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Is Scientology clown prince Grant Cardone slagging on super-richie Bob Duggan now?

[Happier days: Cardone, Elena, Duggan]

A reader brought to our attention that Grant Cardone, at his Instagram account, has posted a video of himself talking about how he turned down a $20 million investment from someone named “Bob” who had spent a lot of time with him about three years ago.

This is interesting to us because one of the things we do here at the Underground Bunker is keep an eye on Scientology’s “whales,” its wealthy donors, who are so important to the organization’s survival as its general membership continues to shrink.

And among the whales, few have been as interesting or key to leader David Miscavige’s fortunes as Grant Cardone and Bob Duggan.

We’ve been writing about Cardone for more than a decade, when we first detailed how he’d operated as an enforcer for David Miscavige, helping to bully drama teacher Milton Katselas in his final years because Miscavige had become unhappy with Katselas’ diminishing involvement in the church.

Cardone has made a fortune as a motivational speaker and social media oversharer, and we’ve wondered in the past why Miscavige doesn’t try to take more advantage of Cardone’s huge online following to prop up Scientology’s anemic recruiting.


Pharmaceuticals investor Bob Duggan, on the other hand, was with his wife Trish the richest couple in Scientology, and they had given hundreds of millions of dollars to Scientology before they split in 2017. Bob and Trish have given so much more than anyone else to Dave’s slush funds, he had to keep coming up with new names for trophies to give them.

In 2015, we noticed that Cardone had begun spending a lot of time with both Bob and Trish, and squiring Trish around a bit after the split. We posted numerous images of Bob and Grant hanging out, like the super-rich Duggan was bringing along Cardone as his eager younger protege.

Since the Duggans split, however, we’ve wondered if they would both continue their Scientology involvement, or if one of them might slip away. It was clear, for example, that Trish was still gung-ho for Scientology as she continued to show up for more trophies, and she was again celebrated, on her own, as Scientology’s top donor last year.

We began to wonder if Bob had begun to fade away from Scientology for a couple of reasons. We noticed, for example, that Bob and Trish had leveraged a ton of Abbvie stock they’d received when their pharmaceuticals firm, Pharmacyclics, had been bought by the pharma giant, in order to set up a foundation that would make millions in donations to Scientology in perpetuity. Then, a year later, they ditched the scheme and just handed the whole pile over to Dave. Was this, we wondered, Bob’s going away gift? Also, we noted that Bob was already involved with another woman, someone who had worked for him at Pharmacyclics, and they already had a young son. As far as we could tell, Bob’s new partner came from a science background and had no involvement with Scientology.

But then, in 2019, Bob surprised us by giving Tampa Bay Times reporter Tracey McManus an interview, and he insisted that he was still fully involved in Scientology and still donating. Our hunch that Bob was slipping away appeared to be wrong.

Is it time to reconsider that?

Here’s what we know. At one of his conferences, Cardone told a brief anecdote about how, about three years ago, he was spending a lot of time with a guy named “Bob,” who told him that he admired Cardone’s free-wheeling way of doing business. So Bob handed Grant a single check for $20 million and asked him to invest it. Cardone says that he’d never seen a single check for such a huge amount, and he was clearly impressed. But then, five days later Bob sent around an employee to do some due diligence on Grant’s company (and who can blame him, right?), and this offended Grant so much, he sent the check back. This is intended, apparently, to impress his followers with his integrity, but our reader pointed out that it also leads to some other questions.

First, they pointed out, how many people named Bob could have been spending a lot of time with Grant Cardone about three years ago, and would have the kind of money that he could write a single check for $20 million, other than billionaire Bob Duggan?

And secondly, our reader says, something that a dedicated Scientologist like Grant Cardone would never do is smack down a fellow Scientologist in public like this. This would only make sense, they say, if Duggan had, now, moved away from the church.

We sent a message to Duggan through his company to see if he might have a comment about Cardone’s anecdote. We’ll let you know if we hear anything back. But what do you think? Could Grant Cardone be talking about anyone else here besides Bob Duggan? And would he talk smack about someone like Duggan if he was still a member in good standing? Let us know what you think.

Here’s a transcript of Cardone’s Instagram video.


One guy that gave me $20 million about three years ago — the guy’s name’s Bob — and Bob’s like, ‘Hey I want to put $20 million in your deals.’ $20 million. One check. I’d never seen that before. I took the money. I said, Why are you doing this? I trust you. Your name means guarantee. Grant, the word Grant means he always does what he says he’s going to do, a guarantee.


He’d spent three months with me, he’s like, the way you operate is just so free. And he gave me the money and then about five days later one of his employees came to my office to check on our operations.

I said, Oh, OK, how long you going to be here? Five hours. I said good, when you leave, when you’re done, come see me. I got something for you. So he goes and does five hours of scrutiny, due diligence, checking into everything, finishes. I said hey, you done, you done? You want a cup of coffee or something?

