IRS

Church of Scientology Hustling Donations in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey


As we reported in our previous post, The Church of Scientology has been caught red-handed in a social media fraud in which it used stock photos to pose as Scientologists. These fake Scientologists were then used to launch social media attacks on Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, A&E, A&E’s sponsors, and the courageous people who appear on Leah’s show Scientology and the Aftermath. This is a scandal and a disgrace for Scientology.

There is yet another Church of Scientology scam to cover today. For over a decade Scientology leader David Miscavige has claimed that the Scientology Volunteer Ministers formed the “largest independent relief force on Earth.” This has always been a lie and will always be a lie. However, Scientology still makes this claim:

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers program (VMs) was established by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in 1976. Some 100,000 VMs in 120 nations helped more than 1.6 million people in the last year alone, making the Scientology Volunteer Ministers the largest independent relief organization on Earth.

Mike Rinder challenged this claim in an excellent post on Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers at his blog. Mike added this photo of the Scientology’s empty “Hurricane Harvey Relief Forces Headquarters” here in Los Angeles to support his criticisms. We see only two very bored members of the “largest independent relief force on Earth” seated on folding chairs nonchalantly texting:

IAS.HH.LA

I would add this: At the present time the IAS claims there are 130 Scientology Volunteer Ministers in the areas decimated by Hurricane Harvey. This is what the IAS posted on its website as of today August 31, 2017:

How does the “largest independent relief organization on Earth” only manage to get 130 people to the scene of a widespread catastrophe? Particularly when the IAS — Scientology’s slush fund with an estimated cash pile in excess of $1.5 billion — has made an emergency grant:

As brought to my attention by Collette James on Twitter, Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers posted a misleading tweet. This tweet used a photo of the Louisiana Rescue Group that was shot at by looters. The tweet and photo could mislead the public into thinking that Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers were somehow involved in this particular operation:

So to recap:

1. The Scientology Volunteer Ministers are not, and never were, the “largest independent relief organization on Earth.” And yet Scientology continues to lie about it and raise money based upon this false claim.

2. Scientology’s IAS has hoarded an estimated ~$1.5 billion in cash and does not need donations. Just a fraction of the the interest generated by the IAS cash hoard would pay for all 130 Volunteer Ministers that are allegedly  on the ground in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

3. Scientology has been caught lying on social media in its attacks on Leah Remini’s show. Therefore, how do we know that Scientology is not lying about the number of Volunteer Ministers in the hurricane-stricken areas? That is the problem with Scientology’s habitual lying: Nothing it says can be taken at face value.

Please sign my petition at Change.org demanding that the IRS open an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption.

4. I have seen photos of fewer than twenty VM’s in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. There may be more faces to count; I just haven’t seen the photos. The IAS main page shows two photos in which only two VM’s are seen. The bald-headed VM appears in both photos; we see his back toward us in the photo (left) and his face in the other photo (right):

5. Because Scientology’s IAS has zero financial transparency we don’t know the size of the IAS “emergency grant.” It could be a very small and insignificant grant. I say this because, as a rule, Scientology Volunteer Ministers are expected to pay their own expenses to travel to and from the scene of a disaster. The IAS should publicly disclose on the record how much Scientology is actually spending to help. Absent disclosure, all IAS claims are meaningless. The IAS could have donated a token sum of $1,000 for all we know.

6. Scientology Volunteer Ministers largely function to get PR photos and videos so that Scientology can raise more money as they are doing now with Hurricane Harvey. Scientology is infamous for its disaster capitalism and has used everything from 911 to Whitney Houston’s death to raise money. Scientology VM’s literally walked over the backs of the dead at the Virginia Tech massacre to pitch a tent and get in front of cameras. See Radar’s story: First Photos: Scientologists Invade Virginia Tech Campus.

7. Here is a Scientology camera crew filming a staged VM event in Haiti:

8. While the Scientologists working on the ground are to be saluted for helping, they also know that their work is being done for “Church PR.” They will also be promoting Scientology at the scene of the disaster while giving Scientology touch assists.

