DOX: Scientology’s pricey Florida ‘spiritual mecca’ keeps up its value in latest tax records

(This piece was published on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker on 12.2.2017. It is republished here for archival purposes)

Jeffrey Augustine is once again keeping us up to date on Scientology’s financial documents. In this case, he has new figures on how much just one of many Scientology’s entities is worth, according to newly available tax documents.

In 2006, a change in the law required all non-profit organizations — even churches — to submit tax returns known as 990-T forms if they generated what is known as “unrelated business income.” A few years ago, I began finding and turning over to the Underground Bunker the 990-Ts for Scientology’s various entities.

Often, that income is fairly modest. But what’s more important for our purposes is that on each 990-T form there’s a box to fill out for “book value.” In other words, these organizations are asked to estimate their value in assets.

That requirement has led to a rare window into Scientology’s riches, and we like to keep up on the latest changes in those values.

In this case, I’ve found new documents related to the Flag Service Organization (FSO), the entity that runs Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida. This is where wealthy Scientologists from around the world come for expensive high-level auditing and other services. And keep in mind, FSO is just one of many entities that make up the Scientology movement, but it’s one of the more important ones.

So let’s see how the value of FSO has changed:

2008: $234.8 million
2009: $246.5 million
2010: $251.9 million
2011: $210.1 million
2012: $290.7 million
2013: $218.2 million
2014: $241.1 million
2015: $257.5 million

And here’s what that change in value looks like…

FSO is not the most valuable entity in the Scientology orbit. When we first began gathering these tax returns, for the year 2011, the Church of Scientology International was worth $790.8 million and the Church of Spiritual Technology listed a value of $434.4 million, for a total of $1.2 billion just for those two entities.

But even if it’s a distant third, the Flag Service Organization is steadily increasing in value.

This is consistent with what the newest defector from Flag told the Bunker recently. Peter Nyiri, who made a dramatic escape to freedom several months ago, said that the Flag Land Base is still bringing in huge income, of $2 million to $4 million a week — by starving the “outer orgs” and pressuring Scientology’s shrinking membership to come to Flag as often as they can for services.

Looking more carefully at recent returns by the FSO with the help of financial expert Dr. Jeff Wasel, we found a few noteworthy items…

In Part V of Flag’s 990-T returns filed in the period 2008-2013, FSO checked “Yes” on question 1 to indicate that it had an “interest in or other authority over a financial account (bank, securities, or other) in a foreign country.” Flag filled in the line to inform the IRS that it has financial interests in the United Kingdom and Australia. What are Flag’s financial interests in the United Kingdom and Australia? More importantly, how are they moving this money, and declaring these movements to the appropriate authorities, given these movements are between foreign entities?

In Part V of Flag’s 2014 and 2015, Flag checked “No,” indicating that it no longer had an “interest in or other authority over a financial account (bank, securities, or other) in a foreign country.” What happened to Flag’s financial interests in the United Kingdom and Australia?

In examining the 2013-2015 990-T’s, my personal view is that Flag’s stated costs for building improvements are either padded or excessive. For example, NOVA HRC is the firm that does the actual renovations on Scientology’s buildings (as well as many other clients). In the NOVA portfolio we have two hard data points:

1. Nova gives a project cost of $18,000,000 to renovate 393 guest rooms at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California. This is $45,801 per guest room.

2. Nova gives a project cost of $27,000,000 to renovate 220 guest rooms Flag’s Fort Harrison hotel. This is $122,727 per guest room. This seems utterly absurd and suggests, in my opinion, that the IRS should open an inquiry into why Scientology spends so lavishly on parishioner guest rooms. Scientology orders its parishioners to stay at Flag hotels and does not have to compete with secular hotels, so why the excessive spending?

In the Flag tax returns we see approximately $80,000 spent on exercise equipment for two properties. Additionally, their 2013 990-T form states that they spent some $14,296,680 on “improving” the Sandcastle Restaurant, used for public dining. For this money, it better be “Nobu” quality in food and atmosphere! The price mark-up on restaurant fixtures, as well as the same convoluted permitting process as that of the construction industry, are rife with the same potential for what seems to be excessive spending. What exactly is going on inside of Scientology and Nova that seems to be driving up renovation costs as compared to lower costs in the secular marketplace?

On a final note, even with the opening of the Super Power building on November 17, 2013 the Flag Land Base does not appear to have “boomed” whatsoever as a result of this edifice. Valued at $80,000,000, the Church of Scientology raised $145,000,000 for the project. Where did all the extra money go?

— Jeffrey Augustine

Flag Service Organization IRS 990-T forms 2008-2015

FSO Book Value 2015 $257,506,278

FSO Book Value 2014 $241,134,104

FSO Book Value 2013 $218,154,319

FSO Book Value 2012 $290,655,686

FSO Book Value 2011 $210,075,914

FSO Book Value 2010 $251,896,300

FSO Book Value 2009 $246,516,017

FSO Book Value 2008 $234,764,273

Prager University Spokesperson & Scientologist Joy Villa Calls the Nation of Islam Ignorant & Ungrateful


Prager University has appointed Scientologist Joy Villa to be its latest spokesperson. Joy Villa also serves as a salesperson for Scientology’s e-meters.

In a Prager University YouTube video, Joy Villa attacks those who take the knee during the US national anthem as ignorant and ungrateful:


Joy Villa speaking in the Prager University video:

In America, where you are free to sit or stand during the national anthem, sitting when you should be standing is more a statement about you than about America.

You come off, frankly, as ignorant and ungrateful: ignorant about a country that works to correct its faults, and ungrateful for the opportunity and freedom that it offers all its citizens.

For that, I’m standing.

I’m Joy Villa for Prager University.

In 2016, Scientologist and Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan stated that the Nation was 100% behind Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee for the national anthem:

For Joy Villa and Prager University to insult Mr. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, or anyone else for that matter, as being “ignorant” and “ungrateful” on their right to take a knee during the national anthem is hateful and bigoted. However, it is hardly surprising as Joy Villa is a hypocrite and an opportunist who has suddenly reinvented herself as a devout Republican. She will say whatever Dennis Prager and her new Republican friends want her to say.

As Vinnie James discovered and announced to his Twitter following, Joy Villa purged her Twitter account of all mentions of Scientology after she realized that the horrednous reputation of Scientology could be a problem amongst her newfound ultraconservative Republican friends.

What is very telling is that Joy Villa has pictures on her Twitter feed from her dominatrix days whereas she has scrubbed every mention of Scientology:


Joy Villa is a Scientologist and she is lying about it. She preaches Jesus on Twitter while she sells Scientology e-meters and promotes Scientology in Scientology’s magazines.

Bottom line: Christianity and Scientology are antithetical. Joy Villa knows this and yet she lies about it. However, as Christianity sells well to Republicans then Joy Villa will be a Christian if that is what her new audience wants to hear. What her new audience also wants to hear is that only ignorant ingrates would refuse to stand during the national anthem.

