Church of Scientology Attorney Monique Yingling wrote a letter to Jay Ward Brown of Levine Sullivan Koch Shulz, LLP (scroll down).
The subject of the letter is Yingling’s allegation that Alex Gibney made an internet post stating that the Church of Scientology “blackmailed” and “harassed” the IRS to obtain tax exemption. Yingling claims this characterization is false and misleading. Yingling then cynically attempts to paint Scientology’s hateful smear campaign against the IRS as being meritorious.The smear campaign included using PI’s to spy on IRS officials and a series of lawsuits. Scientology’s attacks on HBO and Alex Gibney are just IRS Redux. Inasmuch as Yingling herself is a direct financial beneficiary of Scientology’s human rights abuses, unconscionable contracts, and the financial rape of its members, no one should be surprised by Yingling’s self-serving letter.
Here is one central problem with Yingling’s letter: The IRS and Scientology reached a private settlement, and, Scientology refuses to make any of the details public. Given Scientology’s withhold on the public, Yingling’s letter and her claims are meaningless because they are not proven by internal documents.
The Church of Scientology and Monique Yingling need to put up or shut up: Post the Final Closing Agreement and the rest of the internal documents concerning the IRS or stop complaining.
The endless litany of Scientology Butthurt cranked out by the Church and its attorneys reveals Scientology to be nothing more than a dirty business screaming when it is exposed for hiding behind religious tax exempt status it gained by dishonest means, spying, harassment, lawsuits, and a vile smear campaign against the IRS.
—– Gerry Feffer —–
Yingling’s late husband — the white collar criminal defense attorney Gerry Feffer — along with Scientology lawyer Ken Moxon, and the Church’s in-house publication International Scientology News were quoted in the New York Times admitting that the Church of Scientology used private investigators to engage in an “attack” and a “war of attrition” against the IRS and its employees. From the New York Times article of March 9, 1997 entitled Scientology’s Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt:
Mr. Moxon, the Scientology lawyer, said the I.R.S. had been well aware of the church’s use of private investigators to expose agency abuses when it granted the exemptions. Mr. Moxon did not deny hiring Mr. Shomers, but he said the activities described by Mr. Shomers to The Times had been legal and proper.
Mr. Moxon and other church lawyers said the church needed to use private investigators to counter lies spread by rogue Government agents.
”The I.R.S. uses investigators, too,” said a church lawyer, Gerald A. Feffer, a former deputy assistant attorney general now with Williams & Connolly, one of Washington’s most influential law firms. ”They’re called C.I.D. agents” — for Criminal Investigation Division — ”and the C.I.D. agents put this church under intense scrutiny for years with a mission to destroy the church.”
A blunt assessment of Scientology’s victorious strategy against the I.R.S. was contained in a lengthy 1994 article in International Scientology News, an internally distributed magazine. The article said:
”This public exposure of criminals within the I.R.S. had the desired effect. The Church of Scientology became known across the country as the only group willing to take on the I.R.S.”
”And the I.R.S. knew it,” the article continued. ”It became obvious to them that we weren’t about to fold up or fade away. Our attack was impinging on their resources in a major way and our exposes of their crimes were beginning to have serious political reverberations. It was becoming a costly war of attrition, with no clear-cut winner in sight.”
The Church of Scientology publicly boasted of an “attack” and a “costly war of attrition” against the IRS. Gerry Feffer admitted to the use of PI’s against the IRS — and yet Yingling is telling HBO counsel that Alex Gibney got it wrong? The poor old girl. Yingling’s memory must be going; or perhaps she simply needs her memory refreshed as did Meade Emory. There clearly was a Scientology Jihad against the IRS in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Indeed, Gerry Feffer was likely first retained by the Church when David Miscavige learned he was the subject of an investigation by the IRS CID along with Commodore Hubbard.
