This is an important survey put together by Jeffrey Augustine and first published on his blog.
I am republishing it here for anyone who may have missed it there.When someone gives money to scientology, they are led to believe that should they be dissatisfied all they need to do is ask and their money will be cheerfully refunded with the only condition being that they are no longer able to participate in scientology services. Of course, those who want their money back don’t really want to continue participating, so this is never a big deal when they hand over their cash. What they don’t know is that when the time comes to collect on that promise, it’s no dice.
Scientology has misrepresented it’s “policy” on return of “donations” to those who have given money, but also to the IRS in order to gain tax exempt status.
Here is what scientology informed the IRS:
It has been a long-standing policy of the Church that if someone is dissatisfied with their Scientology services and asks to have their contributions returned within a three month period, these amounts will be returned. Likewise, if the person asks for return of contributions for which no services were received (i.e. an advance payment), there is no three month limitation period. Anyone newly enrolling in services at a Church of Scientology is informed of the policies and signs an agreement to abide by them. As a further condition of receiving a refund or repayment, the person understands that they may not again receive services from the Church.
Within the Church, there are two separate terms: A “refund” refers to a return of contributions to a parishioner within 90 days of participating in religious services while a “repayment” refers to a return of a parishioner’s advance payment before he or she has participated in religious services. For simplicity, the following discussion will use the term “refund” to describe both types of transactions, because both involve a return of parishioner contributions.
The Church’s refund policy is exceedingly fair. If someone isn’t happy with Scientology — which is a very small minority of people — he simply has to make a proper request for his donations back, agree to forego further services and his donations will be returned. For the Church, in addition to the fact that this policy aligns with Scientology principles of exchange, it also serves the purpose of allowing our churches and the parishioners who are very happy with Scientology, to carry on without the unhappy few in their midst.
Obviously, this is NOT true.
If you have given money to scientology and want it back or have not been able to get it back, please fill out the survey below and read the instructions from Jeff before doing so. If there is any difficulty accessing the survey on this blog, go to The Scientology Money Project and do the survey from there.
Instructions:This is an important survey. It is very safe as you are not asked to provide your name or any other identifying personal information. After you answer questions, please scroll down to the “NEXT” box to go to the next page. Completion time is estimated at ten minutes.
Please share this survey and encourage other Scientologists or former Scientologists to complete the survey. If you would like to send us documents please e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have many documents please place them in a Dropbox and send us a link so we can download the documents.
The Wasel-Augustine Scientology Refunds-Repayment Survey represents the first ever formal attempt to quantify a specific institutional behavior of Scientology. In this instance, the legitimacy of Scientology’s claims of having a transparent refund/repayments policy, as well as the human cost of Scientology’s problematic financial behavior in this regard.
The survey will extrapolate data from a variety of key indicators, such as the amount a member has/had on account, their time in Scientology, their level of success in attempting to obtain a refund or repayment from Scientology, as well as if they experienced undue levels of aggressive “regging”. It also asks if they were coerced into exceeding their credit limit or pressured into opening new accounts to fund Scientology services, and lastly, the extent of any negative lifestyle outcomes that may have arisen from their financial relationship with Scientology.