Scientology

Scientologist Matt Feshbach Back in the Stem Cell Therapy Business


As we previously reported, Scientologist Matt Feshbach and his investors sold their Okyanos Heart Institute in the Bahamas sometime in 2017. Okyanos having been sold, Matt Feshbach next ran into a brick wall with the US Tax Court when it ruled that he could not discharge in bankruptcy the $3.8 million in back taxes he and wife Kathy owe the IRS.

The Feshbach’s are appealing this matter. Not one to let $3.8 million in back taxes get in his way, however, Matt Feshbach has once again resurfaced in the stem cell therapy business. His new firm is called Ambrose Cell Therapy LLC. Based in Dallas, Texas Ambrose filed as an LLC on August 18, 2017.

There is a stampede to get into the stem cell therapy business in Texas since the 2017 passage of “Charlie’s Law” (HB 810) which allows chronically and terminally ill people the right to opt for non-FDA approved treatments with adult stem cells. In her article published at medium.com Dr. Kirsten Matthews,  a Fellow in Science and Technology Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, reported on Charlie’s Law:

In the 2017 Texas legislative session, which ended on May 31, the state lawmakers passed a new bill to expand the state’s ‘Right to Try’ law — H.B. 810, also known as “Charlie’s Law.” The new law, which takes effect September 2017, allows patients who are chronically ill access to experimental stem cell-based interventions (SCBI) and permits clinics to charge patients for their ‘costs.’ While the law seems like a huge win for patients, it might also hurt the same people it is trying to help by reducing their protections. In contrast, the new law does place the state of Texas in a position to more readily regulate clinics providing experimental SCBIs, closing down those which are fraudulent.

In an article published in the Texas Heart Institute Journal, Dr. Iltis and I describe the risks associated with unregulated clinics offering unproven or experimental SCBI. The new Texas law would essentially circumvent the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and their Expanded Access Program (EAP), which regulates clinical trials and access to experimental therapies. It also bypasses many of the required ethical and informed consent rules required by the FDA…

Dr. Matthews and her colleagues noted in their recent paper:

Born of the expectations and hype associated with stem cells and regenerative medicine over the past two decades, there are now numerous clinics around the world selling stem cell-based interventions (SCBI) that have yet to be proven effective or safe, with little to no accounting of the outcomes being collected. SCBI treatments might hold the key to help patients, but they also have serious risks of side effects, including graft-versus-host disease, unintended harm, and even cancer. Clinics are charging exorbitant prices, some for more than $20,000 per treatment.

Given the potential size and money to be made in this market, there was a big push to pass Charlie’s Law by those people and companies in Texas that stood to financially benefit by operating stem cells clinics.

Prior to the passage of Charlie’s Law, there was a great deal of lucrative stem cell medical tourism being enjoyed by Mexico, Feshbach’s Okyanos Heart Institute in the Bahamas, and many other clinics outside the US. These non-US clinics do not have FDA approval for the procedures they sell and deliver nor do they require such.

Charlie’s Law allows Texas to compete with these non-US clinics by offering non-FDA approved treatments to the chronically and terminally ill. Charlie’s law also significantly limits the liability of the doctors and providers that deliver these non-FDA approved procedures.

The logic of Charlie’s Law is that if someone is in chronic pain or dying then they have a right to try non-FDA approved adult stem cell treatments. The extremely specific and narrow focus of Charlie’s Law shows it to have been the result of intense lobbying by a specific group of people with a vested interest in adult stem cells.

These people include former Texas Governor Rick Perry whose wife Anita Thigpen Perry serves on the Board of Directors of Celltex Therapeutics Corp of Houston, Texas. In 2017, Rick Perry earned $175,000 as a consultant to Celltex. The company itself moved its operations to Mexico in 2013 after failing to comply with several issues raised by the FDA. Rick Perry was confirmed by the Senate as the US Secretary of Energy in the Trump Administration.

EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS VS. ADULT STEM CELLS

One of the key distinctions to understand in stem cells is the difference between embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. An excerpt from the National Institutes for Health:

Human embryonic and adult stem cells each have advantages and disadvantages regarding potential use for cell-based regenerative therapies. One major difference between adult and embryonic stem cells is their different abilities in the number and type of differentiated cell types they can become. Embryonic stem cells can become all cell types of the body because they are pluripotent. Adult stem cells are thought to be limited to differentiating into different cell types of their tissue of origin.

Embryonic stem cells can be grown relatively easily in culture. Adult stem cells are rare in mature tissues, so isolating these cells from an adult tissue is challenging, and methods to expand their numbers in cell culture have not yet been worked out. This is an important distinction, as large numbers of cells are needed for stem cell replacement therapies.

