The case for Inurement

Discussion in 'Leaks & Legal' started by tikk, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. andonanon Member

    I think that the finality of closing agreements under 7121 makes reopening the tax exempt status under the provisions of 501(c)3 practically impossible because all the issues in dispute are now considered moot. The best thing to be hoped for is invaliditating the agreement due to the "fraud, malfeasance and misreprentation of material fact" provisions of 7121.

    That doesn't mean that inurement issues can't be used as a weapon to attack any Scientology entities not covered under the closing agreement. The closing agreement also won't protect individuals involved in prohibited transactions that were committed after the agreement.
  2. Anonymous Member

    So any Scientology entities created since 1993 are "Fair Game", or is there a provision to automatically include them under the blanket of the agreement?
  3. tikk Member

    This was nearly central to the case in the Sklars case, especially Sklars II. There seem to be circumstances by which the closing agreement could be divulged, but they were unnecessary to reach in Sklars, because the deduction they sought was just not going to be permitted regardless of whether the Ninth Circuit remanded to review the secret agreement against the Sklars claim of disparate treatment.

    I've made this point before--IF an independent Scientologist/Freezone member declared deductions for auditing which were then denied, as occurred to the Sklars, and subsequently brought suit for discrimination, they would stand a very good chance of reopening the agreement because scrutiny of the agreement would be necessary to determining whether religious discrimination took place or is taking place. The fatal flaw in the Sklars case is that their children's religious education was determined to be dissimilar to Scientology auditing; thus, an identical suit correcting that fatal flaw would challenge the IRS denial of deduction for Freezone auditing as compared to acceptable Church of Scientology auditing.
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  4. andonanon Member

    Assuming the agreement posted on Clambake etc is real, the IRS offers a bunch of "group determination letters" to most subsidiaries of the main scientology orgs, so they may have most of them covered.
  5. grebe Member

    Eh maybe we could get elite Russian mafia hackers to leak that IRS agreement for us, maybe with a side of dox on how Wall Street chowed down on a couple trillion?

    It would be lulzy, the Russians saving the land of the free from its own super sekret tree forts.

    Since I am drunk, STFU libertarians. It's not "the government" but *any* big corporation, including the government, that can screw us, the little guy. At least with "the gov" we get some transparency and due process.
  6. Anonymous Member

    Scientology has stated that they consider someone a member if they have donated to scientology. Buying a book shoved on you in the street counts as a donation, taking one course then never going again bam donation.

    What would you legally or for due diligence reasons need to do to be able to have a case to deduct auditing if you aren't a scientologist? Would simply going to a single appointment with an independent auditor, paying for it and getting a receipt then never returning qualify a person for such a hypothetical deduction attempt? Or would they have to walk and talk being an independent scientologist?

    Basically what's the minimum it would take for someone to have standing. Is lifestyle/history/motivation considered? Joe Average buying one auditing session and never going back, vs. someone who was in scientology for 28 years, left and continued auditing weekly and spending 56% of their income on it? Would standing be the same in either case because of the nature of the service?

    If a person purposely put themselves into a position to gain standing, would that be a good or a bad thing for their hypothetical case?
  7. andonanon Member

    I guess if you had the funds to finance a challenge in court, you could buy something from a Freezoner and deduct it on your return, then attach a statement saying you were "taking a position contrary to a revenue ruling or notice" to get their attention.
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  8. Anonymous Member

    What about new orgs (for example), which have been incorporated after the agreement? Are new Scientology corporations automatically under the settlement agreement?
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  9. tikk Member

    The deduction that Church of Scientology members enjoy that members of other religions do not is the ability to deduct payments for auditing sessions, so buying books doesn't get you too far with regard to replicating the Sklars' lawsuit. I think what would matter most to the court (presuming that the IRS does deny the sought deduction, thus triggering litigation) would be the similarity of the deduction sought. The court is limited by the first amendment with regard to inquiring into the degree of your religiosity, though they might be justified in sniffing out people insincerely attempting to game the system merely to gain standing. But I think even that might be a close question, because so long as the person took the course, who is the court to say?

