FOIA request reveals data on religous worker visas

Discussion in 'Leaks & Legal' started by AnonLover, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. AnonLover Member

    The answer was YES!

    Yes, it is possible to get copies of everything filed or maintained by the USCIS under the last set of regulation changes. They failed to carry forward the privacy stipulation that protected the individuals filing R-1 petitions when they changed the process to require that the organization employing the individual file the petition instead. Thus, we have this delicious scoop from TonyO today:

    DOX: Government disclosure shows extent of Scientology’s reliance on cheap foreign labor

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  2. RightOn Member

    do tell!
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  3. AnonLover Member

    Read TonyO's piece. I got some other noteworthy backstory comments to post here, but I'm still enjoying my happy dance ATM.
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  4. RightOn Member

    Trump should be complaining about all these visas and green card marriages LOL!!!!
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  5. Random guy Member

    Let's hope this gets piced up!
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  6. AnonLover Member

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  7. AnonLover Member

    A worthy comment of stuff worth knowing from Chuckita in Bunker comments:
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  8. AnonLover Member

    A worthy comment of stuff worth knowing from PickAnotherID in Bunker comments:
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  9. AnonLover Member

    Just FTR, I found out there is one BIG problem with getting copies of the actual petitions (visa applications). As we now see, Scientology files such a massive amount of R-1s, the poor guy at the USCIS FOIA office shit bricks when my FOIA request first landed. But he was pure awesome as you can see in the e-mail exchanges captured on the request link below.

    We eventually spoke at length on the phone and shared some really good laughs about the overwhelming amount of paper my original request for copies of the actual petitions would have generated. From that discussion I learned a few useful things. We also worked out revised parameters for my initial request to get summary data dumped into a spreadsheet that could be generated easily AND would be likely to fly through the review/approval/redacting stages.

    Four months later, I had the first of what will become a series of data mining dumps documenting the cult's exploitation of the religious worker visa program for human trafficking their slave labor into the US. Once I'm sure I've got data on ALL the religious corporations, I'll move on to getting on-site inspection reports.

    I did significant data mining and number crunching on the data I received. A small portion of which Ortega used in his piece. More of this stuff will be released eventually, as soon I'm done milking it for all it's worth AND file some more record requests to expand my initial data set.

    ADDED BONUS! Thanks to Scientology's history of waging war on the US government with FOIA requests and getting the IRS to capitulate to their demands for tax exemptions, I got off scott-free on fees for this request. Which in and of itself was a huge WIN because the Dept. of Homeland Security has instructed all of their subdivisions (including USCIS) to treat all MuckRock users as a commercial requester until they can prove the service provider is not making money off filings. And then I came along, with a very well crafted prototype letter for successfully appealing fee waiver denials from a lawfag to whom I will be forever grateful.

    Sooo... Where you at OTBT??? Time for you to resurrect from the past and do a happy dance with me as we take a victory lap.

    Doot do do do do doot doot. Living in the U.S.A. ...Somebody give me a cheeseburger!
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  10. BigBeard Member

    You would think USCIS would figure out Cof$ is running a scam after pulling all this information together for you. Or are they just pretending there's no stink from the manure pile that just shoveled out?

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  11. AnonLover Member

    <whistles innocently with a knowing look>

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  12. AnonLover Member

    Another useful tidbit worth knowing from Ben Franklin in Bunker comments:
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  13. my understanding is that OTBT has too many socks and passwords on the various anti-Scn forums, and may not remember them all.

    most recently, to my knowledge at least, OTBT was posting to WWP as Enturbuleak - the avatar is a photo of Emily Ratajkowski with her head at an angle, from the Blurred Lines video.

    I've also seen him post as OTBT on ESMB. Not for a couple years, though.
  14. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Awesome work thar AL!!! Kudos!

    Several years ago on one of my reading binges, I came across a reference that mentioned another aspect of the scamology , and that was getting people to apply for student loans and education grants, social services, etc.. For the life of me I cannot remember where I found it, possibly Atacks first book, maybe the loony Fishman affidavit, dunno, but it got me wondering how many of their 'religious pilgrims' get 'help' with their funding? I know, I know, likely an impossible thing to research, and even more likely that those brought in on those visas are cherry-picked based on their credit ratings/assets already, and once in the clutches of the vipers at Flag (or where-ever), they are bled dry. The legality of cult taking passports etc. from people has been discussed before, its their wonderful way of keeping people indentured, controlled, and within reach of the milking-machinery (regs).
    Anyhow, we know that when it comes to 'foot-bullets', cult is masterful.

