You have to hand it to the Australian media — they are, as a whole, less cowed by scientology than in any other country.
We have watched for years as Bryan Seymour and Steve Cannane have done numerous stories exposing scientology’s abuses. And there have been others too.
And now Ben Schneiders has joined the party, and is making a big splash. In the past week he has published an explosive report about scientology finances and follow up stories detailing how this is now ballooning into a demand from at least one member of the Australian Parliament, Andrew Leigh, for an investigation of the charitable status of scientology by the Australian Charities and Not For Profits Commission. The Commission’s website has a button at the top of the page “Raise a Concern.” I wish the US had a similar body that monitored the activities of charitable organizations to ensure they continue to be for the public benefit. Can you imagine how many reports a US Charity Commission would get on a “Raise a Concern” page? Or it would be a great advance here if we saw the even less onerous requirement that tax exempt organizations had to be transparent about how much money they take in and spend. That alone would be a death sentence for scientology.
Below are the recent articles. They are worth reading.
Scientology shifts millions to Australia, books multimillion-dollar profits
Push for investigation into Scientology’s charity status
The national ABC radio interviewed Andrew Leigh MP on the matter
And the latest from Ben Schneiders
Will revoking tax free status really be the end of this group? Let’s not forget that the glory years of big member numbers, great finances etc were during the days of having to pay tax. Sure treating them like any business would be a win for humanity but I don’t think it’ll be the massive victory people are both hoping or predicting.
They will still be around for several years,
perhaps decades tax free or not however in much declining numbers.
I agree that transparency, and disclosure, would do a lot to take the wind out of the sails of the CofS and other exploitive groups. All other types of non-profits have to make reports of their finances available to members and the public – responsible large religious organizations do so voluntarily – and seeing where the money is actually going would shake a fair number of scientologists including probably some of the donors, as well as make the public more aware of what is really going on.
There may be some justification for not putting onerous reporting requirements on small charitable ministries, but that could be dealt with through some reasonable qualifications and exclusions. There’s no reason that large and wealthy ‘religious’ non-profits, which get tax exemption and other benefits under the presumption that they are serving the public good, shouldn’t provide an accounting of what they’re actually doing with all their money and resources.
Unfortunately, not only the CofS, but wealthy ministries with bigger and more influential followings, would probably fight anything tooth-and-nail, that revealed how they and their leaders actually spend the money they rake in. Though I sometimes wonder why the largest and most responsible organizations don’t band together to push requirements that would help clean up their ranks — including when it comes to more mundane things like addiction treatment (though at least recent changes helped to cut out the predatory paid middlemen who were routing people to the likes of Narconon).
Eyes wide says
I believe there is still a lot of ignorance in Australia about the workings of Scientology. This includes the insidious, misleading and defrauding activities the “church” undertakes. Their charity status MUST be removed as they hide behind the lie of being a religion. It is a cult all about greed and control to benefit only a few.
They promote humanitarianism, yet are turn their “parishioners” into controlled slaves that don’t dare have a voice or any opinion other than what is brain washed into them. They do anything they can to bleed their “parishioners” dry of any monies and gladly and sometimes deceitfully make them take lines of credit the individual has no hope of repaying without any guilt. Their volunteer ministry is purely a clandestine recruitment process and their WISE business activities to funnel money and recruits into Scientology, whilst now more hidden, is still occurring in one form or another and I would suggest ramping up in Australia.
This is still a dangerous organisation that is driven by any means to infiltrate all areas of culture with the one aim of funnelling them to parting with people’s money, and includes deceiving the government for grants to aid their clandestine activities and hidden agendas. It must stop….and guess what , I might just have more information on them, it’s just a matter of whom I can trust and who is prepared to appropriately use this information to show the world just how unethical, un-humanitarian, deceitful and uncharitable and with a bit of karma, hold DM and associates accountable.
The ultimate CLEARing would be to stop the charitable status world wide and throw DM in jail for the rest of his life.
Eyes wide wrote:
“The ultimate CLEARing would be to stop the charitable status world wide and throw DM in jail for the rest of his life.”
I agree with several things you wrote. But I’d like to adjust them a little bit.
You said there is still a lot of ignorance about this cult in Australia. I agree but I think there is actually a lot of ignorance about it everywhere. I believe it is important to help the public to understand this cult is not just something silly to laugh about but to understand it is a is actually “a terrible criminal organization set up as a for-profit business masquerading as a religion.”
That may well be the first step in putting an end to this evil cult. Once the general perception of this cult is that it is a dangerous criminal organization, it will be much easier to get support for abolishing it everywhere.
