Enquiries from local authorities re Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated

William Thackeray made this Freedom of Information request to Charity Commission for England and Wales

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

William Thackeray

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

It is my understanding that the Charity Commission has received, from local authorities, enquiries as to the Commission's opinion on the charitable status and/or eligibility for mandatory relief from national non-domestic rates (business rates) of Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incoporated, an Australian corporation.

Please provide these enquires together with any response from the Charity Commission (i.e. both incoming and outgoing communications).

Please include any documents which were included with or referred to in the correspondence.

Please also include communications internal or external to the Charity Commission which discuss the incoming queries or the Charity Commission's response.

Please provide the information in electronic format to me at this email address.

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

We aim to give you a full and clear response within fifteen working days
from receipt of your email. We will ensure that our response is both
accurate and appropriate.

This is the same service standard we apply to letters and faxes but
Charity Commission Direct will usually respond to general email enquiries
within five working days where there is no need for referral to one of our
specialist operational teams.

If we cannot give you a full response within fifteen days, we will contact
you and let you know the reasons why this is not possible and indicate
when we expect to be in a position to give you a full response. We will
also let you have the name and contact number of the person dealing with
your query.

You can find the Commission*s contact details on our website at
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Diolch am eich e-bost i*r Comisiwn Elusennau.

Rydym yn anelu at ymateb yn llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod gwaith o dderbyn
eich e-bost.

Hwn yw*r un targed ac ymateb i lythyron ond mae Comisiwn Elusennau
Uniongyrchol fel arfer yn ymateb i e-byst o fewn pum diwrnod gwaith, ble
does yna ddim angen cyfeirio at un o*n timau gweithredol arbenigol.

Os na fedrwn roi ymateb llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod, fe wnawn gysylltu â
chi i esbonio pam, gan nodi pryd y byddwn yn medru ymateb yn llawn. Fe
fyddwn hefyd yn rhoi gwybod enw a rhif uniongyrchol y person sy*n delio
gyda*ch ymholiad.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete
the original message from your system.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

CI FOI Requests, Charity Commission for England and Wales

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Thackeray

Further to your request for all information relating to any enquiries the
Commission has received form local authorities seeking its opinion on the
charitable status and/or eligibility for mandatory relief from national
non-domestic rates (business rates) of Church of Scientology Religious
Education College Incorporated.

I have now completed searching for the information you requested and am in
a position to offer you a substantive response. Firstly, please accept
our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your request.

The Commission has only been approached by one local authority and a copy
of the information, which can be disclosed, is attached in the format you
requested. All third party data has been redacted as it is exempt under
section 40 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act.

The remainder of the Information that you requested is exempt from
disclosure under the Act and is therefore withheld. I considered that some
of the information you requested was exempt from disclosure under section
42 (Legal professional privilege - information in respect of which a claim
to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings).
As this is a qualified exemption, we must consider where the balance of
the public interest lies with regards to the possible application of this
exemption. There is a general public interest in public authorities being
transparent and accountable, and providing assistance to members of the
public with regard to information held by them as far as possible.
However, there is also a general public interest in ensuring that public
authorities are able to carry out their functions properly. It is the
Commission***s view that the public interest lies in not disclosing the
information we hold. If details of all communications between the legal
advisors are routinely disclosed, this may effect open and frank
discussions with the Commission which would adversely affect the
Commission***s ability to regulate effectively.

If you are unhappy with our response to your FOI request, have a complaint
or wish to request a review of our FOI decision, you should write to:
Charity Commission Direct by email to
[1][Charity Commission request email] or by post to P.O. Box 1227,
LIVERPOOL, L69 3UG. Please state what it is you are dissatisfied with,
which will assist us when we review our response.

If you request a Decision Review you will be notified of our final
decision. Please note that we will accept requests for a Decision Review
up to a maximum of 3 months after the original decision. The 3 months
will be calculated from the date on which you receive written notification
of the original decision. You will be deemed to have received written
notification on the day after the letter enclosing the decision was sent
or th same day if the decision was sent by email.

If after this you remain unhappy with the decision, you may apply directly
to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO
cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints procedure.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner***s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Eccleston

Corporate Information Manager

Charity Commission, 3rd Floor, 12 Princes Dock, Princes Parade, Liverpool,
L3 1DE

Direct Line: 0151 703 1593 Email:
[2][email address]

------------------- Original Message

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William Thackeray

Dear Margaret,

Many thanks for your response to my information request under FOIA, which contained much useful information.

However, I note that some information has been omitted and some has been redacted, so I'm going to request an internal review on this case. However, I wanted to thank you nontheless for your time and attention on this matter.

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Charity Commission for England and Wales's handling of my FOI request 'Enquiries from local authorities re Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated'.

My reasons for requesting an internal review are:

- Some details have been redacted, without explanation. I request that this information be released.

- Some documents are extracts rather than complete documents. I request that the complete documents (including email attachments where applicable) be released.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/en...

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

We aim to give you a full and clear response within fifteen working days
from receipt of your email. We will ensure that our response is both
accurate and appropriate.

This is the same service standard we apply to letters and faxes but
Charity Commission Direct will usually respond to general email enquiries
within five working days where there is no need for referral to one of our
specialist operational teams.

If we cannot give you a full response within fifteen days, we will contact
you and let you know the reasons why this is not possible and indicate
when we expect to be in a position to give you a full response. We will
also let you have the name and contact number of the person dealing with
your query.

You can find the Commission*s contact details on our website at
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Diolch am eich e-bost i*r Comisiwn Elusennau.

Rydym yn anelu at ymateb yn llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod gwaith o dderbyn
eich e-bost.

Hwn yw*r un targed ac ymateb i lythyron ond mae Comisiwn Elusennau
Uniongyrchol fel arfer yn ymateb i e-byst o fewn pum diwrnod gwaith, ble
does yna ddim angen cyfeirio at un o*n timau gweithredol arbenigol.

Os na fedrwn roi ymateb llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod, fe wnawn gysylltu â
chi i esbonio pam, gan nodi pryd y byddwn yn medru ymateb yn llawn. Fe
fyddwn hefyd yn rhoi gwybod enw a rhif uniongyrchol y person sy*n delio
gyda*ch ymholiad.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete
the original message from your system.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

William Thackeray

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

I'd also like to challenge the withholding of information under the legal privilege exemption - thanks.

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

We aim to give you a full and clear response within fifteen working days
from receipt of your email. We will ensure that our response is both
accurate and appropriate.

This is the same service standard we apply to letters and faxes but
Charity Commission Direct will usually respond to general email enquiries
within five working days where there is no need for referral to one of our
specialist operational teams.

