The “Church of Scientology” is a term of convenience; as the Church itself told the IRS:
When people say “The Church of Scientology got IRS tax exemption in 1993” what is really being said?
The answers are surprising.
First, it is important to realize that all the “churches” or “Orgs” in Scientology in America are legally separate and distinct corporations.
As such, the “Church of Scientology” is composed of three main corporations:
A. The Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) — CST builds the nuclear-proof vaults.
B. The Religious Technology Center (RTC) — this is where Captain David Miscavige is situated.
C. The Church of Scientology International (CSI) is the so-called “Mother Church.” What this actually means is that CSI is an administrative entity only. With the exception of CST and RTC, CSI licenses and manages all the legally separate and distinct churches of Scientology and the “social betterment” groups such as Narconon, WISE, ABLE, and CCHR. As such, CSI charges all of these corporations management fees. CSI then passes a cut of these management fees uplines to RTC and CST.
All of these legally separate and distinct corporate entities are collectively referred to as the Church of Scientology.
Therefore, when the “Church of Scientology” gained tax exemption what actually happened is that the legally separate and distinct US corporate entities collectively called the “Church of Scientology” gained tax exemption.
There was one extremely curious omission however.
This a very crucial subtlety: The Sea Org does not have 501(c)(3) tax exempt status!
Why does the Sea Org not have tax exempt status?
Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson was then one of twenty-two lawyers working for David Miscavige and the other defendants in Rathbun v. Miscavige et. al. in Comal County, Texas. Mr. Jefferson stated in his Writ of Mandamus:
“Plaintiff asserts that Mr. Miscavige exercised control because he leads the Sea Organization, a religious order within Scientology. But the ‘Sea Org’ is not a corporate entity; it has no physical or legal existence. It is not incorporated or established pursuant to legal formalities. It has no constitution, charter or bylaws, and no formal or informal ecclesiastical, corporate, or other management structure. It has no directors, officers, managing agents, or other executives; no employees, staff members, or volunteers; no income; no disbursements, no bank accounts or other assets; no liabilities; no stationery; no office, home, address, or telephone number. It does not create or maintain any financial, personnel, or other records. It can neither give nor receive orders because it has no one to either give or receive them or to carry them out. It cannot sue or be sued. (MR1810-12 at ¶13.) The evidence Mrs. Rathbun has submitted fails to establish a prima facie basis for an alter ego finding, because none of it involves the defendants’ purported contacts relating to this suit, nor does any of it speak to the organizations’ current practices.”
The public and the courts are supposed to believe that the multibillion-dollar transnational “ecclesiastical hierarchy” known as the “Church of Scientology” is wholly managed and operated by ~3,000 unpaid volunteers from a legally nonexistent “Sea Org” that — per by Mr. Jefferson’s own words — “has no directors, officers, managing agents, or other executives; no employees, staff members, or volunteers.”
The ultimate lie in the Church of Scientology is that the Sea Org is an actual organization.
It is not.
* Per David Miscavige’s own attorney, the Sea Org is not an actual organization of any kind.
* The Sea Org does not legally exist and has never legally existed.
* The Sea Org cannot have any members.
* There can be no “religious commitment” to the Sea Org because the Sea Org does not exist to be committed to.
* A commitment to the Sea Org is invalid on its face because there is no actual entity known as the Sea Org. The “Sea Org” might as well just be a phrase.
* Per Mr. Jefferson, the Sea Org cannot have volunteers and so Sea Org members cannot be volunteers as there is nothing to volunteer for.
* The Sea Org has no address and does not exist anywhere.
“Sea Org” members are — if we are to believe Mr. Miscavige’s attorney — nothing more than people off the street with no legal standing. At most, these people off the street call themselves Scientologists — but even this is misleading as the Church of Scientology cannot have any members.
Sea Org members sign a piece of paper that is meaningless because the Sea Org, as Mr. Jefferson wrote, “has no physical or legal existence.”
As such, these people off the street who sign a meaningless piece of paper are assigned positions within the Church of Scientology.
Given the Sea Org has no has no “directors, officers, managing agents, or other executives; no employees, staff members, or volunteers” the shocking truth is that the Sea Org is a legal contrivance the “Church” uses to exploit and manipulate its captive slave labor force.
Sea Org members are not employees and have no employee protections. The Church takes all the money and pays Sea Org members pennies an hour. The Church spends millions of dollars on attorneys while Sea Org members may wait as long as two years for new uniform parts. Sea Org members have no health care, no pension, no privacy, and no freedom of movement. Sea Org members work at least eighty hours per week. They work seven days per week.
Having a “Sea Org” allows the Church of Scientology to avoid employee lawsuits; the payment of minimum wage; overtime restrictions; and freedom from compliance with secular workplace standards. The Sea Org is the Church’s freedom from employee lawsuits arising from physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological cruelty, forced abortions, and human trafficking. The Sea Org is a self-serving fiction that benefits only the Church of Scientology.
The cynical and cruel exploitation of Sea Org members by the Church is horrible. Adding insult to injury, David Miscavige has — in order to save himself from being deposed in a lawsuit — openly disavowed the Sea Org in court, and on the record, through his attorney,
The truth is now out in the open: The Sea Org is an artifice created to enable the Church of Scientology evade legal problems while simultaneously exploiting its workforce to the maximum degree possible.
The Sea Org is a hellish trap and a lie.
Despite these facts the Church of Scientology tries to tell the world that the Sea Org is Scientology’s “religious order.”
Nothing is as it seems in the Church of Scientology.
The Church of Scientology is pushing a legal fiction that it is a sophisticated multibillion dollar “ecclesiastical hierarchy” of transnational corporations operated by people off the street who sign a legally meaningless piece of paper to volunteer for one billion years in a legally meaningless group called the Sea Org.
In other words, the Sea Org is just people off the street who have no legal standing in the Church because they are not employees, receive no paycheck or benefits of any kind. The Church gives them a few bucks, a “stipend” each week as a handout.
The Church of Scientology’s reliance upon celebrities has harmed it significantly. In the end, in my opinion at least, the Church of Scientology’s reliance upon the Sea Org has damaged it severely and will be the Church’s ultimate undoing.
Sea Org “Religious Commitment”:
1996 “Religious Order” Staff Contract:
Categories: The Scientology Money Project