9. Noticeably absent from Hurricane Harvey relief efforts is Scientology leader David Miscavige. Although Miscavige boasts about the VM’s he has never, to the best of my knowledge, actually volunteered at any disaster. This is odd considering that no less an eminence than former President Jimmy Carter routinely rolls up his sleeves and helps to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

The Tale of Two Dueling Petitions

The numbers on the Change.Org petitions as of August 28, 2017 as of 12:15 AM PST tell the story:

6054 vs. 5304 signatures

Our petition is only 751 signatures away from passing Scientology’s petition:


But wait a minute! Scientology claims millions of members! And the Scientology’s “Stop Leah” petition began one week before our petition and had a 5,000+ signature head start. Our team began only one week ago and we are now closing fast on Scientology. Imagine it: Our team will soon  beat a $3 billion dollar Cult that has movie stars and a private Mafia.

See Tampa Bay Times coverage of the Dueling Petitions

My goal is hundreds of thousands or a million signatures for the IRS to open an investigation in Scientology’s tax exemption. Please spread the word. I think that everyone from Atheists to Evangelicals can agree that the Scientology Cult must be stripped of its IRS tax exemption.

Underground Bunker commenter Harpoona Frittata offered a trenchant analysis. The first two paragraphs must surely burn deep into David Miscavige’s deviant psyche:

The Church of Scientology Doesn’t Like My IRS Petition

In a Tampa Bay Times story published today, staff writer Tracey McManus covered the details of two dueling Change.org petitions. The first petition is mine and calls for the IRS to open an investigation in Scientology’s tax exemption. I am asking people to please read, sign, and share my petition. The petition and details are here.

IRS.Header

In the TBT article, Scientology spokesperson Karin Pouw attacked both myself and my petition. This attack occurred because I am going directly to the source of Scientology’s ability to ply its evil trade: Scientology’s ill-gotten 1993 IRS tax exemption.

If the Scientology Cult loses its tax exemption, then it is game over for this brutal, dishonest, and greedy business that masquerades as a religion. Scientology simply does not merit or deserve First Amendment religious protections.

The other petition was created by a young Scientologist; it calls for fascist censorship equivalent to book burning:


No one is stopping Scientology’s right of Free Speech and yet this Scientologist is calling for Leah Remini’s constitutional right of Free Speech to be revoked. This is typical Scientology hypocrisy. Scientology demands its rights and yet it insists that no one should ever have the right to criticize Scientology.

Scientology has published extensive and vicious “Fair Game” smear websites on Leah Remini, her guests, A&E, and companies that sponsor A&E’s programming. Scientology is using its Free Speech to engage in an unchecked frenzy of hysteria, hatred, lies, and paranoia. And yet Scientology wants the Free Speech of Leah Remini, her guests, and A&E taken away. This glaring double standard never occurs to Scientologists.

Scientology is even using fake bots paid for with tax exempt dollars to spam Twitter with hate tweets:

Cultus.Hystericus
The time is now for the IRS to open an investigation into Scientology’s undeserved, unmerited, and ill-gotten tax exemption.

Petition: We Demand the IRS Commissioner Begin an Investigation into Scientology’s Tax Exempt Status

Shocking But True: There are only three people in the entire US Government who can call for an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption. I outlined this in my previous detailed article on the IRS. The cut-to-the-chase version for non-wonks was published by Tony Ortega.

Bottom Line: In order to maximize our collective power, we need to petition the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to open an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption. Accordingly, I am asking everyone to please sign and share my Change.Org Petition: We Demand the IRS Commissioner Begin an Investigation into Scientology’s Tax Exempt Status. You do not need to be a US citizen to sign the petition.

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder are doing an incredible job and we need to support their work. This petition is all about a call to action whereby we demand the IRS do its job and open an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption.

Click here to go to the petition.

IRS Commissioner Mr. John Koskinen has the legal and statutory authority to open an investigation into the Church of Scientology’s 501(c)3 tax exemption. We demand Commissioner Koskinen open an investigation for the following reasons:

1. Scientology’s lack of corporate governance as it represented to the IRS in its 1023 application for tax exemption. David Miscavige is the managing agent of Scientology and has pierced all corporate veils. Scientology is the alter ego of David Miscavige and he wields unchallenged and dictatorial control.

2. Scientology’s refusal to grant refunds or repayments to dissatisfied members as it represented to the IRS in its 1023 application for tax exemption.

3. Scientology use of tax-exempt dollars to engage in harassing former members, critics, and journalists. One example is the use of tax-exempt dollars to create slanderous hate websites and videos against former members, critics, and journalists who speak out and expose Scientology’s inhumane practices.

4. Scientology’s internal cover-ups of child sexual abuse and rape as described by the very victims of the sexual abuse and rape.