    I think that the ideal litigant, however, is an independent Scientologist having been denied the deduction, because the facts underlying that story are more compelling--the government would be put in the position of defending its choice to not only prefer a specific brand of Scientology over another brand, but the one organized under its auspices. It's indefensible and would be difficult for a court to reconcile the stark first amendment problem with that scenario.

    Of course, the IRS could short-circuit the entire thing by simply accepting the deduction. It's my understanding, however, that church members reference a specific format provided by the CoS and recognized by the IRS in declaring the deduction, and this would be unavailable to non-church Scientologists; so my sense is that an attempted deduction by an Independent Scientologist would be automatically denied.
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  10. OTBT Member

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  11. Anonymous Member

    I discovered a potentially large flaw in my scenario (I'm the anon you quoted); though I am glad for the replies it is good to discuss these things.

    In order to deduct auditing you would have to have the auditing done by a tax-exempt organization. I do not know if there are any tax-exempt independent scientology users out there. If there are not any, then tikk, would it appear there is no possible standing to be had to challenge for disclosure of the secret agreement? Is total lack of possible standing, standing?
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  12. Anonymous Member

    I actually think that the confidentiality clause is the least of our worries. The fact that the IRS has interpreted the FOIA exemptions, through their regulations, as prohibiting disclosure of material like the investigation report on the settlement, is entitled to more deference than an agreement which is against public policy. If you got past that, I think the confidentiality clause would evaporate.

    The finality of the agreement means only that the IRS can't renege on having granted 501(c)(3) status. Scientology still must obey the laws and regulations with relation to 501(c)(3) or it can be yanked. The IRS is probably too cowardly to do this even if they wanted to do it.

    An IRS insider (or possibly a Scientologist) already leaked the agreement itself. What would be interesting is documents known to exist, such as a report on an internal IRS investigation trying to figure out exactly what happened to bring about the agreement. There is supposedly a 123 page or so Report of Investigation, No. 8-9801-0002, which is very likely to contain material we don't already know.

    People have attempted to request this, unfortunately often in a procedurally flawed manner, and have failed to exhaust administrative remedies and then take it to a U.S. District Court. Because of the bad caselaw, it is only likely for a case like this to succeed at the Circuit Court level, and getting there would take time and money. FOIA has a fee-shifting provision, meaning you can get attorney fees if the agency withholds material unreasonably. Unfortunately, in this case, the IRS's interpretation of the exemption is reasonable. The person arguing against it would be the one facing an uphill struggle. The legal argument would basically have to argue against the plain language of the regulations and even Exemption 7 itself, relying on the purpose of the legislation and arguing that the regulations effectively thwart the purposes of FOIA (to guarantee the public access to information about the activities of our government for which our tax money is being spent). You'd have to get a lucky draw of a circuit panel.

    It would help to time it so that it coincided with some particularly scandalous event related to Scientology, to government secrecy, or something similar, but that wouldn't be easy, either. After all, you have to start the process by filing the initial FOIA request, wait until that's denied, then file an administrative appeal through the agency, and wait for them to deny that, too, before a District Court would have jurisdiction.

    I've thought about this matter a fair amount and even started drafting the administrative appeal part of it, before looking at the caselaw and giving up in despair. You'd need a lot of time, and at least some money. Maybe some time I have a few years that I need a hobby to fill.
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  13. Anonymous Member

    I meant auditors.
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  14. Anonymous Member

    That's pretty easy to fix. The organization applies for 501(c)(3) status, and if the IRS denies it, they then have standing to sue over the denial. The three elements of standing are that one has been harmed in a manner individual to oneself, that this harm was caused by the defendant, and that the court can actually do something about it. Here, the organization has been harmed by being denied 501(c)(3) status, the IRS did it, and the court can order the IRS to grant 501(c)(3) status. The organization would have standing and, perhaps, so would its members or customers.
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  15. Anonymous Member

    Also, I suspect that if there are tax-exempt auditors out there (which would strike me as unique because scientology doing scientology had been denied and denied until mass lawsuits and questionable circumstances, then secret agreement) (sidenote to a prior poster, not all of the secret agreement was leaked, 63(?) pages remain secret) if there are tax-exempt auditors out there, if they were denied deductions, their argument/motivation would not be to release secret agreement with intent to take away tax exempt status of scientology. This whole thing is a pickle.
  16. AnonLover Member

    No, they leaked a draft copy of the agreement that we have no way of proving/knowing for sure its truly accurate. The official closing agreement has been suppressed at every turn because of past subpeonas/FOIA requests always demanding ALL the dox, thus we dont truly have a firm starting point.

