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

[Bob Duggan, illustration by Chad Essley]

In case you didn’t notice it, we were actually pretty gobsmacked by a photo that we showed you last week. That photo provided the first hard evidence of something we’d been hearing for quite some time — that the richest Scientologists in the world, Bob and Trish Duggan, were splitting up.

For years, the Duggans have been Scientology’s biggest donors, and we looked forward to seeing the giant trophy they were given each October at a celebration of Scientology’s biggest benefactors, and to see what funny “status” was invented for them. In 2016, they were named “Invictus” for what we estimated was $80 million to $90 million in giving just to the International Association of Scientologists, which doesn’t count the additional millions they’ve given for Scientology building projects around the world.

But this year, Scientology leader David Miscavige gave out another “Invictus” trophy, but only for Trish and her kids. Bob was not in the photo.



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 was already 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.


[Bob Duggan and Mahkam “Maky” Zanganeh]

Maky — we’ve also seen it spelled “Macky” — Has a DDS degree, but she’s become a major player in the Silicon Valley pharmaceutical scene. Like Bob, she benefited from Pharmacyclics exploding in value after a cancer drug it was developing turned out to be very effective in clinical trials. In 2015, the pharma giant AbbVie bought Pharmacyclics for $21 billion, and Bob’s personal wealth vaulted to nearly $4 billion. (According to Forbes, he’s currently worth just under $2 billion.)

Last month, Duggan joined Zanganeh on the board of their new venture, Pulse Biosciences. Here’s Maky’s bio at the Pulse website:

Dr. Zanganeh was appointed as a director in February 2017 and is currently President of Zanganeh and Associates. Previously, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of Pharmacyclics, Inc., from August 2012 to September 2015, Chief of Staff and Chief Business Officer from December 2011 to July 2012 and Vice President, Business Development August 2008 to November 2011. Prior joining Pharmacyclics Inc., Dr. Zanganeh served as President Director General (2007-2008) for the French government initiative bio-cluster project in France, establishing alliances and developing small life science business regionally. From September 2003 to August 2008, Dr. Zanganeh served as Vice President of Business Development for Robert W. Duggan & Associates. Dr. Zanganeh also served as worldwide Vice President of Training & Education and President Director General for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Computer Motion Inc., the world initiator of medical robotics. Dr. Zanganeh received a D.D.S. degree from Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France, and M.B.A. from Schiller International University in France.

That, friends, is a solid science background. 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.

As for her relationship to Bob, we looked around for any evidence that they are spending time together outside of work. One of our eagle-eyed helpers, Eivol Ekdal, noticed a Facebook post from September by a Frenchman, Luc Soler, visiting California.


Soler was thrilled that Bob let him drive the billionaire’s new top of the line Tesla Model X, in a configuration that costs $154,000.

Ekdal did some digging, and sure enough, the $3.6 million house in the photo where Bob’s car was parked is owned by Maky Zanganeh. Here’s a street view, when it was under construction…


Bob’s car is there, but is Bob himself staying there? We don’t know. And we made multiple attempts to reach someone at Pulse Biosciences to ask them about the two board members spending time together. We’ll let you know if they tell us anything.

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?

Perhaps it makes more sense now that at the end of 2015, with their relationship coming to an end, Bob and Trish put a million shares of AbbVie stock into a foundation that will generate about $3 million in revenue each year for the Church of Scientology as long as AbbVie, the maker of the biggest prescription drug in the world, Humira, keeps its stock value high.

Was that a parting gift from Bob, a source of money into perpetuity, as he prepared to walk out the door a year later, sometime around the end of 2016?

We’ll keep pushing for more evidence to learn if Scientology really has lost its biggest whale.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,958 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 104 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,167 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,941 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,715 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,061 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,555 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,595 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,307 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 833 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,922 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,062 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,382 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,357 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 713 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,015 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,121 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,524 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,397 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 978 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,483 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,727 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,836 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 9, 2017 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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