NL Times


Hague Court deals blow to Scientology tax-free status

The Dutch branch of the Church of Scientology has lost its tax status as “public welfare institution”, and the tax benefits that go along with it, in a ruling made by the court in The Hague on Wednesday. 

The court decided that the sales of the Church’s expensive courses and therapy sessions are clearly aimed at making a profit, and thus it does not belong on the tax authorities’ charity list.

Scientologists believe that there are two major divisions of the mind – the reactive mind and the analytical mind, according to Wikipedia. The reactive mind stores painful and debilitating images, “engrams”, that move people further away from their true identity. The Church promises believers that they can get rid of these engrams with special techniques and eventually achieve a “clear” state – a sort of super human with a clear mind. The Church offers courses and therapy sessions to work towards this “clear” state, and these quickly cost thousands of euros.

The court ruled that these courses cost significantly more than commercial educational institutions’ average school fees. “If providers on the secular education market had similar prices, prospective students would experience it as prices for top education by top teachers in prime locations.” The court finds the prices to be very commercial. According to the court, Scientology consciously seeks profits to fill its purse and was able to build “substantial wealth” like this.

The Church can still appeal against this ruling, but it is not yet clear if they will. A spokesperson called the judge’s ruling “discrimination based on religious beliefs”.

This ruling puts a provisional end to a long ongoing process that started in the Amsterdam Court two years ago, according to newspaper Trouw.  Back then the court ruled that the Church of Scientology does not have a commercial character because it gave courses and therapy sessions to poor Scientologists as gifts. The Supreme Court questioned this ruling late last year, also being concerned about the prices Scientology charges.

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack
  • wic

    Dear people in Clearwater did you hear David Miscaviges head explode?

    • sundaygirl

      I heard it all the way across the country…

    • OneThrough8

      heh-heh-heh i’m still laughing as I key this in!

    • Jerseygram

      If only…

  • Missionary Kid

    The courts of the Netherlands have more sense than ours in the USA!

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  • Paul V. Tupointeau

    Governments and tax officials should not be fooled: Scientology is a for-profit business (and a manipulative, destructive cult as well!). Their attempts to appear religious or charitable are only pretense. The only services they give away are those designed to lure in members, mostly “touch assists” and “Way to Happiness” pamphlets. Advertising is not charity. Everything else is pay-as-you-go: if you don’t give them a specified, listed, “fixed donation”, you will get no services. How can anyone consider this to be a “donation” to a “charity”? It’s a price, a fee-for-services, nothing else. It only becomes a donation if you change your mind and try to get your money back. And that makes it more of a fraud than a business.

    • sundaygirl

      I don’t think anyone (excluding current members) anymore is fooled by this rot. Just no one with enough power and influence willing to stand up to the organization.

    • JoPa Mi

      You just described every religion. Lol

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Fantastic news. Good work, Den Haag!

  • deanblair

    Now if only the United States courts and the IRS would follow suit and remove Scientology’s tax benefits realizing them for what they are. A for profit organization and nothing more. They do not benefit society in any way and nothing they offer is free.

  • OneThrough8

    Sooooo refreshing to hear that a court made the right decision about the Cult of $cientology’s phony claims of being a charitable organization. Tax fraud! What about the back taxes? Might be a good idea to collect them! Thank you to the court and all of the Dutch people who made this happen. I loved reading this finding of the court, that “Scientology consciously seeks profits to fill its purse and was able to build “substantial wealth.” So many many ex-scientologists have known this to be true for decades. I can’t believe this had finally happened. A court actually called them out and they are no longer a charitable organization in the Netherlands. Hurrah!

  • NobodyofConsequence

    And this is different from every other religion…. HOW, exactly?

    • Jerseygram

      You haven’t been paying attention or you wouldn’t ask that.

  • Bill

    It is a good start and should be the first of many. Time for ALL religions to lose their tax exempt status.. If the followers want to believe in a particular sky wizard then let the user pay. The god business is a good business and they will fight it hard, but the bottom line is that those of us who do not believe in gods of any stripe are subsidizing their religous beliefs and that goes against the seperation of church and state. Trillions in taxes can be collected and we shall see just how much “true support” they have.

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  • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)


  • IL Luminacca

    “Tax The Churches…Tax the Businesses owned by the churches”…….Frank Zappa

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