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How a Scientology-run business preyed on Silicon Valley icons in the name of ‘wellness’

 
Today we have a remarkable account from a woman who asked not to be named. We’re also not identifying by name the business she has written about. But considering stories we’ve done recently (and some in years previously), we feel that her narrative is very timely and provides a really stunning look inside a Scientologist-run business operating on Scientology principles and interacting with some of this country’s biggest and most important corporations. For years, we’ve written about businesses run by Scientologists that are involved in the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), a Scientology front that tends to target chiropractors, dentists, and veterinarians. Here’s a look at one WISE clinic that is pulling millions out of Silicon Valley firms in the name of “wellness.”

 
In 2010 I was hired by a business claiming to be a medical center, and at my initial interview I was advised that they ran the business using the L. Ron Hubbard business model. They explained that it was a legitimate business practice that had nothing to do with Scientology.

I was hired because of my extensive experience in medical billing, especially success with appeals and my understanding of physical therapy billing.

The clinic was owned and run by a couple who had been Scientologists for decades. Their children had attended the Delphi boarding schools, and they were high up in the local org. They were both chiropractors, but they had also obtained certifications in nutrition. The wife had jumped on the anti-gluten bandwagon a few years before and had written a book about how bad gluten is.

The location was strategic, being located in the heart of Silicon Valley and surrounded by Google, Apple, Paypal, Ebay, and many other high tech businesses. The couple knew that large corporations receive incentives from their Workers Compensation carriers to promote “wellness” and ergonomic programs. The medical center promoted itself to these corporations to provide “wellness” discussions to their employees. Our office had done extensive research of the health benefit packages of each corporation that was solicited to receive wellness talks by the co-owner.

The clinic did not have contracts with any insurance companies in order to avoid routine audits of their practices by the insurance companies. It was important to target companies that had out-of-network benefits.

At the wellness discussions, attendees were given cards to fill out with name, phone number, email, and generic health questions. They were asked if they would like a free consultation to discover if they had food sensitivities or intolerance. Our office, which employed almost all Scientologists, had an employee whose only job was to call the people on the cards to schedule their “free consultation.”

There was a part-time MD who came in twice a week to see the people for the consultation. “Patients” were administered a saliva food sensitivity test that is not scientifically proven to be accurate. After the consultation, the patient would then meet with the “case manager,” who is like a “reg” at a Scientology org. She would attempt to sell “personalized” treatment plans (not actually personalized, other than to get the maximum the clinic could through their out-of-network benefits). The plan was almost identical to every other patient. She would calculate a total of the patient’s share for their treatment, and attempt to collect the full amount up front or payments over the following two to four weeks. That ensured the patients would follow through with treatment even if they figured out it was bullshit. Front desk people who were also Scientologists attempted to sell supplements and gluten-free products.

We had weekly staff meetings where everyone would show their stats and discuss ways to improve. We also had Knowledge Reports, and I had to fill them out to obtain office supplies, which included what the consequence would be if I didn’t get small Post-it notes, or paper clips.

The most fraudulent practice was the physical therapy all patients had to receive once they signed up for a treatment plan — whether they needed it or not. Some patients had up to 48 sessions. Physical therapy is for the recovery of an injury, but since these people did not have injuries, “muscle strain” and “muscle pull” were put on their claims. Some insurance companies got wise and started asking for the notes, and the physical therapist found ways to justify the treatment, but it was bogus. I wrote successful appeals focused on patient progress that obtained payments. That was when I realized I was lying for my employers and could be prosecuted for knowingly billing and writing appeals for unnecessary treatment.

Physical therapy was a cash cow for the clinic, but it cost the patients and the insurance companies millions a year to this one business.

When I started working there they had me read a lot of Scientology literature and gave me weird tests. After seeing a lot of documentaries I realized that they were indoctrinating me, hoping I wasn’t aware.

They gave me the Oxford Capacity Assessment personality test at my interview. I didn’t know what it was at the time.

My first day during orientation I had to do a test where I went to the bathroom, looked around, went to the waiting room, touched the far wall, went to the bathroom, washed my hands, etc. Next I spent the rest of my day reading L. Ron Hubbard writings that had nothing to do with my job. I knew it was weird Scientology stuff.

Every Thursday we would hold a staff meeting. Every single person had stats. We all had to share our stats and explain how we were going to improve them.

A few months after I started working there, an older gentleman started to assist me. He questioned me a lot about the Scientology stuff. I just told him it didn’t affect our work and it was a paycheck. After our first staff meeting, he went to his desk, told me they are a cult and left for lunch. He never came back. The next day the office manager called me into her office and asked me if he had said anything to me. I told her I thought he had a problem with them being Scientologists. She asked, “Why? We are not pushing it on him.” I explained, “Scientology gets a lot of bad press.” She was baffled by that statement.

It was hard to discuss the Scientology thing with anyone that works there because you didn’t know who was the Scientologist and who wasn’t. The accounting woman told me she was not but I was fearful of even discussing it with her. I just kept my mouth shut about the whole thing while I worked there.

The Knowledge Reports were one of the weirdest things about working there. I could never just request anything verbally. I could never discuss anything about my work verbally. And all had to be in a Knowledge Report. I feel a lot of time was squandered doing that.

After a year, I gave my two-week notice. First the case manager worked on me using flattery and guilt to get me to stay. Then the co-owner smiled and told me “nobody stops working for me that I don’t want to stop working for me.” I walked out of her office and “blew.”

I did not fulfill the two weeks.

 
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Meanwhile, in Colombia…

…the Scientologists prepare for total war. Or something.

 

 
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Scientology’s celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs’ — our new project

[Beck Hansen and the Sydney Org]

Hey, gang. We’re super glad that you enjoy the blog format here at the Bunker. Every morning at 7 am eastern we serve up something new and fresh, and another day of illuminating and fun conversation begins.

But as much as we try to provide links to our past stories in order to build up the knowledge base here, the blog form is not always ideal for maintaining a database about Scientology subjects. So we’re embarking on a new project this week, creating landing pages for specific areas that we can go back to again and again when those subjects come up. And we’re hoping you’ll pitch in to help us build up those pages.

We started yesterday with two of David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, his celebrities and his ‘Ideal Orgs.’ For the next several weeks, we’ll post a couple of pages each day, and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about each of them, in order to build a record and maintain a watch as Scientology continues its inexorable decline.

Yesterday, we put up Anne Archer and Portland, Oregon. We couldn’t turn on comments for them yesterday, so please head on over now and contribute your thoughts.

Today it’s Beck Hansen and Sydney, Australia!

 
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MEANWHILE, AT FACEBOOK…

 

 
Please join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,236 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,839 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 382 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 270 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,445 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,219 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,993 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,339 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,905 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,573 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,833 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,873 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,585 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,111 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,200 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,340 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,660 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,516 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,635 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 991 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,293 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,399 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,802 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,673 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,256 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,761 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,005 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,114 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on September 13, 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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