My position on the national anthem at sporting events is simple: Professional sports is a for-profit commercial enterprise. Why should any business require its customers and employees to stand for the national anthem? Is this even legal? When you buy a car, go shopping, or take a commercial flight on an airplane you are not required to stand for the national anthem. In my view, professional sports should discontinue the use of the national anthem at the beginning of the games. The same applies to NASCAR and all other professional sports.

Professional sports teams and their leagues are money-making businesses that are like any other business: They work to make the maximum amount of money and pay the minimum amount in taxes. This is why food, drink, and parking is so damned overpriced at sporting events. The NFL charges top dollar for its licensed merchandise. So what does the NFL’s profitability have to do with the national anthem? Nothing at all. The national anthem is just NFL marketing and positioning. If the playing of the national anthem at all professional sports events stopped tomorrow, and I wish it would, professional sports would go on making money.

The NFL has stupidly allowed its games to become a litmus test for patriotism. In doing so, it’s income has tanked and it is facing a potentially disastrous lawsuit from Colin Kaepernick.
Scientologist Joy Villa has now obnoxiously jumped into the fray courtesy of Dennis Prager and Prager University.

Wiki on Dennis Prager:

According to NPR, Prager “often targets multiculturalism, Muslims and LGBTQ people.” Prager’s “inflammatory views and past statements about gays, liberals and others” have stirred controversy.

Prager opposes same-sex marriage. He has suggested that same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy and incest In 2014, he claimed that the “heterosexual AIDS” crisis was something “entirely manufactured by the Left.”

Prager endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election… Friedersdorf noted that Prager had in 2011 said that Trump’s profanity “render[ed] him unfit to be a presidential candidate, let alone president”; that he could not “trust the integrity or conscience of a man or woman who publicly humiliates his or her spouse” through adultery; that those who lie to besmirch the names of others cannot be trusted; and that “any human being with a functioning conscience or a decent heart loathes torture”.

In 2015, Prager headlined the title of one of his columns about the Iran nuclear agreement, “1938 and 2015: Only the Names Are Different”, implying that Obama was the equivalent of Neville Chamberlain whose Munich Agreement with Hitler is widely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Nazi Germany.

Billionaire Bob Duggan, the Paradise Papers, and the Scientology Money Club

The Scientology Money Project did an article recently on the US Bankruptcy Court’s denial of Matt and Kathy Feshbach’s attempt to discharge $3.8 million in back taxes via bankruptcy. This led me to do further research on Matt Feshbach’s Bahamian stem cell medical company called Okyanos Heart Institute. The result an article on Matt Feshbach and Okyanos at the Scientology Money Project. In the course of my research I found Feshbach and his business partner and fellow Scientology OT Manuel Vianna listed in the Paradise Papers:

BD.1

Curious as I am about Scientology and its sources of money, I checked into Okyanos and discovered its $14.2 million dollars in capitalization largely came from a Scientologist named Ali Shawkat, a man whose father is Mudhar Shawkat, a former member of the Iraqi parliament. The ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database page on Mudhar Shawkat states that Appleby Global — an offshore law firm that some have compared to the notorious Panamanian firm of Mossack Fonseca — set up the “Passion Group S.A.” for the Shawkat family. “S.A.” is a business term meaning “Society Anonymous.” A person who owns shares in an S.A. corporation can have those shares held by an offshore law firm. An S.A. grants a certain degree of anonymity.

There were concerns at Appleby about the Shawkat money and its Passion Group S.A., this according to an internal Appleby e-mail leaked by the Paradise Papers:

According to 2008 confidential emails, the lawyer representing Shawkat and his son, Ali, asked Appleby to hold in escrow about $140 million, the proceeds of the sale of the Shawkats’ shares in a joint venture with a Kuwaiti telecommunications company. The law firm refused that request but accepted them as clients later in 2008.

Appleby set up the Passion Group Trust for the benefit of Mudhar Shawkat’s family members and registered three affiliated companies in the British Virgin Islands in 2008 and 2011, according to the files. Shawkat was identified in the Appleby documents as an “additional settlor” (a person who creates and funds a trust) of the Passion Group Trust and as a shareholder of Passion Investment Ltd., the trust’s investment arm.

However, upon the incorporation of a not-for-profit entity, which was also a beneficiary of the trust, concerns about the Iraqi family’s reported association with Chalabi [Ahmed Chalabi, 1944-2015. A controversial Iraqi politician.] emerged at the law firm. “It is suspicious,” an Appleby employee wrote in an email, “that they are setting up a charitable company offshore [Passion for Change S.A.] for funds coming out of Iraq – there does not seem any benefit other than lack of accountability in doing so.”

A Paradise Papers page on Mudhar Shawkat shows the relationships for the Shawkat family and its Passion group; there are ties to Amman, Jordan and the British Virgin Islands:

BD.Passion.Group

In a development that could portend trouble for the Shawkat’s and all other Appleby clients, Appleby confirmed in October 2017 that it had been the victim of a massive computer hack. Some in financial circles are saying the hacked information from Appleby Global will amount to a Panama Papers II. In November 2017 Appleby released a less than reassuring statement to its clients:

We wish to apologise to our clients and to our colleagues for the difficulties which have arisen from this incident. We remain committed to working with each and every client to talk to them about what has happened so that they can understand its impact on them and in order to support them with their own reporting requirements.

I note in passing that when your offshore legal firm tells you that it will help you understand the impact of it being hacked and will support you with your “reporting requirements” this is not a good thing, particularly if one has not self-reported.

Ali Shawkat and his wife Noor donated $5 million to the IAS. This was covered in a 2014 article by Tony Ortega at the Underground Bunker.

BD.2
Ali and Noor Shawkat receiving their IAS trophy for donating $5,000,000

Things were intriguing at this point so I called upon my erstwhile colleague Dr. Jeff Wasel. As Jeff and I learned from the Okyanos website, Ali Shawkat’s Passion Group invested money in Feshbach’s stem cell company:

FREEPORT, The Bahamas, March 18, 2014 – Okyanos Cell Therapy, whose mission it is to bring a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) using adult stem cell therapy, announced today it has raised $8.9 million in its Series B offering. Passion Group founder Ali Shawkat led the round and is a visionary entrepreneur-investor with success in a diverse set of industries including cellular services, telecom, media and healthcare.

Shawkat’s investment in Feshbach’s Okyanos is borne out by the Panama Papers’ mention that the Shawkat family invested in two medical companies:

In the following months, in 2009, the leaked files show that the Shawkats transferred more than $30 million to the family trust and one of its affiliated companies, some of which was converted into shares. Board meeting minutes of Passion Investment Ltd. chaired by Shawkat’s son show that from 2013 to 2016, the company has invested in two medical companies and in an Iraqi dealership for Peugeot cars.