    We need to get the official finalized closing agreement first, then go from there. And if we cant get it, then we can atleast get a 21st century clarification of the specific reason why the IRS will not cough up just the final settlement agreement only. Which is still win because we can still get a firming starting point for going after the cults special tax breaks with that clarification alone.

    While you faggots have all been debating all this ad naseum, some of us shifted gears to a sidebar thread for actually doing something about it, and we are now in the process of taking our best shot at getting said starting point. More on this paper raid effort coming to a new thread in "active projects" tomorrow.... stay tuned for more news on Operation Sunshine Week FTW!!1!


    Thk u & <3 to Tikk for pointing out the time is ripe for IRS scrutiny.
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  17. tikk Member

    Prior to 1993, a number of courts were dealing with the issue of auditing deductions (which culminated in the Hernandez case being decided by the Supreme Court), and a number of courts found that the deductions were permissible even though the CoS was not a recognized exempt organization. Those courts were ultimately reversed by Hernandez, but on other grounds. Regardless, the analysis as to whether a deduction is proper per section 170 does not categorically hinge on the payment/donation being made to an exempt organization, even though that's usually the case.
  18. tikk Member

    Yeah, I've had this thought too. Their ostensible motivation is to get a deduction, but they'd be spending more money in legal fees to obtain the deduction. Still, there are many Freezoners who want to take down Miscavige who might find the idea appealing. Such a suit would also garner interesting PR in that would elevate the visibility of "Independent Scientology."
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  19. andonanon Member

    Charitable contributions to churches are deductible whether the churches have formally applied for the exemption or not.
  20. Anonymous Member

    I have never seen this. Would you please post link?
  21. andonanon Member

  22. Anonymous Member

    Hot irons indeed, since this is the "Dark days of the Slasher" as far as political will (and budgets). I couldn't find article about possible changes in non profit finance laws that would eliminate "self reporting" as well as public viewing of annual reports, for example. I did find March 2010 St Pete Times article though with some omg facts:

    "The reason: The system is set up to take the country's nearly 2 million nonprofits at their word. Their only relationship with the federal government is an annual report filed with the IRS known as a Form 990.
    But the IRS — whose core function is collecting taxes, not regulating charities — only audits roughly 3,500 nonprofit returns a year. Plus, the lag time between donations and IRS filing deadlines makes it impossible for individual donors to determine if their contributions were used as the charity pledged.
    Some states, including Florida, maintain charity registries that list self-reported financial data from the nonprofits. But no one asks many questions unless complaints are filed." More info at link -

    Well, okay, Scientology may have it's "secret, special handshake" deal, but it's certainly time to change a few simple requirements that would flush out a great deal of fraud and pump back some piss poor state and federal tax incoming flows. Just take a look at some of the names of these, similar to "Church of the Glowing Golden Hair". I made that one up, but there's tons like that which seem to flaunt their fraud.

    I'm curious if nonprofit regulation changes were enacted for all, that perhaps Scientology's special arrangements would be blindsided, if that's the right word, so it would be compelled to open up for viewing, due to new regulations = new scrutiny.
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  23. Anonymous Member

    Re: Determination Letters. This link provides a lot of real eye opener stuff too, at least for me. I knew that, in general, any financial fraud or any kind of crime committed would null agreements/arrangements and possibly tax exempt status? religion status? but it's not like Sci officials would just report in on this.

    But I saw some items in this link that even I could understand would be violations of the Sci/IRS agreement.
    And I only read a few of it as reading IRS docs make your eyes drool and brain burn in very short order.

    Supposed to be a "Church Tax Compliance Committee". I know there's wahoo sci tax atty's. But this committee is supposed to Also include certain church entities like the WDC (Watchdog Committee which, by the way, hasn't existed for eons), and also individuals. I also saw a line in there that looks like any scientology scriptures that have to do with finances, any financial, that have been changed, amended, added to, etc. is supposed to be relayed to the IRS.

