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The rich donors keeping Scientology afloat at the end of 2019: Part 1, the lesser whales

[Swedish roofers, the Frykmans]

For the fourth and final time this year, Scientology has published a celebration of its wealthiest donors, and this one is the biggest, splashiest shindig of the whole year — the “International Association of Scientologists” (IAS) annual gala and “Patron’s Ball,” which is held in October in East Grinstead, England.

On Saturday night of the weekend of festivities, Scientology leader recognizes donors who have reached new “status levels” in recent months. These are cumulative giving totals, and Scientologists are under intense pressure to fork over more cash so they can reach these new levels and take home a big shiny trophy.

Earlier this year, IAS donors were celebrated in Beverly Hills, California and Clearwater, Florida and aboard the cruise ship Freewinds in the Caribbean. We showed you those images and donation totals in posts with up-and-coming donors like skateboard hero Aaron Kyro, and the really big whales like Trish Duggan, and celebrity Nancy Cartwright.

Now, we have the church’s report from its October party at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead under the big tent. We think you’ll be struck, like we were, with how many foreign names there are here, and in particular from Germany, where Scientology has apparently been making something of a comeback after the government there opposed it so strongly in the 1990s.

Scientology makes a game out of giving the church huge sums, begging big donors 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


But it’s really important to keep in mind that these are cumulative amounts. Someone credited for giving $500,000, 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.]

As always, we’re interested in hearing what you may know about these donors. How did they make their fortunes? What is their history in the church? We love hearing about their success stories.

Tomorrow, we’ll have the really big cetaceans, the ones who have given at least $1 million each. Today, we have the smaller whales, but whose donations still add up to a significant sums.


Patron ($50,000)
Ilona Bauge, Marlene Bauge, Anne Cardoso, Christine Chiquet-Dehaine, Claude Chiquet-Dehaine, Ethan Chiquet-Dehaine, Ben Davis, Gerbrig Deinum, Dick R. Den Hartog, Cevina Den Hartog-Loevdahl, Jessica Marcotte, Margaret McNair, Johannes Pokorny, Faye Richardson, Michael Richardson, Murray Richardson, Tamara Richardson, Jordan Siegel, Matteo Trinei, Diana Tudlik, Chris Whitham, Vashti Whitham


Patron ($50,000)
Bettina Bayer-Kranz, Evelyn Bueno, Naima Egginger, Francois Esquive, Murielle Gemis, Marlene Graf-Ponce Escobedo, Britt Hansen, Jessica Lucas, Jan Neubauer, Katerina Neubauer, Pierre Alessandro Oneda, Rachele Oneda, Julia Passioura, Ilmarie Rencken Lloyd, Andreas Roed, Estella Taglietti, Daniel Tams, Wilfried Thieulin


Patron ($50,000)

Michela Feltrini, Dominik Gruebl, Selina Gruebl, Anette Kraemer, Jan Madaschi, Donatella Manfredelli, Stephanie Manna, Stefano Pinardi, Nicola Sabattini, Virginia Sabattini, Ana Sanarova, Katrin Schulte-Bahrenberg, Chris Steuart, Josie Steuart, Aleksandr Suponin, Coco Tomita, Makiko Tomita, Yohei Tomita, Genki Yamada, Naomi Yamada


Patron ($50,000)
Christian Ahlborn, Simonetta Amaducci, Roberto Angeli, Julia Charpentier, Laurent Charpentier, Lea Charpentier, Nathalie Charpentier, Sam Cruse, Dennis Favre, Hanna Hemmingsholt, Ole Hemmingsholt, Johanna Zara Persson, Simon Persson, Christian Regli, Eliah Regli, Levin Regli, Sarnia Regli, Alexia Wanner, Beat Wanner, Lee Wanner, Jurg Settler


Patron ($50,000)
Rafael Azor, Jorge Cordova, Kristoffer Melander, Dina Metzger, Shirin Metzger, Anabeluz Del Val Moijca, Giulia Scolaro, Marco Scolaro


