Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (2016) s02e09 Episode Script

The Business of Religion

Test the other one.
Are you talking about the noise? Yes.
Fly.
Fucking flies.
They should have flyswatters on sets.
Mike, I think you should kick it off.
Okay, standby.
Okay, quiet please.
- Speed.
- Speed.
So we're here today to cover another aspect of the problem with Scientology, which is it presents itself as one thing and actually is another.
And I think a great adage to follow is "If you want to know the truth about Scientology, follow the policy".
Right, so let's start from the beginning, and maybe we need to back it up.
Scientology is different from any other "religion".
I don't like to say call it a religion but it's run as a business.
It has a business model.
And if they would admit that, like, "Hey, okay, so we're an organization "that's a business, "and we're selling people's freedom in eternity.
"So we that's what we do.
You don't like it, don't be a fucking Scientologist".
But what they do is the Bridge to Total Freedom, which is what you're buying in Scientology, you're buying what's called the Bridge to Total Freedom, and there are exact steps from the bottom to the top that you have to pay for.
And it's an exact price.
That's a business! - Every one.
- Is it not? Certainly seems that way.
Scientology is a very different model than other religions.
Most religions have a voluntary donation that you make.
You go to a service, and they pass around a collection plate, and you put whatever you can afford in there or want to give.
Some religions have tithing, where you're expected to give a percentage of your annual income.
Scientology has a model which is fixed prices, discounts for massive pre-payment of things, people collecting commissions by getting other people to give money.
10%.
Exactly delineated promises.
You don't go to the Catholic Church and hear the promise of "this is exactly what we will give you if you give us your money".
For this particular thing.
We tell you this item will make you able to communicate freely with anyone on any subject at any time.
The cost of this you have to pay us $6,000 for 121/2 hours of auditing, and this may take you 25 hours.
So it'll be 12 grand.
If you pay in advance, it'll be ten.
If you buy this one and three successive ones, they'll only be $8,000 apiece.
And that is the difference, the single difference between Scientology and any other religion Or any you mean any real religion? - Thank you.
- Okay.
Any real religion is, you are required to pay before participating in the services of Scientology.
And the other thing, Leah, is that Scientology's developed all these other reasons why you have to turn over money.
Like what? You have how much money do you have to give to the IAS, the International Association of Scientologists.
And that ranges from? You can be a lifetime member for $5,000.
5,000, oh, right.
But you can't get onto the higher levels of Scientology without being a Patron, which is $50,000.
- And the Ideal Orgs program - What is that? Which is an idea that we are going to buy new buildings for all the churches of Scientology everywhere, and you're gonna give us your money so that we can fix them.
- And then? - And then I was paying, not only for my own "Bridge," but for my family's Bridge, and that is the way Scientology is done amongst family.
Totally correct.
And it's crazy.
It's crazy how much money people turn over.
I mean, the thing is, a lot of people ask us how do Scientologists afford Scientology? And the average Scientologist is living well below their means because of Scientology.
They are in debt because of Scientology.
And they don't go on vacations.
They don't spend money on things.
Everything is given to the Church of Scientology.
You have a mother and father who will give their kid's tuition for college for their future to Scientology, thinking they're investing in their future because that's what Scientology teaches you.
Just one other thing that people ask a lot, how is it that Scientology has billions of dollars? Because Scientology, if you walk out into the world, hasn't got a huge presence.
It's not McDonald's, it's not Starbucks, it's not the Catholic Church.
Yet, it has accumulated literally billions of dollars.
How? So what we're gonna hear about and cover today when in this Follow the Policy is how Scientology goes about getting people in and then how they go about persuading them to part with their money and how they go about controlling that money so that once they've got it they never let go.
But there's policy about getting your money back.
What we're talking about now is this is money that you've given for future services that you're never going to get in Scientology.
I'm never going to do my OT VIII, IX, and X.
and all this other crap that I could be doing in Scientology things that I paid for.
Never gonna do it.
- And there's thousands like me.
- Correct.
Who have money sitting on account in a Church of Scientology that is making the Church of Scientology millions.
Right.
