Scientology: Game Over? Australia May Be About to Bankrupt Church Operations Down Under (UPDATED)

ScienoAustralia.jpg
This story was originally published on September 1

UPDATE: After the jump, new video from Australia about the labor violations report which may end up costing Scientology millions -- the final report is due to be released later this week.

On August 28, Melbourne's Herald Sun reported that the Australian government may be about to hand down a decision that will likely bankrupt Scientology in that country.

The church there has been under heavy attack in recent years, led mainly by an independent federal senator, Adelaide's Nick Xenophon, who has pushed for government investigations of Scientology after being presented with evidence of the church's abuse of staff.

And now, the Herald Sun reports, the country's "workplace watchdog" will soon release a report after an 18-month investigation into the way that Scientology's workers, particularly those in the hardcore Sea Org, are paid far less than minimum wage.

Scientology could be forced to pay millions of dollars in back pay, as well as taxes on that pay, and raise every worker to minimum wage into the future. Former chief Scientology spokesman, Mike Rinder, who himself is from Australia, says such a decision will immediately bankrupt the church there.

"It will be an utter disaster, worse than losing tax-exempt status," he says. (The Australian government has also been reviewing Scientology's tax exempt status, and a decision on that could come soon as well. Update: I got ahead of myself here. It's the establishment of a charities commission and defining legally the meaning of "charities" which is in the offing for the upcoming year. A review of the church's tax exempt status could only come after that. But as Rinder says, that's less important anyway.)

If Scientology were hit with a bill for millions in back pay, Rinder says, they could draw from American reserves to pay it off. "They have the money to do it, but what will happen is, everybody from this point forward will have to be paid, and they cannot do that," he says.

"Too much money goes to international management, and they're buying buildings, so they can't use that money for staff. Everything else is more important. And if that happens in Australia. I promise you that will only be the first. The next place that will follow will be Europe. And then ultimately the US will catch up. Some agency in America will grow a pair and actually do something," Rinder added.

Rinder is referring to the real estate buying spree Scientology has been on in the last few years, even though numerous sources show that membership in the organization is falling, and by some estimates totals only about 40,000 people around the world. Despite that, parishioners in America are being pressured to raise money for new facilities, as we saw recently in a rather remarkable video.

I asked Rinder if Scientology losing its tax-exempt status wasn't an even bigger problem because of the way the church has its UK and some Europe and Canadian facilities claiming charity status through an umbrella corporation, the Church of Scientology Religious Education College, Inc. (COSRECI), which is based in Adelaide, South Australia.

Australian journalist Bryan Seymour has reported extensively about that odd arrangement. Here was his original report, from June, 2010:

This past July, Seymour updated the story to show that local Australian authorities still haven't done anything about COSRECI not paying taxes:

But Rinder tells me tax exempt status and COSRECI are far less important than the back pay decision.

He explains that British churches really get around paying taxes not through their status, but by showing losses and debts each year -- so there are no profits to pay taxes on. They do this, he explains, because they send so much of their annual income to Scientology's American management organizations. Until British tax authorities begin to press the church about those payments, they don't need charity status, Rinder says. So even if COSRECI loses charity status in Australia, it won't mean much to the present situation. (COSRECI doesn't have charity status, so can't lose it. But as Seymour reported, Australian officials seem to be doing nothing about the way COSRECI is used to shelter UK churches.)

In Australia, it's the potential back pay order which could really be devastating.

"It's real money and real people. And the church made what I consider stupid decisions with the ombudsman during the investigation," he says. "Honestly, it's not realistic to try and pretend that staff workers of the Church of Scientology are volunteers. They work specific hours, they can't just come and go as they please -- that's not a volunteer. They may say they don't want to be paid for their time. But in Australia, if you fall under the definition of a worker, you're entitled to certain things."

