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Leaked audio: Proof that government officials know about Scientology’s crimes

 
Lucas Catton is a well-known figure here at the Bunker. He was once president of Scientology’s flagship rehab clinic, Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma, but then he became a whistleblower who has been featured on national television, and who continues to expose Scientology at his own YouTube channel.

We’re indebted to Luke for the many stories he’s helped us report about Scientology and Narconon over the years, and now we’re going into even deeper debt to him.

He’s handed over to us raw intel, something so massive we are turning to you, our readers, for help sifting through it.

Luke dropped in our laps an audio recording of a meeting he attended with federal and state investigators while they discussed all of the evidence that pointed to wrongdoing by Scientology and its drug rehab empire in the wake of several patient deaths, and that should result in various charges — charges that never came.

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Recorded on an October day in 2013, it captures a moment in time when governments were poised to haul Scientology into court, but later changed their minds.

Luke decided it was time to make the recording public, and at more than two hours, it’s a lot of information to take in.

Here is Luke’s description of what’s in the recording. We look forward to your reactions of discovering what it was like to sit in a room with law enforcement officials discussing the ways that Scientology should be hauled into court.

Right away early in the recording Paul Wilkening of the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner’s fraud department talked about serving warrants.

This was after the Desmond case settling, and after Narconon of Georgia was raided by insurance fraud investigators.

Not mentioned in my book, but also present in the meeting was a female FBI agent, who can be heard discussing with Wilkening about trying to get the Assistant US Attorneys on board so the FBI could take over the cases.

The Oklahoma investigators revealed that they had plenty of documented evidence of insurance fraud, and that Narconon was already being investigated by at least one insurance carrier as well. In one poignant moment, one of the people in the meeting stated that as far as they were concerned all of the billing Narconon had done was fraudulent since they never had properly licensed therapists.

There is a lot in there, including names of people who have since left or are no longer involved. I think rather than any specific names, the focus should be about the multi-state effort to get federal authorities on board to prosecute known criminal acts committed by multiple Narconon centers. They wound up kicking things to the multi-county grand jury, who ran out of time and failed to complete their evidence gathering in order to issue indictments. The lone investigator after that presented evidence and the attorney general in Oklahoma at the time failed to file criminal charges.

Now that there are only five Narconon facilities operating on fumes, the ability for fraud investigators to recoup cash has dwindled, but if they follow through on the federal investigation of the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (EKRA) violations tied to FSM commissions, and also looked for the additional insurance fraud since the time of these meetings, it is possible they could seize the remaining property.

Here is what I had written in my book:

“Several months later I was brought into criminal investigations in three states by three different agencies. First I was contacted by agents Kevin Kearney and Matt Entrekin with the Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s fraud department and also Paul Wilkening from the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner’s fraud department. They traveled to meet me at a Hampton Inn conference room in Canton and asked a lot of questions about how Narconon operated and what the relationship was to the church of Scientology. The delegation from Oklahoma asked where the records might be kept at the facility and requested a diagram of the property with labels in case they were going to perform a raid similar to one that was done at the Georgia facility. I brought a voice recorder with me since I was alone, and put it on the table. Paul Wilkening said, “oh good, we should record this too,” and his partner set his phone on the table and pressed record as well.

This meeting was eventually followed by a another one at the Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s office in Atlanta, where the lead investigator, Sherry Mowell, asked questions about evidence they had found. I recorded that meeting as well, openly placing my voice recorder on the table for my protection. However, after much deliberation about what they were going to do with the evidence they had, they ultimately declined to file charges because there had to be a specific person named. Although they indicated there was evidence of fraud, they couldn’t nail down who were the individuals responsible for it, as Mary Rieser and the other employees pointed fingers at each other and even tried to blame their billing company. During this time, the program requested to enter into a non-prosecutorial agreement with the Gwinnett County District Attorney, Danny Porter, where Narconon agreed to close its Georgia location for a minimum of two years and not admit any wrongdoing. Although there were people upset that two years was not enough punishment, they have not tried to open another program in the state since then.

One thing I really learned throughout this whole process, is that there is a reason for the saying that the wheels of justice turn slowly. As I look back at when specific events took place, I see that what now seems like months between some activities was actually years, and a lot happened in between. I’m apparently only recapping the highlights.”

And here’s another detailed breakdown that Luke sent over:

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The meeting was held on Oct 30, 2013.

At 12:35 Wilkening indicates they are the ones recording

There is some talk of Per Wickstrom in there. None of them had any jurisdiction over there, but I later was contacted by an FBI agent in Michigan investigating him based on their own work, though they also declined to file charges, as far as I know.

