Police

Church of Scientology Uses Police Officers in Its PR While Opposing Proposed New Law Giving Additional Protections to Police Officers


As reported by the watchdog Independent Scientology News, we learn that the Church of Scientology has officially opposed a proposed new law that makes it a crime to target police officers for assault or murder specifically because they are police officers.

The proposed new law is called The Protect and Serve Act of 2018. Following a shocking series of murders of police officers killed in premeditated ambush slayings, a literal War on Cops by criminal elements, this new law is needed. However, the Church of Scientology has signed a coalition letter opposing the Protect and Serve Act of 2018.

The question we ask is this: Why does the Church of Scientology oppose giving police officers additional legal protections? This question is particularly relevant due to the fact that the Church of Scientology and its front groups rely heavily upon police officers for PR purposes. Indeed, the Church of Scientology wallpapers its websites with photos of Scientologists and police officers.

Given Scientology’s opposition to The Protect and Serve Act of 2018 we conclude that the Church of Scientology cynically exploits the men and women of law enforcement for PR purposes and has no real or actual commitment to law enforcement. These self-serving Scientology PR photos of Scientologists and cops should be immediately removed from Scientology’s websites given Scientology’s publicly stated opposition to increased protections for police officers:


Scientology’s actual view of law enforcement was stated Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard hatefully dismissed police officers as “professional dangerous environment makers” who deliberately create a fake “dangerous environment” in order to profit from it financially. Even as Scientology uses police officers for PR, Scientologists actually despise police officers as rank opportunists and frauds. Hubbard even states that police are “chaos merchants” and as such are the worst enemy of Scientology. Here is the damning evidence in Hubbard’s own words:

Police agencies everywhere should take notice: Scientology is quick to exploit police officers for its own PR purposes. However, when push comes to shove, Scientology opposes supporting a proposed new law that would give police officers extra protections. This is hypocritical in the extreme on the part of the Church of Scientology.

Thee letter Scientology signed outrageously portrays the increase in ambush-style cop killings as “an unhelpful and dangerous narrative to uplift.” Here then we see the Church of Scientology wanting to use cops for PR but calling the in the increase in cop killings “an unhelpful and dangerous narrative to uplift.” This is as vile as it gets.

We further note that another signatory to this letter is the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. It is no surprise to the Scientology Money Project to see the Church of Scientology in bed with criminal defense lawyers. Law enforcement should take note of this as well.

Here is the letter the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office signed:

Coalition Letter Urging US Congress to Oppose H.R. 5698/S. 2794, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018

May 14, 2018

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20515

RE: Coalition Opposition to H.R. 5698/S. 2794, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018

Dear Members of Congress:

On behalf of the more than 20 undersigned civil rights, civil liberties, faith-based, and government accountability organizations, we write to urge you to oppose H.R. 5698/S. 2794, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, which creates a new crime for offenses that target law enforcement officers.

First, police already have substantial protections under federal and state law, rendering this bill superfluous. Second, this bill signals that there is a “war on police,” which is not only untrue, but an unhelpful and dangerous narrative to uplift. And finally, bills similar to Protect and Serve that have been introduced in states around the country—so called “Blue Lives Matter” bills—appear to be a political response to the growing national movement for police accountability in the face of continued killings and assaults of unarmed African Americans; therefore, this bill is divisive and will have a negative impact on the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

I. Federal and state criminal laws already offer ample protection to police officers.

Federal law already has extremely strong penalties for people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers and other public officials. For example, federal laws impose a life sentence or death penalty on persons convicted of first-degree murder of federal employees or officers,[1] killing state and local law enforcement officers or other employees assisting with federal investigations, and killing officers of the U.S. courts. All fifty states have laws that enhance penalties for people who commit offenses against law enforcement officers, including for homicide and assault.

Moreover, there is no record that crimes against law enforcement go unprosecuted or are otherwise treated frivolously. There is no record to suggest that prosecutors are unwilling or unable to charge individuals with crimes against law enforcement. In fact, crimes against police officers are treated as among the most heinous criminal acts, given the high degree of culpability and punishment attached to such crimes.

II. The Protect and Serve Act does not advance any stated policy goals, because law enforcement is not subject to increasing or widespread attacks.

There is no doubt that police work is a dangerous undertaking, but the reality is that there has been a continuing decline in the number of officers killed or assaulted in the line of duty over the last several decades. In the past ten years, the number of officers feloniously killed has fluctuated, yet not significantly increased or decreased, as have ambush-style killings of officers. Given these facts, this bill perpetuates a false narrative that police are under increasing attack by their communities. Such a message is unhelpful and unsupported.

