Scientology Church Reform
This is a paper on some aspects to do with the church of scientology reformation.
It is in six parts.
Part 1. What IS the Church of Scientology
Part 2. How Much Money Does the Church Have?
Part 3. Scientology Tax Exempt Status
Part 4. Copyrights & Trademarks
Part 5. Who runs Scientology?
Part 6. Church Reform
Part 1. What IS the Church of Scientology
In the book, Scientology - A New Slant on Life, Hubbard said that the first step of handling anything is gaining an ability to face it.
This applies to the church just as much as anything. From the viewpoint of reforming the church then, we can ask, what IS the Church of Scientology exactly?
The church is not one big church. It is actually composed of a number of legal entities and churches. At the top of the food chain there is the CST, The Church of Spiritual Technology. This is a corporation with the ID number : C1074287. It has the Box Number address of CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL TECHNOLOGY 419 N LARCHMOUNT BLVD #86, LOS ANGELES, CA 90004 and it was incorporated 5/28/1982. This corporation does business as "L. Ron Hubbard Library." The income of the CST is from Royalties due to the copyrights it owns of various works, principally L. Ron Hubbard Writings.
Next in the chain is the Religious Technology Centre (RTC). This is the management "arm" of the church and is run by one David Miscavige who holds the post of Chairman of the Board and who also maintains a ducks bottom like tight grip on the purse strings. He runs the show and is ultimately responsible for all the activities of the church. The full import of this will be come apparent later in this article.
The RTC gives the apparency of being the holder of the trademarks and service marks of Scientology and is safeguarding its application. CST is the holder of the copyrights and licenses their use.
The Church of Scientology International is the organization providing management services to other Scientology Churches all over the world.
There is also the Sea Organization and various smaller organizations, such as Golden Era Productions, Author Services Inc, various churches such as, The Flag Land Base, the advanced organizations and smaller churches around the world.
Part 2. How Much Money Does the Church Have?
The short answer is that the church has billions of dollars. How can this be, you might ask.
One of the long term policies used in the church financing area is that a certain percentage of all funds received is set aside into a Reserve Fund. This was originally set up by Hubbard in the early 60s. At that time it was 10 percent off the top. The idea was that this is a fund gradually built up for emergencies and defense etc. A good idea and probably everyone should have one these days.
However this policy has been in practice and rigidly enforced since the 60's and the percentage of income set aside to reserves has been also supported by additional donations from parishioners, memberships from the IAS (International Association of Scientologists) and other income sources.
The important thing to be aware of here is that the basic policy with this fund is that IT IS NEVER EVER USED. The funds collected are never used for the purposes they were accumulated. The full import of this policy will be come known shortly in this paper.
In addition it was decided in the early 70's that each church should be in a building, not rented or leased, but OWNED by the Church, specifically the Sea Organization. That part of scientology consisting of the permanent staff and management that run the general activities of the church. Projects were undertaken to ensure that all churches were bought or buildings were bought As a consequence the Sea Organization now owns, outright, hundreds of prime real estate in most of the major cities in the world. Much of this real estate was paid for by "donations" from parishioners. NONE of it was paid for out of the reserve funds. The reserve funds are mostly in off shore accounts in Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland and other places. Some is in dollars and other currencies, some in gold. The amount in the scientology reserve fund amounts to well into the MANY BILLIONS of dollars. What Bill Gates has is peanuts compared to the church reserves.
Part of this is the fact that they are Tax Exempt. They pay NO taxes. This saves millions. They also hardly pay their staff. Staff pay amounts to a few dollars a week, and not even that if the staff member is "downstat". Most companies, churches etc, pay a reasonable wage or salary to their ecclesiastical staff. They also charge little of anything for the services. The Church of Scientology had a benchmark which Hubbard set for auditing fees and books etc. The current management has exceeded this benchmark many times over so that the current fees for services are well outside the scope of the ordinary person and are really only available to the wealthy. That is unless one gets into deep debt to buy services, Something the current management encourages despite it being totally against the basic philosophy of exchange that Hubbard developed.
