Auditing effectiveness...Does it really work?

Glenda

Well-known member
Separation of state and church is a fairly complex issue.

Scientology obtained its tax exemption (on religious grounds) in a bombastic, bullying and duplicitous manner. It used every trick in the book (legally) to insist it was due all the benefits of religious tax exemption group. In essence scientology shaped itself to FIT the definitions of a religious group. Dodgy at best, outright illegal bullshit at worst - but cleverly done.

Here in NZ (I am a kiwi) scientology fought relentlessly to ensure the governing agency that grants the exemption (Inland Revenue) was backed into a corner and had no choice but to grant it. Why? It is way more complicated than what the face of the issue appears to be. Religious status grants a whole lot of other "benefits" to an organisation than merely the tax position. It also includes an "opting out" of various other legal requirements such as employment laws and various other judicial requirements.

Scientology could not have continued to function and gain respectability (pfff) and build longevity if it had not used protective religious cloaking. Beliefs are one small part of this issue. People are free to believe what they want to. That isn't the issue. The issue is that religious exemption status has wide implications - and benefits. Charitable behaviour is caught up in all this. Historically churches have been very involved in activities of a charitable nature - for "the public benefit". The "public benefit" test is still used here in NZ when religious tax exemptions are looked into. Scientology lied, or perverted the truth, to get what it wanted. What it wanted was for government agencies to have little to no legal ground to interfere with the inside workings of scientology. Hubbard hated authority. Hubbard wanted to rule the world, his way. This isn't about freedom of beliefs. That is just smoke and mirrors.

The "tax base" issue is a very narrow view of a much bigger picture regarding scientology, beliefs and the "religion" label it has forced govt. agencies to grant. It isn't about beliefs, it is about behaviour.

People get all caught up in the religious freedom debate. That is exactly what scientology wants. "You can't touch us because we are a religion and the government backs us". But what about the behaviour? What about the abuses that are being hidden within the group? What about the fact that members of scientology are prevented from accessing due process and access to their other legal rights (e.g. access to judicial process; true freedom of speech, etc). What about actions which are for the public benefit? Where is scientology truly behaving for the public good? Sure they have their volunteer ministers program but it is fake, designed to keep the religious cloaking intact and the authorities where they want them.

One day someone super smart and highly skilled in these legally complex issues will take scientology apart and tear back the cloak to reveal that the actions of this so-called "for the public good religious activity" are all smoke and mirrors. It should not pose a risk to genuine churches because the deeper issues will stand on solid ground. Authentic "for the public good" charitable behaviour will act as the protection.

In the words of Nick Xenophon (I paraphrase): People can believe what they want. People are not free to be involved in criminal activity, without consequence(s).

I will add: It is outrageous that a group, scientology, can con and cheat a system designed for the public good. For true charity to exist, with non-interfering state support. For people to safely follow their faith and find comfort and community in that. These traditions are centuries old and come with both faults and benefits. Scientology has made a mockery of something which was, imo, mostly decent.

 

cleared cannibal

Well-known member
Separation of state and church is a fairly complex issue.

Scientology obtained its tax exemption (on religious grounds) in a bombastic, bullying and duplicitous manner. It used every trick in the book (legally) to insist it was due all the benefits of religious tax exemption group. In essence scientology shaped itself to FIT the definitions of a religious group. Dodgy at best, outright illegal bullshit at worst - but cleverly done.

Here in NZ (I am a kiwi) scientology fought relentlessly to ensure the governing agency that grants the exemption (Inland Revenue) was backed into a corner and had no choice but to grant it. Why? It is way more complicated than what the face of the issue appears to be. Religious status grants a whole lot of other "benefits" to an organisation than merely the tax position. It also includes an "opting out" of various other legal requirements such as employment laws and various other judicial requirements.

Scientology could not have continued to function and gain respectability (pfff) and build longevity if it had not used protective religious cloaking. Beliefs are one small part of this issue. People are free to believe what they want to. That isn't the issue. The issue is that religious exemption status has wide implications - and benefits. Charitable behaviour is caught up in all this. Historically churches have been very involved in activities of a charitable nature - for "the public benefit". The "public benefit" test is still used here in NZ when religious tax exemptions are looked into. Scientology lied, or perverted the truth, to get what it wanted. What it wanted was for government agencies to have little to no legal ground to interfere with the inside workings of scientology. Hubbard hated authority. Hubbard wanted to rule the world, his way. This isn't about freedom of beliefs. That is just smoke and mirrors.

The "tax base" issue is a very narrow view of a much bigger picture regarding scientology, beliefs and the "religion" label it has forced govt. agencies to grant. It isn't about beliefs, it is about behaviour.

People get all caught up in the religious freedom debate. That is exactly what scientology wants. "You can't touch us because we are a religion and the government backs us". But what about the behaviour? What about the abuses that are being hidden within the group? What about the fact that members of scientology are prevented from accessing due process and access to their other legal rights (e.g. access to judicial process; true freedom of speech, etc). What about actions which are for the public benefit? Where is scientology truly behaving for the public good? Sure they have their volunteer ministers program but it is fake, designed to keep the religious cloaking intact and the authorities where they want them.