5. Scientology use of tax-exempt dollars to hire private investigators to spy on, stalk, and harass former members, critics, and journalists who speak out and expose Scientology’s inhumane practices. This is Scientology’s malicious policy of Fair Game and it is funded by tax-exempt dollars.

6. Scientology’s abuse of US religious worker visas to recruit non-US citizens to work in the Sea Org. Once in the US, these non-Americans have their passports confiscated and are forced to work 100 hour work weeks for wages far below the poverty level. Sometimes these workers receive no pay at all for weeks or months on end.

7. Scientology’s use of onerous contracts of adhesion to strip Scientologists of their legal and civil rights.

8. Scientology’s use of child labor.

9. Scientology’s predatory fundraising practices and use of commission salespeople to raise money.

10. Scientology’s use of a system of brutal and inhumane gulags known as the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force). The RPF is a thought reform camp used to crush dissent. People in the RPF are often imprisoned for years and are stripped of their civil and legal rights.

11. The forced breaking up of families by Scientology’s inhumane practice of Disconnection.

Leah Remini calls for federal action: Here’s the frustrating reason the IRS may not answer

Leah_Remini_IRS-e1502449361911

Note: This is a companion piece to the question and answer session Tony Ortega and I had at the Underground Bunker.

*****

What would it take to get the IRS to commence an investigation into the revocation of the Church of Scientology’s 1993 tax exemption?

At the minimum, it would take an IRS Regional Commissioner to call for a revocation hearing.  Unfortunately, the position of Regional Commissioner was eliminated by Congress in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (enacted July 22, 1998), an act implemented between 1999 and 2000.  During this implementation period, the existing Regional Commissioners retired or were transferred to other positions.

IRS.Restructing.Law

Because the IRS has no Regional Commissioners, the IRS is effectively barred from undertaking any civil audits of churches.

Why is this?

It is the result of a disastrous loophole unintentionally created by the US Congress. IRS Code (IRC) Section 7611 mandates that the IRS cannot initiate a civil audit of a church — or an organization claiming to be a church — without the express approval in writing of a Regional Commissioner.  However, when Congress passed the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, it made no provision for a substitute church audit process under section 7611. This created a loophole big enough for any church to drive through.

How was such a mistake allowed to occur?

The IRS and its sprawling bureaucracy is a part of the US Department of the Treasury. The US Congress held hearings on the IRS in 1996 and 1997. As a result of these hearings, it was determined that Congress needed to restructure the IRS and update the ways in which the IRS operates. Hence,  the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. For whatever reasons, the issue of church audits was either overlooked or was just not on the radar of the Congress or the US Department of the Treasury. Indeed, the IRS itself did not discover the problem until 2009.

Bottom Line: Because the issue is one of statutory language, it cannot be remedied by Treasury regulations or other non-statutory guidance. What is needed is for Congress to amend the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 to address this loophole.

A few IRS audits of churches were started but were quickly closed when the IRS’ lack of authority to conduct such audits was challenged in court. A landmark example of such a challenge is the case United States of America vs. Living Word Christian Center (Civil No. 08-mc-37 ADM/JJK) This case was tried in the US District Court of Minnesota. In its ruling the Court specifically bound the IRS to the loophole in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. This is important and well worth reading to educate yourself:

In April 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) began investigating Living Word Christian Center (“LWCC”) after receiving reports that LWCC may be engaging in conduct, including improperly conferring economic benefits on its senior pastor Reverend James M. Hammond, which may jeopardize its tax-exempt status.

The IRS sent LWCC a notice signed by Marsha A. Ramirez, the Director of Exempt Organizations, Examination (“DEOE”), that it was opening a church tax inquiry. LWCC responded to the notice, and its response caused the IRS to open a church tax examination of LWCC’s records. Before that examination could take place, LWCC asserted that the IRS’s notice was defective because it was authorized by the DEOE who is not an appropriate high level Treasury official. The IRS then issued an administrative summons to LWCC asserting that it needed the information sought in the summons to determine whether LWCC’s tax-exempt status as a church is legitimate. When LWCC refused to comply with the summons, the IRS petitioned the Court for an order directing LWCC to comply in full. After a thorough examination of the issues and two rounds of briefing, Judge Keyes denied enforcement of the summons because the DEOE is not an appropriate high-level Treasury official to make the “reasonable belief” determination required before an examination of a church’s records can occur.

