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Scientology’s biggest donors of late 2019: The whales giving millions to David Miscavige

Yesterday, we showed you the lesser whales from this year’s big IAS spectacular that took place in October at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England.

This is the fourth time this year Scientology leader David Miscavige has feted his big donors, and once again he’s outdone himself: Today we have the large number of wealthy Scientologists who were celebrated for turning in at least a $1 million each to curry favor with the organization.

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.

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.


Gold Meritorious ($1 million)
Thomas, Dagmar & Fabian Roeder, Irene Dopp, Lara Roeder


Gold Meritorious ($1 million)
Daimon Yoshida


Gold Meritorious ($1 million)
Anju & Duane Anderson



Gold Meritorious ($1 million)
Giovanni Citterio and Narconon Executives Gaetano Prisco & Natascha Benincasa


Gold Meritorious With Honors ($1.75 million)
Samuel & Ursula Kindlimann and Jurg Staubli


Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million)
Christine Sandmann Wright & Family
Florida, USA
Lifetime Member since: 1993
“Originally from Los Angeles, Christine Sandmann Wright has been laying the foundation for the Ideal Org of Kansas City as a New Civilization Builder. While serving on Flag’s OT Committee, she is aiming for an Ideal US, with energy drives from Portland to Miami.”



Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million)
Gerhard & Monika Lidl and Family
Munich, Germany
Lifetime Members since: 1992
“Scientology titans from Munich, Gerhard and Monika are long-serving OT Committee members. While he lays the groundwork for Munich to go Ideal, she ushers Scientologists up the Bridge. They also run a company that’s been honored as a Model of Admin Know-How.”


Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million)
The Ruscheweyh & Mayer Family
Dusseldorf & Frankfurt, Germany
Lifetime Members since: 1990-1992
“They are a German dynasty of Scientologists, extending three generations. The family plays major roles on OT Committees in both Dusseldorf and Frankfurt and are committed to an all-Ideal Germany — all while carrying the torch for the IAS.”



Platinum Meritorious With Honors ($3.75 million)
Rohit Adi & Cathy Steiner
Louisiana, USA
Lifetime Members since: 1984 (Cathy), 1992 (Rohit)
“Rohit Adi and Cathy Steiner are a team that steer a top-flight Narconon and mission in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That’s just the latest chapter in an epic story, as Cathy and her late husband, Tom, have been helming missions and Narconons for decades, from Stevens Creek, California, to Stuttgart, Germany.”


Platinum Meritorious With Honors ($3.75 million)
Tom & Ruth Kennedy
California, USA
Lifetime Members since: 1991 (Tom), 1994 (Ruth)
“Tom and Ruth hail from Silicon Valley, where he is a computer programmer for a tech giant. He’s also one of the ‘Three Amigos’ who inspires the field at local IAS events — while Ruth inspires drug-free living by spreading the Truth About Drugs throughout the Bay Area.”



Platinum Meritorious With Honors ($3.75 million)
Donato & Luciana Paradiso
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since: 2001
“They are co-founders of the Italian OT Committee in Clearwater and served as disaster resopnse VMs in Haiti and Sri Lanka. Accomplished mariners and FSMs, Donato and Luciana Paradiso take pride in helping many staff and associates sail up the Bridge.”


Platinum Meritorious With Honors ($3.75 million)
Herbert & Susanne Marks
Stuttgart, Germany
Lifetime Members since: 1990
“Herbert and Susanne Marks both serve on staff at Stuttgart Foundation Ideal Org. For the better part of a decade, they have been at the forefront of every IAS energy drive. Beyond that, Susanne has helped forge the strongest VM team in Germany.”



Platinum Meritorious With Honors ($3.75 million)
Omar Jazzar
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Lifetime Member since: 1985
“A renowned architect and designer in green technology, Omar Jazzar understood that The Way to Happiness could be a blueprint to a better world. So he got it translated into Arabic and undertook large-scale booklet distribution to bring calm to the Middle East. He’s also brought Study Technology and other social betterment solutions to the region.”


Diamond Meritorious With Honors ($7.5 million)
Alessandro & Luana Baggio
Treviso, Italy
Lifetime Members since: 1999 (Alessandro), 2002 (Luana)
“Alessandro and Luana Baggio are part of a Scientology dynasty in Northern Italy. They are maestros of IAS extravaganzas — from Venice to Rome and Florence to Capri — as members of a family that’s leading the way to an all-Ideal Italy.



Diamond Laureate ($15 million)
Jim & Gigi Bridgeforth and Family
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since: 2006 (Jim), 2008 (Gigi)
“Jim and Gigi Bridgeforth are members in good stead of the Ideal Org frequent flier club. The couple have powered energy drives in more than a dozen nations and more than three dozen cities. Jim also ranks among the very top of IAS Field Disseminators.”


