Op-Ed 'Going Clear' filmmaker: Scientology abuses its tax-exempt status
To maintain the right to be tax-exempt, however, religions must fulfill certain requirements for charitable organizations. For example, they may not "serve the private interests of any individual" and/or "the organization's purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy."... There is ample precedent for the revocation of tax-exempt status: It happens more than 100 times per year. There is also an important Supreme Court ruling that addresses the religious issue...
The White House.gov petition is not on track to receive the required signatures, due simply to people not knowing about it.
It's too bad this wasn't a better coordinated activity; one that should have gotten more media coverage.
I'm quite certain millions would sign on to it, if only they knew of its existence.
There's a lesson to be learned here.
There is ample precedent for the revocation of tax-exempt status: It happens more than 100 times per year. There is also an important Supreme Court ruling that addresses the religious issue. In 1983, the court upheld a decision revoking the charitable status of a religious college, Bob Jones University, because it forbade interracial dating. The court stated in Bob Jones University vs. the United States that the "government has a fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education ... which substantially outweighs whatever burden denial of tax benefits places on [the university's] exercise of their religious beliefs."
To complete the quote from Gibney's article:
This deals with an appeal raised by Bob Jones after the case against them was heard.
If you find out how the case was raised against Bob Jones in the first place then you follow the same procedures to raise a case against CoS. One person might do it. Perhaps a petition is not the best way. Perhaps Gibney has provided all the necessary information and all you need to do is send it on in the right format to the right office following all the legal guidelines.
I have a rule in dealing with officials: try to make it easy for them.
A VERY important article by Gibney. He says it all.
Bob Jones is a religious school. The court decision applied only to religious schools not to Churches.
If no effort is going to be made to delineate Scientology's cynical use of religious cloaking, and that cloaking is left unchallenged, and even forwarded by adopting Scientology's religious cloaking lingo - "parishioners," calling the Sea Org a "religious order," etc. - then revocation of tax exemption will be a long shot.
The court decision applied in the case quoted to a school not to an orphanage or a church but I don't see what difference it makes. They are all 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organisations. Every case is no doubt deal with on its own merits but the principles governing tax-exemption are as far as I know the same all over the US.
"Applies only to religious schools not to churches..."
The fight to revoke Scientology tax exemption, IMO, must be done in tandem with the exposure of Scientology's fraudulent religious cloaking.
An examination of the meaning of the terms mind-control cult and destructive cult, the difference between a cult/destructive cult and a genuine Church, the Scientology program to stigmatize the use of the word cult, its systematic corrupting of academia by instituting and supporting "New Religious Movement Studies", and its gradual psychological conditioning of the public to accept Scientology's language for itself, need to be reviewed.
During its early days Scientology did not claim to be a Church.
The question is, "If Scientology did not consider it advantageous to pose as a Church, would it do so?"
Does anyone doubt that Scientology would abandon the religion angle overnight if it became a liability and no longer forwarded Scientology?
The Germans and others have it right. Scientology is a psychological and political operation.
Time needs to be taken to - tactfully - explain these things.
I entirely agree; the French have gone even further than the Germans and condemned CoS as a criminal conspiracy.
But if Gibney is right, and he strikes me as a man who means what he says, anyone in the US can create any kind of weird belief system and call it a church.
The religious cloaking adopted by CoS is fraudulent
but legal as it is aimed at members and potential members not at the IRS.
The IRS are concerned with what happens to the funds raised by a non-profit "church", how they are spent, and if it breaks the law in other areas.
As far as I am concerned churches are all equally nutsy and manipulative and bad for the human mind
but the American constitution gives Americans the right to believe in whatever they want.
It doesn't give a church the right to spend tax-exempt money on motorcycles, private chefs, PIs and other perks or to use slave labour. As I understand it.
If there are 100 cases a year where tax-exempt status is withdrawn it ought to be easy enough to find out the reasons why. But how do you get the IRS to act?