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STOP SCIENTOLOGY TAX BREAKS IN THE UK: PETITION (harpoons needed)

Discussion in 'Media' started by Anonymous, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. RolandRB Member

    It would be soooo nice if they would cover the CoLCorp wanted to take tax away from the cult, them asking the government to help them out financially, and the government refusing.
  2. Anonymous Member

    If we could link the story with tits, win-win.
  3. City of London granted rates relief in the mistaken belief that COSREC was an Australian charity.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Anonymous Member

  5. RolandRB Member

    How come only the orginator and me has signed the "Ban Scientology" e-petition?

    YASCOHB
  6. Anonymous Member

    eh? not understood. You, WT, and 542 other people.
  7. Anonymous Member

    oh, a different petition!

    in my case, it's because I wouldn't support the banning of scientology.

    can't speak for the rest of these cock-suckers.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Anonymous Member

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14001

    Roland?
  9. Anonymous Member

    Heh. I suppose it allows for a year of rebutting whining and UK membership claims with "...however, an e-petition for favourable tax treatment has so far only attracted xx signatures."

    In case it causes any confusion, I'd just point out that Manchester City Council didn't say they'd refused relief: the main 2010 FOI reply only said they'd applied no relief in the past 5 years, and for the Manc Idle Org, the reply stated "The area identified is an industrial site of which none of the occupiers are entitled to any reliefs". Secondly, for Westminster, we've shown in this thread that they're not getting rate relief at the celeb centre's new location, as they don't appear to have applied (yet?).

    To Roland, are you minded to update your document or leave it as a record of that time? If you want to update it, I think the main changes we know about are Birmingham and Westminster, plus TCR's been clarified and WT found out Brighton & Hove refused relief in 2001 (from the recent Sunderland stuff).
  10. Anonymous Member

    We need to concentrate on promoting the Stop Scientology Tax Breaks e petition because
    - if we get press coverage the wording of it is the most concise, informative and damaging to the cult
    - it is the most newsworthy/relevant petition in the present economic climate

    Stop Scientology Tax Breaks

    Responsible department: Department for Communities and Local Government
    The High Court says "Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious". Eric Pickles, DCLG Secretary of State, says it should not receive tax relief on business rates. Yet local councils continue to give Scientology hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money each year, in rates relief. We ask the Government to amend the Local Government Finance Act to prevent large organisations from qualifying for rates relief unless they are UK registered charities, approved by the Charity Commissioners.
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/12501
    546 signatures
  11. RolandRB Member

    ^^^
    We got two votes yesterday so we are well on the way to getting the law changed. :p
  12. Anonymous Member

  13. Anonymous Member

    Anti Scientology Tax Breaks petition: 555

    Pro Scientology tax breaks petition: 1

    tee hee
  14. Anonymous Member

  15. RolandRB Member

    back down to the 7th page and slipping down further
  16. RolandRB Member

  17. Anonymous Member

    It will do as it has had no coverage and wordage is not focused at the organisation - Co$
  18. Anonymous Member

  19. Anonymous Member

  20. Anonymous Member

  21. Anonymous Member

    nice.
    jazz220.jpg

    and I did one on the Dawkins link to Tony Ortega / Village Voice.
  22. Anonymous Member

    We definitely need to be on the ball on Sunday (or whenever the article's published). If the petition link's not in it or any subsequent newswire versions let's try to get it in the comments asap.
    • Like Like x 1
  23. Perikles Member

    Regarding story:

    due to some new info we will be now aiming for next week. Just sourcing quotes n shit. All good.

    Looking at next Sunday now...defo hammer the comments section...

    Also:

    *cough* socks *cough*
  24. Anonymous Member

    You could give them the latest information out of Australia on the cult being investigated for not paying staff.
  25. RolandRB Member

    I think that is about the "sock condoms".

    Excellent!

    I'll look round for a half-decent bottle of champagne to keep on ice for when this story breaks.

    (I don't know why they bother with sock condoms when Lill' Dave is gonna rip the baby out in any case)
  26. Quoted twice for double-plus truthiness.
    • Like Like x 1
  27. Anonymous Member

  28. RolandRB Member

    shame it wasn't "Bring back the death penalty and stop Scientology tax breaks in the UK".

    We'd be up to 10,000 if so.
  29. Anonymous Member

  30. Anonymous Member

    Anything in the papers today?
  31. RolandRB Member

    No. Now expected next Sunday.
  32. RolandRB Member

  33. Some Scientology rebuttals, with counter-arguments

    • Scientology: "The Charity Commissioner's 1999 decision that Scientology is not a religion or a charity was made in respect of Church of Scientology (UK) Ltd, and does not apply to Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated (COSREC)".
    Counter-argument: This is incorrect. The Charity Commissioners say that their decision does apply to COSREC:

    • Scientology: "Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated (COSREC) is an Australian charity".
    Counter-argument: This is untrue; COSREC is not an Australian charity, as COSREC itself states here:

    • Scientology: "We never claimed that Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated (COSREC) was a charity".
    Counter-argument: Untrue. Applications for tax relief show Scientology making the claim that COSREC is a charity, e.g. "The Charity is a South Australian Charity", in
    COSREC financial statements for year ending December 2005 say that COSREC "was incorporated in Australia as a religious charity on 19 October 1976"