On a side note to this story, Freewinds Captain Mike Napier’s son Sean Napier appears on the Okyanos website as the Director of IT & Operations:

Former US Ambassador to the Bahamas John Rood was brought in by Matt Feshbach to serve as a Director at Okyanos Holdings Co LLC. Because the Bahamian government had to pass a law allowing Okyanos to operate, Former Ambassador Rood’s contacts were undoubtedly invaluable. On a related note, John Rood is the Chairman of the Vestcor Companies Inc. This firm invests in multifamily dwellings. Scientology OT8 Grant Cardone’s firm Cardone Acquisitions follows the same business model as Rood’s Vestcor Companies Inc. This raises the question: Was Cardone introduced to John Rood via Matt Feshbach? If so, was Cardone inspired to get into investing in apartment buildings by seeing Rood’s success?

I found three UCC filings on Okyanos Operating Company Ltd. A “UCC filing” is an instrument that allows a lender to secure its interest on equipment for which they loaned money to a debtor to purchase. UCC’s are routinely used where a company borrows money to purchase expensive office equipment, phone systems, computer systems, medical equipment, etc. In the event of a default on the loan, the UCC protects the lender as it prevents the debtor from selling the equipment. The UCC also allows the lender to take physical possession of the equipment if the firm goes bankrupt. The UCC gives the lender first priority over other creditors in a bankruptcy.

The three UCC’s filed on Okyanos were filed by Prince’s Gate LLC of Santa Monica. A quick check shows Prince’s Gate LLC to be an entity owned by EarthLink founder and Scientologist Sky Dayton:

BD.8

According to news reports, Black Beret Life Sciences of Houston acquired Okyanos in a leveraged buyout in July 2017. This begs the question: Why would BBLS need to use an LBO to acquire an insolvent company? BBLS has cash. Indeed, in January 2017 Affigen announced a $17 million Series A led by Black Beret Life Sciences.

Genuine First Aid International Ltd

In the map below of the Shawkat offshore money we see a company with the innocuous name of Genuine First Aid International Ltd. A search of the Paradise Papers shows that Robert “Billionaire Bob” Duggan and Ali Shawkat to be shareholders and directors of Genuine First Aid International Ltd.:


Another Panama Papers diagram shows the relationship of Robert “Bob” Duggan with the Shawkat’s; Amman, Jordan; Beirut, Lebanon; and the British Virgin Islands via Duggan’s ties to Genuine First Aid International Ltd:

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What is Genuine First Aid International Ltd.? It is a company registered in the British Virgin Islands and based in Fujian, China. The company’s Chairman is a Danish Scientology OT8 named Michael Holstein. His Scientology Completions page is extensive:

Michael Holstein’s LinkedIn page leads to dietary supplements, vitamins, diabetes supplements, etc:

Michael.Holstein

Another Panama Papers diagram shows Ali Shawkat to be a director of Genuine First Aid International Ltd:

Yet another Panama Papers diagram shows Robert Duggan to be a shareholder of a company called Spang CM Ltd:

A more micro Panama Papers diagram shows a tighter Duggan relationship to Spang and Genuine First Aid International Ltd:

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While Spang CM Ltd. is registered in the Cayman Islands (tax identification number: 139726), the company is a Chinese manufacturing firm:

BD.Spang

The Scientology Money Club Investigation, as Dr. Wasel and I are calling it, will take a look into the intertwining  world of wealthy Scientologists and their money. We are not alleging anything untoward whatsoever. Rather, we are examining linkages amongst Scientology whales who donate big money to the IAS. That these relationships have been found in the Panama and Paradise papers is part of what Dr. Wasel and I will discuss in an upcoming podcast.

Dr. Wasel’s comments on offshore corporations:

So why go offshore? Well first, “offshore” has many connotations, and can denote both legal and illegal financial behavior. There are legitimate reasons for high net worth individuals to maintain offshore companies, trusts, and other “vehicles”, mainly to lessen one’s tax obligation or to ensure privacy in sensitive, though legal financial matters.

Other reasons include political instability or corruption in their home country, or the registration of expensive assets such as planes and boats, as well as financing the associated insurance costs. Lawful tax avoidance involves organizing one’s financial affairs to legally minimize the amount of tax to be paid, versus tax evasion, which involves hiding one’s assets altogether, from the responsible reporting authorities.

Large corporations such as Apple, Google, and others use favorable tax regimes in Ireland as an example of tax mitigation/avoidance, as do individuals in the Caribbean, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and other “tax havens”.  These “Offshore Financial Centers” (OFCs) exist primarily to provide anonymity and tax regimes favorable to the investor and not the regulator; where the illegality occurs, is when an individual or entity fails to declare an interest in an OFC to their respective nation’s tax authority or financial regulator. The use of OFCs is significant; while verifiable data is difficult to collect, it’s estimated that some 20 percent of all private wealth is located in OFC’s, as is an estimated 75 percent of the captive insurance market.

The nexus of the OFC phenomenon is geography. In other words, “sunny places for shady people” to some extent, though the post-9/11 regulatory environment has drastically altered this perception. Indeed, The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and other former “light touch” OFC locales, now often exceed US and EU anti-money laundering and tax reporting requirements.

That said, many significant loopholes exist in the structure of OFC’s, loopholes that, in a variety of ways, are structurally resistant to regulation, and still offer the less-than scrupulous individual or entity plenty of ways to create private banks, phantom or “shell companies” and fake trusts, and to hide money and other assets. One such option within this structure is the use of “bearer shares”, a term often reflected in the associated charts in this story. Implicit in the many OFCs available to the “sophisticated” investor, is the International Business Company, (IBC), which is a corporate vehicle that can be owned anonymously, and does not do business in the country where it’s domiciled (has physical residence), and usually located in an extremely “light touch” regulatory and tax locale. An IBC can be created online in less than an hour, involves minimal regulatory and ownership filings, and has limited liability. It’s unrestricted in the type of business it can entertain, and an IBC can consist of multiple sub-entities, complicating any future audit trail.

The main ownership stake in an IBC is a bearer share, which simply means that if you physically own the shares, you own the company, yet nowhere is it recorded that you physically hold them. In essence, the IBC is a truly “portable company”, allowing one to schlep a veritable business empire in one’s briefcase.

Adding to the attractiveness of portability, is a lack of accountability, in that most IBC’s allow for “nominee” directors; that is, hired-hand “directors”, who are usually employees of the registering agent, say a corporate registration house in Curacao. Thus there is no “official” record of who owns the bearer shares, and therefore, the company’s beneficiaries, nor is there any direct owner – a responsible fiduciary –  that can be held responsible for the company’s actions. While a more thorough discussion of all the permutations of this murky financial world is beyond the remit of this article, suffice to say, it’s the concepts of “plausible deniability” and anonymity, as well as the ability to hide one’s financial affairs,  that is the greatest lure to go offshore.
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Here is the Appleby Global document on the creation of the Shawkat’s Passion Group Trust. Hover over the document with your mouse to invoke the control panel at the bottom of the PDF:

Shawkat-2011-Passion-Group-Summary

Criminality and the Church of Scientology


James Kirchick’s recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times asks, “In the world of religious tax exemptions, does Scientology measure up?”