A. Standard of Review

In reviewing an R&R [Report and Recommendations], the district court “shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); see also D. Minn. LR 72.2(b). A district judge “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id. To obtain judicial enforcement of an administrative summons, the Government must establish a prima facie case by demonstrating that (1) the IRS investigation is being conducted pursuant to a legitimate purpose; (2) the inquiry may be relevant to that purpose; (3) the IRS or Commissioner does not currently possess the information sought; and (4) the administrative steps required by the Internal Revenue Code have been followed. See United States v. Powell,379 U.S. 48, 57-58 (1964). The Internal Revenue Code specifies a church tax inquiry may begin only after notice and if:

an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes (on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing) that the church . . . may not be exempt by reason of its status as a church, from tax . . . or . . . may be carrying on an unrelated trade or business . . . or otherwise engaged in activities subject to taxation under this title.

26 U.S.C. § 7611(a)(1), (2). An “appropriate high-level Treasury official” is defined as “the Secretary of the Treasury or any delegate of the Secretary whose rank is no lower than that of a principal Internal Revenue officer for an internal revenue region.” 26 U.S.C. § 7611(h)(7). Upon the enactment of this statute and following a formal notice and comment period, the IRS determined that an appropriate high-level Treasury official was a “Regional Commissioner (or higher Treasury official).” Treas. Reg. § 301.7611-1T, Q&A (1).

The difficulty in applying the statute to this case was created by the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-206, § 1001(a), 112 Stat. 685 (1998), which eliminated the position of Regional Commissioner. Congress did not amend the definition of “appropriate high-level Treasury official,” and the IRS has not, in the ensuing years, undertaken any rule-making procedures to amend its own definition. Instead, the IRS delegated authority to other IRS officials to assume the former responsibilities of the Regional Commissioners. See Delegation Order 193 (Rev. 6) (last revised November 8, 2000). In the instant case, the DEOE was the individual who made the reasonable belief determination required by 26 U.S.C. § 7611. See Internal Revenue Manual § 4.76.7.4 (June 1, 2004).

Because the enforceability of the summons turns on the IRS’s interpretation that the DEOE is an appropriate high-level Treasury official, the Court must make a determination of the level of deference afforded to that interpretation. Judge Keyes determined that Skidmore deference applies, and the Government does not contend otherwise…

Judge Keyes ultimately found that the IRS’s interpretation was not persuasive and thus not entitled to deference. Instead, he found that an important constitutional interest underlies the requirements of a church tax inquiry—First Amendment protections against the Government’s possible intrusion into religious affairs. R&R at 25. Congress created § 7611 to balance the rights of legitimate churches with the need for the IRS to investigate and eliminate church tax avoidance schemes. Id. Judge Keyes found that given the balancing of the constitutionally protected rights, the person responsible for determining “reasonable belief” should have broad responsibility and experience and have a high-profile position that would make it likely she has a heightened understanding the political and policy interests at stake. Id. Prior to the 1998 reorganization, the designated person was the Regional Commissioner, an official only one management level removed from the Commissioner of the IRS. Id. at 28. Judge Keyes reasoned that the DEOE, on the other hand, is four management levels removed from the Commissioner of the IRS and therefore is not the “high-level Treasury official” envisioned by Congress to properly serve the balancing function. Id. at 29. The nearest equivalent to the Regional Commissioner under the current IRS organization is the Commissioner Tax Exempt and Government Entities (“TEGE”). Id. at 27.

Given the loophole, the IRS is virtually powerless to do anything about the Church of Scientology or any other church. The one caveat is that the only church audits not governed by Section 7611 are civil fraud and criminal cases. Thus, if evidence of civil fraud or criminal activity is discovered and exposed by a whistleblower, a Scientology Sea Org member, or a Scientology parishioner, the IRS can address these matters. So can the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the Department of Justice and other agencies.

Three  government officials who can call for an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption are:

  • The Commissioner Tax Exempt and Government Entities Ms. Sunita Lough
  • IRS Commissioner Mr. John Koskinen
  • US Secretary of the Treasury Mr. Steven Mnuchin

Raising public awareness is necessary. The public should definitely contact these officials and demand that they open an investigation into the Church of Scientology’s 1993 tax exemption. And keep filing Form 13909 complaints against the Church of Scientology as a record against the day when the IRS opens, or is ordered to open, an investigation against Scientology. Easy and quick instructions on how to file a Form 13909.

