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Scientology used an ice cream ‘date’ to run up $20,000 on senior’s credit cards

[Efrem’s ice cream dates]

The day after we reported last week on the ordeal of 75-year-old Efrem Logreira — who says the Church of Scientology ran up charges on his credit cards for courses he would never take, and which cost him thousands in interest payments — he heard from the church in a letter disputing his numbers.

Until our story appeared, he had heard nothing from the Los Angeles Org for months, despite sending numerous letters complaining about the way he was being treated. He only joined Scientology last year, at 74, and took a couple of introductory courses before running into problems with a third course. The church then opened up numerous credit cards in his name and put $73,000 in charges on them for various reasons, including 200 hours of auditing that he could never complete.

After being heard to complain about the long drives he was making to the Los Angeles Org from where he was staying at a friend’s house in Palm Springs, Efrem was barred from entering Scientology’s New Year’s event, held in December at the Shrine Auditorium in LA. Since then, he’s been sending letters demanding refunds from the church as the interest charges on his credit cards have impoverished him.

Not long after we first started talking to him, Efrem did receive a payment of $45,379.82 in refunds from the church. In its July 19 letter, Scientology says it had earlier refunded him even more — another $20,000, which Efrem acknowledges was returned to him on October 12 to make up for one of the unauthorized charges made to his credit cards, and under particularly troubling circumstances.

In that case, Efrem says, three female Scientology “registrars” offered to take him from the Los Angeles Org to a local ice cream parlor, singing along with the radio in the car, and plying him with flirtatious pleas to “keep helping us out,” along with touching and kissing him until he agreed to help — but he didn’t realize until later that his “help” meant a charge to his credit cards for $20,000 of future auditing. (Efrem acknowledged the return of this money in his previous letters to the church. It was our oversight not including that refund amount in our previous story.)


Efrem sent us a photo of the three registrars on his ice cream date (see above). He says their names are, from left to right, Roxanne, Natalie, and Lindsey.

Scientology now tells Efrem it owes him only another $8,415 to complete his refunds, and it’s being pretty aggressive about it: “If you continue to decline to provide an address to send the check, I will conclude that you are not seeking to resolve this matter in good faith, but rather, are seeking to further some other agenda that you or others may have,” the July 19 letter states.

But Logreira tells us that Scientology will have to pay a lot more to make him whole. The church not only ran up $73,000 in charges for auditing he would never use, but he had to pay interest on those charges for nearly a year, and it has drained his savings, wrecked his credit, and made him essentially homeless.

He told us he is not going to accept Scientology’s $8,415 check, and this week he sent copies of his documentation to attorney Graham Berry, who has a long record of representing former Scientologists in litigation.

Part of that documentation, which Efrem shared with us, is a current accounting of the credit card balances that he owes which come directly from the fees, charges, and interest he paid for his Scientology adventure. Over five different accounts, that balance totals $43,006.99 as of June.

“The only thing I want is those credit card balances zeroed so I can re-establish my credit. How can I pay that if I don’t have any money? That’s my situation,” he says. “Scientology has treated me like garbage. And I want satisfaction.”


[Efrem Logreira]




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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,185 days.
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Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 331 days.
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Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,942 days.
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Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,522 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,782 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,822 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,534 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,060 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,149 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,289 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,609 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,584 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 940 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,242 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,348 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,751 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,623 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,205 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,710 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,954 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,063 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 24, 2018 at 08:00

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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