Author Topic: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology  (Read 6755 times)


Offline Lorelei

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2009, 17:20 »
Well summarized; thank you.

If anything, it would be more fair and equitable if Scientology was held to the exact same standards that legitimate religions (and businesses) are held to.

Scientology is a "religion" when it suits its purposes to be (such as when they complain about "religious bigotry" that does not, actually, exist) and they are a business ALL the time.

When looking at the original writings of Hubbard, he states specifically that Scientology is NOT a religion.

Scientology did not apply for or receive any tax breaks as a 'religion" until after Hubbard's death. There are serious questions about the legitimacy of the process they employed, as well.

Other countries are well aware of Scientology's scam in this area. The United States, perhaps because we were, in great part, founded by groups fleeing religious persecution, is extremely sensitive to accusations that someone's religion is being "oppressed" in any way. This does protect legitimate religions, but it also means that the United States has a serious cult and fringe religious group problem, because such dangerous and abusive groups can flourish under the guise of "religious freedom" AND get tax breaks that ALL tax-paying citizens are forced to cough up funds for.

The US has not yet learned from MANY past mistakes in this area. Whereas no one wants to oppress a legitimate religious group, we often accommodate cults and fringe groups that hurt our fellow citizens and ruin lives, all because we are afraid to "oppress" anyone.

I have no good suggestions on how the government should go about determining how to differentiate between a benign alternate faith and a dangerous cult. One thing the government SHOULD do, however, is make sure that any group claiming religious exemptions from taxation is following the SAME guidelines as all other religions. Groups like Scientology, who operate as a "religion" only when it suits them to, and as a business and scam at all other times, and which has been challenged internationally on these very same grounds, MUST be examined to ensure that tax-payers are not being forced to help support a cult that hurts people and which is a blight on our society at large. People have their lives ruined by cults. People DIE because of cults. Families suffer. I, for one, resent that any portion of my taxes are paid to support public services, like law enforcement, that Scientology uses to harass critics and their law-abiding neighbors into doing their bidding and to bully their way around in hundreds of communities. Scientology abuses public services that they do not contribute a dime to support, and their tax exemption was awarded under strange and unique circumstances.

To repeat: A "religious group" that has been excused from paying taxes MUST be forced to follow the EXACT SAME guidelines as ALL OTHER religious groups getting tax exemptions. It would behoove our government to closely examine this issue, especially in these tough economic times, when every penny paid in taxes goes to support services the country as a whole needs and can ill afford to privately fund (at this time). If there is no fraud, then examining the issue can do no harm; if there IS fraud, then the government needs to claim the billions of dollars in taxes and back taxes that it is due. Furthermore, if there is fraud, and it certainly looks like there has been tax-dodging fraud occurring for a long time, then someone needs to ensure that similar large-scale fraud cannot occur again.

/my opinions
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Offline Ultrapoet

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009, 18:47 »
Scientology did not apply for or receive any tax breaks as a 'religion" until after Hubbard's death. There are serious questions about the legitimacy of the process they employed, as well.

Not sure about that one.  IIRC, the IRS rescinded their tax-exempt status in the 1960s, which would mean they had a tax-exempt status to rescind.

Offline Lorelei

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 18:52 »
Scientology did not apply for or receive any tax breaks as a 'religion" until after Hubbard's death. There are serious questions about the legitimacy of the process they employed, as well.

Not sure about that one.  IIRC, the IRS rescinded their tax-exempt status in the 1960s, which would mean they had a tax-exempt status to rescind.

I defer to your research in this area, then. My focus when investigating the cult tends to be on their front groups and psychological abuses rather than their gaming of the legal system / infiltrating the IRS / their convictions and indictments.
"Once the foundation of a revolution has been laid down, it is almost always
in the next generation that the revolution is accomplished." -- Jean d'Alembert

The Human Wiki.
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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2009, 07:33 »
I do take a bit of a different stance than this letter.  I believe the protests are helpful, BUT I do agree that it will take more than protesting to end this cult.
link here: http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/letters/article991937.ece