But if Scientology is run on policy, and policy is to be followed why isn't this policy of refunds and repayments followed? Because they develop and use other policies to circumvent those things.
Okay, and what are those? If you request your money back, you are declared a Suppressive Person.
You are no longer in good standing - with Scientology.
- Okay.
And therefore you have no rights as a Scientologist.
Therefore, you may not come into the building.
And, in order to get your money back, you have to go and see people on what's called a routing form.
And they're not allowed to talk to you, the people But they're not allowed to talk to you.
And you're not allowed to go into the building.
So you can't do it, so they say, "Well, you can't do the routing form, "so our requirement is that you do the routing form in order to get your money back".
But you can't do the routing form because we've just declared you a Suppressive Person for saying you want your money back.
So why doesn't somebody just see this and go "This is bullshit".
This is a catch-22.
Your policy on refunds and repayments is is ridiculous.
You can't take people's money then say they can get a refund if they want it and then say but they can't come in and talk to you because you declared them Suppressive People because they asked for their money back.
We've assembled people that can talk about how Scientology is a very effective business model to bring in customers, take as much money as you can get out of them, and put them in a position where they can never get it back.
The reason why we wanted Mat to join us today is because we're talking about all the money in Scientology.
And you were involved in their finance department for many years.
Right, I was in charge of the finances, the whole finance division, for the Flag Service Organization - in Clearwater, Florida, yeah.
- In Florida.
It brings in about $2 million a week.
$2 million dollars a week? Yeah, I had that for seven years.
Wow.
I think that, probably, it's a good idea to start at the very beginning of how someone gets in this machine to take your money because you're walking down the street, and you're walking past the Church of Scientology how do you end up inside writing a check? Well, the first thing is you have a free personality test.
And in that test it's 200 questions, and it's called the Oxford Capacity.
- OCA.
- Yes.
It's called the Oxford Capacity Analysis and is used worldwide in Scientology recruitment, promising to find out how your personality determines your ability to handle relationships.
You go in, you take this test, you believe that it's a bona fide test from some legit place.
It isn't.
And then, after you take the test, they give you the results instantly.
And for that you're sent to whom? - The registrar.
- Right.
- Which was in your division.
- Right.
- That you were in charge of.
- Right.
This registrar's job is to sit down and say it looks like you have lack of accord, - which everybody has - Right.
Which means you don't get along with people.
And you're critical.
- And then - Right.
The registrar's job is supposed to enlighten the person on what's wrong with them and what in Scientology they can do to fix it.
Right.
In my mind, it's just to get your money.
They enlighten you that there is something wrong, and Scientology can handle that.
- Right.
- Oh, really? How? Oh, well, you need to take this course.
Okay, how much? And in the beginning it'll probably be $100, $300, it starts small.
They you know, they work you into it.
They don't just hit you with the big money right away.
And there is a book that is the Bible of Registrars in Scientology called "Big League Sales".
The registrar, I mean, they literally, before they start work, sit across from each other and drill every objection you can think of so they can like come up with it quick, quick, quick, bang.
Like, there are these various techniques that have been developed of how you get someone to give you their money.
The registrars have already figured out what kind of buyer type you are, even before you arrive.
Like, say you're an unattached female.
Per "Big League Sales," you're looking for a strong male to kind of guide you.
So they're gonna give you a male registrar.
Or you might be a professional buyer.
So they're going to have an adding machine with a big tape total, and they're gonna be ringing up all the different packages and deals.
And we're gonna save you this, and it'll do this for your taxes and So you were a sales manager? Sales manager has a room separate from the room that each of those sales people have.
There's a hidden microphone in every one of those rooms.
You're listening in on every phone call, every conversation that's happening in the room itself.
And then there is a bunch of things that are written by Hubbard about hard sell.
That you must hard sell people.
That you never offer people a choice.
I've had people come to my home unannounced saying "the planet needs your help, "think of your daughter's future, "and don't you want to buy Sofia's Bridge, and you need to do this, Leah".
If they were at my dining room table, they'd shake this and go "This is nothing! "This is nothing!" If you paid then, it gets noted down, what made her pay, what was the button.
