Ideal Org London Business Rates

Discussion in 'Scientology Property Tax' started by RolandRB, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. RolandRB Member

    Ideal Org London Business Rates

    OK, I have checked the "similar threads" and I don't see anything like what I am going to suggest. This is about something I tried more than ten years ago that failed but I think it is worth trying again with the 2006 changes to charity law in the UK.

    I am British citizen who now lives in Germany. I am OG. I haven't lived in the UK for many years so I feel someone else will have to do this and preferably living in the City of London catchment area.

    To summarize, it is simply to contact the City of London council to challenge the business rates reduction on the London Ideal Org which is situated there. The challenge being that it is not acting in a charitable fashion and is in fact trading. What you will need to prove they are trading - and this is the MINIMUM - is their published prices for TRAINING and AUDITING. I mean like the prices for buying auditing "intensives" that they are aiming to deliver at this Ideal Org (they are probably doing it already). I see the 2010 price list for books and tapes and some courses has been leaked. This will be needed as well but on its own it is not enough. It is the prices for the "auditing" especially that is needed. I do not see that this has been leaked but somebody will have it or be able to get hold of it.

    The meaning of a "charity" has been clarified under English law in 2006. Here is an important link.

    Charities Act 2006
    Charities Act 2006 (c. 50)

    In this act the break between "advancement of religion" and charitable purpose was made.

    25. Section 3 deals with public benefit. Under the existing law there is a presumption that purposes for the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, or the advancement of religion - in other words the purposes that would fall under paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 2(2) - are for the public benefit. No other purposes benefit from that presumption. The effect of the presumption at present is that, when the status (charitable or non-charitable) of an organisation established for the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, or the advancement of religion is being considered, the organisation's purpose is presumed to be for the public benefit unless there is evidence that it is not for the public benefit. By contrast, organisations established for all other purposes, which do not benefit from that presumption, have at the time their status is being considered to provide evidence that their purpose is for the public benefit.

    26. Subsection (2) of section 3 abolishes the presumption that organisations for the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, or the advancement of religion enjoy, putting all charitable purposes on the same footing. Abolishing the presumption will not by itself have the effect of depriving poverty relief, educational and religious organisations that were registered as charities while the presumption existed of their charitable status.

    So you see from the above it is not so easy for religious organisations any more. A price list that shows the Ideal Org London charging a large fortune for "auditing" is enough proof that it does not have a charitable purpose.

    Charities, when they occupy buildings in an area, enjoy a huge "business rates" reduction. Same goes for the City of London. the Ideal Org London must be getting this. they are likely to be getting a 100% reduction in business rates otherwise they would not still exist.

    Here is the web site about Business Rates for the City of London.
    Business Rates

    There is a link below about reductions.
    Business rates - reductions

    On the above page there are links to the forms for charities.

    The idea is that armed with the MINIMUM of their price list for "auditng" intensives and "co-auditing courses" (this auditing will be carried out at the Ideal Org) then you go to the City of London council and challenge their rebate on business rates. If they get full business rates reestablished then they will have to close.

    Once achieved then this can be used for the other Ideal Orgs dotted around the UK. And when that is achieved then the same can be applied to the old Orgs they will have to shrink back to.
  2. Anonymous Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates


    Lots of guests on this thread
  3. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Looks like a weiner to me. Do it, faggots?
  4. Anonymous Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    So, how does one get this price-list?
  5. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    It's a little bit tricky. They don't want people to know about it, of course. It might be sent to people recently out or it might already be in their possession. It might get leaked to Pooks on ESMB. But a specific Ideal Org London or at least a UK price list is needed. It must have the auditing costs on it.

    If you are brave enough you could always walk into an Org and say you are interested in doing The Bridge but you would like to know how much it costs. they might give you the price list. I would say it is worth a try but make sure they can't find out who you are. It would take some gall.