If we cannot give you a full response within fifteen days, we will contact
you and let you know the reasons why this is not possible and indicate
when we expect to be in a position to give you a full response. We will
also let you have the name and contact number of the person dealing with
your query.

You can find the Commission*s contact details on our website at
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Diolch am eich e-bost i*r Comisiwn Elusennau.

Rydym yn anelu at ymateb yn llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod gwaith o dderbyn
eich e-bost.

Hwn yw*r un targed ac ymateb i lythyron ond mae Comisiwn Elusennau
Uniongyrchol fel arfer yn ymateb i e-byst o fewn pum diwrnod gwaith, ble
does yna ddim angen cyfeirio at un o*n timau gweithredol arbenigol.

Os na fedrwn roi ymateb llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod, fe wnawn gysylltu â
chi i esbonio pam, gan nodi pryd y byddwn yn medru ymateb yn llawn. Fe
fyddwn hefyd yn rhoi gwybod enw a rhif uniongyrchol y person sy*n delio
gyda*ch ymholiad.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete
the original message from your system.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

CI Information Development, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Dear Mr Thackeray

Thank you for your email.

I have arranged for my colleague, Sheila Birch, to undertake an internal
review on this case as requested. Sheila will respond to you in due
course.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Eccleston

Corporate Information Manager

Charity Commission, 3rd Floor, 12 Princes Dock, Princes Parade, Liverpool,
L3 1DE

Direct Line: 0151 703 1593 Email:
[1][email address]

------------------- Original Message

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William Thackeray

Many thanks, Margaret.

Yours sincerely,

William Thackeray

CI Information Development, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Dear Mr Thackeray

Thank you for your email dated 16 December 2010 challenging our decision
to withhold information exempt under s under the Freedom of Information
Act. I have asked my colleague to include this in the internal review of
the case as a whole that she will be undertaking.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Eccleston

Corporate Information Manager

Charity Commission, 3rd Floor, 12 Princes Dock, Princes Parade, Liverpool,
L3 1DE

Direct Line: 0151 703 1593 Email:
[1][email address]

------------------- Original Message

show quoted sections

William Thackeray

Dear Margaret,

May I point out that the legal timescale for internal review, as set out in the ICO's Guidance number 5, 'Time limits on carrying out internal reviews following
requests for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000', has now expired.

I await your prompt reply.

Many thanks for your assistance with this case.

Yours sincerely,

William Thackeray

William Thackeray left an annotation ()

Information received 16 December 2010: 'Appendix A':

Appendix A

Freedom of Information request - Enquiries from local authorities re Church of
Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated

Full extracts of emails received in connection with the Commission's opinion on the
charitable status and/or eligibility for mandatory relief from national non-domestic
rates (business rates) of Church of Scientology Religious Education College
Incorporated.
Email from Camden Council to Charity Commission dated 23/07/2009

I am writing in respect of query arising out of a Non-Domestic Rating matter. An
organisation, The Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc ("the College")
have a number of premises within the London Borough of Camden. They are not a
registered charity. They are seeking to have mandatory rate relief applied to their
premises on the basis that, although not a registered charity, they say they fulfil the
relevant legislative criteria for relief.
For clarification we have suggested that it would be in the College's interest to register
with the Charities Commission.
The College have made representations that they are subject to the jurisdiction of the
English High Court, and further that they are a Charity. The London Borough of Camden
understood that as such it would seem that the College is under a statutory duty to be
registered in the register of charities under section 3A (1) of the Charities Act 1993,
because the College confirm that they are established for charitable purposes only, and
fall to be subject to the control of the High Court, and are thus, a charity.
The College has a substantial annual turnover and as such the London Borough of
Camden cannot see that the College would be exempt under any of the subsections of
3A. Section 3B (1) (Duties of trustees in connection with registration) makes clear that
where a charity is required to be registered by virtue of section 3A (1), and it is not
registered, it is the duty of the charity trustees to apply to the Commission for the charity
to be registered, and to supply the Commission with the required documents and
information.
Having spoken to the Legal representatives of the College they have stated that they are
not required to be registered with the Charities Commission because they as an
organisation are incorporated in Australia. Indeed they state that the Charities
Commission informed the College that they could not be registered because of that.
My query is whether or not that is indeed the case? It seems to the London Borough of
Camden to be an odd position that the College would be subject to the control of the High
Courts and enjoy all the benefits of a Charitable Organisation (eg mandatory rate relief)
without being able to register with the Charities Commission.
The London Borough of Camden believe that the Charity Commission (or the Charity
Tribunal) is the body best equipped to determine whether the College is established for
charitable purposes, rather than individual Local Authorities, and wonder whether there
would be any other restrictions on them doing this?
I look forward to hearing from you.

Appendix A

Email from Charity Commission to Camden Council dated 17/08/2009

I have been unable to locate a response from us that stated that the College could not be
registered, however if their governing document does state that they are subject to the
laws of Australia, then this would probably preclude registration as a charity by the
Commission.
As you may be aware, the Church of Scientology applied for charitable status some years
ago and was rejected. The decision of the Commissioners is available on the
Commission's web-site. The conclusion reached was that the Church of Scientology is
not charitable as an organisation established for the advancement of religion. It
was further determined that the core practices of Scientology, being auditing and training,
do not constitute worship.
I suspect that the Church has therefore deduced an application from a college that - I am
presuming - is established to educate its students in the practices of Scientology may not
be considered charitable. However an application would be considered on its individual
merit, should the College present one.

Email from Camden Council to Charity Commission dated 26/08/2009

Thank you for your very helpful response to my query. I think I must agree with your
assertion that the Church has deduced that a college to educate its students in the
practices of Scientology may not be considered charitable given the Commissioner's
previous decision.
However, it is because of this that we have concerns that the College are using their
governing document as a means of circumventing the need to register with the Charities
Commission, whilst at the same time enjoying the benefits of charitable reliefs, for
example from various other boroughs in the form of mandatory rate relief, and also I
understand from HM Revenue & Customs from whom they are entitled to certain other tax
reliefs.
Would you be able to expand upon the reasoning why they would be precluded from
registering with the Charities Commission if their governing document states that they are
subject to the laws of Australia? The reason I ask is that they appear to fulfil all of the
legislatory criteria for registration, and I am not able to find anything in the legislation that
would preclude an organisation primarily based in the UK from registering (for example if
the majority of charity trustees live in England and Wales; and/or the majority of assets
are in England and Wales)
Also on a separate note, if an organisation failed to register in line with the legislation,
what enforcement action (if any) would be taken against them?
Please accept my apologies for these further queries, and many thanks in advance.