Embryonic stem cells can differentiate into any structure in the body. However, embryonic stem cells can only be harvested from embryos. These embryos are donated by women who have frozen and stored them with fertility clinics for the purpose of in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. Following successful IVF procedures, many women wish to donate the frozen embryos they will not be using to the service of science. This practice naturally raised moral concerns in the American Religious Right. As a result, Federal laws enacted under the G.W. Bush Administration placed wide-ranging medieval and anti-scientific restrictions on stem cell research. For this reason, Charlie’s Law does not allow embryonic stem cells to be harvested or used in treatment.

Adult stem cells are harvested from the belly fat around an adult’s stomach. This fat is called adipose tissue. Thus, a patient becomes his or her own stem cell donor. Essentially, belly fat is extracted using liposuction or other means and then centrifuged in order to harvest stem cells. These stem cells are injected back into the patient’s body to treat various conditions. Unlike embryonic cells, however, adult stem cells cannot differentiate into any structure. This is one of the issues that make the many promises offered by adult stem cell therapy treatment providers so controversial.

THE FDA & STEM CELLS

Bianca Castro of NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported in May 2018 on Federal prosecutors filing injunctions against stem cell treatment clinics:

Federal prosecutors in California and Florida filed injunctions on Wednesday to stop two companies from providing stem cell treatments, alleging the clinics marketed their procedures as remedies for ailments including cancer and heart disease without proof of safety and efficacy, according to this statement from the Food and Drug Administration.

The firms put consumers at risk by promising benefits from treatments and products never approved by the FDA, the Justice Department alleged in court filings in both states.

The filings target two companies, one of which is affiliated with Innovations Stem Cell Center of Dallas.

But now, the FDA is filing a lawsuit to stop these kinds of stem cell therapies.

The FDA says they’re not approved because they haven’t been proven to be safe and effective…

The Cell Surgical Network released the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

The Cell Surgical Network (CSN) intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit filed today by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CSN strongly rejects the idea that a person’s own cells should be regulated by FDA as a drug. On behalf of all Americans, we look forward to protecting patients’ rights and the physician-patient relationship. We share FDA’s concern for patient safety, but do not believe that FDA regulation of a surgical procedure that simply harnesses the healing power of a patient’s own cells, without altering the biological characteristics of those cells, is the answer. The decision of whether or not the surgical procedure is performed should be made by the patient and physician – not the FDA or any other arm of the federal government.

The Cell Surgical Network is an industry trade group that is attempting to set accreditation standards and make adult stem cell therapy a legitimate form of medical practice. To accomplish this goal, stem cell treatment providers, at present, need be excluded from FDA requirements. Stem cell advocates are trying to do this, in part, by arguing that a person’s own stem cells cannot be regulated as a drug by the FDA. Yet this argument is specious inasmuch as stem cell providers are extracting adipose tissue and extracting stem cells for the express purpose of medical treatment.

Adult stem cell providers want it both ways: They want to claim that their treatments are efficacious in treating a wide variety of medical conditions, and, they want to practice medicine without FDA approval. In this sense, these stem cell treatment providers are following the same story arc as anti-vaxxers: People should be allowed to make their own medical decisions and damn the science, dangers, and governmental restrictions.

Stem cells are classified as a drug under the FDA’s definition of a drug:

The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and FDA regulations define the term drug, in part, by reference to its intended use, as “articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals.” Therefore, almost any ingested or topical or injectable product that, through its label or labeling (including internet websites, promotional pamphlets, and other marketing material), is claimed to be beneficial for such uses will be regulated by FDA as a drug. The definition also includes components of drugs, such as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Stem cells are intended for “use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and are therefore properly classified as drugs. Stem cell treatment providers want to circumvent this definition and Charlie’s Law represents one such attempt. The litigation expected to arise from Charlie’s Law will test the legality of this particular piece of legislation. To argue that a dying person should be allowed to do whatever they want ignores the larger moral question: Should stem cell opportunists be allowed to exorbitantly profit from the desperation of the chronically ill and the dying by selling them non-FDA approved treatments? Another question: Do the chronically ill and the dying have the mental capacity to consent to spending large sums of money on unproven treatments? Or are they being driven by irrationality in their great suffering and mortal fear?

MATT FESHBACH, MUDHAR SHAWKAT, AND BOB DUGGAN

That Matt Feshbach is promoting stem cell therapy is old news; he first began investigating stem cells in 2009. His fellow Scientologist Ali Shawkat was the “angel investor” whose money funded Okyanos. From an article at Finsimes.com in 2014:

Okyanos Heart Institute, a Freeport, Bahamas-based developer of advanced coronary artery disease treatments, said it raised $8.9m in its Series B funding.

According to a written note, the round was led by Passion Group founder Ali Shawkat.

Passion Group’s single page website describes what the group is and does:

Ali Shawkat and his wife Noor and into the Scientology IAS for at least $10,000,000 USD based upon this particular IAS trophy:

Shawkat’s father Mudhar Shawkat — a former member of the Iraqi Parliament — is detailed in the Panama Papers. The entry on Mudhar Shawkat in the Panama Papers describes his activities and, in the final paragraph, alludes to the Shawkat’s investment in Feshbach’s Okyanos Heart Institute:

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 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.” But Appleby continued to provide services to Shawkat and his family after the firm’s managers noted that, other than accusations of favoritism in the award of government contracts, there were no allegations against Shawkat.

