A sixteen year old young man murdered a Scientology Sea Org member in Australia. The murder occurred as the young man was being escorted off the Scientology Org by two Sea Org members. The young assailant removed a knife he had concealed on his person and stabbed both of the Sea Org members. One Sea Org member died as a result of the attack. The attacker has been charged with murder.
The Church of Scientology and the police made initial statements in the press that the young assailant had permission and legal reasons to be on the premises of the Scientology Org.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Jones was quoted as saying, “It would appear the altercation, or the reason the young person has been removed from the premises, was only and solely in relation to a domestic incident that occurred yesterday.”
The Church of Scientology has walked this back and instead attempted to blame the murder on Leah Remini’s show Scientology and the Aftermath. This is utter nonsense and shows how desperate and bizarre Scientology has become in its irrational attacks on Leah’s show.
In doing so, Scientology is very cynically exploiting the death of a Sea Org member to attack Leah Remini and call for her to stop her show. In other words, Scientology is using a murder that has nothing to do with Leah Remini’s show to call for censorship of Leah’s show. This is fascist in nature and typical of Scientology. But what are we to expect from a Cult whose Volunteer Ministers walk over the backs of the dead at the scene of disasters in order to get photo ops?
Former Sea Org member Aaron Smith-Levin explains the protocols of how Scientology Advanced Orgs actually work. In doing so, he debunks Scientology’s claims.
On the eve of his 10X Growth Conference that features Spanx CEO Sarah Blakely, Steve Harvey, and other notables, Scientologists Grant and Elena Cardone posted this video on social media which shows Cardone showering in the nude with his nine year old daughter. @Seekandfind reposted it and we repost it here.
The 60 year Grant Cardone showering naked with his equally nude nine year old daughter and then posting it on social media is a matter of serious concern as it raises many troubling questions. Elena Cardone filmed the video and asked Grant to “cover up” with a towel when she panned over to film her husband and their daughter showering together.
As CEO of Cardone Capital, Grant Cardone has $800 million under management. Given his responsibilities and obligations to his investors — and his duty to protect the reputation of Cardone Capital — his posting this video is completely inappropriate and irresponsible in our view. A publicly traded company would likely fire a CEO for posting such a video. Were we a Board member, we would vote to fire a CEO who did this sort of thing. CEO’s have been fired for less. Decorum and propriety are expected of a CEO.
Investors should question the soundness of Cardone’s judgment as well as his character: Why would a CEO who is trying to build his work into a billion dollar brand post a video online of himself showering in the nude with his daughter? What does this have to do with building wealth, reputation, or shareholder value? The video is weird and disturbing and reinforces the perception of Grant and Elena Cardone’s often erratic behavior on social media. People see Grant and Elena as nouveau riche and crass, which is perfectly excusable so long as Cardone is paying distributions, but the shower video goes far beyond crassness and is actually quite disturbing.
Some people who see this video will ask very ugly questions. Most of Cardone’s investors are parents and grandparents and even great grandparents. It is natural, therefore, for them to have these valid questions and concerns.
Increasingly, as Tony Ortega has shown with reports about ‘whales,’ Scientology and David Miscavige are relying not on growing membership but extracting as much money as possible from Scientology’s wealthiest donors. So, we like to keep an eye on those rich church members, which has been getting more and more interesting lately.
we’ve been looking at a wealthy Scientologist named David Gentile
(pronounced “gen-TILLY”). In 2013, Gentile founded GPB Capital Holdings,
an investment company headquartered in New York. The company’s website
shows that its managing director is another Scientologist, Manuel
Vianna, someone we’d noticed was working with fellow Scientologist
Matthew Feshbach at Feshbach’s Okyanos Heart Institute in the Bahamas.
Our research into Okyanos in the Panama Papers and press releases of the period revealed that Scientologist Ali Shawkat invested $14 million in Okyanos. Ali Shawkat’s father is Mudhar Shawkat who was a member of the Iraqi Parliament in the last decade and was, at one time, considered to become the next Prime Minister of Iraq. The Shawkat father-son team sold a telecom they owned in Iraq and moved $140 million out of the country when they immigrated to Canada. Shawkat also came to our attention when he appeared in Scientology’s IAS Impact magazine as a $5 million donor to the IAS.
