If you have not done so already, head over to Tony Ortega’s site and read his posting about Scientology’s Tax Exempt status.
Prompted by the OpEd piece Alex Gibney wrote in the LA Times, and with some excellent advice from Jeffrey Augustine, it lays out what you can do that is most likely to be EFFECTIVE in changing the way the US Government is allowing its citizens to subsidize Miscavige paying PI’s $10,000 a WEEK to follow and spy on his father.
The direction about complaining directly to the IRS supplements my recommendation to contact your elected representatives.
If you want to DO something to change the situation, these are exact steps you can take that are FAR more likely to achieve something than signing a “petition.”
People are quite rightly outraged that this “church” is abusing people with tax free money.
Many voices raised in protest can change that. So, if you have the opportunity, add your voice to the choir.
Following is a section of Alex’s extremely well thought out Op Ed that captures the overall message:
In the past, critics of the church have called for its tax exemption to be revoked because it is not a “real religion.” I agree that tax-exemption isn’t merited, but not for that reason. The Church of Scientology has a distinct belief system which, despite its somewhat strange cosmology — mocked by the TV show “South Park” and many others — is not essentially more strange than, say, the idea of a virgin birth. Scientologists are entitled to believe what they want to believe. And the IRS website makes it clear that anyone is entitled to start a religion at any time without seeking IRS permission. 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.”
On these points alone, it is hard to see why Americans should subsidize Scientology through its tax-exemption.
Regarding “private interests,” it seems clear that Scientology is ruled by only one man, David Miscavige. Further, powerful celebrities within the church, particularly Tom Cruise, receive private benefits through the exploitation of low-wage labor (clergy members belonging to the Sea Org make roughly 40 cents an hour) and other use of church assets for his personal gain.
It appears that many church activities may have been either illegal or in violation of public policy. Numerous lawsuits, my film, other media accounts and an abandoned FBI investigation have turned up allegations of false imprisonment, human trafficking, wiretaps, assault, harassment and invasion of privacy. And the church doctrine of “disconnection,” in which members are forced to “disconnect” from anyone critical of the church, seems cruelly at odds with any reasonable definition of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
A proper criminal investigation that followed the money — a virtual river of cash from tax-exempt donations and fees — could sort out some of these issues. Or a congressional subcommittee investigation could force Miscavige — who was unwilling to answer questions for Wright’s book or the film — to testify under oath about allegations of abuse.
This is great — Specific action provided to launch a surgical strike to separate Lilliputian Davey and CO$ from the money…THAT is hitting him where it will hurt!
(Of course, the IRS would also need to investigate/audit Davey’s overseas accts where he has no doubt had years of a head start squirreling-away his personal nest egg of ill-gotten cash)
Your new nightmare: congressional subcommittee investigation.
Ron Dolittle says
Everytime I stick my head in the sand I end up with silicates in all those orifices so my question is: Do I put some kind of bag over my head? But if it was plastic I would probably suffocate so maybe I should use something like a burlap bag cuz I could breath better and not pass out. Any suggestions?
On it, Mike.
one of these days it’ll happen. i just hope the name Monique Yingling doesn’t get lost in the shuffle when it does.
Per the IRS Booklet on Rules on Churches there is a way to audit churches:
“The IRS may only initiate a church tax inquiry if an appropriate high-level Treasury Department official reasonably believes, based on a written statement of the facts and circumstances, that the organization: (a) may not qualify for the exemption; or (b) may not be paying tax on an unrelated business or other taxable activity.”
It is well worth reading:
The article by Gibney is excellent, concise clear and goes into the core of the matter. I hope something will be done in the US about this very irregular situation. Slappy Miscavige is really getting hit. I don’t know how the whales and the celebs will manage to keep their heads into the sand.
Thank you Mike the great job you’ve been doing.
Ellen Mancusi says
I’m a never in and I am doing this!
Apparently you are going to be more famous than Beyonce Mike!
I am already in progress studying Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations that you can google in the IRS web page.
I consider this is giving, at least to me, specific paragraphs, wordings, rules with which to report to IRS. In other words, find and use what applies to your observations or facts, use the wording stated in the booklet so there is no ambiguity on the complaint being made.
