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Re: Takeover fears

Feb 15, 1997 05:10 PM
by JRC

On Sat, 15 Feb 1997 wrote:
> If the TS is chartered as a religious or spiritual body, no politician will
> touch that with a ten foot pole.  The first amendment lawyers will come in
> and make hash of any attempt at an investigation with every major and minor
> religious body in the US (especially the Roman Catholic Church) filing friend
> of the court briefs.
> Chuck the Heretic

Actually, I think you may be wrong here Chuck - what you say used to be
the accepted wisdom in political circles until recently, but my friends in
DC tell me there is an immense (though quiet) shift of the winds underway
- brought about by several different reasons ... first, the great public
abuses of the fundamentalists in the 80's - the Swaggert, Baker and other
fiascos made national news, but numerous similar things happened at a
smaller level - put the first chink in the armor of the "hands off
religion" idea; the huge movement into politics of the Christian right
further blurred the line, and finally, this is all taking place in a
Washington environment in which Republicans are making a huge push to have
the IRS look *much* more closely at non-profits in general. The groups
that get in trouble, however, virtually always do so (as with Baker and
Swaggert) because the group itself engaged in internal nefarious
behaviour. Other organizations will support one another when the case is a
simple one of religious freedom, but look at the TS if Doss' scenario
comes true - an "Occult" organization, claiming to be democratic and
enjoying non-profit status, siezes property by using a bylaw a ruling
faction shoved through *illegaly* (that is, the TS broke its own bylaws in
changing the bylaws), is discovered to have a clearly non-democratic ES
with possible ties to India calling virtually all the shots - and on top
of that we must remember that in the view of Christian fundamentalists
*HPB* is to this day preached about as sitting pretty much at the right
hand of Satan ... is held responsible for introducing the darkest of evils
- oriental occultism, the "new age" and etc., to the western world ...
	No, I suspect the Catholic church would be too politically astute
to comment (they'd have little to gain and much to lose) and the
fundamentalists would very likely file amicus briefs *against* the TS,
they'd love to see it perish altogether. And a whole pile of the new
conservative class of politicians would actually feel their careers
would be *helped* by going after an "occult" group ... *they'd* have much
to *gain* and little to *lose* with their constituants.


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