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Scientology’s richest in 2022: Where have all the whales gone?

Our many thanks to the reader who forwarded us Scientology’s newest Impact magazine, our favorite of all the publications that Scientology denudes entire forests to put out.

Why is Impact our favorite? Because it provides us with annual (and sometimes even more frequent) celebrations of Scientology’s biggest donors!

We’ve been keeping an eye on the announcements in Impact for many years, and that’s how we can tell you with some reliability that this year’s pod of big cetaceans is a rather sparse group.

In recent years, we’ve seen the number of million-dollar-plus donors to the International Association of Scientologists — Scientology’s membership organization, the IAS — growing and growing. But this year? Well, it’s a noticeably smaller group, and especially at the upper end. Could that portend something? We’re not sure. But let’s take a look at the numbers.


First, it’s really important to keep in mind that these are cumulative amounts. Someone credited for giving $1 million, for example, may have given only a few thousand in recent months that enabled them to get past that plateau. (For an explanation of how we know what amounts the statuses represent or the estimates we’ve made for some of them, see our methodology here.)

Now, normally the IAS has its big gala every October in England, where richies take home new trophies for their donations. Those trophies can also be handed out at other times of the year, but then the pandemic changed everything, with all international events halted as of March 2020.

We learned that church leader David Miscavige had made Clearwater, Florida his home, and at this year’s New Year’s Eve party at the Fort Harrison Hotel he took the opportunity to hand out some IAS trophies at that event.

Now, a new issue of Impact has come out, celebrating another October anniversary, but as far as we know the annual event in England was still not held this year (or anywhere else). Instead, this issue’s whales are shown at home in fancy clothes, and not at a party with their trophies. How un-festive.

Anyway, the upshot is that for New Year’s Eve, there were 22 donors that were celebrated for giving $1 million (Gold Meritorious) or more. This time? Only 7. Should Dave be worried? We don’t know. But here are your Fall 2022 whales of Scientology!


Pierre Auffret; Pont-Aven, France; Silver Meritorious ($500,000)


Debora Brown; Minnesota; Silver Meritorious ($500,000)



Silvia Granado & Alessandra Corbi; Lausanne, Switzerland; Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)


Stephen & Megan Epstein; Tennessee; Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)


Anne Zundel; France; Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)



Eric Brackett & Patricia Schlageck; California; Gold Meritorious ($1 million)


Kathrin Runge & Stephan Streicher; Basel, Switzerland; Gold Meritorious ($1 million)


Jodi & David Weissberg; California; Gold Meritorious ($1 million)


Bob & Jeni Walker; Minnesota; Gold Meritorious With Honors ($1.75 million)



Kelly & Jim Speiser and Family; Indiana; Gold Meritorious With Honors ($1.75 million)


Wendi-Lynn & Steve Hechtman; California; Diamond Laureate With Honors ($17.5 million)


Tom & Victoria Cummins; Florida; Diamond Maximus ($40 million)


Tuesday’s report: A change in location


We provided a quick update for our subscribers yesterday afternoon. This morning we’re releasing it to everyone. And here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.



Technology Cocktail

“One finds that there is a sub-brain in various parts of the body. When one is dealing with a Case IV or V, he is dealing with the reactive mind and he has to take apart the reactive mind to some degree in order to produce freedom for the analytical mind. The epicenters would be such parts of the body as the ‘funny bones’ or any ‘judo sensitive’ spots: the sides of the neck, the inside of the wrist, the places the doctors tap to find out if there is a reflex. These things are sub-brains picked up on the evolutionary line probably—we’re not even interested in where they come from, we’re not even interested in the pictures they hold; we are interested in the fact that they have a monitoring effect on the body and the individual.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1953



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 as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.



THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

— The Underground Bunker Podcast

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— SPECIAL: Your Proprietor’s updates on the Danny Masterson trial

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10 [5] Oct 11: Day One [6] Oct 12: Day Two [7] Oct 13: Day Three [8] Oct 17: Day Four [9] Oct 18: Day Five [10] Oct 19: Day Six [11] Special interview with Chris Shelton, Oct 19 [12] Oct 20: Day Seven [13] Oct 21: Day Eight [14] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [15] Oct 24: Day Nine [16] Oct 25: Day Ten [17] Oct 27: Day Eleven [18] Oct 28: Day Twelve [19] Second week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [20] Halloween special [21] Nov 2: Day Thirteen [22] Nov 3: Day Fourteen [23] Nov 4: Day Fifteen [24] Third week in review [25] Nov 5, Saturday special [26] Nov 6, Sunday special [27] Nov 7, Day Sixteen [28] Lisa Marie Presley breaking news [29] Nov 8, Day Seventeen [30] Nov 9, Day Eighteen [31] Nov 10, Day Nineteen


Source Code

“You will normally find that semen and money cause the biggest commotion on a meter dial.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 23, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys


“EPIZOOTICS: A 48 to 64 hour illness is around. The number is decreasing. The last port of students brought it. High temperature, chills, aches in lower back and legs, strong headache, diarrhea are the symptoms. It hasn’t been named as to what it is. Probably some type of Flu that got loose from a Roche bacteriological warfare project to raise their dividends on anti-biotics sales. We get a lower percentage than other groups. But that it hits at all shows the need of stepped up auditing action. We have far too few auditors in Qual. Group numbers doubled but Qual auditors didn’t. Student and public lines increased in delivery hour potential didn’t. I have now speeded up tech results which should help.” — The Commodore, November 23, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Re the idea of as-ising the universe from a book, I remember once when I was a fairly green newbie in Scientology, my friend showed me the difference between the perceived cycle of action and the actual cycle of action (FOT) and when I really duplicated the actual cycle of action, I realized I was continually creating my body (create-create-create) and that if I ceased to create it, it would disappear, and that’s when it became transparent and I could see the floor through it and that’s when I slammed back in so hard to protect it I had a headache for days! So I grok your ‘as-isness’. ”


Past is Prologue

1996: Martin Poulter posted an update on Jon Atack, the author of Scientology expose A Piece of Blue Sky. “He has been extensively sued and ‘Fair Gamed’ and has been driven bankrupt by the costs of his legal cases. Jon himself is unwilling to talk about the cases – he’s taking a well-earned rest from cult related work to write a novel – but I did manage to find out that the cult’s two actions against him are still in pre-discovery stages. The cult’s lawyers were trying to find evidence of assets that they could claim, and subjected him to four days of examination in court. They found no evidence of assets, so the cult has gained nothing. Jon should be out of bankruptcy in May of next year.”


Random Howdy

“All along the Bridge, in the lectures mainly, LRH drops all sorts of clues, inferences, asides that the whole thing was a game and that there was an inside joke. Unfortunately a certain percentage of the faithful failed to pick up on this.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial began October 11 in Los Angeles.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Arraigned on August 29.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 28.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filed amended complaint on August 2. Hearing scheduled November 17 to argue the arbitration motions.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place at least through December 13.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Case settled ahead of scheduled Dec 6 trial.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior 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.



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] Court finds schizophrenic teen not responsible for killing at Aussie Scientology HQ
[TWO years ago] More former Church of Scientology members describe life after Miscavige
[THREE years ago] In Touch sold out to Enquirer’s parent, so now it starts up with the Tom-foolery
[FOUR years ago] Here is what’s in the documents that are prompting a new look at Casey Kasem’s death
[FIVE years ago] We’ve cooked up for you a special Scientology Thanksgiving — so pass the Source!
[SIX years ago] Before Leah Remini burns it to the ground, here’s Scientology’s side of the story
[SEVEN years ago] Another Scientology rehab death — and why this one is particularly bad for David Miscavige
[EIGHT years ago] VIDEO: Watch a Scientology spy get busted by Marc Headley in Las Vegas last night
[NINE years ago] Jon Atack: Why do Scientologists Find it So Difficult to Apologize?
[TEN years ago] Scientology Interviews John Travolta: Oddly, Massage Therapy Not Discussed
[ELEVEN years ago] Chill EB and Me: Rappin’ About Scientology


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 2,857 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,362 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,912 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,902 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,793 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,098 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,968 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,073 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,546 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,862 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,428 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,347 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,515 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,095 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,357 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,393 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,108 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,673 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 988 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,163 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,714 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,845 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,183 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,038 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,157 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,513 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,816 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,922 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,320 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,196 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,779 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,274 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,528 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,637 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 23, 2022 at 09:00

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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), 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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