Kirchick incisively cuts right to the bone:

Today, America’s recognition of Scientology as a religion stands as an anomaly in the Western world, the result not of impartial jurisprudence but of harassment. Four years ago, France’s highest court upheld a fraud conviction against the church, ruling that, “Far from being a violation of freedom of religion, as this American organization contends, this decision lifts the veil on the illegal and highly detrimental practices.”

Kirchick is quite correct in taking the matter of Scientology directly to the matter of criminality. Since it’s inception in 1954, the Church of Scientology has at all times operated as a criminal organization. A straightforward historical reading of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology’s machinations, plans, and designs will bear this out. Fair Game. The Guardian’s Office. Conspiracy. Domestic espionage. Tax evasion. Infiltration. Theft. Spying. Blackmail. Coercion. Money laundering. OSA. Phony front groups. Private investigators. Forced interrogations. Beatings. Agents provocateurs. Hacking computers. It’s all there. Scientology is a classic criminal organization.

The FBI raid of July 8, 1977 on Scientology was massive; over 150 agents participated. The raid was the direct result of L. Ron Hubbard’s Program Snow White. A demonstration of Scientology’s criminality writ large, Program Snow White brought Mary Sue Hubbard to ruination:

Russia

June 2017: The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) conduct a raid on Scientology’s Moscow Headquarters.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has raided Scientology Orgs numerous times. From the Moscow Times of June 7, 2017:

The headquarters of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg has been raided by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on June 6 according to the MediaZona news site. The security services accused the Church of extremism, inciting hatred, and operating an illegal business.

Hungary

Hungarian Police during the raid of Scientology’s Budapest Headquarters.

On October 22,2017 — a scant three weeks ago — The Daily Mail reported on the massive raid of Scientology made by Hungarian police:

Hungarian police carried out a search at a Church of Scientology centre in Budapest amid a probe into suspected misuse of personal information and ‘other crimes’.

More than 50 officers surrounded the church’s Budapest headquarters on one of the Hungarian capital’s busiest roads early on Wednesday.

Detectives from the National Investigation Bureau have listed the target as ‘unknown persons’ – a common designation when a specific suspect has not been identified.

In terms of comparison, 156 FBI agents participated in the raid of Scientology’s Los Angeles complex, such was the sheer volume of documents Scientology had stolen from the US government. For Hungary to send in more than 50 police officers to raid Scientology offices there indicates the seriousness and scope of the criminal investigation.

Cover Ups of Rapes and Child Sexual Abuse

The criminality of Scientology extends to the cover ups of rape and child sexual abuse. At this writing, Scientologist Danny Masterson is alleged to have committed four rapes that were covered up by the Church.

Danny Masterson and Netflix co-star Ashton Kutcher at the 2017 CMT Music Awards in June. Photo by Jason Davis/WireImage.

The Los Angeles Police Department & The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office

Scientology’s hideous reputation has tainted the Los Angeles Police Department as well as the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. People are asking why the case against Danny Masterson is not moving forward despite “overwhelming evidence” as reported by the Huffington Post. Netflix has even come in for criticism as it has not stopped production of its series The Ranch in which Masterson stars. As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

A woman who previously accused actor Danny Masterson of rape — an allegation he has denied — has gone on the record to criticize Netflix for continuing with his show “The Ranch” even as it has severed ties with Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. after allegations of sexual misconduct.

“For me, what Netflix has done feels like a continuation of how the Church of Scientology made me feel when I reported my rape to them, as well as how Danny Masterson made me feel when I would beg him for an apology, an explanation, anything,” Chrissie Carnell Bixler told the Daily Beast. “I was made to feel unimportant. I was made to feel like I didn’t matter.”

Leah Remini’s Emmy award winning A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath has given courage to many of Scientology’s victims who were in the shadows. Terrified of incurring Scientology’s vengeance for speaking out, these people are no longer afraid. Even as the mask is being ripped off the sexual abuse and culture of cover-ups in Hollywood and Washington D.C., the same is happening to Scientology. The predators are being named and called out.

Revoke Scientology’s Tax Exemption Now

The Church of Scientology is able to ply its evil trade only because its ill-gotten 1993 IRS tax exemption. According to Doug Frantz’s seminal 1997 article in the New York Times
Scientology’s Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt it appears that then IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg unfairly rigged the examination in favor of Scientology. As Frantz noted in his article:

Scientology entities were required to submit new applications for exemption, which were to be evaluated by the agency’s exempt organizations division. But something unusual occurred there, too.

Mr. Schoenfeld, the negotiations chairman, ordered the two tax analysts assigned to the review not to consider any substantive matters, according to I.R.S. memorandums and records in the Tax Analysts case. Those issues, Mr. Schoenfeld informed them, had been resolved…

Both analysts, Donna Moore and Terrell M. Berkovsky, wrote memorandums specifying that they had been instructed not to address issues like whether the church was engaged in too much commercial activity or whether its activities provided undue private benefit to its leaders.

IRS tax analysts were forbidden from considering substantive matters. Why did Commissioner Goldberg give such an order? This seems to be a serious violation of IRS rules. Did Commissioner Goldberg violate the US Constitution he was sworn to uphold?

As the 9th Circuit Court noted in Sklar v. Commissioner, the IRS expressed an unconstitutional denominational preference for Scientology by granting it tax exemption:

The Supreme Court has developed a framework for determining whether a statute grants an unconstitutional denominational preference. Under that test, articulated in Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S. 228, 246-47, 102 S.Ct. 1673, 72 L.Ed.2d 33 (1982), the first inquiry is whether or not the law facially discriminates amongst religions. The second inquiry, should it be found that the law does so discriminate, is whether or not, applying strict scrutiny, that discrimination is justified by a compelling governmental interest. Applying this test to the policy of the IRS towards the Church of Scientology, the initial inquiry must be whether the policy facially discriminates amongst religions. Clearly it does, as this tax deduction is available only to members of the Church of Scientology…

Because the facial preference for the Church of Scientology embodied in the IRS’s policy regarding its members cannot be justified by a compelling governmental interest, we would, if required to decide the case on the ground urged by the Sklars, first determine that the IRS policy constitutes an unconstitutional denominational preference under Larson, 456 U.S. at 230, 102 S.Ct. 1673.

It is time for acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to jointly call for an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption. Scientology engaged in fraud and misrepresented material facts to the IRS to gain its tax exemption. The 9th Circuit opined in Sklar that the IRS granting Scientology tax exemption constituted an unconstitutional denominational preference.

Since gaining tax exemption Scientology has continued to engage in violations of public policy, bad faith, lies, and psycho-terrorism all funded by tax exempt dollars. This is an outrage. The illegality doctrine clearly applies in the case of the Church of Scientology:

Why Did the Church of Scientology Give $65,000 to a Hospital in England?

By Dr. Jeff Wasel

The BBC News published an article this week about a wholly uncharacteristic act of Scientology generosity. Written by John Sweeney, the article discussed Scientology UK’s £50,000 donation to The East Grinstead National Health Service Trust, specifically to the Queen Victoria Hospital. This donation is about $65,650 USD at current rates.

