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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:02 pm 
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GrahamBerry wrote:
I just received a telephone call from Dun & Bradstreet concerning 17 enquiries into the credit worthiness of the Church of Scientology.

Huh? The Church of Scientology is applying for business loans? credit?

I hoped you milked the D&B guy on the phone for more info on this! If you did and got anything out of them, please tell!

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:14 pm 
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Dorothy wrote:
GrahamBerry wrote:
I just received a telephone call from Dun & Bradstreet concerning 17 enquiries into the credit worthiness of the Church of Scientology.

Huh? The Church of Scientology is applying for business loans? credit?

I hoped you milked the D&B guy on the phone for more info on this! If you did and got anything out of them, please tell!


Dorothy, I don't think I should say why all these vendors were checking on the church. But the word is that the church does have nearly two billion in cash (DM ready to exit to Bulgravia?).

MEANWHILE, at 3 PM PST 09/27/2011 the petition obtained it's 1,500 th signature - we are rolling at the rate of 400 a day at prsent. Keep getting the word out and the signatures in. We are doing great.

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:06 am 
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Graham,

If you are the church can you audit me?

HaHaHaHaHa


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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:18 am 
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Suggestion: Those who have Youtube accounts could post a video asking for signatures.

Should you do that, post a link to the video here. Then those with social network accounts can post links to those videos.

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Now at 1670 but a slower day today.

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:09 pm 
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I hope you all can forgive me, but its been time and a half since I've last posted. I'm always lurking in the shadows watching and keeping an eye on things. I'll throw my two cents on this topic. Its not much, but I think that smart input is worth its weight in gold. As a "Free thinker" (ie non-scientologist), I must ask the question, how many other petitions locally and around the world, besides Australia, have been successful? I mean, US citizens have most likely been complaining about the cult for a long time I imagine to their local senators, representatives, members of parliament, etc... I've also observed the IRS behavior towards scientology and they are very much complaisant on the matter (agree?), even though to the best of my knowledge, the secret agreement between David Miscaviage and the IRS has expired, and has been in that state since 1999 or 2000. My question is, since the IRS (and Revenue Canada - its Canadian Counterpart) to the best of my knowledge go after non-payers and non-fillers like a shark following a blood trail in water. When it catches up to its prey it latches on and won't let go. Why does the IRS (or insert national tax authority here) or the Government not go after them? I mean the US is cash strapped as it is - so really in my mind its a no-brainer.

Back to the subject matter at hand... I think this petion is great, and the fact that its registered with the US Federal Government itself. The Sceptic in my mind says that what makes this petition any different? I sincerely hope that it is effective, and that the government won't flop on this issue. Please feel free to call me jaded, however, I look at this with a little bit of doubt asking myself, are they really going to action this petition? As other posters here on OCMB have stated, it must be an election issue, and candidates must be called out on this subject. You are all right. The only time you can truely hold politicians accountable is at the election times. I thank whoever created this petition very much and from the bottom of my heart because it represents a growing movement and a massing opinion against this unfavourable cult which is growing every day.

President Barack Obama and other leaders of the world, What is your next move?

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:46 pm 
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I am still hoping the IRS can simply start rejecting charitable deductions for fixed donations, based on the following section of the agreement:

Quote:
VII. Treatment of Parishioners' Contributions
VII.B. Until … December 31, 1999, the Service agrees not to contest the deductibility of Church of Scientology fixed donations in connection with qualified religious services (those appearing on the "Scientology Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart." )...
…, for as long as this paragraph B. of this section VII. applies, as set forth in paragraph F., the full amount of the fixed donation for these services shall be treated as a charitable contribution under Code section 170… END QUOTE


My translation: Until the year 2000, the IRS will allow without protest any "fixed donations" for auditing and other courses to be deducted as charitable contributions.