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  15. anon8109 Member

    The US needs a whistleblower law that makes it easy for someone on a work visa to report abuse by an employer, such as confiscating passports. Why would someone complain against the sponsor of their visa if it means their visa will be rescinded?
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  16. Enturbuleak Member

    I've been on a deliberate break for a couple years from paying any attention to Scientology. Spent more than a decade posting about the cult, on ars, Clambake, ESMB, Enturb, WWP, etc.

    On Drudge Report, saw the news about DM's father's book. So I got curious again about the cult.

    Anyway, I'm pretty much tied up with local stuff. Showing people how to bypass blocks on banned news sites and blogs, how to reconfigure laptops and smartphones to circumvent government censorship, how to access banned news sites, and generally pushing for freedom of speech. I don't believe news sites should be banned by governments. I'm still waiting to see if the government will attempt to block the Wall Street Journal here. Foot bullet if they try. Fun times.

    Congrats on extracting the R-1 docs from the U.S. government. A lot of the early R-1 pdfs from over 10 years ago were removed from USCIS website. I still have a collection of those R-1 docs, but I stopped collecting them a couple years ago. Anonlover and others should still have my old collection of scilon R-1 decisions. Great to see the U.S. government is now cooperating with FOI requests about scilon R-1 abuse.
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  17. Enturbuleak Member

    Hey AL, that's darn impressive work. Seriously, that must have taken a helluva lotta work to get the federal government to play nice. Your hard work put a smile on my face this morning : )

    As mentioned in an earlier comment, I've been on a deliberate break for a couple years from paying any attention whatsoever to Scientology. Nice to see their informations walls continuing to crumble.
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  18. AnonLover Member

    Enjoy your break bro. I got this covered. <3
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  19. AnonLover Member

    Speaking of the "helluva lotta work to get the federal government to play nice" I think I should take a moment to confirm that, shower some praise on how fabulous the USCIS has been to me once I got the standard denial of a fee waiver for anyone using MuckRock (who they absolutely loathe at the parent agency level - Homeland Security) successfully appealed, and do a quickie status update on where this long-term dox gathering project currently stands.

    USCIS FOIA officers are pure awesome. They rock! Yes, they had to jerk me around at first and things were slow getting started, but none of that was their fault. They bent over backwards to hook me up, and the delays and hassles was due to SOP set by the parent agency Homeland Security.

    Regarding that appeal - it is truly a thing of mind-numbing, eyes-glaze-over, beauty. Damn near a work of wordsmithy art that I evolved and adapted from a basic template a lawfag had helped me draft on a completely different FOIA request. I mentioned it briefly in OP and you can see it on the reply dated 07/07/2015 halfway down this web page:

    The reason that long winded appeal was necessary is because Homeland Security has a long standing pissing match going with MuckRock. They have instructed all their branches and underling agencies to automatically treat anything coming from MuckRock as a de facto commercial request (payment of hefty fees required) and only grant a fee waiver on appeal, to be evaluated on a case by case basis based on the intended use of the person requesting it.

    This fee waiver pissing match pretty much chills the investigative journalism coming from the great folks who work at MuckRock and prevents them from pursuing lots of things themselves. It also creates an extra hurdle for average-joe MuckRock users like me, where it's a lot less work for me to NOT use their service when dealing with Homeland or any of their underling agencies. Being that I'm an insanely loyal asshole, I had to poke that hornets nest and see if I could get a precedent established for other MuckRock users.

    Successful troll was successful, and now I can reference that successful appeal in short form and glide right past the normal fee-waiver-denied detour on all subsequent FOIA requests for Scientology R-1 visa data.

    And there is a lot more data to gather. Like boatloads of data, literally. Shiiiii... there is a boatload of (phase 1) data to request and sift thru just to find out where the really juicy dirt is hiding for dox gathering phases 2 & 3 - maybe even 4 & 5. Think fancy taco salad where you gotta work your way thru several delicious layers just to get to the meat on the bottom. So far, we got one YUGE bite out of the top layer and the work Enturbuleak did in years past was a few juicy morsels from the bottom layer. I'm attempting to get the whole damn salad, or at least most of it, from the top down.

    I'll post more on ^^This game plan later tonight, with a small bit of new data I recently received that wasn't really big enough for TO to run with but still interesting to see. I might even dig up some data from the first release that TO didn't use (because there was just sooo much of it) just to toss it out there as we wait for my later FOIA requests to bear some fruit.
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  20. fishypants Moderator

    Nice work AL!

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  21. AnonLover Member

    NEW Data - Scientology Exec Strata R-1 Visa Petitions from January 1, 2009 through January 20, 2016.