Finally, one question lingers for the IRS. In its 1993 Closing Agreement with the Church of Scientology, the Final Draft of which was leaked by the Wall Street Journal in 1997, the IRS included this stipulation:

r-12

There are legitimate questions of fraud and misrepresentation of material fact by the Church in its 1991 1023 application for 501(c)3 tax exemption. Most notably, the Church represented that there was a system of corporate checks and balances in the Scientology when, as so many have alleged and shown, David Miscavige has collapsed these checks and balances and become the sole managing agent of Scientology and therefore pierced the corporate veils.

PDF’s:

  1. United States of America vs. Living Word Christian Center (Civil No. 08-mc-37 ADM/JJK) — Memorandum Opinion and Order:
    Living.Word.Christian.Center.Memorandum.Opinion.and.Order
  2. United States of America vs. Living Word Christian Center (Civil No. 08-mc-37 ADM/JJK) — Report and Recommendation:
    Living.Word.Christian.Center.Report.Recommendation


    The Scientology Horribleness Law: The longer Scientology has its tax exemption the more its horribleness increases:
    Horribleness.2

The Church of Scientology Attacks Leah Remini & Her Upcoming Television Series Exposing Scientology & Disconnection

As reported in a Tony Ortega exclusive, the Church of Scientology has launched yet another of its sleazy attacks against actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini. With the first episode of Leah Remini’s televised A&E series on Scientology and Disconnection set to air next week on November 29, 2016 the Church of Scientology had its spokesperson Karin Pouw channel a typically smarmy Scientology letter from craven Cult Leader David Miscavige to Mr. Alex Weresow, the Executive Producer of Leah’s show:

Church of Scientology International
September 9, 2016

Alex Weresow
Executive Producer
Slauson Productions, LLC
Culver City, CA 90230

Re: Leah Remini

Dear Mr. Weresow:

This letter addresses the anti-Scientologist host of your program. Ms. Remini is not capable of being objective about the Scientology religion as she has previously demonstrated.

A program about our religion hosted by Ms. Remini is doomed to be a cheap reality TV show by a has-been actress now a decade removed from the peak of her career. Unable to move on with her life, Ms. Remini has made a cottage industry out of whining both about her former religion that expelled her as well as her former friends she alienated with her unending bitterness and seething anger. Rather than letting go, Ms. Remini has doubled down on her obsessive hatred, turning into the obnoxious, spiteful ex-Scientologist she once vowed she would never become.

Moreover, Ms. Remini is a hypocrite. She disingenuously preaches “letting go,” “those who are free of resentful thought surely find peace,” “less hate more love” and “If you are depressed, you are living in the past.” Yet it’s Ms. Remini who lives in the past, spreading hate and resentment while refusing to “let go.”

She also has redefined herself by the company she keeps. For someone who claims to be a feminist supporting the rights of women, she inexplicably embraces and features on your show the likes of Ron Miscavige, who admitted beating his late wife once a month for a decade, as well as two other vicious wife beaters in Mike Rinder and Tom DeVocht. She preaches, “less hate, more love,” yet showcases an angry, mean individual in Marc Headley. His own mother will tell you he once tried to drown her. That’s because Ms. Remini tosses out her principles if she smells a buck. Since 2013, she has shamelessly exploited her former affiliation with the Church of Scientology as a primary income source.

AETN viewers should know the duplicity at work when Ms. Remini stage managed her departure from the Church of Scientology. For six months before she was expelled, Ms. Remini voluntarily participated in the Church’s ecclesiastical ethics and justice procedures due to her ethical lapses. She did so because she wanted to stay in the Church. But her transgressions were so egregious she was expelled, which remains the source of her bitterness today. Knowing she was on the verge of being kicked out, Ms. Remini choreographed her departure to get attention and publicity.

Following her initial flurry of press coverage, Ms. Remini desperately sought more fame and attention by filing a fraudulent missing person report with the Los Angeles Police Department about the wife of the leader of the religion. It was part of a harassment campaign cooked up with Mike Rinder in tandem with Marc and Claire Headley and shamelessly promoted by Tony Ortega. Ms. Remini used an acquaintance of hers in the LAPD to personally file the report, which she quickly leaked to the media. But it all blew up in her face when the LAPD took the extraordinary step of thoroughly debunking to the media Ms. Remini’s absurd claim within hours, calling it “unfounded.” Ms. Remini wasted valuable public resources in an attempt to viciously harass the Church leader’s wife, whom Ms. Remini has obsessively stalked.

