We have some rare video of David Miscavige, leader of the Church of Scientology, giving a drawn-out and very strange explanation for why and how the IRS battled and ultimately caved to the church over its tax exempt status in 1993. The speech is from the New Year’s Eve 2000 Scientology event, which we hadn’t seen before, and it was edited into a funky video presentation that was assembled in 2007 by J. Swift, who tells us the thing hasn’t been online for several years.
We’d love to get your thoughts on this pre-Anonymous bit of church criticism, and Miscavige’s weird explanation for what motivated the IRS.
We’ve watched it a couple of times now, and Miscavige’s rap seems to go like this…
— Scientology was kicking the psychiatric industry’s butt, costing it billions.
— The “mad-dog press” was attacking Scientology, led by “SLIME” Magazine, which was promoting LSD use. (Say what?)
— The IRS was leading the attack, with a billion-dollar tax bill it wanted from Scientology.
But what really was at stake in 1991, Miscavige says, was “The Tech.” Five years after Hubbard’s death, Scientology’s “technology” was still popular, and the IRS set out to destroy it. To secure the tech from harm, the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) had been founded, and its primary goal was to achieve tax-exempt status.
But once the IRS turned down CST’s exemption application, plans were made to donate LRH copyrights to another organization that did already have tax-exempt status. So the IRS scrambled to get all of the existing exemptions stripped. But then, in 1991, Scientology prevailed, and CST and the rest got exemptions (after an IRS review and settlement process that lasted until 1993). And best of all, CST continues to secure the tech with its underground vaults.
Here, watch Miscavige say it in his own words…
“I made this particular video in 2007 and posted it anonymously on YouTube. However, the Church immediately got it taken down. Back then, before Anonymous changed the rules, the Church routinely got away with taking down critical websites and videos,” J. Swift tell us. “My goal in making this video was to create an atmospheric look and feel in order to showcase the lies and dishonesty of David Miscavige. This video shows Miscavige spinning a very tall tale about his phony heroism to gullible Church parishioners.”
It’s a very interesting artifact, and we’re glad to see it restored to the web.
As for Miscavige’s fable, there’s a simpler version of what happened, as was explained using interviews with Marty Rathbun and your proprietor in a recent Channel 4 documentary, Scientologists at War. The IRS had fought for years against Scientology’s petitions for tax exempt status because, well, as Bryan Seymour recently put it, “Scientology is a cult operating as a business masquerading as a religion.” And the IRS finally gave in after the church had spent years harassing IRS employees with thousands of individual lawsuits and constant surveillance.
But that story makes for less of a fun Millenium tale, perhaps.
Meanwhile, Back at the Apocalypse
One of our tipsters inside the Church of Scientology sent us this note about how members are giddy with excitement for the release of Super Power and the Golden Age of Technology II.
As Mike Rinder has been documenting so thoroughly at his blog, Scientology leader David Miscavige is trying to convince his followers that in order to make the launch of new material a success, they have to jump through all kinds of (pricey) hoops. One of them is getting people to redo their “Objectives,” which are low-level drills we’ve talked about in our series with Claire Headley — to outsiders, they appear to be indoctrination drills to help create compliant church members. Anyway, here’s just one glimpse into what’s going on in the church right now…
A friend left last week for Flag [Scientology’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida] to do her Objectives. She is a newly completed OT VIII and has done everything at the top of the Bridge, but she was CS’d [told by her case supervisor] to redo her Objectives.
This is a smart lady when it comes to business, but she has totally bought into the idea that everyone needs to redo their Objectives, at $2,500 for the course (a steal) and hotel accommodations for 6 to 8 weeks. The estimate of the hours to complete it is 90-150 hours. Which means double that since you have to get your twin through it.
Unless you have recently done your objectives, you’re being told you have to redo them. And that means lots of people at Flag. And evidently regardless of whether you are in the middle of OT VII or somewhere else on the Bridge, you are going to be told to get on your Objectives. What is scary is how easily she was convinced to do this. People are buying into this GAT II program lock, stock, and barrel.
Posted by Tony Ortega on September 6, 2013 at 07:00
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