    • Scientology: "Although not a registered charity, Scientology (COSREC) is 'for charitable purposes'".
    Counter-argument: Scientology courses are not beneficial to their recipients; Scientology is not beneficial to wider society. Background information on the harm caused by Scientology can be found in these reports:
    HM Government's Foster Report:
    UK High Court:
    Time Magazine:
    TampaBay.com (St Petersburg Times):
    The New Yorker:

    • Scientology: "Our critics are criminals / liars / religious bigots / terrorists"
    This is Scientology's 'attack the attacker' (also known as 'Fair Game') policy in action, consisting of ad hominem attacks and false allegations against critics. Such claims should be treated with a degree of scepticism, as the City of London Police have recognised in this document (page 4):
    "In essence this policy advocates revenge and retribution ... This area in particularly, may cause difficulty to the provenance of integrity of the complainant if not considered in the gathering of the evidence of the crime."
    • Like Like x 4
  34. Anonymous Member

  35. Anonymous Member

  36. Anonymous Member

    this is very useful
    • Like Like x 2
  37. RolandRB Member

  38. RolandRB Member

    I guess it is OK to post this.

    Maybe once you see it you will be less shy about writing to your constituency MP. You should not as it is their job to help you.

    I got an email to say that this has been passed onto Eric Pickles for his views. I am not expecting any miracles here. Just the usual avoidance. But if enough people wrote into their constituency MP about this then something would eventually happen to remedy the situation.

    Think: One letter to my constituency MP gets the attention of a minister. 100,000 votes on a petition might get it debated in the House of Commons.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi Stella,

    yes, please share with the ministers.

    We have an absurd situation in law where central government work off a different definition of "charity" to local government and yet local government collects business rates on behalf of central government and gives it all to them.

    We have another absurd situation in that local government has to interpret the law regarding what constitutes a "charity" and face the risk of legal costs both should they win the case (insufficient costs awarded to recover their own costs) and should they lose the case (their own costs plus those of the other party). They are faced with all the legal risks and they have to hand over any judgment in their favour to central government. And yet central government does not have to pay a penny to cover their unrecoverable costs if they win or lose.

    It is no wonder that the CoLCorp is happy to allow the COSRECi to continue to benefit from 270K GBP per year on their dubious claim to be "established for charitable purposes" even though the Charity Commission has specifically stated that in their view COSRECi is not established for charitable purposes. To reverse this situation would be to put themselves at financial risk. They will get no help from central government from trying to be more efficient and to give central government more money.

    We have another absurd situation where the decision of the CC is treated purely as advisory and has only verbal backing from central government. A CC decision has no legal standing and can not be used by the CoLCorp as a de facto argument. Instead they must use their own resources to come to a judgment on whether an orgnisation is "established for charitable purposes" and of course they do not have the expertise nor the time nor resources to do the topic justice.

    Taking an extreme view then it is in the interest of every charity in the UK to reincorporate in a country such as Nigeria that is more lax with the way charitable money should be spent and then to use legal threats against local authorities to grant them mandatory rates relief. The law needs to be changed to make it compulsory that charities be registered with the CC to be eligible for mandatory rates relief so that this situation is avoided.

    The case of COSRECi and the CoLCorp undermines confidence in charities in the UK among the public and underscores the waste in local government that people are acutely aware of in these difficult times. If a commercial firm occupied 146 Queen Victoria Street in the CoL then 270K GBP would be available to the public purse and could be made available to front-line services in the UK. Instead, the money is not collected and the building put to no good use by a dubious "religion" that offers dubious benefit to the public. Again, according to the CC, they do not offer a public benefit.

    Please share with the ministers and I hope this situation can be remedied at some future date.

    Roland Rashleigh-Berry

    Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2011 09:24:04 +0100
    Subject: Re: Letter from your constituent Roland Rashleigh-Berry
    From: stella@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk
    To: rolandberry@hotmail.com

    Hi Roland
    Thanks for this and apologies for the delay in coming back to you - I think the best thing to do would be to write to the ministers to see if they have had any guidance on this and whether a change in the local government finance act would do as you suggest? I'm wary that provision of the ability of local government offer discounted rates to voluntary groups may also be affected? are you happy for me to share your correspondence with them in seeking such clarity?
    let me know and we'll go from there ?
    kind regards
    Stella

    • Like Like x 2
  39. RolandRB Member

    ^^^
    Do you see the above? I write one letter to my constituency MP and chances are it will get discussed at ministerial level. If the e-petition gets 100,000 votes then chances are it will only be discussed in the House of Commons. So the moral of this story is "do not neglect to write to your constituency MP".
  40. Roland is right.

    If you write directly to a government department (e.g. DCMS), then you will usually get a low-level official giving you a copy-and-paste answer. It won't go anywhere near the minister.

    If you write to your MP and get them to contact the department on your behalf, the query is a 'treat official' and has to be signed off by a minister.

    MP Stella says

    and this is absolutely a legitimate concern.

    We don't want to affect small unregistered charities.

    This is why the petition refers to large organisations. This could be determined by the value of the tax rebate, or by the property value.

    Thank you. Let me know if I missed any of their typical responses. I wanted to document the final para ('allegations of criminality by Scientologists against Scientology critics should be treated with a degree of scepticism') with a reference to the Met Police's strategy for policing Scientology protests, in which they say that officers should be aware that 'fair game' means there's the possibility of false allegations by Scientologists against protestors - but I couldn't find it. So if anyone can, I'll edit it in to the post above.

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