    This was my 2nd FOIA request, where I am currently trying to extend the summary data set I received on the first request for company names beginning with "Church of Scientology ..." Once complete, my data mining database will be expanded to include any available records on:

    Building Management Services (NONE filed)
    Church of Spiritual Technology (1 filed)
    IAS Administrations, Inc. (60 filed)
    Religious Technology Center (1 filed)

    Scientology Exec Strata Form I-129 R-1 Visa List 2009-2016

    Initial data disclosure on this 2nd request was received on March 23, 2016 and is available on the above link. However, they misinterpreted the fields I requested and failed to give me the home country of the beneficiary (person the visa petition is for) and added the state field for the company filing the petition (which is helpful, and Imma gonna add that into my database and keep on requesting it going forward).

    Here's a screen grab of the handy summary chart some spreadsheet-savvy USCIS FOIA officer did for me when they once again proved just how truly awesome they are by working the data set everywhichway they thought might be useful (instead of just slapping the raw data dump and query statement into an Excel file like I got on the first request).


    Alternately, the FOIA officer that compiled the raw data for me also setup this summary by state AND has pivot tables properly defined in the raw data tab of the disclosure file. (Did I mention how awesome the USCIS FOIA department is? Yes? Oh well it's worth repeating, they rock!)


    Findings: this data set is small, but VERY interesting. If you go back to the TO article in OP and look at the data mining charts he used from my first data set, you'll see the "denied" and "admin closed" status ratio versus the ones approved is waaaaaaay higher in this 2nd batch of records. 61 out of 62 R-1 visas WERE NOT GRANTED for these executive level corporations, where as nearly ALL of the R-1 visa petitions were approved for "Church of Scientology ..." corporations.

    Who knew! The gubmint has consistently found that IAS donation sharks are NOT a legitimate religious worker job description!! Gentlemen, we haz a big old crack in the religious cloaking shields. And this is not the usual death-by-a-thousand-papercuts type of itty bitty crack. It is a natural formation of the cult's own doing, cut into the SO continental landscape from persistent filing of failed R-1 petitions, just like the Colorado River carved out the Grand Canyon over time.


    Status update & long term project gameplan to be continued in next post...
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  22. anon8109 Member

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  23. AnonLover Member

    ...continued from last post

    Not getting the beneficiary's home country field in this 2nd data set kinda screwed the pooch on re-using the raw data import & charting code I wrote for the first batch of records. So I politely asked the USCIS to kindly redo my 2nd FOIA release, which sent me to the back of the queue of pending requests but also extended the cut off date to April 2016 (so the totals for each company may increase when the redux data set comes in).

    The redo on my 2nd request was accepted on 04/04/2016 and placed in the faster "track one" queue that takes approx. 50days to complete at the IT dept. level plus 1-2 weeks to go through legal review & release steps. (Another testament to how awesome the head USCIS FOIA Officer is! Most agencies would have made me submit a brand new request and start fresh in the slower "track two" queue that takes approx. 137days to complete + review/release).

    Current FOIA status check on the USCIS website for Control Number COW2016000300 shows the redo of my 2nd request is number 97 of 144 pending requests in Track One. So my guestimate ETA on getting this data set is somewhere round about the first week of June.

    Once the status check on the above Control Number shows my 2nd request redo is in the top 25, I'll file my 3rd request for the same petitions-filed summary data on the miscellaneous "front group" scilon corps that have the business registration status applicable for R-1 visas (religious non-profit, as opposed to secular non-profit). This includes:

    Bridge Publications
    Hubbard College of Administration
    Scientology Missions International
    Social Betterment Properties
    World Institute of Scientology Enterprises

    The second and third data sets will give me more bites of the first layer of the taco salad, or phase 1 data. Then I'll probably revisit my initial exploratory FOIA request for "Church of Scientology ..." company names, and ask for the state field in addition to an expanded time frame. That will give me a full top layer of data for deeper mining in phase 2 (sample files on denied and closed petitions so we can see where the cult's human trafficking scam fails) and phase 3 (onsite inspection reports and other investigative actions).

    After phase 3 data sets come in, I'll probably revisit phase 1 and request data on additional petitions filed since the cut off date on the previous round. That way I can chart out whether or not there is a steady trend showing an increase/decrease on how many R-1s they get approved over a longer period of time. Then I'll probably launch a phase 4 to pursue litigation dox like Enturbuleak previously gathered on the denied/closed petitions that the cult appealed and battled to get accepted. Unless, some other more interesting line of exploitable data reveals itself in phase 2 & 3.

    Ultimate goal of this project = while working with the FOIA officer to get the kinks ironed out in my first request, I was advised that if what I suspect Scientology to be doing (using R-1s to human traffick slave labor for non-religious job assignments) falls squarely under the USCIS' definition of immigration fraud. There is a hotline for reporting fraud (posted upstream ITT), a BIG gubmint appropriations budget for investigating the hot topic of immigration fraud (via ICE) and prosecuting immigration fraud (via DOJ), and gross R-1 abuse like what Chris Shelton's recent video series with Shane Weightman documented can result in felony charges.