Furthermore, the Protect and Serve Act does nothing to meaningfully improve officer safety and wellness if that is an intended policy goal. For example, it does not call for support services, better training, improved safety measures, increased supervision, or any of the other multiple measures available to law enforcement that are widely accepted as promoting officer safety and wellbeing.

III. The Protect and Serve Act is polarizing and harms community-police relations.

This bill is being contemplated at a time when our country is in the throes of a national policing crisis, with a never-ending stream of police shootings of unarmed African Americans captured on video. Creating a new, yet superfluous, crime for offenses committed against law enforcement is a particularly disconnected and non-responsive policy choice. Unfortunately, the Protect and Serve Act is similar to other “Blue Lives Matter” type bills that create new criminal offenses and penalty enhancements for crimes against police.

Collectively, these policy efforts, which have sprung up amid the national call for police accountability, appear to be a political response to the powerful activism of grassroots movements that demand fair and constitutional policing. Rather than focusing on policies that address issues of police excessive force, biased policing, and other police practices that have failed these communities, the Protect and Serve Act’s aim is to further criminalize. This bill will be received as yet another attack on these communities and threatens to exacerbate what is already a discriminatory system of mass incarceration in this country. Continuing to undermine police-community relations in this manner sows seeds of division, which ultimately threatens public safety and undermines the work of law enforcement.

For the reasons summarized above, we urge you to vote against the Protect and Serve Act as it comes before the U.S. House of Representatives. There is no justification for creating a new crime for offenses committed against law enforcement. At a time when we need to foster healing between law enforcement and our communities, we should not be considering legislation which not only does nothing to advance the goal of officer safety, but will further erode the relationship between police and communities.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. If you have any questions, please contact Kanya Bennett of the ACLU at 202-715-0808 or kbennett@aclu.org; Sakira Cook of The Leadership Conference at (202) 263- 2894 or cook@civilrights.org; or Sonia Gill Hernandez of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.at 202-216-5569 or sgill@naacpldf.org.

Sincerely,

American Civil Liberties Union
Anti-Defamation League
Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
CLASP
The Daniel Initiative
Defending Rights & Dissent
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Human Rights Watch
Government Information Watch
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
NAACP
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Action Network
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Transgender Equality
The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
National Council of Churches
People for the American Way
PolicyLink
Southern Poverty Law Center
StoptheDrugWar.org

Criminality and the Church of Scientology


James Kirchick’s recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times asks, “In the world of religious tax exemptions, does Scientology measure up?”

Kirchick incisively cuts right to the bone:

Today, America’s recognition of Scientology as a religion stands as an anomaly in the Western world, the result not of impartial jurisprudence but of harassment. Four years ago, France’s highest court upheld a fraud conviction against the church, ruling that, “Far from being a violation of freedom of religion, as this American organization contends, this decision lifts the veil on the illegal and highly detrimental practices.”

Kirchick is quite correct in taking the matter of Scientology directly to the matter of criminality. Since it’s inception in 1954, the Church of Scientology has at all times operated as a criminal organization. A straightforward historical reading of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology’s machinations, plans, and designs will bear this out. Fair Game. The Guardian’s Office. Conspiracy. Domestic espionage. Tax evasion. Infiltration. Theft. Spying. Blackmail. Coercion. Money laundering. OSA. Phony front groups. Private investigators. Forced interrogations. Beatings. Agents provocateurs. Hacking computers. It’s all there. Scientology is a classic criminal organization.

The FBI raid of July 8, 1977 on Scientology was massive; over 150 agents participated. The raid was the direct result of L. Ron Hubbard’s Program Snow White. A demonstration of Scientology’s criminality writ large, Program Snow White brought Mary Sue Hubbard to ruination:

Russia

June 2017: The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) conduct a raid on Scientology’s Moscow Headquarters.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has raided Scientology Orgs numerous times. From the Moscow Times of June 7, 2017:

The headquarters of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg has been raided by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on June 6 according to the MediaZona news site. The security services accused the Church of extremism, inciting hatred, and operating an illegal business.

Hungary

Hungarian Police during the raid of Scientology’s Budapest Headquarters.

On October 22,2017 — a scant three weeks ago — The Daily Mail reported on the massive raid of Scientology made by Hungarian police:

Hungarian police carried out a search at a Church of Scientology centre in Budapest amid a probe into suspected misuse of personal information and ‘other crimes’.

More than 50 officers surrounded the church’s Budapest headquarters on one of the Hungarian capital’s busiest roads early on Wednesday.

Detectives from the National Investigation Bureau have listed the target as ‘unknown persons’ – a common designation when a specific suspect has not been identified.