    I'll try Pooks and see if she can come up with something.
  6. RightOn Member

  7. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    ASHO is the American Saint Hill Organisation. What is needed to challenge the London Ideal Org Business rates exemption is a UK price list for services that can be done in the UK. Specifically auditing because it is easy to prove they have auditing rooms there. This part about the auditing rooms has already been leaked.
  8. RightOn Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    I know, but I thought it may be able to be used as an example if push comes to shove
  9. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Yes, it could be. Much better to get a UK price list somehow. Somebody, somewhere will have it and be considering doing their Bridge and then change their minds after reading the internet. It will get leaked eventually if not already.
  10. RightOn Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    "Here are the prices charged at Saint Hill, the CoS college in East Grinstead, extracted from Advance Magazine United Kingdom issue 162 [circa Jan 2003]. Figures are in British pounds [ £ ] and again assume IAS Lifetime Membership."

    50 hours: 30% off full donation rate 14,907.20
    75 hours: 35 % off full donation rate 20,763.60
    100 hours: 40 % off full donation rate 25,555.30
    Hubbard Solo Auditor Course Part I 2,816.00
    Hubbard Solo Auditor Course Part II 1,102.40
    Hubbard Solo Auditor Certainty Course 1,408.00
    OT Preps & Eligibility Auditing (per 12.5 hours) 3,335.20
    Church of Scientology Prices

    also amusing from that page:
    "Donations promptly refunded to any dissatisfied student or preclear, in accordance with the policies of the Claims Verification Board, if the preclear or student is dissatisfied and demands it within three months after the training or processing, the only condition being that he may not again be processed or trained."
  11. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    We need a scan of a later Advance Magazine, better post 2006. Somebody has leaked a 2010 price list for books and tapes and simple courses so it must be in circulation somewhere.
  12. DeathHamster Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Out tech.

  13. RightOn Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    just curious, why can't the city of London Council request what the cost of services are from COS?
    Maybe all one has to do is to alert the Council that COS charges insane amounts for their auditing and courses?
    Doesn't the Council have the right to ask? or is this a stupid question?
  14. DeathHamster Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    I suspect that to comes down to that why should the council even lift a finger when the people making accusations don't have anything to show? I believe Roland is saying that the price list is the minimum to make them sit up and take notice.

    Does the London org even pretend to have Sunday services? If it can be shown that they don't, then the only activities in that building are commercial ones:
    • Book and materials sales. (Price list)
    • Courses and training paid for by "donations". (Price list)
    • Auditing paid for by "donations". (Price list)
  15. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Yes, they have got the right to ask. They should. But they won't. It's a stupid question but only in the sense that a person might expect these semi-government departments to stop sitting on their hands and to actually do what they have been entrusted to do. It ain't going to happen. To challenge their Business Rates exemption then you will have to provide them with the proof. Anything less is not enough.
  16. RightOn Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    truly sad. just ridiculous.
    well let's get that price list.

    I also think that people should start filming just how many people are showing up for these " Sunday services"???? I know you can't prove what people are doing once they are inside the building..... but if there isn't anyone showing up at all... that can be very telling.
    Operation Sunday???? do eet!!
  17. Anonymous Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    There was a thread..quite a long time ago about the "Sunday Service"- with the intetion that anons should attend!
  18. Sponge Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    You may find the FOA work already done by William Thackeray useful.
    Page 1: William Thackeray - WhatDoTheyKnow
    There's a lot of info on Rates relief there. Some requests still pending.
  19. DeathHamster Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Hmph. A nose-count would be nice, but stepping inside an org is usually a bad idea. As well, the presence of someone wanting to see the service might cause one to happen (as soon as they can dig up a minister's shirt for someone to wear).
  20. RightOn Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    excellent Sponge

    added: they should call Thackeray, "Sir Poon"
  21. Sponge Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    I've been through the pages and here's avery brief summary of results.....