Okay, well, that particular thing didn't work because I was like, "Just, first of all, "stop fucking with my table because that shit is expensive, and my husband will fuck you up if you get loud".
But what did work on me was when they came and said, "Look, we want to come over.
"That didn't go well.
"We'd like to come and talk to you.
We know you love people.
We know you care about people".
That more heartfelt stuff did work on me.
Yeah, there's a file some place "Don't hit the table.
Go in, in this way," right.
And then, you know, somebody's trying to get money from you, and I said, "Well, this is how you get it from Leah".
And then, you know what, big reges from different areas, big sales people from different units will exchange that with each other.
I mean, I guess I knew that this that system was set up, but I never really knew how much.
It's so cutthroat, you would not believe it.
- But this is a church.
- It's It's so insane.
- It's a machine.
- It's a machine.
It's a machine, and it's all set up to get maximum money out of you in and out.
So Hy Levy was considered a top rege, right? - Sure.
Yeah.
- Why? What made him so special? Well, he would bring down around $200,000 a week.
- A week? - A week.
My best year, I did 15 million.
My statistic was not number of people that I helped.
My statistic that I was measured on was number of dollars.
Very simple.
Gross income.
All he's ever hearing all day long I mean all day long is money.
Money, money.
How you gonna make your quota for the day? How you gonna make your quota for the week? You're not going to bed until your quota's made.
You're gonna go clean the Dumpster with a toothbrush until you start getting your shit together.
Because of these huge quotas that were enforced beyond belief the staff became frantic that they had to sell.
They had to! It would drive me to tears.
It would push me to tears.
I I was, I thought, a pretty decent, strong person, but it demolished me.
Wasn't there a piece of you and this is not and this is not me 'cause I did it too.
I felt like shit on that job.
I hated that job.
But if you went and asked those people that are still doing this today "How do you feel about this?" they would refer you to a policy letter written by L.
Ron Hubbard.
The most important thing for anybody is to get up the Bridge.
The barriers to getting up the Bridge are placed there by the Reactive Mind.
It is your job to remove those barriers.
If removing those barriers means maxing out their credit cards or taking their college fund, that's okay because what you're doing for the person is you're not taking their money.
You're giving them their freedom, and that's how they can keep going and continuing to do this.
I reged people too and say, "Look, you have to move up to your next action".
But I would never take somebody's college fund or if they said, "Listen, Leah, I can't pay my mortgage".
I would be like, "Oh, my God".
You know, I wouldn't think, "Well, you have to do this course".
But that's what you guys are saying is going on.
It doesn't matter what the person's financial condition.
You're just a failed rege.
You being a reasonable, empathetic person, you're no rege.
- Registrars - Suppressive reasonableness.
- What? - Suppressive Reasonableness.
Which means what? Like you're almost like a Suppressive Person for being reasonable.
Per L.
Ron Hubbard, every failed close is supposed to be a correction done on that registrar.
So have to write up what they did, what they failed to do on why didn't they get that close.
What if the guy doesn't have any money? He's already he's already broke being a Scientologist.
No, that's that's the thing.
That is considered to be a barrier to the sale.
Like because I had some compassion - Yes.
Yes.
- For the man or the woman who said "Look, I don't want to dip into my kid's college fund".
And I was like, "Yeah, you shouldn't".
You don't wanna go there.
I would be considered evil.
Yeah, you're starting to cross the line into being a Suppressive Person at that point.
And you know that if you do anything, anything to slow up the money, you're toast.
There is a PR spin to things, and then there is what's really going on because the amount of money that is taken in is so far beyond what gets spent to provide those services for these people that are paying for them, it's ridiculous.
Billions of dollars accumulate from Churches of Scientology.
What was the last figure that you saw that was just sitting there? This is not money that people paid services for and are receiving.
This is just money that the Church is sitting on of people's money for advance services, for future services.
Just at the Flag Service Organization, that one church in Clearwater, we had about $450 million pre-paid, like people had on account, unused.
They do anything and everything to keep that going up.
What about clearing the planet? What about saving mankind? I have brought this up many times, Leah.
If Scientology wanted to clear the planet, it could take its $3 billion and pay people to go clear.
