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Scientology’s hammy Grant Cardone and the political operator: A significant connection?

[Wakley and Cardone, a match made in Arslycus]

If motivational speaker Grant “10X” Cardone is Scientology’s “professional ham hock,” as we like to call him, then London Org’s Charlie Wakley is surely the movement’s aspirational pork product. Its British banger, as it were.

Their online summit this week felt like some sort of minor cosmic shift in the Scientology firmament, and so we have thoughts.

For years, readers have asked us to dig into Cardone’s business empire and we’ve resisted that suggestion. It’s enough, we figure, that we’ve had to pay attention to his sordid history as Scientology enforcer for David Miscavige, doing the church leader’s dirty work to make sure that the final years of legendary acting coach Milton Katselas’s life were anything but peaceful.

“Bring it on, ding dong,” Cardone responded when we publicized that unsavory part of his background in the church.

Since then, we’ve watched with some amusement as Cardone’s visibility as a Scientology bigwig grew, and he glommed onto the richest Scientology couple in the world, Bob and Trish Duggan, and then escorted Trish to Scientology events after the Duggans split. But Cardone is not a Duggan, and his own donations to the cause pale in comparison. However, even if he isn’t Scientology’s biggest moneybags, he makes up for it by being Scientology’s biggest spectacle. (Although, admittedly, Princess Joy Villa gives him a run for his money in that category, surely.)


And we’ve tried to give Cardone his due. We thought it marked a significant milestone when the career gladhander and social media maven filled the seats at Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre for a rare overflow recruiting event, something Scientology hasn’t seen in a long, long time. We wondered if David Miscavige was finally doing something that might actually bring in new meat by using Cardone to guide his legions of 10X adherents into Scientology. However, since then, we’ve seen no evidence that Cardone and Miscavige have followed up on that idea.

But like we said, keeping an eye on Cardone’s Scientology antics is taxing enough, and we’ve resisted digging into his business, which is so obviously built on flim-flam that we simply can’t be bothered to get into the depths of it. To give you some idea of how he operates, Cardone recently announced that because of the pandemic he was going bankrupt, that he was under investigation, and that he needed to dump his private jet within hours and he was probably going to prison. The next day, he laughed and said it was a marketing ploy that he dreamed up after getting advice from Kevin Hart that bad news gets more attention than good news.

It’s hard not to believe that the coronavirus crisis has had a big effect on Cardone’s business, but if so, it hasn’t diminished him in the eyes of his London “fanboy” (as Cardone himself called him), Charlie Wakley.

A born-in Scientologist, a lifer, Wakley has tried mightily to breathe some life into the Scientology London org, and we have been impressed with his energy, if nothing else. He’s tried any number of things to give the impression that London Org is hip and happening, and that British Scientology is still a thing, when every real piece of evidence we’ve seen suggests the opposite, that Scientology is barely hanging on at all in the British Isles.

But Wakley does try, we’ll give him that. And one of his new initiatives has been to produce more videos during the lockdown. This week, he announced that he would be going live with Cardone, and Wakley is nearly beside himself in the video, which we forced ourselves to watch, whatever the cost to our frontal cortex.

We’ll let you decide if you want to subject yourself to it as well. The mutual admiration here seems actually genuine, and we did learn a few things about Cardone that we didn’t know before. But mostly, we wanted to bring it up because once again Cardone has been completely open with his deep involvement in Scientology, and there’s a reason why that interests us.

Here’s the video…


As we said, Cardone has been pretty open with how much he considers Scientology a key ingredient to his success, and he’s not been shy about talking about it, even in interviews that are not conducted by fawning Scientologists.

So with that in mind, we thought we’d bring up a subject that a reader pointed out to us recently, to get your thoughts about whether we should read anything into it at all.

Like we said, Cardone has not been shy at all about his Scientology involvement, and has told his followers many times that he credits Scientology with much of his success. And so we imagine that the people who sign up for his “10X Growth Conferences” at least have the opportunity of discovering these facts about Cardone before they take part in his arena-sized confabs.

And that’s why we have to at least wonder about this…



That’s Brad Parscale with a couple of adoring fans, and the photo was taken in February at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, at Grant Cardone’s last 10X Growth Conference before the pandemic shut him down.

Parscale has figured prominently in Cardone’s marketing for his 2020 and 2021 conferences, along with other featured speakers such as Magic Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Cardone’s fellow Scientology celeb, John Travolta.

In those marketing materials, Parscale has been described as an “advertising strategist.”

He’s also Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager.

It seems like ages ago that we first learned the news in 2017 that a close family aide to the Trumps, Lynne Patton, had told Leah Remini privately that she had praised Leah’s series to Donald and Melania, and that her boss had agreed with her that it was about time the government took another look at Scientology’s tax exempt status.

There was some confusion about whether Trump, if he actually felt that way, could directly get involved with a re-assessment of Scientology’s church status, but we pointed out that according to the law, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was one of the very few people who could initiate an IRS review of Scientology, something Trump could ask him to do without crossing any legal boundaries.

But since then, we not only have never had any confirmation that Trump actually felt that way about Scientology, we’ve watched for three years as Scientologists, from Trish Duggan to Joy Villa to Scientology lobbyist Greg Mitchell, have worked to get themselves into the White House, with varying levels of success.

Is it another sign that Scientology is attempting to “safe point” the White House that the president’s campaign manager is taking part in the lucrative “growth conferences” of Scientology’s most visible clown prince?

We’re curious to hear your thoughts on it. And also your thoughts on the video, if you were able to bring yourself to sit through it. (We barely made it to the end.)



Bonus items from our tipsters

Let’s get glamorous!


“Despite the bullbait”…



Source Code

“Now, you’re a registrar and somebody is coming in, or you’re signing up PCs. (All of you have to wear a registrar’s hat at one time or another.) And you’re trying to get somebody to get some auditing, you’re a registrar, see? And there you are one fine day with a yow-yow-yow and a scream-scream-scream standing in front of your face: Seventy-five hours of auditing have been delivered — he feels terrible! He says, ‘Oh, I could kill everybody in the place,’ and he ought to go out and sue everybody, and he’s going to inform the government that so on and so on and so on and so on-yap, yap, yap, you never hear such a thing. Don’t worry too much about the threats, because the person totally lacks direction. Person will go halfway down the steps and change his mind and do something else, don’t you see? They’re incapable of carrying forward a program that has any cohesion or direction, see.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 28, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“If there is no ethics in the field, then American indies will keep ending up in the wog justice system or ignored completely.”


Random Howdy

“I’m from S.F. and the Jonestown massacre happened on November 18, 1978 and the Moscone/Milk assassinations happened on November 27, 1978. So yeah, it was definitely a very strange and stressful time to be living in Frisco. It seemed like Armageddon. My father worked with a guy named Fred Lewis who lost 27 relatives at Jonestown. As far as a Jonestown-like event happening at Gold Base, I find it doubtful, but if the ‘perfect storm’ of mishaps, misadventures, miscommunications took place, like at Waco, it’s possible. I think Miscavige is more the mob boss type than the fanatical cult leader type. That’s a major factor.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Jay Spina: Sentencing was set for April 3 in White Plains
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members: Trial set for October 7 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Waiting for an appellate decision from the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Hearing on motion for reconsideration set for August 11
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: July 8 (plaintiff attorneys pro hac vice), August 31-Sept 1 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 7-19 (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach bankruptcy appeal: Oral arguments were heard on March 11 in Jacksonville
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Amended complaint filed.


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

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

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’s happy promotions can’t hide the cancer eating away at its core
[TWO years ago] Joy Villa makes it back to the White House, but on a sour note
[THREE years ago] Child deaths at a pop concert turn into the latest chance for Scientology to spread its propaganda
[FOUR years ago] Will Scientology’s celebrities heed the call and show up for today’s big media center opening?
[FIVE years ago] Former Scientologist found guilty of defrauding other exes — ALSO: 1998 film re-release[SIX years ago] Scientology’s drug rehab system hit with tenth federal fraud lawsuit by Las Vegas attorney
[SEVEN years ago] Garcias Answer Scientology’s Attempt to Disqualify Their Attorneys in Fraud Lawsuit


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,951 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,455 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,975 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 995 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 886 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,193 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,061 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,835 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,609 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,955 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,521 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,440 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,608 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,189 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,450 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,488 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,201 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,726 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,256 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,816 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,956 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,276 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,131 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,251 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,606 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,909 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,015 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,417 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,289 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,872 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,367 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,621 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,730 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 28, 2020 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, 1995-2019 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2019), 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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