    Considering the consistent reports of those (especially wealthier those) who have left, especially in the last 2 to 5 years about the newest policies about finances, the coercion included (oh hi, Rex Fowler) and the increased sales commission programs and rewards and benefits, I can't help but wonder if the IRS has hit the Update button on Scientology any time lately.
  24. Anonymous Member

    Just wanted to add that I wouldn't mind if the remnants of Scientology retained tax exempt status. There are so few Scientology public and staff left today.

    It is the bogus religious status that I want to see reversed. It is this very status that has protected it from prosecution of instances of the human rights abuses, frauds and multiple crimes. It is this status that has made too many politicians, journalists, prosecutors, judges, religious leaders, etc, etc. to back off when they quite possibly, based on prior actions and statements, would have jumped into the fray, stood side by side by those speaking out, the Ex Members of Scientology, Anonymous, the pioneer critics, the legal community and many media stalwarts.
  25. grebe Member

    IIRC tikk said that the religious status just makes it easy to get the charitable status. Both religious and non-religious charities lose their special status in the same way.
  26. Anonymous Member

    And so very much real estate, which they flaunt various stats of at every possible opportunity.
  27. Anonymous Member

    Although this appears to have been just published online today, this quote comes close:
  28. OTBT Member

    This IRS News Release and Fact Sheet Archive list just popped up today on my normal daily
    search for scientology on Google Uncle Sam


    What this probably means is there is suddenly more US government online traffic looking for these
    old Scientology / IRS docs, which now puts this on the first page of search results, when before
    it was probably buried on page 40 of search results. Something caused this to get bumped up to
    page 1.;resultsPerPage=100&isDescending=false

    scroll down the list to IR-1997-050 he Church of Scientology 03/03/2000

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  29. DeathHamster Member

    Church Tax Compliance Committee was only relevant during the phase-in period of the agreement, which has long passed. (I saw that too a while ago, and noticed that Marty was on the committee with no way to remove him.)
  30. OTBT Member

    Nope, the Tax Compliance Officer is still kicking around, part of the Office of Special Affairs (OSA)

    Last page from 2009 scientology tax brochure, look at the bottom of the page:

    Updated information on taxes and your donations (2008-2009).pdf


  31. AnonLover Member

    Alt Course Suggestion: Lets funnel Tikk's OP (or short article there of), along with any other good short articles from angles investigated ITT that can be culled into copypasta for fresh content to post on

    That way we can put all these juicy glorious bastard good werks to good use on a small scale awhile and spread it from there.
  32. AnonLover Member

    Also... a cozy permanent home for all things related to Scientology vs. I.R.S. dox & related tax info primary source materials haz been secured in the resource center.

    This is just for starters, more stuff from this thread & elsewhere on other IRS related project threads will be added up in here by tmo.

    ^^Anybody happen to have a PDF version readily available of the leaked 1993 agreement from somewhere other than webpages?
  33. Anonymous Member

    "from between the 3 year tax re-file deadline, and anytime into the future as long as he retains tax exempt status" edit
  34. Anonymous Member

  35. DeathHamster Member

    Probably because the agreement mandates that they have one, but I doubt the IRS cares very much now that the transaction period is over.

    I doubt they tell Marty and Heber when and where the meetings are.
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  36. OTBT Member

    You are a treasure. Try as I might, I can't come close to duplicating really old OG dox and knowingness.

    / edit

    that's a compliment, not an insult
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  37. grebe Member

    Can someone do a FOIA request to find out who the current members of the CTCC are? It would be funny as hell if it's still the same four dudes.
  38. DeathHamster Member

    Those are just the individual members. and Undertakings During the Transition
    I don't see why the current membership of the CTCC would be protected by confidentiality, but IANAUSTL.
  39. AnonLover Member

    If its just an internal committee within the CofS organization, and not an independent corporate entity that files local, state or federal paperwork... I suspect there is no public record info that a governmental agency can actually set free. unless something in the agreement specifically states that they have to file an updated CTCC list with the IRS on a regular basis?
  40. DeathHamster Member

    During the transition period, they needed the IRS' permission to change any of the Individual CTCC members for any reason short of death, so the IRS would have had an up to date list. ("Transition period" means taxable years 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.)

    Now that the transition period is over, I'm not sure what parts of the agreement still apply.

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