It’s not surprising that rich Scientologists are
investing in each other’s companies, but it’s something we like to keep
an eye on.
getting back to Gentile and his New York investment company, GPB’s
website says that the firm is “focusing on acquiring income-producing
private companies.” GPB Capital has a collection of at least 63
broker-dealers who raise money from private investors. This money is
then pooled and invested in companies that may not have access to
mainstream sources of capital — companies that banks may be reluctant to
loan money to because they’re start ups, or they have heavy debts, or
they’re in bankruptcy protection and need capital to restructure. GPB’s
acquisitions have focused on car dealerships, waste management firms,
healthcare, biotech, and the purchase of debt. GPB’s website claims to
have raised $1.5 billion in private capital and used that money to
invest in the 160 companies in its portfolio.
Gentile’s broker-dealers make a commission of 7.9 percent on private capital raised for GPB. Others in the loop, for example those who refer investors to GPB’s brokers, make a percentage as well. The total commissions on money invested in GPB is about 12 percent. Thus, a private investment of $100,000 in GPB is reduced at the outset to $88,000. The world of private placement money is characterized by these high fees. Additionally, GPB pays itself fees incurred in advising and managing the companies it either purchases or takes an equity position in.
GPB raises money from private investors under what is called
Regulation D (informally called “Reg D”) of the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC). Reg D investments are considered high risk. From
Regulation D is a Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation governing private placement
exemptions. Reg D allows usually smaller companies to raise capital
through the sale of equity or debt securities without having to register
their securities with the SEC. Reg D offerings are advantageous to any
private company or entrepreneur because they allow an entity to obtain
funding faster and to avoid the costs associated with a public offering.
Within the regulation are directives that, based on which rules are
applied, may allow offerings to be openly solicited to prospective
investors in their network.
The SEC is more blunt in
its characterization of Reg D investments, which are also known as
“private placements” as the money moves between private investors and
private companies such as GPB Capital:
speaking, private placements are not subject to some of the laws and
regulations that are designed to protect investors, such as the
comprehensive disclosure requirements that apply to registered
offerings. Private and public companies engage in private placements to
raise funds from investors. Hedge funds and other private funds also
engage in private placements.
As an individual investor, you may
be offered an opportunity to invest in an unregistered offering. You
may be told that you are being given an exclusive opportunity. The
opportunity may come from a broker, acquaintance, friend or relative.
You may have seen an advertisement regarding the opportunity. The
securities involved may be, among other things, common or preferred
stock, limited partnerships interests, a membership interest in a
limited liability company, or an investment product such as a note or
bond. Keep in mind that private placements can be very risky and any
investment may be difficult, if not virtually impossible to sell.
troubles with US regulators began last year when the firm missed an
April 30 filing deadline with the SEC. The firm said it needed more time
in order to restate its 2015 and 2016 financials for these funds:
GPB Automotive Portfolio: $622.1 million
GPB Holdings II: $645.8 million
company that has to restate financials from previous years raises red
flags. A firm with proper internal accounting and compliance controls is
able to produce accurate financial statements to required SEC
deadlines. However, Gentile seemed unfazed by this missed SEC deadline.
Indeed, an article in Business Observer in July 2018 informed readers
that GPB Capital would invest in a 53 story condo project in Tampa.
Called Riverwalk, the project belongs to Feldman Equities, a firm owned
by long-time Scientologist Larry Feldman. The Business Observer article
quotes Feldman on GPB’s major commitment to the Riverwalk project:
says GPB Capital could provide all of the necessary equity to launch
the project, which would amount to between $70 million and $105 million,
based on traditional commercial real estate lending standards. It’s
expected that Feldman, Two Roads, Tower Realty Partners and others may
contribute equity to Riverwalk Place, as well.
