The Church of Scientology is denying allegations made by the HBO documentary "Going Clear" that claim the religion's leadership harassed the IRS to obtain its tax-exempt status in 1993.
The controversial documentary directed by Alex Gibney, which is critical of the religion founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, purports that the organization obtained its tax-exempt status from the IRS using bullying tactics by filing thousands of lawsuits against the government agency and agreeing to drop them if they were made tax-exempt.
The Church of Scientology vehemently denies these claims, according to Scientology Attorney Monique Yingling. more >>
The Satanic Temple group and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have announced that they are launching a lawsuit against the Franklin County Courthouse in Indiana for rejecting the groups' respective December displays.
The lawsuit says that a new county ordinance, which restricts permits for displays and activities on the courthouse lawn to county residents, is a violation of the First Amendment. The lawsuit was filed late in March at the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana, The Washington Post reported.
The Satanic Temple had sought to display "an artistic three-dimensional sculpture mounted on a wooden platform" on the lawn between November and January, but was denied the request. FFRF's plans to display cut-out figures "celebrating the December 15 nativity of the Bill of Rights" were also turned down. more >>
A former executive in the Church of Scientology claims the organization has framed him in response to his participation in the recent HBO documentary "Going Clear" which aims to exposes the religion's evils.
According to Gawker, two narcotics officers with the Burbank, California, police department showed up at Tom DeVocht's door, who makes an appearance in "Going Clear" which debuted on HBO last month, and claimed they received an anonymous tip that he was selling drugs in the area. The police even wielded what the publication describes as "dubious photographic evidence" of him engaging in illegal activity.
The incident occurred just five days after the premier of "Going Clear." The report states that Adam Baumgarten, one of the narcotics officers who showed up at DeVocht's door, showed him a picture that had been taken of him sitting in car holding a quart-sized plastic bag with something white inside. more >>
Actor John Travolta has broken his silence and spoken out about his time with the Church of Scientology but admitted that he refuses to watch the HBO documentary "Going Clear."
"I haven't experienced anything that the hearsay has (claimed), so why would I communicate something that wasn't true for me?" he asked the Tampa Bay Times before speaking on behalf of fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise.
"It wouldn't make sense, nor would it for Tom, I imagine," Travolta said. "I've been so happy with my experience in the last 40 years … that I really don't have anything to say that would shed light on (a documentary) so decidedly negative. I've been brought through storms that were insurmountable, and Scientology has been so beautiful for me that I can't even imagine attacking it. Why would I even approach a negative perspective? That would be a crime to me, personally, to do that." more >>
Seattle's Satanic Temple chapter is campaigning against a "In God We Trust" sign set to be put up at a Clark County public hearing room in Vancouver, Wash. The group said that its goal is to separate church and state, and with Satan as its symbol it wants to "rebel against tyranny."
"We see Satan as our symbol of the rebel against tyranny," said Satanic Temple's Lillith Starr, who founded the Seattle chapter in late 2014, according to KING 5 News.
The county council explained that the sign in question was donated by a non-profit, and so there was no government money spent on it. more >>
Answers in Genesis President and CEO Ken Ham has said the news that Iceland is building its first temple to the Norse gods since the Vikings era is proof that Europe is now in a "post-Christian" state. He added that the United States is following the same path.
"This sad story shows the continuing spiritual decline in Europe. Despite its strong Christian heritage in the past, Europe is now certainly post-Christian and America is quickly going in the same direction," Ham wrote for his AiG blog on Thursday.
"Instead of acknowledging the truth of God's Word and the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ, people are choosing to embrace ancient Norse paganism! How sad!" more >>