The booklet states IRS can not audit churches, but the IRS very well could audit Miscavige directly as an individual citizen despite his pompous title of Ecclesiastical Leader.
And yes Mike, this is one of the best means to demand action from the government. Thank you.
Start with Miscavige’s personal tax returns based on complaints, and then just FOLLOW THE MONEY with forensic audits.
“any religion that is unable to demonstrate that they employ a significant portion of their funds for the relief of the physical pain and basic needs of the needy.”
This is WHY Scientology is not a church, not a religion. It is a CULT.
Fascinating discussion by Jehovah Witnesses about the petition to revoke tax exempt status.
Being a religion and being tax exempt are two different things. You can be a religion and not exempt; you can also be secular while being tax exempt.
Per the definition, scientology is a religion. It is also a cult. So is Christianity. People should be allowed to practice their beliefs in peace, whether it’s symbolically eating from a 2000 year old dead messiah or removing alien clusters from our bodies.
But that doesn’t allow those practicing to harm others in doing so.
So very many people want to *DO* something ! Now here’s a chance to *DO* something effective.
And remember anyone who has been fired from a job because they are SPs or connected to SPs. Fired because of religious beliefs.
My wife was fired from two office jobs. Offices run by Scientologists. She was fired because of her connection with me. I was declared for my religious convictions and my wife was fired because of it.
If it is a religious conviction that Scientology cosmology is wrong, and you get fired from a job because of it. That sounds to me like flat out religious discrimination.
I do not know if this has any weight against the church itself as these were private companies. But the church supports discrimination by forcing Scientology companies to discriminate against people who do not believe like them.
Somehow this needs to be added to the list of why Scientology should loose their tax exemption.
You’ve made a very good point here!
I would look for employment lawyers in your area. Also, tell them you don’t want the job back but the money. But unless you can document it. It is a very up hill battle. I hope your wife was getting award and acknowledgements for doing a good job. She needs to show the she wasn’t fired for another reason… good luck.
Thanks From83, it was some years ago. Both women were chiropractors. One was constantly pouring money into her OT levels. She died of cancer. My wife was given the ultimatum: become a Scientologist or take a walk.
My mentioning this is for people now who are experiencing job loss because of religious discrimination.
NOT BEING IN AGREEMENT WITH BEING A SCIENTOLOGIST AND GETTING FIRED BECAUSE OF IT IS RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION.
ANYONE FACING THIS SITUATION NOW SHOULD DOCUMENT FOR LEGAL PURPOSES.
THE TIDES ARE TURNING. THE MISUSE OF CIVIL LAW FOR HARRASMENT AND VIOLENCE AGAINST CRITICS, THAT L RON HUBBARD INSTIGATED BY CREATING A PARAMILITARY THUG ORGANIZATION (GO/OSA), TRAINING PEOPLE WITH STUDY TECH, IS KARMICALLY SPRING LOADED TO BOOMERANG BACK TO………………
THE CHURCH OF THE BLACK OPS DUMSTER DIVER IS ABOUT TO EXPERIENCE WHAT IT HAS CASUED.
Sorry Brian I just don’t get your point. First you are talking WOG-law which doesn’t apply to us in COS-land as we are a religion and by definition about all that stuff. Secondly it’s a well known fact that Bigotry only works in one direction. In COS-land we are incapable of it. So just smarten up and give us your money.
meant above all that stuff…..
Martin Padfield says
Equally, if you have been “fired” as a client or refused service by a Scientology company, take action. I have a dossier of having been discriminated against simply for being a “non-believer” any more by no less than three separate Scientology owned/run companies. Most countries I think have watchdogs or an ombudsman service whose job it is to regulate private companies and ensure they stay within the law,which would bypass the legal system, or operate as an alternative. An intriguing case of this is just being realised at the moment. Hopefully all specifics to follow…
Exactly Martin. And this situation IS in the news big time with some religious people refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding.
THIS IN OUR NEWS CYCLE RIGHT NOW. IT IS GETTING BIG COVERAGE.
THIS CAN BE PIGGYBACKED ON THE PRESENT TAX EXEMPTION IRS FOCUSING.
ADD JOB DISCRIMINATION AND SERVICE DISCRIMINATION INTO THE MIX.
ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN REFUSED SERVICE OR WORK SHOULD GET A LAWYER.
