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More rich donors propping up Scientology are revealed in a church magazine

A new issue of Scientology’s ‘Impact’ magazine contains yet another gallery of wealthy donors who were awarded trophies for turning over the big bucks.

The biggest of Scientology’s donors are celebrated each year in England in October, but in this case it was a special set of richies who attended the grand opening of Scientology’s new “advanced org” in South Africa in January.

As always, we’re interested in the names of any big donors keeping Scientology flush even in a time of declining membership.

Scientology makes a game out of giving the church huge sums, begging big donors — we call them “whales” — to turn over more and more in the hopes of reaching a new status level and a bigger trophy.


But it’s important to keep in mind that these are cumulative amounts. Someone credited for giving $1 million, for example, may have given only a few thousand in recent months that enabled them to get past that plateau. [For an explanation of how we know what amounts the statuses represent or the estimates we’ve made for some of them, see our methodology here.]

So here’s the newest set of whales. If you know something about the people here, please let us know about them!


Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million) Tony and Sharon Lonstein, Los Angeles, originally from South Africa


Gold Meritorious ($1 million) Peens family, Durban


Silver Meritorious ($500,000) Gerhard Overbeek, Germiston


Silver Meritorious ($500,000) Sonje Falas-Anderson and Family, Johannesburg



Patron Meritorious ($250,000) Philip Park, Ian and Cristina Hammond, Ines Park


Patron Meritorious ($250,000) Dylan Cooke, Diane Bruckmann, Doffy Lehner, Warren Bruckmann


Patron with Honors ($100,000) Faye and Kevin Wakely-Smith, Brenda and Bob Petrie, Justin Varcoe, Mike and Marie Frankel, Jenna Berman, Susan Pieterse, Courtney Varcoe, Roelof Lategan, Melissa and Mark Berman


Patron with Honors ($100,000) Paul Woodley, Michelle Veal, Diane and Genevieve Woodley



Patron with Honors ($100,000) Basi Ndlovu, Duncan and Joan Hardwich


Patron with Honors ($100,000) Lynn Fliess, Sarie Botha, Cuba and Neal Singh, Cindy Johnson, Walter Hex, Irene and Eric Salberg, Layla Fliess, Piet Botha


Patron ($50,000) Heidi Wolfaardt, Jayden Smith, Johan and Khloe and Kiara Marneweck, Dandre Geyser, Attie Van Schalkwrk


Patron ($50,000) Taryn Oblowitz, Preeti Vatsa, Regan Muller, Verushka Rajagopaul, Amber and Sabrina and Vanessa Kroeger, Paul Muller, Eugene Rabe, Agesan Rajagopaul, Eric Rabe


Patron ($50,000) Stephane Cantin (left), Jonathan Hattenbach (center), Sally-Anne Cooke (center above), the Diamond Family


Patron ($50,000) Hakeem Frank, Carol Hogarth, Greta Del Sal (above), Bryan and Thania and Salma Frank, Wendy and Djordje Gajic (below)

And speaking of Carol Hogarth, smiling so happily there on the upper part of that last photo, you might remember her from one of our wildest stories of all time.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Meanwhile, in Toronto…



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Kelly Preston, Beck, and Anne Archer]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. 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!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Shocking molestation claims inside Scientology leaking out before ‘Aftermath’ episode
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s all-hands-on-deck gathering in the Valley caught in pics
[THREE years ago] Battle for a Scientology soul: Kazakh 20-year-old ‘prisoner’ is back home, but will she stay?
[FOUR years ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige opens “Ideal Org” in Colombia today
[FIVE years ago] John Joseph, 1955-2014: A Scientologist, and a friend to the Underground Bunker
[SIX years ago] Has Leah Remini Left the Church of Scientology?
[EIGHT years ago] When Scientology Was Hip: E-Meters in the Village


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,498 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,627 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,131 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,651 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 671 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 562 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,869 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,737 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,511 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,285 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,631 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,197 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,116 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,284 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,865 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,126 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,165 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,877 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,403 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,492 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,632 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,952 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,808 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,927 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,282 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,585 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,691 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,093 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,965 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,548 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,043 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,297 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,406 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 5, 2019 at 07:00

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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. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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, or 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 | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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