If the IRS, or *anyone* ever wanted to follow the money trail in Scientology, it would be
VERY simple -- *IF* one knew where to look!
In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org says...
>On Sun, 03 Aug 1997 22:01:29 GMT, heldal@NOSPAMonline.no (Andreas
>>I mean, isn't our idea that there should be freedom of religion? Meaning
>>people should be allowed to be Scientologists if they want to, right?
>I wonder where this ever got started, this idea that people should be
>free to believe in thier religion of scientology. Scientology is
>*not* a religion. Xenu is *not* a religious belief. For all my years
>as a member, for all the people I knew, nobody was in there for
>religion. This is not a question of religious belief. There is no
>question of Faith in scientology. Anybody who thinks so should go
>into an org and get friendly with the people there, then ask about the
>religious beliefs. So i wonder how it came to pass on this NG that
>scientology is a religion. Nobody ever told me and I was a member.
I had to respond to this post. I never refer to Scientology as a
religion. It is a business enterprise and a cult organization, run
by a handful of leaders and an army of lawyers and accountants.
My experience in Scientology goes back to the 70s when I was first a
staff member at a Class IV Org, and then I became a Sea Org member at
one of Scientology's "advanced orgs" in 1975. At that point in time,
there were a handful of "advanced orgs" around the world, including
the AOSH UK, AOSH Dk, AOSH ANZO, ASHO and AOLA. Flag had yet to come
ashore and set up base in Clearwater, under the guise of "the United
Churches"."AO" means "Advanced Org[anization]". "ASHO" means "American
Saint Hill Organization". "UK" is for "United Kingdom". "Dk" means
"Denmark". "ANZO" means "Australia, New Zealand, Oceania". "AOLA" means
"Advanced Organization Los Angeles".
Anyone who has been involved with Scientology will tell you (if he
knows "policy" as written by Hubbard) that Scientology has held itself
out to be, at various times, "an applied religious philosophy", a
"science of knowing how to know", a "franchise", a "financial
institution", a "psychology of thought", an organization dedicated to
"taking over the field of mental health and psychiatry", a "healing
arts" institution, etc.
In practice, Scientology is a business. It sells books, "training"
and "processing", memberships, E-Meters, insignias and pins. During all
the years I spent on staff, we were often told at staff "musters" that
we, as Scientologists, were to create the "appearance" of being a religion.
Whenever it was known in advance by the management of the advanced org
I worked in was to receive a visit from a reporter, a government agency
official, "tax crud" or other "SP", we would "clean up" the org of all
its' promotional materials, posters, flyers, etc.
In place of all the hard-sell promotional materials, crosses would be
prominently displayed in preparation for a visit from the "SPs" ("those
who would attempt to sit in judgement upon Scientology" - to use Hubbard's
words). Any staff who had ministerial "garb" was to wear it for the duration
of the visit from any governmental official. We were told to "watch our
language" and not use profanity that was normally and profusely used in
day-to-day normal operations. Most pictures idolizing Hubbard were removed,
as was a large sculpted, bronzed bust of Hubbard which usually was on
prominent display in the reception area of the org. Staff were warned (in
accordance with numerous Hubbard policies) NOT to speak to any "outsider"
who might be "touring the org". (Scientology has employees who are
specially trained and whose job it is to handle reporters, government
officials, attorneys, etc). A special "mocked-up" place of worship would
be created, complete with an "altar", a copy of the "Creed" of Scientology,
a copy of the "Ceremonies of the Founding 'Church'", etc.
All of this was done simply and only to create the *appearance* that
we were a religious institution. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The usual talk around a Scientology organization consists of 3 daily
"musters" (at which all "crew" were accounted for and orders of the day -
"OODs" - were given); "Exec Council meetings" (where divisional "stat
quotas" were discussed); Divisional "product conferences" (where each
Dic head set "production quotas" involving daily "battleplans", "targets",
"statistics", "sub-products lists", "figure-out how-to-do's", etc).
The business discussed was centered on the "GI" (gross income), "Pd Comps"
(paid course completions), "VSD" (value of service delivered), number
of recruits, the "GBS" (gross book sales), the "C/Bs" (cash on hand vs.
bills owing), etc. In other words, the primary business concern and
focus was upon *MONEY*.
