The IAS is the International Association of Scientologists, and it’s an organization that all Co$-affiliated Scientologists (as opposed to independents or freezoners) must join. It’s also the organization that harangues the crap out of Scientologists to donate more money. (Slappy needs a new pair of shoes!)
Marty points out a very interesting detail of the Church’s plea for tax-exemption. He posted a document allegedly sent to the IRS by the Church. It says:
You have called our attention to … statements to the effect that IAS membership is required in order for a parishioner to participate in religious services…There is no Church policy or directive which sets forth such a requirement, nor has there ever been such a Church policy or directive…. Neither HASI nor any other membership system in the United States has ever required membership as a condition of participating in religious services at a Scientology church.
To understand the true deceptiveness of this statement – and as you’re about to see, it’s pretty damn slick – you have to understand what is meant by services. Most people think of “religious services” as mass, communion, havdalah, stuff like that. Scientology has some trite little ceremonies, primarily to lend credence to the illusion that it’s a religion. But “services” generally indicate things that you take or pay for – auditing, OT levels, courses, and the like.
So, technically, what the Co$ told the IRS is correct. You don’t have to be an IAS member to participate in Scientology services, but you do have to be an IAS member to take Scientology services! Now, you can attend all the Scientology ceremonies you want, but unless you take Scientology services, you ain’t movin’ one baby step up the Bridge to
Mental Slavery Total Freedom.
Evil little buggers, aren’t they? Marty, good on you for posting this.
Unfortunately, Marty does once again leave out L. Ron Hubbard’s role in all this. Some like to blame DM for the IAS, even though it was formed in 1984, two years before Hubbard died… sorry, dropped his body. Anyway, the IAS replaced an organization called the HASI, or Hubbard Association of Scientologists International. Hubbard started the HASI in 1954. (It was originally just the HAS, but Hubbard neglected to incorporate as a non-profit organization, and had to try again. This is the most able being on the planet, remember.) The HASI sold memberships in return for a discount on classes and services — just like the IAS. And HASI membership was required to take services — just like the IAS. The big difference? The HASI apparently wasn’t so big on donations, and membership wasn’t anywhere near as expensive. But the purpose of the HASI was the same: Charge for memberships that were required to take Scientology services. And remember, Scientology teaches that taking Scientology services is the only way to achieve spiritual freedom.
Once again, DM may have made things worse – but his basis for operation is the path laid out by LRH. VWD*, Slappy!
*VWD: Very Well Done, a high compliment in Scientologese.