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Scientology’s biggest donors of 2019, so far: The whales giving millions to Miscavige

[C.O.B. will take your check now]

Yesterday, we showed you the lesser whales keeping Scientology afloat with their donations, as revealed in the latest issue of Impact magazine.

Today, we show you the real moneybags, the donors who were recognized earlier this year for donating more than a million dollars each, and to just one Scientology initiative, the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) slush fund.

As we pointed out yesterday, 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, a bigger trophy, and the prospect of being included in Impact magazine. This recent issue included celebrations that took place in Clearwater, Florida and Beverly Hills, California. (And for each photo, we’ve indicated which event it came from. We’ve also included the descriptions of the donors from the magazine, with our own comments in brackets.)

But it’s really 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 they are, the robber-barons turning over huge amounts for Miscavige’s use to litigate cases endlessly in court, surveil journalists, and destroy former Scientologists through Fair Game campaigns. Sure, Scientology may be a tiny organization now with falling membership, but with these rich marks turning over such huge amounts, Miscavige won’t have to tighten his belt any time soon.

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GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 Million]
(Clearwater)
Mark R. Hall
Tennessee, USA
Lifetime Member since 1989
Mark R. Hall hails from the base of the legendary Smoky Mountains in rural Tennessee, where he works campaigns peripheral to Applied Scholastics and The Way to Happiness. Among these is a project, now in its seventh year, which has provided some 10,000 dictionaries to local students.

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
Paul Krynen
Los Angeles, California

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Lifetime Member since 1989
A long-term Scientologist, Paul Krynen now serves on staff as the Director of Special Affairs of the Inglewood Ideal Org. In that capacity, he has distributed thousands of The Truth About Drugs booklets and set up Citizens Commission on Human Rights traveling exhibits across the Greater Los Angeles region.

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 million]
(Clearwater)
Fred Dumaine
Florida, USA
Lifetime Member since 1999
Fred Dumaine lives on Florida’s Citrus Coast, where he stands as a Humanitarian for the Orlando Ideal Org and serves as an FSM for the Ocala Mission. He’s also a hero in the Midwest — he helped to power Detroit over the finish line as a Gold Civilization Ideal Org Builder.

[“Humanitarian” = $100,000 for an Ideal Org project. “Gold (New) Civilization Builder” = $3 to 4 million for the Detroit Ideal Org alone, separate from what he’s credited here for donating to the IAS.]

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 million]

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(Clearwater)
Gisela & Gene Walley
Tennessee, USA
Lifetime Members since 1986 & 2006
Originally from Peru and Omaha, Nebraska, respectively, Gisela and Gene Walley now live in Nashville, Tennessee. Since last July, she has chaired the OT Committee there, swelling its ranks tenfold. Together, they contribute to Nashville’s Bridge flow, while also helping inmates restore their self-respect as Criminon supervisors.

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
Toni Swarens & Family
Los Angeles, California
Lifetime Member since 1985
New OT VIII Toni Swarens has been a Scientologist for forty-four years and an OT Committee member for more than three decades. She is a calming ‘angel’ wherever she goes and a strong advocate for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) and Drug-Free World campaigns.

 

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GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 million]
(Clearwater)
Nicole Landry & Marcel Gemme
Montreal, Canada
Lifetime Members since 1986 & 1991
Marcel Gemme and Nicole Landry are from the ‘Paris of the North,’ where they have built a reputation as tireless energy drivers for their future Ideal Org and stand proud as Gold Humanitarians. Additionally, they have a two-decade track record as Narconon FSMs who help people battle drug and alcohol addiction.

[“Gold (New) Humanitarian (Builder)” = an additional $3 to 4 million for an Ideal Org project.]

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
Nola Aronson & Steven Lettau
Santa Clarita, California

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Lifetime Members since 1994 & 2004
Nola Aronson and Steven Lettau are high-profile humanitarians from Santa Clarita, California. They jointly run prevention programs to curb psych drug proliferation and harness the power of Study Technology to keep students out of remedial classes and, thus, off psychiatric drugs.

