Leah Remini exposed what she believes is one of the Church of Scientology’s most deceitful moves yet during the latest episode of Scientology and the Aftermath, which airs on A&E.
The latest episode dealt with the building of what is called “Ideal Orgs,” which are buildings purchased and renovated by the Church of Scientology. These buildings would have space to train, process, and administrate new and existing members of the church’s congregation.
The origin of this term is from an essay, formally adopted as church policy, which L. Ron Hubbard wrote. The essay is titled “The Ideal Org.”
In this policy letter, Mr. Hubbard outlined all of the functions and actions any Church of Scientology should be undertaking, and also the responsibility that church would be taking for its general area. He calls it the “ideal organization,” as it represents an ideal to which any Scientology organization can compare itself to — and one to which any organization can then compare themselves to, to see where they need to improve.
Tony Ortega, on his website the Underground Bunker, revealed the fundraising obsession that goes into building these “orgs” — and the “deceitful” way that the religion goes about collecting donations to fund their design and construction.
Ortega claimed that on October 14, the Church of Scientology opened its latest “Ideal Org,” this time in the city of Detroit. This “org” was the 61st to go “ideal” since the program started in 2003. “Ideal Orgs” have opened in places such as Tokyo, Budapest, Bogota, and Tel Aviv. About 30 are located in the United States.
Scientology and the Aftermath‘s latest episode exposes — according to Ortega — how “crazy” the “Ideal Org” fundraising obsession is, and how Scientology’s own members are footing the bill for what Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and other former Scientologists call mistreatment of church members. This mistreatment comes in the form of forcing its members to donate cash for the projects, on top of funding their own Scientology journey.
Paul Burkhart — who dealt with the org’s space planning for the new buildings — revealed that millions of dollars are being spent to purchase, renovate, and open these buildings. Said buildings are supposed to be for Scientology members to utilize. However, after the grand opening — which is generally attended by high-ranking church officials — many buildings are left empty.
Remini and Rinder allege that purchasing all of this real estate is a way for the church to continue to be exempt from real estate taxes, given that Scientology is recognized as a religion. The purchases of the buildings help Scientology practitioners to be seen as “valuable community partners.”
In 2011, the Tampa Bay Times published a series of articles highlighting what it called “Scientology’s money machine” — and the tactics used by the church to raise money.
The article argued that the church “never should have been granted tax-exempt status, and the IRS should revisit that decision.”
This is the stand that both Remini and Rinder have taken this season, as they continue their journey to expose these practices.
Scientology and the Aftermath airs Tuesdays on A&E.