Oh, for this to be a reality!
So, I tend to feel Trump should avoid issues of faith and religion, since he is a wholly profane, corrupt man and has no relationship to anything deeper than his Twitter feed.
That being said, Scientology is a scam, a money-racket, and is equally unconnected to a true spiritual foundation.
I don’t watch it religiously (no pun intended), but I’ve seen Leah Remini’s A&E show, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.” I do try to catch it as often as I can, and some of the stories of those who have escaped – and no, they didn’t just leave, they escaped – are jarring.
In May, a longtime Trump family aide and official with the Department of Housing and Urban Development used Twitter to reach out to Remini and suggested that the Trump family were of the belief that Scientology was no church, and as such, should have its tax exempt status revoked.
In an unsolicited Twitter message, Lynne Patton, who has worked for the Trump family since 2009, told actress Leah Remini of Trump’s position and said she would interface with the IRS directly to seek more information in an effort to initiate revocation. Remini sent HuffPost copies of Patton’s messages and has declined to comment further.
After seeking her out in private messaging on Twitter, this was Patton’s message to Remini:
“From The moment I saw your series I told President Trump & his family we needed to revoke their tax exempt status. They couldn’t agree more, but please don’t publicize that yet. I want to do more due diligence on what the IRS has attempted in the past (or maybe you can enlighten me), then I’ll identify who we need to connect with again.”
Later on that same day, Patton messaged Remini again:
“This is going to get done in the next 4 years or I’ll die trying. Knock on wood!”
Then, on May 31:
“I look forward to doing my part to help put an end to this ongoing nightmare and blatant misuse of our IRS rules & regulations. … I want to do more research on Scientology’s history with the IRS, to date, so that I can better understand what tactics have been applied and where we can pick up. Would you have any of this information handy? If not, I will obtain it from the agency directly, Kindly advise!”
Now, could Trump actually be convinced to yank that tax exempt status from that false church? I mean, surely with all of Tom Cruise and John Travolta’s money, they can make it, right?
Unfortunately, it appears that it’s not that easy. Yes, we know the IRS was weaponized against conservative groups under the Obama regime, but for the IRS to target a [so-called] “church,” any push from higher ups would be seen as a no-no.
“For the White House or any administration official to try and influence who the IRS targets, for whatever reason, is wrong and could result in a violation of the law,” said Larry Noble, the former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission who is now a senior director of ethics and general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. “The IRS must make these decisions independently without any influence by the White House or administration officials.”
Yeah, but Larry, c’mon. Scientology is a big scam for people with more money than commonsense.
As it is, the Church of Scientology was given tax-exempt status in 1957, only to be deemed “commercial” in nature, and for the financial benefit of L. Ron Hubbard, losing that status in 1967.
For 26 years, the cult fought the IRS, seeking legitimacy.
When Hubbard died, David Miscavige took over.
Anybody who has seen Remini’s show, or the 2015 HBO documentary, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” – a documentary I HIGHLY recommend, by the way – knows the name “Miscavige.” He’s apparently a violent, oppressive tyrant of a man, and he made it his mission to get that tax-exempt status back.
The church launched a sophisticated operation to infiltrate federal government agencies, the New York Times reported: Members filed scores of lawsuits against the IRS and individual IRS employees; private investigators probed IRS agents’ personal affairs; and two private investigators set up a phony news bureau and posed as reporters to try to gather information about Scientology critics within the IRS.
After 26 years, in a controversial decision, the IRS granted the church and over 150 entities associated with it tax-exempt status. Days after the decision, Miscavige, whom more than 100 members have accused of various abuses, stood on a stage at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in front of 10,000 Scientologists. At the end of a long speech, Miscavige shared the news of the IRS decision, and declared “the war is over” to loud cheers by attendees.
And under Miscavige, those abuses apparently continue.
The president, alone, can’t act against any organization, however. It has to be somebody high up in the Treasury Department that has a reasonable belief that the tax-exempt claims are sketchy, at best. In that case, they begin a field operation to examine the organization.
Now, to look back at Lynne Patton, her own position makes it unlikely she has the kind of pull to get such an investigation rolling.
She’s faced a lot of questions about her qualifications for the job she now holds with HUD. She’s worked for years as the Vice President of Eric Trump’s foundation, and listed the speech she gave at the RNC convention as one of her qualifications for the job as head of HUD’s Region II.
Her last contact with Remini was in a June 8 email, where she sent an article about Tom Cruise’s connection to Scientology, then mentioned former FBI Director James Comey, who was testifying that day before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his termination.
She promised to “circle back” after she did more research on the IRS, but Remini never heard back from her.
Some months later, however, Patton was photographed with a member of the Church of Scientology who has managed to get her foot in the door of Trump World and is gaining a bit of prominence.
So was this one of those creepy tricks that anybody who has been following the stories of how Scientologists work know they’re prone to? Was Patton setting Remini up, or is she just a flake, who in true Trumpidian fashion, puffed up her own credentials a bit, in order to gain the favor of a TV star?
I’d say either is possible, and that’s too bad.