Or they could give back the money that has been sitting there that could possibly save one person's life from financial ruin or could've saved their home from being foreclosed on or not sleeping in a fucking car.
Leah, that's true.
You could change the face of Scientology with that $3 billion.
That doesn't happen.
So that is proof that this is a lie.
It's the best proof there is that we're trying to make money, as opposed to, there is a real humanitarian objective for doing this.
That's the real lie.
So we're gonna have a little discussion about enrollment forms in Scientology.
'Cause that's the next step.
After somebody has handed over their money, we are then asked to sign enrollment forms.
It is a very particular thing that Scientology has put in place in order to protect itself and protect itself from having to give money back.
So we're joined by Jeffrey Augustine.
We were just talking about how somebody who's a Scientologist starts.
They walk in off the street now, they say, "I have a million dollars "to plunk down on this thing.
Here, just give me my eternity and my freedom".
It's not that easy in Scientology because Scientology has a specific intake system.
I see.
You have to fill out some "paperwork" as they call it.
And the basic contracts that are called for by Scientology policy, they have a specific logic.
They're designed to strip you of all your power and give the Church all the power.
The first thing you do is they're gonna have you see a film called "Orientation".
And that stars the actor Larry Anderson.
Probably one of my favorite pieces of L.
Ron Hubbard's work Because in it Uh, first of all, the music is horrendous I have too many notes.
Sometimes when something's so lost you actually get pleasure from it because it's so horrendous.
Larry Anderson says in it, "You can walk out of here.
That's your choice".
If you leave this room after seeing this film and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you're perfectly free to do so.
It would be stupid, but you can do it.
You can also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out.
He does, he says that.
- Or blow your brains out.
- Yeah, blow your brains out.
- Or jump off a bridge.
- Right.
And it's like this is what's selling Scientology? It's insane.
By the way, here's why you see the "Orientation" film, it shows you what Scientology is, and it shows you that it's a religion.
This court finds that the Church of Scientology is a religion within the meaning of the First Amendment.
When you see the film, you sign your first contract.
The important thing is in that contract is you agree that Scientology is a religion.
That's their first step to take you behind the First Amendment protections of religion.
I've signed these.
Every Scientologist has to sign these.
When I have asked to have these looked at, I was told you're not allowed to take it out of the building, and if you're asking us for your lawyer to look at it are you threatening us with a legal suit.
Exactly.
They show you the Suppressive Acts PL that says it's illegal to threaten to sue a Scientologist.
And you're like, "No, no, no.
"I just want to have it looked at because I don't know what I'm signing".
And what they do is they sit you down, and they go, "This means this, initial here".
Yeah, you don't need to bother about this bit.
- Just initial.
- Yeah, yeah.
Leah, look, this is approve this paperwork so we can get you in a session.
Let's say I went in and I said, "I don't love this.
"I don't want to sign this.
Why do I have to sign this?" Leah, this is just to protect the Church and you and so that we can give you services.
We need to be protected.
We're your church.
We wouldn't steer you the wrong way.
- Right, that is yes.
- He's got it, exactly.
Now, when you're ready to go do your first major service, you're going to sign a contract called Religious Services Enrollment Application Agreement and General Release.
This is a six-page document.
It defines what Scientology is.
Scientology is spoken words and recordings of L.
Ron Hubbard.
However, the Church of Scientology makes no claims about those works.
But in "Dianetics," he says he can cure cancer.
He can cure mental illness.
He can cure cataracts.
He can cure sinusitis, sciatica.
Those miracles are promised in "Dianetics".
By the way, of which I have sciatica, and I need glasses.
- What do you got? - Frog in my throat.
There you go.
There's a lot of promises made that you'll gain the ability to go exterior with full perceptions for your body.
Meaning I can leave my body spiritually At will.
And see everybody here and see you, then get back into my body at will.
That was the observations that L.
Ron Hubbard made.
We don't stand behind those observations.
- They don't want to get sued.
- Right.
They don't want you to say, "Hey, I can't leave my body".
- So therefore we disclaim it.
- Okay.
And it gets worse.
There's a Scientology policy directive called "Statements by Staff Members".
And this is very important.