"Sunday services", while existing in Scientology orgs, are nothing
more than another means by which Scientology's "regges" (salespersons)
attempt to sell more "services" and/or recruit more staff members. There
is NO religious worship in Scientology with the exception to the frequent
and mandatory "Hip Hip Hoorays!" yelled while members stand and "flow
admiration" and clap hands to a picture of their founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
The so-called "Minister's Course" offered by Scientology takes
an average person approximately 25-30 hours to complete. At the
commencement of this course, one is then given a certificate
proclaiming him or her to be "a minister of the 'Church' of Scientology".
At the time I completed the "Minister's Course", we, as staff, had
been told by Scientology management that due to the fact that the US
Government may re-institute the draft of males through the Selective
Service, that all male staff members were ordered to become "ministers"
so that they may avoid being drafted into military service. In fact, I
believe this "acceptable truth" given to staff was a lie. I believe the
*real* reason to be that Scientology *needed* to have more "ministers"
in order to deceive the IRS into granting non-profit, tax exempt status to
It was during this same time period (late 70s) that I had been involved
in and worked on a "special project" which Scientology management called
"The Defensible Records Project". This "project" involved getting the
financial records of Scientology for the years 1970-1972 in order for the
IRS. The financial records (income packs, disbursement voucher packs, expense
summaries, payroll records, etc.) for this time period were in shambles -
completely disorganized, incomplete and with many records missing, lost
or destroyed. I remember vividly my first experience on this project to
be one of *total disbelief*! I was appalled! The records I worked on
were from the time when Hubbard *himself* had been on the Apollo. I
wondered HOW such incomplete records could have been "allowed" to exist
while Hubbard was present and giving orders on the ship! I thought to
myself, "Why hadn't he ensured *his* finance policy was followed?!?"
During this time on this "Defensible Records Project", one CPA I knew
got totally "overwhelmed and completely spun-in" by the disastrous state
of financial records he was attempting to re-construct! This CPA (at
one time of the accountancy firm Greenberg & Jackson - a Scientologist
owned and controlled professional corporation) had to be taken OFF the
project because he was "overwhelmed" by the state of the records. An
executive in charge of this project told me that this same CPA had had
a "nervous breakdown" and that "his case was too restimulated" to allow
him to continue on the project. From what I observed, I would *definitely*
agree that he had suffered a mental breakdown. We had been under strict
orders to meet stiff "targets", and we were to hold everything we learned
during our involvement in the highest of confidentiality, NEVER speaking
to *anyone* outside of the project, and then only to our direct "terminal"
(person) senior to us.
By this time, I had already known for quite some years that Hubbard WAS
in fact issuing orders into Scientology orgs around the world. I had
already known of the existence of Scientology's overseas bank accounts on
which Hubbard's wife Mary Sue, was an international *sole* signatory. One
of the first such bank accounts I knew of was in Luxembourg. It was called
the "Reserve Account #2" and was at the Kreditbank. It was simply an account
into which transfers of funds were made from other Scientology "Org Reserve
Accounts", often from other banks in LA.
As is customary in Scientology, when top management wishes to conceal
the truth, a "shore story" is concocted. The reason I was given for
the establishment of the overseas Reserve Account #2, was told to me by
Hubbard's financial executives in the Guardian Office. The explanation given
to me for the establishment of the overseas Reserve Account #2 was because
of the FDIC insurability limits on deposited funds. So, while it was *a*
truth I was being told, it certainly was NOT the whole truth. I know -- I
was cancelled checks drawn on the "Reserve Account".
If the IRS, or *anyone* ever wanted to follow the money trail in
Scientology, it would be VERY simple -- *IF* one knew where to look!
Former Scientologists who have worked in Hubbard's orgs are familiar
with the term, "DV". It means "disbursement voucher". Every time a
check is written by anyone working in a Scientology org, a "DV" is
also written, as this is the policy according to Hubbard. The "DV" is
supposed to give the *details* of the transaction. In fact, Hubbard
wrote that "all details of the transaction" are to be written on the
voucher. He said "Don't leave anything to memory".
Beginning in 1970, the Board of Directors of Scientology issued a
series of BPLs (Board Policy Letters), known as the "Accounts Audit Series".
This series of BPLs was written by Mike Totman, whose title was Deputy
Finance Audit Branch Director World Wide for Scientology. The purpose
of this series of Board Policy Letters was to explain how the financial
audits were done within the Scientology organizations planet-wide. The
series consisted of 10 issues. They explain the whole theory of accounting,
as practiced within ALL Scientology orgs.