From the book: “In October of 2014 I received a call from another investigator. This time it was an FBI agent named Kurt Schichtel out of Michigan who was looking into insurance fraud allegations against Narconon and related organizations up there. He was loosely working with state agencies in Oklahoma and Georgia, but told me he didn’t have jurisdiction outside of Michigan at that time in order to take on a larger racketeering investigation. He was much more tight-lipped about the specifics of what he was doing compared to the guys who worked for state agencies. After that initial conversation, there was a follow-up done in early 2015 as well, but then no more word or contact from him. I don’t know what happened with it, as I never received an official subpoena and there wasn’t any news coverage of criminal prosecution up there.”

Around the 39:30 mark they say that the found that the Narconon Network was sending claims for $1 million per week to United Healthcare alone back in 2012.

Around 42:00 there is detailed information talking about falsified treatment records after someone had left the program.

Around 44:00 they’re asking me where treatment records are kept in Oklahoma and to draw a map for them for a search warrant.

Around 47:30 they ask what other crimes might they be guilty of, and we talk a bit about credit card fraud and racketeering. It starts getting into the assets of Scientology and money flowing between organizations, etc.

At 1:39:00 they begin to discuss the non-prosecutorial agreement with DA Danny Porter and how they weren’t fully included in how that played out and were surprised. Jackie from the FBI weighs in as well.

At 1:45: Bingo. Sherry says it’s all fraud because they didn’t have properly trained personnel.

 

 
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Source Code

“I think California has laws that nobody can cure cancer. And they’ve just disobeyed that law in England because a doctor up there, who is a Dianetic Auditor, has just cured somebody of totally proven cancer. Has taken him over to the medical association and a big conference and so on, and displayed him complete with the X-rays and so forth. So, gee it’s a good thing he didn’t do that in California. We had an auditor, in 1950s, who was actually arrested for the fact of — proven conclusively, because he’d audited somebody and they had gotten well and it was against the law to cure that disease. He got off, there wasn’t anything happened to him at all, somebody was just making a push on it locally. Pretty crazy, huh? Proved it conclusively. Against the law to heal it and he’d done it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 7, 1972

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“COMMENDED: Quentin Hubbard is assigned a Condition of Affluence and commended for a long time performance of high volume and high quality sessions. He is a very popular auditor and I am sure his many pcs will agree.” — The Commodore, April 7, 1970

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“Does anyone know around 50 years ago what people thought about the dinosaur extinction? Like when they thought it happened. Nowadays we think it happened 66 million years ago. I heard back then they thought it happened 75 million years ago. It’s very important, the validity of Scientology’s OT3 depends on it.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1997: The new Cult Awareness Network, now run by Scientology, issued a press release on the Higher Source cult, which committed suicide recently. “Information gathered by CAN indicates that the originators of the ‘Higher Source’ group were Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Trousdale Nettles respectively a psychiatric patient and a psychiatric nurse. CAN is urging investigation into the presence of drugs at the Rancho Sante Fe mansion of the Higher Source and the psychiatric backgrounds of the group. Of interest is that psychiatric drugs were also found in large quantities at Jonestown and drugs were manufactured by and administered to members of the Japanese-based Aum Supreme Truth. CAN is continuing its own investigation into the background of the leaders of the group and will keep the media informed. In the meantime, CAN warns that the mass media beware of fanatical anti-religious statements being made, painting all religions or groups with the same brush stroke and creating further hysteria.”

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Random Howdy

“‘Revolt in the Stars’ should be a new reality show where Scientology celebs are put into the Sea Org and the viewers watch as one by one they quit in anguish and leave stupid Scientology.”

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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Discovery hearing on April 20, prelim set for May 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to April 13.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on Feb 4. Arraigned on Feb 9. Pretrial conference set for Apr 29.>

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 denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration. June 7: Status conference.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

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.

 
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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.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

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.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

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 now on Netflix.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] In the pandemic epicenter, Scientology’s New York Org puts on a fab virtual ‘Sunday Service’
[TWO years ago] Foreign ‘expansion,’ thanks to US Scientologists forking over the millions
[THREE years ago] On Day One, 2018’s Writers of the Future party betrays its connection to Scientology’s abuses
[FOUR years ago] XENU VICTORIOUS: Scientology bamboozles USA Today to help it fight the ‘evil psychs’
[FIVE years ago] Phil Jones reflects on the media frenzy at the dedication of his anti-Scientology billboard
[SIX years ago] 25 of the biggest lies told by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] SHOCK DOX: Scientology’s 2011 book value for just two of its entities is $1.2 billion
[EIGHT years ago] Narconon Tackles NFL Legend Jim Brown, Anne Archer Snags a Kennedy

 
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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 2,264 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,768 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,288 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,308 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,199 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,506 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,374 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,148 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,478 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,952 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,268 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,834 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,753 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,921 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,502 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,763 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,801 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,514 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,039 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 394 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,569 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,120 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,269 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,589 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,444 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,563 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,919 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,222 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,328 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,730 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,602 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,185 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,680 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,934 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,043 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 7, 2021 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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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, 15 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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