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Scientology’s super couple throws in the towel and finally agrees to pay $3.5 million tax debt

This summer we told you that another court found that a Florida couple, Matt and Kathy Feshbach, were trying to get out of a huge tax debt by claiming to be too poor to pay it, while at the same time documents clearly showed they were spending money in outrageous ways, including ridiculous amounts on personal chefs and expensive boarding schools.

These entitled richies couldn’t even be bothered to pretend to be low on cash in order to make their lies look plausible, multiple judges have found, and so they have repeatedly been denied the ability to get out of paying the IRS about $3.5 million in back taxes.

What made it especially interesting to us was not only that Matt and Kathy were part of the legendary Feshbach Scientology clan, but that Matt was one of the first people to experience Scientology “Super Power,” decades before the Super Power building itself was opened to church public in 2013.

To thank Matt for being the first million-dollar Scientology donor, he was allowed to sample the Super Power rundowns in the early 1990s, when they were being developed but not yet available even to other wealthy Scientologists. Besides being Scientology’s first Super Power man, Matt was also notorious, along with his brothers Kurt and Joe, for being short sellers in the 1980s who made mountains of money on the misfortune of others.



[Feshbach later redid Super Power at the fancy building he helped finance]

But even with his millions and his super powers, Matt Feshbach has finally realized that he’s not going to get out of this tax debt, which he and Kathy have been fighting for almost 20 years now.

Their most recent defeat came this summer at the US Eleventh Circuit, where a three-judge panel once again found that their profligate spending proved that they had been lying about not being able to pay the IRS. The court ruled that they could not discharge the debt in bankruptcy. The government had in the meantime filed a civil lawsuit over the debt, and we’ve been watching it to see what was going to happen next. Last month, the court indicated that the Feshbachs were still considering their appeal options. At this point, they could have asked for a review by the entire Eleventh Circuit, or even taken it to the US Supreme Court.

Instead, on Wednesday a joint statement was filed in the lawsuit saying that the Feshbachs have decided not to pursue any further appeals, and will enter a consent judgment with the government.

They have finally put up the white flag.

“I would be willing to bet that they have spent close to another $3.5 million in attorneys fees trying not to pay the $3.5 million tax debt,” says a court observer who has been helping us keep up on the case. “It will be interesting to see if the government has to take enforcement action after the consent judgment is entered. The only thing I believe will be negotiated are repayment terms, and I can’t see those being very lenient at this point. The Feshbachs will be lucky if they only get a 10 to 15 percent interest rate and no penalties. They would be smart to look under their couch cushions and cough up the cash ASAP, since they played these games so long.”

One of the stranger things about this case which is reflected in the government’s voluminous records about the Feshbach finances is that while they did experience some difficult years, Matt’s financial work had at other times produced huge windfalls, and paying off the debt would have been trivial for them at that time. But why didn’t they? Why did they continue to claim that they were broke while paying tens of thousands for the personal chef, thousands more for donations to Scientology, and so many other profligate expenses?

We’re so used to seeing Scientology itself get away with abuses, it’s kind of startling to see the government hold the line in this case, and never waver. A lesson for other agencies, perhaps.


Source Code

“Though little progress has been made in the field of psychic phenomena in Dianetics, we have made enough progress to raise the hair of the whole society — just as we are doing on the subject of processing. But it is interesting to me that some of the past concepts of what life is seem to be very antique at this time. We haven’t had time to look up some of the confirmations thoroughly enough, but there is just a little bit more evidence in favor of immortality and the individuality of the human soul than there is against it….The preponderance of the evidence is in favor of individual immortality. I never thought that would be the case. All my life, I had supposed that when a person was dead, he was dead. He looks awfully dead! Actually, that was all the scientific evidence the society had on that basis a few short months ago: ‘He looks awfully dead’.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 21, 1950