Patron ($50,000)
Ellen Firestone, Manuela Hoer, Rolf Hoer, Julia Nugmanov, Marat Nugmanov, Christine Opitz



Patron With Honors ($100,000)
Margherita Casino, Einar Fehn, Christina Fehn, Liv Karin Fehn, Thomas Fehn, Alesso Fiumano, Emi Ida, Aigel Lucas, Jochen Lucas, Roberta Maffi, Felisa Ortiz, Marianne Willemin, Patrice Willemin, Dominik Reinhart, Noriyash Yoneda


Patron With Honors ($100,000)
Thomas Andersson, Alejandra Centellas, Loredana Corretti, Fabio Della Torre, Sofi Della Torre, Donatella Erroi, Sara Ferrario, Alex Greco, Daniel Kopp, Anatole Leroutier, Arthus Leroutier, Patrizia Luraschi, Marco Paoletti, Mario Santostasi


Patron With Honors ($100,000)
Henrik Appel, Kurt Appel, Tobias Appel, Paolo Fedeli, Arnd Grabes, Renata Grabes, Simon Grabes, Klaus Koller, Pyro Kraemer, Thierry Matra, Manuel Re, Paulo Re, Tomas Re, Berni Roberts, Gary Stokes, Sue Stokes, Levi Vaneycken, Annette Vierheilig


Patron Meritorious ($250,000)

Pius Broch, Elisabeth Buddensiek, Stefania Cisco, Dane Doescher, Lisa Doescher, Kevin Furlin, Kim Furlin, Diana Getto, Duncan Getto, Cornelia Hagl, Chizuko Ogura, Josh Oman, Marina Oman, Agatha Sanchis Mihara, Harumi Sanchis Mihara, Silvana Senatore, Beni Tschupp


Patron Meritorious ($250,000)
Carlo Bermeitinger, Markus Bachleitner, Noah Bachleitner, Christian Bermeitinger, Kevin Brown, Ernst Haible, Sabine Haible, Roxci Medina, Pierre Schiemsky, Erwin Scholze, Daniela Seeburger, Jana Seeburger, Joachim Seeburger, Patrice Wellhoff, Sylvie Wellhoff


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Helene Gentze, Verena Gentze, Ulrich Katzschmann


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Heimo Bucerius, Uta Bucerius



Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Yvonne Loock, Liz Ostermann, Nils Ostermann, Melanie Romeijn


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Diana Uckelmann, Jana Uckelmann, Klaus Uckelmann


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Alina Jasmin, Alex Niehues, Kitty Niehues


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)

Gurris Chacon, Jesus Chacon


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Liam Lahart


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Jasmine Wang


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Mark Kloss, Sharon Kloss



Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Stuart Guy, Ruaraidh MacLeod


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Steve Archinal, Melissa Joyce


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Anna Frykman, David Frykman, Jessica Frykman, Vanessa Frykman


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)

Halsey Wickser


Silver Meritorious ($500,000)
Kathrin Runge, Stephan Streicher


Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)
Ray Bloom


Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)
Vineet Sidhu



Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)
Gabriel Suarez, Manuel Suarez


Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)
Kathi Likes


Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)
Bonnie O’Malley, Natalie O’Malley, Paul O’Malley


Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)

Brian Foley


Ron the Photographer: Scientology as Hubbard wanted it promoted

Among the things that Scientologists are expected to accept is that founder L. Ron Hubbard was unsurpassed as a genius photographer. But Mike Rinder, over at his blog, recently had some fun pointing out how goofy Ron’s photo compositions actually were, especially in a series he made that was intended to explain Scientology to the masses.

In a couple of posts about it, Mike shared a few of the photos, but we think they’re all really super neat and deserve to be seen. So on Saturdays we’re going to share them as a public service. Today, David Miscavige pays huge amounts to have outside firms design Scientology’s outreach like Scientology TV, the Ideal Orgs, and promotional materials. But how did Hubbard believe the public should see Scientology? Let’s take a look.



