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Auditing Scientology: Reexamining the Church's 501(c)(3) Tax Exemption Eligibility

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by COS and NOI News, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Texas Tech Law Review -- Auditing Scientology: Reexamining the Church's 501(c)(3) Tax Exemption Eligibility

    Auditing Scientology: Reexamining the Church's 501(c)(3) Tax Exemption Eligibility

    27 Pages

    Posted: 14 Feb 2021

    Taylor Holley*
    Texas Tech University, School of Law

    Date Written: February 1, 2021

    *Taylor C. Holley, Staff Editor, Texas Tech Law Review Volume 53; Candidate for Doctor of Jurisprudence 2022.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3777276

    * * * * * BEGIN ABSTRACT * * * * *

    Abstract

    The Church of Scientology is one of the most discussed religions of the modern era, and its beliefs and practices have been shrouded in controversy since its emergence in the 1950’s. Shortly thereafter, the Internal Revenue Service recognized Scientology as a valid religion, thus granting certain governmental protections and benefits afforded to religious organizations in this country, including tax exemption. After a decades-long battle between the Church and the IRS, the IRS eventually granted a blanket tax exemption to all Scientology organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    However, the Church’s current practices and activities raise significant concerns that warrant a reexamination of its tax exemption eligibility. The Church engages in activities that are substantially commercial by requiring payment from Scientologists to practice the religion and improve their spiritual standing. Additionally, the Church violates the fundamental national public policy that freedom of speech should not be suppressed simply because two parties disagree, a foundation of our nation that is trounced by Scientology’s Fair Game policy. Further, the Church facilitates private inurement of top executives and influential celebrity members by expending excessive funds for their personal benefit.

    For these reasons, the IRS should reevaluate the tax exemption status of each individual Scientology organization, or risk undermining judicial decisions and creating the dangerous precedent that persistent attacks on governmental agencies will in turn lead to leniency and submission. Should the IRS investigate and determine that all Scientology organizations comply with the requirements of Section 501(c)(3), then retention of their tax exemption status would be completely warranted; however, to permit such activities to continue without question would undoubtedly defeat the principles behind tax exemption and raise legitimate concerns regarding the fairness of IRS decisions.

    * * * * * END ABSTRACT * * * * *


    * * BEGIN TABLE OF CONTENTS * *

    I. INTRODUCTION 3

    II. CHURCH AND LEGISLATIVE HISTORY 4

    A. The Origins of Scientology 4

    1. L. Ron Hubbard and Dianetics 4

    2. A Religion is Born from the Principles of Dianetics 6

    B. Criteria for Obtaining and Requirements for Maintaining 501(c)(3) Status 8

    1. Statutory Criteria 9

    2. The Common Law Requirement 10

    C. Scientology’s War with the IRS 11

    III. THE BRIDGE TO TOTAL FREEDOM: PATH TO SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT OR WELL-CRAFTED BUSINESS MODEL? 14

    A. Auditing Expenses 15

    B. Books and Other Required Religious Materials 17

    IV. THE FAIR GAME POLICY: AN UNFAIR SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH 19

    A. Scientology’s Restrictive Policies 20

    B. Fair Game Illustrated: Sloat v. Rathbun 21

    V. PRIVATE INUREMENT: PERSONAL GAIN AT THE EXPENSE OF CHURCH PARISHIONERS 23

    A. Lavish Executive Living Quarters & Personal Perks 23

    B. Advantages for Influential Celebrities 25

    VI. CONCLUSION 26

    * * END TABLE OF CONTENTS * *


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  2. Incredulicide Member

    Well fuck me dead the page is now gone ...

    Did nobody think to make the Wayback Machine do a backup while they were copy pasting it? *sigh*
  3. failboat Member

    • Like Like x 1
  4. Incredulicide Member

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