However, probity said that the agreement can't be re-opened, and I am not a tax lawyer, so I have stopped actively pushing this idea. I do think it could be "final" that there is a December 31, 1999 moment when things change. Based on the input from probity, I rewrote my summary as follows:

My understanding is that the IRS can't go back before Dec 31, 1999 and change anything. It would also be an unwelcome fight to change the tax treatment for the years 2000-2011, since the IRS appears to have allowed tax deductibility for fixed donations for religious services in those years, under the protection of Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. But, the IRS could for the 2012 tax year FIGHT CoS and any of its so-called charities, now, saying they "failed the operational test*" and are NOT charities because, allegedly
1. Miscavige violated rules on self-dealing (Miscavige's lavish lifestyle suggesting his hand is in the cookie jar),
2. Miscavige knowingly committed acts of fraud or criminal conduct that might constitute a violation of public policy, as laid out in the St. Pete Times articles, hitting and imprisoning staff, allowing child labor, etc.
3. Miscavige was a sole dictator with pre-signed letters of resignation for those under him on corporate boards. For example, Heber Jentzsch is in mysterious and probably abusive seclusion, despite being a President. Other highest officers were forced out rather than the legally required dignified resignation. This violates federal and California charity policy about no single leader with unchecked power.
4. CoS aggressively pushes its members to fund-raise and donate to Int'l Assoc of Scientologists and other legal-attack corporations, which claim to be unattached to the Church of Scientology Int'l and the other top "religious" corps, but of course are deeply linked. These monies go into private investigators and anti-free-speech lawsuits which are not a suitable use of a charity's resources. IAS and its related attack-orgs are NAMED in the IRS Secret Agreement.**
5. CoS gets religious privileges, yet mixes religious with non-religious. The Secret Agreement says,
Quote:
VII.B. Until … December 31, 1999, the Service agrees not to contest the deductibility of Church of Scientology fixed donations in connection with qualified religious services (those appearing on the "Scientology Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart." )...
…, for as long as this paragraph B. of this section VII. applies, as set forth in paragraph F., the full amount of the fixed donation for these services shall be treated as a charitable contribution under Code section 170…

My translation: Until the year 2000, the IRS will allow without protest any "fixed donations" for auditing and other courses, to be deducted as charitable contributions. These must be listed on the Scientology Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart at http://www.whatisscientology.org/html/P ... 181_1.html . One flaw here is that Section 170 requires that the institution getting those tax-deductible donations must be “exclusively religious.” But, on that Chart is “Allergy or Asthma Auditor Rundown Course” which is medical, not religious. Another flaw would be if the Chart changed over the year. Was it fixed in place in 1993? If the Asthma course was added later, does that get tax deductibility, too?
6. Commissions*** are allowed in the Secret Agreement, for a staff or public who persuades someone to take a course. The only duty is, the person receiving the commissions reports them on their taxes. But how can this be "exclusively religious" if the church is making such a profit off the course, that they can pay a commission? Are clerks or accountants properly recording each commission, and reporting it to the IRS so the IRS can match the amount on the salesperson's tax return? How high are these commissions, because it gets very uncharitable if someone is paying for auditing, getting a tax deduction for it, and then a high percentage of the money, rather than "supporting the church" or "helping the community," is going right into someone's pocket. This is highly unspiritual and crass.

Miscavige gained tremendous power within CoS by winning the tax exemption; underlings may hate and fear him but think they'll lose the tax exemption if he is forced out. If CoS loses the tax exemption while Miscavige is in charge, his position is greatly weakened. Especially if he's on trial for assault and battery.

I now accept Probity's claim that we can't easily fight the tax deduction for auditing services, because the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 was too generous about fixed fees for some religious services. Probity recommended instead using the operational test against CoS:

*The Operational Test: Bruce Hopkins, Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations, 8th edition wrote:
Quote:
4.5 OPERATIONAL TEST
(a) In General
An organization, to qualify as a charitable entity, is regarded as operated exclusively for one or more tax-exempt purposes only if it engages primarily in activities that accomplish one or more of its exempt purposes. The IRS observed that, to satisfy this operational test, the organization's "resources must be devoted to purposes that qualify as exclusively charitable within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Code and the applicable regulations." An organization will not be so regarded if more than an insubstantial part of its activities is not in furtherance of an exempt purpose. An organization is not considered as operated exclusively for one or more exempt purposes if its net earnings inure in whole or in part to the benefit of private shareholders or individuals. An organization can be substantially dominated by its founder without, for that reason alone, failing to satisfy the operational test. A court concluded, however, that an organization cannot qualify for tax exemption where one individual controls all aspects of the organization's operations and "is not checked" by any governing body.


