why is Scientology labeled as a religion and why do they have tax exempt status?

digitalbeachbum's picture

I started to follow the "divorce" of katie and douche and eventually started trying to figure out douchetology.

As I researched the web I dug deep in to the history of scientology and their battle with the IRS. Some of you might not know this, but they infiltrated the us government and were nabbed. Many years later, their douche leader dies and they continue, until 1996 to argue they deserve to be a religion and tax exempt.

I don't have much other than rumors, but it appears they did some counter intel on the IRS and blackmailed some people in to dropping the case.

Why are they considered a religion? They do not have a god. The definition of a religion, in fact the origin of the word is to have supernatural practice, which this "science" has absolutely no connection.

So if they have no god. No supernatural practice. Then why does a hack like Hubbard get to fake people out by making bullshit pulp fiction in to a practice which deserves the same considerations as (and I hate to say this) real religions deserve?

 

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams

zarathustra's picture

 Hubbard did not originally

 Hubbard did not originally present Scientology as a religion; the cover of Dianetics still claims that it's a science.  The "science" came under pressure from the government in the 1960s as unlicensed medicine.  Overnight, Hubbard recast it as a religion.  Aside from tax exemption, it proves useful for deflecting any criticism as religious bigotry.

Senator Nick Xenophon in Australia has recommended a public benefit test for tax-exempt organizations:  to qualify for tax-exemption, an organization must prove it serves an actual benefit to the public.  This was prompted by allegations of abuse within the Australian Church of Scientology, but the law would apply to any group applying for exemption.  

Amusingly, the 2011 census shows that the Jedi religion has more adherents in Australia than Scientology.

Jesus forgot the safe word.

πππ†
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They do believe in some

They do believe in some wacky supernatural things though, even if it's very unusual to other religions. That said, I agree that they shouldn't have a tax exempt status. Of course I think no religion should, but under the current framework, it shocks me still that the criteria for one to be declared a religion are somewhere between vague and non-existent. It seems with enough people agreeing with you, you can be registered without question. Personally something reasonable I believe could (and should...ASAP) be introduced, is a hard regulation that a religion is not to demand, or even strongly entice their members to pay them money. By strongly entice, that would also bring the Mormon church into view, as they are forced to tithe their 10% in order to even qualify for a temple recommend (and families facing hardships often feel that this will help turn their lives around). Scientology does this with the least shame out of them all for sure, and as such it should be seen as a cult (if it's lucky)...really, it's just a scam. Full on. 

That said as a Canadian, I'm glad it does not qualify for tax-exempt status here. 

Theists - If your god is omnipotent, remember the following: He (or she) has the cure for cancer, but won't tell us what it is.

God is the Eighth Dynamic

They have a god of sorts, so I suppose they are as much a religion as any of the others.

Also, Buddhism is considered a religion and it doesn't have a god.

 

http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-beliefs/what-is-the-concept-of-god-in-scientology.html

In Scientology, the concept of God is expressed as the Eighth Dynamic—the urge toward existence as infinity. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. As the Eighth Dynamic, the Scientology concept of God rests at the very apex of universal survival. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Science of Survival

“No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being. It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable to themselves and society....A man without an abiding faith is, by observation alone, more of a thing than a man.”

 

digitalbeachbum's picture

Thanks for the info.Also,

Thanks for the info.

Also, Buddhism is not a religion, but like all beliefs mankind has warped it in to what they want it to be to fit their desires.

Siddhartha taught that "religions" are part of the problem.

 

 

x wrote:

They have a god of sorts, so I suppose they are as much a religion as any of the others.

Also, Buddhism is considered a religion and it doesn't have a god.

 

http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-beliefs/what-is-the-concept-of-god-in-scientology.html

In Scientology, the concept of God is expressed as the Eighth Dynamic—the urge toward existence as infinity. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. As the Eighth Dynamic, the Scientology concept of God rests at the very apex of universal survival. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Science of Survival

“No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being. It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable to themselves and society....A man without an abiding faith is, by observation alone, more of a thing than a man.”

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams

digitalbeachbum's picture

What is your definition of

What is your definition of "supernatural"?

To me, ghosts are supernatural while aliens are science fiction.

 

Jabberwocky wrote:

They do believe in some wacky supernatural things though, even if it's very unusual to other religions. That said, I agree that they shouldn't have a tax exempt status. Of course I think no religion should, but under the current framework, it shocks me still that the criteria for one to be declared a religion are somewhere between vague and non-existent. It seems with enough people agreeing with you, you can be registered without question. Personally something reasonable I believe could (and should...ASAP) be introduced, is a hard regulation that a religion is not to demand, or even strongly entice their members to pay them money. By strongly entice, that would also bring the Mormon church into view, as they are forced to tithe their 10% in order to even qualify for a temple recommend (and families facing hardships often feel that this will help turn their lives around). Scientology does this with the least shame out of them all for sure, and as such it should be seen as a cult (if it's lucky)...really, it's just a scam. Full on. 