Overheard in the FreeZone

“I’ve decided to re-join the ranks of people who have accepted responsibility for the impact of Scientology in the world and want to keep up the good work and move forward with it into society. I’ve got all sorts of ideas banging around and I want to discuss them with people. I personally think that this ongoing idea I have heard many say, that ‘the brand is damaged’ etc., is a little — or a lot — off. There’s enough truth to the idea to make some sense, but there’s also some sort of lie about it that gives persistence to an unwanted reality. In my recent ‘reawakening’ to the subject, I’ve been talking about Scientology to lots of people. All of them have known nothing about the subject other than what they have been told in the recent ‘made for TV’ controversies. I think I have been smart in who I have talked with about the subject. I have been talking with people who are at 3.0 or above on the tone scale! Just as Ron observed, these people don’t readily accept entheta as reality. And they are often very skeptical about media and current ‘culture.’ What’s shoved down our throats hasn’t often been good for us. What I am hoping for in my posting this is to hear back from people who want to FULLY revitalize themselves on the subject of Scientology in terms of applying it again. I am hoping for PMs, and talking, and doing some mischievous planning together! ‘Man, in affinity with man, survives.’ I believe we can all help each other out.”


Past is Prologue

2002: The Sun-Herald reported that James Packer, an Australian billionaire, has become involved in Scientology. “James Packer is receiving instruction from an elite order in the Church of Scientology. The executive chairman of PBL and heir to Australia’s richest fortune is believed to have turned to the secretive organisation in an attempt to regain control of his life after suffering a crisis of confidence following the collapse of his marriage. In recent weeks Mr Packer has been attending self-help training sessions and has been seen at the Church’s Dundas campus. On Friday, Mr Packer’s office did not return calls concerning the inquiry, and no-one was prepared to confirm reports that he is being counselled. The Church has
pulled a protective veil around its newest follower. ‘If anyone becomes a member, he would be entitled to his privacy,’ Scientology spokesman Cyrus Brooks said on Friday.”


Random Howdy

“It’s not a question of whether the Church of Scientology has ever been capable of world domination, obviously that’s absurd. It’s that Hubbard’s writings state this as his goal which lays the groundwork for banning Scientology and similar organizations by governments around the world, justifiably so, in my opinion. If you’re going to talk shit, don’t cry foul when people make you choke on it.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson’s demurrer denied Oct 19, arraignment delayed to Jan 6.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed for ‘Fatico’ hearing on Jan 19.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition for writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court filed Oct 30.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 18, re-hearing on motions to compel arbitration; Jan 29, Masterson’s request to stay discovery pending the criminal case
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Nov 18: Feshbachs indicate they will enter into consent judgment to pay the debt.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, awaiting verdict.

Concluded litigation:
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
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.


SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and coming November 1 to Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Scientology not only wants Danny Masterson rape lawsuit quashed, it wants sanctions
[TWO years ago] Things to be thankful for — the new Scientology holiday catalog is here!
[THREE years ago] Tonight: Leah Remini and Mike Rinder wrap up their 2nd season with questions from viewers
[FOUR years ago] Shelley Duvall is ill, but is Scientology’s Vivian Kubrick the best person to step in?
[FIVE years ago] Scenes from the divorce of the second marriage that L. Ron Hubbard never had
[SIX years ago] Swiss politicians sue Scientology for libel in battle over anti-drug front group
[SEVEN years ago] The “Ethics” of Political Power: Scientology’s Worship of Ruthlessness
[EIGHT years ago] No, Kelly Preston is Not Rebelling Against Scientology By Acknowledging Autism
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s ‘Super Power’ Building: Cash Cow for the Church


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 2,127 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,631 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,151 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,171 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,062 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,369 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,237 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,011 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,815 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,131 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,697 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,616 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,784 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,365 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,626 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,664 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,377 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,902 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 257 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,432 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,983 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,132 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,452 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,307 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,426 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,782 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,085 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,191 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,593 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,465 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,048 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,543 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,797 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,906 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 21, 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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