But why, I asked him, would a decision like this have an effect in Europe? "The laws with respect to workers' right are much more draconian there than they are in the United States. And there are government entities in Europe that have sort of flailed around with stuff like whether Scientology is a religion or not. But when you get down to something specific like not paying your workers, that's something they can do something with," he answered. "Ultimately, I think the people in the United States will take notice and do something."

Several lawsuits have been filed in recent years here which have raised the issue of Sea Org members working 100-hour weeks for the equivalent of pennies an hour, and under harsh conditions. But they have generated only limited national discussion, and some have been dismissed by courts under the concept that religious organizations can get around labor laws with a "ministerial exception."

I asked Rinder why Australia, of all the places where Scientology has made a decades long and determined push, has suddenly become so hostile to the church.

"They just have a very low tolerance for bullshit. Just as a general rule, Australians tend to be pretty down-to-earth and straightforward and bullshit don't fly," he said.

In the U.S., on the other hand, while the church is mocked, people rarely do anything about its reported abuses. "You see it with everything the church does here, and people are incredulous that they get away with it. The New Yorker parody thing is one thing, and the Squirrel Busters. While people are incredulous here, people don't say anything about it. But in Australia, people will speak up, they're pretty fearless. Look at Bryan Seymour, that guy will take on anyone at any time. So will Nick Xenophon. He feels like everybody has the right to stand up and have the world see what's really going on. I see that much more so there than anywhere else I've been."


UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 13: Australia's Lateline program today reported that it had a draft copy of the Fair Work Ombudsman's report, which alleges that some of Scientology's workers were paid about $10 a week. It says that stories of imprisonment may violate Australia's slavery laws, and that the Ombudsman isn't buying Scientology's argument that its underpaid or unpaid workers are volunteers. Reporter Steve Cannane says that it was a fellow ABC program, Four Corners, from March 2010 that prompted the Ombudsman to begin looking into allegations of labor violations. He says in this report that a final version of the report is due "later this week." This report generally repeats what we'd heard earlier -- that Scientology is finally being investigated for having staffers work incredible hours for almost no pay -- but there's still no definite word on what sort of penalty the church will face. Still, this report by Cannane does appear ominous...


The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

See all of our recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared

Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It?
Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman
Scientology and the Nation of Islam -- Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists -- How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller's Wild Ride -- Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration -- A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology's Retaliation is "Scary and Pathetic"
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy
The Paulien Lombard Confession -- A Scientology Spy Comes Clean
The Deputy Benjamin Ring Hard Sell -- Scientology wants your 401K
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- the whole series!
The Squirrel Busters Busted -- Unmasking the Scientology PI in Charge
Tommy Davis, Scientology spokesman, secretly recorded discussing 'disconnection'

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123 comments
Nomorelies
Nomorelies

Scientology is a cult. It has no positive outcome. They have the right to steal from you at anytime, abuse, kidnapp and injure. Spred the word. Scientology is a cult that picks on the weak. No one should be abused by them.

Jgg
Jgg

It looks like Australia won't become the first clear continent, as LRH predicted.

robert
robert

It will be.

The first clear of the CoS.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Holy Shit! i worked for the Sea organization for 20 years, and i didn't realized that i was not paid the minimum wage after 1,100 weeks later, even if i was paid every single week.Thank you guys to have let me know this. Now i know that i have to travel to Australia to get my back pay.

Scientia
Scientia

You've previously worked for the SO for 20 years?

Or you're working for the CoS, coming up 15 years?

Which lie are you sticking to, OSAbot?

Marcotai
Marcotai

I was just referring to "comments'" made by two apostates.Jeezz...LOL

Scientia
Scientia

Mockery is it? My apologies.

robert
robert

Nice get, Scientia.

Marcotai
Marcotai

OPSS...i' ve been working for Scientology Church for almost 15 years now, and thank you guys. you just made me realize that my weekly pay is under 50 dollars.When i was collecting my pay each week, i always knew that it may be something wrong with it. but thanks, after 15 years you told me what was really wrong!Bwahhhh....

