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DOX: Quebec church owes other Scientology orgs heaps, pays its workers peanuts

You may have seen a story hit the wires yesterday out of Canada. It reported that some documents obtained by CBC showed that a worker at Scientology’s Quebec org had been paid only $70 for 39 hours of work.

We had a couple of reactions to that story — first, although that might seem like low pay to the uninitiated, most former Scientologists we know would be lucky to get that much money in an entire month of work, let alone a short week of only 39 hours.

But in Canada, it was apparently pretty shocking that Scientology was paying less than $2 an hour, and was trying to get away with it by saying that its workers were not employees but “religious workers” who were exempt from the law.

The problem with that argument is that Canada has never granted tax-exempt church status to Scientology (and there’s a fascinating reason why), and in Quebec there’s no “religious worker” exception to minimum wage.


Will the Quebec government do anything about it? We don’t know yet. But in the meantime, there is more to the document leak out of Quebec, which we here at the Bunker also received.

In our case, we obtained some financial documents about the health of the Quebec org, and we asked a couple of experts for their thoughts on them.

First, we turned to Mat Pesch, a former Sea Org official who had worked in finance at the Flag Land Base, Scientology’s most lucrative facility. Here’s one of the documents we showed him, followed by his commments.

Mat: This appears to be a spreadsheet showing what the Quebec Org owes to other Church of Scientology entities. Quebec Org, like over 95 percent of Scientology Orgs, cannot support itself and would not exist without an infusion of materials and services from other church units. Those other units in turn are supported by the money collected by the Flag Service Org (FSO) in Clearwater and the many units set up to collect direct donations for which no return service (in terms of courses and counseling) is required.

The spreadsheet appears to show Quebec Org owes for things like computers, uniforms, furniture/signage, audio equipment, printed promotional items, training of its staff, room and board for staff, drill packs, books and meters needed to operate, etc. When you look at what payments are being made, there are basically two types. The first is for book items given to them on credit. All money paid to the Quebec Org for a book goes to a separate “Book Account” which can only be used to pay for books. It’s automatic and Quebec Org has no way to use the money in any other way. The second type are payments for things followed with (CSI) which stands for Church of Scientology International. All money paid by the public for courses and counseling goes into a bank account controlled by CSI. CSI basically pays itself back and determines what, if anything, it wants to give to the Quebec Org so it can continue to keep its doors open.

The other spreadsheet that would be interesting to find would be money owed to non-Scientology companies. When I was the Treasury Secretary FSO (Flag Service Org) in 2003 my staff called every Scientology church in the world and found over 95 percent of the orgs were way behind on paying their bills to non-Scientology creditors. The bills commonly went back 3 to 6 months and in some cases, close to a year. It wasn’t just the small orgs like Quebec. It was also many of the Sea Organization churches/units, whatever you want to call them.

The Bunker: Thanks for that help, Mat. We also turned to another source who worked in a financial position in Scientology but wishes to remain unnamed.

Financial executive: I haven’t seen this format, but I know what it’s showing. It shows where pretty much all the money that’s collected at a Class V org like Quebec goes to. The US Dollar section (the vast majority) all goes to either FSO or CSI.

Basically, everything that FSO and CSI provide to a Class V org has to be “paid” for by the org. Otherwise it’s “out exchange” but in reality it’s just a way of funneling all the money up to the top. Optional things like rent, utilities, and staff pay is usually calculated after all of these payments are made “up lines” and typically in the past has ended up being close to $0 pay for most Class V staff.

You can see that they’re “in debt” to the various Sea Org entities for upwards of $2.5 million. And that the org is charged for everything from uniforms, to printed promotion, nebulous things like “systems” right down to being billed for a mission that was send from FLO to the Org. FSO and Flag Crew are owed large amounts, and I would guess this is billing for the training and accommodations of the trainees that they are required to send every time David Miscavige decides to make them all re-do their levels.

My take:

1) All of the items that the org is “billed” for are going to be grossly inflated in price. The actual cost will be pennies on the dollar, the rest is profit for CSI, FSO, or whatever entity ultimately holds the cash.
2) I think by showing that the local org is operating at a loss, or has negative net worth (even though it’s manufactured by just sucking all their money out of the country) there may be some tax benefit or they may be able to avoid taxes in a country that doesn’t give them the same tax-free hand as USA.
3) The picture it shows to me would be very familiar to anyone with knowledge of Scientology finances: Every cent of cash that can be squeezed out of anywhere is funneled right up to the top. And really, that’s what Scientology is all about.

The Bunker: We’re grateful for that help from our experts. And we sure hope authorities in Quebec can do something with this information. Please contact us, and we can put you in touch with Scientology experts who will help you understand the situation: A brutal, totalitarian American organization is artificially keeping its churches in Canada open in order to suck up what little money it can there and send it uplines to David Miscavige, and in the meantime pays its few workers less than a subsistence wage. Had enough yet?

UPDATE: David Love notified us that the Quebec government is taking an interest in the pay issue at the Quebec Org. At Facebook, he provided this translation of Gaetan Pouliot’s reporting…


Jamie DeWolf calls out Scientology’s spies

Jamie DeWolf, who threw us such a great book party in 2015, and who is well known to our readers as L. Ron Hubbard’s great-grandson, sent us this short excerpt from a performance last week. It’s short and a lot of fun, and we look forward to your reaction to it…



Chris Shelton on why smart people fall for Scientology

Says Chris: “This past weekend I was privileged to be invited to the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix to discuss why smart people fall for stupid things. I used Scientology as the basic premise of the talk, since so many otherwise smart people get so wrapped up in it (as they do with so many other destructive cults). The sound quality isn’t what I hoped but I think it’s understandable and I was asked some good questions during the Q&A portion at the end.”




Ay, Carumba! — we’re just a WEEK from this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. Here’s what we have in store for you…

THURSDAY: Author Alec Nevala-Lee joins us for a casual evening of discussion. We’ve read his forthcoming book, Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and it has some wonderful insights about how Hubbard moved from the pulps to Dianetics. Take this opportunity to get to know him and hear about his book before it makes waves in October!

FRIDAY: Friday is Fly Day at HowdyCon Chicago! Our buzzing insect can only join us for this event, so plan to hang out with us. If Jimmy3 doesn’t also make the scene so we can see these two banter in person, we’re going to kill him.

SATURDAY: Our big event this year features Chicago Fire actor Christian Stolte, who tells us he’s cooking up a good show for us. It takes place in a theater, and you need to reserve a seat by dropping a note to the proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail as soon as possible.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,145 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,748 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 291 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 179 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,354 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,128 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,902 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,248 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,814 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,482 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,742 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,782 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,494 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,020 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,109 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,249 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,569 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,544 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 900 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,202 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,308 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,711 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,583 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,165 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,670 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,914 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,023 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 14, 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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