That said as a Canadian, I'm glad it does not qualify for tax-exempt status here. 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams

digitalbeachbum's picture

I saw somewhere that there

I saw somewhere that there is an estimated 25,000 to 75,000 worldwide which is amazing because they make so much money.

What do you mean when you said, "Aside from tax exemption, it proves useful for deflecting any criticism as religious bigotry."?

 

zarathustra wrote:

 Hubbard did not originally present Scientology as a religion; the cover of Dianetics still claims that it's a science.  The "science" came under pressure from the government in the 1960s as unlicensed medicine.  Overnight, Hubbard recast it as a religion.  Aside from tax exemption, it proves useful for deflecting any criticism as religious bigotry.

Senator Nick Xenophon in Australia has recommended a public benefit test for tax-exempt organizations:  to qualify for tax-exemption, an organization must prove it serves an actual benefit to the public.  This was prompted by allegations of abuse within the Australian Church of Scientology, but the law would apply to any group applying for exemption.  

Amusingly, the 2011 census shows that the Jedi religion has more adherents in Australia than Scientology.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams

Tax exempt though

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Thanks for the info.

Also, Buddhism is not a religion, but like all beliefs mankind has warped it in to what they want it to be to fit their desires.

Siddhartha taught that "religions" are part of the problem.

 

 

Well yes, but they get tax exemptions.

http://www.faqs.org/tax-exempt/IL/International-Buddhism-Friendship-Association.html

 

 

 

harleysportster's picture

digitalbeachbum wrote:Thanks

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Thanks for the info.

Also, Buddhism is not a religion, but like all beliefs mankind has warped it in to what they want it to be to fit their desires.

Siddhartha taught that "religions" are part of the problem.

 

I only flirted around with Buddhism for a short while, (never went to any meditation centers or such) but Buddhism seemed to be more of a philosophy of sorts to me than anything else.

Less attachment = less suffering seemed to be more the core of all their teachings. Some that I encountered believed in reincarnation and some did not. Some said that the after-life (if one actually existed) was not their concern, enlightenment here was their concern.

But, can you provide specifics about Siddharta teaching that "religions" were a part of the problem for me ? (unless you could say that religion was just another attachment of course, kinda like : When you see the Buddha, kill the Buddha koan ).

Also, how do you account for so many different buddhist "masters" and schools if they are not a religion ?

Now I know that someone once told me (can't remember who) that anyone could become enlightened and did not need any masters.

How does this whole thing work and why do so many people identify it as a "religion" ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

Beyond Saving's picture

 Why does any religion get

 Why does any religion get tax exemption? The power of the vote. Ultimately, scientology gets included because if government exempts one religious entity from taxes it has to exempt them all to be consistent with the First Amendment. I agree it is bullshit. All religions should pay taxes.

cj's picture

Having once assisted a

Having once assisted a friend with getting 501c3 tax exemption for a charitable organization, I can state that the paperwork for establishing your enterprise as a church is much simpler.  And a lot less expensive.  The requirement for belonging to a "religion" and being "ordained" is very open to interpretation - at least that was my impression.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.

zarathustra's picture

digitalbeachbum wrote:I saw

digitalbeachbum wrote:
I saw somewhere that there is an estimated 25,000 to 75,000 worldwide which is amazing because they make so much money.

What do you mean when you said, "Aside from tax exemption, it proves useful for deflecting any criticism as religious bigotry."?

 

Often when criticism is raised, the church claims their religious freedom is under attack, implicitly garnering the support of anyone sympathetic to religion.  It used this tactic to overturn decisions against it in the Wollersheim and Tichborne cases, where ex-Scientologists had sued for damages, and to label religious bigots the protesters who began demonstrating following the death of Lisa McPherson.  Congressmen Matt Salmon and Donald Payne accused the German government of religious discrimination for its scrutiny of Scientology.

One can see this also how long it took various governments to hold the Catholic Church accountable for clerical abuse; a secular organization engaging in such activity would not have been treated so gingerly.

Jesus forgot the safe word.

πππ†
π†††

Vastet's picture

You don't really need a god

You don't really need a god to have a religion:

Quote:

a : the state of a religious ~a nun in her 20th year of religion~
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural
(2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3: archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

That said, no religion should be tax exempt. They should be tax exempt for charitable income which they prove is disseminated as is promised, and no more.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.