In addition the church earn interest on the reserves. Guess what the interest will be on several billion dollars? The exact figures are not known but if the Church has five billion in reserves, and it is not unreasonable to assume so, and earns interest of 5 percent per annum (Tax free don't forget), then they are adding a quarter billion a year to their reserve fund in interest alone!
This is no small biccies*. We are talking serious money here. Even if the reserves were HALF that and the interest being earned on that was HALF, or 2.5 percent per year that would still be 625 thousand million a year in tax free interest. This would be far in excess of the money made from selling scientology services on an annual basis. They could sit there on their bottoms and not sell anything and still survive for literally years.
This does not include the capital gains of real estate accumulated over the years, which would also be in the millions. All of this is tax free of course. The Church could certainly afford to pay ALL its staff the legal minimum wage in every country several times over and not even dent their assets.
It seems however that Mr Miscavige wants it all for himself. Staff get little if any.
The Anonymous group, which the world has now heard of, not long ago, avowed to bring the church down. With the funds and real estate the church has, they will have to continue their activities forever, as that is how long the church can survive with no further income! They can live off the interest on the reserves forever! Their resources are enormous. The RTC and CoS could shut up shop and simply exist by themselves for years without any further income, they have that much reserves. That means keeping all churches going, paying all expenses, feeding and caring (and I use that term loosely) for staff.
I am afraid it will take a lot more than a few demos to close the doors of the church. It will take a lot of organisation and some very smart and adroit exposure and proding the goverment and legal activities to make a dent in the church.
So the first issue to look at here is the tax exempt status of the Church.
Part 3. Scientology Tax Exempt Status
The CoS is the only church that has been granted tax exempt status by the IRS. A truly remarkable occurrence. Particularly in view of the fact that the CST is NOT a church but a corporation!
The IRS has a hot-line telephone set up with the RTC Management body. A regular reporting activity is required also indicating any changes in the leadership of the church.
The church, as part of the agreement with the IRS has a agreement and must follow a tax compliance procedure. This tends to indicate that the church is not its own master here. Scientology, IRS has also ordered that they receive regular reports about any change in the leadership or organizational pattern.
According to http://www.sc-i-r-s-ology.com. "IRS is set up over Scientology precisely as any CEO is over any organization, as planned by Meade Emory and IRS when Emory was Legislation Attorney for the Joint Committee on Taxation and then Assistant Commissioner of IRS.
The chart that website shows how IRS exerts command and control over Scientology through its top agents, the non-Scientologist Special Directors hand-picked by Emory and IRS to run the top corporation, Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) and through subordinate agents, the Tax Compliance Officers in OSA's Tax Compliance Sections."
Anon have stated they wish to have the Church's tax exempt status removed. Their demonstrations have quite rightly been directed at the church as part of their effort to have this done.
However, they have overlooked something. The tax exempt stats was only granted to the Church, The entity granting the status was the US Government Inland Revenue Service. Why have demos not been directed at the group who have allowed millions of dollars of American Tax Payer money to be relinquished? Why have demonstrations not been directed also at the IRS? And their master, the US Government?
Also, why was the agreement secret? How does the tax office justify denying the tax payer the income that should be paid by the church? And why did the Church pay 12 million dollars to the IRS for the privilege of being Tax Exempt?
Particularly as it is not a church but a corporation run activity. On the one hand the RTC claims to be a religion, yet on the other employs legislation designed to protect the intellectual property of commercial businesses in order to enforce a monopoly.
The Tax Exempt Status certainly needs some investigation. A legal and possibly political inquiry should be undertaken to examine the legality of this strange and somewhat discriminatory tax exempt status.
Part 4. Copyrights & Trademarks
Who actually owns the copyrights and trademarks of the church?
RTC is promoted not only in Scientology literature, but also in legal threats it makes from its attorneys, as being the "legal owner" of various trademarks including "Scientology", and "L. Ron Hubbard".
