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Check out the US government’s new whales: Feshbachs go Diamond Meritorious for the IRS!

Monday we told you about Scientology’s newest million-dollar donors, Shawn and Colleen May, who had given at least $1 million toward leader David Miscavige’s “Ideal Org” program.

But we don’t want to leave out the US government’s own lavish new donation, courtesy of Scientology’s most stubborn couple, Matt and Kathy Feshbach, who last month attained Diamond Meritorious with a generous gift to the IRS!

If you don’t understand what we’re jabbering on about, we’re talking about a somewhat legendary Scientology couple who found themselves in hot water with the US Courts over an unpaid tax bill.

Matt Feshbach is one of the storied Feshbach brothers, who made a killing in the late 1980s shorting stocks and gambling on the demise of corporations. He was the first person ever to give a million dollars in a single donation to Scientology, and to reward him leader David Miscavige allowed Matt to experience the “Super Power” rundowns about 20 years before anyone else did.


Yes, Matt Feshbach was the first Super Power Scientologist, and he and his wife apparently felt a little entitled about it. Because when the couple was faced with a $3 million tax bill around the year 2000, they told the government to go stuff itself.

What made their case so unique — and it got them coverage even outside of the fact that they were notorious Scientology bigwigs — was that they whined to the court that Matt had suffered several years of bad business, so they just didn’t have the money to pay their bill. But in a series of really rather amazing rulings by a number of different judges, the courts pointed out that while the Feshbachs were pleading poverty, they were still spending money like crazy on their lavish lifestyle, including donations to Scientology and stuff like a personal chef. (Also, after some lean years they had a windfall that would have made paying the tax bill trivial, but they still wouldn’t fork it over.)

For years the Feshbachs fought with the courts, refusing to back down, until finally their luck ran out last December. With no more courts to appeal to, they were saddled with the $3 million tax bill plus interest.

We wondered what they might do about it, but now we’ve noticed that in October the government filed a document indicating that the case had now been “satisfied” and was no longer active.

In other words, the world’s most entitled couple finally wrote the government a big, fat check. And our expert tells it would have been about $4.1 million.

But we’ll be generous and say by Scientology standards, that makes Matt and Kathy Feshbach Diamond Meritorious ($5 million) donors to the IRS! Someone get them a big fat certificate for Matt to hold over his head, like he did when he redid Super Power in 2014. Hip, hip, hooray!

Of course, we also have to feel for Miscavige, who must be prostrate with grief that so much money went to his old arch-rival, the IRS, and not into his own Ideal kingdom. Imagine the gnashing of teeth going on in Clearwater.



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Source Code

“Nobody ever objects to anybody in India being found dead. So they’re dead. They’re dead. They get married when they’re 12 or 14, kick the bucket when they’re 21, 28 — real quick. The only trouble with the people is, it’s too hot there and they key in all the prenatals they’ve got. It is about 90. Any time you get a climate which is approaching 98.6, you can get the whole prenatal bank keyed in almost perpetually, because that’s the temperature in the prenatal bank, 98.6. That’s why hot countries turn feminine, so forth, so it’s not a hardy country. But way up north, those boys live with kind of wild abandon, too. They always have.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 24, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“COMMENDABLE: CS-1 Cmdr Hana Eltringham is commended for getting out and duplicated the CLO org bd and MOs for getting it into action at CLOs in UK, DK and US. A very nice, rapid production requiring no further correction. All who helped her are also thanked.” — The Commodore, November 24, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“You can’t defeat a virus, you have to live with viruses, as people have done during many centuries. All you can do is make sure you are otherwise healthy and in good shape, if you are, your body, immune system will take care of the intruder. You do what always has been done with for example the flu or influenza. Considering that Covid is as deadly as the flu and has the same symptoms. Corona/Covid has been identified as early back as the ’30s. There is nothing new here, excepting that you are only dealing with the latest mutation. A pandemic ONLY resides in the mainstream media and and no place else, and they in turn have manipulated and polluted human minds. You want a prediction? There will be a pandemic of vaccine deaths. Oh, and I almost forgot, move on the Bridge, the original Bridge that is. I haven’t even had colds during some 10 years now.”


Past is Prologue


1996: The head of Scientology in France and 14 other members were convicted of manslaughter and fraud in connection with the suicide of a Scientologist in 1988. Patrick Vic was being pressured for money for the Purification Rundown and jumped off an apartment building. From UPI: “A court Friday sentenced the former head of the Church of Scientology in France to 18 months in prison for his role in the suicide of a member of the church. The court in the southern city of Lyon also handed Jean-Jacques Mazier a further 18-month suspended sentence and fined him 500,000 francs ($100,000) after convicting him on charges of second degree murder and fraud. The sentence was more severe than that sought by prosecutors, who had demanded a three-year suspended sentence and a 500,000 francs ($100,000) fine. Fifteen other church members received suspended prison terms of eight months to two years for being accessories to fraud. But the court dropped charges against another eight members, including the church’s spokeswoman, Daniele Gounord, and Jean-Paul Chapellet, the former head of the church’s security section.”


Random Howdy

“My take on it is that Hubbard created Dianetics as a ‘short con’ and when it took off on a level he didn’t expect and when everyone by the early 60’s had reached ‘Clear’ and the gravy train started to slow down he created the ‘long con’ of the OT levels. The $64,000 question is whether due to mental illness and perhaps drug use did he start to believe in his own bullshit? When he says at the end of OTVIII ‘now that you know what you aren’t are you ready to find out what you really are?’ I see this as phase 2 of the long con. Hubbard is saying ‘Hey, guess what kids, I took a detour and I was on the wrong road but now I’m on the right one, so lets go.’ The bottom line and perhaps unanswerable question is how much was calculated and how much was crazy.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for February 8. Trial scheduled for August 29, 2022.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), false imprisonment, aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Hearing scheduled for November 30.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference December 17 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for February 11.

Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ US Supreme Court denied Valerie’s petition Oct 4.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments held November 2, awaiting a ruling.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9, 2020 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: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28, 2022.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 23. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


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 now on Netflix.


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

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. 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] Steve Cannane vindicated as Australian judge denounces ‘Deep Sleep Therapy’ doctors
[TWO years ago] Scientologists use faith healing to convince fire victims they’re actually helping
[THREE years ago] Xenu’s first public outing: Robert Kaufman’s stunning 1972 testament, ‘Inside Scientology’
[FOUR years ago] KID CORPS: When a disease outbreak brought Scientology unwanted attention
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini’s Scientology series opens with a gut-wrenching story of ‘disconnection’
[SIX years ago] Strange scenes from the Moscow hearing that banned Scientology yesterday
[SEVEN years ago] HBO and BBC battling to get full-length films about Scientology out first
[EIGHT years ago] Jenna Miscavige Hill on Scientology’s New Dawn: “I Can’t Believe People Still Buy This BS”
[NINE years ago] Scientology Leader David Miscavige Added as Defendant in Ken Dandar’s Federal Lawsuit
[TEN years ago] Paulette Cooper, Scientology’s Original and Worst Nightmare: A Thanksgiving Tribute by the Village Voice


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 2,494 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,999 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,519 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,539 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,430 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,737 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,605 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,379 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,709 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,183 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,499 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,065 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,984 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,152 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,733 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,994 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,030 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,745 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,270 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 625 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,800 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,351 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,500 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,820 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,675 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,794 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,150 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,453 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,559 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,957 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,833 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,416 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,911 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,165 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,274 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 24, 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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