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There she blows! More Scientology whales spotted, including some surprises

On Wednesday we celebrated the arrival of the new Impact magazine, the Scientology publication that annually (and sometimes more frequently) names the biggest donors to the International Association of Scientologists (IAS), which is Scientology’s membership organization.

We noted that the number of really big “whales,” the folks giving at least $1 million or more in cumulative donations, was down significantly this time, with only 7 of these big donors pictured in the magazine. (To mark the new year, for example, Impact pictured 22 million-dollar-plus donors.)

Well, the number of folks willing to pose for a photo might be well down, but we received some new material from the back of the magazine which lists all of the folks who qualified for status upgrades this time, and there are more whales listed there.

So we thought we’d put them all down here, as well as a few from the smaller ranks which we thought were notable.


Here are your Fall 2022 whales, as listed in Impact issue 172…

Diamond Maximus ($40 million)

Tom & Victoria Cummins

Diamond Laureate With Honors ($17.5 million)

The Hechtman Family

Diamond Meritorious ($5 million)

Chie Mihara & Francisco Sanchis
The Scharf Family
Buzz & Claire Taylor

Platinum Meritorious ($2.5 million)

Ed Marsh
The Melrose Family
Tim Stoner & Family
Brook & Nadia Zimmatore


Gold Meritorious With Honors ($1.75 million)

Bob Graves & Judy Norton (Yes, that Judy Norton)
The Kinney Family
The Klevit Family
Chieko Mabe
Ruaraidh MacLeod & Stuart Guy
The Roeder Family
Dr. Vineet Sidhu D.P.C.
The Speiser Family

Gold Meritorious ($1 million)

Andrea Abbate & the Wakley Family (Charlie, where did you go?)
The Barnes & Childers Family
Eric Brackett & Patricia Schlageck
Tony Falcaro, Pat Mooney & Family

Sheri & Robert Hamilton and Family
Florian & Abigail Laplantif
Eduardo & Celina Lima and Family
Art & Sue Moore and the Kaye Champagne Group
Mor Investments
Alissa & Ben Patrick
Jeff & Kelley Pomerantz
Kathrin & Stephan Streicher
David & Jodi Weissberg and Family

Silver Meritorious With Honors ($750,000)

Andre Adair
The Alserda Family
The Balin Family
The Capazorio Family (Yes, that would be Tom Cruise’s sister Cass.)

John De Silva
The Eckelberry Family
Stephen & Megan Epstein
The Dylan Gaines Family
Lisa Germano & Ira Finkelstein
Silvia Granado and Alessandra & Paolo Corbi
Bolke Koster & Family
The Malamas Family
Rick & Cynthia Manning and Family
The Morrill Family
Kevin & Maggie Nordenstrom
Jerry & Jinny Schmitz
Anne Zundel

Silver Meritorious ($500,000)


Kareem O. Abouzeid
Cassandra Auerbach
Pierre Auffret
Brigitte Emmenecker & Gerard Bernet
Lucile Bosche & Oscar Wegner
Debora Brown
Michael & Coleen Carberry and Family
Austin & Andria Carroll
The Chauchet Family
Dierdre Donnelly & Alex Strijewski
The Gillotte & Henry Families
Cornelia & Martina Hagl
The Lidia Li Ju Hsu Family
The Jaffri Family

Jon & Katie Jones
The Kath & Soler Family
The Me Ying Lien Family
Richard Lombardi
The Evan & Lisa Malm Family
Daniel Margolin
Jean-Claude & Aline Michel and Family
Nick & Lindsey Munson
Diane Paglia-Baggs
Adam & Danielle Pino
The Pohlmann Family
The Prost Family
Jan, Jeanett Skou & Family
Paul, Diane & Rachel Stein
Rob & Michele Tardi
The Tjarks & Talkenberger Family
Gwen & Rene Van Der Bijl
Earl Wertheim

The list of smaller whales — Patron Meritorious ($250,000), Patron With Honors ($100,000), and Patron ($50,000) — is lengthy, as usual. We decided to pick out just a few names…

Patron With Honors ($100,000)

Bruce & Leisa Goodman
Ava Paquette

Patron ($50,000)

Cass Warner

Leisa Goodman? Ava Paquette? Cass Warner? Wow, those are some names out of the past and we were surprised to see them hiding in the long lists of small-time donors in the back of an issue of Impact magazine.

At one time, Leisa Goodman was a familiar figure in Scientology, acting as a spokeswoman for the church in the 1990s, and someone who got quoted in a lot of news stories. We’ll never forget her appearance on an MTV special about Scientology in 1995, when she uttered the famous line to Kurt Loder that Scientology was “not a turn-the-other-cheek religion.”

It’s been years since we’ve heard anything about her, but apparently she just forked out enough to reach the Patron With Honors level nearly 30 years since she was a prominent face for the church. Hip, hip, hooray?

Ava Paquette is a name that probably still sends shivers down the spines of Scientology’s early online critics. In the mid-1990s, when Scientology still thought it might be able to control information about itself on the early Internet, it employed Ava — an attorney and a Scientologist — to send out threat letters to people who dared to post excerpts from Scientology’s own published materials online. Her letters became so prevalent, they were referred to as “Avagrams.”


Another relic of the 90s, Ava is still apparently forking over money to the church.