Andie
Andie

Wow! Slavery, no less!

SFF
SFF

From an organization that publishes "Freedom" magazine.

F_Randy_Hullabaloo
F_Randy_Hullabaloo

No matter how CoS tries to cover it up, it is an organization based on slave labor.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Tonight at the Entheta Theater it's "Footbullet Parade" double billed with "Covertly Hospital."

The great and powerful Xeno probably will get a higher listing on the scorecard once the dust settles.

TheGuest
TheGuest

Why, yes. Scientology's Covert Hospitality tent seems to be folding.  Australian media fact checkers get it right:  Scientology IS Slavery.    Miscavige finally gets audited and his C/S wants to have a word with him.  And his little dog, too.  Now.  Wow.

andybbn
andybbn

Way to go Australia! Excellent! Please tax this nasty little brainwashing cult into oblivion. You'll be doing the civilised world a favour. Nobody else has got the balls to do this.

Nick Xenophon for the nobel peace prize.

fiona
fiona

If winter comes, can spring be far behind ?-iwc replica 

ANDREW PRICE
ANDREW PRICE

Scientology is a very successful money making idea,that relies on an abundance of stupid spoilt westerners with money to burn.It is an evil organisation run by evil people

PLEASE TAKE THE MONEY OFF THEM AND THROW THEM INTO CONCENTRATION CAMPS

Anonymous
Anonymous

"Until British tax authorities begin to press the church about those payments, they don't need charity status"

When I was digging into the UK situation a bit, it became obvious that HMRC (Her Majesties Revenue and Customs) would not get involved in auditing / challenging an AUSTRALIAN corporations affairs in the UK, if the ozzies weren't concerned.  So even after the 'charity' lie was exposed, it still takes the South Australian jobsworthies to take the first step, before the UK jobsworthies will glance at it.

Unpaid government revenue apparently matters less than The Revenue would have you think.

Nancy
Nancy

All religions are just scams. Really makes me mad that the tax payers are forced to subsidize their money making schemes. Makes me even madder that they screw with people's head to carry out their swindles.  We really need to take away the laws that allow them to rip us off, both financially and psychologically.

Rick Wolff
Rick Wolff

You know what the CoS will try, especially in the Sea Org. They'll coerce "employees" to donate back their wages, with an affidavit assuring it's voluntary. Special harassment "tech" (shy of RPF) will be developed for selfish wage-keepers.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The backpay to those that have long since blown will hopefully mean there are no 'staff' left in OZ to 'donate' their 'salary' back to the cult.

Dean Fox
Dean Fox

The church of scientology organisation has cash reserves of over US$7200 million world wide so like Mike Rinder says they have the cash. They will more likely throw cash at having the decision overturn though than cough up the dues.

If all else fails they'll bankrupt Australian corporate entitiies which by that time, if not already, will have zero assets.

This would still be a good ruling because of having to pay taxes on future eages, which will be reabsorbed by the church via assorted fees.

The biggest problem is that the cult escapes without being auditted (no irony intended). It doesn't happen in the UK because of the supposed charitable status in Aussie for instance. So although they appear to work within various loopholes in the law the reality no one knows because they dodge formal auditting by the tax authorities anyway.

Wholigan
Wholigan

Do any of you know when the official ombudsman's ruling will be released? Edit: Also, can the cult appeal the ombudsman's ruling?

Australian
Australian

Thank you for seeing the best in us

ManhattanMC
ManhattanMC

Cool-now on to the mormons and the catholics.

Billbourd
Billbourd

So they increase the pay and the serfs donate the difference back to the church. Hello?

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

This is great! Finally, the cult of $cientology is being held to some form of accord.

You cannot abuse people like they have and get away with it scot-free forever. It will catch up to you eventually and I'm just glad it's happening now, and not later.

$cientology needs to be disbanded. It's a scam and a con-job meant to trap people into a life that they cannot get out of.