Patron Maximus With Honors ($32.5 million)
Tom & Victoria Cummins
Florida, USA
Lifetime Members since: 1985 (Tom), 2006 (Victoria)
“Tom and Victoria Cummins are Ideal Org builders whose purpose knows no bounds. In their quest to get 31 orgs across the Ideal finish line, they’ve circled the globe 10 times. He is also an IAS Field Disseminator extraordinaire.”



Platinum Maximus ($35 million)
Michael Holstein & Family
Florida, USA
Lifetime Member since: 1994
“Intrepid entrepreneur and veteran WISE member, Michael Holstein owns the only mainland China corporation to be honored with a Medal of Admin Know-How Award. He also knows how to make IAS history, having advanced 20 statuses in just 12 months.”

Patron of Legend (nearing half a billion?)
Trish Duggan & Family
Florida, USA
Lifetime Member since: 1986
“She is a human rights advocate, a tireless champion of Ideal Orgs and Scientology dissemination and a legend of the IAS. A studio glass artist and arts benefactor, through her work and example, Trish Duggan has elevated her own life to an art form.”


Trish and Bob Duggan split up in 2015 and their divorce was final in 2017. But with Bob telling Tracey McManus at the Tampa Bay Times that he hasn’t walked away from Scientology despite missing from events like this, and that he’s given well more than the $360 million he told Forbes magazine a few years ago, it looks like the Duggans will continue to be Scientology’s major cash cows into the future.

In 2016 alone the couple turned over $60 million in cash to Scientology, most of it in the form of Abbvie stock, the maker of Humira, the biggest selling drug in the world. Abbvie also makes psychiatric drugs like depakote, but that isn’t stopping David Miscavige from using the stock to generate millions annually for Scientology.

Scientology may be having a harder time bringing in new people, thanks to so much press exposure and ongoing controversies, but Miscavige has down to a fine art his ability to get so much money from these wealthy followers. He’s never had so many people giving him $1 million or more.


Leaked document of the day

From the Mace-Kingsley Ranch documents release comes this item.

Another glimpse into the reformatory hell that was the Mace-Kingsley Ranch. Here, a “Knowledge Report” has been written turning in “Shayne” for letting his underwear hang out. Shayne was apparently given a copy of the report (which is standard with KRs) and has written his own editorial comment over it in red marker.



Shayne D.

Today, Shayne was walking around with his underwear showing and Kathy had to yell at him to pull them up.



Source Code

“One of the more fiendish tests that I conducted on this was on my own kid, I wouldn’t have done it to somebody else’s kid. I pretended to scatter an enormous amount of pepper into the palm of my hand and then pretended to eat it with some relish. I didn’t scatter any pepper at all on my hand. Hand it to my little girl, she promptly threw some pepper into the palm of her hand and ate it with considerable relish. And for some days was busy enjoying pepper in great quantity.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 8, 1954


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I was born this lifetime in 1957. So whatever I may say about the early days of Dianetics and Scientology is generally from my last lifetime, where I was more or less in the thick of things. I did know LRH, and I did attend some, but not all of his lectures. He and I were not ‘pals,’ but I had enough contact with him to be able to size up his character. This lifetime, I ‘returned’ to Scientology in 1976, at the tender age of 19.”


Random Howdy

“On more than one occasion I have met someone and after a few minutes of casual conversation I have been forced to ask myself whether this person is the sort of fellow who is going to attempt to run off with my wife and my car or if he’s the kind of guy that’s going to try and run off with my girlfriend and my boat. Thanks to L. Ron Hubbard I have knowingness of scamingness.”


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

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

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] Academic goes ‘Among the Scientologists’ to bring back what we already knew
[TWO years ago] A grim anniversary that should remind us Scientology has no business ‘testing’ anyone
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini told you about Scientology’s ‘Fair Game’ — and here’s the worst example of it
[FOUR years ago] Leaked Scientology video: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes front and center for ‘psych busting’!
[FIVE years ago] SUNDANCE BOUND: HBO’s film about Scientology will debut in Utah on January 25
[SIX years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Gets Ideal in Taiwan
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology and Past Lives: Was L. Ron Hubbard Actually Serious?
[EIGHT years ago] Tom Cruise Denies Paying for Indian Extras to Cheer Him, And More Thursday Scientology Stats!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,652 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,781 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,285 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,805 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 825 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 716 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,023 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,891 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,665 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,439 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,785 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,351 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,270 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,438 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,019 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,280 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,318 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,031 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,557 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,083 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,646 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,786 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,106 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,962 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,081 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,436 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,739 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,845 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,247 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,119 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,702 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,197 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,451 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,560 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 8, 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

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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