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Why Scientology’s inability to pay its tax bill in Montreal is not a sign that it’s struggling

LaPatrie

 
There was some interesting news out of Montreal yesterday regarding Scientology’s empty and derelict “Ideal Org” project there. For those joining us recently, the “Ideal Org” program is church leader David Miscavige’s desperate attempt to give the impression that Scientology is not shrinking rapidly by opening new, unneeded churches in cities around the world and calling it “expansion.”

Beginning in 2002, he’s been pushing local members to donate money in order to purchase buildings for the program. But after many of the cities complied and purchased historic buildings in the period 2005 to 2007, they were tapped out and couldn’t raise the millions more that it takes to renovate these historical structures to turn them into gleaming “Ideal Orgs.” In cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Detroit, Scientology owns an eyesore that sits, year after year, rotting away, racking up code violations.

But at least, in those cities, Scientology isn’t racking up tax bills. Tax exemption for churches is so absolute in America, there’s no property tax on empty buildings that an organization like Scientology owns, even if it’s not being used at all.

But in Canada, that’s not the case. Because Scientology has done nothing with the empty building it bought in Montreal in 2007, it now owes more than $80,000 in property taxes and a bill for $60,000 is coming due in June.

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The CBC is reporting that the city has threatened to seize the building and auction it off if Scientology doesn’t start paying up more of its debt.

If you didn’t know more about Scientology, you might think that its inability to pay an $80,000 tax bill in Montreal might be a sign that the organization is on the ropes.

But remember, the Ideal Org program is just a public relations project, and even though Scientology is dwindling and losing members fast, it’s still sitting on a mountain of cash.

We asked former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder this question: Miscavige can easily write a check to make the problem go away. So why doesn’t he?

His answer: “He will. It just has to be very desperate before that happens and some heads have to roll first.”

 
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Marc Headley has some ‘splainin’ to do

Last night, a comment by one of our readers got people pretty worked up over something Marc Headley said during his recent appearance on the Ethan McKinley podcast.

We were on Ethan’s show recently, and it was a real pleasure. Marc’s show is a lot of fun, and you can listen to it here.

So here’s the exchange near the end of the program that got people excited…

Ethan: There’s all those crazy conspiracy theories, like David Miscavige is the real father of Suri and stuff, and like…

Marc: Oh no. It’s not David Miscavige. I know who it is, but it’s not David Miscavige. And it’s not Tom Cruise, either.

Ethan: What!

Marc: Anyway…

We can see why people got excited by this exchange, even if it comes off as pretty unserious.

We’ve asked Marc Headley to explain himself, and we’ll try to find out if he has something solid to tell us.

We’ll just point out, however, that Marc previously claimed that he had information about the birth father of Connor Cruise, but we checked into it and it proved to be a false lead. Just sayin’.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

Hm, let’s see. We’re already pretending to benefit the public through our front groups. And we love to hand out certificates and awards. What can we do next? Hey, how about the First Annual Charity Coalition Awards, and we’ll have it at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater and get all of our shills in one room!

 
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“The Charity Coalition, established in 2014 by the Church of Scientology, is now comprised of over 160 nonprofit organizations. The next Charity Coalition will be a luncheon in the Fort Harrison Ballroom on 29 June. To receive an invitation, please contact the Public Affairs Office for the Church of Scientology in Clearwater at 727-467-6860.”

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 23, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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

 

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