Re: Money could go to better use  |  letter, March 29,and Luxury lifts up church hotel story, March 22
Blame the IRS for Scientology
While James Devine's letter to the editor was absolutely right about Scientology's self-imposed segregation from the local community, Mr. Devine did not go far enough in placing the blame.
I don't fault our local elected officials, as there is honestly little they can do about it all. The blame for the success of Scientology in America lies squarely on the slumped shoulders of the Internal Revenue Service.
When the IRS gave Scientology tax-exempt religious status, just as it would any legitimate religion, it gave the blue mob carte blanche in the United States at a time when far wiser countries (like Germany) were taking strong steps to curtail that faux navy. The IRS bowed to the threat of lawsuits, and now we in Clearwater are stuck with the results of its lax standards.
If you really want to see a change, there's no need to don a mask and parade downtown. Simply write to your U.S. congressman or senator. Write to the president. Demand an inquiry into the IRS granting Scientology tax-exempt status and demand that it be revoked.
If you want Clearwater back, you're going to have to fight for it.
Alfred Jarry,Clearwater

Offline Dead End

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2009, 02:13 »
One thing I think can help is writing to your state officials (i.e.- Senate and House of Representatives)

Brining the cult's activities and testemonies of its victims to the attention of our public officials would be very beneficial and help in bringing the government's attention towards revoking their tax-exempt status...
Welcome. Scientology will be exposed for the dangerous cult that it is and justice will be served to its victims ~~~ D.E.

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Offline mefree

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 22:04 »
Compliments of AnonLover:

10 Reasons Why We Should Tax Scientology
http://www.scribd.com/doc/49626780/TOP-10-Reasons-Why-We-Should-Tax-Scientology
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline RedShieldwolf

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 01:30 »
Compliments of AnonLover:

10 Reasons Why We Should Tax Scientology
http://www.scribd.com/doc/49626780/TOP-10-Reasons-Why-We-Should-Tax-Scientology

Is there a way to download this without signing into facebook?

Offline mefree

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 08:26 »
Does the download button on scribd force you to sign into facebook?
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline RedShieldwolf

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 16:45 »
Does the download button on scribd force you to sign into facebook?

Yeah. I was signed into facebook, signed out of facebook, and tried downloading.

To sign back in, it says I need to let scribd post on my wall.

Offline mefree

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 17:52 »
Look for the tiny attachment.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline RedShieldwolf

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 23:31 »
Thank you, mefree.  :) Much appreciated.

Offline ethercat

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2011, 15:30 »
   Narconon Reviews
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Offline AnonLover

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2011, 16:38 »
Greetings All! Glad you liked these links...
Quote
Top 10 Reasons Why We Should Tax Scientology
http://www.scribd.com/doc/49626780/TOP-10-Reasons-Why-We-Should-Tax-Scientology

http://www.exposescientology.com/scientologyirs.html

A few of us anons are staging an effort to put more pressure on scientology's tax breaks & tax exempt status, informally called "Operation Sunshine week FTW!!1!". This will likely be an annual thing, and corresponds with the national FOIA campaign promoted here: http://www.sunshineweek.org/  and at http://www.spj.org/sunshineweek.asp

Check out our FOIA request filed on the IRS on 2nd link above, that challenges them to release the official finalized settlement agreement by the end of sunshine week 2011 (later this month.) There's a public announcement of sorts also posted on www.taxthecult.com (along with lots of other updates, and a few more still to come).

We also got a new flyer hot off the presses that reuses the Top 10 list here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/50134209/Anonymous-Sunshine-Week-Flyer-Scientology-vs-IRS-FOIA

Full artwork album for other visual stuff:
https://picasaweb.google.com/AnonLover2008/OPERATIONSUNSHINEWEEKFTW1?feat=directlink

Other background discussion thread links related to this effort:
WWP Hivemind project thread: http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/operation-sunshine-week-ftw-1-mar13-19-2011.69197/
OCMB tl;dr crosspost: http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?f=166&t=34189

After our lil IRS FOIA faux harpoon plays out, the time will hopefully be ripe for strategic letter writing to Senator Grassley, the House Ways & Means committee, and any of your congressional representatives who preach of open government/transparency and/or attempt to hop on the sunshine week panhandling brigade. We encourage all to be urging those targets that scientology's tax exemption be re-investigated.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 10:46 by AnonLover »

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2011, 22:56 »
Excellent! And Kudos to Barbara Graham for putting her name on them.
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline mefree

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2011, 21:25 »
From the Editor's Desk at AJC:

Quote
Dear Readers:

Early this year, I came to Atlanta to take what I believe is the best job in town. As the new editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I appreciate the warm welcome I've received to one of America's leading cities. I take seriously my responsibility to continue the work of its great newspaper. That work would be impossible without laws that assure our reporters access to public records and meetings.       