"What is not reflected in those records are the contractual and estate documents that allegedly give controlling interest in the most important trademarks to CST. In the 1993 estate trust transfer ordered by IRS, CST received all "commercial interest" in the most important marks (ones purportedly "given" to RTC by Hubbard in 1982, but in which transaction he withheld all "commercial interest" which then passed to CST). CST also has contractual right to take back all other interest and goodwill in those key marks from RTC at any time in CST's "sole discretion." None of the other marks RTC has registered have any value at all without those key marks, which include the Sea Org symbols, the Scientology "S-and-double-triangles", the Scientology cross, and the Dianetics triangle. This very covert control mechanism was set up by Meade Emory and IRS to hide the fact of CST's control over RTC and over all of Scientology."
However the RTC has gained international notoriety for being involved in prodigious copyright litigation, giving the apparency, falsely, that RTC owned the copyrights. In fact RTC do not own any copyrights. The only reason the RTC was involved in the sensational Copyright Wars against the internet was simply because the contested documents were was is called, "The Advanced Technology" materials, which RTC is licensed BY CST, to sub license to the Advanced Organizations or churches considered qualified to deliver such materials, Also called "scriptures".
One point of interest is that the copyright of such words as "Scientology" should be queried as the word scientology is generic, just as the word Christian, Muslim, The Baha'i Faith, Buddhism and the names of many other religions are generically descriptive of that particular religion. In addition Copyrighting the name "L. Ron Hubbard" is also rather peculiar.
Perhaps there is room to question the veracity of these "trademarks" and "copyrights".
Part 5. Who runs Scientology?
As noted in part one, the first step is finding out exactly what the church really is.
The founder of Scientology was L. Ron Hubbard. Now its "founders" appear to be such people as Meade Emory Former IRA commissioners. He is not a scientologist but a private tax lawyer.
He was apparently hired as a specialist for the complex Internal Revenue Codes. The Church of Scientology International and most Scientology organizations settled with the IRS about 11 years later when the service passed a resolution in 1993 declaring them tax-exempt.
This is so peculiar as all scientology organizations and churches require that the corporate officers be scientologists in good standing. Yet here we have a person who is i) not a scientologist and ii) not therefore in good standing. Yet he holds sway over the entire scientology empire. The CST (Church of Spiritual Technology) includes "Special Directors" who are not required to be Scientologists, but who are required to be lawyers, "to ensure that CST takes no action to jeopardize its tax-exempt status" (CST vs. IRS, US Claims Court No. 581-88T, June 29, 1992)!
Hubbard stated once in a policy letter on freedom from politics, "I hereby declare Scientology to be non-political and non-ideological. The reason for this declaration is the efforts of [the United States] government to seize Scientology in the United States. Scientology is for a free people and is itself on this date declared free of any political connection or allegiance of any kind whatever."
This raises another point of disparity that could be investigated.
In fact, since the death of the original Founder, the church policy and activities have changed almost out of all recognition. The church of scientology is scientology in name only. The Church of Scientology International may be a church legally but it is run soely by David Miscavigee through terror and fear much as any despot runs a country or group, and scientology, as it is known, is not actually practiced anymore. At least the basic tenets of scientology laid down by the Founder have ceased to be applied, indeed, the diametric opposite now abounds.
The original church was set up and built to provide a structure in which the scientology services such as auditing and training could be delivered. It expanded and grew and scientology services were indeed delivered. The when the new regime took over, the basic tenet of improved communication and increased family life were replaced by family alienation, and cut communication. The antithesis of all that scientology stands for.
Now we have a church that calls itself scientology but isn't and a scientology field that practices scientology but cannot call itself that.
Part 6 Church Reform
Church reform of a drastic nature is called for.
Anon, which not achieving any church reform so far, has, at least drawn attention to the philosophical violations in a dramatic way.
