Tony Ortega: How to make the IRS re-examine Scientology’s tax exempt status

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    If you want the IRS to re-examine Scientology’s tax exempt status, it’s time to get real

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, April 13, 2015


    Over the weekend, filmmaker Alex Gibney wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times arguing that the Church of Scientology deserves to have its tax exempt status taken away. And after the March 29 airing of his documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, a growing number of people seem to agree with him.

    “It seems to me that our government has a ‘fundamental, overriding interest’ in protecting individual liberty by not subsidizing harassment or surveillance by gun-toting private eyes. The First Amendment should not be a smokescreen to hide human rights abuses and possible criminal activities,” Gibney wrote, making an allusion to recent revelations about Scientology leader David Miscavige allegedly paying two private eyes $10,000 a week to follow his own father, Ron Miscavige Sr.

    So if people are interested in what they can do about motivating the IRS to revisit its 1993 decision to grant Scientology tax exempt status, what can they do?

    For one thing, they can stop emailing and messaging us about a pathetic White House petition. Badly written and pointless, the thing has gathered twenty thousand signatures or so, and will almost certainly fail to gather the 100,000 signatures required so that even if did meet that minimum number, the White House would then just blow it off like it has previous ones.

    If you’re serious about getting the attention of the IRS, forget the White House petition and get real. The IRS already has a well-defined set of rules for complaining about an organization’s tax exempt status.

    Jeffrey Augustine has been investigating this, and sent us over a primer on how to complain about Scientology’s activities to the IRS. And hey, if you follow his suggestions, it just might take some of the pain out of that other thing you procrastinators are sending in to the IRS this week.

    Jeff found, for example, this happy language from the government about how it really, really wants to hear from you! “Go ahead and complain. The Internal Revenue Service is all ears — particularly about complaints alleging any abuse of the tax-exempt status granted to a non-profit organization,” says an agency information sheet.

    He recommends that you grab a copy of the official form the IRS wants you to use to submit a referral (which is IRS lingo for a complaint).

    “The IRS Form 13909 is a one-page form that allows anyone — you don’t have to be an American citizen — to report the Church of Scientology and its related tax exempt entities for abuses of tax exemption. Sections 1 and 2 ask for basic information,” Jeff says. And he’s supplied this information to help you fill out those first two sections. Choose your favorite Scientology entity to drop a dime on!

    Church of Scientology International –- EIN 59-2153393
    6331 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 1100
    Hollywood, CA 90028

    Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization — EIN 59-2143308
    210 S. Fort Harrison Avenue
    Clearwater, Florida 33756-5109

    Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service Organization — EIN 98-0133545
    118 North Fort Harrison
    Clearwater, Florida 34615

    US IAS Members Trust — EIN 52-1840679
    1311 New Hampshire Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90027

    Church Of Scientology Religious Trust — EIN 91-6254980
    6331 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 1011
    Hollywood, CA 90028

    After you’ve filled in that basic info, here’s what the next section of the form looks like:


    Now, which of these boxes should you select? We think you can confidently check the first three, and the second to last, about deceptive fundraising. And Jeff supplied the following examples that you can select from for the next section, where you’re asked to supply a “Description of activities.”

    Examples of Scientology using 501(c)(3) tax-exempt funds to engage in systematic violations of public policy:

    — Paying attorneys to hire private investigators for the purposes of engaging in systematic acts of spying, harassment, and terroristic intimidation directed against former members of the Church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose church abuses. Private investigators are paid tax-exempt funds to follow, photograph, and collect data on their “targets” and report this information back to the church. This is part of a Church of Scientology conspiracy to attack, intimidate, silence, and destroy these people.

    — Paying attorneys to hire private investigators who then illegally purchase the phone records of former members of the church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose church abuses. This illegal invasion of privacy is done in order to have Scientology-paid private eyes track the calls and contacts of former members of the church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers.

    — Using illegal means to obtain the flight and other travel information of former members of the church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers in order to stalk and harass them.

    — Making public the contents of private confessional data of former Scientologists in an attempt to smear, impugn, and humiliate former members who speak out against the abuses of the Church.

    — The Church of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs pays tax exempt dollars to hire writers, videographers, and social media specialists to create false, defamatory, malicious, and deceptive propaganda in the form of hate websites and publications. This malicious content is directed against former members of the church, critics, journalists, filmmakers, and others who publicly expose Church of Scientology abuses.

    — Paying for Google ad campaigns to promote Scientology’s malicious hate websites and smear campaigns directed against former members of the church and critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose church abuses

    — Spending millions of dollars on lawyers to defend David Miscavige and the church from the legal consequences arising from their own illegality.

    — Deceptive and misleading fundraising activities to gather funds to “defend the Scientology religion” which are really meant to fund David Misavige as he spies on former church members, critics, people in the media, and even his own father.

    Write up your report, include any relevant documents, and add your personal information. “You may wish to check the box marked ‘I am concerned that I might face retaliation or retribution if my identity is disclosed’ if you have concerns about Scientology retaliation,” Jeff tells us.

    You can send in your report by email as a PDF to, or fax it to 214-413-5415, or mail it to IRS EO Classification, Mail Code 4910DAL, 1100 Commerce Street, Dallas TX 75242-1198

    “You can also write letters to the Ms. Tamera Ripperda, Director of Exempt Organizations, IRS. She is located at 1111 Constitution Avenue, Washington D.C. 20224,” Jeff says.

    Thanks for looking into that for us, Jeff. We hope the IRS gets an earful.

    Source, and open comments:

    Here's the previous thread about this:
    • Like Like x 9
  2. Incredulicide Member

    They could well be using Google Grants for at least part if not all of those:
    "Google Grants is a program that provides $10,000 in free advertising to 501(c)(3)s through Google’s AdWords platform. You know when you search for something on Google and you see a promoted link at the top of the search page? That’s an AdWords ad."
  3. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Link to petition?
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    From Ortega's article, above:

    So if people are interested in what they can do about motivating the IRS to revisit its 1993 decision to grant Scientology tax exempt status, what can they do?

    For one thing, they can stop emailing and messaging us about a pathetic White House petition. Badly written and pointless, the thing has gathered twenty thousand signatures or so, and will almost certainly fail to gather the 100,000 signatures required so that even if did meet that minimum number, the White House would then just blow it off like it has previous ones.

    If you’re serious about getting the attention of the IRS, forget the White House petition and get real. The IRS already has a well-defined set of rules for complaining about an organization’s tax exempt status.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. jensting Member

    I've sent my IRS form 13909, have you?
    • Like Like x 4
  6. That's all well and good, but keep in mind that Jeff is the same person who insisted that there was nothing unusual about the Scientology-IRS agreement.

    Let's "get real" indeed.
  7. RightOn Member

    From the form:
    "If your referral relates to a church please be aware that Congress has imposed special limitations, found in IRC section 7611, on how and when the IRS may conduct civil tax inquiries and examinations of churches. You can find out more about these special limitations in Pub. 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious"

    Is this a blanket "we won't look into any churches" clause?
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Yup.

    Scientology's claim to being a genuine religious organization needs to be challenged first.

    That the first step.

    It's a long process, but if anyone wishes to keep helping Scientology promote itself as a genuine religion by continually calling it one, better to just give up.
  9. RightOn Member

    may want to add that Scientology goes through and censors it's Sea Organizations mail
    Also passport confiscation?
    • Like Like x 3
  10. DeathHamster Member

    While bad, those aren't money concerns.

    Complaints to the IRS should be about money being spent on things that are no part of a tax-free religious organization: millions on PIs to spy on people, inurement, etc.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. anon8109 Member

    Donations being coerced, and not spent on the projects the donors expected them to be.

    Money on account not being refunded.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. That sounds like an internal religious arbitration matter.
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  13. RightOn Member

    I would like to add douche baggery
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  14. RightOn Member

    ahh I just keep thinking…
    commit crimes = no tax exemption per the rules
    But I guess they are not the IRS rules.
  15. The IRS isn't going to do anything unless there's pressure from an enlightened citizenry and from Congress.

    The IRS regarded Scientology as a commercial enterprise for decades.

    Why do you think that was?
  16. Mike Rinder: Scientology Tax Exemption

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    If you have not done so already, head over to Tony Ortega’s site and read his posting about Scientology’s Tax Exempt status.

    Prompted by the OpEd piece Alex Gibney wrote in the LA Times, and with some excellent advice from Jeffrey Augustine, it lays out what you can do that is most likely to be EFFECTIVE in changing the way the US Government is allowing its citizens to subsidize Miscavige paying PI’s $10,000 a WEEK to follow and spy on his father.

    The direction about complaining directly to the IRS supplements my recommendation to contact your elected representatives.

    If you want to DO something to change the situation, these are exact steps you can take that are FAR more likely to achieve something than signing a “petition.”

    People are quite rightly outraged that this “church” is abusing people with tax free money.