It really bothers me and this ruling makes me happy.

Peter
Peter

Could justice be that all ex-staff members get reimbursed for unpaid normal wages? I would get $1000s. hahahaha

Ianmacfarlane
Ianmacfarlane

The manner in which Scientology gets around minimum wage and tax laws is as follows (from how they operate here in Clearwater, Florida, USA):  Pay your workers a good or very good salary.  Then have them "donate" most of that salary to the church.  The donation is a tax deduction.  The salary is a business expense and reduces the profit for the taxable business that is associated with the church.  The "donation" is not taxable because that goes to the church.  The business, which is a taxable operation run by the church does not make a profit because of the high salaries, so it pays no taxes. 

The young lady who died in church care some years ago was a high school graduate with few skills, yet she made over $100,000 per year at her modest job with the printing or publishing arm of the Church of Scientology and "donated" some $96,000 of it back to the church each year while living in their dormitory and eating at their cafeteria (according to stories in the St. Petersburg Times).  Sounds like a tax scam to me.

Marcotai
Marcotai

THE STAFF are & were volunteers even if they were doing it selfishly just for their free auditing the fact that they signed up as a volunteer staff member automatically forgoes their right to backpay. Any logical thinking person who didn't like the rules of this religion could have just left ages ago if . Church of S is classed as a religion not a business.

How can these people be entitled to back pay when they were going on staff voluntarily so they could get free auditing that public had to pay for? If those few ( a dozen not hundreds like bigot Seymour wants you to believe) get "back pay" then they are also  entitled to back pay on all their services and materials that they received there.!These few apostates knew the choises they had when they volunteered to join staff, so their claims are just simply ridiculous.

No one was forcing them to stay on staff if they didn't like it, some of these scumbags are now claiming "back-pay"?. Bwaaaaa!

Senator Xenophon is clearly out of his mind or under the influence of psychotropic drugs, no wonder though, since he is being financially sponsored by at least three Australian psychiatric institutions.

Guest
Guest

Marcotai, name the three psychiatric institutions supposedly sponsoring Xenophon and show them listed on his public list of supporters.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

See—LRH got it all wrong.

It's not Xenu.

It's not Xemu.

It's Xeno.

Your cult has awoken the great and terrible Xenophon. From your description, he must be the ghost of Aleister Crowley.

Good luck kiddo.

scifibandit
scifibandit

Most staff members don't join staff under the impression that they are purely volunteers, though. They are promised a weekly check but recruiters are vague about how much that will actually be, and often avoid answering the question when asked directly.

Also, many SO members sign up when they are too young to have worked at a 'normal' job. They are teenagers who live in the SO like they would at home, in exchange for food and shelter, so they don't really feel the effect of underpayment as an adult recruit who is not independently wealthy would. 

The unfortunate thing is these teen recruits never learn how to get a job in society, and never develop a skill set to depend upon in case they do decide the SO is not the right fit for them.

The concept that these people are free to leave is an illusion. They are not free. They have as much hope set loose into the world as would a pet rat. Some manage to dodge the hawks, but most perish.

You make the assumption that people join staff to obtain free service. Let's assume that is true. If this staff member does receive free service while on staff and then decides to leave staff before their contract is up, they are required to pay the church a 'freeloader debt' to get back into good standing with the church. So already, the church requires from staff who quit before their contract is up, a back payment. Why is it ridiculous for a worker who has been promised pay to ask for fair back payment in return?

Back to joining staff food free service: How many staff members get regular auditing? How many staff members blow through their lower levels up the Bridge to Total Freedom? Most staff members I have known never get in session. If they get any training at all, it is to become an auditor, but only the lucky get that. Any member of staff not in the auditing division won't get much study time beyond fulfilling their 'staff status' courses. From my vantage point, a very low percentage of staff actually make any 'case gain' while on staff. They spend the majority of their auditing time doing 'sec checks' or 'confessionals.' 