Riverwalk computer renderings are as good as Scientology Ideal Org
renderings. This is no surprise as Gensler, Scientology’s go to designer
for Ideal Orgs, is also the designer on Riverwalk:
On the heels of Feldman’s statement in July 2018 that GPB was making a huge investment in Riverwalk, Gentile announced in August 2018 that GPB Capital would temporarily stop raising money. As Bruce Kelly of Investment News reported:
A leading seller of
high-risk, high-commission private placements, GPB Capital Holdings,
with $1.8 billion in investor money, will take a break from raising new
money to focus on straightening out the accounting and financial
statements of its two large funds.
Kelly then cited a letter from Gentile to GPB investors:
growth has led to many successes, it has also come with challenges,”
according to the letter, which was signed by GPB Capital CEO David
Gentile. “There is much work to be done with respect to integrating the
high volume of recent acquisitions into their respective platforms in
order to execute on our performance objectives.”
As an update to this story, Business Observer just reported that Larry Feldman and his partners in the Riverwalk Place condo tower in downtown Tampa have secured $24.5 million in construction financing from Mosaic Real Estate Credit LLC. This is worth noting as Feldman was quoted as saying that GPB was good for $70-$105 million in Riverwalk Place. This does not appear to be the case.
September 2018, The Massachusetts Securities Division began an
investigation into GPB Capital Holdings’ network of 63 broker dealers in
Massachusetts. Boston is a powerhouse financial center in the US and so
the investigation raised serious concerns. GPB issued a statement
through a spokesman:
“GPB Capital Holdings, LLC is
aware that certain broker-dealers have received requests for information
from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. GPB Capital is not in a
position to comment on that matter. As we have previously disclosed to
investors, GPB Capital is in the process of completing the audits of the
financial statements for certain of its funds and is currently not
accepting new capital from investors until that process is complete,”
said a spokesperson on behalf of GPB Capital.
long can it take GPB Capital Holdings to do financial statements?
Gentile is himself a CPA. The law firm of Gana Weinstein raised this
point in September 2018 when it began reaching out online to GPB
investors who may have suffered losses. Gana Weinstein’s comments also
speak to the brokers being investigated:
should be concerned at this point as it is highly unusual for funds of
this size to cease raising funds unless there are serious concerns.
Moreover, delays in reporting financials and the need to release new
reports concerning financial statements made three years ago are highly
troubling. This suggests potentially multiple years of false
information or a size and nature that is currently unknown.
firms have been all too willing to subject their clients to the risks
of investing in GPB due to the hefty fees the company pays to firms.
When GPB Capital’s automotive portfolio raised a total of $369.2 million
from more than 3,800 investors it paid out $43.4 million, or 11.75
percent, in commissions. Seven percent of that amount goes directly to
the recommending broker’s pocket. There are as many as 60 brokerage
firms that sold these funds and among the largest of those firms are
Royal Alliance Associates Inc., Sagepoint Financial Inc., FSC Securities
Corp. and Woodbury Financial Services Inc.
the sharks beginning to circle, the financial statements still were not
forthcoming. Then the big news came in November 2018: GPB’s outside
auditing firm resigned. As reported by Investor Lawyers, another law
firm that is also reaching out online to GPB investors:
November 9, 2018, GPB Capital Holdings, LLC (“GPB”) notified certain
broker-dealers who had been selling investments in its various funds
that GPB’s auditor, Crowe LLP, elected to resign. As reported, GPB’s
CEO, David Gentile, stated that the resignation purportedly came about
“[d]ue to perceived risks that Crowe determined fell outside of their
internal risk tolerance parameters.” GPB has since engaged EisnerAmper
LLP to provide it with audit services moving forward.
In December, Bruce Kelly of Investment News reported that FINRA and the SEC had opened new investigations:
the wake of a state investigation into broker-dealers selling private
placements by GPB Capital Holdings, the Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority Inc. (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission have
launched their own investigations, according to sources.
As GPB’s apparent problems develop, we’ll continue to keep an eye on it.
this point, however, GPB sure looks like it has a lot in common with
Scientology itself: excessive secrecy, a lack of financial transparency,
and one-sided contracts in which GPB has all the power and the
investors have virtually no power and no say in how their money is
spent. Unlike Scientology, however, GPB Capital Holdings cannot claim
religious status as a defense against governmental investigations.