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.

Mudhar Shawkat and his Scientologist son Ali Shawkat are connected to Matt Feshbach via the Shawkat’s Passion Investments Ltd., Passion Group, and Passion Trust.

We have also previously shown that Scientology billionaire Bob Duggan and another Scientology OT named Michael Holstein are connected to the Shawkat’s Passion companies as shown in the Panama Papers. The Shawkats and Bob Duggan are linked via a company called Genuine First Aid International:

Matt Feshbach’s new Ambrose Cell Therapy is worth documenting here at the Scientology Money Project for three reasons:

1. Matt Feshbach filed for bankruptcy and is trying to discharge $3.8 million USD he owes in back taxes. Feshbach told the bankruptcy court and the US Tax Court that he has no money and virtually no income.

2. In September 2008, the Fessbach’s made an Offer in Compromise (OIC) to the IRS to settle their 2001 tax debt of $3.6 million for $120,000, this to be made in payments over 48 months. The IRS declined the Fessbach’s unreasonable offer to settle for pennies on the dollar of the amount owed.

Judge McEwen of the US Tax Court wrote:

Feshbach.1

3. Given Matt Feshbach’s financial position we must ask where the money for his new Ambrose Cell Therapy LLC came from. Is it more Shawkat money? Or has Feshbach found other investors? While Bob Duggan has invested in two pharmaceutical companies, we personally cannot see Duggan investing in stem cells as, unlike pharmaceuticals, the science and the FDA approval process is not there. Duggan became a billionaire by complying with scientific protocols and the FDA approval process when he was the CEO of Pharmacyclics. Of course, we could be wrong. Other smart investors and institutions are putting money into stem cell companies. Perhaps most notably Texas A&M has signed a deal with Celltex Therapeutics Corp. for “a multiyear agreement for research into potential Alzheimer’s therapies.”

Matt Feshbach has a talent for reinventing himself. It remains to be seen if his once legendary talent for making enormous sums of money remains: Can Matt make lightning strike twice?


Ambrose Cell Therapy LLC filing from the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. Note: Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down and size controls at the bottom of the page frame.

Ambrose Cell Therapy - TX SOS_

Dr. Kirstin Matthews and her colleagues Bhavana Kunisetty and Keri Sprung discuss Charlie’s Law (HB 810). Note: Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down and size controls at the bottom of the page frame.

Stem.Cell.Paper.Charlies.Law

 

The Dianetics Center Next Door to the Pablo Escobar Death House in Medellin, Colombia

Thanks to Dr. Reefer for this video which clearly shows the Dianetics Center Next Door to the Pablo Escobar Death House in Medellin, Colombia Carrera 79 #45 D 941. When my article on this was published on Tony Ortega’s blog, the Cult got the video taken down from YouTube. Please mirror.

See my additional article on Scientology and Colombia: Why Colombia’s military was fertile territory for Scientology — and one general’s stunning role.


Here is my orignal article on the Dianetics Center next to the Pablo Escobar Death House as it appeared on the Underground Bunker:

In Colombia, Scientology’s ‘Casa Hubbard’
has a pretty interesting neighbor

Regular correspondent Jeffrey Augustine has a rather startling discovery to share with us…

It’s December 2, 1993, and in Colombia’s city of Medellin, in the Los Olivos residential district, the world’s wealthiest and most violent drug dealer is hiding out in a nondescript two-story home. The man is the notorious Pablo Escobar, whose cocaine cartel has brutally murdered countless people. Even the United States is not safe. Miami has been gripped in a wave of violence and killings ordered by Escobar.

Escobar is talking to his son on the phone. A Colombian military intelligence operative intercepts the call and relays information to other members of the Search Bloc, a special unit of the National Police. Led by Colonel Hugo Martínez, the Search Bloc team moves in and stealthily approaches the building containing Escobar, located at Carrera 79B #45D-94. Alerted to their presence, Escobar says goodbye to his son.

Álvaro de Jesús Agudelo, a/k/a “El Limón,” is Escobar’s only bodyguard this day. Escobar and El Limón open fire on the police as they make their way upstairs. The two men then jump out of a second story window onto the roof of the smaller home next to their hideout. As they do so, another group of Search Bloc members make their way onto the neighboring rooftops.


The Final Moments: Heavily armed Search Bloc members close in on Escobar and El Limón

Escobar and his bodyguard never make it off the red tile rooftop of the house onto which they had jumped. El Limón is shot and killed almost immediately. The force of the gunfire propels his body off the rooftop of the house and onto the ground.