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS [$1 million]
(Clearwater)
Chiara & Fabio Zaniboni
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since 1988 & 1993
Formerly based near Torino, Italy, Fabio and Chiara Zaniboni have lived in Clearwater since 2007. With a notable past as psychbusters, Ideal Org builders and disaster response VMs, they are now spreading the social salvage campaigns across Pinellas County through rallies, events and one-to-one booklet distribution.

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS WITH HONORS [$1.75 Million]
(Beverly Hills)

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Brian & Bette Cotter
Los Angeles, California
Lifetime Members since 1993
Brian and Bette Cotter are passionate about guaranteeing the future of Scientology and furthering its expansion through their support of the IAS. As a CCHR advocate and former army officer, he’s likewise on a crusade to save troops’ lives from the hidden enemy: abusive psychiatry.

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS WITH HONORS [$1.75 Million]
(Clearwater)
Stephen & Urania Duque
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since 1991 & 2005
With roots in New York and Nicaragua, Stephen and Urania Duque are triple Legions of Honor for the future LRH Hall and Luminaries of Planetary Dissemination. They are also active FSMs and CCHR advocates — not to mention true-blue IAS supporters who have made several status level leaps in recent years.

[“LRH Legion of Honor” = $1 million donation for the new LRH Hall construction in Clearwater. So triple is $3 million. “Luminary” is a separate status for donations to Scientology’s publishing arm.]

 

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GOLD MERITORIOUS WITH HONORS [$1.75 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
The Fitzgerald Family
Bay Area, California
Lifetime Members since 1987
The Fitzgerald family is synonymous with Scientology in San Francisco. Jim has been the Executive Director of San Francisco Foundation for the past fifteen years and Terri is a long-serving OT Committee member. Their daughter Shelby and son-in-law John Doornbos are rising players in their own right, jointly working Bridge flow and championing the IAS.

 

GOLD MERITORIOUS WITH HONORS [$1.75 Million]
(Clearwater)
Lynn & Leo Malin
Wisconsin, USA
Lifetime Members since 2001

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Leo and Lynn Malin are bringing LRH Tech to America’s heartland. Beyond distributing The Way to Happiness DVDs in their local community and creating a tutoring project to help kids thrive academically, Leo and Lynn also distribute Truth About Drugs booklets to dental professionals to raise awareness of the dangers of street and prescription drugs.

 

PLATINUM MERITORIOUS [$2.5 Million]
(Clearwater)
LeAnn & Warren Meyer
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since 1986 & 1985
As long-term Scientologists, Warren and LeAnn Meyer have made their mark in several fields including front-line action with Volunteer Ministers in Peru, Ecuador, the Amazon, the Congo and the South Pacific islands. They are currently introducing Study Technology to the Samoan educational system.

 

PLATINUM MERITORIOUS WITH HONORS [$3.75 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
Scott & Jennifer Scharf

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Loretto, Minnesota
Lifetime Members since 1997
IAS freedom fighters to the core, Scott and Jennifer Scharf are Ideal Org Humanitarians for Twin Cities three times over. They’re also dedicated OT Committee members who delight in backing up their org and helping others ascend the Bridge to eternity.

[“Ideal Org Humanitarians for Twin Cities three times over” = $300,000.]

 

PLATINUM MERITORIOUS WITH HONORS [$3.75 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
Izzy & Mary Ann Chait
Los Angeles, California
Lifetime Members since 1985
With a resume as exotic as the Asian antiquities they purvey, Izzy and Mary Ann Chait have done it all. Think getting 100,000 copies of Book One into Asia, psych-busting before the phrase had even been coined and championing the Inglewood Ideal Org on behalf of Black America — to name just a few of their impressive contributions.