One day someone super smart and highly skilled in these legally complex issues will take scientology apart and tear back the cloak to reveal that the actions of this so-called "for the public good religious activity" are all smoke and mirrors. It should not pose a risk to genuine churches because the deeper issues will stand on solid ground. Authentic "for the public good" charitable behaviour will act as the protection.

In the words of Nick Xenophon (I paraphrase): People can believe what they want. People are not free to be involved in criminal activity, without consequence(s).

I will add: It is outrageous that a group, scientology, can con and cheat a system designed for the public good. For true charity to exist, with non-interfering state support. For people to safely follow their faith and find comfort and community in that. These traditions are centuries old and come with both faults and benefits. Scientology has made a mockery of something which was, imo, mostly decent.

I get what you say. They just played the system. They probably are not any worse than others in which we are not aware of. That is why I think the system itself needs to be revamped in some way. In the big scheme of things Scn is insignificant and I just dont want to see more harm done than is necessary to things like civil liberties and religion in general. I just said I had mixed emotions about Scn losing tax exempt status. I am not really sure at this point if it would hurt them that bad if they retained all the other religious benefits. The wealthy are not that much concerned with tax breaks. The PR would be more an issue than that any real damage. Scn would spin it that they are being persecuted because of beliefs of course we all know here that the main audience would be the members themselves. I am just pointing out that there are positives and negatives to taking away the tax exemption. It is doing a pretty good job of imploding as it is. The first rule of war and politics is that " If the enemy is destroying himself get out of his way."

I know the members themselves think that the wog world is out to get them and this would just reinforce this idea.
 

Hatshepsut

Active member
<snort> What wealthy do you hang with? The wealthy are very much concerned with keeping their wealth. Those that aren't are probably the ones that inherited it and will soon not have it due to blowing it and financial incompetence.
It takes money to make money. :cool:

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Veda

Well-known member
At this stage, the psychological & political (power seeking) operation of Scientology Inc. is busy relentlessly emphasizing its primary fraudulent assertion: that it's an authentic religious institution.

By repetition it plans to condition the "wogs" and "homo saps" to automatically regard Scientology as a religion, and to regard dissenters and critics are anti-religious bigots.

It's always puzzling to me why some would assist them in this regard.
 

Hatshepsut

Active member
At this stage, the psychological & political (power seeking) operation of Scientology Inc. is busy relentlessly emphasizing its primary fraudulent assertion: that it's an authentic religious institution.

By repetition it plans to condition the "wogs" and "homo saps" to automatically regard Scientology as a religion, and to regard dissenters and critics are anti-religious bigots.

It's always puzzling to me why some would assist them in this regard.
Religiosity not taken seriously. Never personally knew anyone in the cherch during my days of involvement who claimed religiosity without a smirk and a giggle. But, that seems long long ago.....in a galaxy far far away.

Even those nooses that auditors started wearing around their necks and the cleric collars were regarded as pretense by us students on course. We all knew who the swingers were. lolol

 
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cleared cannibal

Well-known member
<snort> What wealthy do you hang with? The wealthy are very much concerned with keeping their wealth. Those that aren't are probably the ones that inherited it and will soon not have it due to blowing it and financial incompetence.
If they are concerned with keeping their wealth they won't be giving it to Scn or any charity for that matter. No matter if you get a tax breakor not you will have more money if you keep it and pay taxes on it vs giving it away. If you are in the 36% bracket you will save 36k in taxes if you donate 100k but you would have 64k in cash if you had paid taxes on it. Same idea as keeping a mortgage to get the deduction. Stupid if your goal is to have more money. Really the only way one can honestly make money and keep it is to pay the taxes on it. The wealthy fully utilize the capital gains laws where the tax rate is much less than on income earned. The charitable deduction does ease the pain financially but you would still have more money if you paid the taxes. The wealthy donate for two reasons. First is they want to and believe in the cause. Second for the PR of it so as to raise their standing among their peers or to possibly to to have others to support their businesses and causes.
 

PirateAndBum

Administrator
Staff member
If they are concerned with keeping their wealth they won't be giving it to Scn or any charity for that matter. No matter if you get a tax breakor not you will have more money if you keep it and pay taxes on it vs giving it away. If you are in the 36% bracket you will save 36k in taxes if you donate 100k but you would have 64k in cash if you had paid taxes on it. Same idea as keeping a mortgage to get the deduction. Stupid if your goal is to have more money. Really the only way one can honestly make money and keep it is to pay the taxes on it. The wealthy fully utilize the capital gains laws where the tax rate is much less than on income earned. The charitable deduction does ease the pain financially but you would still have more money if you paid the taxes. The wealthy donate for two reasons. First is they want to and believe in the cause. Second for the PR of it so as to raise their standing among their peers or to possibly to to have others to support their businesses and causes.
Ah, I see, wealthy scilons are not that interested in the tax break. Yes, they would give anyway, those IAS regs are good at what they do.
 

