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Scientologists led away in handcuffs after stunning evidence of fraud heard in L.A. court

At the conclusion of the first day in their preliminary hearing yesterday afternoon at Los Angeles Superior Court, Scientologists Hanan Islam, 60, and her son Ronnie “Rizza” Islam, 29, were led away in handcuffs to spend the night in jail.

Their hearing will continue this afternoon with more testimony from state investigators that the Islams ran a Scientology Narconon rehab in Compton using unwitting high school students supplied by corrupt educators to defraud the state’s Medi-Cal insurance program of about $3 million.

The Underground Bunker was fortunate to have correspondent Jeffrey Augustine on the scene for the dramatic day in court yesterday when Hanan and Rizza continued their “sovereign citizen” arguments and attempted to serve papers on the court “firing” Judge Michael Pastor from the case. When she refused to stop talking over the judge, Hanan was taken into custody in the courtroom and charged with contempt of court. Later, Rizza was also arrested and charged with contempt.

But Augustine tells us that beyond the bizarre actions by the Islams, the arrests, and other attempts to delay matters, the real story to come out of yesterday’s hearing was the devastating evidence spelled out by the state in its attempt to convince Judge Pastor that Hanan and Rizza, as well as Hanan’s daughters Zakiyyah (37) and Nimat (43), and another defendant, Bayon Beverly Washington (46), should stand trial for their alleged crimes.


Almost four years ago we broke the story here at the Underground Bunker of this strange criminal case which grew out of a notorious Scientology front operation, the World Literacy Crusade, operated by Hanan’s partner at the time, prominent African-American Scientologist Alfreddie Johnson. They had opened the rehab, American Health and Education Clinics (AHEC) at the WLC facility, and the Islams allegedly operated the scam from 2010 to 2013. (After Hanan’s 2015 arrest, AHEC and WLC shut down.)

Alfreddie Johnson was not arrested and has faced no charges, but yesterday’s testimony offered some explanation of that: Financial accounts at AHEC were in Hanan’s name or one of her daughters, Zakiyyah.

Augustine said that the state’s testimony offered much more detail about how the scam operated. AHEC had recruited corrupt educators in the Compton Unified School District (two high school principals and a football coach) who had access to records that indicated which of their students qualified for Medi-Cal coverage. (AHEC paid the educators for their part in the scheme, with one of the principals getting $60,000. All three lost their jobs after being arrested in 2014. They later pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.)

“AHEC employees, typically Rizza Islam, is alleged to have conducted 35- to 55-minute sessions, sometimes longer, to groups of as many as 50 students,” Augustine says. “The names of the students, gathered on sign-in sheets, would then be passed on to AHEC’s ‘ghost writers.'”

According to the state investigators, these ghost writers had been hired after being given creative writing tests, and they operated out of “Suite F” at the World Literacy Crusade. Their job was to invent progress reports, at five dollars a page, for the high school students.

The students might be shown an anti-drug film, for example, but it was the job of the ghost writers to create lengthy and bogus progress reports for each of the students, pretending that they had actually been through a whole series of drug treatments and not just sitting around watching a video. If the state ever audited the program, the Islams could show the fraudulent progress reports written by the ghost writers.

“The investigator gave the names of several AHEC ghost writers whom he had interviewed,” Augustine said. “Investigator Sam Richardson went into detail about how all the defendants were involved in the fraud. Hanan Islam as the president of AHEC. Zakiyyah was a counselor and did billing. Rizza and Nimat Islam and co-defendant Bayon Beverly Washington served in various capacities as counselors and signed off on billing documents. AHEC wrote checks to the education officials involved in the conspiracy. These checks and all other supporting documents were entered as exhibits.”

World Literacy Crusade staff were also pressured to sign up as Medi-Cal recipients or be fired from their jobs. The state presented evidence, for example, that two staffers who had taken no courses were used to bill Medi-Cal $14,500 and $5,000 as if they had been through drug treatment.

“Rizza Islam was shaking his head no during parts of the testimony by Investigator Richardson,” Augustine says.

The testimony also gave some idea of how the scam was found out: AHEC excessively billed a particular Medi-Cal code for “intensive outpatient treatment” for people with substance abuse problems. That brought the operation to the attention of Medi-Cal’s fraud investigation unit, and ultimately to a raid of the Compton facility.

“The sovereign citizen arguments and the mass attempt by the defendants to fire their attorneys were just delaying tactics, and none of them worked,” Augustine says. “It didn’t stop the staggering weight of evidence from being presented and made public in open court.”

The day’s session ended at 4:15 pm, and Hanan and Rizza Islam were taken away in handcuffs to spend the night in jail. The preliminary hearing will resume today at 1:30 pm.


Wise Beard Man wants to dine with you

Mark Bunker needs signatures to get on the ballot for city council in Clearwater, Scientology’s spiritual mecca. Oh, and there’s Mexican food.



Source Code

“‘Be three feet back of your head.’ Please tell me why nobody ever said this in the last ump-thousand years. This is fantastic. Because 50 percent, at least, of the people who come in and sit down, I don’t care what their age is — something like this — you say, ‘Be three feet back of your head.’ Sometimes you get the reaction, ‘Why?’ ‘Well, it might be more comfortable outside.’ ‘Might be more comfortable outside! You mean people are inside their heads!’ You would be just amazed how often one gets that reaction. One girl I know was given 125 electric shocks because the psychiatrist found she was outside of her head. Too sane for him.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 2, 1953


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I aligned myself with LRH directly after I read, Scientology: A New Slant on Life. It made such sense. But why it made such sense is explained in that I am a part of a vanguard group of beings who knew that Earth is a very sick planet that will likely spread its contagious illness elsewhere if not stopped here.”


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?



[ONE year ago] Clear body, wiped mind: Another woman comes forward about forced abortion in Scientology
[TWO years ago] Another Scientologist becomes instant star with Trump supporters, this time in Puerto Rico
[THREE years ago] How Scientology plans to take over the world: By boring us to death, apparently
[FOUR years ago] An email that demonstrates how much Scientology loves going after the ‘evil psychs’
[FIVE years ago] Q&A with Mike Rinder: Understanding the sudden changes at Scientology’s LA complex
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Georgia Drug Rehab Hit with Double-Barreled Media Onslaught


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,585 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,714 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,218 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,738 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 758 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 649 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,956 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,824 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,598 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,372 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,718 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,284 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,203 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,371 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,952 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,213 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,252 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,964 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,490 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,016 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,579 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,719 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,039 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,895 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,014 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,369 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,672 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,778 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,180 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,052 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,635 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,130 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,384 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,493 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 2, 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, 14 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

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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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