“Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, the organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):
the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes;net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder;no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation;the organization may not intervene in political campaigns; andthe organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.”
Defining a religion has proven an elusive and daunting task for our government when it comes to organizations like Scientology. However all of the discussion of what a religion is has, perhaps, clouded the real issue in this situation.
Does the Organization known as Scientology qualify for religious tax exemption based upon its actions, policies and procedures?
Focusing on the religious aspect and the fear of violating religious freedoms has caused the other, equally important qualifications to fall by the wayside.
Granting Scientology the status of a religion has enabled them to hide their other actions, which need to be brought into the light.
There is the real issue of Scientology’s illegal actions and their violations of fundamental public policy. (Not to mention how David Miscavige is living la vida loca with a fleet of luxury vehicles, tailored suits and all the rest. Inurement?)
Over the years there have been dozens of allegations of sexual abuse of children by eyewitnesses who have left the organization. These detailed crimes have been exposed time and again yet no follow up by law enforcement seems to happen.
If even one child is being abused in any way with no one to speak for them then law enforcement needs to step up and do whatever it must to protect and defend that child.
“A Scientologist by the name of Donald Anthony Strawn, also known as Tony Strawn, was convicted in 1995 to thirty years in prison for sexually molesting two girls, ages 11 and 13. The children were in his custodial care at the time. Scientology directed (under threat of expulsion) that the mother not report the incident to the proper authorities, because the church could “handle” his “aberration”.
Astra Woodcraft from Ex Scientology Kids said:
I was 13 years old. I think I was 13. Everyone had beer and got drunk. I think the first night or the second night I was up there, I was sitting next to him and I had had a few beers and so had he. And so had everyone else. And he put his hand down my shirt and down my bra and started feeling me. And I…it really scared me and I asked my friend later, I said, “What’s Wally [Hanks] doing? Why did he do this?” And she said, “Oh. Don’t worry. He just does that with the girls. That’s just what he does but don’t worry about it.”
And along this line, Adeline Dodd-Bova said:
“These were the children of dedicated Scientologists. Students’ files revealed previous teachers’ statements of incidents of physical and sexual abuse. All of these cases were reported to the principal. The reports were “handled” by Scientology alone. Teachers dared not report these crimes on their own outside the school for fear of losing their jobs.”
Yolanda Howell wrote:
One little baby I knew in the Sea Org got herpes during a Cadet Org epidemic. A 14 year old girl disclosed to me how she and a few other little girls were leaving the Cadet Org in the daytime and performing sexual services for one of the girl’s uncles in exchange for money. A man who worked in the Cadet Org admitted he was sexually molesting the children. Although these incidents were written up, as far as I know they were never “handled”.”
Gabriel Williams sexually assaulted a 16 year old who was forced to live with him.
“After Williams assaulted Stewart the first night, he did so again the next, telling her, ‘I’ll kill you if you say anything,’ according to the police report.
‘Williams told me everything that was happening was my fault because I’d been evil in a past life,’ said Stewart. ‘If I told anyone, I’d be sent to a psych and be taken away from my family.’
Only after Gorman became suspicious of bruises on Stewart’s body in May 2001 did she admit what Williams had been doing, he said.
THE next day, Gorman and Stewart told Stewart’s father. Michael Stewart took his family out of the church and hid his daughter. A few days later, he told church authorities what Williams had done.
‘A deputy special affairs officer told me not to go to the police,’ said the elder Stewart. ‘If we did, we’d lose Jennifer to child services.’”
There is another horrifying example of abuse and Scientology’s coverup found on Tony Ortega’s blog found here:
“During her sec check, convinced she couldn’t defeat the all-knowing E-meter, DayCare Mom had revealed the information she’d been holding back: That her teenage son was a predator, and for more than a year he had molested the girls other parents dropped off at her house.
Julian told Ellen that as soon as he heard about that confession, he told DayCare Mom that it was her responsibility to call the police. “I told her, you’re either going to report the crime or I will,” Julian claimed. But even though the crime had been reported, Ellen was told that the mothers were being asked to keep the matter within the church.
Ellen was told that if DayCare Son were charged (he was then 17 and still a juvenile), he’d be subject to psychiatric treatment and medication.
“We’re begging you not to press charges because he’ll be subject to psych evals. We want to avoid that,” the attorney said to her.”
These are just a few of the many allegations of sexual assault on children trapped within the nightmare of Scientology. These are crimes of the highest degree perpetrated upon helpless children who have no one to speak for them. As long as the exemption is in place the molesters are protected and the children will continue to be harmed.
In addition to the sexual abuse, there are also many claims of physical abuse as well as the illegal labor practices of using children to do dangerous work in dangerous conditions.
Story after story of children being used as cheap, free labor have been told but not once has anyone heard of any legal organization stepping in to find out if the other children of SeaOrg members are being cared for properly.
What about a child’s right to an education?
Time and again these claims have been made by those who actually lived the abuse and/or witnessed the abuse against others yet none of these claims have been addressed by our Child Protection Services or any form of law enforcement.