In her autobiography, Ms. Remini made the mind-boggling admission that she filed her false report so that she would be expelled from the Church “and that would be the end.” The irony is that by the time Ms. Remini filed the report, she was already expelled. Ms. Remini was dishonest in her book, failing to disclose that the friend in the police department she filed it with had moonlighted as her personal security on one of her television shows and was trying to break into the personal security business. That the Los Angeles Police Department was able to dispose of Ms. Remini’s publicity stunt so quickly is not surprising.’

Ms. Remini’s anti-Scientology antics also have inflamed acts of religious hate.

Take Erin McMurtry, who on December 14, 2015, drove her car through the front of the Church of Scientology of Austin, Texas. McMurtry plowed across the lobby before coming to a stop in front of the nursery, which only hours before had been filled with children. Before McMurtry committed her crime, she had posted on her Facebook page praises for Ms. Remini and Ms. Remini’s anti-Scientology rhetoric, with such statements as:

“EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!!!!! This is the most crucial thing I have ever posted!!!…. It is called Scientology!! … ‘Thank you many times over to Leah Remini.”

“I’m pissed that Scientology…even exists”

“F–k them!”

“Shut them down… (NON-negotiable)”

McMurtry had no prior experience with the Church. She had never been a member. Thus, it is hard to miss the connection as the lies being fed to the press by Ms. Remini pushed McMurtry further and further over the edge, to the point where she smashed her car through the front doors in Austin. It was a miracle that no one was injured and only a stroke of luck the nursery, where McMurtry stopped before backing out again, was empty. McMurtry was arrested and has since been charged by the authorities.

In another incident, Ms. Remini’s support of wife beater Ron Miscavige and another apostate Lois Reisdorf, an expelled Scientologist who had been spouting hate speech on various anti-Scientology websites, coincided with a hate crime and death threat by Reisdorf’s son.

Brandon Reisdorf drove to the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles, got out of his car and threw a hammer through the window. He then retrieved the hammer, threw it again a second time even more forcefully and drove off. The car he escaped in was registered to his mother, Lois. Brandon also sent threatening emails to Scientologists. And according to a Tarasoff Reporting Form, issued by Brandon’s psychiatric care providers, “Brandon Reisdorf has been threatening to harm Mr. [David] Miscavige.” Reisdorf was subsequently arrested by the Los Angeles police and is awaiting trial.

Then there was Andre Barkanov, a 48-year-old Chicago resident with a long criminal history. On July 21 and July 23 in 2015, Barkanov made nine telephone calls in which he made death threats naming individual Scientologists and the leader of the religion as his targets. The LAPD tracked him down and extradited him to Los Angeles, where he pleaded guilty to hate crimes. He served jail time and is now on probation with a 10-year court order to stay away from the Church. When asked what direct knowledge he had of his “targets,” Barkanov admitted he had no personal knowledge of the Church. When asked what incited him to threaten these people he cited recent media reports, including those about “the King and Queens lady: she just left the Church” (i.e., Ms. Remini).

The entire premise of Ms. Remini’s project with Slauson is inherently dishonest. Slauson describes this project as being substantially about “the issue of the disconnection policy of the Church.” The practice of Scientologists voluntarily severing communication from people who are inimical to their wellbeing is fundamentally no different than the practices of virtually all major faith traditions, as well as common sense. Consider the sentiments expressed by Danielle Koepke, author and founder of the Internal Acceptance Movement, who wrote:

You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance — you don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries and “continues” to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go. — Danielle Koepke

Ms. Remini quotes these same sentiments on her Twitter account: “Love this. Wishing you a toxic free weekend #letitgo.” So while supposedly denouncing the practice out of one side of her mouth, she openly advocates it out of the other. All the family members and associates we have spoken to of each one of Ms. Remini’s co-apostates partaking in her show, including those who are associated with Ms. Remini herself, describes these people to a one as a toxic personality.

In short, Ms. Remini has become what she once declared she never wanted to be known as: “this bitter Ex-Scientologist.” As USA Today wrote, Ms. Remini is “as famous for being an ex-Scientologist as she is an actress.” She needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again.