[We’ve heard Joey Chait’s numerous and stunning stories about his time in Scientology, and he was featured in Leah Remini’s finale episode. It’s kind of amazing to see his father, Izzy, appear on this list not only because of what we’ve learned about him through his son, but also to see a man on a mobility scooter being celebrated by Scientology for his donations. Scientology is about “making the able more able,” and seeing an OT 8 on a mobility scooter is not the best advertisement for the tech and its healing powers. But Izzy is a major figure, and has given a lot of money.]

 

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DIAMOND MERITORIOUS [$5 Million]
(Clearwater)
Stu & Rebecca Sjouwerman
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since 1990
Stu and Rebecca Sjouwerman are both from Europe. She is a Swedish painter and author; he is a Dutch expat, cyber-security specialist and serial entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of the largest security awareness training corporation on Earth.

[Yes, that’s right, Stu Sjouwerman is CEO of Clearwater-based KnowBe4, a company that is hired by other companies to train their workers about keeping safe and secure online. And it’s run by a guy who not only gives millions to Scientology, but is subjected to its brutal interrogations about his private life just like every other Scientologist. Yeah, that’s reassuring.]

 

DIAMOND MERITORIOUS [$5 Million]
(Clearwater)
The Minkoff Family
Florida and New York, USA

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Lifetime Members since 1988 (Sue) & 1989 (David)
Founders of a ‘Say No to Drugs’ race now in its 30th year, the Minkoff family has spread 40,000 social salvage booklets across Tampa Bay. As CCHR liaisons, they forwarded an anti-ECT message to millions, while simultaneously hosting IAS energy driving soirees in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Los Angeles.

[David Minkoff is also notorious for having his medical license suspended after he admitted to prescribing a sedative for Lisa McPherson without actually examining her. McPherson died after being held for 17 days in a room at the Fort Harrison Hotel following a mental breakdown. Her 1995 death is still one of the most infamous in Scientology history. This photo is also remarkable because it features David’s daughter, famous handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff…]

 

[Rebecca Minkoff]

 

DIAMOND MERITORIOUS [$5 Million]
(Clearwater)
The Clouden & Sgroi Families
Florida and New York, USA
Lifetime Members since 1984 (Betsy) & 1987 (Pat & Laura)
The Clouden and Sgroi families are both renowned. The Sgroi clan is all but synonymous with the Buffalo Ideal Org where they became the first New Civilization Builders on Earth. The Cloudens loom large in Clearwater as business leaders, disseminators, CCHR advocates and champions of drug-free living.

[“New Civilization Builder” = $1 million for an Ideal Org project.]

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PATRON LAUREATE [$10 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
The Hechtman Family
Sacramento, California
Lifetime Members since 1993
Steve and Wendi-Lynn Hechtman are legends in Sacramento. Not only were they New Civilization Builders and front-line players in the triumphant drive for an Ideal Org in California’s capital city, they are now masterminds of an IAS movement spreading across the Western US.

[“New Civilization Builder” = $1 million for an Ideal Org project.]

 

PATRON LAUREATE [$10 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
Sandy Gomberg & Marie Arnold

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Las Vegas, Nevada
Lifetime Members since 1990 & 1991
While turning heads with their meteoric rise up the IAS Honor Status ladder — eleven monumental steps in just under twelve stunning months — Sandy Gomberg and Marie Arnold are also leading the charge to end psychiatric and human rights abuses in Las Vegas and beyond.

 

PLATINUM LAUREATE WITH HONORS [$13.5 Million]
(Clearwater)
Jim & Gigi Bridgeforth
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since 2006 & 2008
Legendary game players, Jim & Gigi Bridgeforth are Humanitarians and above for eighteen Ideal Orgs. They are also powerhouse FSMs who have held fifteen “Conquering Life Conventions” and ushered more than 1,000 to the Freewinds. To cap it all off, he is also the top IAS Field Disseminator on Earth.

[“Humanitarians and above for 18 Ideal Orgs” = at least $100,000 for each of those projects.]