Email from Camden Council to Charity Commission dated 08/09/2009

Further to my email on the 26th August 2009 (attached) I have reviewed the College's
incorporation document in light of the comments that you made previously. I can confirm
that it makes no reference to the laws of South Australia in it's governance, other than at
Article XI where it states that the college shall have a seal that "meets the requirements of
the provisions of the Associations Incorporations Act 1956-1965 or any other laws of the
State of South Australia applicable from time to time." All other references in the
governing document to laws are general, and are not further defined.
I hope that this information assists in respect of my further enquiries, and look forward to
hearing from you.

Appendix A

Email from Charity Commission to Camden Council dated 03/11/2009

May I first apologise for the delay in responding to your e-mail regarding the Church of
Scientology Religious Education College Inc. To respond to your enquiry an institution can
be a registered charity only if it is subject to the charity jurisdiction of the English courts.
An institution set up for charitable purposes will fall within the Court's charity jurisdiction if
it is governed by English law. In the case of a company this follows from its incorporation
in England or Wales. In the case of unincorporated bodies, the jurisdiction of the High
Court will follow from the adoption of English law as the proper law of that body. The
identity of the proper law may be expressed, but usually it will be inferred, to be the law of
that country with which the institution appears to have its closest connection. As a general
rule, the following features should be present:
The institutions centre of administration is in England and Wales;
The majority of the trustees reside in England and Wales;
The majority of the institution's property and its main bank account is in England and
Wales.
The legal principles on which our jurisdiction is based are set out in the Court of Appeal
case of Gaudiya Mission v Bramhachary [1997] 4 All ER 957.This judgement was
further reinforced by Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem v sonsino [2002] EWHC 1304
(CH).
While not wishing to be unhelpful the seal stated in article X1 of the College's
Incorporation document would suggest that the organisation would not fall within the
jurisdiction of the English courts and therefore would not be regulated by the Charity
Commission.
If there is evidence that the organisation were claiming to be a Charity regulated by the
laws of England and Wales the compliance division would consider the evidence further,
or if the organisation were required to register but was refusing to do so the compliance
team would engage with them. Neither of these would be matters for the registration
division.
I hope this information assists you.

Email from Camden Council to Charity Commission dated 03/11/2009

Thank you very much for your response which is very helpful. The Church of Scientology
are indeed claiming in their correspondence to us that they are a Charity regulated by the
laws of England and Wales (despite being incorporated abroad originally), and are using
this to justify the assertion that they should be granted mandatory rate relief as a charity
by the London Borough of Camden. With that in mind would you be able to give me the
contact details of a senior advisor within the compliance division?
I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you again.

Email from Charity Commission to Camden Council dated 03/11/2009

If you forward your concerns in writing to the address below I will ensure that they are
aware that you will be contacting them;
Jacqui Seatle Assessment and Intelligence Manager
Charity Commission Direct
PO Box 1227,
Liverpool L69 3UG

Appendix A

Email from Camden Council to Charity Commission dated 03/11/2009

Thank you again for your assistance in this matter.

Email from Charity Commission dated 24/11/2009

Please find enclosed a response to your letter dated 4th November 2009.

Email from Camden Council to Charity Commission dated 24/11/2009

Thank you for your letter, the contents of which are extremely helpful.

William Thackeray left an annotation ()

Received 16 December 2010: document 'Information Dislosed'. (Apologies for OCR errors - refer to original document linked above).

3rd & 4th Floor, 12 Princes Dock
Princes Parade, Liverpool, L3 1DE
t: 0151 703 1679
f: 0151 703 1555
Your Ref:
Our Ref: .4046748/C-281891
Date: 10 November2009
Dear_
The Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc
Thank you for your letter of 4 November, in which you outline your concerns with the above
organisation. I can now confirm that your letter is with the Assessment Unit of the Charity
Commission, and a case officer will contact you in due course.
Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to the attention of the Commission.
Yours Sincerely
-
[ pages 2 to 51 contain the Charity Commissioners’ 1999 decision concerning Scientology, which is available from the Commission’s website ]

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INTELLIGENCE PACKAGE

The Church Of Scientology Religious Education College (nc
4046748 C-281891-JBTS
Subject (1) - Complainant
Subject (2) - Charity
Subject (3) - Trustee
Subject (4) - Trustee
Subject (5) - Trustee
Subject (6) - Trustee

Not done at this time.

The Church Of Scientology Religious Education College Inc

Letter from ----------- at Camden Counil querying the charitable status of the Church of Sclentoioqy.

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INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS (of checks, research and findings)

The London Borough of Camden has informed us that they have been approached by the Church of
Scientology. The Church is seeking to have mandatory rate relief applied to their premises on the basis
that, although not a registered charity, they fulfil the relevant legislative criteria for relief.
The Charity Commission has fully considered the charitable status of the Church of Scientology and
'having considered the full legal and factual case put to them by CoS, and having reviewed the relevant
law, taking into account the principles embodied in ECHR where appropriate, decided that CoS was not
established for charitable purposes or for the public benefit and was therefore not registrable as a charity
under section 3(2) of the Charities Act 1993.' http://www.charitycommission.
qov.uklLibrary/reqistration/pdfs/cosdecsum.pdf
However, the solicitors on behalf of the Church claim that this decision is not binding and the 'Church of
Scientology Religious Education College Inc differs materially from the organisation described by the
Charity Commission in 1999'. The solicitors have also claimed that the decision was flawed in many
material ways.
It is a matter for the local authority to determine whether the Church should receive rates relief. However,
I recommend that legal advice is taken on the claims made by the Church. I believe we should either
respond to the Church advising them to make a fresh application if they feel that they now qualify as a
charity, or we provide a response in respect of the claims they have made. I consider this to be a matter
for registrations rather than compliance to take forward.

N/A

Low

11/11/2009

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"
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Desk-based research - charity

Company limited by Guarantee If unincorporated or other, please specify:
Desk based research
not done at this time as the organisation is not a registered charity. Accounts can be obtained from
Companies House, if required let me know.