Dotey OT

Patron With Honors, Unfortunately.
Ah, I see, wealthy scilons are not that interested in the tax break. Yes, they would give anyway, those IAS regs are good at what they do.
Most people are not usually up to speed with where they are and the tax ramifications of their donations, specifically, at that end of the year moment. The more wealthy are regged more by the best reg for them. Charmaine Roger regged one particular guy I know for 3 or 4 million over time for one org. When she passed, that went over to Peggy Crawford I believe. Most of those regges play a specific game with each "mark." The mark often times knows exactly what is being done and still gives.
 

Pseudonym

Well-known member
Any True Believers who post on ESMB and now ESMBR with claims about Scientology get jumped on pretty thoroughly here. Everything they say gets challenged and debunked -- so, I don't think there is reason for concern.
Absolutely. The more people speaking up against scientology the better.
 
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Pseudonym

Well-known member
For the most part it seems to me that the indys here do what religions are supposed to. That is they spread their "word" and say it is the way to "salvation" but are not hard sell. I really have no quarrel with them. I practice a live and let live philosophy . Really I put the official COS right in there with the likes of fundamental Islam. It forces you into it's beliefs by force with the alternative physical death. Scn manipulates you mentally and some what physically with the result often a spiritual death. One could argue Scn is worse.

Remember there is more than one road to heaven.
Scientology isn't a religion. It is a cult.
 

cleared cannibal

Well-known member
Scientology isn't a religion. It is a cult.
You have brought up something which has been discussed ad nauseam and we will not solve here. Only time sorts the cults from religions. Some even many say all religions are cults and if you believe solely in the scientific method you would be correct. To me a cult is is a philosophy which gains rapid numbers and rapidly declines. To me it is not one that causes much harm and suffering. If one believes this we come back to the idea that all religions are cults. As far as cults go in history Scn so far barely rates a foot note if influence and numbers are taken into account. That is part of the reason it is hard to get society in general interested in doing something about it, it is insignificant in the daily world affairs.
 

Pseudonym

Well-known member
You have brought up something which has been discussed ad nauseam and we will not solve here. Only time sorts the cults from religions. Some even many say all religions are cults and if you believe solely in the scientific method you would be correct. To me a cult is is a philosophy which gains rapid numbers and rapidly declines. To me it is not one that causes much harm and suffering. If one believes this we come back to the idea that all religions are cults. As far as cults go in history Scn so far barely rates a foot note if influence and numbers are taken into account. That is part of the reason it is hard to get society in general interested in doing something about it, it is insignificant in the daily world affairs.
Scientology is a cult and no it hasn't been discussed to death. Posting made up definitions of what constitutes a cult doesn't change that fact. Claiming a lack of historical significance doesn't lessen the damage scientology does to people. That's a strange stance. Scientology isn't insignificant, at least not to the people that have been harmed by scientology. If anything there is a growing concern thanks to ex's informing the public that scientology is a dangerous abusive criminal cult organization that needs to be dismantled.
 

cleared cannibal

Well-known member
Scientology is a cult and no it hasn't been discussed to death. Posting made up definitions of what constitutes a cult doesn't change that fact. Claiming a lack of historical significance doesn't lessen the damage scientology does to people. That's a strange stance. Scientology isn't insignificant, at least not to the people that have been harmed by scientology. If anything there is a growing concern thanks to ex's informing the public that scientology is a dangerous abusive criminal cult organization that needs to be dismantled.
If every Scn died tomorrow the world would barely notice other than the celebrities gone. That is unless it was a Jones town type event. The world is full of insignificant groups which are very significant to those involved.

I am not trying to say it isn't a cult just the average person in the world probably never has heard of it. There is an increased awareness of its abuses but it has been like pulling teeth to get it done. I would have to say if I had the choice to rid the earth of radical Islam or Scn I would choose Islam. They ARE significant in world affairs.

You know I don't feel all that sorry for people who joined me included. You knew were taking a chance and believed the wrong people. It is life live and learn. Some people just took a long time to learn. Who I do feel sorry for is the children born into it, they never had a chance. I do feel compassion for all involved but I do still do believe one has to take responsibility for the decisions they make. I am willing to take calculated risks which joining Scn was. It didn't work out so well but I knew all along that was a possibility.
 

Paul Adams

(Dulloldfart on ESMB)
Religion in action at the newest Ideal Church:
<snip>
I see the officiator isn't wearing a dog-collar, just a purple ribbon with a medallion of some kind, I guess a Scn cross. I don't think I've ever seen that before, although the purple is reminiscent of Rog's (officiating at a wedding) Ming the Merciless get-up (see Various pics of Scientology in the 80s and 90s, unpublished, until now... for my response to it, but Rog's original image is not available there and I don't know where to find it).

 
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