Over the weekend, filmmaker Alex Gibney wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times arguing that the Church of Scientology deserves to have its tax exempt status taken away. And after the March 29 airing of his documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, a growing number of people seem to agree with him.
“It seems to me that our government has a ‘fundamental, overriding interest’ in protecting individual liberty by not subsidizing harassment or surveillance by gun-toting private eyes. The First Amendment should not be a smokescreen to hide human rights abuses and possible criminal activities,” Gibney wrote, making an allusion to recent revelations about Scientology leader David Miscavige allegedly paying two private eyes $10,000 a week to follow his own father, Ron Miscavige Sr.
So if people are interested in motivating the IRS to revisit its 1993 decision to grant Scientology tax exempt status, what can they do?
For one thing, they can stop emailing and messaging us about a pathetic White House petition. Badly written and pointless, the thing has gathered twenty thousand signatures or so, and will almost certainly fail to gather the 100,000 signatures required so that even if it did meet that minimum number, the White House would then just blow it off like it has previous ones.
If you’re serious about getting the attention of the IRS, forget the White House petition and get real. The IRS already has a well-defined set of rules for complaining about an organization’s tax exempt status.
Jeffrey Augustine has been investigating this, and sent us a primer on how to complain about Scientology’s activities to the IRS. And hey, if you follow his suggestions, it just might take some of the pain out of that other thing you procrastinators are sending in to the IRS this week.
Jeff found, for example, this happy language from the government about how it really, really wants to hear from you! “Go ahead and complain. The Internal Revenue Service is all ears — particularly about complaints alleging any abuse of the tax-exempt status granted to a non-profit organization,” says an agency information sheet.
He recommends that you grab a copy of the official form the IRS wants you to use to submit a referral (which is IRS lingo for a complaint).
“The IRS Form 13909 is a one-page form that allows anyone — you don’t have to be an American citizen — to report the Church of Scientology and its related tax exempt entities for abuses of tax exemption. Sections 1 and 2 ask for basic information,” Jeff says. And he’s supplied this information to help you fill out those first two sections. Choose your favorite Scientology entity to drop a dime on!
Church of Scientology International –- EIN 59-2153393
6331 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 1100
Hollywood, CA 90028
Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization — EIN 59-2143308
210 S. Fort Harrison Avenue
Clearwater, Florida 33756-5109
Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service Organization — EIN 98-0133545
118 North Fort Harrison
Clearwater, Florida 34615
US IAS Members Trust — EIN 52-1840679
1311 New Hampshire Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Church Of Scientology Religious Trust — EIN 91-6254980
6331 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 1011
Hollywood, CA 90028
After you’ve filled in that basic info, here’s what the next section of the form looks like…
Now, which of these boxes should you select? We think you can confidently check the first three, and the second to last, about deceptive fundraising. And Jeff supplied the following examples that you can select from for the next section, where you’re asked to supply a “Description of activities.”
Examples of Scientology using 501(c)(3) tax-exempt funds to engage in systematic violations of public policy:
— Paying attorneys to hire private investigators for the purposes of engaging in systematic acts of spying, harassment, and terroristic intimidation directed against former members of the Church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose church abuses. Private investigators are paid tax-exempt funds to follow, photograph, and collect data on their “targets” and report this information back to the church. This is part of a Church of Scientology conspiracy to attack, intimidate, silence, and destroy these people.
— Paying attorneys to hire private investigators who then illegally purchase the phone records of former members of the church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose church abuses. This illegal invasion of privacy is done in order to have Scientology-paid private eyes track the calls and contacts of former members of the church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers.
— Using illegal means to obtain the flight and other travel information of former members of the church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers in order to stalk and harass them.
— Making public the contents of private confessional data of former Scientologists in an attempt to smear, impugn, and humiliate former members who speak out against the abuses of the Church.
— The Church of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs pays tax exempt dollars to hire writers, videographers, and social media specialists to create false, defamatory, malicious, and deceptive propaganda in the form of hate websites and publications. This malicious content is directed against former members of the church, critics, journalists, filmmakers, and others who publicly expose Church of Scientology abuses.
— Paying for Google ad campaigns to promote Scientology’s malicious hate websites and smear campaigns directed against former members of the church and critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose church abuses
— Spending millions of dollars on lawyers to defend David Miscavige and the church from the legal consequences arising from their own illegality.
— Deceptive and misleading fundraising activities to gather funds to “defend the Scientology religion” which are really meant to fund David Misavige as he spies on former church members, critics, people in the media, and even his own father.
Write up your report, include any relevant documents, and add your personal information. “You may wish to check the box marked ‘I am concerned that I might face retaliation or retribution if my identity is disclosed’ if you have concerns about Scientology retaliation,” Jeff tells us.
You can send in your report by email as a PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax it to 214-413-5415, or mail it to IRS EO Classification, Mail Code 4910DAL, 1100 Commerce Street, Dallas TX 75242-1198
“You can also write letters to the Ms. Tamera Ripperda, Director of Exempt Organizations, IRS. She is located at 1111 Constitution Avenue, Washington D.C. 20224,” Jeff says.
Thanks for looking into that for us, Jeff. We hope the IRS gets an earful.
Scientology spies supplying Ron Miscavige with “friends”
One of the many fun things we noticed in the police report that described the 2013 arrest of a couple of Scientology spies was the revelation that they had been instructed to find “friends” for their target, Ron Miscavige Sr.
Dwayne Powell and his son Daniel were questioned and spilled their guts about spying on Ron for his son, the leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, who was allegedly paying them $10,000 a week to tail Ron, who had escaped from Scientology’s secretive “Int Base” the year before.
Yesterday, Gawker had some fun with that detail from the report, and it reminded us of a previous example of Scientology spies using third parties to befriend targets for gathering information.
Specifically, we’re thinking of the ruse that Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold admitted to when we spent a day with them, and they described the incredible lengths they went to following Pat Broeker for 24 years on order of Miscavige.
As part of their operation, Marrick’s father, “Big Paul,” was enlisted to befriend Broeker. Over time they became close, and Big Paul was invited to the Broeker house. He gave Broeker’s girlfriend a gift of a cordless phone for Christmas in 1988.
Over the next year, Marrick and Arnold taped every conversation that Pat Broeker made over that phone. They still have the tapes, and listened to them again recently with their attorneys to prepare for their lawsuit.
At the time, in the late 1980s and in California, it turned out that it was actually legal to record the phone calls that emanated from cordless telephones in the form of radio waves. So Marrick and Arnold rented the house next door, had “Big Paul” befriend Broeker and give him the phone, and then recorded every conversation he had on it.
Scientology spies are incredibly resourceful and determined — they don’t want their gravy train to end. Marrick and Arnold reported that their operation cost Miscavige somewhere between $10 and $12 million over a 24-year period.
That Miscavige, he’s awful snoopy, and he has so much cheddar.
Bonus photos from our tipsters
Caption: “My lady congratulating my successes of joining staff at Tampa”
Some images from last night’s Writers of the Future awards. We’ve made a big deal of this ceremony in the past, but at this point, if these science fiction folks are going to continue to turn a blind eye to the direct connection between the contest and Scientology’s abuses, then they can have their silly dances, we don’t care…
Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!
Posted by Tony Ortega on April 13, 2015 at 07:00
E-mail your tips and story ideas to email@example.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield