood
00:27 They arrived to the Ideal Org
00:33 Everyone fell on the floor laughing
01:10 An incredible star-studded show
01:13 A fantastic carnival
01:15 Come to the next event


Bonus photos from our tipsters

¡Vaselina! It’s the Mexico United “Grease” fundraiser!


This bloke is really excited about going Clear at Saint Hill Manor…


Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 26, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


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