Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology’s ‘Super Power’ poster boy gets dunked on by yet another irked judge

[Kathy and Matt Feshbach]

Last year, we told you that Scientology’s first “Super Power” recipient found out that his super powers didn’t extend to the legal arena, where he got his head handed to him by a bankruptcy judge.

Well, now we can tell you that it’s happened again.

Matt Feshbach and his wife Kathy got reamed by a judge last year who castigated them for trying to appear too poor to pay a $3.2 million 2001 IRS bill, but then over the next several years spent like the profligate richies they are, completely oblivious to the fact that they were being watched carefully by IRS auditors at the time.

The Feshbachs cried poverty at the time, even though they had brought in $13 million in revenue. But instead of paying their debt, according to Forbes magazine they spent “$722,000…on personal travel (including $233,000 for a rental home in Aspen), a cool half-million on clothing, another $370,000 and change on groceries, (plus another $78,000 eating out) and a miserly $147,000 plus on entertainment…$360,000 on their children, including of course private education for their son. But more important than their children was the private chef, who cost more than $610,000 over eight years.”

The court was not amused.


“The Feshbachs made poor spending decisions, continually leading a life of excess in the face of serious, known financial obstacles,” wrote Judge Catherine Peek McEwen in her ruling denying the request by the Feshbachs to discharge the IRS debt in their bankruptcy. “At all times, their primary concern should have been reducing their substantial tax debt. But as their immoderate spending choices show, they were far more focused on living in the lap of luxury.”

Wow. As we said last year, it may have been “the most Scientological behavior we’ve seen spelled out in court documents in a long time.”

As we explained last year, the Feshbachs are Scientology royalty…

Matt was actually the first Scientologist in the world to go through “Super Power” processing because in the 1990s he had made a $1 million donation to the Super Power project, which eventually resulted in the “Flag Building” being opened in November 2013. And also, he redid Super Power more recently, which doesn’t say much for the permanence of that processing, does it? (What is Scientology “Super Power,” you ask? Here’s a look at how repetitive and underwhelming it actually is.)

Well, the Feshbachs appealed, filing a lengthy brief complaining that Judge McEwen had made all sorts of mistakes, had not taken into account Matt’s bad health, ignored that rich businessmen like Matt have to “spend money to make money,” and also that the IRS had never “confronted” the Feshbachs about their lavish ways.

The government answered with a lengthy brief of their own, pointing out that between 2001 and 2010 the Feshbachs had spent more than $8.5 million on personal and household expenses (and on Scientology), including $721,809 on personal travel and $610,000 on household help. This, at a time when the Feshbachs told the IRS that they were broke, and were trying to lower their monthly payments to $833.

The bankruptcy court found the Feshbachs’ self-serving testimony that they only engaged in a lavish lifestyle as a way to make more money not to be credible, and this Court should not upset that finding. Nor would such a reason justify such conduct in any event because lavishly spending on one’s own comfort could never be an “investment,” and even a debtor who used available funds for his own “investment” strategy instead of paying his tax debts would be engaging in conduct that is evasive by definition.

This is a particularly damning quote because it attacks one of Scientology’s most cherished sacraments — that the reason its services cost such astronomical amounts is that it is an “investment” in yourself that will pay rich dividends later on.

Well, we found these court filings to be pretty entertaining, and we were looking forward to seeing what would happen when it came time for oral arguments and then a ruling from the appellate court. But then, there was a surprise.

US District Judge William F. Jung announced that after reading the briefs from both sides, he’d seen enough. He didn’t need to hear any testimony — he was affirming the lower court ruling.

And he wasn’t gentle about it.

Though Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally allows for a discharge of all debts that arose prior to the filing of the petition, this policy only applies to the “honest but unfortunate debtor.”

In the case of the Feshbachs, however, the government was obliged to deal differently with a “debtor engaged in (1) evasive conduct with (2) a mental state consistent with willfullness.”

Judge Jung said the evidence was clear that the Feshbachs had acted “knowingly and deliberately” to avoid paying their tax debt while living lavishly.


Double ouch.

So much for Scientology super powers. And now the Feshbachs are on the hook for even more, as the interest grows on their debt.

“The fact that this judge ruled without even hearing oral arguments, and the large number of cases he cites in the order would make most attorneys advise their client that appealing this decision would be futile,” says our bankruptcy expert. So we’ll wait to see if the Feshbachs take their case to the 11th Circuit.

In the meantime, both Matt and Kathy are still active in Scientology, taking part in events designed to bring in even more suckers. What a racket.


[Kathy Feshbach’s LinkedIn page]

[Matt Feshbach and his Super Power re-do]

Here’s the order…

Feshbach Bankruptcy Order A… by on Scribd


R.M. Seibert needs help snagging us some new dox!

R.M. Seibert, who has worked so hard to find us astounding new Scientology documents by prying them from the US government, has her sights on a new pile of records that have never been public. But in order to get them, there’s a $506 copying fee. So she’s started a fundraiser at MuckRock to solicit donations. If you can help, head over and drop a few bucks. Then we can all see what she got her hands on this time!


Scientology’s celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs’ — now with comments!

[Kelly Preston, Beck, and Anne Archer]

We’re building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs.’ We’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them, in order to build a record and maintain a watch as Scientology continues its inexorable decline — and yes, we finally have comments working on these new pages! Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Today’s Ideal Mission: Lake Forest, California!



Now on sale: Twice the Miss Lovely!

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. What a pleasure it is for us to work with her on this after we wrote about her ordeal as a victim of Scientology’s “Fair Game” campaigns in our 2015 book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, which is also on sale in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions.


[Paulette and her husband Paul Noble, who has his own memoir out]



[ONE year ago] How Pete Griffiths sued a Scientologist and ended up being vilified by former friends
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s websites try a little too hard to convince you that all is right in crazy town
[THREE years ago] Lisa McPherson in Orlando: What her hotel roommate witnessed, and the Slaughter rule
[FOUR years ago] Sunday Funnies: Get yer boots on for some Scientology line dancing in Austin!
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: Did Mary Sue Hubbard Doubt Scientology’s Key Experience?
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s Big Gamble: “Golden Age of Tech 2” Is Here!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,270 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,903 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,383 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 446 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 334 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,509 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,283 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,057 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,403 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,969 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,889 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,056 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,637 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,897 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,937 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,649 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,175 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,264 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,404 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,724 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,580 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,699 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,055 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,357 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,463 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,866 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,737 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,320 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,825 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,069 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,178 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 16, 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates

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

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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email