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-~-~~~-~--~~-~-~------------------------~------
Compliance Support Officer
10/11/2009

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Intelligence Checks Completed

Subject (1) - Complainant

Name: Not done at this time.
Date of Birth:
Address:

Subject (2)

Name: The Church Of Scientology Religious Education College Inc
Address:
42-44 COPTHORNE ROAD
FELBRIDGE EAST GRINSTEAD
WEST SUSSEX
AUSTRALIA
RH192NS
Companies House for Address
Google: "Church of Scientology Religious Education College" Charity (pages from the UK)
I found an article on Wikipedia outlining the fact that in the UK Scientology is not classed as a religion.
"Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the United States and some other countries and the Churchof Scientology emphasises this as proof that I.t.IS a bona fide religion.
In other countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have
comparable religious status."
http://en.wikjpedia.org/wiki/Scientology
There were also the articles I previously found on Lexis Nexis (please see above).
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I also found a website that lists the below address for the charity:
• CHURCH OF_SCIENTOLOGY_RELlGIOUS_EDUCATION COLLEGE
WEST SUSSEX, RH19 4JU EAST GRINSTEAD, SAINT HILL ROAD
http://www.cylex-uk.co.uklsearch/sciento...
This was not confirmed through a QAS search.
I searched the charity's name, and I found the below article outlining the position of this organisaton:

1) The Times (London)
June 23. 2007. Saturday
"Saint Hill remains at the heart of British scientology. It is the country's highest-ranked church, while
East Grinstead is home to a hub of ventures related to Scientology. Land Registry documents still show
a conveyance bearing the name of "Lafayette Ron Hubbard" dated August 1959. The present owner of
Saint Hill is the Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated (Cosreci).
Although this is Britain's principal Scientology entity, it is based in Adelaide because South Australia,
unlike Britain, recognises the movement as a religion for charity law."
"Church of Scientology Religious Education College non-property assets

I also found a previous article regarding the registration of this charity:
2) Sunday Express
May 20. 2007 Sunday
U.K. 1st Edition
MPs call for tax probe into cult shamed on TV;
Scientology now claims it is a charity and has 'special status'
THE Inland Revenue is being asked to investigate why British Scientologists are refusing to pay
a tax on the grounds they do charitable work - even though the controversial religion has been
refused charitable status.
Scientology, which came under fierce attack on the BBC last week, was denied the special
status by the Charity Commission eight years ago.
In a 49-page landmark ruling, commissioners said the church had not demonstrated it was
"established for the public benefit as to satisfy the legal test of public benefit of a charitable
purpose for the advancement of religion or for the moral or spiritual welfare or improvement of
the community".
Yet church accounts filed at Companies House argue it does not have to pay corporation tax as
it was established for "charitable purposes".
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!
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" he sald. "AsfarcasTarflcorfcernea1:herels no eVlaencetosLlggesttfll:~y area chafn:y. 1 am
not even sure they are a religion. I want a full and detailed explanation from the Inland
Revenue."
The organisation files accounts as the Church of Scientology Religious Education College
Inc, which was incorporated in Australia as a religious charity in 1976. It "commenced
activities" in Britain in 1977.
Under "taxation", it states: "The church is a South Australian charity and is established in
England for charitable purposes only. The trustees consider that corporation tax is therefore
not applicable."
Church secretary Massimo Angius told the Sunday Express: "This does not matter because we
are a non-profit organisation and we posted a loss, so we are not liable to pay corporation tax.
The fact is, the Charity Commission got it wrong when they made their decision in 1999. We
are a charity, there is no question about that."
Accounts for the year ending December 2005 show an income of GBP 10,311,696 in England
and Wales. With expenditure of GBP 10,372,066 it recorded a loss of GBP 60,370. They also
reveal it had GBP 6,749,972 cash in the bank, net assets worth GBP 10,371,401 and total
assets (less liabilities) of GBP 19,704,389.
Founded in 1952 by US sci-fi writer L Ron Hubbard, Scientologists believe his claim that evil
solar system warrior Xenu put beings in volcanoes 75 million years ago before vapourising
them with nuclear bombs and that their radioactive "souls" are responsible for many of earth's
problems today.
Celebrity Scientologists Tom Cruise and John Travolta have helped boost the church in Britain,
its increased income helping establish more churches around the country including Blackfriars,
London.
Mr Angius said councils give them reduced business rates as their "charitable work is good for
the community". The Sunday Express understands Westminster Council cut the business rate
bill by 80 per cent for a building in Leinster Gardens, London, and the City of London
Corporation did the same for the Blackfriars site.
Mr Angius produced a Westminster council document deeming the church beneficial to the
community for work, including drug awareness visits to schools, concerts, volunteer ministering
and donations, including to Great Ormond Street hospital for sick children. It notes the
organisation is not a registered charity but says it does not have to be.
The report's author wrote: "Having visited the property, I find it difficult to understand how the
church's 'reverence to a Supreme Being' is not in line with other forms of 'worship' at more
mainstream religions. A key principle of Scientology is the requirement to help others in the
community."
Scientology executive director Bob Keenan said:
"After the 7/7 bombings we provided 300 people to help victims with counselling and support.
This is just one example of the sort of charity work we do."
About 400 staff work at the church's Saint Hill HQ in East Grinstead, West Sussex. Several
hundred live at Walsh Manor, Crowborough, East Sussex, a former institute for miscreant
youths. Each morning 20 minibuses ferry them to HQ, 10 miles away.
A local said: "There seem to be more and more of them, young, old, men and women. Even at
six in the morning you see them reading their books on Dianetics. They smile in the street but
don't really get involved with the community.
"Since the Panorama programme a lot of people have a different view of them and there is
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Church leaders are consulting libel lawyers over the BBC Panorama programme, in which
journalist John Sweeney crosses swords with US-based church official Tommy Davis, son of
Hollywood actress and church member Anne Archer.
International external affairs director l"like Rinder said: "Tommy felt let down by Panorama
because he set up all the interviews, even one with his own mother, then Sweeney subjected
them to abusive questions about brainwashing."
l"lr Sweeney stands by his exposure of Scientology methods, particularly claims that psychiatry
is an "industry of death". But when he interviewed former Cheers star Kirstie Alley she asked
him: "Would you ever sit down with a Jew and tell them their religion is a cult?"
I found another article relating to this issue:
3) The Evening Standard (London)
October 23, 2006 Mondav
TOM'S ALIENS TARGET;
AS THE SCIENTOLOGISTS OPEN A FLAGSHIP CHURCH WITH THEIR SIGHTS SET
ON THE SQUARE MILE'S POWER BROKERS,WE CONTRAST THEIR PUBLIC AND
TROUBLING-PRIVATE FACES
"Despite this setback, the Scientologists appear to have reduced their UK tax to a minimum by
chanelling activities through a company registered in Australia.
In the year to December 2004, according to accounts filed at Companies House, the company Church
of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated - paid UK corporation tax
of just Pounds 3,114 on income of Pounds 9.8 million.
The company showed net assets of Pounds 18.9 million and cash in the bank of some Pounds
5.6 million.
But when I ask why the UK Scientologists here do not record their income in the accounts of
their UK-registered company, the Church of Scientology (England and Wales), Laveau promises
to "get back to me" with an answer but never does."
I also found the following article:
3) The Independent (London)
June 22, 1999, Tuesday
LAW: GOING 10 ROUNDS WITH GOLIATH;
WHEN BONNIE WOODS CALLED THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY A 'BOGUS
RELIGION', THEY SUED. BUT HOW DO YOU TAKE ON A CHURCH? BY IAN
THOMAS
MAJOR CITY law firms do not normally act free of charge for individuals receiving state benefits
in litigation against large corporations. But the case of Bonnie Woods against Church of
Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated (Cosreci), was no ordinary case.
Earlier this month, she won a pounds 55,000 pay-out from the Scientologists and an
unprecedented public apology.
Bonnie Woods joined the Church of Scientology in America in the early- Seventies. She then
moved to En land in 1985 with her husband Richard where the set u "Esca e", a counsellin
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Mrs Woods also openly criticised the organisation and published a leaflet, "What the
Scientologists don't tell you", which was highly critical of the organisation. In response,
Cosreci, the body responsible for Scientology in the UK, produced a leaflet calling Mrs Woods a
"hate campaigner".
Litigation followed. Represented by a solicitor from Chichester and specialist counsel, both
acting pro bono (free of charge), Mrs Woods issued libel proceedings against Cosreci and the
individuals who handed out the leaflet. Cosreci counterclaimed, based on the "What the
Scientologists don't tell you" leaflet. They claimed that Mrs Woods had libellously called
Scientology a "bogus religion". Cosreci later issued a similar action in 1996, based on a leaflet
distributed by Mrs Woods (among others) promoting a television documentary critical of
Scientology.
Mrs Woods' original solicitor stopped acting in 1995. She complained of harassment by
Scientologists, allegations that Cosreci vigorously deny. Mrs Woods then acted as a litigant in
person. In 1996, she was on the point of capitulation, overwhelmed with the volume of work
and the stress of court hearings. However, a friend referred her to Liberty, the human rights
organisation. Liberty considered that the case raised issues of freedom of speech and, as a
member of Liberty's pro bono panel, Alien & Overy took up the baton.
This decision was the start of a massive undertaking. The "bogus religion" question involved an
extensive investigation. Ultimately, though, a single category of documents had the most
dramatic impact on the case. In America, Bonnie Woods had completed a number of
Scientology's secret "upper level" courses. She felt that these documents were of crucial
importance and applied for a court order that Cosreci should produce them.
The application was fiercely resisted. The Church of Scientology zealously protects the contents
of these courses. According to Hubbard, Scientologists can suffer serious harm if they read
them before they have reached the right spiritual level. The Church of Scientology has brought
successful copyright actions around the world against those who have published the materials
without authority.
Despite this opposition, the court believed that production of the documents was necessary.
However, rather than face this or a potentially lengthy appeal, Cosreci discontinued their two
claims against Mrs Woods last summer.
The absence of the "bogus religion" question slashed the time estimate for the trial. However,
the litigation was far from over. We had two hearings in the Court of Appeal. Both Alien &
Overy and counsel for Mrs Woods entered into "no win no fee" agreements, following changes
in the law and approval from professional bodies.
We explored difficult and uncertain areas of defamation and general law. The court looked at
the rarely used defamation defence of qualified privilege arising from "reply to attack". Can a
defamatory reply be privileged (and therefore immune from suit unless it is malicious), even if
the original attack is true? Arguably yes, said the court. In claims for aggravated damages
against joint tortfeasors, must the level of damages be fixed by reference to the conduct of the
least blameworthy? Arguably not, said the Court of Appeal.
In the end, the points of law were of secondary importance to Mrs Woods. Of more relevance
to her were the damages and the public apology that she received from Cosreci to end her sixyear
ordeal.
Ian Thomas is a senior associate at Alien & Overy
There were several other articles relating to this payout in Lexis Nexis.
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!
ID
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NIA as this is an organisation.
!
Name &Registered Office:
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY RELIGIOUS
Fnl JCATlnN COLLF~I=; INCORPORATED
42-44 COPTHORNE ROAD
FELBRIDGE EAST GRINSTEAD
WEST SUSSEX
AUSTRALIA
RH192NS
Company Type: Other company type
Nature Of Business (SIC(03»:
None Supplied
Accounting Reference Date: 31/12
Last Accounts Made Up To: 31/12/2008 (FULL)
Next Accounts Due:
Last Return Made Up To:
Next Return Due:
Company No.: FC009154
Date of Incorporation: 25/03/1977
Country of Origin: AUSTRALIA
Mortgage: Number of Charges: 14 ( 2 outstanding 112 satisfied 10 part satisfied)
There is one Church of Scientology Religious Educational College listed on QAS.
146 Queen Victoria Street
London
EC4V 4BY

