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Whale watching, 2016 edition: Who’s keeping Scientology afloat?

Whales

 
One of our very helpful readers let us know that he had the new Impact magazine and wanted to let us in on this year’s parade of whales that we look forward to each year.

You know the score: Each October, the International Association of Scientologists holds its annual gala under a big tent in East Grinstead, England (usually, although in 2013 they held it in Clearwater, Florida), and besides sitting for a three-hour stemwinder by church leader David Miscavige, the year’s big donors are also celebrated.

A few months later, photos from the event show up in Impact, and we get to learn which of the super-rich Scientology families “upped their status” in the past year.

Since it’s this pod of generous whales that largely keep Scientology going, Miscavige encourages them by awarding them with giant trophies that signify how much they’ve given. And he has to keep coming up with new names for those trophies because one family in particular keeps forking over bigger and bigger amounts to the IAS war chest (along with a lot of other Scientology projects they prop up).

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We’re talking, of course, of Bob and Trish Duggan and their children, the richest Scientologists in the world, and a family we’ve written about extensively in the past.

Once again, the Duggans upped their status in 2015, and Miscavige had to invent yet another name for the level of giving they had achieved. And once again, the Duggans were the only ones who had the honor of having Miscavige actually pose with them and their trophy for a photo. So, behold, the Duggan family, and their new trophy for achieving Diamond Invictus status!

 
DugganTrophy2016

 
“Diamond Invictus” — has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? And here’s what the magazine said were Miscavige’s words…

And this brings us to our conclusion, for which there is no comparison anywhere on Earth. Because we are now talking about Diamond Invictus. This level was specifically created for this evening and represents the unconquerable soul of man. And hence, the trophy bears these words from LRH: “And we will win as surely and inevitably as the Earth will accomplish her next rotation around the sun.” Equally inevitably, we now come to those who are worthy of this title. And, I might add, there exist no adjectives, metaphors, analogies or expressions that can describe what these beings have done. Because their names are such that they leave one momentarily breathless, as if one were in the presence of greatness itself. And that is what they are. Because this is the moment of suspense in which I proudly announce the presence of Bob and Trish Duggan and family, now Diamond Invictus.

Touching, isn’t it? But OK, you’re wondering, just how much does a family have to donate over their careers as Scientologists in order to reach this level?

To answer that question, we’re going to review our method for how we estimate what the richies have given…

 

In 2006, the IAS published a list of these status levels, and how much you had to have donated over your career in order to qualify…

Patron: $50,000
Patron with Honors: $100,000
Patron Meritorious: $250,000

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Silver Meritorious: $500,000
Gold Meritorious: $1,000,000
Platinum Meritorious: $2,500,000
Diamond Meritorious: $5,000,000
Patron Laureate: $10,000,000

A few years later, some additional levels were added, but no dollar amounts were listed. (Scientology had apparently figured out that everything they published ended up on the Internet or something.) The new, even higher levels…

Platinum Laureate
Diamond Laureate
Patron Excalibur
Platinum Excalibur
Diamond Excalibur
Patron Maximus

By extension, you would expect that if they went even higher, the next couple of levels would be Platinum Maximus, and Diamond Maximus. Also, at every level, you can also earn the additional tag “with Honors,” which means that you have given a bit more on the way to the next plateau.

Now, we’ve taken a stab at estimating what these higher statuses might stand for, using a conservative progression that is much less steep than the ones we already know about. Here’s our guesstimate:

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Platinum Laureate — $12 million
Diamond Laureate — $15 million
Patron Excalibur — $20 million
Platinum Excalibur — $22 million
Diamond Excalibur — $25 million
Patron Maximus — $30 million
Platinum Maximus — $35 million
Diamond Maximus — $40 million

After we published that list, we heard from a person who had worked in Scientology finances who told us our progression was indeed conservative. But we’re going to stick with it, and now, we’ll try to extend it. Here’s our new guesstimate for the entire list of IAS statuses…

Lifetime membership $5,000
Sponsor $10,000
Crusader $25,000
Patron $50,000
Patron with Honors $100,000

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Patron Meritorious $250,000
Silver Meritorious $500,000
Gold Meritorious $1 million
Platinum Meritorious $2.5 million
Diamond Meritorious $5 million
Patron Laureate $10 million
Platinum Laureate $12 million
Diamond Laureate $15 million
Patron Excalibur $20 million
Platinum Excalibur $22 million
Diamond Excalibur $25 million
Patron Maximus $30 million
Platinum Maximus $35 million
Diamond Maximus $40 million
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Patron Invictus $50 million
Platinum Invictus $60 million