Cass Warner is a hardcore Scientologist as well as a member of the Hollywood clan that founded Warner Studios. She’s pretty well known for her rabid support of the church — she even put out an unhinged letter to ABC in 2017 for Scientology’s attack-dog “STAND League” — but we can’t help being a bit surprised that a wealthy filmmaker from a wealthy filmmaker family has only managed to fork out a measly $50,000 in donations to the IAS after decades in the church. What gives, Cass?


Technology Cocktail

“Many auditors who go through schools come out with something less than certainty on the subject of Dianetics and Scientology. They are pounded with whole track and other uncertainties, have no subjective or objective reality of these things and may have sat for weeks clinging hard to the fact that God was good and that all was illusion, and yet might have assembled enough glib information to pass an examination. Such people are liabilities. You can’t avoid them and I can’t avoid them, but we can do all we can to prevent this happening.” — 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

“I remember trying to pick a little girl up out of a bombed carriage one time, about 1685, and I had quite a lose because I didn’t succeed in making her get on her feet, she was half blown to bits. And mechanisms didn’t work, and so forth, and tried to pick her up and dust her off, you know, as a thetan. And it didn’t work and it gave me a big lose and I got all confused and upset about the thing and then that was an overt not to have done it, you get the idea? But I was guilty of an overt in the first place, I eventually realized and found out, in that I was riding as the, as a bodyguard on this particular carriage, see, and I didn’t do it, you know. Something bad went wrong, see, something bad happened. Well, that’s guilty of an overt act right then. Don’t expect to control a situation that you’ve caused to that degree. Got the idea?” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 25, 1959


Avast, Ye Mateys

“CLASS X: We have now graduated two Class X Internes. This is a good win and breaks the log jam. It takes quite a while to make a Class X in view of the intervening courses such as SHSBC, Class VIII, Class IX, to which are currently added a long Interneship of Class VII. There has been a very slow making of auditors in the field. The New York Org has just telexed that it has made its first Class IV in a year and a half…We are putting a new regulation into HCOs that 50 percent of all its recruits must go to Tech. In other words, for every two recruits, one of them must be put into full time training. Recent HCOs have had a tendency to neglect the establishment of Tech and Qual Divisions with qualified personnel.” — The Commodore, November 25, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“I don’t think it is fair to blame Ron for what the Church of Scientology turned into or for any of its actions either. The only people who are doing that are people who either do not really understand Scientology, have a strong misanthropic streak, are covering up their own overts, or possibly some simply have a compulsion to be in the limelight no matter what cost to anyone. I never expected Ron to be perfect in the first place. He never said he was, and in fact he said that he wasn’t. His many accomplishments, however, pass for perfection for many people, including me. His life work is unprecedented in all of history to my recollection. So no, blaming Ron for anything that occurred back then has nothing to do with anything I said or think.”


Past is Prologue

1998: News from the continuing controversy over Scientology in Germany. Main-Echo reports that Scientology is fighting back against the government decision to continue surveillance of Scientology. “The President of the controversial Scientology organization, Heber Jentzsch has called upon the German Interior Ministers Conference to not let itself be led by the ‘hate-filled speech’ of their Bavarian representative, Gunter Beckstein (CSU). In a statement released in Los Angeles, California, Jentzsch called Beckstein a ‘blind fanatic’ and a ‘political desperado’ by whom the ‘mentally healthy’ members of the Ministries should not be influenced. The Interior Ministers deliberated on Thursday and Friday in Bonn on an agenda which included a continuation of the surveillance of Scientology by the German intelligence agency of Constitutional Protection. An agreement on an extension was seen as likely. Beckstein relentlessly appealed to the Conference, bringing up, among other things, the accusatory testimony of prominent former Scientologist, Jesse Prince. According to Jentzsch, Prince is not credible. He is said to have a long history of ‘legal offenses’ ranging from drug dealing to theft. Besides that, Jentzsch described German intelligence information about the operations of a Scientology secret service in Germany as ‘completely false.'”


Random Howdy

“I’ve always wanted to move to Australia. I could hang out at the pub all day with Nick Cave and the Cosmic Psychos, get a dingo, collect funnel web spiders and tiger snakes and swim with white pointers and salties. Send me a ticket and a few thousand dollars to tie up lose ends and I’ll be right over.”


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] As Thanksgiving begins to get back to normal, it’s time to pass the Source again!
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini calls Beck’s sudden Scientology defection a ‘pussy move’
[FOUR years ago] Kirstie Alley calls on her fellow Scientologists to pounce on another disaster
[FIVE years ago] After a landmark court case, Scientology watchers should be celebrating, not sniping
[SIX years ago] That time when Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard didn’t invent surfing in California
[SEVEN years ago] Lisa McPherson and the doctors: Hamstrung by the ‘spiritual’ needs of a thetan
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Armageddon: Now Sears — yes, Sears — is piling on the embattled church
[TEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Braces for the Holidays!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology vs. Pollution, a Lisbon Cocktail Party, and More: Sailing on the Apollo Nov. 20-26


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 2,859 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,364 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,914 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,904 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,795 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,100 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,970 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,075 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,548 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,864 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,430 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,349 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,517 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,097 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,359 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,395 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,110 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,675 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 990 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,165 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,716 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,847 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,185 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,040 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,159 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,515 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,818 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,924 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,322 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,198 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,781 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,276 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,530 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,639 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 25, 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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