In terms of comparison, 156 FBI agents participated in the raid of Scientology’s Los Angeles complex, such was the sheer volume of documents Scientology had stolen from the US government. For Hungary to send in more than 50 police officers to raid Scientology offices there indicates the seriousness and scope of the criminal investigation.

Cover Ups of Rapes and Child Sexual Abuse

The criminality of Scientology extends to the cover ups of rape and child sexual abuse. At this writing, Scientologist Danny Masterson is alleged to have committed four rapes that were covered up by the Church.

Danny Masterson and Netflix co-star Ashton Kutcher at the 2017 CMT Music Awards in June. Photo by Jason Davis/WireImage.

The Los Angeles Police Department & The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office

Scientology’s hideous reputation has tainted the Los Angeles Police Department as well as the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. People are asking why the case against Danny Masterson is not moving forward despite “overwhelming evidence” as reported by the Huffington Post. Netflix has even come in for criticism as it has not stopped production of its series The Ranch in which Masterson stars. As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

A woman who previously accused actor Danny Masterson of rape — an allegation he has denied — has gone on the record to criticize Netflix for continuing with his show “The Ranch” even as it has severed ties with Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. after allegations of sexual misconduct.

“For me, what Netflix has done feels like a continuation of how the Church of Scientology made me feel when I reported my rape to them, as well as how Danny Masterson made me feel when I would beg him for an apology, an explanation, anything,” Chrissie Carnell Bixler told the Daily Beast. “I was made to feel unimportant. I was made to feel like I didn’t matter.”

Leah Remini’s Emmy award winning A&E show Scientology and the Aftermath has given courage to many of Scientology’s victims who were in the shadows. Terrified of incurring Scientology’s vengeance for speaking out, these people are no longer afraid. Even as the mask is being ripped off the sexual abuse and culture of cover-ups in Hollywood and Washington D.C., the same is happening to Scientology. The predators are being named and called out.

Revoke Scientology’s Tax Exemption Now

The Church of Scientology is able to ply its evil trade only because its ill-gotten 1993 IRS tax exemption. According to Doug Frantz’s seminal 1997 article in the New York Times
Scientology’s Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt it appears that then IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg unfairly rigged the examination in favor of Scientology. As Frantz noted in his article:

Scientology entities were required to submit new applications for exemption, which were to be evaluated by the agency’s exempt organizations division. But something unusual occurred there, too.

Mr. Schoenfeld, the negotiations chairman, ordered the two tax analysts assigned to the review not to consider any substantive matters, according to I.R.S. memorandums and records in the Tax Analysts case. Those issues, Mr. Schoenfeld informed them, had been resolved…

Both analysts, Donna Moore and Terrell M. Berkovsky, wrote memorandums specifying that they had been instructed not to address issues like whether the church was engaged in too much commercial activity or whether its activities provided undue private benefit to its leaders.

IRS tax analysts were forbidden from considering substantive matters. Why did Commissioner Goldberg give such an order? This seems to be a serious violation of IRS rules. Did Commissioner Goldberg violate the US Constitution he was sworn to uphold?

As the 9th Circuit Court noted in Sklar v. Commissioner, the IRS expressed an unconstitutional denominational preference for Scientology by granting it tax exemption:

The Supreme Court has developed a framework for determining whether a statute grants an unconstitutional denominational preference. Under that test, articulated in Larson v. Valente, 456 U.S. 228, 246-47, 102 S.Ct. 1673, 72 L.Ed.2d 33 (1982), the first inquiry is whether or not the law facially discriminates amongst religions. The second inquiry, should it be found that the law does so discriminate, is whether or not, applying strict scrutiny, that discrimination is justified by a compelling governmental interest. Applying this test to the policy of the IRS towards the Church of Scientology, the initial inquiry must be whether the policy facially discriminates amongst religions. Clearly it does, as this tax deduction is available only to members of the Church of Scientology…

Because the facial preference for the Church of Scientology embodied in the IRS’s policy regarding its members cannot be justified by a compelling governmental interest, we would, if required to decide the case on the ground urged by the Sklars, first determine that the IRS policy constitutes an unconstitutional denominational preference under Larson, 456 U.S. at 230, 102 S.Ct. 1673.

It is time for acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to jointly call for an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption. Scientology engaged in fraud and misrepresented material facts to the IRS to gain its tax exemption. The 9th Circuit opined in Sklar that the IRS granting Scientology tax exemption constituted an unconstitutional denominational preference.

Since gaining tax exemption Scientology has continued to engage in violations of public policy, bad faith, lies, and psycho-terrorism all funded by tax exempt dollars. This is an outrage. The illegality doctrine clearly applies in the case of the Church of Scientology: