You may not realize it, but the Internal Revenue Service was onto the IAS way back in 91-93 during the tax exemption negotiations. But, under Miscavige’s leadership, we got them right off of it. In our own defense, neither Mike nor I, nor anyone else with the possible exception of Monique Yingling, really knew what DM’s ultimate designs for the IAS were. The IRS was intensely interested in the IAS on the issue of “excessive reserves.” Stockpiling “excessive reserves” is one indicia of commercialism.
The IRS was considering taking IAS reserves into account when examining Church of Scientology International’s (and RTC by extension) reserves. It seemed to them that if DM and co in Hemet were controlling IAS, then its then-fledgling, but already substantial, reserves ought to be considered CSI’s. If IAS membership – and thus donations – were required as a condition precedent in order to take services in a church of Scientology, then clearly IAS – and what it did with its significant sums of money – would come under a tremendous level of scrutiny.
The IRS came up with independent evidence to support their concerns. Read the church’s response:
You have called our attention to an advertisement in issue 75 of SOURCE magazine containing statements to the effect that IAS membership is required in order for a parishioner to participate in religious services. These statements are erroneous. There is no Church policy or directive which sets foth such a requirement, nor has there ever been such a Church policy or directive. The relevant Church policies approving IAS as the official membership organization, previously furnished to you, contain no such requirement. Neither HASI nor any other membership system in the United States has ever required membership as a condition of participating in religious services at a Scientology church.
Following your letter, we investigated to determine how this advertisement came to appear in the issue of SOURCE magazine you cited. We believe the error was caused by the misunderstanding of a SOURCE magazine editor newly appointed early in 1991. She mistakenly used from issue 74 of SOURCE an old, rejected advertisement that contained the misstatement, apparently not realizing that it had been expressly rejected for publication…
…We are taking steps to ensure that all future advertisement and other statements regarding IAS membership made by Church organizations correctly state the facts of the matter as described above. Keeping certificates in force was and continues to be a benefit of IAS membership; requiring membership in the IAS in order to participate in religious services never has been valid and membership in the IAS was and remains wholly voluntary…
Now, you want to know sensitive this area that the IRS was probing was to DM? Judge for yourself based on the content and tone of the final two paragraphs of the church’s answer:
Finally, we would appreciate being informed of how you received issue 75 of SOURCE and why you did not simply bring it to our attention in the first instance. The wording and tone of this and other questions here, as well as in earlier questions, is disconcerting. The simplest, most straight-forward method for the Service to address legitimate concerns is to inform us of the precise character and source of your concerns as they arise, or at least to bring them up in person when we meet. Instead, we receive what appear to be trick questions that assume the truth of the information the service has received from third parties.
Questions that directly or implicitly assume untruthfulness are contrary to the general spirit of cooperation and candor that we have developed over the past eighteen months. Much of the disinformation about Scientology is spread by individuals and groups who have personal and financial disputes with Scientology. The credibility of information from such sources is at best suspect, but if we do not know where the Service is getting its information, we cannot give the Service context within which to evaluate the credibility of such sources, who certainly do not willingly divulge their motivations to the Service. It is particularly troublesome to us that significant elements within the Service will automatically assume that heretics and apostates are truthful while Scientologists and Scientology organizations are not.
Seems to me that if DM and company continued to require IAS memberships and/or enhancement of statuses within the IAS, in order for folks to be deemed eligible for continuing church services – he might be in a heap of trouble. If he carried that out without explicit, written policies – but instead verbally so as to cover his ass – it might even smack of fraud.
For what it is worth, Mike and I have no “personal or financial disputes with Scientology.” And we have never fit under this description, “certainly do not willingly divulge their motivations.” In fact, we have repeatedly stated, and demonstrated that we live by, our motivations as doing what we can to salvage SCIENTOLOGY from DM’s greedy death grip.
I’m not saying these facts are of any use to you all who have been coerced into abandoning your homes, retirement accounts, and college funds.
I’m just sayin.