    Rates relief, Result of FOA requests:

    City of London: Yes, rates relief given.
    On going FOA battle for more information, see: William Thackeray - WhatDoTheyKnow
    for history of requests/rejections/internal reviews, particularly the latest pending...
    Further Scientology information to release as a result of Information Tribunal decision - WhatDoTheyKnow
    regarding requests for reasons behind decisions to give scientology rates relief.

    Mid-Sussex (Saint Hill Manor): No rates relief given (& none applied for in past 10 years)
    Business rates; Scientology, Saint Hill Manor - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Sunderland: Pending, information unavailable
    Scientology rates relief: Sunderland - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Belfast: Pending, information unavailable
    Scientology rates relief: Belfast - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Birmingham (Pitmaston House) ideal org: No rates relief given
    Rates relief (Birmingham: Pitmaston House) - WhatDoTheyKnow
    Birmingham (City): Yes, relief given. Reason: Pending. (Waiting for internal review of handling of FOA request)
    Scientology rates relief (Birmingham) - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Brighton & Hove: No rates relief given
    Scientology rates relief: Brighton - WhatDoTheyKnow

    York: No rates relief given
    Scientology rates relief: York - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Rother District council (east sussex): No rates discount given
    Scientology rates relief: Rother - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Plymouth: No rates relief given
    Scientology rates relief: Plymouth - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Trafford (Manchester), Proposed Ideal org: No rates relief given
    Scientology rates relief: Trafford - WhatDoTheyKnow
    Manchester, General (past 5 years relief): Pending internal review
    Scientology rates relief: Manchester - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Edindburgh: No rates relief given
    Scientology rates relief: Edinburgh - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Poole: No rates relief given
    Scientology rates relief: Poole - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Eastbourne: No rates relief given (not regiestered as a business)
    Scientology rates relief: Eastbourne - WhatDoTheyKnow
  22. RightOn Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    soooo... looks like London is key
  23. manly man Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    very interesting. :)
  24. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    This is excellent. I think what would help is some hard evidence in the form of their prices for auditing. Specifically auditing. Their prices can not be justified even in the imagination for the purposes of granting exemption from Business Rates. They can get away with books and tapes (CDs) and say that they sell it for only slightly more than the cost it is to them. They might even claim the same for an e-meter. But auditing on their own premises at hundreds of dollars/pounds/Euros per hour for the many hours it takes to do the "levels" and get to "Clear" (12.5 hours an intensive)? We are talking tens of thousands of dollars/pounds/Euros here. This is far more than it would cost a person to go to a private shrink for counselling. And that private shrink would surely be paying business rates. This is the chink in their armour and people need that as a MINIMUM to crack this. For sure, add the already leaked stuff about their prices for books, tapes (CDs) and courses but that is only the dressing for the core which should be the auditing.

    When I wrote in about the London Org many years ago I do not think of asking for reviews. In those days it was easier for "charities" like the Co$. But now, since 2006, the laws have changed. There is also better public awareness. This is worth doing again with proof and pushing hard. London Ideal Org will be hard to crack as the guy who granted them business rates relief might have been to St. Hill and he and his wife photographed with Tom Cruise so this will take some pushing to get through.

    It might fail, of course, and I don't want to appear negative, because at the end of the day, what matters is stopping people getting sucked into the cult. The OG, the internet activists with their web sites and Anonymous have done a terrific job of wearing down the cult and stopping the raw meat walking into their Orgs. It just would be nice if local councils were not pushing in the opposite direction and actually helping the cult through granting business rates exemption.
  25. AnonyVix Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Isn't rates relief granted to "places of religious worship" irrespective of whether they are a charity?

    I ask because I know that the cult is campaigning for religious recognition in the UK and I suspect this is what they are aiming for even if they cannot get charity status, which of course I hope they never get.

    Frankly I don't believe rates relief should be granted to places of religious worship, rather to places owned by registered charities.

    I also wish that OPSI would just publish a concise set of legislation rather than the acts that amend stuff; someone must have these somewhere because wading through shed loads of acts and applying amendments as one goes makes interpreting the acts very awkward.

