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THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
We of the Church beliere:
And we of the Church beliere:
And we of the Church believe that the laws of God forbid Jan:
And ii'e of the Church believe:
ME SINANON. QORC Charles E. De derich founded Synanon in 1958 with his $33 unemployment check. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the California Secretary of State on September 18, 1958 under the name Synanon Foundation, Inc. Synanon was organized and has been operated at all times since its incorporation in 1958 exclusively for pur po ses expressly within the meaning of Internal Revenue code section 501(c)(3) and is a non-profit, religious corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the State of California. Synanon was granted tax-exempt status in 1960. From 1960 to 1982, Synanon was recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization. Our tax exemption for years 1977 and 1978 was revoked in May, 1982.
Although Synanon's religious and charitable activities are many, the most dramatic has been the effort to rehabilitate and reeducate over 15,000 people who have come to Synanon in trouble, seeking help. When the first drug addict came to Synanon, the assumption that "once an addict always an addict" was challenged and proven wrong. Today, Synanon's methods and philosophy are widely used in state and federal correctional system 8, in our country's educational institutions, by the informal network of organizations which currently distribute sur plus food and materials to the needy, and in thousands of rehabilitation organizations which are modeled on Synanon.
Synanon is one of the few modern American charitable or ganizations which has not relied on Government funding. Rather, Synanon has a fundamental religious belief that people, individually and collectively, should strive towards self-reliance. Synanon has developed businesses that teach job skills and make the organization largely self-supporting.
The Synanon Church al so teaches that we must act as our brother's keeper. Therefore, our religious community has kept its doors open and food supplies flowing to those in need, even without recognition from the I.R. s. of our tax-exempt status and while this matter is still pending in the courts. Although Synanon is best known for its work with addicts, other charitable and religious works include operation of schools, a vocational college, research into and dissemination of information about alienation, chemical dependence, delinquency, criminality and the care of senior citizens. In addition, Synanon has spawned a network of organizations that distribute food and other necessities of life to the needy.
Synanon, like many other new religions in America, faces tremendous per se cution from the U.S. Government, specifically the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice. The facts are presented below. "The power to tax is the power to destroy Chief Justice Marshall 1819)
Over the past 25 years, the Internal Revenue Service has conducted four audits of Synanon's charitable and religious works. At the end of each of the first three audits, the auditing agent recommended "no change" in Synanon's tax-exempt status.
The fourth audit which began in March, 1979, clearly. demonstrates the intent of the Internal Revenue Service to use its power to tax as power to destroy. The following facts were
all admitted by Les Brandin, the agent assigned to the audit of Synanon, during deposition under oath on May 5, 1983:
(1) In November, 1979, Agent Brandin submitted
(2) In January, 1980, the Request for Technical
(4) Agent Brandin and his Group Manager, Les
(6) At the end of his audit in March, 1980,
(7) Brandin's Revenue Agent Report stated that
On June 25, 1980, Bob Chui replaced Les Brandin as the
On November 7, 1980, the Internal Revenue Service made a
On May 19, 1982, over three years after the fourth audit
SynAnon. Pursues.Its Legal Remedies
Synanon filed a lawsuit for declaratory action, pursuant to section 7428 of federal Rules of civil Procedure, against the Internal Revenue Service on August 16, 1982 to preserve our constitutional rights of freedom of religion.
This lawsuit was filed because the Internal Revenue Service refused to treat Synanon as a religion and a church, and be cause of our belief that the Internal Revenue Service has selectively enforced the law to discriminate against Synanon and thus has endangered the continuation of Synanon's important religious and charitable works.
Syna non has been denied the opportunity to fairly litigate this lawsuit on its merits. From the date of filing our complaint to the present, Synanon has been denied discovery of facts essential to meet the burden of proving these charges against the Internal Revenue Service. For example, Synanon has not been permitted to take the depositions of any employees of the Internal Revenue Service, with the exception of one day's de position of Agent Brandin. Furthermore, the Department of Justice has subpoenaed and secreted away documents which Synanon has not been permitted to review. The Department of Justice has commingled civil and criminal investigations of Synanon -- an impermissible tactic -- in order to gain an unfair advantage over Synanon and to prevent Synanon from litigating its action against the I.R.S.
In March, 1983, the Government filed its first Motion to
At the end of 1983, the Government filed its second Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Di sm 188 the action. The Government alleged that Synanon had engaged in a corporate policy of violence seven years ago and had systematically destroyed documents. Synanon denied the truth of these allegations and has never had the opportunity to litigate
fully these issues before the federal court. On February 9, 1984, Judge Richey granted the Government's Motion to Di em 1889 thus, Synanon's complaint against the Internal Revenue Service was di smissed. Synanon has appealed this decision.
The $55 Million Tax_Bill The legislative intent of section 7428 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was to enable a charitable and/or religious organization to bring a denial or revocation of I.R. S. recognition of tax-exempt status to the courts prior to · being forced to pay its taxes. Synanon's action for declaratory relief against the I.R.S. has not been decided on the merits. Therefore, all appeals should be exhausted before the injunctive-like authority of section 7428 is dissolved.
On Monday, February 13, 1984, four days after Judge Richey's decision and even before Synanon had an opportunity to prepare and file the Notice of Appeal, the Internal Revenue Service delivered to The Synanon Church a series of tax bills totalling $55 million for years 1977-1983. In March, 1983 Judge Richey had issued an opinion that his court lacked jurisdiction to grant declaratory relief under 26 USC section 7428 for years after fiscal 1978 because there was no final adver se determination for those years. The I.R.S. had revoked Synanon's exemption for years 1977 and 1978 only. There was no determination for years 1979-1983. Despite this, the $55 million tax bill was for years 1979-1983.
To meet this demand, The Synanon Church would have had to turn over its entire gross revenues for the next twelve years without incurring a single expense. Synanon's revenues in the year ending August 31, 1981 were approximately $4.9 million. For the year 1982, the total was $4.6 million, and, in 1983, it was $4 million. These figures total $13.5 million for the past three years and are the gross revenues of Synanon. They do not include any expenses of any kind or payments for any obligations. The haste with which the Internal Revenue Service prepared these tax bills became immediately evident when accountants reviewed the bills and found a $10 million computational error in the assessment of interest. Ten million dollars may not be much to the Internal Revenue Service, but it is a tremendous amount to the people of Synanon!
In June, 1984, the 1.R.S. presented Synanon with a revised tax bill totalling $3.9 million. This bill is $51.1 million less than the original bill! "Computational errors" of such overwhelming magnitude demonstrate the malice of the I.R.S. toward Synanon.
On February 13, 1984, upon serving the tax bill, the I.R.S. impounded Synanon's bank accounts, seizing Synanon's available cash. In addition, the I. R. S. placed liens on Syna non's properties in California. These actions were widely publicized, had a negative effect on Synanon's ability to do business and created tremendous fear and insecurity among Synanon's residents.
within one week, representatives of Synanon met with I. R. S. agents at Synanon's community in Badger, California to discuss the effects of the seizure of Synanon's funds, the liens on our property and the $55 million tax bill. The I.R.S. agents subsequently agreed to return the cash to Synanon and to not collect taxes until Synanon's appeals had been exhausted.
Two weeks later, the I.R.S. presented Synanon with a bill for