The letter expresses Scientology’s concern that Disney may not hire a job candidate if it is discovered that said candidate is a Scientologist. Aside from this being blatantly absurd, STAND League conveniently ignores the fact that an essential component of Scientology’s Fair Game policy is to get people fired from their jobs and to destroy them utterly.
Look at the Scientology hypocrisy:
1. Scientology’s STAND League worries aloud about Scientologists being discriminated against for employment at Disney even as its main hashtag is #FireMikeRinder.
— Hypocrisy and contradiction: Scientology wants job candidates who are Scientologists protected from discrimination at Disney even as Scientology demands that Disney fire Mike Rinder.Firing Mike would be discrimination against his right to Free Speech and his right to earn a living. Scientology claims to be opposed to discrimination — except of course when it comes to Mike Rinder, Leah Remini and everyone else who exposes Scientology.
2. Scientology engages in phony concerns about Scientologists being discriminated against at Disney even as Scientology uses Taryn Teutsch and Cathy Bernardini to push a thoroughly debunked story that is actually a slanderous attack against Disney and A&E executives. This attack maliciously, and falsely, accuses Disney and A&E executives of supporting domestic abuse because they will not fire Mike Rinder.
— Scientology wants it both ways: It is engaging in a slanderous Fair Game attack against Disney executives even as it demands that Disney executives give Scientology special protections and considerations. This schizophrenic thuggery is typical of Scientology.
— The implicit Scientology extortion racket going on here is obvious: Scientology will continue to attack Disney executives as champions of domestic battery until and unless they fire Mike Rinder. This malicious Scientology tactic fails because it is based in fraud.
3. The Church of Scientology’s ridiculous claim that anti-religionists “out” Scientologists online is just plain stupid. Scientology has for decades published several monthly promotional magazines in which it provides the entire world with the names and photos of its own members. Two examples:
SCIENTOLOGY IS CREATING ITS OWN PROBLEMS
If the Church of Scientology has such concerns about protecting the privacy and identities of its members, then it stands to reason that Scientology should immediately stopouting its own members by publishing their names and photographs in the many magazines and promo pieces it mails out weekly and monthly to everyone on its mailing lists.
Scientology will never do this because L. Ron Hubbard’s policies order that Scientology magazines and other promotional materials are to include the names, photos, and success stories of Scientologists. Hubbard ordered promotional materials to be mailed out in large volumes. “Outflow equals inflow” he wrote. The Church of Scientology continually boasts about Bridge Publications, its enormous printing factory in Los Angeles that produces a huge amount of PR materials.
Ignoring its massive PR efforts which include numerous pamphlets, DVD’s, magazines, websites, and now Scientology TV, the Church of Scientology is now trying to blame “anti-religionists” for the fact that the names of Scientologists are discoverable in online searches. Sorry but this problem was created by L. Ron Hubbard’s policies — and Hubbard’s policies are Scientology’s scriptures. Hence, Scientology has a scriptural PR mandate which has resulted in Scientologists being discoverable in online searches. This is not the fault of “anti-religionists” or whomever else Scientology tries to blame for its own intrinsic problem.
SCIENTOLOGY’S HORRIBLE REPUTATION IS SELF-CREATED
The underlying issue at hand is that the Church of Scientology’s reputation is horrible due to its own actions, and, individual Scientologists are associated with this horrible reputation. Rather than changing its conduct and thereby improving its reputation, Scientology wants to keep harming people, financially destroying its own members, engaging in Fair Game, and then wants to complain when its members are made to bear the stigma of Scientology’s own actions and awful reputation. And yet individual Scientologists are enabling and funding Scientology’s brutal conduct and horrible reputation by their donations to, and ongoing participation in, the Church of Scientology.
David Miscavige has added to the problem by launching Scientology TV and its “Meet a Scientologist” episodes. Is the viewing public supposed to watch Scientology TV and never publicly mention or discuss the Scientologists who are featured on the program? The inconsistency of Scientology’s position is that it wants to feature Scientologists in its PR materials even as it demands that these materials not be studied, compiled, analyzed, or uploaded to the internet by the public to whom these materials are widely and regularly disseminated.