Any church reform, however, has to be of a legal nature, not only because it is against the law to try to exercise reform by force, (something Miscavige pointedly ignores) but also because by that action, one gives more power to that which one is trying to reform. In short, one gets what one resists.
Some suggested measure that may be employed to start the reformation process could include the following.
There are important elections coming up in the US at the moment. This is one of the few times the prospective elected officers listen to their constituents. A planned campaign to advise the officers of the inappropriate tax exempt status robbing the US tax payer of taxes the church should be paying would be a first step. Asking why the church has been favored with a tax exempt status and other religions have not. Asking how many millions of dollars the church has avoided paying in taxes since this discriminatory adjudication was made. Asking if they consider this is right and what sway does the church hold over the IRS that it can engineer
The word scientology is now generic to the religion as is many other religious names as outlined above. Also trademarking the name of L. Ron Hubbard is simply a way to retain a monopoly on the teachings of the religion. Miscavige continues to makes attempts to prevent other people from writing on or about the philosophy and the technology arising out of it purely on the basis of commercial gain. Not as a way of protecting the philosophy as evidenced by the fact that they do not use it any more but simply practice the antithesis of the philosophy. It is an attempt to prevent others from using it.
At Int Base Miscaviage has instituted a reign of terror and mayhem. Anyone disagreeing with his absolute command is subject to torture and degradation. If LRH were around to see it he would probably vomit on the carpet in disgust to see how Miscavige has perverted the philosophy out of all recognition. In such places as the Flag Land base buildings, there are hundreds of cameras designed, not to keep people out, but to keep the staff in. They have no access to the outside world and if do manage to get out are chased down and if caught, brought back. This ius plain and simple kidnapping. A federal offence in all states of the US to my knowledge.
The RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) was originally design to rehabilitate staff in the Sea organisation who were having difficulty with their lives. This has deteriorated, since the new regime has taken over, to a enforced cheap labor force which have no or little rights, no communication with the outside world and no salary. The workers here work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for nothing except the faint possibility of salvation at some nebulous time in the future. Many have been in the RPF for YEARS. Their passports and ID is taken away from them (illegal at best) They are not allowed any communication with anyone NOT in the RPF. Prisoners in jail get better treatment in third world countries.
The current church needs drastic and immediate reform. It is currently a fraud. It does NOT practice the philosophy or technology of scientology whatsoever and, by it's current actions, brings the original philosophy of scientology into severe disrepute.
A political campaign to have the tax exemption removed.
Contesting the trademarking of the generic word, "scientology" and of a persons name,. i.e. "L Ron Hubbard."
Calling upon the appropriate government departments to investigate the use of enforced and unpaid labor on scientology premises in violation of current labor laws and statutes.
Calling for human rights groups and government departments to have access to inner church residences and work areas to ascertain the extent of violations of individual rights.
The current Chairman of the Board, David Miscavige, who controls the church, maintains a tight grip on the billions of dollars which only he has control, and the abuses of human rights he countenances and promotes, should be brought to account for the crimes undertaken since the death of the founder. This means being charged with crimes such as terror, grievous Bodily Harm, Torture, Kidnapping and possibly even rape and sodomy, why knows if HE were to experience the enforce confessional dished out to his victims.
He should be brought to justice and fully exposed for the perversion of the trust that was placed in him. In addition he should be stripped of his title and reduced to an RPF lifestyle for the rest of his natural life.
Staff should be paid a living wage for their work and acknowledged for their dedication. They should be free to look at the outside world and have some understanding of it and not be kept cloistered and restricted.
The CST, should be dissolved and disbanded. Control of the Church should revert to the Church of Scientology International but with new leadership dedicated to restoring the church to its former status of applying actual scientology. Reuniting families and cancelling the policy on disconnection and all that it entails, reducing the prices to those affordable on a standard regular income, and, most importantly of all, actually start delivering the original services that built up the church under Hubbard.
That would make a good start.
*small biccies. Small Biscuits. Means an insignificant thing. Small biccies means it is not important. Therefore NO small biccies means it IS important.