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[Letter from London Borough of Camden]

Charity Commission Direct
PO Box 1227,
Liverpool
L69 3UG

06 NOV 2009
Re: The Church of Scientology Religious Education College lnc
I am writing in respect of query arising out of a Non-Domestic Rating matter. An organisation,
The Church of Scientology Religious Education College Ine ("the College") have a number of
premises within the London Borough of Camden. They are not a registered charity. They are
seeking to have mandatory rate relief applied to their premises on the basis that, although not a
registered charity, they say they fulfil the relevant legislative criteria for relief.
We have been in continued correspondence with the College for over one year, working through
the a large number of documents they have sent to support their claim. During this time we have
suggested to the College that it would be in their interest 10 register with the Charities
Commission (and therefore clarify their claim for mandatory rate relief).
This is.because the College have made representations that they are subject to the jurisdiction of
the English High Court, and further that they are a Charity. The London Borough of Camden
understands that as such it would seem that the College is under a statutory duty to be
registered in the register of charities under section 3A(1) of the Charities Act 1993, because the
College confirm that they are established for charitable purposes only, and fall to be subject to
the control of the High Court, and are thus, a charity.
The College has a substantial annual turnover and as such the London Borough of Camden
cannot see that the College would be exempt under any of the subsections of 3A. Section 38(1)
(Duties of trustees in connection with registration). makes clear that where a charity is reqUired to
be registered by virtue of section 3A(1), and it is not registered, it is the duty of the charity
trustees to apply to the Commission for the charity to be registered, and to supply the
Commission with the required documents and information.
Having spoken to the Legal representatives of the College they have stated that they are not
required to be registered with the Charities Commission because they as an organisation are
incorporated in Australia. Indeed they state that the Charities Commission informed the College
that they could not be registered because of that (I have since clarified with the Registration
Division of the Charities Commission that there is no record of this advice having been given).

We have concerns that the ColJege are using their governing document as a means of
circumventing the need to register with the Charities Commission, whilst at the same time
enjoying the benefits of charitable reliefs, for example from various other boroughs in the form of
mandatory rate relief, and also I understand from HM Revenue & Customs from whom they are
entitled to certain other tax reliefs.
I have reviewed the College's incorporation document, and while it shows they are indeed
incorporated abroad, I can confirm that it makes no reference to the laws of South Australia in it's
governance, other than at Article XI where it states that the college shall have a seal that "meets
the requirements of the provisions of the Associations Incorporations Act 1956-1965 or any other
laws of the State of South Australia applicable from time to time." All other references in the
governing document to 'laws' are to laws in general, and are not further defined as being State of
South Australia Laws or any other jurisdiction.
My view is that they appear to fulfil all of the legislatory criteria for registration, and I am not able
to fina anything in the legislation that would preclude an organisation primarily based in the UK
from registering. As I understand it, the majority of charity trustees live in England and Wales,
and the majority of assets are in England and Wales too..
Can the College therefore be directed to make an application jf they are passing themselves off
as a Charity but are not registered?
I have included a letter from the Solicitors representing the College where they assert that they
are SUbjectto the laws of England and Wales, and that they are a Charity {They further state that
the College derives all of its income from the United Kingdom, carries on all of its activities in the
United Kingdom, and its central management and control is in England}. This letter is dated the
29th August 2009, but it is the position that they maintain, and has been confirmed as such in
telephone discussions with Hodkin & Company. Also enclosed is their incorporation document. I
apologise that I have had to include this as it is such a lengthy document, however it clearly
shows that they are not deemed to be governed by the laws of South Australia for any other
purpose than their business seal.
Further on a separate note, if an organisation failed to register in line with the legislation, what
enforcement action (if any) would be taken against them?
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

[Letter which appears to be to Camden Council. Sender redacted]