    Many voices raised in protest can change that. So, if you have the opportunity, add your voice to the choir.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
    • Like Like x 1
  17. RightOn Member

    man, the "they are never going to take their tax exemption away" trolls is thick all up in here
    Letters will be written, forms will be filled out and petitions will be signed.
    The cloak of fail is lifting
    • Like Like x 1
  18. RolandRB Member

    Exactly right! It would be a civil offence for the IRS to investigate the criminal offence of the Church of Scientology being fraudulent and the Church could sue them.
  19. They will lose their tax exemption as a result of a well thought-out long range plan.

    Complain to the IRS. That's a great idea.

    But inform the populace too.
  20. White Tara Global Moderator

    Worldwide the move is on, Xenophon is challenging their charitable status in AU in case anyone missed it :)
    • Like Like x 2
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church Examined By Congress | Illinois Radio Network

    The Church of Scientology’s tax-exempt status as a religion is not for Congress to question, according to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). While Durbin has in the past urged the Internal Revenue Service to look into the tax-exempt status of certain organizations, he’s not doing so with the Church of Scientology, a religion gaining new attention after being profiled in the HBO documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”

    Durbin can’t recall an instance where Congress has “defined a church or a religion,” and says it’s up to the IRS to decide a group’s tax status.

    “I think that’s appropriate,” Durbin said. “I’m afraid if we got into the business of defining religion by a vote in Congress we’d be overstepping our authority.”

    The IRS decides whether an organization seeking tax-exempt status as a church has a “religious purpose” by asking whether its beliefs are “truly and sincerely held” and whether the organization’s practices and beliefs are legal or “contrary to clearly defined public policy.”

    “Going Clear” alleges the church gained its tax-exempt status by pressuring the IRS with dozens of lawsuits.

    Scientology’s presence in Illinois is limited to a church in Chicago, along with smaller “missions” in Peoria and Champaign. It’s looking to open a larger church in a building it has owned since 2007 in Chicago. Durbin was asked if he’s worried about an expansion of Scientology in the state.

    “I have concerns about some of the things I read, but I don’t have any evidence to back it up, other than what I’ve read,” Durbin said. “I’m sure they’re going to be subject to the same standards and laws as every other religion, and they should be.”

    Source, with an audio clip:
    • Like Like x 3
  23. RolandRB Member

    The IRS are not allowed to do a fucking thing to take away religious tax exemption once it has been granted. Congress says so!
  24. DeathHamster Member

    Strange since Scientology won and lost their exemption a few times over the years.
  25. RightOn Member

    What was taken away before can be taken away again.
  26. RightOn Member

    Church Loses Tax Exemption Status for Paying for Political Ads

    "Lawyers for the church argued that the Internal Revenue Code gave the IRS the authority to revoke tax-exempt status of a “religious organization,” but not that of “a bona fide church.

    “We find this argument more creative than persuasive,” the panel’s opinion said. “The simple answer, of course, is that whereas not every religious organization is a church, every church is a religious organization. More to the point, irrespective of whether it was required to do so, the church applied to the IRS for an advance determination of its tax-exempt status. The IRS granted that recognition and now seeks to withdraw it. (Federal law) gives the IRS this power.”
    The panel also rejected the church’s First Amendment and selective prosecution argument. The judges conceded in their Friday opinion that the church could form a political action committee but added that the PAC would have to be separately incorporated and could not be supported by church funds.

    wow! taken away for just running political ads. The COS has done WAY more than this! There is the proof of ex members filing court cases against them and also the personal stories of many exs. So what the HELL reason can the IRS have for not taking it away?

    I only did a quick search to find an example of a church that had their tax exemption status taken away. I wanted to see the reason. I am sure there are more examples out there, which I think need to be brought out in the open.
    If the IRS is going to take away tax exemption on other "churches" then people need to see why they did it and why the COS is being treated differently.
    I am on my way out and don't have time to look, but there must be more examples out there?
  27. BigBeard Member

    Any illegal activity, like confiscating passports, is a violation of the rules for a 501(c)3 Tax Exempt Organization. And can result in that exemption being revoked.

    This came up a while back, and I can't remember if I posted it here or the Tampa Bay Times, but to find out for sure I called the State Department, and spoke with a very nice lady there. She explained passports are the legal property of the country that issued them, and the holder is required to maintain custody at all times, except for inspection by appropriate authorities.

    Whether an employer, training facility, church, or anyone else, it it is illegal for anyone to confiscate and refuse to return the passport of another. If that happens, the passport holder should immediately contact the police, FBI, Embassy of the issuing country, or the State Department.

    And such an illegal taking of passports should be reported on IRS Form 13909 as an illegal activity by a 501(c)3 entity, and as a possible indicator of human trafficing, which also violates 501(c)3 rules.

    IRS Form 13909 can be found at:

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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

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  29. I am upset with Tony Ortega about his IRS article as Ginger Sugerman had posted the exact same thing the prior day and a day later Tony Ortega makes it look like it was his idea, when in fact he stole it from her. He did not give her any credit.

    Ginger had posted the same thing a day before in a shit load of different anti-clam Facebook pages.
  30. Not sure what you are talking about. Got any dox?
  31. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Tony O gets his stuff from lots of different sources and is usually pretty good at citing them, he's just putting stuffs together info-wise and,as far as I've seen, doesn't claim other people's endeavours, he really doesn't need to as he is an excellent writer on his own merits. Given the amount of infos he must get from all sorts of sources, it may be hard to credit everyone alla times and keep the stuff straight.
    Just my observation, cult will us any excuse to discredit people, hell, they've been fabricating and embellishing lies right from LRon's sick and twisted anus for years. If TO used an other's observations without credit, take it as a miss, am sure he is a man of good integrity and will gladly give credit where credit is due.

    Who the fuck is Ginger again? Lets see some dox plox.
    • Like Like x 2
  32. This for example - posted by Ginger Sugerman on April 11th

    She also posted on several other facebook pages.

    Tony Ortega wrote about this - (including the same fucking screenshot she used) - 3 days later... and no credit given to Ginger.

    I noticed that Ortega gives credit to Jeff Augustine. TonyO please stop sucking Jeffrey and Karen's cock. Grow a pair. Give Ginger credit.

    Jeffrey Augustine and Karen wrote an article at their scientologymoneyproject website in April 14th as well -- 3 days AFTER Ginger posted about this.

    Another couple of asshole taking credit.

    Plot thickens.
  33. Ginger Sugerman is Arnie Lerma's wife. You didn't know that? LOL

    Expecting TonyO to give her credit .....

    Some other entitites (thanks to PickAnotherID, Chuckicita and from the Bunker)

    EIN: 954188814
    Association for Better Living & Education International (ABLE)
    7065 Hollywood Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    EIN: 980136012
    Ruling Date: 19931021

    EIN: 980136014
    4751 FOUNTAIN AVE LOS ANGELES CA 90029-1712
    Ruling Date: 19931021

    BUILDING MANAGEMENT SERVICESPhysical Address:6331 Hollywood Blvd Ste 1200
    Los Angeles, CA 90028 EIN:95-4119525Ruling Year:1993

    From the IRS's perspective, AOLA is a sub-entity of:
    EIN: 952697641
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90027-5902
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  35. BigBeard Member

    Also from TonyO's page, some key groups due to being the GEN holders for subordinate organizations.


    The 1993 'Closing Agreement' resulted in Group Exemption Letters for a number of $cientology entities. These letters assigned a Group Exemption Number (GEN) to each entity, and allowed them to identify subordinate entities that derived their tax exemption through the Group Exemption, rather than filing their own Form 1023. Such subordinate entities have to include the GEN they derive their tax exemption from on their filed Form 990s.

    The key point is if the 'Central', or parent, organization loses it's tax exempt status, the subordinate organizations also lose theirs.

    It should be noted a number of narCONons have a GEN of '0000', which means they filed their own Form 1023 and have tax exempt status seperately from NN Int's GEN 2595.

    The following is a list of the 'Central'/parent organizations, and their GEN numbers found so far:

    EIN - Employer Identification Number
    GEN - Group Exemption Number, assigned by a Group Exemption Letter
    SC - Subsection Code, 03 = 501(c)3 Exempt
    AF - Affiliation Code, 6 = Central, the organization is a parent (group ruling); 9 = Subordinate organization in a group ruling

    EIN 952769582
    LOS ANGELES CA 90027-5408
    GEN 2595
    SC 03
    AF 6

    EIN 953739098
    LOS ANGELES CA 90028-6313
    GEN 4167
    SC 03
    AF 6

    EIN 592153393
    6331 HOLLYWOOD BLVD STE 1200
    LOS ANGELES CA 90028-6340
    GEN 4168
    SC 03
    AF 6

    EIN 680005541
    6616 W SUNSET BLVD
    LOS ANGELES CA 90028-7104
    GEN 4169
    SC 03
    AF 6

    EIN 954302671
    LOS ANGELES CA 90004-3511
    GEN 4170
    SC 03
    AF 6
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  36. BigBeard Member

    Forgot to mention, inlcude the GEN number, as well as the EIN, and mention it's the 'parent' of a Group Exemption on any Form 13909 filed on the above.

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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

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