    [edit]I gather local authorities have discretionary powers in this area. I wonder if it is possible to demonstrate the London local authority exceeded theirs in granting the rate reduction? I know London will be used as the basis for negotiating with all other local authorities on this matter, particularly with respect to "Idea Orgs".

    Also, maybe the acts granting the discretionary powers need to be revisited to close any loop hole that allowed London to be discretionary.

    Also what oversight is there over the local authority by the locally elected council in this matter? I'd hate to think the discretionary powers were being exercised by a non-elected body.

    Which local department granted the relief and who are the locally elected authority for that area? Those will be the guys to question on this matter.

    [edit edit]Looks like Mr Thackeray is on it, well done that man. Anything we can do to help.
  26. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    That is not what it says on the City of London online information here. It specifically mentions charities but not places of worship.
    Business rates - reductions
  27. AnonyVix Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Please to see that, see also edits of my original post. I would very much like to see business rates applied to London rather than business rate exemptions be granted across the country.

    Perhaps local councils listed above should be made aware that the "London Situation" is being spot lighted so they should not feel too pressured if this is used as an example of business rates being exempted.

    Thanks for your excellent research RolandRB.
  28. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    I am looking at sources not from the City of London but countrywide and I found this that does mention "places of religious worship" in section 4. - Exempt Property Classes.pdf

    Looking at section 4 then I would guess that Scientology could claim to be a "recognised religion" through all the court cases they have had that have gone in their favour. But their premises are not places of worship. This is why they offer Sunday Services and invite the public - to try to claim this status and to falsely claim business rate exemption.

    Reading further section 4 there is this:

    "The following points are to be considered in order to establish whether the above
    criteria have been satisfied.
    • the nature and extent of the use of the premises.
    • the extent of financial control, and actual control over membership.
    • the relevance of the use to the primary activity of the organisation i.e.
    conducting public religious worship."

    It is clear that their primary activity is NOT as a place of religious worship. The key thing being the profit they intend to make from "auditing" (in their sense of the word). This proves that they are set up to make a profit. And the public can not walk in to be audited (although rarely they do audit some public for free). They have to pay for it and a lot of money at that.
  29. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    I think what would help is to find out all the getout clauses they are using and prove it isn't true. To come up with solid proof that they are not eligible for business rate exemption. To have an information pack that is thorough and well-written. "Auditing" (in the Scientology sense) is key to this to show they are operating for a profit. We need UK prices for this. If I were there then I would walk into an Org and ask for their price list for this. But then they have my photograph, will make the phone calls, and they will soon know who I am.

    What I would suggest is that a few of you (I mean members of Anonymous) effectively sacrifice your membership of Anonymous by doing an action in your own name. You can only do one action like this because the Scientologists will track you down and give you hassle if they can link you with Anonymous. It's a bit like a bee stinging someone. It is a sacrifice as they die after they do that.
  30. Sponge Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    You need to read the results of some of those Freedom of Information Act requests that I posted links to. In some locations, most surprisingly Saint Hill Manor of all places, they haven't even applied for exemptions (going back 10 years there!). In other places where they don't get the rates relief it is either a similar story or the historical info is not given or not available.

    So, you have to ask, why did they apply and fight to gain rates relief in the City of London and, since it seemd to be successful there, not fight the same fight elsewhere? They could save shitloads if they had rates relief on Saint Hill Manor. Incidentaly, lawyers were involved in the CoL situation and that is part of the reason why CoL is using a special exemption from providing further detailed FOI info about the desciscion process on why the rates relief was granted.

    There are possibly two main theories. 1) someone in Cos knows someone influential in CoL to grease it through and/or 2) Fear. i.e. It was a perceived as being a lesser evil to just give them the rates relief than to go through a long and very costly legal battle with a litigious cult. These are in addition to the profound gulibility and stupidity of the City of London compared to other regions.
  31. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    We don't have the full picture. Do we know for certain how much (if any) the business rate is for St. Hill castle. Maybe they have never been charged business rates for it. Or maybe it is very small for some reason. It would be good to find out but we can not hope to gain a full picture of the situation - just a clearer picture. But that should not be an impediment to limited actions such as the Ideal Org in London. It's a symbol of prestige for them and it would be fun to take it down.

