Message-ID: <Cvr9NQrZUVsNFw9d@jritson.demon.co.uk>From: John Ritson <firstname.lastname@example.org>Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientologySubject: Every cloud has a silver liningDate: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 11:14:49 +0100-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----Hash: SHA1The UK government is cutting down on council spending, so the councils arelooking for things to cut. Birmingham has decided to remove 'discretionaryrates relief' from 20 organisations, including the 'Church ofScientology'.This concession had saved the cult more than £250, 000 in recent years.Birmingham is following the lead of communities secretary Eric Pickles,who said in October: "Tolerance and freedom of expression are importantBritish values, but this does not mean that the likes of Church ofScientology deserve favoured tax treatment over and above other businesspremises."The Church of Scientology is not a registered charity, since the CharityCommission has ruled that it does not provide a public benefit. Nor areits premises a recognised place of worship."Councils may award charitable relief. They should take into considerationthe Charity Commission's rulings when weighing up whether to do so."I do not believe the majority of the public would want their own councilto be giving special tax breaks to such a controversial organisation."Just think, instead of raising money for the never-quite-happening"Birmingham Ideal Morgue", the cult will have to pay taxes.- --John Ritson *** "Now, be at some distance from the body if you can - ifnot, run it right where you are. And check off some things which youdon't have to own. Some more things which you don't have to own. And somepeople who are not at this moment writing out deeds of title for realestate for you. And some items on which you are not paying taxes. Andlet's check off now some animals that you are not engaged in stealing." -L. Ron Hubbard - 'Group Processing - Ownership' ***-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----Version: PGPsdk version 1.7.1iQA/AwUBTbFVF1CD9Dt1KmxLEQL4wQCgh0lembnTfJ9nHdqPrwd7pM+/r48AoJNeqAhhbqSWtaX3rY0Ey2dwh+Re=kl3n-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
With the support of Tom Cruise and John Travolta, the Church of Scientology can be satisfied that its writ runs large in Hollywood. Today, the problem for the disciples of L Ron Hubbard is what to do about Birmingham. For the council has withdrawn the rates relief it afforded to the church. This is no little matter. The concession had saved the Scientologists more than £250,000 in recent years. And the problem is the domino effect: for the withdrawal of this benefit follows the decision of the Pickles, secretary of state for local government, to question in the Guardian why Scientology was being granted charitable and discretionary relief. He pointed out that it is not a registered charity. The Charity Commission has ruled that it does not provide a public benefit and that its premises are not a recognised place of worship. At least four authorities have given tax breaks to the Scientologists, including the City of London Corporation (£1.3m), Westminster (£165,300 over 10 years) and Sunderland (£30,000 over five years). But as the cold winds blow, can they afford to be so generous?