There article described the debate about the propriety of a National Health Service (NHS) Trust accepting a donation from the controversial Church of Scientology:

Mr Lamb said his “particular concern” was about the impact of the [Scientology] church’s “activities on people’s mental health”.

“Their secrecy and their refusal to be challenged or questioned is deeply disturbing.

“I hope that the Secretary of State and Simon Stevens as chief executive of NHS England make clear straight away that it is not appropriate to accept donations.

“It’s a sign of the intense pressure that the NHS is under that this trust decided to reverse its policy of not accepting donations.”

Scientology’s generous donation piqued my curiosity. National Health Service (NHS) Trusts are the primary health care management scheme used to regionalize all facets of healthcare delivery in the United Kingdom. It is thought that the regionalization of delivery allows for a more uniform quality of care and consistent outcomes while providing for better economies of scale in the cost, delivery, and maintenance of patient care in a particular locale.

NHS Trusts are the frontline of healthcare management and delivery in the UK; their importance cannot be understated. Working with General Practitioners, or what are called family doctors or “GP’s” in the US, NHS Trusts allocate treatment, purchase localized healthcare services, and manage palliative care including all forms of therapy, diagnostics, substance abuse treatment, in-home care, pre and post-natal care, and ambulance services to name but a few. Within this context, Scientology’s donation becomes even more of interest and raises significant questions. For example, certain Trusts specialize in specific types of care and therapies. In this particular case, Queen Victoria Hospital is renowned for its reconstructive surgery and burn care. Why did Scientology chose a hospital with these particular specialties?

With Scientology’s doctrine of exchange in mind, wherein your are required to receive “like for like” as it were, what’s the quid pro quo here? This donation had to have been authorized by David Miscavige, which then raises questions of a strategic and ongoing operational nature. Then we have the specifics of the treatment competencies of the Queen Victoria Hospital to consider, as well as how these competencies may or may not conform to Scientology’s modus operandi on the whole.

The immediate quid pro quo suggests the classic Scientology PR gambit called safepointing in which Scientology’s PR is enhanced by virtue of what, on the surface at least, appears to be a generous charitable donation to an NHS Trust hospital.

However, the UK National Health Service Trust also oversees the delivery of counseling, psychiatric services and psychotropic drugs; indeed drugs of all sorts that L. Ron Hubbard deemed antithetical to the very nature and purpose of Scientology. This begs the question: How could Scientology, which is dedicated to the complete annihilation of psychiatry and the prescribing of psychiatric medications, give $65,000 USD to a medical trust that actively delivers psychiatric services and medications to its patients?

Given this incongruity, an argument can be made that Scientology’s donation is a cynical means of buying Scientology access to the NHS Trust’s mid to high-level administrators — and they are legion in top-heavy bureaucracy of the NHS. This would be no different than Scientology in Los Angeles donating heavily to the LAPD in order to safepoint the Church. Indeed, Scientology’s long and suspect relationship with LAPD has caused many to ask if this is why the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has “slow rolled” the sexual assault investigation into actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson.

Queen Victoria Hospital could be viewed as a gateway into the overall NHS technology procurement system, providing Scientology operatives further access to the administrators who manage and operate the entire healthcare portfolio of the NHS on a UK national basis. Using this access would allow Scientology to pitch it’s WISE & ABLE businesses and services to the national UK healthcare system.

Specifically, the East Grinstead NHS Trust certainly does not enjoy the cash reserves that, for instance, the Guys and St Thomas NHS Trusts in London do. Additional service offerings provided by Scientology’s secular groups such could be construed as useful and therefore of potential interest to the East Grinstead NHS Trust.

Then there’s the tax ramifications of the donation for Scientology as well, given that Scientology does not enjoy charitable status in the UK. If Scientology’s income is as depressed in St. Hill as it is elsewhere in the church, the donation to Queen Victoria Hospital would prove significant in mitigating St. Hill’s 2017 HMRC tax obligations. These are the simplest explanations for the church’s otherwise inexplicable and sudden generosity. Yet there may be more afoot.

Leah Remini’s A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath has reached a significant new audience across many demographics. In doing so, Leah’s show has made millions of people fully aware of the Scientology’s history of egregious conduct in the United States.

If Scientology is to survive, then, it must seek new markets outside of the US and revitalize its non-US Orgs that are currently on life-support. With the opening of the new Dublin and Birmingham Scientology Orgs, it’s clear the church still considers the UK & Ireland viable sources of new members.

However, is the Church of Scientology truly seeking new members, or does this large cash donation indicate that an alternative initiative is underway? This would be an initiative aimed at alliance-building for the many business interests of Scientology’s high net-worth members who now provide a disproportionate amount of donations, and thus much-needed operating income for the Church.

Among critics, journalists, and other interested parties that scrutinize the Church of Scientology, a variety of “end-state” scenarios are beginning to emerge, one of which has the Church primarily existing for the benefit of its high net worth individuals colloquially referred to as “the whales.”

If one considers Scientology’s $1.5 billion cash fund known as the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) as a sort of internal hedge fund for both Scientology management and the whales, such a possibility may indeed prove to be the case.

So how does Scientology’s donation to an NHS trust fit into this emerging scenario?

A recent article on the Scientology Money Project, highlighted what appears to be a curious series of transactions in which Scientologist Matt Feshbach’s stem cell medical venture in the Bahamas was sold and resold in a very short period of time to three sequential entities without explanation. As originally conceived, Feshbach’s company Okyanos was focused upon the use of adult stem cells extracted from adipose tissue to repair cardiovascular decay.

Queen Victoria Hospital specializes in burn treatments and reconstructive surgery, a significant component of which involves the use of a variety of cell regeneration technologies, using stem cells and other organic matter, that could potentially be obtained using techniques similar to those touted by Fesbach’s Okyanos venture.

While this may be coincidental, I would argue this may be the first example of a new Miscavige strategy, whereby St. Hill, or other large orgs, are used as a localized business development vehicle for various whale enterprises, or even the church’s own for-profit companies.

In this scenario, the donation to Queen Victoria Hospital can be reconceptualized as an initial tranche of cash that represents a seed investment. In this example, the Scientology cash opens a door into the many procurement vehicles within the NHS Trust system.

The proximity of Queen Victoria Hospital to Scientology’s St. Hill base allows for an appropriate Miscavige-level of micro-management for the duration of this exercise in covert investment under the guise of a donation.

It would stand to reason we may see similar efforts in Taiwan, Russia, and other Scientology beachheads, that also harbor untapped entrepreneurial opportunities. It’s important to remember, that both Dublin and Birmingham are located in areas already receptive to emerging technology and subsidized investment, and possess a highly educated, technology savvy workforce.

At a macro level, such a strategy is in keeping with Scientology’s demonstrated tactic of infiltration on multiple fronts, in this case, using WISE or ABLE-centric businesses as the means of dissemination, rather than the usual, increasingly counter-productive, org-centric, one-on-one recruitment model. Rather than this labor-intensive and often times, less-than successful effort, cash donations provide a deliberate, highly targeted, highly visible means of obtaining a desired outcome.

