When a person says they are a member of the Church of Scientology, what are they really saying?
The Church of Scientology International, like all churches of Scientology, only exists because it has a license from RTC. Hence, CSI, and all other churches, are simply licensees of RTC.
The Church of Scientology International is a corporation that owns property and has a 2012 book value of $890,000,000. But beyond those bare facts, the reality is that no one actually belongs to “the Church of Scientology” for the term itself is somewhat of a vacuous legal fiction.
The Church of Scientology International is only a “management church,” an administrative body that, among its other duties, collects money for the licenses it grants to AO’s, Class V’s, and other Scientology churches.
The Sea Org members who labor in CSI most certainly do not belong to CSI nor are they members of CSI. Indeed, CSI has argued heatedly and repeatedly in court that Sea Org members are not employees but are rather “religious volunteers” who belong to an unincorporated religious order that has no actual legal existence.
Because Sea Org members are not employees, the actual situation is that religious volunteers, as volunteers, are allowed to work in buildings owned by CSI. However, these buildings only have the “CSI” label on them because of their license from RTC.
The Church of Scientology International in fact has no members and consists only of real property and licenses issued from RTC. These CSI assets are administered by members of an unincorporated religious order who receive no compensation, benefits, or pension whatsoever in exchange.
To this point, the fact is that people must first join the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) if they wish to receive services in the Church of Scientology — and these services are exclusively delivered by Sea Org members or non-Sea Org staff who are also volunteers.
Per the IAS website, “The IAS is the official membership organization of Scientology, the most vital movement on Earth today.” And yet even when one joins the IAS they are only joining an association and not the Church of Scientology itself:
The Church’s only formal recognition of Sea Org volunteers is to pay for their IAS membership. IAS membership allows Sea Org religious volunteers to be trained in the copyrighted works controlled by RTC.
IAS status allows Sea Org members to deliver the Tech in buildings owned by CSI, Flag, the Freewinds, or individual churches licensed by CSI such as the Church of St. Louis.
Now follow this part: Only after a person becomes an IAS member may they then sign a contract with an individual Church of Scientology to receive religious services. So for example, if you live in New York City you would sign a contract with the Church of Scientology of New York to receive religious services.
The same is true of Flag, the Freewinds, Celebrity Centre, or any other individual “Church or Scientology.”
Legally speaking, there are no members of “The Church of Scientology.” Rather, there are IAS members who, as individuals, sign religious services contracts with individual Scientology churches.
These contracted religious services are then delivered by members of an unincorporated religious order on corporate property owned by CSI, Flag, or other RTC-licensed entities who have the right to use the word “Scientology.”
The members of the religious order do not get any money in exchange for delivering religious services to IAS members; the money instead goes to the corporate church and then upward to CSI and thence upward again to RTC and CST.
Scientology religious services may only be delivered to IAS members by the members of an unincorporated religious order — and this may only take place in corporate properties licensed by RTC:
IAS Members –> Corporate Property <– Members of a Religious Order
The reality is that the “Church of Scientology” consists of over 100 different corporations. This corporate maze was created to be confusing and to protect the Church against lawsuits. One of the key problems with suing the Church of Scientology is figuring out what part of the “Church” to sue and in what jurisdiction to file the lawsuit. This problem is evident in the Garcia lawsuit.
The religious services contract IAS members sign is presented below:
Three things to keep in mind about signing this nefarious contract to receive religious services:
1. You agree to allow the Church to lock you up in an “Introspection Rundown” if you go insane — or Type III as the Church so charmingly calls it.
2. If you are harmed, injured, go crazy, or die as a result of receiving Scientology religious services you agree to hold harmless all parts of the Church of Scientology.
3. You agree to never sue the Church and to instead submit to the internal Scientology procedures — in other words, you agree in advance to lose.
Categories: The Scientology Money Project
In other words if you sign anything you better kiss your ass goodbye.
they should word clear “volunteer” re: the sea org….and the whole paying for IAS membership to be a member is clearly violating the IRS agreement and shows they are a business, not a tax exempt ‘church’….
wonderful stuff here!!
“The Church’s only formal recognition of Sea Org volunteers is to pay for their IAS membership.”
I hate to bring this up because I am outraged by how Sea Org members are used and abused, but if the “church” pays for their membership, or simply gives it to them, isn’t that considered a potential taxable benefit that would have filing implications for the members and/or the church? Could that create a paper trail of some kind that might be useful in future court cases against the CofS?
Also, you stated, “IAS status allows Sea Org members to deliver the Tech in buildings owned by CSI, Flag, the Freewinds, or individual churches licensed by CSI.”
I know the church pays them some sort of stipend that, IIRC, isn’t considered regular wages by tax authorities, but wouldn’t there still have to be some kind of liability insurance for their “religious volunteers” (something similar to what we call “Workman’s Compensation”) that has to be paid for each Sea Org “volunteer” that are “delivering the Tech” on church owned properties? I do not live in the U.S. but I DO know federal vs. state tax and insurance laws are complex so I don’t expect a detailed, 100% accurate answer. And to be honest, I’m not even very well informed as to how those are applied in my own country, especially as it might pertain to a group of workers classified in a special category such as the Sea Org members have been. I’m more or less thinking out loud.
I ask these questions because 1) I’m concerned and outraged at how Sea Org members are treated and seem to have no legal, or any other kind, of protection whatsoever – not even insurance against injury while they are doing construction jobs that are, perhaps, illegal in nature (i.e. without permits, etc.), and 2) in the Monique Rathbun case, one of the CofS lawyers stated something to the effect that the Sea Org was not a legal nor corporate entity. (Glad to know Miscavige is Captain of nothing.) I am trying to think of ways where there might be a paper trail that would argue against that claim and force the CofS to protect their workers in some fashion.
Thank you for all your great work on your two newest blogs; this one and http://www.survivingscientologyradio.com/
If they are separate legal entities-all 100 of them, how do they keep the people and funds and tax filings separate? How does a Sea Org contract of a billion years work if one signed it but then moved to another of the legal entities?
How can they all be put in the Hole together or have their files mixed up?
They can’t very easily….just more proof it’s a sham.
J – excellent stuff. Thanks.