Escobar is trapped on the rooftop as he fires at the Search Bloc in a desperate attempt to escape. Two bullets rip through Escobar’s leg and torso. The fatal shot tears through Escobar’s right ear and kills him instantly. Escobar collapses on the tile roof. Colonel Martínez shouts into his radio, “Viva Colombia! We have just killed Pablo Escobar!”

Since that shootout, debates have raged over whether Escobar was actually killed by the police or ended his own life. He had reportedly told his family that if he were ever cornered, he would put a bullet into his ear, which was the location of the fatal shot. But either way, the location of that scene has become a local landmark, and you can find numerous websites and videos that provide a guide to finding the two-story hideout.

In one particular video of the location, the camera operator shows that the old hideout has gained a third story, but it’s clearly still recognizable as the house were Escobar had been hiding out…

And when he zooms out a little, his eye is drawn to a curious looking volcano next door…

As he then quickly pans past that next door storefront, we can see that it bears the name “Casa Hubbard”….

A check of Scientology’s website confirms that the Scientology Mission in Medellin is, in fact, located right next door to the Pablo Escobar death house:

Scientology’s choice of location for a mission is, in our view, a perfect metaphor: Scientology is a transnational criminal syndicate run by a crime boss with an army of enforcers and paid thugs.

— Jeffrey Augustine

Thank you for that sobering connection, Jeffrey. And looking at the most recent Google streetview of the location, taken in July 2017, you can see on the left the low rooftop where Escobar came to rest, in the middle the two-story-turned-three-story hideout (now a “Spanish School”), and on the right the building no longer has its Casa Hubbard signage. As so many other Scientology missions around the world, this one appears to exist only in a church website directory.

Scientology’s cruise ship the Freewinds: Why OT 8 needed to be delivered off-shore

(This article by Jeffrey Augustine was originally published on Tony Ortega’s blog and is republished here for archival purposes)

As covered in our previous article, the Church of Scientology proclaimed the imminent release of the highest auditing level on the Bridge, OT 8, in 1971. “Imminent,” however, turned out to be another 14 years of waiting before it was L. Ron Hubbard announced the release of the level in Ron’s Journal 39. Hubbard declared that OT 8 was his 1985 New Year’s Gift to Scientologists…

On OT 8, Scientologists would finally discover the primary reason for amnesia on the Whole Track — why they had forgotten most of what they had experienced in their trillions of years of previous existence. Such a huge technological advance would need a special location to deliver, and a new Advanced Org dedicated solely to OT 8. An elite team of Sea Org auditors would need to be selected and trained.

But why a ship for OT 8? We see three reasons. First, the Church was purchasing real estate in Downtown Clearwater at a pace that made the locals tense about Scientology’s plans for their tranquil seaside community. Those tensions were becoming open hostility by 1985. Second, Scientology did not have IRS tax exemption in 1985. Third, Scientology was still smarting after the FBI’s massive 1977 raid and the subsequent prosecution of eleven church officials.

Hubbard was in hiding, and he had a series of backup ranches in case he needed to flee his hiding place in Creston, California. Having a ship based outside of US jurisdiction offered the Church its own backup location. The IAS was already headquartered in Curacao and it made sense to designate Curacao the home port of the new ship. Essentially, the new ship would serve as an IAS office and fundraising center. Scientologists who visited the ship would be squeezed for IAS donations.

The undertaking to find, purchase, staff, and renovate a suitable ship was called the Ship Project, with the IAS fundraising from 1985 to 1988 to pay for the initial costs. In 1986, the Ship Project was taken over by the Flag Ship Trust. A most curious entity, the Flag Ship Trust had no jurisdiction and could only be contacted in care of Whitman & Ransom in London:

The Flag Ship Trust purchased the Bohème in September 1986. However, the way in which Scientology purchased and took ownership of the vessel was dodgy. For example, the Church of Scientology told the IRS in 1992 that the Freewinds had a mortgage on it:

[The] “Freewinds” cruise vessel: this asset has a net book value (cost less depreciation} of $15,295,000 and is subject to a mortgage of $12,500,000 held by Trust for Scientologists. The net equity in the vessel is thus $2,795,000. The vessel is owned by San Donato Properties Corporation and is chartered to Majestic Cruise Lines Inc. Its home port is Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, and it sails primarily in the Caribbean.

San Donato Properties Corporation is a Panamanian Corporation and a subsidiary of Transcorp Services S.A. In turn, Transcorp Services S.A is owned by the Flag Ship Trust. Thus, it appears that the Flag Ship Trust conveyed ownership of the Freewinds to San Donato Properties Corporation in such a way that resulted in a $12,500,000 mortgage on the ship. This was simply moving a Scientology asset from one pocket to another in order to create a mortgage and a new owner. All of these offshore machinations created legal barriers behind which Scientology was shielded.