    But you have a good point about St. Hill castle (that's where they do all the auditing and expensive courses - not in the Manor). Somebody should find out about the business rates situation for them. But that is a separate action that may or may not be of use later. I think it should have its own thread.
  32. Sponge Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    [btw, I changed some bits and corrected a few errors in that post of mine you quoted]

    I just told you, according to the FOI requests, they don't get ,and never applied for, any of the business rates reliefs we are talking about (in ten years of records) for Saint Hill Manor, therefore they will be paying business rates now, under their COSRECI organisation or a combination of business rates and council tax if there are some properties on the grounds that are soley residential. So, why would you automatically assume they might pay nothing or a very small amount? I don't think you can find out precisely how much they pay because then you run into FOI Act exemptions concerning the personal details of Tax affairs. Valuation Office Agency - homepage is of little help other than it does tell us that Saint Hill Manor is appaised as composite (domestic/business). The domestic part is band H which for that area is just over £3,000 a year and I don't know whether that applies individually to several buildings on the property or just one or total for all. The business rates part will be much higher and that's the bit you can't find out about due to FOI exemptions. Also, there is insufficient detail in COSRECI filings at companies house (once again the FOI exemption prevents you digging any deeper).
  33. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    OK, so we don't know how much business rates they are paying on St. Hill CASTLE. And I stress CASTLE. Not manor. Because it is the CASTLE where they deliver all their services. They haven't used the manor for delivering services since the time Hubbard lived there. I am guessing they use some of the rooms for administration, though, because I can not remember there being a single administration room in the castle.

    We will never get a full picture of what is going on because 1) the "Church" has got no intention of telling us and 2) the local councils won't tell us their reasoning. But we should be able to find out if they are paying business rates on a property or not. But sometimes even this information might get withheld. We work partly in the dark. It is frustrating but in a complex situation, everybody has to work in the dark to varying degrees. We just have to get on with it.
  34. Sponge Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Roland, go to that valuation office agency link I gave you, put in the post code for Saint Hill Manor (which is the name of the whole place, regardless of whether you mean "castle", it is the same post code and the castle is in the grounds of "Saint Hill Manor") RH19 4JY. "saint hill" east grinstead - Google Maps It's all the same place and I don't think the council distinguishes different buildings in those grounds as totally different rateable addresses.
    In the valuation agency link, you'll see it is "composite", i.e. mixed use business/residential (business rates/council-tax).
  35. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    The manor is not the same as the castle. The manor is mixed residential and administration. The castle is where they deliver the "services". They also hold functions there, sometimes for outside organisations. They are different buildings with different rateable values. If I see only one entry then I will assume it is for the manor. The castle may be exempt.
  36. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    OK, I have found it listed as "College and Premises" so that will include the castle since it is in the grounds. The rateable value is put as £228,000 per year which sounds about right for the whole lot. Do we know how much they are actually paying?

  37. genoramix Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    i smell some epic win coming from this thread....
  38. Sponge Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Well since they have not applied for any relief in the last ten years, then you could naturally assume they'd be paying the lot. Unless you can think of any other relief that they'd automatically be entitled to?
    I'll say again, you won't find out precisely what they are being billed for because that is beyond the bounds of an FOI request due to statutory exemption rules.
  39. RolandRB Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    Maybe they never got billed in the first place - i.e. they were always exempt. It was built without planning permission and there was a big argument about it that the "church" eventually won so maybe in all this they were never paying business rates at any time.
  40. Sponge Member

    Re: Ideal Org London Business Rates

    I'm going to hit you in a minute.

    I think from that you can gather they are not paying nothing.

    Business rates; Scientology, Saint Hill Manor - WhatDoTheyKnow

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