N A T I O N A L
(ALSO LOCAL FOR: D.C., LOS ANGELES, SEATTLE)
ATTN: ASSIGNMENT DESK
More revelations are coming to light surrounding the formerly
secret Closing Agreement between IRS and the current leaders of
Scientology. Public Research Foundation (PRF) has recently
discovered that Scientology organizations are being governed in
accordance with a closely-guarded "Tax Compliance Manual." That
manual reveals previously unknown information about the new power
structure of the organizations.
The manual was created in 1993, the same year that the
Closing Agreement was secretly signed by IRS and church
officials. The Tax Compliance Manual is published by sanction of
the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST)--the senior corporation
which owns all the copyrights.
The manual is significant in many respects, not the least of
which is a sweeping relocation of power that was once vested in
Scientology's "Sea Organization" (Sea Org).
The Sea Org was originally set up by Scientology founder L.
Ron Hubbard to exercise supreme and absolute authority over all
of Scientology. But buried in the language of the Tax Compliance
Manual is clear evidence that the new corporations are in control
now, that Sea Org members are merely employees of the
corporations, and that Sea Org members can be summarily dismissed
at the sole discretion of the Directors of the corporations.
Although this massive shift of power has been in effect
since at least 1993, it apparently has been fully known only by
the architects of the corporations, and by the principals in the
once-secret IRS/Scientology closing agreement.
So suppressed was the information that Los Angeles Superior
Court judge John P. Shook, as recently as October 29, 1997, in
"Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California," was led to
"'Sea Org' is the unincorporated association which is the
power center--(David) Miscavige is its highest ranking
It is likely that if church officials had disclosed the
content of their Tax Compliance Manual, such a ruling would have
been all but impossible: although Miscavige, Chairman of the
IRS-spawned "Church Tax Compliance Committee," may arguably be
the highest ranking member of the Sea Org, a careful reading of
the Tax Compliance Manual strongly suggests that the position,
legally, is meaningless, and that the Sea Org has been
effectively negated as any kind of "power center." The manual
first establishes that:
"All individuals in the Sea Organization are employees of
the local organization (corporation) in which they work.
The Sea Org is a religious order within the
ecclesiastical structure of Scientology but is not an
incorporated organization itself and has no staff or
employees. The Sea Org contract is binding
ecclesiastically but is not an employment contract. All
Sea Org members sign standard employment contracts with
the corporation at which they are currently working. If
they are transferred to another organization, they will
sign a new employment contract with that corporation for
their period of employment."
Having established that the Sea Org is a religious order only,
and that the "Sea Org Contract" is not binding legally (only
'ecclesiastically'), the manual then provides corporate Bylaws,
part of which state:
"Section 3. Religious Orders. The Church may establish
and maintain religious orders, the purposes of which shall
be the carrying out of the religious and administrative
activities of this Church AND CORPORATION." (Emphasis
Then the Tax Compliance Manual spells out where the final power
and authority over the Sea Org lies:
"Section 6. Discretion of Directors.... (M)embership in a
Religious Order, ordination, or affiliation may be denied
or revoked for cause deemed to be sufficient by the
Directors in their sole discretion."
Given that corporate Directors (which would include "special
dirctors," as they are not excluded in the wording) can terminate
Sea Org membership at any time "in their sole discretion," and
given that the only legally binding contract Sea Org members have
is the employment contract with the corporation where they work,
then the Sea Org--apart from its function as a religious
fellowship--could be considered as little more than costumery for
corporate employees. According to the Tax Compliance Manual, the
power lies with corporate Directors.
A recent PRF investigation disclosed that there are special
Directors in the powerful ruling corporation--Church of Spiritual
Technology--who are not even adherents of Scientology, much less
members of the Sea Org.
The Tax Compliance Manual will be explored more fully in
this series. One issue is the apparent subjugation of church
doctrine and scripture to conformity with IRS regulations,
particularly those found at 501(c)(3). The manual bears evidence
that at least some of Hubbard's writings--identified as
scripture--have been altered to ensure that the religion is in
compliance with IRS codes.
PRF's series will also address the creation and
establishment of "Tax Compliance Sections" in Scientology
Another revelation from the Tax Compliance Manual that will
be covered in this series is the critical role of the corporate
Trustees, who hold power over the election of the Board of
Directors in each corporation.