The new Advanced Organization created to manage and deliver OT 8 was named the Flag Ship Service Organization (FSSO). One of the initial goals of the Ship Project was to find Sea Org members who were professionally qualified to serve in key FSSO positions aboard the new ship. On the Apollo, which was classed as a private yacht, Commodore Hubbard could appoint a person Captain based solely upon their past life experiences of having captained ships. However, David Miscavige and the FSSO had a different situation. The Freewinds is classed as a cruise ship and had to meet the standards of maritime law for cruise ships. Miscavige had to find a professional Captain, navigators, electricians, deck hands, mechanics, chefs, and trained engineers for the engine room. The crew of the Freewinds had to be Sea Org as well because the FSSO is a Sea Org Org. Mike Napier was a public Scientologist who had captained ships and had masters papers. He was recruited into the Sea Org as were other qualified people. The crew of the Freewinds constitutes the FSSO. The ship itself serves as the FSSO Base.

The FSSO can also be called the CSFSSO (Church of Scientology the Flag Ship Service Organization). In its 1992 IRS application for tax exemption, Scientology made it abundantly clear to the IRS that both the Flag Ship Trust and the CSFSSO keep and bank all of their money outside of the US.

The Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service organization (CSFSSO) was incorporated in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles as a non-profit foundation in April 1988. It commenced activities on 1 May 1988, shortly before the maiden voyage of the Freewinds on 6 June 1988. Its procedures for handling its receipts, discussed below, have applied since its inception and remain unchanged today.

CSFSSO does not have, nor has it ever had, a United States bank account. None of its income has ever been banked in the U.S. CSFSSO has never provided any religious goods or services to its parishioners within the United States; rather, these activities are conducted entirely outside the U.S., from aboard the M.V. Freewinds.

CSFSSO has local bank accounts in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, the home port of the Freewinds. CSFSSO also has U.S. dollar and foreign currency accounts in Luxembourg. CSFSSO accepts payments and donations via major credit cards (e.g. Visa and Mastercard), which are deposited in its local accounts in Curacao.|

Parishioners in the U.S. who wish to make donations to CSFSSO for religious services usually send payment by check or credit card debit to CSFSSO via the Church of Scientology Freewinds Relay Office, located in Clearwater, Florida. This is a practical expedient because the Freewinds is usually at sea in the Caribbean and its exact location for mail purposes varies. The Relay Office collects all mail and other communications destined for the Freewinds. Any currency intended for CSFSSO is converted into a U.S. dollar draft or money order; cash is never sent abroad in a mailpack because of the risk of theft or other loss. Every week, the Relay Office forwards all mail, including checks and credit card invoices, to Curacao. If the Freewinds is not in port, the mailpack is collected by a Ship’s representative and delivered to the Ship as soon as it arrives. All checks are invoiced by CSFSSO on-board the Freewinds and is deposited into local bank accounts in Curacao, as noted above.

In that same 1992 IRS filing Scientology also told the IRS about Scientologists having bounced checks:

One wonders what sort of hellish Ethics handlings OT 7’s faced when their “postulate checks” for OT 8 bounced. This amusing admission that some Scientologists write bad checks shows us that Scientology follows up to collect on them.

When the Church of Scientology took delivery of its new ship in 1986, an intense 20-month period of renovations began. Deadly blue asbestos on the ship was discovered during this period. Former Sea Org member and architect Lawrence Woodcraft wrote an affidavit on this matter in 2001. Woodcraft describes the extensive amounts of asbestos aboard the ship. An excerpt of the Woodcraft Affidavit is quite revealing about Scientology’s attitude regarding asbestos:

No one on the ship knew anything about asbestos, nor did they care… Around this time Bitty Miscavige visited the ship. She was the Church executive with overall responsibility for the ship project. I went to her and took copies of the ship’s blueprints and showed her the full extent of asbestos on the ship. At first she was calm, but as I further explained the dangers, she begun to realize that it was a problem. We had a meeting to discuss the problem of asbestos. Steve Kisacky stated that L. Ron Hubbard doesn’t state in policy that asbestos is dangerous; he only states that fiberglass is dangerous and therefore we are only removing the fiberglass. In fact, the dock next to the Freewinds was piled high with fiberglass that had been removed by Sea Org members. It was explained to me that the ship was being remodeled only according to the written policies and “advices” of L. Ron Hubbard. Since Hubbard had been in the US Navy and had then founded the Sea Org and had run a fleet of ships, he knew everything about ships. If asbestos was dangerous, he would have written this somewhere. Also Hubbard knew everything about cancer. He had written that cancer was caused by the mind and specifically second dynamic aberration (problems with relationships). I was told that people only get sick if they go into “agreement” with being sick. As the ship was going to be filled with “operating thetans” doing the highest level in Scientology (OT 8) nothing was going to make them sick. I was being a “wog” (non-scientologist) worrying about a little thing like asbestos.

International Management having decreed that Sea Org members and OTVIII’s were impervious to asbestos and mesothelioma, the renovations and crew recruitment continued apace. Scientology management’s view of asbestos offers us yet more evidence into how Scientology thinks and acts with wanton and flagrant disregard for the well-being of its members.

In our next installment we look at the immediate events leading up the Maiden Voyage of the MV Freewinds.


Declaration of Lawrence Woodcraft

Lawrence Woodcraft Affidavit about Asbestos on the Freewinds - January 24, 2001

$1.7 Billion in Scientology Assets Show in IRS 990-T Forms

Here are links to PDF’s of the actual 990-T documents the Church of Scientology submitted to IRS. These forms irrefutably prove the $1.7 billion in assets owned by the Church of Scientology through its various religious corporations.

A 990-T must be filed when a tax-exempt organization earns unrelated business income. For example, when Flag rents out the ballroom at the Fort Harrison for a wedding.

As of 2012, the bulk of Scientology’s real estate assets were held by its three major corporations:

1. CSI: Church of Scientology International 2012 Book Value: $846,314,618

2. CST: Church of Spiritual Technology 2012 Book Value $447,192,921

3. FSO: Flag Service Organization Book Value 2012 Book Value $290,655,686

Total: $1,503,163,225.30

Forms after 2012 are not available. This may indicate that Scientology entities enacted a policy in 2013 to no longer engage in any activities that generate unrelated business income.


Additional Scientology tax documents show another ~$150,000,000 in Scientology book value, thus bringing the Church of Scientology’s 2012 book value to $1.7 billion dollars.

4. COS WUS: Church of Scientology WUS Book Value 2012: $45,265,237

5. FSSO:  Flag Ship Service Organization Book Value 2012: $26,705,235

6. CCI: Celebrity Centre International 2012 Book Value $39,392,879

7: SBPI: Social Betterment Properties International 2008 Assets $39,573,456

8. Church of Scientology of San Diego 2013 Book Value $14,330,406

9. Narconon: Narconon 2012 990’s totaling ~$60,000,000

10. ABLE: Association For Better Living & Education Int’1 2012 receipts $7,767,910

In addition to the assets listed above — which include real estate and cash — there is thought to be $1.5 billion dollars in Scientology liquid cash in bank accounts owned or controlled by these corporations:

11. CSRT: Church of Scientology Religious Trust

13. US IAS Members Trust

14. COSRECI: Church of Scientology Religious Education College, Inc. (UK)

15. SIRT Scientology International Reserve Trust – may have been dissolved

16. SORT: Sea Org Reserves Trust

If you have any corrections or additions for this list, please post comments below or contact Jeffrey Augustine at scienowriter@gmail.com.

Scientologist Grant Cardone to Open a Non-Accredited Investment Fund Controlled by FCC Rules: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Cardone.Fund

By Jeffrey Augustine

Elena Cardone posted this on Facebook. She convinced Grant to open a non-accredited fund for friends and family.  Elena mentions that this all per FCC rules.

Memo to Elena: The Federal Communications Commission does not regulate securities. What you meant to say was the SEC as in the Securities & Exchange Commission. This sort of mistake does not inspire confidence in potential investors. Report to Cramming and clear up this misunderstood so that your potential investors don’t get jittery. Financial terms are very precise and must be kept that way, particularly as they relate the Federal regulatory agencies.

A “non-accredited investor” is defined as:

An investor who does not meet the net worth requirements for an accredited investor under the Securities & Exchange Commission’s Regulation D. A non-accredited individual investor is one who has a net worth of less than $1 million (including spouse) and who earned less than $200,000 annually ($300,000 with spouse) in the last two years.

When a company raises private equity for an investment, such as a new company or a hedge fund, it is able to receive unlimited investments from accredited investors. On the other hand, Regulation D stipulates only 35 non-accredited investors are allowed to invest money into a private placement.

Grant and Elena Cardone are looking for 35 non-accredited investors. Why? Grant’s website says he has $450 million invested in apartment complexes. In another place he claims close to a billion dollars. Given these numbers, why would Cardone be looking for non-accredited investors from among family and friends? The portfolio of properties shown on his website should easily attract accredited investors with serious money, particularly given the attractiveness of apartment rental units as more people become unable to afford to purchase homes due to the growing income inequality in America. This is a Scientology-related matter worth keeping an eye on.

I’m not a hater Grant. I enjoy watching you and Elena work. Besides, now that Bob Duggan is off the Scientology radar, you have to step up and fill the billionaire vacuum in Scientology. Do it. I’ll even show you some support. I like your twin brother Gary too:

Scientology Infighting: St. Hill Using the Weak British Pound to Compete with US Orgs


Thanks to our source who sent us this advertisement from Scientology’s St. Hill Advanced Org (AOSH UK) in England.  St. Hill is sending this piece to US Scientologists in attempt to lure them away from American Orgs.

St. Hill is using the weakness of the British Pound against the US Dollar to attract American Scientologists away from Flag and other US Orgs. The message is simple:

Come to St. Hill where it is 20% cheaper to audit your BT’s!

This shameless poaching of American Scientologists by St. Hill tells me five things:

1. The stats at St. Hill have crashed through the basement floor and so it has now made a move on American Scientologists by offering them Scientology services on the cheap.

2. David Miscavige has obviously approved this cutthroat competition between Orgs on different continents as international stats have crashed. So long as money comes in, Miscavige doesn’t care where it comes from.

3. Flag and the other American AO’s are powerless to do anything about St. Hill actively working to steal their customers.

4. St. Hill can brag that it is “Ron’s home” because it was Ron’s home. Of course, Ron Hubbard made the Church of Scientology buy it from him for an exorbitant sum. Indeed, Ron made a fortune dumping St. Hill onto the Church. The Church then had to pay for all of the badly-needed improvements Ron didn’t pay for when the place belonged to him. So, yes, why not audit at the manor where Ron lived for eight years?

5. St. Hill is not saying the quality of services it delivers is superior to American Orgs. Rather, St. Hill is only saying its services are cheaper.

My prediction: Flag will react by offering 25% discounts on package deals to compete with St. Hill.

*****

That Scientology Orgs are trying to steal each other’s customers show the invisible hand of the market at work. The market forces of Capitalism are now at play within Scientology. Price erosion may begin to occur as the Orgs compete with each other. However, this will prove to be intolerable in the long run for David Miscavige.

Thus Scientology seems to be coming to a fork in the road. Will the Church become Monastery Scientology, an exclusive club where only the very wealthy are allowed? Or will price erosion occur to the extent that Scientology becomes a discount retailer like Wal-Mart?

My bet is, and always has been, on Monastery Scientology.

When push comes to shove, Scientology is designed to accommodate a small base of wealthy members who love status and elitism. Scientology was never designed for downstat and degraded wog trash who actually have to live on a budget.

 

Scientology Operative Exploiting the “National Association of Commissions for Women” to Attack Leah Remini’s Show Scientology and the Aftermath

The red arrow points to Scientology Operative Taryn Teutsch who attended the recent NACW 2018 conference in Los Angeles. Taryn is now using photos from the conference on Twitter to imply that NACW supports her baseless Fair Game attacks against her father Mike Rinder.

Taryn Teutsch, a member of Scientology’s Sea Org, is exploiting the prestigious National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW) in an attempt to gain legitimacy for her attacks against Leah Remini’s Emmy-winning A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath.

The goal of Scientology operative Teutsch is to get her father Mike Rinder fired from Leah Remini’s show. Mike was the third-highest ranking official in Scientology for three decades before he escaped and began speaking out. Mike’s expertise gained from serving in Scientology at the highest levels is a key part of what makes Leah’s show incredibly powerful, accurate, and insightful.

Taryn is attempting to get her father fired by promoting an old and thoroughly discredited narrative of domestic violence (1). Taryn shared this manufactured narrative with unwitting NACW attendees as her photographer snapped photos. Taryn then posted these photos on Twitter in a way that implies NACW endorsement:

More of Taryn’s photos with unwitting attendees were posted on Twitter to imply NACW endorsement:


TARYN TEUTSCH — REPEAT OFFENDER:

GRETCHEN CARLSON & THE YWCA OF GREATER LOS ANGELES

Scientology operative Teutsch used the exact same tactics when she attended the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles “Phenomenal Woman” award ceremony earlier this year. Teutsch had her photo taken with honorees including Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Gretchen Carlson. Teutsch then used these photos on her blog and on Twitter to imply that Lacey and Carlson endorsed and approved of her attacks against her father.

Scientology operative Teutsch with Gretchen Carlson:


Jen Hanson Gruber, one of our readers who is absolutely not afraid of Scientology, informed Gretchen Carlson that her name and image had been misappropriated by an operative of the Church of Scientology. Jen also sent the official police reports and other documents to show that Taryn was lying:

Gretchen Carlson texted back to ask how she could her photo taken down from Taryn’s Twitter page:


Scientology operative Teutsch also used the YWCA GLA event to have her photo taken with Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey:

We contacted the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles and they issued a statement distancing themselves from Scientology and Taryn Teutsch.

Scientology operative Teutsch also targeted the Leila Grace Foundation:

Taryn Teutsch spoke at the Leila Grace Foundation. This foundation is a, “is a non-profit organization that provides sexual assault awareness for college students across the country. It’s main focus is to provide education, which can reduce the risk of sexual assaults on college campuses.” Taryn’s eight year old “fake news” story has nothing to do with rape or sexual assault. Why did Taryn exploit the Leila Grace Foundation?

The Church of Scientology’s goal is to infiltrate women’s groups using Taryn Teutsch’s manufactured and false narrative in order to, ultimately, stop Leah Remini’s show. That Scientology would use such treacherous and underhanded means to accomplish its ends is nothing new.

