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Scientology wouldn’t pull its ‘Chase Wave’ scam on military veterans, would it?

[Adam Pires, Navy Federal member and Navy veteran]

In April we told you about a recent defector from Scientology named Adam Pires who said he could corroborate our claim that SNL’s Chloe Fineman was a longtime and dedicated Scientologist: While he was in, he had done the “purif” (Scientology’s quack “Purification Rundown” involving massive intake of vitamins and days and days in a sauna) with Fineman.

And he got to know her well enough personally that he ended up buying her car.

Since we wrote that story, Chloe Fineman became a full cast member at Saturday Night Live, and her star continues to rise.

Adam, meanwhile, also had an update for us.

After he saw our story on the “Chase Wave,” he wanted us to know that something very similar happened to him.


“I can tell you I was definitely a part of that, however not through Chase. They were also doing this with Navy Federal as well,” he says.

If you remember, we posted a document sent in by a new source who said it was a step-by-step instruction sheet that Scientology’s “registrars” were given, explaining to them how to lie to Chase credit card operators in order to open up new credit card accounts for cash-poor Scientology members, and then max out those cards with Scientology charges in order to saddle members with huge debts. The “Chase Wave” involved opening up a series of different Chase cards in order to obtain a huge zero-interest credit limit. Scientology was the beneficiary, and our source said the scam was literally bankrupting Scientologists and had led to Chase blacklisting the church.

After we posted that document, two former Scientologists who recently left the organization, Mark Fladd and George McAlpine, both came forward on the record, using their full names, and said they had been subjected to the Chase Wave (Fladd) and witnessed the Chase blacklisting (McAlpine).

Now, yet another recent defector is willing to put his name forward and confirm that he was subjected to a similar credit card scheme while a member of Scientology.

“Once they figured out I had Navy Federal and good credit, they pressured me in a very unfair way to max out my credit card and take a personal loan that I am now defaulted on, as I went way over my debt to income ratio,” Adam says.

Hang on, we said. They were doing the Chase Wave to you on your Navy Federal card?

Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the country, serving some 10 million veterans and their families.

“After they found out at the Celebrity Centre that I could refer a friend to Navy Fed, they had me refer a few people so they could open accounts, even though they weren’t active duty, vets, or a family member. And they weren’t really my ‘friends.’ They were just people I knew in passing at the Org. My roommate was also involved with this, and he was a part of the Chase scam they were running. It had something to do with transferring your debt around to maintain a zero-interest account. It sounded really sketch to me,” he says. “Also, once the Celebrity Centre started doing it, the other orgs started doing it with Navy Federal. They would go out and find who was a veteran or just had an account with Navy Fed and get them to refer other Scientologists as ‘friends’.”

Stunned, we asked Adam to be extra clear on this. Scientology knew he was a veteran, that his credit union was for veterans, and they ran the same kind of credit scheme on him that they did in the “Chase Wave” we saw described in the document?

“They definitely knew I had a Navy Federal account as I told my reg Eric that I banked with Navy Fed. I had told him how they upped my credit card limit, which they considered a ‘win,’ a testament of Scientology financial tech,” he says. “They knew pretty much everything about me besides my Social Security number. I referred at least three people that I can specifically recall that got personal loans. I took out $16,000 in a personal loan and maxed out my credit card at $7,000. The church was very aware of my Navy service, as the Sea Org members would often mention Ron was in the Navy as a way to relate to me. With that being said, I’m sure they knew they were piling on a huge load of debt to a veteran. I didn’t realize until afterwards how duped I was.”

Adam says that one of the ways they pressured him into putting so much money into Scientology services he would never use was by hammering him about their 2 pm Thursday deadline.

“They kept trying to ‘TR’ me by repeating, ‘Can we confirm you will do the $2,500 before Thursday at 2pm?'” In that case, he says, they were pressuring him to pay for either a “Happiness Rundown” at the Los Angeles org, or the “Cause Resurgence Rundown” (running around a lighted pole) at the Flag building in Clearwater, Florida. When he hesitated, a supervisor called him, accusing him of “backing out” after making a promise.

“She called me a chicken. Yes, she actually resorted to calling me a chicken. Then she yells at me saying she wasn’t going to have a dishonest public at her org. At this point I’m getting scared that they are going to try to turn this into a ‘Comm Ev’ and have me declared. So I cave in and tell them I’ll come in after work. Basically they pressured me until 1 in the morning until I caved and took out the huge personal loan and maxed the credit card,” he says. “During this personal loan process in the reg office they discovered I could refer friends. The Navy Fed thing was just one of many creative ways the reges would try to find money. And of course the reges of one org talk to another and that’s how these scams develop in a region or Scientology wide.”

Hey FBI, are you listening?