** My CoS Organization Charts lay out the key CoS entities, including those covered by the Secret Agreement: Each entity named in that agreement, like Religious Technology Center, is underlined.. See viewtopic.php?f=9&t=31561 . Narconon which blatantly defrauds, mistreats, and neglects its drug-recovery victims, is only one of the Secret Agreement corps groups failing as a charity.
(also posted at OPERATION SUNSHINE WEEK FTW!!1! (Mar13-19 2011), posting.php?mode=edit&f=166&p=394639

***
Quote:
IV.E.3. …all commissions … from Scientology-related entities to individual fundraisers are properly reported to the Service by the payor…


Most of the above thread is further discussed at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=29926


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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:19 am 
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Let me just repost the link to the petition, to get it on this page.

http://wh.gov/4Os

That link has worked fine for me.

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:09 am 
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Hi Pharbizorg, and welcome back.

You said:

Quote:
The Sceptic in my mind says that what makes this petition any different? I sincerely hope that it is effective, and that the government won't flop on this issue.


The thing is, this dismantling of the church could very well come about due to a "death by a thousand cuts."

This petition is just one more cut. One more black eye, one more round of bad PR. Eventually all of these efforts together will work imo.

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:21 am 
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One of the problems when talking about making this sort of thing an "election issue" is that many politicians have this habit of becoming religious all of a sudden, around election campaign time, in order to attract that vote. Some of them might not have seen the inside of a church since they were born or married. OK, there's a little bit of rhetoric there I'll admit. But take Jeff Stone for example, the politician who happly ignores abuse in the name of "religion" on his own doorstep at scientology GoldBase, actually said in front of the public at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Riverside: "I believe in churches". What does that mean? It means: "I want the church vote", whatever church or "church" vote it is.

So, making it an election issue means making it so important that politicians *want* to jump on the bandwagon. I think the situation in Australia with Senator Xenophon being almost a lone crusader is the exception rather than the rule.
Also, there is this notion that once a politician starts criticising one religion then you find other religions coming to its defence on principle, even though previously they pretty much hated each other, presumably it's because they start to wonder if they are going to be next. So, there is this fear of being tagged as "anti-religious" which is far worse and more likely to happen in the USA. Even Senator Xenophon was met with outrageous hostility from some of his fellow politicians in the initial stages of the Australian Senate debates. Once he got the cult in front of senate committee panel on a more general issue then he knew that it would speak for itself and he'd be proven right. That seems to be working out just fine now but the struggle to be heard and taken seriously in USA political circles is far worse, by several orders of magnitude.

Now, add to the mix the fact that the rigid constitution is cruely worked out in favour of "ministerial exception" with enough broadness that any judge can use it to dismiss uncomfortable cases that involve institutional "religious" abuse so that he/she doesn't even have to deal with it. The law is crying out for a common sense emergency brake to be installed so that people can get justice in the first instance without having to water it down to fit an expensive and uncertain appeal. Finally, there is persistent failure of the bloated dinosaur agencies that are supposed to protect the inidivual from this abuse, without having to resort to expensive private civil suits, but which fail miserably.

The U.S. State Department, in the form of its annual "International Religious Freedom Report" continues to this day, without self examination, to look down its nose at the suspicions, treatment and restrictions on scientology in other countries. So when you are asking the US government to do something about the cult of scientology then it has to reconcile u-turning on many of the things that its State Department has stood up for every year. In other words, how bad does it have to get in their eyes before it becomes wrong? There is still a massive canyon sized gap between what the critics/ex-scientologists/media/courts have done and what the government is prepared to do though lobbying pressure.

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is too much of a religion-is-good conformist and will criticize other governments for stopping Scientology abuses. Her husband, Bill Clinton, when President, was pro-Scientology, scolding Germany and other countries. Yet, Clinton may step down after Jan 2013,* if Obama is re-elected, and the new Sec. of State may be better. Then the Department of Labor, also under Obama, can enforce laws against Scientology without "contradicting" the State Department.

*http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7090944/Hillary-Clinton-raises-prospect-of-resignation.html


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 Post subject: I too doubt this petition's effectiveness
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:35 pm 
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I signed it. I'm glad I did. I think nothing will happen because of it.


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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Thanks Pope.

8-45 AM PST and we are at 743 names. Let's try and top 2,000 signatures today.

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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:50 pm 
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1763 signers....Where is everybody?


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 Post subject: Re: WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO INVESTIGATE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOG
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Connectors, mavens and sales people are needed here. (If you read the book, you'll know what I mean.)

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