Scientology/Church of Spiritual Technology
I have taken a few classes at the Church of Scientology where I live. I have enjoyed them and have considered doing more. The staff at the Church where I went were very friendly and are encouraging me to continue. While I am interested, I also wanted to check into the Church itself before I committed myself to more involvement.
In the course of researching I found a substantial amount of information regarding the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) and its relationship to the rest of Scientology.
I wonder if you wouldn't please comment on the situation regarding the Church of Spiritual Technology. In reading previous messages on All Experts, I've not seen this topic brought up before and thus would like to inquire about it.
In my reading and researching I've come across rather conclusive evidence that demonstrates that the Church of Spiritual Technology is in fact the group in possession of the ultimate legal rights over ALL the copyrights of all Scientology materials. (Their ownership of these copyrights is registered with US Copyright office – this can easily be verified by visiting http://www.copyright.gov/records/cohm.html
and entering “Church of Spiritual Technology” as a claimant and searching.)
CST thus owns the copyrights, and this includes ALL the Advanced Technology (the upper “OT” levels) and in fact leases use of this to RTC, who in turn leases use of the Advanced Technology to certain Scientology Organizations (the “Advanced Organizations”).
Per the filed corporate papers of CST, they also have the ability to remove board members from RTC.
But my biggest question is regarding the “special board of directors” of CST. It includes among it a Mr. Meade Emory – himself an ex-assistant director of the US Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Emory along with two attorneys sits upon this board. None of these three are Scientologists. Why ever would the Church allow its highest level organization to have an ex-assistant director of the IRS sit on its board?
Further, much to my chagrin, I've found the above facts (and I truly am speaking of facts which can be easily verified with only slight investigation) are completely unknown to every Scientologist I have spoken to about this. The members of the Church are in fact completely ignorant of these matters. Further, a general attitude of “I am sure someone knows about it” or “Well, if that's the way it was set up it must be okay” is what one encounters. Honestly, whenever I have spoken to church members about this the response has been dismissive at best.
Knowing also the church has experienced more than one attempted take over in its history, and knowing also the long legal dispute between the IRS and Scientology, it is remarkable to find Mr. Emory in such a stellar position in the Church.
Regardless of the 1993 IRS settlement with the Church, the hidden nature of CST and its unrevealed power coupled with the membership of its board can not help but lead one to regard the entire matter with a great deal of skepticism as to the true leadership of the Church. Why the Church would hide this information is quite boggling.
I truly would appreciate hearing your viewpoint on this. I am not at all attempting to attack you or your religion. I am simply trying to understand why RTC would mislead people so and why the Church would allow its true echelon of power to be so hidden from its membership. One can't help but wonder if Mr. Hubbard would approve of this arrangement with CST. As far as I know, Mr. Hubbard never knew of or commented on this group.
If you can provide your viewpoints on the above, or help clarify the matter, it would be greatly appreciated.
Since I wrote and sent the stuff below, I did a couple minutes more research of my own. The three lawyers who were initially installed as directors of CST were lawyers in a law firm working for the Church. That includes Meade Emory who, a former IRS official himself, had gone into the practice of law representing citizens in actions AGAINST the IRS. This is a really common event - former IRS officials and staffers going into the private sector to help taxpayers with their IRS-created problems. I personally know two such people - tax consultants called "enrolled agents" in their cases, who hire themselves out to the public to unsnarl compliance issues related to the arcane and labyrinthine collection of documents was are saddled with as a tax code. The firm these lawyers worked for has since broken up. There are indications that Emory and the others are not active in the "running" of CST and have moved on to other things. Certainly they are not in communication with each other much, as they all live in different states now. Their names remain as directors, but the actual work of CST is conducted by Church members and execs exclusively.
As my research indicates there's no IRS input or participation in any church activity whatever, I'm removing my speculation below, though you already received it. So please re-read the last rew paragraphs as they now stand.
Understand: It's relatively common for the incorporators of a corporation to have no contact with the day-to-day operation of the activites which the corporation was set up to support, and for persons to remain directors of a corporation indefinitely even though they don't even know what the "natural persons" represented by the corporation do.
Ron would hardly have commented on CST since it did not exist (in its current iteration) while he was on church management lines. By the same token, he would not have transferred his copyrights to it if he didn't trust it. If I recall, he did cause a Church of Spiritual Technology to be formed in Washington, D.C. in 1952 but this was not the ultimate vehicle which was used to protect and promulgate Scientology at that time. That fell instead to Church of Scientology International for some 30 years or so until it was given to CST and RTC in 1982.