Out in the real world if even one person told a teacher that they knew of a child who was being forced to work long hours in construction work with no training or protection that teacher would launch an investigation at once. Yet there are dozens of such stories being told with no response whatsoever.
On Twitter there have been photographs of children in Scientology who have be forced to complete Scientology’s Purification Rundown which includes massive doses of vitamins and minerals that are not FDA approved and that have been linked to organ damage. No one steps in to investigate this procedure or to protect the children from being placed in such harm’s way.
Additionally Scientology’s sub group The CCHR teaches as fact that mental illness does not really exist, that FDA approved medications for the treatment of mental illnesses are bad and not needed and that the whole of psychiatry is a sham and must be abolished. That did not work so well for Lisa McPherson nor has it been much use for those who have ended up committing suicide because they were denied the psychiatric help they needed. Surely this alone falls under the IRS’ qualification of a violation of “fundamental public policy”.
Setting aside the question of religion, Scientology has had an abundance of criminal activities laid at it’s fancy and expensive doors. These claims should be more than enough to raise flags for our government to freeze Scientology’s assets and conduct a thorough investigation.
As far as the question of religion goes, in this case the answer is not really as complicated as it is apparently being made out to be.
The IRS’ guidelines stipulate a: (emphasis is mine)
“Distinct legal existence
1. Recognized creed and form of worship
Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
Formal code of doctrine and discipline
2. Distinct religious history
3. Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
Organization of ordained ministers
Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study
Literature of its own
Established places of worship
Regular religious services
Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young
Schools for the preparation of its members”
Scientology has no recognizable creed. In spite of their religious murmurings the bottom line is that Man is all there is. That is not a spirituality. It is an atheistic, anti religious form of hubris.
They have NO form of worship.
Worship means a feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a Deity. Scientology does not express any kind of belief in, reverence for or adoration of God.
Cut through all the extra words thrown in, use their own definitions and explanations and one comes to the inalterable realization that in the end Man is a Thetan, a Thetan is an immortal soul created after a multi planetary genocide and that took over humanity’s “meat bodies”, the Thetan is called Creator and Immortal and can develop amazing Super Powers making him godlike.
There is no belief in Heaven or a place of rest and peace after life. No belief that one needs God for salvation, no faith, no recognizable form of spirituality at all. Gemma Harris, a notorious Scientologist on Twitter claims she does not believe in God at all, nor does she believe in prayer.
If one does not believe in God then how can one claim to engage in any type of worship? And if there is no belief in God, no worship, faith or belief in the spiritual then how can one claim to be part of a religion?
Further, as far as a Creed goes, Scientology claimed under oath to the IRS in their form 1023 Attachment that their entire “sacred scripture” encompasses all of the writings and words of L. Ron Hubbard.
Scientology’s foundation is based upon Hubbard’s book Dianetics. In which he clearly writes that Dianetics was not a religion.
His other writings, their “sacred scripture”, explains that God is not real. Religion, God and Heaven are all false implants designed to mislead Mankind.
Rather than truly having a distinct religious history, Scientology’s own founder stated that religion was not real. Later, in order to lend religious credibility to his newly dubbed “religion” Hubbard contradicted himself by stating a belief in a Supreme Being. However this belief seems superfluous to the true teachings of this organization in that since Man is Immortal and can achieve godlike powers and there is no Heavenly reward, only constant reincarnation, there is no need for or room for God.
Scientology has no distinct religious history. It’s leader David Miscavige has said that Scientology was “born in the 20th century”.
It’s parent was L. Ron Hubbard who wrote penny-per-word science fiction novels and made up fake, unproven pseudoscience that does more harm than good.
There is no other history than that.
It began in 1950 with the publishing of Dianetics.
Anheuser–Busch has a longer legacy than Scientology, that doesn’t make it a religion.
As far as having an exclusive membership.
Although Scientology claimed that it was an exact religion that must be followed to the exclusion of other practices, just recently Amber Skjelset, Manager of the Scientology Information Center stated “Curious visitors have learned what Scientologists believe, that the Church is an all-denominational religion…”.
All Denominational would indicate that anyone of any religion would be allowed to practice their faith alongside Scientology’s practices. It certainly does not express exclusivity or membership not associated with any other church or denomination.
The bottom line here is that Scientology demanded that the IRS recognize it as a religion at the point of the sword of Fair Game.
The IRS caved.
Scientology is a billion dollar, tax exempt conglomerate that commits numerous crimes and is getting away with them in the name of religion. There is no faith, no God, no spirituality.
Money is all there is in the end.
If one is going to allow an organization that is solely focused on income at the expense of its members while committing crimes and abuses regularly why not give religious exemption to the gangs running the streets of the inner cities as well?
Forced abortions, child labor, violations of OSHA, human trafficking, the RPF, hate and stigmatizing of Mental Illness, promising Super Powers and healing abilities, Fair Game, Disconnection and the destruction of families, cooking the books.
All in the name of religion?
It is time to revoke the tax exemption.