Leaked document of the day

From the FBI documents release comes this item.

We’ve written at length about the Lawrence Wollersheim saga. A former Scientologist who sued the church for harming him with its processes, Wollersheim shocked the world with his $30 million 1986 jury verdict against Scientology. The church appealed, and managed to get Wollersheim’s award reduced to $2.5 million. But it vowed never to pay that money (“not one thin dime for Wollersheim”), and by the time it finally threw in the towel in 2002, the interest on that amount had increased it to almost $9 million. (Wollersheim was relieved finally to get almost 9 million dimes, but most of the money went to pay the many attorneys he had employed over the years.)

Anyway, in the new FBI release, we found this fascinating court brief written by Wollersheim in 1990, when Scientology was appealing his court award to the US Supreme Court. (It ended up with the FBI because Wollersheim suggested that the agency begin a new investigation of the church.) In one short document, Wollersheim manages to sum up much of what makes Scientology pernicious, and he does so in a clear, well-written style. It really brings back memories to see this court brief and remember what a one-man juggernaut Lawrence Wollersheim once was against such a powerful organization.


Wollersheim v. Scientology … by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Source Code

“The automobile manufacturer is going to be very surprised in a few years. His motors are going to start less and less and less, in spite of the fact that they get brighter and brassier and newer and more sure-fire. Because he’s running out of people who can start motors. Now, this sounds very, very esoteric and supernecromantic. But the living truth of the matter is, you must have some of the ability within yourself to know before the MEST universe will run for you. You’ve got to get the idea of things, you know? You look at something and here’s a strange piece of machinery. You’ve never seen it before, you haven’t any idea what it’s for and you look at it and you get an idea of what it’s for. And you look at it a little longer and you get an idea of how it runs. And why is this? What is a machine? This is a machine society. They turn men into machines, and machines into machines, and there are more and more machines and less and less men. Although the birth rate keeps increasing and the death rate keeps decreasing, that’s still true….You will see babies in a few years being born with slots in their heads so that you can drop a quarter in. And the government will collect the quarters. What are we doing? We’re going further and further and further from an idea, and more and more and more toward a fixed idea. An adding machine, in essence, is a fixed idea. An automobile is a fixed idea. It is an idea surrounded by and trapped in MEST. See that? A fixed idea. How are you going to fix an idea in the MEST? Well, that’s quite a trick and that’s why people can’t start cars. You have to sort of know it goes before it goes. That’s the truth of the matter.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 7, 1953


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Ron rules. Academia (as an organization) sucks — today perhaps even more than then. Dianetics and Scientology is an engineering approach to the mind and humanities and they work better than what the establishment produces.”


Random Howdy

“Hubbard was navy-obsessed. You have to climb up to get to the ‘bridge’ on a ship.”


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

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

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] Scientology is quick to cry ‘bigotry,’ but these photos prove David Miscavige’s hypocrisy
[TWO years ago] KID CORPS: When Scientology’s Sea Org parents were told to stop wasting time on their kids
[THREE years ago] What to get the Scientologist who has everything: It’s the Scientology Xmas Catalog!
[FOUR years ago] Jeffrey Augustine: Part two of his conversation with Jesse Prince
[FIVE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Special Pearl Harbor Day edition!
[SIX years ago] Lori Hodgson and her son Jeremy: What you didn’t hear on Inside Edition
[SEVEN years ago] Ken Dandar in Federal Court Today — And Loses Again
[EIGHT years ago] Valeska Paris Receives Threat from Scientology Attorneys; And More on her Time on the Freewinds


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,651 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,780 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,284 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,804 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 824 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 715 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,022 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,890 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,664 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,438 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,784 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,350 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,269 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,437 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,018 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,279 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,317 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,030 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,556 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,082 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,645 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,785 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,105 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,961 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,080 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,435 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,738 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,844 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,246 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,118 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,701 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,196 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,450 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,559 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 7, 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, 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

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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