John Locke says
Brian, best to stick to what Mike has pointed out. Religious non-profits are of course free to exercise their constitutional right of Freedom of Association US. Stick with the illegal & fraudulent activities when reporting or it will be less useful…
Being fired because you are gay, women, black, brown is discrimination and against the law. It is job discrimination.
The Federal Government has laws regarding employment. We are on the cutting edge of recognizing all human beings as worth protecting.
The transgender community is at present being recognized regarding work related discrimination.
Can you be fired because you are a Christian, Jew, Moslem????
Why are people being fired because they are not the type of Scientologist that the cult demands you be.
I am throwing out thoughts. Maybe it will stick somewhere. Discrimination in the job place is not a protected religious right.
GO AFTER SCIENTOLOGY COMPANIES.
JOHN THE CAPITALIST OVER AT TONY’S BLOG SAYS – LET’S BRING THE SAME OVERWHELMING SCALE AGAINST THE CULT THAT THEY USED TO MAKE THE IRS WIMP OUT.
Go after Scientology companies. Make it hard for this entire network of intolerance, discrimination and corruption.
A friend of mine was fired within the last couple of years because she was Jewish.
She sued her employer and won.
This war can be fought on many fronts.
John Locke says
Brian, read what I actually wrote. It is NOT illegal for a Church to fire for being gay or straight or green, etc.. Like I said, go for what can legally be pushed.
Is it illegal for a company owned by Christians to fire someone who is a Jew?
Is it illegal for a company to refuse service because of religious convictions?
Maybe someone can answer that.
Right now as we speak the court is hearing a case of a Christian baker refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding.
Is this any different than a Scientology company firing or refusing service?
I am throwing it out there. I am not a legal expert. Anyone have any thoughts?
I’m all in here. Have done my deed. Will continue to do so.
The picture you posted with this is very appropriate. That look between David Miscavige and Tom Cruise says a lot. Two arrogant, narcissistic, megalomaniac baboons (one can never be redundant enough with these two).
And like baboons they are grooming each other, picking flees off each other. Or maybe picking BT’s off each other. Bromance blooms in springtime!
Alex de Valera says
Baboons are more humane and compassionate. Lol
Jose Chung says
Legal complaint forms are the way to go and keep copes.
The list of abuses go beyond the pale
Financial punishment on Flag public like Rex Fowler that end badly.
This is what David Miscavige thrives on, he feeds on hate.
Jefferson Hawkins says
Just filed my form with the IRS and wrote my Congressman. This could make a difference.
In Dog I Trust says
America turns it angry eye upon the tiny tyrant. That’s a very frightening thing that I hope the little ogre appreciates.
Abi Ja says
One does not have to be a US citizen or resident. Anyone can report (fill the form) to IRS about US charity abusing the tax exempt status.
Jens TINGLEFF says
So I’m told (and that’s a good thing for me), but US citizens get a benefit in that they can also send a copy to their elected representatives.
Can this be confirmed somehow
For example what could canadians do to help this cause specifically
Mike any ideas?
Mike Rinder says
It is the location of the taxpayer the IRS is concerned about, not the nationality or location of the person reporting. US taxpayers violating the tax code don’t get a free pass because they cheat non US citizens outside the US….
Thanks. I’ll be writing to US IRS tomorrow. btw I found this article about scientology in Canada
Who is the Church?
British group from the 80s and 90s. Had a big hit with “Under the Milky Way”.
Invisible Man says
Australian group Espiando
I like Alex Gibney. The abuses et all of the CoS and Miscavige are brought to light to the masses. He is a heaven sent boon to the cause.
I would love to see a criminal investigation happen and to watch Miscavige testify before a congressional hearing would be a dream come true. All to the a follow up of an IRS revoked tax status. The CoS is a business enterprise operating for the purpose of financial gain through donations and real estate acquisition.
I’m so happy to see this made an exclusive post on both Tony O’s and Mike’s blog.
Jeffery Augustine originally posted this info in the comments section at Tony O’s and lots of people responded. One lady tweeted it out repeatedly.
The form is very easy to complete and send in and you can keep it confidential too.
This is wonderful work researched and detailed by Jeffrey Augustine, so a big Thank You to him!
And of course to Mike and Tony too!