“Scientologists Launch Slick New Ad Campaign”

says the “Open Sky Media Blog” and links to some video clips on Youtube showing the new Scientology ads:

Thanks, Jason!

(Moar)

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5 Comments

  1. It’s not the Government’s job, Mark, to determine what “is” and what “isn’t” a religion. They don’t define religious beliefs, and doing so directly would violated the 1st amendment of the US Constitution.

    No, the Government will determine which groups can claim a tax-exempt status based on claims of religious or non-profit usage of funding, but intentionally does not define what is a religion. That’s up to the theologians to decide.

    In this case, the CoS was able to demonstrate that they will use finding appropriately, and that they will do so for “religious purposes”. Really, as long as you can demonstrate that no one directly and unduly profits from the activities (the source of the original denial and investigation by the IRS), and as long as you can navigate certain lobbying requirements, anyone can do the same.

    A 501(c)(3) is the general category for Charities, and is directed by the following:

    “The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.”

    So, one should not doubt that the CoS HAS a non-profit status, but this in and of itself does not define a religion any more than having this status defines a sports team or a school- there’s “more to it” than that.

  2. Will-
    realistically (and avoiding all of the previous controvery about the thousands of lawsuits that were dropped by the CoS before the IRS granted tax-free status), it’s not difficult to obtain such a status. I’ve done it- twice.
    As long as you can meet certain obligations, you could do it yourself, if you wanted.
    Mark

  3. How do you think do they – the Churches of Scientology – pay their utility bill? Prayers?

    I don’t know any church that does not require some kind of funding, donations, taxes etc. The moment you have an organization, buildings, phone lines etc, you need a source of funding. Actually, I covered this earlier, here:

    http://www.scientologymyths.info/scientology/

    Scientology does not require you pay any money to be a Scientologist. However, books and courses do cost money. The Catholic church has been around much longer than the Church of Scientology, and operating the church does cost money. From purchasing buildings (you can’t have a church losing it’s lease) to paying staff members, campaigning for human rights to paying the water bill, all these things cost money. Scientologists tend to be very generous, especially, when their money goes toward helping others. So, the “expense” of being a Scientologist is not a consideration for Scientologists, but is a popular point of attack for anti-Scientologists. Below is a link to an independent study by Frank Flinn. It should be notes that Scientology goes to great lengths and expense or their world-wide anti-drug campaigns, their literacy campaigns and their human rights campaigns. The insignificant amount you may pay to buy a copy of Dianetics, or couple hundred you spend for introductory auditing adds up to greatly impact lives the world over.

    – L

  4. Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.

    Exemption Requirements

    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

    Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

    The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

    Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct.

    from irs.gov

    Here is what my donations help support:

    Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights
    http://www.cchr.org

    The Volunteer Ministers Program
    http://www.volunteerministers.org

    Narconon (award winning drug rehab program)
    http://www.narconon.org

    Criminon
    http://www(dot)criminon(dot)org

    The Way to Happiness Foundation
    http://www(dot)twth(dot)org

    Applied Scholastics (has the solution to illiteracy)
    http://www(dot)appliedscholastics(dot).org

    The Youth for Human Rights organization
    http://www(dot)youthforhumanrights(dot)org

    The Drug Free Marshalls program (kids fighting drugs)
    http://www(dot)drugfreemarshals(dot)org

    The Drug Free World program (distributes Truth About Drugs booklets about quite a few different drugs and their affects all over the world).
    http://www(dot)drugfreeworld(dot)org

    The Say No to Drugs – Say Yes to Life program
    http://www.notodrugs-yestolife.com

    Pat

  5. How is Scientology a tax-exempt church if “donations” are required for services? I don’t know of any other church that absolutely requires members to donate. Maybe my information is incorrect — if so, let me know.


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