Do you have the actual statistics? I would love for someone to do an honest survey of the case level of all staff members. The data would be telling.

P.S. It is very unprofessional, by the way, to accuse someone of being under the influence of psychotropic drugs without evidence to support your claim.

Marcotai
Marcotai

"Most staff members (in CoS) don't join staff under the impression that they are purely volunteers"

Beginning a comment with a false premise like that, it will automatically render your conclusions FALSE. as well.That's why, it's not worthy to continue reading your comment that follows your first sentence! 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Oh Yeah?

W-w-w-well—Yo Mama's so Ugly, she makes Xemu look like a fashion Queen!

scifibandit
scifibandit

Definition of volunteer:  a person who works for an organization without being paid.

They don't join thinking they are volunteers under this definition because they join knowing that they will receive a weekly paycheck. They join, as mentioned before, under the 'impression' that they will receive money for their work, even though they may sign a contract that waives their right to minimum wage. I know this because I was told this by a recruiter. That even though I would sign that I would not receive a benefit, I was under a verbal contract that I would, in fact, receive a weekly paycheck, and that signing the waiver was a mere 'legal formality'. Therefore my premise is not false. I experienced it directly, and was given the 'impression' that I would get paid by verbal contract. A verbal contract in the US is still a legal contract, too.

The fact that the majority of the 'volunteer workers' do receive a paycheck is testament to the fact that they expect pay. Otherwise, the church would not pay them at all.

I agree with Jefferson in response to the legality of the staff contract: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." Thomas Jefferson

Duncan
Duncan

The Australians haven't tolerated a 'swag man' (petty thief like DM) since they first started singing Waltzing Matilda. I tried to think how I could also use 'Tie my Kangaroo Down Sport' but... it's late

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Be sure to figure out a couplet that folds in "enturbulatin'".

Maybe "Eve of Destruction" instead?

"While Miscavige's in the top room,Flag-u-latin',I'm stuck in the basement,enturbulatin . . . "

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

You-a-lika cutta-pasta Marcotai?

Here's some iceee cold cutta-pasta, justa, justa, justice for-a-a for DM!

Inferno: Canto XXXIV

"'Vexilla Regis prodeunt Inferni'  Towards us; therefore look in front of thee,"  My Master said, "if thou discernest him."

As, when there breathes a heavy fog, or when  Our hemisphere is darkening into night,  Appears far off a mill the wind is turning,

Methought that such a building then I saw;  And, for the wind, I drew myself behind  My Guide, because there was no other shelter.

Now was I, and with fear in verse I put it,  There where the shades were wholly covered up,  And glimmered through like unto straws in glass.

Some prone are lying, others stand erect,  This with the head, and that one with the soles;  Another, bow-like, face to feet inverts.

When in advance so far we had proceeded,  That it my Master pleased to show to me  The creature who once had the beauteous semblance,

He from before me moved and made me stop,  Saying: "Behold Dis, and behold the place  Where thou with fortitude must arm thyself."

How frozen I became and powerless then,  Ask it not, Reader, for I write it not,  Because all language would be insufficient.

I did not die, and I alive remained not;  Think for thyself now, hast thou aught of wit,  What I became, being of both deprived.

The Emperor of the kingdom dolorous  From his mid-breast forth issued from the ice;  And better with a giant I compare

Than do the giants with those arms of his;  Consider now how great must be that whole,  Which unto such a part conforms itself.

Were he as fair once, as he now is foul,  And lifted up his brow against his Maker,  Well may proceed from him all tribulation.

O, what a marvel it appeared to me,  When I beheld three faces on his head!  The one in front, and that vermilion was;

Two were the others, that were joined with this  Above the middle part of either shoulder,  And they were joined together at the crest;

And the right-hand one seemed 'twixt white and yellow;  The left was such to look upon as those  Who come from where the Nile falls valley-ward.