Aside from what this donation may imply, specifically, a novel means for David Miscavige to court opportunities for his cartel of whales, it also represents yet another significant deviance from long-held doctrinal and practical operational tenants, resembling the unprecedented attempt to silence Leah Remini’s Emmy award-winning Aftermath show via an Internet-sourced petition.

Furthermore, in deliberately ignoring these and other core tenets, such as lambasting all things psychiatric, or asserting that the mainstream mental health establishment is intrinsically devoted to destroying Scientology, the Church of Scientology may indeed be demonstrating a deliberate acquiescence to a new reality: The need to evolve in a post-“Aftermath” age or die.

Significantly, we may be witnessing the first indication of a newly emerging, two-tier church operational model, with the IAS and it’s whales as the church’s preferred public face; and the other, a faceless one, wherein the remaining staff and Sea Org toil on in further obscurity, slowly withering on the vine, becoming nothing more than custodians for an empire of dormant real estate. This new development may well be the first harbinger of Scientology’s end game, so stay tuned.

HuffPost: Trump Thinks Scientology Should Have Tax Exemption Revoked, Longtime Aide Says

HuffPost: Trump Thinks Scientology Should Have Tax Exemption Revoked, Longtime Aide Says

Quite an article today in the Huffington Post in which Leah Remini figures prominently:

President Donald Trump believes the Church of Scientology should have its tax exemption revoked, a longtime family aide and current top official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development told an actress and producer in May.

In an unsolicited Twitter message, Lynne Patton, who has worked for the Trump family since 2009, told actress Leah Remini of Trump’s position and said she would interface with the IRS directly to seek more information in an effort to initiate revocation. Remini sent HuffPost copies of Patton’s messages and has declined to comment further…

Leah won an Emmy for her A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath. Leah has influence in Washington DC. All “VGI’s” (Very Good Indicators) as they say in Scientology.

Scientologist Matt Feshbach’s Okyanos Heart Institute in the Bahamas

Okyanos logo

As covered in our previous article, the US Bankruptcy Court ruled against Scientologists Matt and Kathy Feshbach’s attempt to discharge $3.8 million in back taxes in bankruptcy. The Court found that the Feshbach’s could have paid their entire tax debt had they simply curbed their excessive and lavish spending on a luxury lifestyle. The Feshbach’s thought they could ultimately beat the IRS by going bankrupt. However, they lost that bet when the court found that the couple had, “willfully attempted to evade their tax debt within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(1)(C).” The Feshbach’s lost their case and owe the IRS $3.8 million.

In this article we turn our attention to the story Matt Feshbach’s Okyanos Heart Institute in Grand Bahama. In 2011 Matt and Kathy Feshbach told the US Bankruptcy Court that their net worth was only $138,000. Nevertheless,  by By 2014, Matt Feshbach had founded and was the CEO of the Okyanos Heart Institute in The Bahamas. The premise of Okaynos was that adult stem cells taken from adipose tissue (body fat) were effective in treating certain diseases, particularly heart disease. A 2014 press release reads:

Freeport, The Bahamas (PRWEB)February 21, 2014

Okyanos Heart Institute, whose mission it is to bring a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with coronary artery disease using adult stem cell therapy, announces CEO Matt Feshbach will present at the STEMSO Conference. He will join a panel to discuss the opportunities available through the new stem cell research and Therapy Act. The conference will be held at the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahamas, February 19-22, 2014. The panel discussion will be Friday, February 21 from 8:45 – 9:45 a.m.

Feshbach’s partner in Okyanos was fellow Scientologist and OT Manuel F. Vianna, formerly CFO at Condusiv Technologies (formerly Diskkeeper), a company founded and owned by Scientologist and OT Craig Jensen.

Matt-and-Manuel

Matt Feshbach and Manuel Vianna

Matt Feshbach did not have an easy time setting up Okyanos in 2013. For some reason, Feshbach apparently did not inform the Bahamian minister of state for investments of he and his wife’s bankruptcy and messy IRS problems. This is called a “withhold” in Scientology. The Nassau Guardian reported that Feshbach’s IRS problems came “in light of revelations.” Indeed, even as Feshbach and his partners were putting together $14.2 million in first round funding, Feshbach and his wife had told the IRS in 2011 that their net worth was only $138,000. As Grand Bahama was passing a set of laws to permit Fesbach’s venture to operate, the authorities naturally had reasons to be concerned once they learned of Feshbach’s bankruptcy and massive IRS debt.

Feshbach, a man who wore $6,000 suits and lived in the lap of luxury, assured the Bahamian authorities that his IRS debt and bankruptcy were mere trifles. The Nassau Guardian of July 19, 2013:

The government is undertaking a “full review” of a proposal to develop a stem cell treatment facility in Grand Bahama in light of revelations that its CEO has declared bankruptcy and is battling the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over a $3.8m unpaid liability.

Khaalis Rolle, minister of state for investments, told Guardian Business yesterday that court documents relating to Okyanos Heart Institute CEO Matt Feshbach’s current legal and financial woes suggest the Christie administration was correct to hold off on granting final approval of the project. Okyanos Heart Institute intends to offer stem cell therapy to cardiac artery disease patients. The facility had received conditional approval from the former government.

Rolle’s comments come as the Okyanos Heart Institute described Feshbach’s IRS woes as a “personal matter that started many years ago and does not relate to the Okyanos Heart Institute.”

Feshbach himself, in a phone interview with Guardian Business, said that his legal and financial situation “does not affect the viability or solvency of Okyanos in any way”.

“Okyanos is an investor-backed company and is not dependent on any one investor. We’ve raised a significant amount of money to date,” said Feshbach, who described himself as a shareholder in the company.

The Nassau Guardian article noted Fessbach’s belief in his Scientology super powers:

He [Fessbach] has also been strongly connected to the Church of Scientology and is noted in a 2006 St. Petersburg Times article as a major financial backer of the church’s “Super Powers” program. The program is intended to heighten one’s perceptions – or “perceptics”, in Scientology parlance – via the five senses.

In the article, Feshbach is said to believe he has super powers, which helped him to save a young boy’s life, and is quoted as saying that he is “no longer dependent on [his] physical body to perceive things”.

Being “no longer dependent on his physical body to perceive things” might help to explain why Feshbach had no reality on the IRS and its tax demand. After all, L. Ron Hubbard himself had railed against income taxes as being criminal and a rip-off:

“First consider a group which takes in money but does not deliver anything in exchange. This is called rip-off. It is the ‘exchange’ condition of robbers, tax men, governments and other criminal elements.” – L. Ron Hubbard, HCO PL 10 Sep 82 – Exchange, Org Income and Staff Pay.

