Tony Ortega of the Scientology watchblog The Underground Bunker has brought us another brilliant bombshell of investigative journalism, this time related to Scientology's de facto head, David Miscavige. This bit of news actually comes from a tip to the site. Evidently, there is some interesting evidence in the latest Freedom magazine. Freedom magazine, by the way, is the flagship Scientology magazine. They have attacked New Yorker and others who have spoke the truth about the dangerous cult.
Freedom was shut down for a few years, but it is evidently back. In a recent issue, you can see that Miscavige is wearing a pink gold "Drive de Cartier" wristwatch with an alligator leather strap. This watch, by the way, retails for close to $20,000. The reason this is important is related to, as Mr. Ortega puts it "Scientology’s special (and officially secret) agreement with the Internal Revenue Service."
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<blockquote>Scientology had lost its tax-exempt status in 1967 because the courts found that too much wealth was going to one man — Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — and that Scientology was too much a business benefiting its founder, not a “religion” benefiting its followers. The IRS had to ignore a lot of unusual things about Scientology in order to reverse itself and grant that status in 1993. People constantly ask us — why can’t the IRS take a new look at that agreement to see if Scientology is abiding by it?
We know, for example, that as part of its agreement Scientology said it would give refunds to anyone who asked for them. And just about anyone who has left the church in the last 20 years can tell you that’s certainly not the case. And there are many other things Scientology is doing these days that we’d like the IRS to take a look at.</blockquote>
Miscavige is well known to love living in the lap of luxury thanks, of course, to those sweet, sweet tax deductible church bucks. Supposedly Miscavige lives on a (relatively, considering what the "Church" brings in) meager salary of around $62,000 per year. This is, at least, based on the last available documents which date back to the 90's. Now contrast this with the $50/week that Sea Org members earn for working hours and hours over overtime after signing their souls and allegiance over for a million year contract.
Miscavige has spent ridiculous amount of money building what amounts to palatial estates for himself. Many of which he never even actually uses. Former Scientology enforcer and present day insider and anti-Scientology advocate Mike Ringer estimated that one desk that Miscavige owns is worth about $30,000. Another insider, John Brousseau, had also commented on a custom-made humidor worth around $40,000, a personal tanning bed, hand-made custom shoes from London and other excesses, all purchased by the church.
Then there's the private investigators. Two private investigators detained by law enforcement in 2013 testified that their retainer was $10,000 per week for shadowing Miscavige's own father. All of this is paid for with tax deductible donations for the "religion" he manages.
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Rinder was asked about the Cartier, he recalls "a pretty impressive collection of expensive watches" including at least one Rolex, an Omega chronograph, a Panerai diver's watch, at least one ChronoSwiss, but the Cartier is evidently new. Now, there are several religious leaders who are no more than "money changers in the temple." Take the case of televangelists like Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn, Todd Coontz and dozens of others who have been raided by the IRS or even indicted on criminal charges. What makes Scientology special? Is it the same kind of special relationship that Scientology seems to have with Google, for instance? Hmmmm, we'll certainly be keeping a close eye on developments with Miscavige and the "Church" of $cientology, so stay tuned and watch the implosion occur in real time…