It basically says the Church of Scientology does not stand behind any statement made by a staff member.
So if Mat, the sales manager, were pitching you on all the miracles that could happen at Flag, guess what, the Church of Scientology I don't stand behind anything he says.
That's just his opinion or belief.
If we extracted those statements and put them onto a promotional piece and sent it to every Scientologist in the world and said, - "Just so you know" - Yeah.
"The Church of Scientology doesn't stand "by any of the claims.
"The writings of L.
Ron Hubbard are just his observations".
They would go, "You're lying".
You are lying.
Scientology is the writings of L.
Ron Hubbard.
What L.
Ron Hubbard said is the word of God.
If L.
Ron Hubbard said "Dianetics" will get you so that you don't have a cold, you're clear, you will no longer have colds, L.
Ron Hubbard said so.
Were these forms always in existence? No, they weren't, but going back to 1966 L.
Ron Hubbard wrote a policy letter called "Attacks on Scientology".
Now, these are the things to help prevent attacks.
One of them is getting people to sign waivers.
That is the voluntary legal abandonment of your rights to sue the Church.
They don't want their dirty laundry aired out in public.
So you agree to keep all your problems in internal arbitration.
So you agree not to get lawyers involved, not to sue the Church.
I see, so something had happened, I guess, that he said, "Hey, we have to stop making these claims?" Well, he was getting sued, and he wanted to stop the lawsuits.
So if you wanted Scientology, you had to agree not to sue him or the Church or anyone connected with the Church.
You had a lot to do with this? I oversaw putting together these forms in compliance with the wishes of David Miscavige.
And, essentially, the purpose of them is to protect Scientology from litigation.
None of the registrars that we were talking about would ever tell you "Oh, we're not making any claims about this".
They absolutely make the claims in order to sell you on the service.
Their promotional items say things that are completely contradictory to this.
Totally.
These documents get pulled out when someone goes as far as filing a lawsuit, and then they say, "Whoop, we've got a contract here, "and it says that you have agreed "that we have gotten you to sign this and say we don't stand behind those observations".
But we haven't agreed because we don't know what it says That's a different that's a different issue.
They make huge claims, Mike.
Leah, these little sneaky documents are intended to circumvent that in the court of law.
The next point you're gonna make is that you agree that you are opposed to psychiatry.
Scientology is opposed to psychiatry.
You agree that you too are opposed to psychiatry.
And that if you were ever in a situation where you were in psychiatric confinement, you flipped out, you don't want to be locked up in confinement.
You expect the Church or Scientologist to come and get you out of it.
So my mother or my husband wouldn't have the right to keep me there 'cause I signed this? This and another one of these contracts say "I want this document to act as these are my wishes.
"My wishes are that I am a Scientologist.
"I don't want to be in a psychiatric institution.
"I want Scientologists to take care of me.
"And if that means that they lock me up "without my consent when I'm in a psychotic state that that's what I want".
Generally in America when you make a religious donation it's irrevocable, it's a gift that you don't expect to get back.
- Sure.
- So you have to agree that the Church has no legal obligation to return any donation nor do you have any legal obligation to get one, except at the sole discretion of the Church.
There's a famous letter on the Internet, and basically a fellow had money on account.
- Yeah.
- Say $100,000.
He was declared a Suppressive Person.
Why? Because he asked for a refund and he caused trouble.
Now, once you're declared a Suppressive Person, you're not allowed to step foot on a Church property.
- Right.
- So the Church wrote him a letter saying, "In order to get your refund, "you would have to come onto Church property "to complete the CVB Routing Form".
However, because you've been declared a Suppressive Person, you're not allowed to step foot on the Church.
Therefore, because you can't complete the step we're not giving you your money back.
Here's the bottom line.
If you were to run the gauntlet and they were to give you your repayment, you're gonna be declared an SP.
And everybody you know and love will have to separate from you, will have to shun you.
So that big piece of emotional blackmail is presented at the beginning.
- That usually deters people.
- Right.
So you can't have an attorney involved.
It's within our sole ecclesiastical authority whether you get it or not, and we're going to make you do a big runaround to get it.
The whole bad faith process of the Church is to wear you down and get you to abandon it.