As an editorial aside, L. Ron Hubbard cannot be blamed for failing to lump in the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) along with the IRS. I say this because there is no evidence that L. Ron Hubbard ever sanctioned the 1984 creation of the IAS. The IAS was a contrivance in which David Miscavige converted the legal defense fund for Mary Sue Hubbard and her ten other Program Snow White conspirators into the IAS. See my article: How Scientology’s 1970s infiltration scandal led to the creation of its IAS slush fund for the story.
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Feshbach and his partners opened Okyanos Heart Institute in The Bahamas because the particular type of stem cell procedures they offer are not FDA approved in the US. While medical ventures in the tax haven of The Bahamas tend to raise eyebrows in the US, the Bahamian government is not concerned with such perceptions. Accordingly, Bahamian legislators enacted laws that allowed companies to practice stem cell medical procedures there that were not FDA approved in the US. The goal of the Bahamian government is to increase revenues on the island nation by promoting experimental medical treatments, or non-FDA approve treatments, that drive big dollar medical tourism. Desperate people will fly to The Bahamas to get treatments that are not available in the US.

Okyanos was a short sellers dream for Feshbach because both positions were covered so to speak. If the FDA did not approve these treatments then The Bahamas did and there was money to be made there. If the FDA eventually approved the procedures, however, then Okyanos could pack up its clinic in a cargo plane, fly 22 minutes to the US, open a new clinic in Miami, and start collecting big medical insurance payments for performing the now approved procedures. From there it would be a simple matter of raising capital and opening Okyanos clinics all over the US.

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Okyanos trivia: A bill of lading found online reveals one of Feshbach’s US connections, Dr. Todd Malan, who became staff at Okyanos:


Smart Lipo Institute. See: Dr. Todd Malan, Center For Regenerative Cell Medicine. Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Malan worked for Okyanos where he did liposuction in which he presumably used the body-jet® Water-Assisted Liposuction Technology featured on Okyanos’ website.


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On March 18, 2014 Okyanos announced that its first round of funding had been completed:

We are very pleased to have recently announced the completion of our investment funding. Since our founding in 2011, the Okyanos family has grown to include life-long friends, investors, supporters, researchers and members of the cardiology community—all of whom share our purpose and commitment towards improving the quality of life heart patients.

With the success of our last round, Okyanos has raised in-total over $14 million. This kind of financial strength is essential to our mission, as it enables us to truly develop the highest possible standards of safety and care.

We feel very lucky to have been so well-embraced by the business and healthcare community of Grand Bahama Island, and we are excited for what lies ahead.

In an interview Fessbach noted that he had angel investors:

Okyanos has been funded by a group of what I would call “purpose-driven entrepreneurial investors.” They are not typical angel investors, because they do not do a lot of these kinds of deals.They nevertheless saw an opportunity to create something meaningful in healthcare, and they believed they would get a high return on their investment.

Who were the angel investors? Moreover, I can find no prospectus Feshbach offered for Okyanos. One example: Okaynos claimed to have spent $10 million on its Bahamian facility. These figures cannot be validated. The 2014 installation of what Okyanos widely promoted as a state-of-the-art Philips Cath-Angio machine figured prominently in Okyanos PR:

Okyanos-Philips-Unit

My research shows a reconditioned Philips Cath-Angio machine can be purchased for $150,000 – $375,000. I worked in medical and surgical devices as part of my portfolio for decades. I note that the Okyanos facility is an outpatient clinic and is not a true surgical theater as one would find in a hospital. Based on the foregoing, I am skeptical and do not accept that Okyanos spent $10 million on its facility. I can do a Bill of Materials for machines, computers, software, flat panels, digital imaging, HVAC, HEPA, and other constructions costs in my head and can’t get to $10 million for one outpatient procedure room equipped with one Philips Cath-Angio machine. Perhaps Matt Feshbach can correct me if I am wrong and kindly produce invoices showing $10 million.

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Despite what seemed like the rational, methodical, and sequenced building of Okyanos as a viable company, a press release of April 21, 2016 announced that Matt Fessbach and his partners were selling Okyanos after only two years of operation. No explanation was provided:

The Bahamas’ first stem cell treatment facility yesterday confirmed it has been acquired by a UK-based medical provider, with a deal designed to grow the operation and the number of patients it treats.

Freeport-based Okyanos Cell Therapy has been purchased by Thorn Medical PLC, which recently obtained its license to conduct stem cell research and therapy in this nation from the National Stem Cell Ethics Committee (NSEC).

While the purchase price was not disclosed, the deal is expected to expand Okyanos’s business and boost its ability to reach and treat more patients.

Matthew Feshbach and Manual Vianna, Okyanos’s co-founders, invested around $14 million in establishing the facility, which provides stem cell therapy to chronically ill patients in a bid to improve their quality of life.

A May 9, 2016 press release added amplifying details about Thorn Medical’s acquisition of Okyanos:

British-based Thorn Medical Plc has acquired Grand Bahama’s Okyanos stem cell facility, and says plans to expand the clinic’s services will make it one of the world’s leading centres – attracting investment and boosting The Bahamas’ medical tourism industry.

Thorn Medical, which bought a controlling interest in Okyanos Cell Therapy in April, recently obtained an unlimited license from the government of The Bahamas for both stem cell research and treatment. The company is currently preparing a stock market listing in London and will then apply for a dual listing on NASDAQ to raise further funds to invest in its stem cell operations in The Bahamas.

Despite Thorn Medical’s acquisition of Okyanos, Matt Feshbach was still apparently involved in the company as he gave a November 2016 interview . In this interview Feshbach was clearly speaking as Scientologist and not a scientist. Thus, he conspiratorially blamed Big Pharma and the FDA as the reasons that the US has not jumped onboard the stem cell train in a big way. In the quote below Feshbach uses the rather self-serving term “pharmacological paradigm fixation.” Feshbach also misstates matters as medicine does in fact think in terms of genetic ensembles and systems. This quote shows Feshbach to be pitching his product by use of pseudo-intellectualism:

Cade Hildreth: Why has stem cell therapy been slow to be commercialized and adopted within the United States?

Matthew Feshbach: I have heard different opinions in this area and various conspiracy theories. However, I think for adult cell therapy, there are two factors.

Institutional investors, the FDA, and big pharma tend to think of stem cells in the same way they think about small molecules; in other words, that pharmacological effects occur through a single mechanism of action which addresses the key factor of a disease, such as an immunosuppressant for autoimmune diseases or steroids for inflammation. They tend to ask questions like, “Can this cell do one single action, like grow new brain cells to help an Alzheimer’s patient regain mental function?”

Unfortunately, they do not understand that every one of these diseases, like diabetes or heart failure or Alzheimer’s, involve multiple factors – or put another way, there are multiple diseases within the primary diagnosis. One mechanism is not going to resolve these types of diseases. You need multi-potent cells, such as ADRCs, to solve them.

Therefore, I think what holds back progress more than anything is that these groups have a pharmacological paradigm fixation…

Of course, as a Scientology OT Matt Feshbach would secretly maintain that body thetans clustered in a mutual incident are the cause of all disease. On the other hand, Scientology’s metaphysics and theory of disease won’t make Feshbach any money. Hence, as an entrepreneur whose investment career took a big hit in 2008 he looked for something else — and that was stem cells. In the interview cited, Feshbach pressed his attack on the FDA:

Cade Hildreth: How well is the FDA regulating the cell therapy in the United States and what can be improved in future changes?