 

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PLATINUM EXCALIBUR [$22 Million]
(Beverly Hills)
The Dohring Family
Los Angeles, California
Lifetime Members since 1986 & 1987
Constantly at the forefront of Scientology expansion activities, Doug and Laurie Dohring are Ideal Org titans and Gold Civilization Builders for the Valley Ideal Org, leading lights of Scientology dissemination and the LRH Hall, and ardent IAS Field Disseminators and FSMs.

[Doug Dohring owns Age of Learning, the company that operates ABC Mouse, a very popular educational platform for toddlers. Doug’s son Jason Dohring is the actor known for Veronica Mars, and is also a dedicated Scientologist. The Dohrings were the top money donors at the Beverly Hills event, so they got to pose with David Miscavige as well as their nifty new trophy.]

 

PATRON MAXIMUS [$30 Million]
(Clearwater)
Tom & Victoria Cummins & Family
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since 1985 & 2006
Tom and Victoria Cummins continue to blaze a meteoric trail, setting an example for all. Their astounding accomplishments include 300-plus Humanitarians (or equivalent) for more than thirty Ideal Orgs and Members of Distinction for the future LRH Hall — not to mention circling the world three times over the past year in the name of Ideal Orgs and the IAS.

[“300-plus Humanitarians” = More than $30 million to Ideal Org projects, separate from their IAS donations.]

 

PATRON MAXIMUS WITH HONORS [$32.5 Million]
(Clearwater)
Michael Holstein & Family
Florida, USA and China
Lifetime Member since 1994
Michael Holstein is a Danish entrepreneur, multi-business owner and longtime champion of the IAS who divides his time between Clearwater and China. His accomplishments in China and subsequent blistering ascent of the IAS Honor Status levels are as epic and heroic as they come.

 

(Clearwater)
Trish Duggan & Family
Florida, USA
Lifetime Member since 1986
As an artist, patron of the arts and consummate humanitarian, Trish resides in a realm that can only be described as pure aesthetics. There, she injects theta into the culture. And, considering her canvas is the world itself, she is touching the lives of millions through her magnificent support of IAS-sponsored campaigns.

[Once again, Trish is all alone without her former husband, Bob Duggan, after they split in 2015. Also again, there’s no status level listed. Is Trish still “Invictus?” We don’t know. Maybe she’s so far off the charts now they’ve stopped dreaming up names. Our last estimate for what she’s given is some $80 million just to the IAS, and millions more to various expansion projects. Forbes claims that Bob said he had donated more than $360 million in total, but we haven’t seen any other confirmation of that.]

We can’t help thinking it’s a little odd that the really big whales — Trish Duggan, Tom Cummins and his business partner Jim Bridgeforth, the Dohrings and the Holsteins — were given trophies in Clearwater and Beverly Hills earlier this year. Does that make it more or less likely that they’ll be in attendance for what is traditionally the IAS’s biggest event, the October anniversary gala in England?

 
——————–

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

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

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?

 
——————–

THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Two years after Scientology rehabbed an Australian acoustics lab, the silence is deafening
[TWO years ago] Tomorrow on ‘Leah Remini’: You’re going to learn what it’s like on Scientology’s ‘Bridge’
[THREE years ago] Bryan Seymour reporting live from Scientology’s ‘Advanced Org’ opening in Sydney
[FOUR years ago] Actress Erika Christensen in unearthed video meant only for her fellow Scientologists
[FIVE years ago] LIVE REPORTS FROM TAMPA: Scientology tests its religious freedom defense in fraud lawsuit
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s Drug Rehab Network Stymied in Canada, Sued by Insurers, Generally Screwed
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Never Forgets: A Telemarketing Holiday Miracle

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,558 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,687 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,191 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,711 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 731 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 622 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,929 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,797 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,571 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,345 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,691 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,257 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,176 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,344 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,925 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,186 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,225 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,937 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,463 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 989 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,552 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,692 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,012 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,868 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,987 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,342 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,645 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,751 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,153 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,025 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,608 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,103 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,357 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,466 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on September 4, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 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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