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

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…



Diamond Meritorious with Honors (approx. $7 million): Steve Hechtman from Sacramento


Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million): Dave and Linda Tourje from South Pasadena


Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million): Bill and Lesley McCaffrey from Los Angeles



Gold Meritorious ($1 million): The Lekas, Sargeant, Schlaich and Stith families from Pasadena

Second from left is Randy Stith, who made a famous appearance ambushing Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux in what became a key moment in Theroux’s My Scientology Movie.


Gold Meritorious ($1 million): Marie Arnold and Sandy Gomberg from Las Vegas


Gold Meritorious ($1 million): Robert Naugler and the Boise Mission



Gold Meritorious ($1 million): Tim and Rona Bowles from Pasadena

Tim Bowles is an attorney who has worked for the church.


Silver Meritorious with Honors ($750,000): Robyn Held from Los Angeles


Silver Meritorious with Honors ($750,000): Anju and Duane Anderson from Lake View Terrace, California


Silver Meritorious with Honors ($750,000): Eric Brackett from Los Angeles


Silver Meritorious with Honors ($750,000): Teresa Coyle and family from Santa Cruz


Silver Meritorious ($500,000): The Christensen and Maness family from Los Angeles


Silver Meritorious ($500,000): Dennis Justus and below, Kelley and Jeff Pomerantz

Jeff Pomerantz is the voice for Scientology events and made his fame in the church for being on the front lines for the Portland Crusade — and reprised that role in Budapest recently.


Silver Meritorious ($500,000): David and Jodi Weissberg and Francine and Bruce Weaver and below, Sharon, Jessica and Brian Phillips

Also, we can’t help reprising Erika Christensen’s appearance at the very end of this wonderful testimonial video, made by Scientology and intended only for Scientologists…



Make your plans now!


Hey, we’re less than a month away from this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. As in past years, we’re looking forward to meeting readers of the Bunker, culminating in Saturday night’s main event.

The biggest difference this year is that our Saturday night event is separate from that evening’s dinner. Chee Chalker is setting up an inexpensive pizza dinner that you don’t need to pay for ahead of time, after which we’ll walk over to the theater where our event, hosted by Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, will take place. Because it’s a separate event, we’re asking that you pay $10 each to get into the Saturday night event, which will help us recoup what the Bunker paid for the venue. (We have never made a penny on our HowdyCon meetups, we only try to break even.)

Please email your proprietor (tonyo94 AT gmail) in order to reserve your spot for Saturday night’s main event. Seating is limited, and we’re going to have some really interesting people on stage and they may make a few announcements that you don’t want to miss.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,125 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,728 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 271 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 159 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,334 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,108 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,882 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,228 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,794 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,462 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,722 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,762 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,474 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,000 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,089 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,229 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,549 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,524 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 880 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,182 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,288 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,691 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,563 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,145 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,650 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,894 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,003 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 25, 2018 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, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


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