^ How many churches can you name that have "Tax Compliance Officers" posted within the organization and whose members are threatened with excommunication if they mention having unpaid taxes? Even if such mention is made in "priest-penitent-privileged" conversations?
How many churches (or organizations of any kind) have, after decades of hostilities by the IRS plus convictions of federal crimes, been suddenly granted tax exempt status? Even when that church is widely viewed by the public and media as a fraud and having a history of "anti-government" activities?
You can believe what you want, of course, but I believe there is little doubt that the CoS is an IRS-occupied zone.
For decades, CoS chased desperately after a federal tax exemption. Finally, in 1993, they got it (by whatever means, it doesn't really matter for purposes of this argument). Whatever leverage they used to get their exemption, they know can't last forever, so they bend over backwards to institute policies that demonstrate their compliance in case the IRS later becomes less amenable. To me, that's all those policies are. They know they got tax exemption by the skin of their teeth and are desperate to keep it -- not just for the money, but for the air of legitimacy it gives.