Scientology issues an untruthful statement
on its tax exemption - 19 March 1997

Ten days after the highly critical New York Times report on the Church of Scientology's dodgy tax exemption, the Church took out a full-page advertisement in the same newspaper to rebut the charges laid against it. The text of this advertisement can also be found on the Internet at one of the Church's official Web sites:
But the Church of Scientology catches itself in a big lie. Its statement says:
"Imagine if you were part of an organization at war for decades with the Internal Revenue Service. Then one day you just happened to be walking by their national headquarters when you decided to walk in the front door, barge into the Commissioner's office, without an appointment, only to have that Commissioner roll out the red carpet, cater to your every whim and give you the tax exemption you demand.

But that's not all.

This meeting and its particulars are so mysterious, a newspaper reporter decides to file a Freedom of Information Act request and get the Commissioner's appointment book. And when he does, it shows no such meeting!

This then is somehow taken by the reporter as that the meeting must have taken place, since there is no record of it anywhere.

Certainly, if true, this would be a sensational story. And if you were the prestigious New York Times, you would want to confirm the story was true - that the meeting actually took place - before printing such. Of course you would verify this with the concerned parities [sic].

Well, The New York Times did print the story - last week, about the Church of Scientology's recognition as tax exempt - three years ago.

The only problem: the story is untrue. No such impromptu, unscheduled meeting ever did take place."

But look what David Miscavige said to 10,000 Scientologists at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on 8 October 1993, in a speech to announce the granting of tax exemption to the Church of Scientology:
"In October of 1991, while this war was raging at its apex, Marty Rathbun and I were in Washington DC. to attend one of these court hearings I mentioned. It was to be the next day. We had just finished a lunch meeting and our next appointment wasn't for a couple of hours. In other words - we had some spare time on our hands. That's not something we're accustomed to, so - we thought at last we could create a bit of mischief. We told the lawyers we'd see them in an hour or so and that we would be down at the IRS building. Of course they had a good chuckle as we left the room. Off we proceeded to 1111 Constitution Avenue - which if you didn't know is the address of the national headquarters of the IRS. We presented ourselves to security at the front door, signed the visitors log and informed them we were there to see Fred. They asked - Fred who? We answered, Fred Goldberg of course, the Commissioner of the IRS. "Is he expecting you?" they asked. "No", was our response. "but if you phone him on the intercom and tell him we are from the Church of Scientology, I am sure he'd love to see us." Have you ever wondered whether we were really impinging, when we have spoken of the IRS at previous events? Well - if so - shame on you.

We did meet with the commissioner, and, as the saying goes - the rest is history."

So who is lying? David Miscavige or the Church of Scientology's press officers?

(See also Scientology Denies an Account of an Impromptu IRS Meeting.)


Back to start

Last updated 17 April 1997
by Chris Owen (