Sadly, bitterness and anger are common threads through Ms. Remini’s life. Ms. Remini is showing herself to be a spoiled entitled diva who still obsessively complains about such petty matters as her seating placement, limo rides, five-star hotel accommodations and the paparazzi’s failure to recognize her nearly a decade ago. She also inserts herself uninvited into the family matters of others. Rather than take responsibility for self-inflicted problems, she is quick to blame others. When her firing from The Talk erupted into a public embarrassment in 2012, we tried to help pick her up off the floor. But she treated everyone around her in a degrading, bullying manner. Her behavior was intolerable.

Ms. Remini knows the truth she conveniently rewrites in her revisionist history. The real story again is that she desperately tried to remain a Scientologist in 2013, knowing full well she was on the verge of being expelled for refusing to abide by the high level of ethics and decency Scientologists are expected to maintain. Her repeated ethical lapses and callous treatment of others led to an ecclesiastical review which resulted in her being expelled.

Prior to that, the Church worked hard to help Ms. Remini try to be a good person. In 1998, Ms. Remini said, “without it [the Church] I’d be in the dumps and I would probably be an animal. I would be a horrible, horrible person.”

In 2001 she said, “I don’t get along with others and there is so many things that Scientology has helped me with. I don’t think I would be ME really without Scientology. I don’t think I’d have the success that I have without Scientology. I wouldn’t be the girlfriend that I am, the daughter that I am, the sister that I am, because this is all because of Scientology and what Scientology has taught me.”

In 2012 Ms. Remini said, “What Scientology has helped me with is confidence. I’ve had somewhere to go to tell someone my fears and I wasn’t crazy, you know, that I could actually do something about those fears, that I could actually be in control of my own feelings, that I could actually be in control of my own career, and that’s what Scientology has helped me with. And I think it’s important for an artist to have some outlet other than your mom who is like ‘Ah, just shut up and go on another audition,’ You know, you need some other help and it’s offered me that help.”

In 2003 she said, “I didn’t want to follow the crowd of people, like the bad people but I also wanted to be a cool person so I was like kind of struggling with the two personalities but being a Scientologist you’re getting in touch with the person that you really are and we really are good people…so I’ve avoided all that by being a Scientologist and by having integrity and by living by certain moral codes that this group abides by, I can look at myself in the mirror.”

In 2007 she said, “You start every day talking about something that I believe in and you start being disrespectful to my religion, to me you’ve crossed the line. But that’s any religion. I wouldn’t be disrespectful to any of my friends’ religion. Or think that they should put up with that. It’s just disrespectful.”

And she said, “I’ve met a lot of people who were ex-Scientologists. They usually don’t, they usually don’t say anything to me. Just as I wouldn’t say anything about their religion, or whatever they are doing. You know, I wish them the best. You know, I want them to live a good life. I’m not going to sit and name call and — you know if it’s not for you it’s not for you! You know what I mean? I’m not going to go off — if I go get a bad facial am I going to spend the rest of the day going, you know, ‘This salon over here isn’t…’ you know? I mean it’s just like, it’s just a waste of time. Just go on with your life. I get scared of people who run around making this their, their mission in life. It’s like, please. It’s, it’s crazy, but it’s insane. There’s so many things to be doing in life rather than running after people who are doing good!”

After Ms. Remini was no longer able to keep herself in check, she became the hypocrite she is. She now regurgitates the tired myths the Church has repeatedly debunked, circulated by the same tiny clique of expelled former staffers bitter at having lost the positions they enjoyed before their malfeasance and unethical conduct was uncovered. Ms. Remini is now joined at the hip wit this collection of deadbeats, admitted liars, self-admitted perjurers, wife beaters and worse.

If your “Untitled Documentary Project” is honest, it should be renamed “Leah Remini: Desperate for Attention and Money.”

Regards,

Karin Pouw


Desperate for Attention and Money” describes the greedy and depraved Church of Scientology perfectly — and this particularly applies to Scientology’s violent, narcissistic, and deceitful dictator David Miscavige.


Why did Scientology write its letter about Leah Remini? It did so because L. Ron Hubbard’s incredibly depraved policy of Fair Game calls for Scientology to ruthlessly attack and destroy anyone who criticizes Scientology. Former Scientology executive Mike Rinder gave the public a very valuable and detailed explanation of Fair Game on his blog this week; we strongly urge you to read it.

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Hubbard’s Fair Game policy has been applied by Scientology for six decades now and proves that Scientology is an organized hate group. Indeed, Scientology has a department dedicated to conducting psycho-terrorist Fair Game campaigns of hatred, lies, and character assassination.