Matthew Feshbach: I think they are doing a poor job at both ends of the barbell. When it comes to getting an approval for cell therapy products, this research only entered in the marketplace in the late 1980s and early 1990s. For bone marrow, I believe there have only been one or two stem cell products approved in the past 25 years. Obviously, the FDA is making the approval process incredibly onerous, because they are taking a pharmacological approach to it.

On the other side of the barbell, the FDA has regulations, CFR 1271 to be specific, about SVF, calling it a “drug” and requiring it to go through a drug approval process that they do not enforce. So, now there is a group of non-compliant doctors and clinics, for example, the Cell Surgical Network, the Lung Institute and U.S. Stem Cell clinics, using inferior technology and getting mixed results. It is not that they never see patients benefits as stem cells even in very low dosage can work to some degree or another. The issue is that their results are mixed in terms of how profound the benefit can be to the patient and how sustainable it is. And we do hear of adverse events at these clinics that are not honestly reported by them.

As one person said, “If they will violate FDA regulations how can you trust them to not cut other corners.”

SASSOON HOUSE SHIRLEY ST. & VICTORIA AVE, P.O. BOX SS-5383, NASSAU, BAHAMAS

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Quizzically, Thorn Medical quickly suddenly went out of business in August of 2017. As reported by REDD-Monitor:

MF.4

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REDD-Monitor next reported on June 15, 2017 that a company called Teknisity had purchased Thorn Medical Inc. In his article, Chris Lang of REDD-Monitor went into stunning detail about how strange this all seemed:

Thorn Medical is a health care company. It was founded in July 2014 by Jack Kaye, a telecoms entrepreneur. The company was planning a £350 million flotation in 2016. In February 2016, Thorn Medical’s directors included Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Eric Peacock, and Sir John Lucas-Tooth.

Thorn Medical’s Corporate Adviser was Opus Capital Limited, a company that has appeared several times on REDD-Monitor. The company’s director, Paul Seakens, has been involved with several scam companies that sold carbon credits to retail investors.

It struck me as odd that a company with a Lord and two Sirs on its board would have a company like Opus Capital acting as its Corporate Adviser. So I sent a few questions to Thorn Medical, asking (amongst other things) about the due diligence process carried out before Opus Capital was appointed in October 2014.

Within a week, a response arrived from Henry Gewanter, Managing Director at Positive Profile Limited, who describes himself as, “the person responsible for Thorn Medical’s corporate communications”.

Gewanter told me that Opus Capital was no longer acting as adviser to Thorn Medical. Opus Capital’s name was swiftly removed from Thorn Medical’s website. And Gewanter requested that REDD-Monitor “immediately remove any mention of us from the article on your website”.

In October 2016, Thorn Medical wrote to its shareholders to tell them that the company had withdrawn its listing on the London Stock Exchange. But a company called Thorn Healthcare Inc would list on the Nasdaq in January 2017.

A company called Thorn Healthcare Inc was registered in Delaware in October 2016. But January came and went without a listing on the Nasdaq. In January 2017, Sir John Lucas-Tooth resigned from Thorn Medical. He was followed by Lord Beaverbrook and Sir Eric Peacock in May 2017.

Things become curiouser still as both Thorn and Teknisity appeared to be operated by the same people at the same address. The REDD-Monitor cited above continued by noting:

Teknisity’s registered office is Victoria House, 18 Dalston Gardens, Stanmore, Middlesex, England, HA7 1BU. That’s the same address as Thorn Medical. And Kurdam. And Conformo. And Zy-Go Solutions. And about 500 other companies.

It’s safe to say that Teknisity Ltd is a company that is closely related to Thorn Medical. They share the same address, directors and major shareholders. Several of those major shareholders also share the same address and directors of Teknisity and Thorn Medical.

Teknisity Inc’s letter explains that Teknisity Inc has bought Teknisity Ltd.

A third letter was sent out to Teknisity Inc’s shareholders on 1 June 2017. The letter supposedly came from the US-based company that Teknisity had instructed “to lead the program in establishing that Teknisity’s company’s shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange Market during the last quarter of this year”.

UPDATE – 22 June 2017: The CEO of the US-based company contacted REDD-Monitor yesterday. He wrote that, “We have no agreement or have received any compensation to be involved with any part of Teknisity, Thorn Medical or any other entity associated with these companies. These companies have no authorization to use our name.”

He added that his company, “has never authorized the use of the attached letter and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you. We pride ourselves in conducting our business with full regulatory and legal compliance.”

REDD-Monitor wrote to the CEO to find out more. A Thorn Medical shareholder had alerted the US-based company to the letter, and on 13 June 2017, the CEO sent a cease and desist letter to Thorn Medical and Teknisity demanding the removal of all mention of the company’s name, including the removal of the shareholders letter from Thorn Medical’s, and Teknisity’s websites.

REDD-Monitor has therefore also removed all mention of the company and the shareholder letter from this post, edited the headline, and edited the post to make clear that the US-based company is not working in any way with Thorn Medical or Teknisity.

If you’re a shareholder in Thorn Medical, Teknisity’s Acceptance Offer includes a useful piece of advice:

If you are unsure of any matter regarding this exchange, you should seek independent financial advice.

I’d also suggest contacting Action Fraud, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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While these strange events were transpiring, a July 25, 2017 press release announced that Okaynos had been acquired by Black Beret Life Sciences LLC

Black Beret Life Sciences LLC Leads Acquisition of Okyanos Center for Regenerative Medicine — Houston-Based Life Sciences Firm Adds Bahamas Adult Stem Cell Therapy Company to Portfolio

HOUSTON, July 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Black Beret Life Sciences LLC has finalized the acquisition of Okyanos Operating Company, Ltd., a state-of-the-art adult stem cell and regenerative medicine center based in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Black Beret Life Sciences LLC was founded by the legendary Dr. W. E. “Ed” Bosarge. BBLS LLC acquired Okyanos Operating Company, Ltd. in July 2017.

Okyanos.Crunchbase
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While Matt Feshbach appears to be out of the picture completely at Okyanos, who knows if he really is?

Lingering questions remain. How did the ownership of Okyanos move from Thorn Medical to Teknisity to Black Beret Life Sciences? Especially considering that Thorn Medical went broke in August 2017? Teknisity, on the other hand, was incorporated on January 7, 2016; had no assets; and was dormant in 2017.

  • How did Matt Feshbach’s Okyanos sell itself to Thorn Medical?
  • Did Matt Fessbach realize a profit from the sale of Okyanos?
  • How did the bankrupt Thorn Medical sell Okyanos to the dormant Teknisity?
  • How did the dormant Teknisity sell Okyanos to Black Beret Life Sciences LLC?

Further investigation is underway.

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