Captain David Miscavige was always fine with the Commodore being in trouble because it allowed him to keep the Church’s founder in seclusion. However, it was definitely not acceptable for Captain Miscavige to actually have his own precious neck on the chopping block. Only the finest white collar criminal defense lawyer would do and this was Gerry Feffer.
Finally, if Scientology had evidence of criminality in the IRS and failed to report it to the DoJ in exchange for tax exemption then what does that say about Scientology? Scientology’s attacks on IRS “criminals” do not make sense if everything went away once the Church got what it wanted, i.e. tax exemption. It was all just another Scientology smear campaign that continued into the Church submitting to an IRS examination. At a crucial juncture in the examination process, the Church of Scientology sued key IRS CID officials for $120,000,000; this likely in an attempt to neutralize them or disqualify their input within the IRS.
In my opinion, this lawsuit shows Scientology lawyers working behind the scenes to drive a series of wedges between the IRS Commissioner, the IRS General Counsel, EO, and the CID. I say this because the lawsuit seems merely sleazy and tactical in nature; it is a rehash of Scientology’s late 1980’s Fair Game “Dead Agent” pack on the IRS. Scientology quietly dropped this particularly under-publicized lawsuit as part of its secret settlement with the IRS. Had the lawsuit been strategic or even had the slightest merit, Scientology would have never relaxed its grip on the neck of the IRS until the officials in question had been terminated, shamed, and their heads put on pikes in the pages of Freedom magazine.
But this never happened.
Parts of what Scientology told the IRS are demonstrably untrue. Specifically, the Church has no internal checks and balances:
- The Church of Scientology is the alter ego of Captain David Miscavige.
- The Church of Scientology does not act in the public benefit.
- The Church of Scientology violates public policy.
- The IRS needs to revoke Scientology’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for fraud and malfeasance.
Associated Press even wrote about the $10,000 rewards offered by the Church to IRS employees who turned in “corrupt IRS officials” There were no takers. Yingling is clearly disingenuous in her letter to Brown!
To refresh Ms. Yingling’s memory, we remind her of the thousands of harassing cookie-cutter lawsuits filed by individual Scientologists against the IRS.
The Church of Scientology also created and backed Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and other anti-IRS groups.
Attorney Yingling forgets to mention that when Scientology received its 1993 tax exemption it came with a five year mandatory compliance reporting period. This five year period is statutory in nature and suggests the IRS did not completely trust Scientology. In general terms, a five year statutory period typically means that if the party violates any terms of compliance with the IRS it forfeits exemption and must pay all back taxes, interest, and penalties.
Yingling and Scientology do not care to discuss such prosaic matters as “Offer in Compromise” at the heart of the IRS Code. Instead, Captain Miscavige had to be painted as the Hero of Tax Exemption in order to create the appearance that this vainglorious and pompadoured usurper was the rightful heir to the Throne of Hubbard. What a soap opera!
David Miscavige also failed to tell Scientologists at the “War is Over” event that the IRS determination that the original Church of Scientology of California inured to the benefit of L. Ron Hubbard went unchallenged by Scientology. This is why the new Church of Scientology International was created. The old CSC was disposed of quietly and without sorrow. L. Ron Hubbard’s income tax evasion was swept under the rug.
One more issue on my part: Why doesn’t the Church of Scientology cede the infamous “War is Over” video into the public domain so that the public can have a look at it? This is the 1993 event in which David Miscavige announced tax exemption to assembled Scientologists. Miscavige spins a wild story of his own heroism against the planetary forces of suppression that would make even L. Ron Hubbard blush. This is the real David Miscavige and not the sanitized version seen at the opening of new buildings where he pulls his trademark golden rope to release balloons, confetti, and fireworks, this after having finished his boring and untruthful speeches about how Scientology is expanding to its highest ever levels of growth, etc.
Freedom Magazine circa 1984:
——— Yingling Letter ——-
1991 Lawsuit: Church of Scientology v. IRS Officials