The rising business star, his mother, and Scientology's attempt to rip them apart - 2014-04-18
On April 1, a story at Forbes.com caught us by surprise.
It was about a man named Aaron Smith-Levin, who made a living in an unusual way. Forbes writer Nathan Vardi explained that Smith-Levin was becoming known for the complex and deep research he did for hedge fund managers who desire intelligence about companies they might want to invest in.
And it was how Smith-Levin developed his skills that was particularly interesting. Though he never went to college, Smith-Levin learned his craft working for Kurt Feshbach, a prominent Scientologist and formerly the manager, with his two brothers, of a billion-dollar hedge fund in the 1980s and early 1990s. Learning the ropes at Feshbach's Falcon Research, Smith-Levin had led investigations of multilevel-marketing enterprises, warning investors that they were scams. One investigation had even led to a crackdown by the Chinese government.