GREG & JANET DEERING AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE PROBLEM
Scientology TV featured Greg and Janet Deering, makers of the finest American made banjos on the market. Greg and Janet create a quality product, create jobs, and are proud Scientologists. Greg and Janet Deering’s donations to Scientology help to create and fund Scientology’s programs of Fair Game. Greg and Janet share in the collective moral culpability of the Church of Scientology’s Fair Game attacks as do all other Scientologists. If one were to Google “Greg and Janet Deering” the results on the front page all lead to Scientology websites. The Church of Scientology created these search results; the critics did not.
SCIENTOLOGY PR EVEN INCLUDES CHILDREN
Scientology publishes and mails out magazines and other PR pieces that shows photos of the children of Scientologists. The Church of Scientology promotes its members and their children and does so very publicly without any regard for their privacy. Scientology then turns around and blames critics for what? Posting the stuff Scientology mails us? Scientology even mails out photos of its Sea Org members:
It gets worse: People find it very hard to be removed from Scientology’s mailing lists. Countless people who left the Church long ago, bought a book, or did a course have written and asked Scientology to remove their names from all mailing lists and yet Scientology refuses to do so. This refusal occurs due to Scientology’s need to show weekly “stats” of promotional materials being mailed out. The policy was written by L. Ron Hubbard and must be obeyed. “Outflow equals inflow,” wrote Hubbard.
SCIENTOLOGY FAIR GAME
The Church of Scientology wants to portray itself as a persecuted victim even as its makes vicious Fair Game attack websites and videos on people who expose its evil and deceitful machinations. These hate-motivated attacks, including the attacks on Disney and A&E executives, are based upon the sadistic and insane policies of L. Ron Hubbard:
* SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
* This is the correct procedure: Spot who is attacking us. Start investigating them promptly for felonies or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies. Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them. Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press. Don’t ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way. — “Attacks on Scientology” (25 February 1966).
* If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace. — Dept. of Govt. Affairs (15 August 1960).
* The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly. — A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955).
THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them. — Lecture: “Off the Time Track” (June 1952) as quoted in Journal of Scientology issue 18-G, reprinted in Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology Vol. 1, p. 418.
The Bottom Line: The Church of Scientology is becoming increasingly incoherent, absurd, inconsistent, paranoid, and contradictory on social media.
In an attempt to attack Leah Remini’s Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath, the Scientology Cult has just released a new video on Mike Rinder which features the mother-daughter soap opera team of Taryn Teutsch and Cathy Bernardini.
The story is well-known and the audio was recorded: A group of Scientologists ambushed Mike Rinder as he sat in his SUV in a Florida parking lot. Cathy and Taryn were there. The crazy mob of Scientologists began screaming obscenities at Mike. Mike pushed his way through this crazy mob of angry and insane Scientologists to get to his wife who was in a doctor’s office. Cathy got a minor abrasion on her arm. The Sheriff’s deputies on scene investigated and concluded there was only “incidental contact” made as Mike Rinder was trying to get away from the mob. For all we know, one of the Scientologists may have caused the abrasions in all of the commotion.
The Sheriff’s report and the Paramedics report are conclusive: There was no crime, and, Cathy Bernardini twice refused medical transport to the nearest hospital. She even signed documents indicating her refusal of medical transport. The paramedics applied a topical dressing and gauze to Cathy Bernardini’s forearm. The Sheriff arrived on scene and did not note any blood on the wall. Why Cathy Bernardini and Scientology even bother with these histrionics and lies shows the impact Leah Remini’s show is having.
In this latest video, soap opera actress Cathy Bernardini claims that blood was spurting from her arm after Mike attacked her. Blood covered the wall, Cathy claims. The problem is that blood was not spurting from her arm because there was no attack, and, blood could only have “spurted” from her arm if the ulnar or radial artery had been severed. Cathy had a skin abrasion and blood does not spurt from abrasions.