The upper management of the Church neither makes a big deal of nor hides CST. There seems little point in doing either. However, church spokepersons have spoken to the press regarding the materials preservation activites of CST at secure sites in the US (where "indestructible" versions of the materials are stored below ground for posterity).
From articles of incorporation of CST, "Specifically its purpose is to espouse, present, propagate, practice, ensure, and maintain the purity and integrity of the religion of Scientology, as the same has been developed and may be further developed by L. Ron Hubbard to the and that any person wishing to, and participating in Scientology may derive the greatest possible good of the spiritual awareness his Beingness, Doingness and Knowingness. More particularly, the corporation is formed for the purpose of providing a corporate organization through which and by means of which the operations and activities of a church, may be accomplished. Its purpose is to protect and preserve the religion of Scientology through establishment of religious scholarship funds, museums, librarys [sic] and such other institutions which will ensure the benefits of Scientology to future generations. More particularly, the corporation is formed for the accomplishment, without limitation, of the following more specific Purposes:..."
So any action taken by CST which was not in keeping with that purpose would be legally void and without force, because no officer or director would have possessed the legal authority to take it. The legal authority of officers and directors stems completely and solely from the articles of incorporation, which create the legal "person" it represents.
As, factually, CST is in a titular "ownership" position only and has no technical, administrative, ecclesiastical or doctrinal authority relative to the practice of Scientology within the Church whatever, I'm not concerned about what nefarious thing it/they might do which would impact my ability to pursue Scientology. It DOES have the ability to defend the copyrights, and does so vigorously, which I appreciate.
The majority of the directors of CST are trusted members of the ecclesiastical heirarchy of the Church of Scientology, or faithful servants thereof. As the Board of CST cannot affect the membership of RTC without unanimous consensus, then the membership of RTC is safe absent EXTROARDINARY circumstances - like an RTC exec taking action which endangers the Church.
I know from my own readings and such that part of the problem with putting the war with the IRS to bed was the endemic suspicion of the church within that agency. Once a female psychiatrist who had already been attacking Scientology was granted authority over all Scientology matters within the IRS (at her own insistence) in the early 50's, she saw to it that a firm conviction that there MUST be something wrong with Scientology, and that the church could not be trusted, became the institutional attitude within that agency and other government agencies here and abroad with which the IRS communicated. She personally ensured this for decades while she was there, and the attitude survived after she left.
The result was that there were literally rooms and rooms full of investigative files on Scientology at the IRS headquarters in Washington, these files contained not a single shred of evidence of financial irregularities or crimes, yet the agency persisted in a) investigating and b) attacking the church anyway. When Mr. Miscavige negotiated his "truce" with the IRS, the materials already in these files were not sufficient to convince the IRS that we were OK; so a whole, brand-new, global 2-year audit (by this I mean the audit took two full years by dozens of IRS staff to complete) of the entire church and all its groups was undertaken by the IRS, with the result that once again, nothing untoward was found.
By this time, Ron had passed away some seven years prior, no "profits" accruing to him or any other individual connected with the church were ever shown, and so the final result of the "truce" and the audit was official recognition of the church and its satellite organizations as a purely charitable and non-profit entity. Again, if I recall correctly, some errors in the accounting for certain proceeds from the sales of books and materials in prior decades did result in a small one-time tax liability.
We and the IRS also agreed to drop all pending litigation against each other. One of the factors which led to the IRS settlement seems to have been the fact that the tax law experts at CST (who, including Emory SUED the IRS on behalf of the Church on various fronts from 1982 to 1993) composed and incorporated CST in a legally defensible tax-exempt manner.
The full board of directors has a majority composed of church personnel and church lawyers. There is nothing so far as I can see requiring that it never become composed of 100% church personnel. The fact that the church controls the Board is sufficient to make sure that the church will always control the board. So we have Scientology, we will always have Scientology, and the existence and composition of CST is simply one element in making sure this is so.
That's how I see it.
I know that there are folks outside the church and even church enemies who use the existence and composition of CST as "evidence" that "something fishy" is up. This has even been brought up by our enemies and shot down by judges in federal court and tax court.
However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The CST has been performing its duties to protect and promulgate Scientology for going on 24 years now, without violating its corporate purpose. There is no evidence it is likely to do otherwise.