Thread Australia May Be About to Bankrupt Scientology Down Under

OzSTEEZ

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http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/09/scientology_gam.php

ScienoAustralia.jpg


​Over the weekend, Melbourne's Herald Sunreported that the Australian government may be about to hand down a decision that will likely bankrupt Scientology in that country.The church there has been under heavy attack in recent years, led mainly by an independent federal senator, Adelaide's Nick Xenophon, who has pushed for government investigations of Scientology after being presented with evidence of the church's abuse of staff.

And now, the Herald Sun reports, the country's "workplace watchdog" will soon release a report after an 18-month investigation into the way that Scientology's workers, particularly those in the hardcore Sea Org, are paid far less than minimum wage.
Scientology could be forced to pay millions of dollars in back pay, as well as taxes on that pay, and raise every worker to minimum wage into the future. Former chief Scientology spokesman, Mike Rinder, who himself is from Australia, says such a decision will immediately bankrupt the church there.

"It will be an utter disaster, worse than losing tax-exempt status," he says. (The Australian government has also been reviewing Scientology's tax exempt status, and a decision on that could come soon as well.)
If Scientology were hit with a bill for millions in back pay, Rinder says, they could draw from American reserves to pay it off. "They have the money to do it, but what will happen is, everybody from this point forward will have to be paid, and they cannot do that," he says.
"Too much money goes to international management, and they're buying buildings, so they can't use that money for staff. Everything else is more important. And if that happens in Australia. I promise you that will only be the first. The next place that will follow will be Europe. And then ultimately the US will catch up. Some agency in America will grow a pair and actually do something," Rinder added.

Rinder is referring to the real estate buying spree Scientology has been on in the last few years, even though numerous sources show that membership in the organization is falling, and by some estimates totals only about 40,000 people around the world. Despite that, parishioners in America are being pressured to raise money for new facilities, as we saw recently in a rather remarkable video:

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OzSTEEZ

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Though Adelaide is the state with all the weird Australians.

Like your..... hmmmmmm... West Virginia? Utah? South Dakota?
 

DJBrenton

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Scientology isn't a recognised church here so it doesn't get tax exemption. It is recognised as 'not for profit' though so gets some sort of VAT concessions.
 

ZRH

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You guys already got rid of their tax exempt status, right?
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/mo...o-former-members/story-fn7x8me2-1226123609542

It pretty much says no firm decisions. They aren't losing tax exempt status, it says they are being billed for back pay and payroll taxes. Don't know about Australia but in the US ALL employers (nonprofit, government, private) are required to pay payroll tax. Can't imagine any modern country is much different. Is tax evasion, not loss of tax exempt status.

They lost it in 1957, but regained it in 1993.