Ex-contributors and ex-staff members may only have until December 31, 1998
Ex-Scientologists who may be eligible for refunds and/or back-pay from Scientology may never have a better opportunity or more leverage to retrieve their money than between now and December 31.
In December, 1998, Scientology's tax-exempt status will be reviewed by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the final time, and then - if the IRS is convinced Scientology has abided by its 1993 IRS agreement - Scientology's nonprofit status will become permanent. Thus for the next few months, it is crucial for Scientology to see that its operations appear to be above legal reproach.
According to Scientology's application for tax-exempt status, it must refund donations it has received if donors so request. If you feel you were deceived by Scientology or did not receive what you were promised, demand your donations back!
And legally, Scientology could be liable to provide back-pay for the many who have labored long hours for the "church" far below minimum wage, often only receiving $10 or $24 per week. Receiving $24 for a 40-hour workweek equals sixty cents an hour; for a not-unheard-of 100-hour week, twenty-four cents an hour. An individual would be owed almost $10,000 for each year worked at $24 per week rather than a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour, assuming only a 40-hour workweek; at an 80-hour week it would be over $20,000. It is illegal to pay workers less than minimum wage. Don't let Scientology get away with profiting from your slave labor! Demand the back pay you are owed.
To request refunds and/or back pay, FACTNet would recommend sending a very brief letter to each of the organization(s) money was donated to or worked for, stating the amount of money requested, and providing a date by which it is expected (e.g., by October 31, 1998). Make sure you tell them who to make out the check to and where to send it. FACTNet will set up a section on the web site with sample letters (see www.factnet.org for details).
If Scientology does not immediately recompense you be sure to report it to the IRS and/or to federal and state departments of labor. As a result, the IRS may not finalize the Scientology's nonprofit IRS status, and departments of labor may investigate illegal employment practices.
FACTNet believes that people who are owed remuneration from Scientology deserve to know that the next few months are crucial. Please contact anybody and everybody you know who may stand to be justly compensated, and let them know this may be their last real chance to get their money back.
The following people are recipients of FACTNet's Person of the Week Awards, published weekly by e-mail in FACTNet's Cult & Mind Control Report.
FACTNet Weekly Cult & Mind Control Report: August 14th
Person of the Week: University of Southern Mississippi professor Johnny Purvis, who recently warned educators about the dangers of local cult activity at the 25th annual Mississippi Juvenile Justice conference in Jackson. He showed the audience pictures of evidence of local cults -- symbols such as swastikas, triangles, and goats, drawn as grafitti in public areas although often unrecognized as cult-related by the public. The Times-Picayune [August 9, 1998] reports that according to Professor Purvis, "there is surprisingly widespread cult and voodoo activity in the state [of Mississippi]." He told the Times-Picayune, "Most people have no idea what goes on after they go to bed at night." While Purvis focused on Satanic and voodoo cult activity, his bringing the involvement of youth in cults to the attention of educators is an important, highly commendable endeavor.
FACTNet Weekly Cult & Mind Control Report: August 7th
Person of the Week: A very special contributor to FACTNet, whose name we will keep anonymous. This woman has made substantial donations to FACTNet over the years, after becoming involved with the cult issue when she lost a daughter to Scientology. This contributor will turn 87 in August. In a recent letter to FACTNet, she wrote, "Dear friends, I read your bulletin as soon as it arrives from cover to cover. Keep up the great work. I'll be 87 in August. Hope I can go on to 100." We would like to wish her a wonderful 87th birthday, express our hope that she may soon reconcile with her daughter, and thank her for her continual support.
FACTNet Weekly Cult & Mind Control Report: July 31st
Person of the Week: Jesse Prince , an ex-Scientologist who left the cult in 1992, and now is coming forward despite danger to himself, in order to expose the fraud and illegal activities he witnessed while inside Scientology. In his first posting to alt.religion.scientology, Jesse wrote, "My name is Jesse Prince . I was part of the horrid organization known as the 'Sea Organization' from 1976-1992. I was a Senior Executive in RTC for 5 years (1982-1987). This is not something that I am proud of---to the contrary I am still recovering from the experience... I feel an obligation to do something to expose the criminal and psychotic nature of the upper echelon of the Sea Org (all corporations included) in an effort to get some relief from the attacks that come to anyone who opposes this godless so called church...To say the least, I have personal knowledge of crimes and cover-ups that have them very worried..."
FACTNet Weekly Cult & Mind Control Report: July 24th
People of the Week: Former Aum Shin Rikyo member Ikuo Hayashi and the victims of the cult's 1995 subway attack, which Hayashi helped orchestrate. Through the help of the very victims he helped harm, Hayashi is healing from the influence of the cult. After choosing not to appeal his sentence of life imprisonment, Hayashi published an article in the July issue of Bungeishunju magazine in which he expresses gratitude to the victims of the subway attack for helping him "recover his humanity." Hayashi did not receive the death sentence because he had shown remorse for his actions. Twelve people died in 1995 and thousands were injured when Aum Shin Rikyo members released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway.
FACTNet Weekly Cult & Mind Control Report: July 17th
Person of the Week: Charlotte Kates, an ex-Scientologist who left Scientology after being introduced to information on Scientology on the Internet. Not only has Charlotte spoken out about her experience, she has also been instrumental in revealing Scientology's "Scieno-Sitter" software. The software installs on Scientologists' machines, often without them knowing, and prevents them from visiting many sites which criticize Scientology (including FACTNet) - sometimes even kicking the machine off-line.
Person of the Week Award nominations are accepted by mail or email.
This editorial/opinion/news alert has been provided or distributed by FACTNet, Inc. (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network.) Since 1993 we have been the largest online news and referral service as well as research archive for defending freedom of thought and mind from all forms of unethical influence tactics, mind control and mental coercion/torture used in destructive cults and fundamentalist groups. FACTNet is a tax deductible, IRS Approved 501(c)(3) non profit organization.
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