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Source Code

“In the final run of it, he gets up to a fairly comprehensive idea of what he’s been and done….He gets himself one Godawful amount of time blocked out. Oh, some terrific amount of time blocked out. He gets up to trillions to the eighth power. Time, you know. Oh man, time, you see. First he gets horrified, you see, at the idea of twelve trillion years ago or something like that. He gets finally, up to a point where trillions to the eighth power take him back to some of the earliest implants. And he’s perfectly happy at this level that there’s an awful lot of track….Now, his track goes sizzling back to trillions to the 200th power. Well that’s, of course, one of these ridiculous figures. That’s trillion written two hundred times. Or one with two hundred times you write all the ciphers of a trillion. That gets to be quite a few ciphers and every one of those things is a year. You’re getting into the sweep of time by this time. Well, I myself have had, I just thought I was doing fine when I was doing some research this last summer. I said, ‘Gee, you know we’re getting clear back here.’ Trillions four, you know. Whew, you know? Dizzying. Concepts of time. Trying to date one of these confounded things, you know. Trying to handle these fantastic periods of time with arithmetic, and trying to dream up other methods of going into all this. Rough! Because it just took the auditor too tall, too long to say anything so you got crude rough approximations like, trillions 4.5, see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 3, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

PORT: All is cool. They didn’t even come aboard to clear us in. Customs and police just wrote us down as cleared in. We are now popular here after the attempted attack and our then asserting PRO Area Control. They are honestly glad to see us. We will be here about six days. It has rained so hard here they couldn’t unload ships and the storm drove even more ships in because it made crews nearly 100 percent seasick on other ships. Trust you had a good liberty.” — The Commodore, December 3, 1969



Overheard in the FreeZone

For some weeks late in 1982 I remained conscious, even when my body slept. I found that four hours of that kind of sleep was equal to eight of the usual, unconscious sleep, in terms of resting the body. Anyway, one night I was up late, standing nightwatch at Van Org, working on the word ‘postulate.’ When I figured I had it cleared I thought, ‘I want twenty bucks.’ I walked outside onto the street, walked about half a block, and there on the sidewalk were two ten-dollar bills, neatly folded. I picked up the twenty bucks, went back inside and signed off on the word ‘postulate.’ I’m past-life Clear and don’t know what-all I might have had run on me after going Clear way back then, but it was the early ’50s and research was raging ahead. I’m finally getting my Grades now and intend to complete the Bridge, eventually to regain that mastery over unconsciousness that I attained for a short while in the early ’80s. It’ll come in handy next time I want to leave a body for a new one.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Scientology pled not guilty to the criminal charges brought by the State of Florida in the Lisa McPherson case. From Reuters: “The Church of Scientology entered a ‘not guilty’ plea Monday to two criminal charges in the 1995 death of a woman member who was being cared for at the church’s regional headquarters in Clearwater. Attorneys for the group filed a written plea of not guilty to the charges in the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson with Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Peters, his clerk said. The felony charges of abuse or neglect of a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license in connection with McPherson’s death had been filed Nov. 13 by State Attorney Bernie McCabe. The criminal charges do not name any individuals, so if the church were found guilty it could only be fined. A pretrial conference on the charges is expected to be held next month, the clerk said.”


Random Howdy

“The really scary thing to me about Carla Moxon is that there are literally millions of others like her in this world that are seriously mentally deluded due to magical thinking and they are among us doing jobs that could cause the rest of us harm if they just go off a tad too much at the wrong time. Anybody keeping track of all the problems going on with members of the ICBM defense system? And that’s not even due to magical thinking.”


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: Next hearing scheduled for December 21.
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] More Scientology orgs and missions got Covid bailouts than we knew: The detailed breakdown
[TWO years ago] Scientologist says the church is telling Clearwater members not to vote for Mark Bunker
[THREE years ago] Thar she blows: The ‘whales’ who are keeping Scientology afloat in 2018
[FOUR years ago] Scientology loses another outlet for attracting young acting talent in Hollywood
[FIVE years ago] In Scientology, dancing in a conga line might end up costing you thousands
[SIX years ago] Augustine: How Scientology changes its story to fit what it’s trying to get away with
[SEVEN years ago] About that Tom Cruise Scientology ‘co-leader’ nonsense spreading in the media
[EIGHT years ago] Our Experts Prepare Us for the Wall of Fire — Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Three!
[TEN years ago] Scientology Capsize: Commenters of the Week!


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 2,503 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,008 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,528 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,548 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,439 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,746 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,614 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,388 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,718 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,192 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,508 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,074 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,993 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,161 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,742 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,003 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,039 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,754 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,279 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 634 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,809 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,360 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,509 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,829 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,684 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,803 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,159 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,462 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,568 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,966 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,842 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,425 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,920 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,174 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,283 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 3, 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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