From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 16 - April 1994
See Home Page at

Church tax exemption

We normally leave it to our sister paper, The Free Spirit,
to report on legal, as they are better able to do it. As an exception
here is a report from a couple of American newspapers last October
which we have extracted from the November 1993 issue of Cult Awareness
Network News. Ed.

Scientology granted tax exemption - IRS records show assets
of $400 million

The federal government last month granted a tax-exemption to the
of Scientology International and thirty or more church-related
after years of litigation which has cost tax-payers millions over
the last decades.

As part of the settlement Scientologists may now deduct dues from
their taxes. No refunds are due the church as none have been assessed
for many of the years in question, and none paid.

Documents Scientology was required to file with the IRS in applying
for the tax-exemption included financial disclosures that Scientology
counts assets of $400 million, and appears to take in nearly $300
million a year from counselling fees, book sales, investments and
other sources. The documents, eight cardboard boxes worth, reveal
Scientology spends heavily on legal fees, advertising and commissions
of 10 percent to certain fund raisers, called field staff members,
or disseminators, rather than church employees. One such found raiser,
Ken Pirak, made $407,052 in 1991, according to the documents, and
another, Steve Grant, worked the Clearwater, Fla. area in 1991 and
made $339,978.

Some of the more unusual church expenditures include $7 million for
bomb-resistant doors for one of three vaults in which the writings
of Scientology's now deceased founder, L. Ron Hubbard, are to be
and $114 million to preserve the writings and tapes of Hubbard.
$6 million was spent for an advertising campaign in USA Today
in 1991. The campaign ran in response to a hard-hitting cover story
in the May 6, 1991 issue of TIME magazine, 'Scientology: The Cult
of Greed,' by Richard Behar. Scientology leader David Miscaviage
reportedly was paid $62,683.50 and his wife Michele received
in income in 1991.

(From 'Scientologists report assets of $400 million' by Robert
D. Hershey, Jr., The New York Times, Oct. 22, 1993, p. A-12;
a New York Times wire story which appeared in The Chicago
Tribune Oct. 14, 1993 under the headline 'Scientology granted
tax exemptions.')

Thu Aug 17 15:23:02 EDT 2006