    Felony fraud = no more tax exemption. Which is a good work around for the budget-slashing shitstorm from our GOP-lead congress that is currently reigning down on the IRS over the Lois Lerner email debacle. The IRS barely has the money to keep the lights on these days, let alone investigating complex fraud complaints that require leaping over the vast chasm of fuckups in the cult's settlement agreement. Thus, the way I see it, pursuing R-1 visa fraud is a far more effective venue for air-tight prosecution of whatever ICE might find if they can be convinced to raid the major Sea Org bases.

    ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is another branch of Homeland Security, separate and distinct from USCIS that processes visa applications. So there is bloated bureaucracy cliff that needs jumped to get the right data into the right hands.


    Added bonus: anybody can file a immigration fraud complaint, along as you don't mind namefagging yourself. Which of course isn't a problem for me. So once I'm done finding all the cracks and loopholes the cult has been exploiting since the last wave of new immigration laws went into effect in 2009, I will be turning my data mining database over to the authorities along with other information to hopefully provide some compelling inspiration to launch an investigation. And here's hoping immigration remains a hot topic issue in congress with bipartisan support for the next year or so. :cool:
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  24. anon8109 Member

  25. AnonLover Member

    Probably not. I don't think he's on the right congressional committees / subcommittees since he's on the appropriate taxation oversight committee for IRS issues.

    However, I haven't look into identifying exactly which congressional committees / subcommittees are responsible for USCIS and ICE oversight. Some relevant news articles on this front here:
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  26. RightOn Member

    My head is spinning. :confused:
    Doesn't take much :D

    But as far as I can tell...
  27. AnonLover Member

    FIFY. Or so I think... but it's just a working theory, and a work in progress.
  28. AnonLover Member

    Ooops... busted muckrock link in post #21 now fixed. I forgot to unhide that request before posting status update infos.
  29. fishypants Moderator

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  30. Random guy Member

    With one out of two president candidates for the next election promising to throe out a number of immigrants, I think that's a given.

    The 61 in 62 being turned down is only good for the IAS, right? The mother cult still get most of it's applicants approved? Won't the cult be able to slither away from any unpleasantness using the successful applicants as an argument?
  31. AnonLover Member

    Correct. Here is a comparable data mining chart from the first batch that TO didn't use when he reported on this stuff:


    Good question. I'm not sure. But I sure am curious as to why whatever their doing on the Church R-1s isn't working on the IAS petitions. My hope is once I dig down to the phase where I start requesting a short stack of randomly selected denied petitions, we'll find out what the deal is with IAS bucket of fail. I'm also wondering if maybe somehow I can word a request that would give me denied IAS petitions where the person successfully refiled for R-1 under a Church entity.
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  32. Incredulicide Member

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  33. AnonLover Member

    Bump4Related Info - cross posting disclosures from the cult's lobbyist Greg Mitchell who has worked on stuff related to protecting Scientology's R-1 visa abuse.


    In 2015 2nd Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do seven things for the quarter, five of which are relevant to the cult's interest. This one pertains to R-1 visas:
    Additionally, 2015 1st Quarter Mitchell again received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do four things for the quarter, ALL of which are relevant to the cult's interest. This one rings an alarm bell related to R-1 visas:
    ICYMI: Scientology obtained 139 R-1 visas from ^^Ukraine from 2009-2015, spread across 5 organizations, with the lion share (85%) going to Bellair Mission (118). So refugee status sure would cut down some of those visa application costs.

    (Will add more to this thread as I find 'em.)
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  34. AnonLover Member

    2012 2nd Quarter cult lobbyist Greg Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do six things for the quarter. The 3rd one is relevant to the topic in this thread:
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  35. DeathHamster Member

    What the hell does a mission need with 118 Ukrainians? It seems like it's being used as a staging point to ship them elsewhere or they have a massive churn rate.

    "The room was full of Ukrainians, some of whom were very old..."
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  36. AnonLover Member

    2012 3rd Quarter cult lobbyist Greg Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do five things for the quarter. The last one is relevant to the topic in this thread:
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  37. DeathHamster Member

    I've added a new tag of "Religious worker" for news articles and blog posts. It's still working through the archive, but might be useful for picking out the good ones.

    Category:Religious worker
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  38. Quentinanon Member

    Think Human Trafficking.
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  39. Quentinanon Member

    The Belleair Mission stats are rather deceptive as it is used as a dumping ground for local Flag public that OSA does not want at the FSO for one reason or another.
    Wonder if Denise Gentile still works there with her nasty sister, Laurie.
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  40. AnonLover Member

    We srsly need some recon and intel on the Belleaire joint. People who left within the last couple years would be good too, even if they wanna remain anonymous.

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