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INSIDER: How the ‘Chase Wave’ began, and how it crashed, leaving Scientology in chaos

Our insider sent over another communication, this time to help explain the rise and fall of the “Chase Wave” racket in Scientology that we’ve been describing here thanks to a previous source who leaked us a document. In that document, Scientology registrars (“reg” or “regges” for short) were encouraged to lie to Chase Bank in order to open up massive zero-interest accounts for Scientologists and burden them with debt. This led to a backlash and the ending of the practice just a couple of years ago. Here’s the insider with more.

I just wanted to better explain how the Chase Wave started, and how and why it ended.

I don’t remember the exact year, but it was probably 2013 or 2014, when LA Ideal Org was taken over by the Sea Org. Prior to this, it had been Class V staff. The staff were given the option of being released from their contract immediately, or finishing the contract but not being allowed to re-sign at LA org. Most chose to leave. Shortly after being taken over by the SO, LA became the top producing Ideal Org on the planet.


In 2014, they were regularly making $500,000 a week. I saw the statistics at the time, in the building. They were really doing that. LA was quickly put on a pedestal. A “training program” was put together to teach Class V staff of other Ideal Orgs how to be like LA. What the program consisted of was a few LRH references, and then an apprenticeship with an LA org reg. Once they’re on the apprenticeship, that’s when they’re introduced to the Chase Wave stuff. Because this was an international training program, this practice became a worldwide phenomenon.

I want to describe some of what went on in a bit more detail:

The run of the mill practice was to get someone to apply for a bunch of credit cards, using their “household” income. So, if the young Scientologist lives with their parents, then the parents income goes on the form. Most of the cards applied for were “zero interest for X months.” This was all done with this idea that you can just transfer it to other zero percent interest cards after it expires.

Some public Scientologists even set up “businesses” to help people get credit and loans for Scientology services and Ideal Org donations, and somehow making a cut. Of course, that plan doesn’t work. The zero percent runs out, and you’re stuck paying thousands, just in interest. Many Scientologists have declared bankruptcy over it.

But even this wasn’t enough for the regges. The pressure was too much. As they began to actually make money, the demand for them to keep doing it increased. In order to get the money in more quickly, they started doing what they called “bridging” the loan.

So, Joe Blow Scientologist Public at Flag wants to do Super Power. He doesn’t have the credit to do it, but the reg is fairly confident he can get him the credit. The reg wants that money in TODAY. But credit cards take time to come in the mail, and all that sort of thing. So what they did is go to a few public (and honestly I don’t know how they convinced people to do this) but they would get someone to give them $35,000 to hold onto for these cycles. Instead of waiting for Joe Blow’s credit card to come in, they debit it off in his name from that account, and then pay it back when the card comes in. Joe never even knows who the money came from.

It started to break down because they started “bridging” before they had the funds secured. Joe Blow submits for approval for a card. Instead of waiting for confirmation, they bridge it (with someone else’s money). The card gets denied a few days later, and now Joe can’t pay it back. So, what happens then?

Well, you can’t give them a refund. But they want their money. So the options were 1) a personal loan from the public who made the agreement. 2) putting the money “back on account.”

1 failed almost invariably – for obvious reasons.

2 worked, but created enough upset to bring it to the attention of higher ups.

There was also other stuff going on, like the regges would run peoples’ cards without their permission, and then if the person complained, act like they thought it was authorized. If the person continued to complain its “you’re not asking for a refund are you?” And it would shut them up. Had this happen to me.

This is how every reg cycle since about 2014 to the end of 2019 was done. It was so successful at bringing in money, that any other forms of regging became immediately obsolete.

Another thing to understand is that once they ran out of public, they started regging the staff. Class V and Sea Org members racked up tens of thousands, paying for their own Bridge – something that should have been free to them.

SO members from all over the PAC base were paying to do their Purif at LA org. Of course, all of this is being reported up-lines as “incredible expansion,” and “new highest evers.”


I don’t know exactly how, but somehow COB [Scientology leader David Miscavige] caught on to this.

Just prior to the pandemic, he put on a big briefing for the staff at PAC. He removed every single reg on the planet from their post. I’m dead serious. It was the biggest reorganization I’ve seen in Scientology. They basically had to re-staff the reg network from existing Sea Org members. As well as figure out what to do with the former ones.

