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Is this case of Scientology draining a senior of his savings the one police are looking for?

[Efrem Logreira]

Earlier this year, we first heard from Efrem Logreira, who shared with us a letter he had sent to the Church of Scientology.

The letter was stunning. In it, Logreira, who is now 75, described making the long drive this past December from Palm Springs to the Scientology New Year’s Event being held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, only to be turned away at the door.

Logreira had only joined Scientology the previous June, at 74 years of age. But now he was shut out after the church had drained his savings, maxed out his credit cards, and impoverished him in only a few months.

By the time we first spoke with Logreira in the spring, the interest payments alone on the charges the church had made to his credit cards was $900 a month, and was about to make him homeless.

Since then, Logreira has made repeated attempts to have Scientology refund him the charges on programs that he will never use.


During that time, he asked us to hold off on writing an article. He wanted to give Scientology the opportunity to respond to his messages.

Now, months later, his most recent letters to the church have gone unanswered.

For years, we’ve heard from law enforcement officials and experts that one of the reasons government agencies are reluctant to take on Scientology is that the people who come forward with horror stories of being abused by the church only do so years or even decades after those abuses happened. And we often hear that it’s financial crimes law enforcement is most interested in, the kind of thing that can be demonstrated with documents which spell things out in black and white.

Efrem Logreira’s struggles with Scientology did not happen years or decades ago. They are happening right now.

And as for financial documents, he has mountains of them.

This week, Logreira began turning over those financial records to law enforcement.

And to us, in regards to writing a story, he said yesterday, “go for it.”


[Efrem: “They opened all of these cards in my name.”]

“He’s a famous musician and a very talented man,” Efrem’s longtime friend tells us about him. “He has also contributed to the legal field and to informing Hispanics on legal issues, interpreting for people. He’s produced videos about workplace harassment.”

The friend, 77, met Logreira through LA’s latin music scene in the 1970s, and they’ve been close ever since.

“Efrem is a world-class act. He traveled with Stan Kenton. He traveled with the Jazz Crusaders and BB King. He’s got a resume that would choke a horse,” the friend says.

Efrem — who also spells his name Efrain — grew up in Cartagena, Colombia, and came to the US in 1969. His credits as a latin percussionist with Stan Kenton and BB King span from 1970 to the 1990s, and in re-issues to 2014.

But when music jobs got scarce in the 1990s, he turned to business. “I started Corte Hispana. I make educational films for the workplace,” Logreira says.

Then, last year he lost his footing when his business partner left, taking the business with her. “I was depressed. I had lost my place. So I turned to Scientology last year,” he says.

“His life was turned upside down after the separation,” his friend says. “And like all artists, he’s impulsive. He found Scientology through a friend, and they sold him a bill of goods. That’s not good for someone in his 70s.”

On June 21, 2017 Logreira was convinced to spend $215 on an introductory course at the LA Org, which is located in the “Big Blue” complex on Sunset Boulevard. That was followed in August with the “Purification Rundown,” which cost him $2,500.

In his initial letter to the church, Logreira says he has no issue with either of those expenditures. But he explains that when he was convinced to pay for the Purificiation Rundown, he was also sold the “Survival Rundown” (SRD) for another $2,500.

He only attended two sessions of the SRD and was unsatisfied with it. Also, he says he had been promised a job at the new Scientology Media Productions complex because of his background as a musician and composer.

No one told him, however, that in order to work at the SMP, he would have to join the Sea Organization and sign its billion-year contract.

Logreira also says that the Org promised to find him cheap housing while his life was a shambles. Instead, he was found a dangerous place to live and was kicked out by his landlord.

“The Staff at the LA Org were advised of my financial and unstable conditions, as I had just separated from my significant other and had no place to live nor did I have a job,” he wrote to the church in his initial letter. “However, in my weak state of mind they offered me salvation through Scientology, and told me that they would resolve my condition by taking additional courses and auditing and providing me with a job and a safe place to rent. I was looking for an answer to my sorry state of mind and fell for their empty promises.”

Beginning in August the church ran up huge charges on his credit cards for things he didn’t authorize and would never use.

— On August 7, the LA Org charged him $24,500 for 125 hours of “HGC Auditing Intensives.” No one explained to him what the purpose for this was.

— On August 10, the LA Org charged him $23,500 for 75 additional hours of HGC auditing for “Academy Levels 0, I, II, III, Professional TR courses, and Basic Books and Lecture Pack and the Student Hat.”

— On August 23, the LA Org charged him $20,000 for an additional 75 hours of auditing.

Logreira says he was being charged for more auditing (counseling) than he could receive in his lifetime, and for books that never arrived.

“Since October of 2017, I have made every congenial effort with all of the departments at the LA Org to be reimbursed for the interest charges and the payments extracted on my credit cards — $73,630.00.”

Even though he had received nothing for those charges, he was unable to pay even the interest on them.

When we first spoke with him, Efrem was renting a room from a friend. He was down to only enough money to cover one or two additional monthly payments of $900 on the interest, and his credit scores were diving.

In February and March, he met with an ethics officer at the LA Org to explain his predicament: After being charged more than $70,000 for Scientology services, he had been overheard at the Org complaining about his situation — that he was having to drive all the way in from Palm Springs for his courses at the same time that he was having such trouble just getting through his separation. Then, when he showed up at the New Year’s Event in December, he was told he couldn’t have a ticket and was barred from Scientology events.

After Logreira first spoke to us in the spring, he finally did get a response to his multiple letters — the LA Org refunded him $45,379.82 to one of his credit accounts. But he’s heard nothing more from the church, and he says Scientology owes him much more.

“I am damaged — financially, emotionally and physically. My state of mind is in confusion with the stress of owing almost $40,000, which is too big of a burden for me,” he wrote to the church in his most recent letter, which went unanswered.

We sent our own message yesterday to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw, asking her why a 74-year-old would be charged for 275 hours of auditing after only his first course in Scientology.

Minutes after we sent that message, Logreira finally heard back from the LA Org for the first time in months, acknowledging that they had not responded to his letters of June 14, June 21 and July 9.

“I just wanted to let you know that your emails have been received and that this matter is being reviewed so that it can be resolved as fast as possible,” wrote the org.

Even Scientology has to know how bad this case looks. And we have to think law enforcement is going to take it seriously.

We’ll let you know what we can about Efrem’s ongoing ordeal.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,179 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,782 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 325 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 213 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,388 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,162 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,936 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,282 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,848 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,516 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,776 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,816 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,528 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,054 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,143 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,283 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,603 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,578 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 934 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,236 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,342 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,745 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,617 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,199 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,704 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,948 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,057 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 18, 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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