29 August 2008
Dear .
Re: Church of Scientology Religious Education College Ine
I thank you for your letter dated 17th of July 2008 and for allowing me extra time to
reply during 111e holiday period.
My client has suffered from discriminationand prejudice in the past. This has caused
. real difficulties and attimes genuine suffering for people of goodwill.
( \
The jurisdictional requirement
I note that the Council accepts that there is a distinction between the statutory'
definition ofcharity under the Charities Act 2006 and that under section 67 (10) Local
Government Finance Act 1988 (LGFA), in that~ former explicitly stipulates that a
charitable institution is required 11/0 be subject to the control ofthe High Court in the
exercise of its jurisdiction with respect to charities". You feel, however, that an
organisation must be subject to a least some supervision or regulation in this country
with respect to its charitable .purposes before it can be said to be established for
charitable purposes under the LGFA. In the Dreyfus case the House of Lords decided
that for the purposes of Income Tax 'a body of persons established for charitable
...' purposes' must also be established in the United Kingdom. As noted by Evershed
.: :,: MRin the Court ofAppeal in that case, the word 'established' is crucial.
It is my contention that Church of ScientologyReligious Education College Inc meets
the requirement that it is established in the United Kingdom.. My reasons are as
follows,
(1) Church of. Scientology Religious Education College lnc derives a'lI of its
income from the United Kingdom, carries on all of its activities in the United
Kingdom, and its central management and control is in England. It means, as set out
in my letter of 12th May 2008, that Church of Scientology Religious Education
College Inc is resident in England under the English Common Law, and domiciled in
England for the purposes of the Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982. (That is in
Solicitor end Notal)' Public: Lcglll An/SUlnt:
..... ~,. ,,' "'" •"'......,.,d by lite Sollcllor$ Regulalion Authority
,.
erated in the
.'ig'h Court.
;"':~~ r of cases since J
tions with former
. ,
(2) There is in fact no inconsistency in Lord Evershed's judgment in the Dreyfus
case, as a closer reading will show. The comments quoted in your letter are not his
conclusion but come earlier in the judgment when he is analysing the arguments. In
fact the words immediately preceding your quote are: "it seemsto meprimafacie...".
A little earlier in his judgment he lays stress on the fact that the Foundation concerned
----'----':':'w:::as~n:'Aotonly-regulated-according-to-the-laws-of-a-foreign_country_but_also,_was~~ _
11 carrying on the whole of its activities in that country'!, The paragraph 1 have quoted
. is actually his conclusion on the whole issue.
(3) It is clear from the speech of Lord Morton of Henryton in the House of Lords
that the Foundation did not dispute that it was establishedin the USA but was seeking
to argue that the definition referred to any body of persons for charitable purposes
wherever formed,resident or operating. That is not mycontention.
(4) . Instead, J would contend that, so long as Church of Scientology Religious
Education College Ine's purposes remain charitable purposes in accordance with
English law, and so long as my client continues to carry on its activities in this
country and its central management and control remains here, Church of Scientology
Religious Education College Inc is actually established in the United Kingdom, and,
having regard to •its objects and activities (see below) is "established for charitable
purposes only" within the meaning ofthe LGFA.
The answer to your question therefore is that Church of Scientology Religious
'Education College Inc is regulated and subject to the English courts, at Jeast 10 the
degree required by the decision in the Dreyfus case.
/ , Accordingly it is submitted that the jurisdictional requirement is met.
Established Ior charitable purposes only
[ have not suggested that the Council should ignore the decision of the Charity
Commissioners in 1999. However that decision does not constitute 'case law' in the
normal sense of that term, and should not be viewed as a binding (or even 'a
persuasive) authority in connection with the determination that the Council now has to
make. 'Its findings of fact could not be relied on in a court oflaw. This is dear from
the Westminster case referred to in Rydeon Rating.
I have set out in some detail ways in which Church or' Scientotogy Religious
'Education College Inc differs materially from the organisation described by the
Charity Commission in 1999. You .have asked me to provide you with further
evidence of this. As I have always said, I am more than happy to do so: This could
however be a massive and costly exercise, and, before embarking on it J need further
~ clarification from the Council. as to what it needs and wants in order to make a
~ positive determination.. My client would also like an assurance that in requesting
. 2
;." "
" \I
further evidence the Council has not made a decision as a matter of policy and is
/\ prep~ed to view the evidence with an open mind on the question of my client's
charitable status. .
In my "Errors" document J have explained a number of fundamental errors of fact in
the 1999 decision. r have also pointed out that, if the correct facts had been taken into
account, that applicant should have been recognised as a charity even in the light of
the reasoning of that very decision. I note that you say on the last page of your letter:
1~1fthe arguments you have made in support ofyour client's claim to be a charitable
organisation are valid, then the College would have little difficulty in being registered
as a charity by the Commission".
I therefore propose to provide you with further evidence in respect of each of these
errors of fact - showing how Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc
differs materially from the description'given by the Charity Commission on each of
these points in 1999. .
Are there any points thatyou do notrequirefurther evidence of?
Are there any additional matters which you require evidence of?
In what form would you prefer to have the evidence?
Please let me know.
The new Guidance on Public Benefit
However, you may agree that it would be sensible to wait until after the Charity
Commission have published their final supplementary guidance on Public Benefit and'
.,-the Advancement of Religionand on Public Benefit and Fee ChargingCharities. This
guidance is due to be published within the next four months.
Change in approach
J suggestthis because what is stated in the draft supplementary guidance on the public
benefit of religious charities is radically different from what was said on the subj~t in
the 1999 decision. In this connectionI wouldmake the following observations. ".
(1) It should be noted that, if the criteria in the 1999 decision were applied to the
Catholic Church, the fact that its core religious sacrament of confession was
conducted in private might be said to disqualify it as !1 charity. Hindus would also be
in difficulty, because, in a typical Hindu templet every individual or family goes there
to conduct their own rituals and to ask advice from their religious leaders, usually
without common rituals conducted for all. Hindu Temples are usually financed by the
sale of courses and individual religious services. '
(2) Fortunately, the draft supplementary guidance on religious charities,which has
been produced after a good deal of consultation with religious organisations, is more
insightful, and resolves anomalies such' as this. It recognizes that the benefits that
3
fluw to the public from teligi'\}\\s ?t'act\ces are-1\ot ~lmited tQ thQ'5e l'eceived hy direct
participants in those practices. The draft guidance stateson page 30:
"... on one level the benefit of the follower or adherent responsible for
developing his/her social conscience, and the benefit of the organisation
creating an uplifting "feel good" effect on such followers or adherents
conductingthemselves responsibly towards others. might, in turn, promote more
benevolent behaviour. On another level, the benefit might be through the
follower or adherents putting these values into practice in wider society and
encouraging others to do so, for example by visiting sick persons. The public
may benefit from those benevolent acts both individually and more generally.
--------11ie promotion-of-that-behaviour-~ight-also-pre•vent-or-deter_ir.r.esponsible_~ _
behaviour in others.It
The draft guidance continues on page 31 :
"Considering whom the aims are primarily intended to benefit is therefore
important when assessing whether a charity benefits the public or a section of
the public. With charities for the advancement- ofreligion, it is considered that
the beneficiaries are normally both the followers or adherents and the wider
public or, in the case ofa charitable religious order, the beneficiaries are the
members of the order, the wider church and the public generally. The "wider
public" can in some cases benefit through being able to participate in the rite
and services ofthe religion and in others by, for example, being the recipient of
.a .charitable act undertaken by an adherent as part of his or her religious
belief" .
(3) Moreover, on page 24 the draft guidance lists examples of ways in which
advancing religion has the potential to benefit the public, and which are considerably
broader than what is suggested by the 1999 decision. This list is as it happens a good
summary of the purposes and activities of Church of ScientologyReligious Education
College Inc. 1am happy to provide evidence ofthis also, if required.
./ \,
Benefit of the public at large
Your summary of Church of Scientology ReligiousEducation College Inc's purposes
and objects is incomplete. The objects are set out in Article IV of Church of
Scientology Religious Education College Inc's constitution, which commences as
follows:
"The College exists for the benefit ofthe public at large ..."
This is not mere' verbiage. It means that anything that Church of Scientology
Religious Education College Inc aims to do must benefit the public at large, and this
includes the aim of advancing the religion of Scientology,
In this connection I am happy to provide you with evidence of how auditing and
training benefit the public at large, as well as those directly participating in those
activities. Through auditing, whether ministered one on one or at the weekly
congregational services, participants become more morally and spiritually aware.
4
Through training participants learn how to help others. All congregational auditing, as
well as other auditing, other forms of pastoral counselling and training, arc provided
without any donation being requested. Auditing and training directly prepare people
to contribute to the many social help programmes that Church of Scientology
Religious Education College Inc is engaged in. Scientologists have to demonstrate
that they have provided genuine help to others in order to be eligible to participate in
higher auditing levels. All' of this (helping people to become more morally and
spiritually aware, training and preparing people to help others, and providing help
wherever needed) is Scientology, it is not ancillary to Scientology.
It should also be borne in mind that Scientologycan be practised in different ways and
--------:-:-:witl1different <iegrees of spiritual experience, an<rintliat respecCinimil"ar-tcnn-ost----other
religions, where there are also many more people following the general
principles as a way of life than there arehighly advanced devotees who achieve a
deeper understanding of the religion through more dedicated spiritual activities and/or
intellectual analysis, whether as priests or theologians or as members of religious
orders.
Simply because 'Church of Scientology Religious Education College lne funds its
charitable programmes by requesting donations for certain services does not exclude
the poor from the benefits of Scientology, Nor is it at all unusual in obtaining funds
in this way. Many religious charities raise their funds in a very similar way to my
client. Many charge for courses or counselling or Individual religious services.
Compulsory tithing is still retained in some churches. In some countries religious
.. , bodies benefit from a ChurchTax. For example, in Germany Catholics and Lutherans
have to pay tax on their income which goes to their Church, and are not admitted to
certain services unless they have done so.
Non-exeluston of the poor
Poor people can attend all Scientology congregational services without making any
payment or being requested to make a donation. The same is not necessarily true in
other religions.
Your comments in this area aJso fail to take account of the principles which emerge
from the Charity Commission'S draft supplementary guidance On Public Benefit and
Fee Charging Charities. This makes it clear that the opportunities for benefit which
may properly be provided for poor people may W\!11"be'of a different kind from those
made available to people who can afford the fees, provided that the nature of the
benefit is one that flows from the furtherance of. the relevant object. . Thus a fee
paying school may not be able to afford to offer free places to those who cannot
afford its fees, but can still pass the test of. public benefit by providing other
educational opportunities to the poor, for example by seconding a teacher to a local
state school. In the same way I would contend that the fact that my client provides
religious benefits in the form (for example) of open congregational services and freely
available publications without charge to anyone' interested amply fulfils the public
benefit even though there are other services, such as some one-to-one forms of
auditing, which are usuallyoffered on a donation-forbasis.
5
L
Jt may be noted that, like the draft supplementary guidance on Public Benefit and
Charities for the Advancement of Religion, the Charity Commission's draft
supplementary guidance on Public Benefit and Fee Charging Charities also constitutes
a sea change from what is said in the 1999decision on this subject.
I note that you refer in your letter to my quotation of the Guidance's definition of
private benefit. You assert that I "seem to have omitted the significant part of the
same paragraph". However what you then quote is not part of the Charity
Conunission's definition in the Guidance. Your quotation is found in a section of the
general guidance which is concerned with charities which provide benefits through a
membership structure. The full paragraphreads as follows:
"Where people benefit from a charity through a membership structure that is not
unreasonably restricted, then the private benefits to the members are benefits they'
receive as a beneficiary, and so are regarded as a necessary resultofcarrying out the
charitable aims. However, an organisation that is supported by its members for the
purpose of providing benefits for themselves cannot usually be a charity. It is a
queslion of degree. Does the organisation exist primarily for the advantage of its
members? Or has the membership structure been adopted solely as an effective way
ofdelivering charitable benefits, or to make administration easier?"
Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc makes an of its services and
benefits available to the public at large. It does not have a restricted membership
structure, and it is not, as in Gilmour v Coats, a closed religious order - rather the
., opposite .
Summary
Referring to the 4 reasons you give in yourSummary for not being satisfied:
a The guidance (including that quoted above) now makes clear that benefits to
ScientoJogy adherents are benefits received as beneficiaries and are regarded
as a necessary result of carrying out the charitable aims. The focus of my
client is entirely on improving society as a whole (see "The Aims of
Scientology"). Auditing and training are ministered by my client to prepare
people to~~Ip..()thers.The majority of the benefits which flow directly from
the work"orn'1'y~~ana•its pursuit of its charitable purposes, are provided
by adherents of Sciemology and received by non-adherents. In the view of
Scientologists, the provision of these benefits both fulfils the religious
obligations of the adherents and also advances Scientology as a religion by
providing graphic example to the public of the practice of Scientology and its
values. The fact that there are other charitable organisations such as Criminon
and Narconon through which the benefits are made available to individual
members of the public is a feature of the organisational structure and does not
detract in any way from the underlying principle that Scientology teaches and
indeed requires adherents to support and be otherwise involved in such
activities, such that the activitiesare an outward demonstration of Scientology
teachings.
6
.,{- ,
, '
b. My Client benefits the Community at large in both of the ways recognised by
the Charity Commission in its draft supplementary guidance on religious
charities.
Firstly, it provides auditing services (both one on one and at weekly
congregational services which any members of the public can attend) which
make people more morally and spiritually aware. In the words of the draft.
guidance (on page 23):
"This moral framework is considered by many to offer benefits /0 wider
society. as well as individual comfort. solace anda sense afwell being:'
It also providestraining services which teach people directly to help others.
Both the auditing and training provide the ground work for my client's
Community betterment .progranunes and support for other charities. As
indicated above, the provision of those programmes (rather than just the
preparation for it which is provided via auditing and training) forms part of
the true practice ofScientology.
c. Most of the benefits that flow from the work ofmy clients require no payment
from the beneficiary. Anyone can benefit from the work of my client in a
multitude of ways, without payment, including receiving auditing and training.
The fact that my client funds its work by requesting donations for some of its
, services is no bar to charitable status according to the draft supplementary
guidancefor fee-charging chanties.
. d. J am happy to address any specific concerns in more detail. You have
promised to let me address any material that the Council considers relevant to
its determination. This would include any material considered by any legal
advisors. The draft guidance states that the Charity Commission"will consider
any evidence of significant detrimental or harmful effects of (an] organisation )
carrying out its aims" and that "benefits must be balanced against any
detriment or harm". If you believe that you have any such evidence, please let
me have it. I will address its impactand relevance in line with the guidance. . . ",
Conclusion
J will put together the evidence you require when I have your response to the
questions1have asked on the third page of this letter.
1appreciate that it is difficult for Counsel on either side to advise with certainty when
the supplementary guidance on the public benefit of both religious and fee charging
charities has not yet been finalised and published. Whilst 1have addressed you on the
basis of the draft guidance, of course the final version will probably be somewhat
different and, hopefully, even clearer. Given the time that has already passed dealing
with this matter, it may be sensible to wait a little longer and for me to produce the
evidence only after the final guidance is settled. This could avoid wasting
considerabletime and costs on both sides.