In order to do an income and disbursement audit, one must have certain
finance records, i.e., all invoices, all disbursement vouchers, all
bank statements and all cancelled checks. According to Scientology
accounting policy, whenever money is received, it MUST be invoiced and
banked before being spent. And ALL funds must be disbursed by a check,
with a disbursement voucher accompanying it, showing details of the
Now, you ex-Scienos out there... Have you ever paid attention to, or
noticed a little round circle in the bottom left-hand corner of all
invoices and vouchers from a Scientology org? Most likely you have seen
a payroll voucher. It will have a little circle with a "2" in it. If
you have ever received an FSM Commission, this same little circle will
have a "3" in it. This is because EVERY type of expense has a *code*
assigned to it, in order to facilitate the breakdown of vouchers into
categories necessary for a disbursement audit. The same applies to
invoices issued by Scientology orgs. Very often, these little circles
have NO number in them. That's because there are staff who are in a hurry,
or lazy, or "unhatted" in the accounts audit series. Especially "regges".
By my observation and experience, they couldn't care less about what
"category" of income it is. They DO care that it is "GI". That's their
statistic. And most "regges" figure "Treasury" will figure out the audits
stuff, because that's *their* "hat".
Anyway, if a person (like an IRS agent) really wanted to do an in-depth
audit of Scientology's income and expenses, he would pay attention to
the *original* records that Scientology produces. By this I specifically
DO NOT mean their orgs' tax and balance sheets or their income and expense
summaries. Oh, to be sure, these would be useful in an audit.
But what an IRS auditor would want to pay attention to is those little
circles! That's right. Those little circles!
Specifically, what he would be interested in is certain categories of
expenditures. These are, by category number:
15 - used for charitable donations (*VERY* seldom used! In fact, during
my 6 years in Scientology finance, I never once saw this used
because we didn't make charitable donations from the org I was in.)
18 - legal and professional charges (for outside accountants' services
and legal fees)
27 - fixed assets (expenditures for non-expendable items)
27a - land and buildings (including improvements to existing property
and for expenses of self-erected buildings)
28 - loans to individuals (self-explanatory)
28a and 29a - loans (to other entities)
28b and 29b- loan repayments (self-explanatory)
30 - ALL payments to or on behalf of L. Ron Hubbard ('nuff said!)
31 - contras (bank deposit errors, "corrections", *relays* of income
received to another entity, and any payment which only offsets an income
32 - inter-account transfers (for transfers between various accounts
held by an org)
32a - transfers to "defense" funds (very important, as this is a broad,
33 - "scholarships" (for all payments of scholarships authorized by
the Legal Branch of Scientology)
34 - "suspense" (I *love* this one! It means "unknown", except to those
who have a need to know, within Scientology)
36 - Flag payments (self-explanatory)
36a - Flag billings (against bills owed to Flag)
36b - Flag "logistic" payments (for all payments which are repayable by
or chargeable to Flag)
39 - inter-org transfers of funds (transfers between different orgs, e.g.,
from AOLA to Toronto Org)
40 - "contributions" to other orgs (specified or sub-categorized to show
the nature of the disbursement)
If one wanted to find out where the money goes in a Scientology org,
all one would have to do is demand to see the disbursement vouchers,
bank statements and cancelled checks. Follow the money trail. It's as
simple as that!
One would NOT be overly concerned with any tax and balance sheet,
income and expense report, or tax return, *EXCEPT* to use them to
compare to the disbursement categories listed above.
I truly DOUBT the IRS has ever seen a "disbursement voucher breakdown
pack"! Hubbard cleverly devised an easy method for untrained people to
be able to keep records for his organizations. *OTHERS*, whose "hat" it
is to deal with the "SUPPRESSIVE IRS tax cruds", can erect records *ON
TOP OF* the original records. Very, very, very few, if any, outsiders
EVER get to see the original records. I doubt the IRS ever saw the
original "disbursement voucher packs". If an audit had ever been done
using these records, it is a virtual certainty that Scientology would
never have been granted tax-exempt status or been recognized as a
religious institution by the IRS.
I truly believe that if the IRS were to do an extensive audit *and*
ACTUALLY DIG INTO certain areas of Scientology's finances, that the
TRUE PICTURE would be revealed. In fact, I know it would.
And anyone who could ever accomplish *THAT* could attest to having
attained "TRUTH REVEALED!". THAT would be MY definition of "OT".
Warrior - Sunshine disinfects
(the above is "only" my opinion)