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Should Scientology Be Labeled A Religion For Tax Purposes?

After the premiere of Alex Gibney's documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, many people questioned whether the religion should get the IRS tax exemption. Do you think Scientology is a religion that is entitled to this tax break?

94% of writers and pundits say no
see all 17 opinions below

What do you think?
Should Scientology Be Labeled A Religion For Tax Purposes?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Should Scientology Be Labeled A Religion For Tax Purposes?"
last 24 hours | harvardpolitics
Scientology and Tax Exemptions - Harvard Political Review
"...Still, there is enough evidence for critics like Gibney to reasonably call for an IRS investigation into the Church's finances. Their allegations, if true, are serious enough to warrant investigation and prosecution of Church practices. In order to sort out the claims made by Gibney and the former Church-goers in his film from those made by Yingling. With the fresh accusations against the Church of Scientology in Gibney's film, it is hard to ignore the issues that have plagued the Church for years and do nothing. If the Church deserves its tax-exempt status it should be able to prove it by releasing documents and information to the public. If not, then an IRS investigation can separate the facts from fiction...." see full article

1360 days ago | salon
Secrets of the Scientologists: Why people do horrible things for belief - Salon

"...Scientology as a criminal cult that harasses former members who become critical of the church; physically and emotionally tortures some current ones; and once strong-armed the IRS into granting it tax-exempt status as a recognized religion...." see full article

1399 days ago | sourcenewspapers
COLUMN: Scientology: A criminal enterprise - Shelby Township Source Newspapers
"...Scientology is not benevolent with its money. It is not out doing good deeds in the community or giving back to those who helped build it up. It builds idyllic centers for itself and keeps every dime it brings in...." see full article

1405 days ago | latimes
'Going Clear' filmmaker: Scientology abuses its tax-exempt status - Los Angeles Times
"...I agree that tax-exemption isn't merited, but not for that reason. ..." see full article

sites with the most articles that say
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1405 days ago | fortune
How much does Scientology pocket from its tax exempt status? - Fortune
"...The people who really lose out, if you are to believe the testimonies of former members and numerous journalistic investigations, are those who fall sway to its philosophy. ..." see full article

1408 days ago | pittnews
Enough special treatment: Churches should pay taxes, too - University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News
"...Should the government grant churches tax-exempt status at all? I would argue no. ..." see full article

1408 days ago | thebitbag
Scientology: Church Practices Exposed - Bitbag
"'s a good thing that people are warned sooner than later about the intricate dealings inside L. Ron Hubbard's religion'...." see full article

1409 days ago | thecelebritycafe
'Going Clear' review: Alex Gibney tries to clear smoke around Scientology -
"...If the religion, as the IRS calls it, would just be more open to criticism, Scientology would not be as vilified as it is...." see full article

1410 days ago | popmatters
'Going Clear' Proves That L. Ron Hubbard's "Religion" Is More Ruse Than ... - PopMatters
"...Scientology got its start as a tax scam. It's founder, sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, needed a way to hide the money he was making as a successful self-help guru via his bestseller, Dianetics, and the notion of forming a religion brought on the possibility of earning not-for-profit status from the IRS. ..." see full article

1413 days ago | salon
Religion is a pyramid scheme: Scientology and the lasting lesson of "Going Clear" - Salon

"...LRH reasoned that if he could turn Dianetics into a religion, the U.S. government couldn't take away any income from him in the form of taxes. Surely he'd soon be swimming in it. ..." see full article

1414 days ago | businessinsider
Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Christians have no right to call Scientologists crazy - Business Insider

"..."Religions, if you analyze them, who is to say that one religion is rational and another isn't? It looks like the older those thoughts have been around, the likelier it is to be declared a religion. If you've been around 1,000 years you're a religion, and if you've been around 100 years, you're a cult. That's how people want to divide the kingdom." ..." see full article

1415 days ago | forbes
HBO's Going Clear Exposes Scientology Tactics, Wealth, And IRS Church Status - Forbes
"...Now, 22 years after the IRS gave in, there are new outcries for the IRS to examine Scientology and to end its tax-exempt status...." see full article

1416 days ago | thinkprogress
"Dead Canadians, Defrauded Californians, And Scientology's Huge, Weird Win ... - ThinkProgress
"...The big-picture financial consequences of the IRS ruling are striking, but the consequences of the government deciding that Scientology is religious enough to be tax exempt have been downright nasty for individuals who left the church...." see full article

1416 days ago | breitbart
Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Raises New Questions About Church's Tax ... - Breitbart News
"...Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was notorious for his tussles with the IRS. For years, he struggled unsuccessfully to get the Church of Scientology recognized as a nonprofit religious organization, and ultimately fled the country to avoided paying taxes on his burgeoning empire...." see full article

1416 days ago | showbiz411
HBO's Scientology Movie "Going Clear" May Pose Big Problems for Tom Cruise ... -
"...he explains how Scientology got tax free status as a religion in 1993 by suing the IRS so often and so viciously that the then chairman, Fred Goldberg, finally gave in. Gibney says that in exchange for dropping all the suits and blackmail of IRS agents whom Scientology followed Scientology got their status...." see full article

1419 days ago | deadline
Bart & Fleming: On Alex Gibney's HBO Scientology Documentary And Tom Cruise -
"...While Scientology has billions of tax-free real-estate investments worldwide, the docu claims it pays member workers 40 cents an hour or less...." see full article

1432 days ago | pastemagazine
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief - Paste Magazine
"...But Going Clear illustrates what's so preposterous about Scientology essentially, it's a religion that sounds like it's based on one of Hubbard's old sci-fi stories, because it is and why its aggressive tactics are so deplorable. ..." see full article

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