As far as THE TWERP goes, you said it would be good to throw him in jail for the rest of his life. I would like to see him get taken to a real bus stop and get thrown …. (I think you know the rest).
All UK Scientology entites have been registered in the State of South Australia since 1999, when UK Charity Commissioners refused them charitable status (and the tax exemption that goes with it).
As per our 2011 census the UK has almost twice the number of Scientologists there are in Oz, so losing charitable status there would be a major blow to Scientology in two nations.
They have invested a lot in the Republic of Ireland in the last 3 years, so I wonder if that’s their tax haven backup.
They won’t pay tax without a fight.
Australian Parliament member Andrew Leigh tweets:
“Scientology’s Australian assets now exceed $100,000 per member. It’d be good to know more about how their special tax deductibility status benefits the broader community.”
I’m glad to see someone did the math which exposes the CofS’ outrageous accumulation of wealth and property – achieved by asset-stripping its members.
The ‘ideal’ orgs also show how far out of proportion things are: they have 50,000 square foot buildings for local groups that now don’t even have 50 active members left. That’s more square footage than most people have to live in – and for many members it’s even come at the cost of losing their own homes to foreclosure and bankruptcy, after being pressured into giving more money than they could really afford.
You may have a good point on size of building v member numbers but that is a argument that won’t work too well in Australia (well at least the Melbourne org). I drive 100s of ks through Melbourne for work and every time I go past the org the car park is full. They could argue that their org is in proportion with their needs.
It will be interesting to see what comes of this. A few years ago a prominent politician Nick Xenophon asked for a enquiry into Scientoliegy however not much eventuated. Things are not going too well in Australia for the group, each census signal essentially less people are identifying themselves as Scientologists and by the end of the decade they are likely to have less than a thousand adherents country wide.
Brian J Sheen says
Wow! This is freakin’ awesome! Exactly what I visualized happening in my book! If Australia can lead the way,maybe this can spread like COVID to US politicians! Personally, I feel if the pre-trail hearing on the Masterson’s rape trial is allowed to go through (a part of me worries the victims may be offered such a large pile of cash to settle, that they drop the case) , then this could be a tipping point to bring SCN under real scrutiny with dire consequences. Ahh..what a pleasant thought that is? and one I am sure would get my daughters attention!
Mary Kahn says
Good luck with your book.
Cheers to your dreams come true.
Brian J Sheen says
Thanks so much Mary. I hope you enjoy it and that my dreams do come true! And that your dreams also are fulfilled ! Mucho gracias! brian
Hello Brian. There is another POV regarding the lawsuits brought against this cult.
If the cult offers a huge amount of money to the people who are currently suing them in exchange for them dropping their suit and then remaining silent, it may not be a bad thing for them to accept the money.
First of all, they really deserve the money. I think that considering the current size of this cult’s net worth, they should hold out for at least a million dollars each. People like Valerie Haney really deserve at least that much money and maybe even ten million because she was robbed of almost her entire life by these monsters. The victims in the Masterson debacle may deserve even more because it can be said they suffered even more. Can you imagine being forced into sex with that creep?
Second, every time this cult has to shell out multi-million dollar settlements to lawsuits, two wonderful things happen.
1) People who have suffered at the hands of this cult will sit up and take notice and they will have a good reason to start their own lawsuit. If this progresses, it could be equivalent to taking a great big bite out of their rear ends. Every time they settle, I think it becomes easier for the next person to sue and be given a big settlement.
2) The cult will have to think seriously about putting an end to all their abuses and atrocities and maybe even put an end to disconnection and return some of the family members to their families before they get sued over that too.
So, it could be a very good thing for people who sue them to win great big settlements. I may be selfish. But I certainly would enjoy seeing this cult pay off big bucks every time they get sued. I would hope it would start a “snowball effect” that could maybe put these bastards right out of business.
And wouldn’t it be great to see a video clip of THE TWERP standing on a street corner selling pencils?
Brian J Sheen says
Thank you for your perspective, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Firstly, a million dollar settlement is nothing for COS to pay. And these victims would probably net less than half of that after expenses are paid and their attorneys took their share. I doubt they would consider that. $10 million dollars might be more tempting yet however even this is pennies for COS as it has billions stashed away for these type of things.
I believe the most damage that could be done is for full exposure of how these victims of rape, were raped again by COS policies having them pay for auditing as they “pulled this in” and being made to conceal a crime to protect their reputation and the celebrity worship culture they promote. Exposing what and how COS does in these circumstances, might have a domino effect to bring other similar crimes out of the woodwork and maybe, just maybe become a tipping point to get their tax exemption brought into question again and even their religious status.
