GOP in Galveston, TX works to remove Scientology status

Last month, a delegate from Galveston County, Texas presented a proposal to the Republican National Convention to revoke tax exempt status for the Church of Scientology.

Here is the Resolution:

The Resolution

Initiative for Texas Resolution Calling for the revocation of the Church of Scientology’s status as a Legitimate religion in the sate of Texas.

Be it resolved that the Church of Scientology in the state of Texas no longer be recognized as an official religion, thus revoking its religious tax exempt status in the state of Texas.

In order to preserve Scientology’s religious tax exempt status in the state of Texas an organization must meet objectives in order to qualify. They are listed in the following statements:

1.) The organization must have an official statement of Faith. The church of Scientology has no such statement.

2.) The organization must have some form of routine worship service. The church of Scientology has no such routine.

3.) Church services must be open and freely available to the public. The church of Scientology requires its members to pay an amount equal to or greater than 15,000 U S dollars and to be subjugated to months of mind altering auditing sessions in order for a member to obtain the information regarding the teachings of Scientology. Members who complete these courses are forced to sign agreements not to inform either unpaid/unaudited members or the general public of the teachings of Scientology.

Be it resolved that the church of Scientology in the state of Texas be officially regarded as a business and not as a religion.

Resolution adopted this twenty-ninth day of March, 2008, at the Precinct Convention of Precinct Number 341, and/or senatorial district 11 Convention, Galveston County, Texas of the Republican Party of Texas.

Hmm. This is certainly an interesting development as the Church of Scientology has had its share of battles with the IRS over the years regarding tax exempt status. In 1993, the Church of Scientology paid the feds $12.5 million as part of a settlement to obtain tax-exempt status. The details of the settlement have not been made public but reportedly included a special “church tax-compliance committee” and an agreement not to sue the IRS for pre-1993 claims.

The Church has been in existence since the 1950s and was established by author L. Ron Hubbard. The Church claims membership of between 8 and 15 million people worldwide. Famous Scientologists include Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley, Leah Remini, Beck and John Travolta – Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes actively promote the Church.

The IRS had previously denied status to the Church on the grounds that the Church was a “for profit” business – countries such as Germany have continued to deny tax-exempt status to the Church for similar reasons. The church reacted with a barrage of lawsuits. It will indeed be interesting to see if, in the event that Texas was to make this resolution the law, a similar end would happen in Texas. What do you think will happen?

Comments

  1. Kristen King

    Given the requirements for tax-exempt status, I don’t see any other outcome than for the Church of Scientology to lose its tax exemption.

  2. Jean Murray

    I used to live in Clearwater, Florida and spent some time with several Scientologists. I never heard them espouse a “faith” or talk about their “religion.” I never could figure out what their “religion” was all about.

  3. Jim

    I despise Scientology. They tried to sue me for copyright infringement and for holding a domain hostage.

    Looking back on it – I made my mark on the internet. I wasted some of their time and got $100 to boot, as well… but that is a long story.

  4. Miranda

    It appears that, due to the requirements, Scientology doesn’t fit the title of religion. Requiring $15,000 to join up? That’s a little steep…It sounds more like an expensive club…

  5. James Andrix

    I’m not sure the requirements will hold it back. I visted my local church of Scientology once, and they indicated that there was a regular Sunday service open to everyone. I also find it unlikely that the local churches haven’t already made some statement of belief in their existing tax paperwork, and even if so it would be easy for them to write one.

    These requirements are pointless trivialities.

  6. Diane

    You know, it sounds like one could “go broke” in this so-called religion. I think I’ll pass and coninue to serve Christ as my Lord and Savior. Besides, its FREE !!!

  7. Guy Zino

    I have been a Scientologist since 1973. This resolution is just fraught with misinformation and is a obvious case of religious discrimination and bigotry. Scientology is my religion. It has helped me spiritually like no othe religion has been able to help me. We are not hurting anyone. Our social betterment groups do have been doing more to help mankind than any other group on earth. The only reason that we have ever been attacked in the past was because someone’s vested in interest was being threatened. I’m willing to bet that something like that is happening here. The state of Texas has nothing better to do than attack a group that is doing so much good in the world? “Mind altering auditing”? The person who wrote that has NO IDEA what auditing is. I have had a lot of it and all it has done is free me from unwanted conditions and past pain and made me more able to think for myself. Scientology has given me myself back and made me more self-determined. If you feel that you do not want to partake of Scientology, that is fine with Scientologists. We are not into pushing our religion onto to others or “converting” anyone. But please respect our right to practice our religion of choice as we repect yours. And the State has no right defining for ANYONE if their religion meets some arbitrary means test.

  8. Corey Johnson

    Scientology doesn’t have to be defended especially to people who cannot simply go down to their local library, check out a Dianetics or Scientology book, read it, and decide for themselves whether or not to use the information to help themselves and their families live better lives. I don’t know how much “cheaper” you can get with regards to “membership”. You can go to the official Scientology website ( http://www.Scientology.org) and check out numerous testimonials from people all over the world attesting to the workability of the technology.
    People that condemn something without understanding it first are simply not willing to look at what is truly there. I could draw the same “conclusions” about other religions based on the ongoing wars around the planet which have killed millions of people over thousands of years.
    I respect the religious beliefs of others. I do not judge them for their beliefs. I have many friends who are Christian, Muslim, Bhuddists and Hindus. We are all spiritual beings and Religion has played an important role throughout history. Scientology is NEW! Our religion is only 58 years (and soon to be 59 years on May 9th 2009) We are proud of our accomplishments in the world and are expanding rapidly to all parts of the world.

  9. Tom

    Honestly, I hope we can pass more of these resolutions. These fraudsters are taking advantage of the system. They are a business, plain and simple, and should pay taxes.

Leave a Comment