I don’t have all the details on how this was addressed, but I know that many were comm eved [court-martialed] and declared [excommunicated]. Some were threatened with legal action or being reported to the police (kicked to the curb), others were sent to whatever they’ve substituted for the RPF. But I haven’t heard from some regges that I’ve known for 20 years. They’re just gone.

Many public who had paid money to “bridge” were given their money back, and many staff who had paid for services had their credit debt taken over by the SO. No, seriously.

Don’t mistake this as me advocating for COB. I find it completely disturbing actually. The pressure brought upon these regges. What other option did they have? Who’s going to be the person to stand up to it and say “this is wrong and we should stop doing it”. No one. Had anyone done that, they would have been attacked, called counter intention, suppressive, and so on.

But then Miscavige gets up there and cancels it. Well, what now? There’s no money left. Well, ironically, from their perspective, thank god for COVID 19…

Here’s why I think that:

Covid took attention away from the MASSIVE financial scandal. It also allowed the Church to get, who knows how much, in PPP and SBA loans – which is the only way I can imagine any of the orgs are surviving. But it’s just delaying the inevitable. The demon will get his pound of flesh, in my opinion, because of the bank fraud.

It’s a Federal crime and It’s actually also a crime per Scientology justice codes “obtaining money under false pretenses” I am nearly certain that every Ideal Org in the USA from the last eight years has at least one instance of a public committing bank fraud in order to make donations. Most commonly, this was done by having the person get a business loan, ostensibly to fund their business, and then they turn around and give most or all of it to the Church.

You have to understand that it’s a matter of “the ends justify the means” as far as Scientologists were concerned. Regges would brag about their skill at pulling one over on the credit card companies. There was this entire atmosphere of “we have the inside line.”

When in reality, it was just tired overworked people, doing what they’re being told to do. What option do they really have when it’s the difference between sleeping or not sleeping. How many people can really say they would have had the integrity to be the ONE willing to stand up to the MANY. Especially when the many feels they are literally saving the world, and your objection to their crimes, means objecting to “freedom of all mankind.” It’s a snake that eats its own tail.

When I said that it was put an end to prior to the pandemic, this is what I mean. Do I think that there are still people getting credit cards and perhaps even bank loans to give it all away to Scientology? Absolutely! But if so, it’s done quietly and off the main lines of the org.

Just imagine the chaos ensuing right now. All these public and staff racked up thousands in credit, and then COVID hit. How were they paying for it? They weren’t. Consider for a moment how many active Scientologists are up to their eyeballs in debt. It’s most of them. How else was anyone going to pay for Bridge? Scientology public have very little money. There the wealthy few. But by and large, the well has dried up. The orchard is bare. That’s why again, I agree that Scientology is on a precipice.

I really hope that someone else who’s still in speaks out now. Don’t wait. We have a chance. It may be a slim one, but if no one speaks out for two years, it will have slipped away.


As Scientology loves to say The time is NOW!

— An Insider

Proprietor’s note: We’ll point out that “bridging loans” are actually a longtime practice in Scientology. Chris Shugart, for example, described it quite well in his 2018 book “Fractured Journey” about his experiences in the 1980s, when he was pressured to make several bridging loans to other Scientologists trying to pay for their courses.

We also asked our insider for their thoughts on the devastating leak from the NY Ideal Org, showing alarmingly low statistics and high debts for overhead which Mike Rinder posted at his blog yesterday. Here’s what our insider said:

I’m not shocked about the stats. I am encouraged that someone in the org is willing to leak them.

Covid has decimated the staffs. People have left in droves. Some haven’t officially routed off, but are not on post because of the adverse reactions to Decon 7. This is very common.

The staff are mostly not in agreement with the protocols. Many, I suspect, are reaching their breaking point as Rinder’s source must have.

They begrudgingly comply. The program said it would be a “brief period.” Yet it’s lasted almost two years. It’s true that Purif may not be delivered by class V. But it’s also SRD. Yet all the Sea Org orgs still deliver both services. Just another way they’re robbing the Staffs of their publics and decent pay.

There is no official reason given that I know of for WHY they can’t deliver these services.