The press on all these could easily damage them hundreds of millions and bring focus to all the VIP Whales that support them and help dry up their ongoing source of funding. Take away their taxpayer funding and VIP donations and they will die a quick death. Their ideal orgs will be a weight around their neck as they would have to pay real estate taxes. Being forced to pay Sea Org members minimum wage and provide basic employee benefits would dig an even earlier grave. And I believe any hope for this, is a complete exposure of COS actions at the pre-trial hearing…PLUS..I think these victims will WIN their cases anyway and COS be forced to pay tens of millions EACH, and Danny Masterson and other culprits will give new meaning to “prion of beliefs”
Brian, you make some excellent points. The one thing I think we fully agree is that the primary objective is to put these monsters out of business and the sooner – the better.
Best wishes to you!
Brian J Sheen says
Yes…that would be nice, but sadly we live it a world surrounded by monsters. The nature of the ego mind is to align itself with power hungry monsters whether by Scientology, Isis, Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Xi Jinping, Donald Trump or many religious and political fanatical groups pretending to save the world from the evils only they can resolve. Even “freezone” Scientologists, who are no longer under the thumb of David Miscavige and his OSA cronies, maintain the insanity of Hubbard’s OT 3 hallucinations and believe that Hubbard has reincarnated as Justin Craig to bring them salvation.
My hope is that the US stops giving them protection under the First Amendment and removes tax exemption, so they can then let justice address their unconstitutional and human right violations of disconnection , frauds, and their protection of rapists and human trafficking.
Clearly Not Clear says
When I read these wonderful articles by these fantastic investigators in Australia, my heart soars. Since I left the church with its lies, it’s manipulation, and its way of guilting even non staff into putting in many unpaid hours, I felt this unfinished frustration.
When you get duped, financially ripped off, mentally abused, told you’re not good enough, and then you finally step away, there can be unresolved emotional minefields.
Reading articles like this is like a spiritual mine removal.
Would be great for a major US outlet to pick up these stories…
O/T. A short essay that I posted to ESMBR:
Christian Scientologist Joy Villa says: “We need John Galt!” Wait, what? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
* * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *
What explains Villa’s praise for John Galt is not her purported Christianity, but instead her membership in, and indeed the fact that she is a Patron Meritorious of, the Church of Scientology.
Anyone who seriously studies Scientology soon learns that L. Ron Hubbard’s moral and ethical ideas as they pertain to economics are exceedingly similar to (if not copied from) those of Ayn Rand. Such Scientology concepts as the Doctrine of Exchange, not rewarding the down statistic, that charity is harmful to the recipient, and perhaps even disposing of people below 2.0 of the Tone Scale quietly and without sorrow, could have easily appeared in a Rand novel or her book “The Virtue of Selfishness.” They certainly couldn’t appear in, and indeed directly contradict, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
* * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
Zee Moo says
Those rabble rousing Aussies!!! I love a good rabble rousing. Going after their tax exemption would be a huge blow to the Australian and UK $cieno operations. Carry on Ben, carry on.
jim rowles says
DM please answer line 9, Karma is calling
Old Surfer Dude says
DM please answer line 9, Karma. Damn, I thought it was caramel.
Loosing my Religion says
Jim laughing! I think Karma is starting to call DM also on the other lines too. Just to be sure he answers.
jim rowles says
DM may have to expand his phone lines to include 4 digit extensions. That’sa lot of Karma in the works.
Loosing my Religion says
One can slowdown his karma but then he would have additional interests to pay. There isn’t a middle ground.
DM may need a tougher experience to get somehow more conscious how things really are.
George M White says
The Australians seem to have a more sensible approach to the uncovering of criminal activities in religious charities. The United States approach is based on the fear of challenging any religious organization no matter how stupid its doctrines. The Church without Walls in Tampa was disbanded but it took extreme violations of not only credit card fraud but excessive spending on sports cars and mansions by the founder Randy White. His ex- wife Paula fled to Orlando and later served as religious advisor to Trump. Unfortunately, Western religion was infiltrated by distorted Occult views which persist even today. Although these Occult views have been declining in popularity, they are still strongly defended with little rational ideas. Scientology hires greedy, money grubbing lawyers who use the Constitution to block any criticism of its religious status. As long as Miscavige does not buy sports cars and mansions, the organization is protected by the hopelessness of challenging the First Amendment. People like Paula White can then bring in millions of votes for her candidate and actually be nothing more than an Occult Queen.