Do you think that Scientologists I mean, if people heard this today, like this is what they've been signing, do you think this would change their mind? I doubt it.
The Us versus Them mentality is used to justify all sorts of things like this.
On one hand, they are telling the world and all of their people this, and on the other hand they've got these legal documents that they get everybody to sign so that they can make sure that they never succeed in litigation.
Well, the thing is that would be all well and fine to just promise people things, but people are paying an enormous amount of money for the things that Scientology promises.
It's insane to me that not many people have been able to come up against Scientology to try to get their money back.
And that's why we wanted to talk to Luis Garcia and his lawyer Ted Babbitt.
Now, Luis, you were a Scientologist for 28 years.
You went all the way up the Bridge to OT VIII.
- Yes.
- You were at the top part - of the Bridge.
- That's right.
And then what happened? - Then I became disillusioned.
- Why? I started to learn the actual truth of what the Scientology organization is.
I started to learning about the lies and the deception, the fraud.
Luis Garcia says he was at the top of the Scientology spiritual ladder.
But, after donating more than a million dollars to the Church since he joined in 1982, he's had a change of heart.
It's a very hard thing to confront the idea that they might be lying to you, that you've been the subject of a con.
Now, what did you think, as a Scientologist, when you went into the registrar and they said, you know, we want you to buy these packages, probably not just for you but for your wife.
- And for my kids.
- And for your kids, right.
'Cause we all, as Scientologists, are reged to buy not only our own Bridges but our family's Bridge.
What did I think about getting asked or solicited for money? It was always dreaded, of course.
It was high pressure, totally unexpected situations.
They create situations where you are not expecting them.
Well, no, you're you're held captive.
- You can't say no.
- You can't say no.
And we're in it now how much money? Oh, I don't want to say.
It's embarrassing.
I know, me either.
Okay, so let's just say millions, right.
- Millions.
- Okay.
Was it worth all that money? No.
- That's the short of it, no.
- Yeah.
You spend your whole lifetime putting your energy, your money, sacrificing time away from family, away from business.
- Life.
- Life.
Finally, you finish OT VIII, and you realize that it was all a scam Right.
That you're not where you should be.
You're not where they told you you were gonna be.
But you can see the necessity of the contracts is we're not making any claims.
But they have promised us a lot just by the very Bridge.
It says "abilities gained".
They do promise you the whole way up.
It's bullshit.
That was the basis of our lawsuit.
That was the basis of your lawsuit, yeah.
- It's a beautiful scam.
- Which is what? Well, it's a fraud case we brought in 2013 or I brought on behalf of the Garcias.
Our allegation is that the Church defrauded them in getting their money by just telling them lies.
It's a fraud case.
And for the last four and a half years, we've spent our time battling against every hurdle that can be brought by a lawyer.
They have an army of lawyers.
At one hearing, they had 18 lawyers sitting in the courtroom, and they had specialists in the First Amendment.
And step by step we have battled and won each hurdle, until we got to arbitration.
And there's never been an arbitration in the history of Scientology.
They've never had one.
What do you mean? They have it in their contracts that they have arbitrations.
Yeah, but there's never been an arbitration in the history of Scientology.
No one has ever successfully gotten an arbitration.
- Why is that? - We're Well, because you're talking about having your case decided by three Scientologists in good standing.
How could you ever win? Besides which you're declared, because you're asking for your money back, and the Scientologist in good standing can't even speak to a declared person, can't be in the same room with them, and yet they're supposed to decide in this case whether the Church defrauded them, and if they ever decided that, by the rules of Scientology, they themselves would be declared, the arbitrators.
What kind of a fair and just arbitration process is that? Scientologists in good standing - can't talk to him.
- Can't even speak to him.
They can't talk to me.
They can't talk to They can't be in the same room as us.
So how could they hear your testimony and decide for you, you know? It's a sham, and I think we're eventually going to be able to show that.
And I've got to say the Garcias are heroes because if we're successful, if we can do away with arbitration, which we think we can, then people will actually be able to sue Scientology.
Wow.
So what makes you different than most of the lawyers on the planet? My philosophy in law is that I am like a pit bull.
I grab a hold of your leg, and one of two things is going to happen.
You're going to lose your leg, or I'm gonna lose my head, but I ain't giving up.
I never have, and the Garcias aren't giving up either.
And they've given up quite a lot.
- Good.
- And they've paid dearly - with their time, as I have.
- Emotionally, yeah.
I just am not going to let these people win.
I mean, that's the way I am.
Yes, I wish there was more of you.
And I wish there was more of him and his wife because if more people did this and I know it's not an easy thing because you're trying to work against, you know, what's happened in the past, and, Mike, you could probably speak to this better, is that judges say, "Hey, hey, hey.
"That's religion.
I don't get into religion.
"I don't dispute what a religion is.
"I can't look at doctrine.
I can't That's not what we do".
Right, that's been the biggest problem here.
Yeah, and when you get beyond that then those contracts come out.
- Right.
- Right.
And then it's the argument about whether that contract is enforceable or not.
But is it enforceable? We're not allowed to read them.
It's a Suppressive Act.
Like you said, you get declared if you were to take we're not even allowed to take those documents out of the building.
In every contract case, people say, "Well, I didn't read it.
It's small print".
But it's not a defense.
Mr.
Garcia and Mrs.
Garcia signed 33 times that they would they would have arbitration.
That doesn't change the nature of this arbitration.
Arbitration is not fair.
And on the First Amendment issue the courts can't invade any religious decision.
But there is nothing in Scientologist's religion that says they can defraud people.
Then the First Amendment doesn't apply to prevent you from suing a church.
It's not a religious issue.
It would be like saying if you're in the parking lot of the Scientology building and you get run over by one of their trucks that that's a religious issue.
- It's not.
- Right.
And that's our position.
And I hope that we will prevail eventually on that.
And, if we do, then the door's gonna be open to people to do something about this.
Let me tell you, there's a long list of people that are waiting for us to win this.
This is a stumbling block.
Yeah, I know.
There is a United States Supreme Court decision that says donations to Scientology are not deductible because they are quid pro quo.
Meaning, you get something in exchange.
And yet the IRS has determined that those donations are deductible.
In spite of a U.
S.
Supreme Court decision saying these are not charitable donations, the IRS determined that Scientology is a religious charitable organization because those two things don't square.
It's not a charitable donation.
- That's the issue.
- Exactly.
If it's if it's a contract, quid pro quo means, in essence, you're getting something for your money.
Then it's not a charitable donation.
If that's the case, it's not deductible as the Supreme Court so upheld.
Inexplicably, to me, uh, the IRS reversed itself, and said they were going to allow deductions for the Church of Scientology.
The IRS spent a lot of time asking question after question after question how is it that you offer to give people their money back? Because you can't tell me that this is a charitable donation and on the other hand say, "And if you're not satisfied, we'll give you your money back".
Right.
So what was the response? Scientology responded saying it's Church doctrine and policy that we happily return money to dissatisfied people.
It is our belief that the doctrine of exchange requires that we return money because that's a fundamental principle of our religion is that you have to get something in exchange for what you give.
But, of course, the truth is that if they say that if you ask for your money back you're declared.
- Right.
- Right.
You can't get your money back.
The Church of Scientology needs to lose its tax exemption.
That's how to stop it.
The IRS closing agreement made in 1993 calls for tax exemption to be reopened in the case of malfeasance, fraud, or misrepresentation of facts.
I would like to see the IRS acting to have a hearing on it.
If that was reversed by the Congress, I think Scientology would go away.
I agree.
What does it take for the IRS to do its job? Maybe this.
Maybe that.
Maybe people after us.
Maybe this show.
You never know.
You never know.
We just we're all trying.
But what you represent and what I want to support wholeheartedly and what we all want to support are the hundreds of thousands that their life depend on that money.
It can make or break them.
And the Church of Scientology is sitting on people's money they deserve back.
- And so we're rooting for you.
- Yeah.
- And we're rooting for you.
- We're gonna do it.
- I know.
- Well, we thank you for not walking away.
And we thank you for continuing this, knowing how hard it is to continue when you could have simply just walked away.
Thank you.