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Change CoS status to College!!!!!

Discussion in 'Think Tank' started by Beats, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Beats Member

    Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    Does anybody else think that since CoS charge all that money for Books and Lectures they are in fact closer to being a University/College then a religion?

    If we can’t make the government see this organisation as a Cult then we should be able to change its status to Educational Establishment and as a result remove its tax relief status.

    If we achieve this the entire thing will crumble!!!
  2. Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    That's an interesting idea given that Co$ doesn't like to educate its members or especially its members' children. There's no way they could ever get accredited properly, so when we say 'college' what we're talking is mail-order degrees and zero reputation. Plus, education watchdogs might be more inclined to pay critical attention to how $cienokids are 'schooled'.

    Actually I think we should be poking education watchdogs about the 'study tech' regardless. If a Scieno leaves and takes the kids along, those children will have years of catching up to do in order to get by in any normal school.

    How possible is this, practically speaking? Lawnonymice, finance types, I'm talking to you especially.
  3. Beats Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    As it stands the CoS’s religion status is one of the factors that discourage the media from writing about them.
    If their status is compared (even for a short time) to an educational establishment in the public aye will this not give the media an open window to openly criticise them with no fear of persecution?
  4. DrAdlaiAtkins Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    Farbeit for our God-fearing churches to host educational services on a weekly basis, say some sort of "sunday-school"
  5. Beats Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    All religions have some sort of schools but as far as i am aware CoS is the only one that changes an obscene amount of money for their teaching's.

    The source of strength can become their weakness.
  6. Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    I've just PM'd a law expert about this thread. Let's actually see how feasible it is. I'd like to get moving with this idea if it's at all possible.
  7. a-non-lawyer Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    I am not an expert in this area and, as a matter of technicality, I am not an expert in the law (that's the play on words in my username). That's because although I know how to research, read, understand, and make informed guess about its application, I do not have significant practice experience. Tax law, in particular, is highly specialized.

    That disclaimer out of the way, I'm not sure there is a great deal to be gained by trying to have the CoS reclassed as an educational institution rather than a religious institution. IMO, it's a more accurate description of what they do (even if the "education" in question is bunk), but I'm not sure it's an easy sell. Neither am I sure there would actually be much change in their financial situation. I'll elaborate on the two distinct tax issues from this standpoint:

    1.) CoS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit: entirely unaffected. Their organization would still not pay any corporate income tax, just as is the case now.

    2.) Tax exempt donations: a change in form, but probably not result. Right now, the fixed fees they charge for things like auditing (and maybe books, I'm not sure on that one) can be deducted (50 or 80% of the cost; I'd have to look it up again) from the purchaser's ("donor's") personal income tax. That's the argument in the Ninth Circuit: a similar deduction is not available to other religious organizations for things like tuition at a Catholic school, so the judges on the panel suggested that this looks like a indirect "establishment" of religion by the government.

    In the educational scenario, there would still be deductions available to members purchasing "educational" services. It's an open question as to what they could actually get classified as educational. Does auditing qualify? Books almost certainly would. In any case, there is a personal deduction for educational expenses as well. That has its own set of complicated restrictions and it's not obvious to me that the CoS would be able to satisfy them, but with enough tweaks and pressure, they might be able to pull it off.

    Being re-classed as an educational, rather than religious institution, would be painful for them to be sure. Satisfying the requirements to retain a personal income deduction for membership's expenses would be difficult, and that may also translate to problems with deductions on outright donations as well. It would also de-legitimize them as a "religion" and open them up to a whole different set of criticisms and scrutiny. It still would not change their non-profit status.

    As I said earlier though, I think this is probably a tough sell in terms of political action. They don't really look like an educational institution either, and they've done a lot to sell their image as being religious. In effect, this would require politicians to exert pressure on the IRS to declare that the CoS is not a religious institution, which strikes me as politically difficult in the US. My inclination is that it will be easier to sell the idea that they're operated more as an illegitimately favored religious organization and that moreover, they operate in a profit-generating fashion (slightly tougher), in part because of some of the available evidence (and some of the presumed evidence that nobody actually has in the public). Their current characterization as a religion opens them up to certain angles of attack that would not otherwise be available, including the one currently before the courts. Furthermore, if it can be shown that their income stream is being treated, de facto, as a dividend or tool for personal enrichment (even if the technical accounting says otherwise), those individuals would be forced to disgorge the taxable difference.

    OT Wall of Text
    The tax and profit structure of the CoS really is quite fascinating, and very complicated. The RTC, AFAIK, operates as a for-profit corporation that is responsible for the construction of e-meters and licensing of Hubbard's many books. The thing is, people aren't in the church aren't buying those items from the RTC (I don't think); they're buying them from the CoS Int'l, which is a non-profit. My guess is that they're using all sorts of tricky accounting, which isn't necessarily illegal, to move as much profit from the RTC into their various non-profits, with the aim being to minimize the taxable income on the RTC (because it's making donations to the CoS). In most situations, shareholders would complain about this sort of thing and file a lawsuit; but that's not going to happen here because of how the RTC ownership is structured.

    The books and e-meters, and whatever else, are likely sold to the CoS at the minimum transfer price required to satisfy arms-length dealing requirements. The CoS then provides these things to their members at huge markups and manages to get them classified as donations (again, not sure if books fall into that).

    I saw a diagram somewhere outlining the relationship of the different major CoS entities to each other. Not sure if it's accurate, but it was pretty messy. This, presumably, is what the IRS signed off on in 1993 when they setup that agreement.
  8. Beats Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    I think that CoS have already solved this problem for us! In Scotland for example CoS do not have the tax exempt status since they were were unable to attain neither religious or charitable standing.

    Until CoS figure out how to get round this problem they are calling themselves " Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence" another words in my view anyway an "Educational Institution".

    CoS Edinburgh site: http://www.scientology-edinburgh.org/
  9. Anonymite Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    ... wait, wait, WAIT.

    They're NON-PROFIT?!?

    Dude, they've got billions tucked away and own more land than most corporations dream of! How is it that haven't started focusing on their non-profit status when they are virtually ALL profit?
  10. subgenius Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    While it may be possible to get their tax exempt status changed, the concept of trying to get them "classified" as a college, or anything else, is not in the realm of possibility. In fact its rather bizarre.
  11. Beats Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    I agree that this idea is Bizarre but sometimes binging down an organisation does not mean charging them with the crimes that they committed - Al Capone did not get locked up for racketeering he did however go down because of tax evasion charges something even he did not foresee.

    Scientology spent over 50 years trying to classify themselves as Religion while charging their members for lectures and books something that no other religious organization does. This greed forced them to create educational material distribution points making them more like a mail order educational establishment then religion.

    Now that CoS have the infrastructure in place it would be difficult for them to move away from what the have become. As a result they may end up being nether a religion nor an education establishment furthermore questioning what they actually are.
  12. subgenius Member

    Re: Change CoS status to College!!!!!

    Yeah, but there's no entity that has the authority to declare you a College against your will.

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