Underneath each came forth two mighty wings,  Such as befitting were so great a bird;  Sails of the sea I never saw so large.

No feathers had they, but as of a bat  Their fashion was; and he was waving them,  So that three winds proceeded forth therefrom.

Thereby Cocytus wholly was congealed.  With six eyes did he weep, and down three chins  Trickled the tear-drops and the bloody drivel.

At every mouth he with his teeth was crunching  A sinner, in the manner of a brake,  So that he three of them tormented thus.

To him in front the biting was as naught  Unto the clawing, for sometimes the spine  Utterly stripped of all the skin remained.

"That soul up there which has the greatest pain,"  The Master said, "is Judas Iscariot; With head inside, he plies his legs without.

Of the two others, who head downward are,  The one who hangs from the black jowl is Brutus;  See how he writhes himself, and speaks no word.

And the other, who so stalwart seems, is Cassius.  But night is reascending, and 'tis time  That we depart, for we have seen the whole."

As seemed him good, I clasped him round the neck,  And he the vantage seized of time and place,  And when the wings were opened wide apart,

He laid fast hold upon the shaggy sides;  From fell to fell descended downward then  Between the thick hair and the frozen crust.

When we were come to where the thigh revolves  Exactly on the thickness of the haunch,  The Guide, with labour and with hard-drawn breath,

Turned round his head where he had had his legs,  And grappled to the hair, as one who mounts,  So that to Hell I thought we were returning.

"Keep fast thy hold, for by such stairs as these,"  The Master said, panting as one fatigued,

 "Must we perforce depart from so much evil."

Theese-a pasteacutta's not for you, too cold. Not-ta you boy, now you go run along and a-play.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Also forcing Church staff members to accept a pay that is not established by LRH policy, is simply ridiculous and in any case staff members following church policy will eventually give the extra cash back by buying books or else and then donating them to the Church.

Mike Rinder's considerations are stupid and it's clear that he is not anymore clear-headed, hatred and revenge blind people's minds, see also the bigot Australian Senator and his puppet journalist.Actually, it may be good for Scientology orgs, because this will end silly demands by very few greedy apostates in the future, as they can't demand money spent or donated by themselves. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Put a mirror on your desk.

Turn it around. While looking at yourself in that mirror repeat to yourself—"The current Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25 an hour."

Heather G
Heather G

And in Australia it is $15.51.

scifibandit
scifibandit

I don't understand how any staff member wouldn't rejoice and willingly accept getting paid higher wages, and accept some back pay for their hard work. 

I doubt very much that any of them would feel that the money was "forced" on them. In fact, many non staff Scientologists would probably join staff if they were guaranteed a decent income. The problem with the wages as they are is that it traps people into working for the organization. They feel as if they can't leave because if they did, they wouldn't have enough money to eat, much less, find a place to live or establish credit for themselves. The prospect of entering the world with no financial support is enough to keep many staff members from blowing that otherwise would. To me, it feels like economic coercion. It seems like the church management thinks, "Let's keep our staff poor so that they can't afford to leave, because the church is the only entity willing enough to provide them with (sub-par) food without forcing them to declare themselves homeless."

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Excellent points, scifibandit! 

Staff members really are victims of a kind of hostage-taking, what you've termed "economic coercion." I can even regard it as a type of extortion, and that kind of crime takes many forms in the cult. The basic con is a setup for a massive, long-term program of extortion of all of its members be they SO, org staff or "parishioners."

This Australian development is huge for those reasons; there is potential for a full exposure and disclosure of the cult's extortion racket.

DMSTCC
DMSTCC

Marcotai and others Co$ don't need more anything. They are above the material wog world. But, I'm leery of shaking hands as I've heard stories of lack of toilet paper in the idle orgs.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

"Mike Rinder's considerations are stupid and it's clear that he is not anymore clear-headed, hatred and revenge blind people's minds"

Funny, that's exactly how you come across.

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