Please see the latest stories in the Money Machine series in the St Petersburg Times.
Since I know most of the particulars of the stories covered, what I find most fascinating are the church’s responses. Read the story on Roccio and Luis Garcia, Scientology Couple Who Gave $1.3: Church mission ‘has been corrupted.’
Here is the totality of the church’s response to their devastating story:
The church said it expelled Garcia and that he is an ally of high-profile church defector Marty Rathbun. Garcia insists he resigned.
What does that even mean to the public at large?
See the story of Carisa Marion, Shifty Business: Times Inquiry Finds Secret Debits, Deception After “Basics” Release.
The church is caught red-handed, with conviction-worthy evidence, of grand larceny and here is the totality of their defense:
The church characterized the unauthorized debits as a “misallocation of funds, not felony theft.” It said it considers parishioners’ pre-payments for services to be donations that become church property. So while diverting funds was not appropriate, it wasn’t theft.
“Indeed, in the United States, most parishioners claim tax deductions for their donations, indicating they have relinquished ownership of the funds,” the church said.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again here, David Miscavige has patently been engaged in systematic criminal behavior mis-using IRS tax exemption as a shield. Also, the title of this post was in reference specifically to this story. Notice how Carisa’s trust funds were only returned to mitigate the damage this very series of articles might cause Miscavige’s criminal operations. You can bet a number of atrocities will be ‘remedied’ by the church in response to this entire series – but only, only where Miscavige perceives that to do otherwise will be more painful than to return funds owed.
Finally, see the lead article in Monday’s edition, Pervasive Pitch: Scientology book and lecture series, ‘The Basics’, unleashes a frenzy.
After detailing a series of hard sell horrors, including with the use of false imprisonment, the Times’ recounts Roccio Garcia’s story of being reged for basics packages in the auditing room of her auditor by her auditor. Please secure your beverage before reading the “church’s” response here:
The church denied that any of its auditors breached their ministerial duty.
It said church policy dating back to the 1950s requires auditors, as well as course room supervisors, to help parishioners get materials to further their spiritual pursuits.
“Ministers of every religion participate in disseminating the scripture and in fundraising,” the church said. “It is utterly offensive that the Times is questioning religious practice.”
No, what is utterly offensive is the cult of extortion and greed that David Miscavige operates in the name of Scientology.