OK, so now the Duggan family has done it again, extending the top of the status list with “Diamond Invictus.” So what does that mean? We’re going to remain conservative and keep with the current progression. By which we mean, we’re going to assume that the Duggan family received Diamond Invictus status for donating another $10 million in 2015 to reach a total of $70 million to the IAS. The actual amount could be far higher, and we also believe that the Duggans have given millions more for specific Scientology building programs around the world. (But don’t fear for their finances. Bob Duggan sold his pharmaceutical company, Pharmacyclics, for about $22 billion last year, and his personal wealth, according to Forbes, is $3 billion.)

But the Duggan family isn’t the only one forking over huge amounts to David Miscavige. This year, three families reached the lofty giving level of “Patron Laureate,” reaching $10 million in donations. (Last year, there were none.) And who are these profligate spenders?

 
IASTrophy16h

 
Here’s Doug and Laurie Dohring and their family, happily posing with their Patron Laureate trophy. And how did the Dohrings come to donate $10 million to Scientology? Well, Doug runs Age of Learning, the company that brings you ABCmouse. Yes, parents, as you have your toddlers clicking away to learn their alphabet, the Dohrings are raking it in and sharing it with David Miscavige!

 
IASTrophy16g

 
David and Monica Agami have certainly been busy. Two years ago they made Platinum Meritorious, so in order to reach Patron Laureate, they must have donated $7.5 million in that time. Business in Mexico City must be brisk.

 
IASTrophy16f

 
And look who else has made the Patron Laureate club! Grant and Elena Cardone have really come on strong in the last couple of years, doing Super Power and hobnobbing with the Duggans. And they’ve had to send a lot of money Miscavige’s way in order to come up to $10 million this year.

 
IASTrophy16e

 
Last year Miami’s Pablo Comparetto made Diamond Meritorious ($5 million), and this year he’s added “with Honors,” so we assume he’s up to about $7 million at this point. He’s posing here with his son, Gianpaolo Comparetto.

 
IASTrophy16d

 
It’s the same for Tom and Victoria Cummins and their clan, coming up to about $7 million and “Diamond Meritorious with Honors.” That deregulated electricity market in Florida must be thriving.

 
IASTrophy16c

 
Alessandro and Luana Baggio have not only reached $5 million and Diamond Meritorious, they also gave at least $1 million to help complete the Super Power Building.

 
IASTrophy16b

 
Diamond Meritorious giver Pilar Saldarriaga is from a wealthy Colombian family and was once a member of the Sea Organization. As far as we know, the Colombian Saldarriagas have no connection to Eric Saldarriaga, the New York private investigator who recently went to federal prison for trying to hack us on behalf of Scientology.

 
IASTrophy16a

 
Emilio and Maria Eugenia Lorente round out the $5 million Diamond Meritorious givers. Can anyone tell us about them and how they made their money?

 
Eduardo_Galan4

 
And hey, remember poet and cool guy Eduardo Galan? Turns out he’s loaded too — and made Silver Meritorious with Honors, which is about $750,000. Come on, Eduardo, you can get one of the big trophies soon!

And more winners…

Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million)

Jim and Gigi Bridgeforth
Matteo D’Agneli and Antonella Sarocco
Allmut Egenoit
Omar Jazzar
Norm and Terri Novitsky
Stephen and Teresa Yao

Gold Meritorious ($1 million)

Sandi and Lee Borth
Max Cattori
Edeitraut Groz
Yuko and Akio Kitaura
Charles Jackson and Nicole Keppler
Arnelle and Hermann Keppler
Rik and Dorie Kinney
Gary and Peggy Patrick
Ruddy Rodriguez

Silver Meritorious ($500,000)

Yacelani Aulacio and Mario Chirinos
Wolfgang and Jenny Brugger
Carol Klugman Carey
Kaye Champagne
Bud Farr
Rudi and Claire Loehwing
Marco and Ingrid Meyer
Wolf and Sabine Meyer
Dimitry Federov and Nina Reznikova
Chieko Mabe
Susanne and Herbert Marks
Robert Naugler
Ana Nunez
Manuela Rigamonti
Adriana Scarpellini and Paolo Tucci
Vineet Sidhu
Karen and Mike Walby

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 23, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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