He’s like, no, no I’m good, I’m getting ready to get on an airplane. I said good, man, I got something for you, and I passed him an envelope. And he’s like what’s this?

I said give it to Bob. He’s like, what’s in it? You can look at it.

And it was the check for $20 million. I thought Bob trusted me, I don’t know what you’re doing here. I don’t want money like this.


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Source Code

“This FBI man wanted his fortune told. So I waxed up my mustaches and readjusted the bath towel, said, ‘I see you working on a case.’ A very intelligent remark to an FBI man. Said, a case which is very, very confidential. Case number 132678.’ I said, ‘The man you want isn’t there.’ I said, ‘That’s all. Next.’ This guy goes off, and he starts figuring this out. And you could see this, you know; trying to clear this up. How did I know the number of a confidential case? Because it was the right number. Naturally it was the right number; he had the case card right in front of his face in a facsimile, and all you did was read the numbers in the upper left-hand corner.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 9, 1957



Avast, Ye Mateys

“Orgs should be warned. The Le Moate affair was rough on Paris and DK only because they weren”t fully warned she was a psychotic. Although why they reached for it is a bit of a mystery. There’s an old principle involved — experiential track. I have nothing against these people. Orgs are in the pc business, not Flag. We are in the management and OT business. Handling purely pcs here in these high velocity areas of top command introduces the flow at the wrong point. The purely pc flow enters at lower org levels. It is our job to put orgs there that can handle such cases. Sooner or later orgs will have to acquire and start running an institutional annex. It is too hard on them handling psychotics without these facilities. A psychotic is in a Condition of Treason on the first dynamic and extends it to the third and fourth with covert destruction. This isn’t because anyone else declared the condition. It just happens to be a fact. Being in treason on the first dynamic doesn’t always mean covert destruction on the other dynamics. Unhappy people, unhappy subject.” — The Commodore, January 9, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Hubbard mentioned Pain-Drug-Hypnosis, the Pilot mentioned Sex-Drug-Hypnosis, could we now be in the era of the now-we-live-inside-an-antenna-farm-based EDH where the EMF fields are being broadcast for the specific purpose of keying in specific phenomena in the body and/or the thetan’s vias? I believe I once read a quote of Captain Bill Robertson mentioning this phenomenon somewhere in the Ron’s Org material but I haven’t been able to find the reference. Its well known that a real, verified security clearance is required of any and all employees allowed to enter those fenced ground facilities at the base of the cell towers.”


Past is Prologue

2001: New Times Los Angeles published letters to the editor this week in response to its cover story on Raul Lopez. “Scientology’s treatment of Raul Lopez is outrageous: New Times is to be commended for its courage in publishing Ron Russell’s article about how a disabled adult was taken advantage of by a litigious cult masquerading as a church. The analogy likening this young man to a girl being passed around at a Hell’s Angels party is very accurate. Scientology has gotten away with this type of behavior for too long. They have influenced public officials who are too lazy to research the cult’s long history of abuses. They have avoided responsibility for their actions by screaming ‘religious intolerance’ and calling anyone who protests them bigots. I would like to know what kind of religion includes taking advantage of the disabled as a religious tenet and right! I note that the Scientology lawyers are already trying to put the blame elsewhere, this time upon Lopez’s mother! And, of course, they imply that they are the victims of a pair of lawyers representing Lopez by denigrating them as self-proclaimed ‘cult busters.’ – Barb Graham, San Diego”


Random Howdy


“I’ve never ever really been worried about a Scientology Jonestown. There’s no apocalyptic scripture and it’s too much about the money, and the participants are way too yuppie white bread for something like that.”


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 January 18.
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.
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.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



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’s tough marketing sell, from the man who sold Dianetics to the masses
[TWO years ago] MASTERSON: Scientology wants Bobette Riales dismissed, others forced into arbitration
[THREE years ago] Scientology slimes ‘Aftermath’ guest with its favorite tactic: The P.O.W. video
[FOUR years ago] ‘It was my job to get Mike Rinder’s trash’ — A former Scientology spy begins to spill her guts
[FIVE years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s writing about women that Scientology DOES want you to see!
[SIX years ago] ‘Archetypical newshound’ Paulette Cooper described in ‘thrilling account’ — Kirkus
[SEVEN years ago] Full Forrest Ackerman interview from 1997 ‘Secret Lives’ film released for first time
[EIGHT years ago] Jeff Hawkins: How Scientology’s ‘Third Party Law’ explains anything they want it to
[NINE years ago] Excerpts of Lawrence Wright’s Book on Scientology are Predictably Awesome
[TEN years ago] Scientology: Secrets of the Super Power Building


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 2,540 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,045 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,565 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,585 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,476 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,783 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,651 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,425 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,756 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,229 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,545 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,111 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,030 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,198 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,779 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,040 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,076 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,791 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,316 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 671 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,846 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,397 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,546 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,866 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,721 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,840 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,196 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,499 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,605 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,003 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,879 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,462 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,957 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,211 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,320 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 9, 2022 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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