Called the Office of Special Affairs, or OSA, this department is staffed by a particularly sick group of sadistic and mentally disturbed individuals whose job is to execute L. Ron Hubbard’s policy of Fair Game. Then there are the rank and file worker bots in OSA like Karin Pouw, who signed her name to the letter Scientology sent Leah Remini. Former NFL player Bob Adams also works for OSA PR where he serves as a Vice President in Scientology. OSA. Adams became a Scientology Sea Org member because he partakes in Scientology’s delusional Messianic Complex that it alone can save the world.

Scientology’s Messianic Complex is at the root of its paranoia and psycho-terrorism. Like other fanatical and violent groups, Scientology believes that it must destroy everyone who gets in the way of its saving the world. This speaks to the horrifying real secret of Scientology. Tom Cruise demonstrated Scientology’s Messianic Complex in the infamous leaked “Go to Guns” video.

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Because it is charged with the psycho-terrorism of Fair Game, OSA wrote its tawdry letter attacking Leah Remini. Leah’s reply was razor sharp and to the point – and we couldn’t agree more: None of the work to expose Scientology ends until Scientology stops fucking with people’s lives and families.

No one is afraid of Scientology or OSA. The people out here are engaged in the deadly serious business of taking down the criminal syndicate called Scientology. That is our star high purpose.

The Karmic Vortex is systematically dismantling the Church of Scientology in its present form. This will continue until Scientology repents and changes it ways or ceases to exist in its present form. It really doesn’t matter to me how it ends. However, cults have a tendency to end badly and Scientology will be no different.


We note that Karin Pouw’s letter was bizarre and totally squirrel insofar as it quoted undergraduate psychology student Daniell Koepke as an authority to justify Scientology’s toxic doctrine of Disconnection. I say this because L. Ron Hubbard hated psychology and psychiatry and embedded this hatred into Scientology. Since when did OSA begin citing a non-Scientology social media darling and psychology student to justify Disconnection? Is RTC aware of OSA’s actions in defending Scientology by citing a psychology student? Where is OSA’s LRH reference? Why is OSA so weak these days that it is afraid to cite LRH and his policies on destroying SP’s? Apparently OSA has become so fearful of criticism and pushback from Culture that it is now incapable of citing Source. Due to OSA’s dilettante ways, it falls to me to cite LRH and his views on handling attacks:

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The difference between what Daniell Koepke is saying and Scientology Disconnection is extreme. Scientology Disconnection is ordered by OSA as a form of revenge, emotional blackmail, and it destroys families, friendships, and often financially ruins former Scientology business owners when OSA orders all of their Scientology clients to disconnect from them. This is quite different than no longer associating with a toxic person. Daniell Koepke nowhere says that you should use Fair Game and seek to utterly destroy a person whom you no longer wish to have in your life. Scientology is lying about Disconnection now and has lied about the brutality of Disconnection for six decades.


David Miscavige’s puppet Karin Pouw provides yet more evidence proving that the Church of Scientology is a malicious Cult that spends tax exempt dollars to engage in its psycho-terrorist practice of Fair Game.

A common feature of Fair Game is the attempted character assassination against former members, critics, journalists, and anyone who serves the public interest by exposing the brutal, inhumane, and financially rapine practices of the Scientology Cult.

As part of the Scientology Cult’s attempt at character assignation against Ms. Remini, Ms. Pouw employs confidential parishioner from Ms. Remini’s preclear and ethics files from when she was a member; this in complete violation of priest-penitent privilege. This proves that Scientology lied to the IRS and committed perjury when it claimed that the information of its parishioners was sacrosanct.

In addition to being a violation of public policy and yet more evidence of Scientology having lied to the IRS in its application for 501(c)3 tax exemption, this hateful screed from Karin Pouw fails because David Miscavige’s manufactured narrative about Leah Remini is not at all credible. Those of us who have followed Leah Remini and her courageous story since she and her family left Scientology know that Scientology is lying.

If anything, David Miscavige, OSA, and the Scientology Cult have zero credibility due to their documented lies, perjury, and the ruined lives they have left in their path of unchecked greed and destruction.

The only way to stop the ghastly, unnatural, and disfigured monster that is the Church of Scientology is for the the IRS to revoke its tax exemption. We encourage everyone who has been harmed by the Church of Scientology to report it to the IRS; it’s easy and confidential to report Scientology to the IRS: Here’s how to do it.  The US Government is charged with enforcing the law and will not allow groups like Scientology to break the law:
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