Nothing is more important than assuring our schoolchildren receive quality educations, including honest appraisals of their work and academic progress. To this end, our reporters constantly study public records to assess trends and look for anomalies.

After reporters Heather Vogell and John Perry performed a statistical analysis of test scores, they discovered something startling and unsettling: In some school districts standardized test scores jumped dramatically and inexplicably. They calculated the odds of such increases were as remote as one in a billion. Their analysis led to uncovering the cheating scandal that now embroils Atlanta Public Schools but promises to restore integrity to the testing program.

Such a story would be impossible without access to public records.

It also would have been impossible for us to inform readers about the gap between the way counties value homes for property taxes and actual market values - a disconnect that results in thousands of unnecessarily high tax bills. It took an analysis of hundreds of thousands of property records to come to this conclusion.

Access to public records also helps us keep politicians accountable. In Gwinnett County, reporter Tim Eberly found evidence that county commissioners wasted taxpayer money by paying inflated prices to well-connected local developers. That discovery led to the indictment of one county commissioner and the resignation of the commission chairman.

And in DeKalb County, Tim dug into allegations that school construction projects had been awarded to the husband of the official appointed to manage the projects, costing DeKalb taxpayers millions more than they should have been paying. The official and her husband were later indicted along with her boss, the DeKalb school superintendent.

These are only a few examples of the important investigations we produced over the past year. None would have been possible without laws that support access to records at the state, local and federal level.

And the beauty of our system is that ordinary citizens have the same access as the most gifted investigative journalist. For someone in a struggle with a local government over taxes, a rezoning or a proposed road project, the concept of open government is a working, living reality.

This is the underlying point of Sunshine Week, a project of the American Society of News Editors and other media organizations. The week is intended to celebrate the importance of laws that assure public access to government and allow us to keep you informed.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution endeavors to shine a light on government actions every day. We also fight for strong public access laws before the Georgia Legislature. Without access to public records and government meetings, we would be unable to bring you these stories and hundreds of others that allow you to hold your government accountable.

Feel free to drop me a note at editor@ajc.com with your feedback on these stories or other thoughts about how The Atlanta Journal-Constitution can better serve our readers.

Sincerely,   

Kevin G. Riley
Editor
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


P.S. As a gift to subscribers to mark Sunshine Week, which ends Sunday, we've collected some of the most helpful public records sites we use for reporting so that you can use them for your own public records research. You can check out the quality of a nursing home, compare your taxes to your neighbors or verify that your home inspector is licensed, among other things. You can find the Citizens' Sunshine Research Center at http://blogs.ajc.com/ajc/sunshine/.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline ethercat

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2011, 06:30 »
Thank you Anon Lover!

From the Editor's Desk at AJC:

Quote
P.S. As a gift to subscribers to mark Sunshine Week, which ends Sunday, we've collected some of the most helpful public records sites we use for reporting so that you can use them for your own public records research. You can check out the quality of a nursing home, compare your taxes to your neighbors or verify that your home inspector is licensed, among other things. You can find the Citizens' Sunshine Research Center at http://blogs.ajc.com/ajc/sunshine/.

It would have been nice to see mention of the Applied Scholastics exposure they did a while back, but the list of public records sites kinda makes up for it.  (Saving the list in case the page is removed.)

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Offline AnonLover

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2011, 01:44 »
Great website! man i wish more states would do that!!

Offline AnonLover

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Re: Removing the Tax Exemption of Scientology
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2011, 23:35 »
Great new vid to spread the word - Tax The Cult

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjmOrhpMII0