There is a growing clamor on the Internet over an effort by some Texans to strip Scientology of its status as a religion — a move that would expose the Church of Scientology to both taxes and greater regulation. This move occurs as various countries continue to move against the Church and the Church is threatening lawsuits over the disclosure of confidential tapes and materials. Most recently, Wikileaks has made available the entire secret Operating Thetan (OT) documents — a move that could trigger another round of litigation by the Church.
The move in Texas would obviously trigger a serious constitutional fight. The sponsors are seeking a resolution to declare that Scientology is not a true religion, click here. The first amendment is designed to protect religions from such majoritarian backlash. Yet, the government routinely uses tax status to force religious organizations to yield to certain policies, particularly anti-discrimination policies.
Moreover, the government routinely declares some organizations to be non-religions or targets conduct that constitutes criminal conduct, click here
The move in Texas may have been influenced by continuing efforts to ban the Church as a cult or criminal organization in other countries, click here
In the meantime, Scientology has been threatening legal actions against critics and those publishing confidential Church information. Most recently, it sent letters threatening bloggers over the bizarre Tom Cruise video, click here. Since it is unlikely to sue under such facts, the letters only served to increase attention to such sites.
Most recently, many expect the church to pursue the sources for the leaking of the “operating Thetan” documents on wikileaks, click here. The document is supposedly one of the most closely held sources in the church. Wikinews has obtained Operating Thetan (OT) documents of the Church of Scientology which were leaked via Wikileaks. The manual includes some pretty odd sections and even handwritten notes from L. Ron Hubbard.
Wikileaks only recently emerged unscathed from a lawsuit over the disclosure of confidential documents by a Swiss bank, click here.