Scientology’s Tax Exempt Status
In 1993, while attempting to obtain tax exempt status based upon religious precepts, Scientology provided to the I.R.S. an attached statement to Form 1023.
This statement set about defining exactly how and why Scientology deserved religious status.
In this statement, Scientology declared that the entire body of works of L. Ron Hubbard are considered the scriptures of the religion.
“Scientology is a religion based upon the research, writings and recorded lectures of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, which collectively constitute the scriptures of the religion.”
Hubbard, in fact wrote; “Scientology has opened the gates to a better world. It is not a psycho-therapy or a religion. It is a body of knowledge which, when properly used, gives freedom and truth to the individual.” -Creation of Human Ability, L. Ron Hubbard, p 251
“Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis
throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual
activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants
and solicitors.” -Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter (HCOPL) 29 Oct. 1962, “Religion”
Scientology’s religious status stems from the claims that their founder’s videos, lectures and all writings make up their scripture. The problem here is that L. Ron Hubbard was a prolific science fiction writer. The author of hundreds of fictional pieces, the line between fantasy and reality became blurred for him both in his life and with his so called “science of the mind”.
Claiming to have lived a life of adventure that rivaled any character in a book, Hubbard also bestowed upon himself incredible titles, tales of daring do and scholastic honors.
Hubbard called himself a nuclear physicist even though he actually failed both high school and college.
He said he had a Ph.D. from Sequoia University. This so called university was bogus and handed out degrees to people with no coursework done at all.
He claimed to be a multi-decorated war hero who left the military with severe war injuries. None of which is even remotely true.
In fact L. Ron Hubbard was a sex obsessed, pathological liar who dabbled in the occult, did drugs, was abusive to his wives, a dead beat father and a man who left debts in his wake. Suffering from depression with suicidal thoughts, he begged the Veterans Administration for help and spent time in a psychiatric hospital.
In 1982 Hubbard’s eldest son, who had changed his name to Ronald DeWolf, swore under oath in CIVIL ACTION NO. 79-2491-G, LA VENDA VAN SCHAICK, et al v. CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF CALIFORNIA, et al, that;
“He represented in writing in most of the Church publications that he possessed degrees from George Washington University, Princeton University, that he was a nuclear physicist, that he served four years in combat, was seriously wounded and healed his war wounds with his theories on the “science of the mind”, which is the foundation of Scientology. Throughout the development years of Scientology and to the present date, the Church of Scientology has made the foregoing representations and most individuals who have joined the organization that I personally know, relied specifically on my father’s represented qualifications and credentials. The stated representations are all false. He never obtained degrees from those universities, or ever served in combat. He was relieved of duty three times as being unfit, and ended up in a psychiatric hospital at the end of the war. He is a fraud and has always been a fraud.”
DeWolf also attested;
“My father has always held out Scientology and auditing to be based purely on science and not on religious belief or faith. We regularly promised and distributed publications with “scientific guarantees”. This was and has always been common practice. My father and I created a “religious front” only for tax purposes and legal protection from fraud claims. We almost always told nearly everyone that Scientology was really science, not a religion, but that the religious front was created to deal with the government.”
Hubbard referred to himself as “the writer and creator of the textbooks of Scientology”.
Textbooks, not scripture.
This then was the founder of Scientology. A delusional man who perpetuated fraud upon fraud. Who clearly stated that his writings were no religion.
Scientologists are told that all of Hubbard’s works are to be taken as they are. That they are not open to change or interpretation. Yet any assertion their founder has made that interferes with the Organization’s agenda is ignored.
In the Statement to the I.R.S. Scientology is clear that their foundation as a religion is based upon the infallibility of their founder’s scripture.
“The Scientology Scripture is the sole source of all the doctrines, tenets, sacraments, rituals and policies of the Scientology faith. They encompass more than 500,000 pages of writings, nearly 3,000 taped lectures and over 100 films.”
Amongst this scripture are gems like;
“There are two axioms about mind function with which the auditor should be familiar…The first axiom is of interest to the auditor in his work because with it he can clearly establish whether or not he is confronting a rational reaction. The seven-year-old girl who shudders because a man kisses her is not computing; she is reacting to an engram since at seven she should see nothing wrong in a kiss, not even a passionate one. There must have been an earlier experience, possibly prenatal, which made men or kissing very bad.”
“It doesn’t give me displeasure to hear of a virgin being raped. The lot of women is to be fornicated.”
Scientology’s scripture as put forward to the I.R.S. was written by a fraud. Not spiritual or religious in its inception, Scientology and it’s precursor Dianetics were one man’s attempt to force fantasy and impossible pseudoscience into reality. The claims made by Hubbard in his so called textbooks are by turns outrageous, outlandish, impossible and downright dangerous. He represented to his followers that his writings were based upon research and trials yet there is no evidence or proof of any such thing.
Despite what was said in the Attachment, the claims Scientology makes for it’s religious foundation are quite different on its website.
“Scientology follows a long tradition of religious practice. It’s roots lie in the deepest beliefs and aspirations of all great religions, thus encompassing a religious heritage as old and as varied as Man himself.”
This statement carries a much more believable religious claim. Yet it is not the one used to convince the I.R.S. It morphed from a religion based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard to one with roots in all the great religions. Yet this claim too, is flawed and without any doctrinal backing.
First, within the writings of Hubbard is his version of a Creation Story. In this tale God, the devil, Heaven and religion are all just a false implant. Religion is false and does not truly exist.
Further, although it claims kinship with true religions, there is upon deeper investigation nothing anywhere that begins to resemble any of them.
Scientology does not believe in God in any form. It believes that the individual is a spiritual being that has lived many past lives and who will many more. This Being, with enough auditing, can eventually become godlike with super powers.
Scientology does not believe in or accept anything on faith. It is a technical, cold organization that relies upon itself and the false, unproven “science” made up by LRH.
“Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faith alone.”
Scientology does not hold any recognizable theology from any of the great religions nor does it have any practices, rituals or sacraments even remotely in line with any honest, established faith.
It is time for the I.R.S. to review the claims made by Scientology. Instead of capitulating because of the Fair Game policy and pressure exerted by Scientology in order to bully detractors into submission, it is time for an accounting. Time for honesty and reality.
The I.R.S. has in place guidelines that must be followed in order to qualify for religious exempt status. In this case it is not truly a matter of whether or not Scientology is a religion. Rather, Scientology has claimed that it IS a religion based upon several factors. This is not a matter of defining religion but determining the truth of claims made.
Researching the accuracy and truth of points set out by Scientology is not that hard. They have defined the perimeters themselves.
One can label one’s business a used car lot, but if there are no salable vehicles it is in reality a junkyard. This is a case of semantics. Of proving or disproving statements made.
Scientology has outlined why they want to be seen as a Church.
It is up to the I.R.S. to do their due diligence and discover whether or not those statements have merit and veracity.
A mistake was made in the granting of tax exempt status and this mistake needs to be rectified. Every day that this Cult is given legitimacy by our government is another day of harm done to those trapped within its abusive walls. It is another chance for more people to be swept up in the chaos of this controlling pseudo psychiatric organization. Families have been ripped apart, children molested and abused, people who have died at the hands of their auditors, people missing or held as prisoners.
What Church needs barbed wire, spotlights, motion detectors and blow drills?
The I.R.S. has in the past revoked tax exempt status. It is time for it to do it again.
To send a clear message to Scientology and to other cults that abusive, greedy organizations cannot hide behind the shield of religion. Enabling this to continue not only does a disservice and harm to those involved with the Cult but it also detracts from honest, faithful worshippers in real religions.