The event happened during the day. In this staged re-creation, the Scientology Cult has it happening at night with just Cathy and Taryn there:
However, at the end of this new attack video we see the Paramedics wait until the next day to “rush to treat his severely injured wife.” Ooops! Where is the story continuity editor at Scientology Media Productions? Did he or she blow?
Mike Rinder was talking to John Sweeney who was then with the BBC. The entire event was recorded by John Sweeney. Here is what actually happened:
A quick check shows he worked as a junior investment banker at USB but left banking to pursue his passion for music. The Financial Times reported earlier this year that Ridley has launched his own cryptofund:
Stephen Ridley is also a shameless fanboy of his fellow Scientologist Grant Cardone:
Grant Cardone emphasizes the need to have multiple streams of income. This is hardly original to Cardone. Accordingly, Grant Cardone became a private equity fund manager in 2017 when he opened Cardone Equity Fund LLC. His SEC filing (see below) showed he was looking to raise $40,000,000. This fund is another income stream for Cardone.
Why are the Cardone’s looking for non-accredited investors given Cardone’s claim to have $540+ million in real estate? A half-billion dollar real estate portfolio should attract accredited investors. The obvious answer is that Cardone wants as many streams of income as he can create.
Stephen Ridley and his money guru Grant Cardone show the emphasis on money, self-promotion, and the Art of the Hustle amongst many Scientologists. Part of this is because what we call the Scientology Money Club is an extremely expensive club to join.
Scientology fancies itself a religion, but in our view it is really just a money club at the top. In our opinion, it takes a $5,000,000 IAS donation to buy one’s way into this club. In return comes the glorified IAS bowling trophy and access into the club. We have written about our Scientology Money Club hypothesis and documented financial relationships among Scientologists we discovered in the Panama Papers. These relationships include billionaire Bob Duggan.
We can plot Grant Cardone’s rise in Scientology on a seemingly date-coincident basis with he and Elena’s first major IAS trophy:
Predictively, Stephen Ridley will donate his first $1,000,000 towards joining the Scientology Money Club very soon. After all, access to the top is everything in Scientology — and access takes big money; completing all three L’s; OT status; and publicly promoting Scientology.
Stephen Ridley studies investment systems. Here is a video in which he promotes the HVF System (Francis Hunt’s Volatility Funnel Trading Method):
Grant Cardone’s SEC filing. Note: Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:
The young lady shown in this Scientology ad is not a Scientologist; she is a stock photo. In general legal terms, companies that purchase and use stock photos for advertising may only use them for commercial purposes. Stock photo purchasers may not use the images to imply that the model has embraced a certain political or religious views. For example, it would violate contractual rules to purchase a stock photo to imply that the model embraced a certain religious or political view.
In the Scientology ad the model in the stock photo is used to imply that:
She is an actual Scientologist.
She is enthusiastic that her parents have spent $75,000+ on a Clear package so that their daughter can attain the State of Clear.
Our colleague “Noesis” at the Bunker caught the Scientology fraud:
When will the Church of Scientology stop engaging in blatant social media fraud?
Sizzle8 found the stock photo for sale. Sizzle8 also noted that the Scientology ad flipped the ad, this perhaps in an attempt to defeat Google reverse imaging:
The Scientology Money Project and other Scientology critics have been covering Scientology’s continuing pattern of social media fraud. Below are examples of the of many articles we’ve written on Scientology’s social media fraud. The number of article shows a pattern of deliberate intent to engage in social media fraud. The articles below include links to Sea Org member Taryn Teutsch’s bogus social media attacks on her father Mike Rinder and Scientology’s attacks on Leah Remini’s Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath.
Scientology’s poster girl for its social media fraud is a fake Scientologist named Alicia Selverson. The bogus ad below uses a stock photo and fake name that subliminally looks and sounds like the actress Alicia Silverstone. Scientology is a fraud and so is its bogus STAND League.
When the “Alicia Selverson” Scientology fraud was caught and exposed on Twitter by many critics, Scientology tried to use a new Alicia Selverson:
Scientology cannot tell the truth because lies are the central principle of its own existence.