— An Insider



The celebs come through for R6 Christmas

Scientology’s celebrities came through as Scientology once again co-opted a holiday, Christmas, that its founder said was just an implant forced on human beings by Xenu the evil galactic overlord.

Happy to help out with that deception this time was Jenna Elfman, Erika Christensen, and Michelle Stafford, pictured here in a Scientology press release. Also on hand was Nancy Cartwright as the annual celebration telling “Christmas stories” and giving the LAPD a big check was held in Hollywood.


Deceiving the public about what your “church” is all about: It’s the reason for the season!


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Source Code


“Hitler didn’t have any trouble with a large section of his population. He just put them all in concentration camps and that was it. And it’s that kind of a game if you want to look at it. It’s not the game of government and who will we elect and democracy über alles, or something, it’s not all that kind of a government. It’s just the kind of a government, well, there they are nicely out of the running, everybody is out of the running, isn’t that nice. And things are just barely ticking over, and we’re not going to be troubled by those fellows from the 18th Panzer Division that put up such a hell of a fight on Exnoo. We’re not going to be troubled with them anymore because we got them implanted very nicely, and they’ve all been sent down to Earth, and the mores of the society there will take care of everything And they will never be in circulation again as space jockeys. It’s that kind of thinking, you see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 20, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Kindliness note: FEBC students and public students are no longer thrown overboard at Flag. It went out in ’68. We haven’t thrown anyone overboard for just ages. There hasn’t even been a low condition assigned on Flag for a couple of years. However, with new recruits aboard and the decks getting dirty…” — The Commodore, December 20, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“For those who wonder if I’m a Scientologist, all I can say is: If LRH is the individual I think that person is, I’m pretty sure I’d take a bullet thru the head for that individual. If I felt quite sure it was the best possible way to keep the only Scientology I believe in going.”


Past is Prologue

2001: The St. Petersburg Times reported that Scientology has purchased an empty apartment building in Clearwater. “The Church of Scientology has purchased a vacant 13-story high-rise downtown that will house more than 600 new staff members in another step in Scientology’s unprecedented expansion in the city. The church last week closed the deal to buy the nearly 2-acre property for $5-million from a nonprofit corporation, BEF Inc., which does business as the Oaks of Clearwater. Scientology leaders have had their eye on the property, known as Oak Cove, for years. It is within two blocks of the massive Flag Building under construction downtown and across Osceola Avenue from the western facade of the church’s Fort Harrison Hotel complex. In the past, city officials expressed concern about the church’s possible acquisition of Oak Cove, considering it a prime piece of property for downtown redevelopment. The high-rise sits on Clearwater’s bluff overlooking Clearwater Harbor. On Wednesday, City Manager Bill Horne said simply, ‘Any kind of residential living in the area has to be construed as a plus for downtown.'”



Random Howdy

“12:35! Oh shit, there goes another day shot to hell.”


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 January 22 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] Scientology social media: Planetary conquest still on track even as orgs are boarded up
[TWO years ago] Phil and Willie check up on a Scientology eyesore, and a prisoner of The Hole resurfaces
[THREE years ago] Bill Franks, 1946-2018, appointed by Hubbard to ‘reform’ Scientology after Snow White scandal
[FOUR years ago] AUDIO: David Miscavige’s claim that Mexico has officially recognized Scientology as a religion
[FIVE years ago] The fight over the secrets on a Scientology spy’s seized laptop that no one is talking about
[SIX years ago] Augustine: Compton scam rehab and ‘literacy crusade’ have vanished since raid
[SEVEN years ago] Jon Atack looks back at his final Scientology auditing session — and how he broke free
[EIGHT years ago] Tom Cruise drops his disastrous suit against Bauer Media and its magazines
[NINE years ago] Scientology in 2012: John Sweeney, Paulette Cooper, and More Look Back on a Year of Crisis for the Church
[TEN years ago] Scientology Kids: Fully Indoctrinated by 18


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 2,520 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,025 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,545 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,565 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,456 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,763 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,631 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,405 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,736 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,209 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,525 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,091 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,010 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,178 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,759 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,020 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,056 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,771 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,296 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 651 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,826 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,377 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,526 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,846 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,701 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,820 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,176 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,479 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,585 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,983 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,859 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,442 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,937 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,191 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,300 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 20, 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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