[p.74 to 120 contains document “THE COMPANIES ACTS 1948 to 1967: LIST AND PARTICULARS of the Directors and Secretary ot
an Oversea Company” for Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated, of South Australia. Includes ‘General Rules’ of that organisation, and other documents relating to corporate registration in Australia and foreign company registration in the UK. Omitted here due to extreme poor quality of OCR; refer to original document]

William Thackeray

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

Awaiting the result of your internal review (now overdue) in respect of this case.

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

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William Thackeray left an annotation ()

Referred to ICO - internal review not completed in a reasonable time.

William Thackeray

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

Awaiting your response on this matter, due 16 Jan 2011.

Yours faithfully,

William Thackeray

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

We aim to give you a full and clear response within fifteen working days
from receipt of your email. We will ensure that our response is both
accurate and appropriate.

This is the same service standard we apply to letters and faxes but
Charity Commission Direct will usually respond to general email enquiries
within five working days where there is no need for referral to one of our
specialist operational teams.

If we cannot give you a full response within fifteen days, we will contact
you and let you know the reasons why this is not possible and indicate
when we expect to be in a position to give you a full response. We will
also let you have the name and contact number of the person dealing with
your query.

You can find the CommissionÂ*s contact details on our website at
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Diolch am eich e-bost iÂ*r Comisiwn Elusennau.

Rydym yn anelu at ymateb yn llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod gwaith o dderbyn
eich e-bost.

Hwn ywÂ*r un targed ac ymateb i lythyron ond mae Comisiwn Elusennau
Uniongyrchol fel arfer yn ymateb i e-byst o fewn pum diwrnod gwaith, ble
does yna ddim angen cyfeirio at un oÂ*n timau gweithredol arbenigol.

Os na fedrwn roi ymateb llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod, fe wnawn gysylltu
â chi i esbonio pam, gan nodi pryd y byddwn yn medru ymateb yn llawn.
Fe fyddwn hefyd yn rhoi gwybod enw a rhif uniongyrchol y person syÂ*n
delio gydaÂ*ch ymholiad.

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Sheila Birch , Charity Commission for England and Wales

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Thackeray,

Please find attached the outcome of my review of the FOI request relating
to enquiries from local authorities regarding the charitable status of
Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated.

<<C-315544-1M6V.doc>>

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Birch

Sheila Birch
Head of Information Development and Resources
Charity Commission
3rd Floor, 12 Princes Dock, Princes Parade, Liverpool, L3 1DE
T 0151 703 1591 E [email address]

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Roland Rashleigh-Berry left an annotation ()

We are missing an important piece of information here. The case of COSRECI was referred to the Charity Commission to clarify whether it was subject to the laws of England. We never found out if that was the case. Surely it must be possible to know one way or the other. If this is confidential then how is it possible to ever find out this one important piece of information?