While Scientology seeks to exploit women’s groups, it is instructive to note that L. Ron Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue Hubbard went to prison for crimes her husband ordered in Operation Snow White. Hubbard himself went into hiding after the FBI raid and remained an unindicted co-conspirator.
Likewise, Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife Shelly Miscavige has been locked away for at least twelve years. The most dangerous job in Scientology is being the wife of the leader.

For more information on how Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard viewed women, please read:

Scientology TV, Taryn Teutsch, and L. Ron Hubbard’s Disgusting View of Women


Teutsch’s conduct in spinning a web of lies about her father is consistent with Scientology’s decades-long pattern of lying to destroy those people whom it deems enemies. Indeed, after the journalist Paulette Cooper wrote a book which was critical of Scientology, the Church succeeded in getting Cooper charged for making a bomb threat. When the FBI later raided Scientology facilities, the records obtained showed that Scientology had orchestrated the entire affair. The charges against Paulette Cooper were dropped and Scientology had to pay Paulette Cooper what we imagine was a substantial legal settlement.

(1) The Evidence Discrediting Taryn Teutsch’s False Narrative Against Mike Rinder:

Scientology Sea Org Member Taryn Teutsch Engaging in Fake News to Attack Leah Remini’s Show & Her Father Mike Rinder

Scientology’s Fair Game Campaign Against Mike Rinder Collapsing Under the Weight of Scrutiny

The Paramedics Report on Cathy Bernardini: Why Taryn Teutsch’s Fair Game Attack on Mike Rinder Falls Apart

Taryn Teutsch Uses a Photo of Gretchen Carlson in Her Fair Game Campaign Against Leah Remini’s Show


Leah Remini’s response to Scientology’s many vitriolic attacks on her is easily summed up in this short video clip:



MIKE RINDER

Mike Rinder was born into a Scientology family. He joined the Sea Org as a teenager and worked as a messenger for L. Ron Hubbard aboard the Apollo, the vessel Hubbard called his flagship. Mike rose through the ranks and eventually became the third highest ranking official in the Church of Scientology.

When Mike escaped from Scientology and began speaking out publicly against Scientology leader David Miscavige’s culture of violence, lies, and greed he was declared a Suppressive Person and became a target of Scientology’s doctrine of Fair Game. Essentially, Scientology Fair Game is designed to utterly destroy a person. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote:

Hubbard’s call to destroy those people deemed to be enemies of Scientology explain Taryn Teutsch’s actions and conduct.

Scientology and Taryn Teutsch will cynically exploit anyone and any group in their ruthless pursuit to destroy those who speak out and expose Scientology.

We are not afraid.

Scientology Narconon Europe Caught in Blatant False Advertising: More Scientology Stock Photo Fraud!

The ever alert Scientology critic Justin Templer Sr. on Twitter caught Scientology Narconon in Europe engaging in what is blatantly illegal false advertising. This is where European critics of Scientology should contact the authorities to report this matter.

Background: Thomas Pettersson, a Narconon Europe Staff Member, wrote a post in Narconon Europe’s blog with this headline:

I have now seen and helped hundreds of people to live and become drug-free

However, as Justin Templar Sr. proves in his tweet, these photos of the Narconon graduates shown on the Narconon webpage above are all Shutterstock stock photos. Thomas Pettersson is a liar and a fraud. He did not help any of these people as they are stock photos:


More social media fraud and false advertising from Scientology. This criminal organization has now been caught, once again, engaging in a lie. Because this example is one of false advertising something can be done about with the authorities in Europe.

Here is Justin’s tweet:

2015: General Mena of the Colombian National Police Meets Tom Cruise

General Mena meets with Tom Cruise in 2015. Photo from El Espectador.

Thanks to scientia posting today in comments on Tony Ortega’s article on Colombia, we learn that Tom Cruise met with General Mena in 2015 when the actor was filming American Made. This is the same year David Miscavige opened the new Ideal Org in Bogota. El Espectador did an article with photos on Cruise meeting General Mena.

It was General Mena who, after he had retired, awarded David Miscavige an unauthorized medal in Barbados. This has caused a great deal of controversy in Colombia and hearings are being held by the Senate. Colombia Reports noted in its recent article that Colombia’s police are embarrassed over the medal the retired General Mena gave Scientology leader David Miscavige:

The El Espectador article shows how closely Tom Cruise was working with David Miscavige & OSA to further safepoint Scientology in Colombia. Tellingly, General Mena did not allow Scientology’s front man Colonel Prado to appear in the pictures of himself with Tom Cruise. It seems that like David Miscavige, the General wanted Tom Cruise all to himself. General Mena perhaps ordered his subordinate Colonel Prado to go write some traffic tickets that day and stay away from HQ.

Although Cruise downplays his Scientology involvement, being able to link Cruise so explicitly to General Mena shows Mena to be the likely Kingpin on the Colombian side of the Scientology-Colombia operation.

Photo from El Espectador.

An El Espectador photo of Tom Cruise with Colombian soldiers:


Here is my recent podcast with former Scientology Colombia staff member Adrian Vanegas: