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PPP small-business coronavirus bailout loans went to Scientology and Narconon centers

[Scientology’s ‘Ideal Org’ off Times Square got a PPP loan]

Yesterday the Trump administration released data about thousands of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more that were intended to help “small businesses” get through the coronavirus health crisis.

Multi-billion-dollar international religious organizations don’t appear to fit that description. But among the recipients of loans in the Paycheck Protection Program we found three Scientology churches and two Narconon centers, as well as Scientology’s most unhinged front group, Citizens Commission for Human Rights, which agitates against the mental health field.

The Founding Church of Scientology of Washington DC received a loan of between $150,000 and $350,000, as did the Church of Scientology of New York and the Mission of Belleair, in Florida.

(Although the DC church is called the “Founding” Scientology church, it was actually opened in 1955, after the first Church of Scientology corporation was created by founder L. Ron Hubbard in December 1953 in Camden, New Jersey, and the first actual church opened in February 1954 in Los Angeles.)

The Belleair mission told the government that its loan would help it retain 39 jobs. The New York org said it would save 98 jobs, but the DC church did not provide an estimate.


Scientology drug rehab center Narconon Suncoast in Clearwater got a loan for $150,000 to $350,000 and the Narconon Fresh Start company, which operates numerous drug rehabs in Southern California, got a loan of $350,000 to $1 million. For years we’ve reported on what a deceptive business Narconon is and how it ropes families into sending their drug-addicted loved ones to rehabs where they receive Scientology training, not drug counseling. Just last week we told you about a family that detailed how it was deceived by Narconon Fresh Start in California.

Citizens Commission for Human Rights, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit which operates the “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum” on Sunset Boulevard, also received a loan of $150,000 to $350,000.

We put in a message to Scientology’s spokeswoman Karin Pouw, asking why Scientology’s facilities would have applied for such loans when they pay employees so little — not even minimum wage in many cases, which the church justifies by saying that its employees are “religious workers.” We’ll let you know if she gets back to us.

Also, Scientologist donor Grant Cardone snagged loans for a couple of his businesses. Cardone Real Estate Acquisition in Aventura, Florida got a loan of $150,000 to $350,000 and Cardone Training Technologies in Miami got a loan of $2 to $5 million.

The Trump administration has been under heavy pressure to release information about the companies that had received the bailout loans, which Underground Bunker attorney Scott Pilutik called an “unprecedented looting”:

Lax standards and non-existent oversight, together with figure — $2.3 trillion — guaranteed unprecedented looting. Money was going to go out to whoever asked for it, whether that company was real, whether that company fired all its employees (the very basis for the PPP program was so employers would continue to pay their employees), whether the company was a hedge fund, or whether the company was a shell for millionaires who were going to be just fine, SBA or no SBA. Whether the “small business” was only “small” in the most legalistic sense.

[Treasury Secretary] Steve Mnuchin told Congress a month ago that he wouldn’t be disclosing the identities of the recipients of hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, even though the recipients agreed as a condition of the loan/grant that their identity would be disclosed.

Mnuchin couldn’t stop the names from being released, though and his reticence, in retrospect, is entirely understandable. There were over 40,000 recipients of loans in excess of $150k. These include

— The Kushner family
— Kanye West
— Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform
— Claremont Institute
— Businesses owned by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R – OK)
— Devin Nunes’ winery

— The Ayn Rand Institute

And, it turns out, Scientology and its front groups.


Source Code

“I remember one time I was arrested by mistake. They do that in the United States every once in a while. Somebody wanted me as a witness. They wanted me as a witness in a bankruptcy case of some kind, and I was just a witness, innocent bystander – factually an innocent bystander, but I must have had something about that particular area in some past life because the next thing I knew why the cops rushed in you know and practically shot everybody down and grabbed me and took me off and held me very carefully so that they would have this witness for this case. And I said to ‘em, ‘Don’t you think this is sort of unfair?’ And they didn’t pay any attention to that. So I got kind of mean, in my own inimical mean way. And when I finally appeared on the witness stand, I had the prosecuting attorney and the attorney for defense arguing with the judge that I shouldn’t be required to be held more than the next 15 or 20 minutes anyway because they wanted to help me. The judge helped me too. That was the end. I sat down and gave some testimony. I said, ‘Well I don’t know anything about it. I was hardly there.’ And that was it. Boom.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 7, 1960


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I had an OT 2 win regarding postulates. It was not something I had expected to happen at that level, but it did. One time, I needed to have my stove repaired. I called the gas company and was told that the repairman would arrive sometime between 7:00 a.m. and noon on the following day. I decided that the time would be 9:00 a.m. The repairman arrived and as he was standing in front of my stove, about to begin working on it, the time piece in his pocket rang. He took it out of his pocket, looked at it, turned to me and said, ‘9 o’clock exactly.’ Coincidence? Possibly. I told this win to a Sea Org member, and she, with a snotty manner, asked me why I couldn’t postulate getting my Bridge paid for. It crossed my mind that perhaps I was reluctant to give much money to a fascist, totalitarian organization.”


Random Howdy

“Hubbard said that Mohammed was a hustler and a ‘small town booster’ and that the ‘Black Stone’ was a piece of the R6 implant.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Arraignment scheduled for September 18.
Jay Spina, Medicare fraud: Sentencing is set for August 27 in White Plains, NY
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial set for October 7 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments set for August 30 at 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, trial set for Nov 9, 2021


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

[The Big Three: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley]

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] How Scientology treats a member in real need strains the notion of the word ‘church’
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s messiah? ‘Hubbard believed he was as great as Jesus, Buddha, & Mohammed’
[THREE years ago] The Scientology lecture in which L. Ron Hubbard revealed the true name of our Earth society
[FOUR years ago] The Church of Intimidation: Scientology stalks another ex-member on the taxpayer dime
[FIVE years ago] Monique Rathbun: Hey, Texas court, here’s something to chew on
[SIX years ago] Scientology tries to psych out Florida — and Chill EB is back!
[SEVEN years ago] Alanna Masterson’s Dad Calls Connor Cruise “Worst Person in the World” for Her to Date
[EIGHT years ago] No Memorial Service for Scientology President’s Son? “So Despicable, It’s Almost Beyond Words”
[NINE years ago] ‘Inside Scientology’: Janet Reitman’s Book Tour Starts Off With a Scientologist Challenging Her


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 1,991 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,495 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,015 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,035 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 926 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,233 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,101 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,875 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,679 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,995 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,561 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,480 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,648 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,229 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,490 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,528 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,241 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,766 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,296 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,856 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,996 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,316 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,171 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,291 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,646 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,949 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,055 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,457 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,329 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,912 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,407 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,661 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,770 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 7, 2020 at 06:00

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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