New US Government Petition re: Cults and Tax Exemptions

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    Hi ssn587 and Okage, does that mean you would be willing to write a White House petition to modify the tax codes? If you do write a petition, please post a link on JWN. I would be willing to sign your petition if it is well written. Please do not be deterred by some JWN members not encouraging you about writing a petition.

    BTW 36 people have signed the petition as of this morning.

    If this petition does not obtain 25,000 signatures, I am thinking about writing another petition about replacing the Federal Income Tax with a Federal retail sales tax. A Federal retail sales tax might not benefit members of dangerous cults, but I would not dread April 15th anymore. Unfortunately, a Federal retail sales tax law might have more opponents than religious organizations. Tax accountants, tax lawyers, real estate agents, non-profit organizations, etc would be against any changes to the Federal Income Tax system that would not benefit them.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    Robert

    ABibleStudent posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 15:21:00 GMT(4/30/2012)

    Post 713 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010

    ssn587 - I heartily agree with Okage, tax them, tax all churches, why should they get a free ride? Churches use public utilities, roads, etc. tax them all. then it will truly be indiscriminant. another good point is have all churches and nonprofit organizations show what come in and what goes out, and specifically what it goes out for and is used for.

    Hi JeffT, Because you are an accountant, I'm not surprised that you don't like a federal sales tax. I'm curious why you feel that a federal sales tax would be too regressive for you. I do not remember economist or politicians using the word "regressive" when debating about converting from Federal income tax to a sales taxes. I have wished for a Federal sales tax for years for numerous reasons, although I know that changing from an income tax to a sales tax would be tricky to avoid undesirable economic effects.

    I'm also curious what would you write about in your novel that would awaken readers to the dangers of dangerous cults that has not already been written about by Raymond Franz, Steve Hassan, Don Cameron, and others?

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    Robert

    Thanks for the definitions JeffT. BTW per your definitions a retail sales tax may be either a progressive or regressive tax depending on how the sales tax law is structured. People who are rich have more to spend as well as luxury items could be taxed at a higher rate. Also, sales taxes on home sales (which already exists in some counties) and on stock sales would affect the rich more than the poor.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    Robert

    Hi Band on the Run, Have you read all my posts in the following threads, which you have posted on:

    Because of your last sentence in your last post (see bolded words in quote box), I feel that you do not really want to know my goal for this petition, nor how many politicians and government officials that I have already mailed letters to and sent emails to, also. The answers are in the aforementioned threads.

    In the three threads that promote the White House petition, you have not substantiated you opinion by quoting, citing, and providing links from/to any Supreme Court cases or quoting, citing, and providing links from/to any respected legal journals. I have cited and provided links to Supreme Court cases and IRS publications to prove my point to which you express your opinion that the cases do not prove that any law(s) inspired by this petition would be held Constitutional. You and I are not Supreme Court Justices nor high ranking government officials, so your opinion on this subject has the same weight as mine. Even Supreme Court Justices disagree about what is constitutional or not: just read the cases that I have cited by clicking on the provided links.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    Robert

    Hi Band on the Run, Are you feeling ok? I don't want you to feel any more hurt, but I don't like you misleading readers about the merits of the White House petition either. My latter feelings trump my feelings about you feeling hurt.

    Please read a definition of coercion below from a website that promotes itself as a legal definition website. The WTBTS promotes coercion by promoting to JWs that they must shun unrepentant, rebellious JWs or former JWs, as if they are dead, in their publications and that any JW who publically disagrees with the WTBTS’s doctrines and leaders is behaving rebelliously. I may not be using coercion as a lawyer would in court, but it is so close I wonder why you disagree with me that the WTBTS promotes coercion of JWs. I bolded the words in the definition that seemed most relevant.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    Robert

    Hi Band on the Run, I am sorry that you are not feeling well in the thread that you started: http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/friends/225721/1/Horrid-Time-for-Me. I will try to be more tolerant of your posts, but I still disagree with your opinion.

    Please provide additional information about the cases that you cited. I searched for the cases that are bolded in the above quote on http://lp.findlaw.com/ . I could only find information for Hein v. Freedom From Religion. Is HEIN, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF FAITH-BASED AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES, et al. v. FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION, INC., et al. the case that you are refering to?

    Since Justice Souter, Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Breyer dissented against the majority of the Supreme Court Justices in Hein et al versus Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., et al., doesn’t that prove that “any American lawyer” will not agree with your opinion about the Constitutionality of a law inspired by the White House petition that I am promoting? Also, I do not see the connection that you see with Hein versus Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., et al and the White House petition that I am promoting.

    The White House petition asks the President to support revising the USC Title 26 § 501 by adding requirements for all tax exempt organizations. The President can ask Congress to revise USC Title 26 § 501. Congress will need to create bills to modify USC Title 26 § 501 and pass legislation before the President can sign the passed legislation to create a law. Since the Supreme Court narrowly construes interpretation of the 1 st Amendment, how is the White House petition related to Hein versus Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.?

    In Hein versus Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., the President, by executive orders, created a White House office and several centers within federal agencies to ensure that faith-based community groups are eligible to compete for federal financial support. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. represented some taxpayers that felt that funding through general Executive Branch appropriations was a violation of the Establishment Clause of the 1 st Amendment. Please read the Supreme Court Opinion in the provided link to understand the thinking of the Justices.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    Robert

    botchtowersociety posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 16:24:00 GMT(4/30/2012)

    Post 4846 of 7860
    Joined 4/26/2011

    What Jeff said.

    M JeffT posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 19:26:00 GMT(4/30/2012)

    Post 6085 of 7075
    Joined 6/4/2001

    A federal sales tax is too regressive even for me.

    I'm all in favor of providing people with the opportunity to learn about cults. That is why I'm trying to get the novel published. I'm opposed to using the tax codes to bludgeon people into behaving the way I want them to behave. I don't care who is on which end of the beat down, it is an abuse of federal power, in my opinion.

    ABibleStudent posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 23:24:00 GMT(4/30/2012)

    Post 718 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010

    JeffT - A federal sales tax is too regressive even for me.

    I'm all in favor of providing people with the opportunity to learn about cults. That is why I'm trying to get the novel published. I'm opposed to using the tax codes to bludgeon people into behaving the way I want them to behave. I don't care who is on which end of the beat down, it is an abuse of federal power, in my opinion.

    M Shawn10538 posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 23:46:00 GMT(4/30/2012)

    Post 1212 of 1269
    Joined 11/8/2005

    I was just number 38. C'mon people, stop talking about it and act. It took me about three minutes to register and sign the petition. If you have reservations, remember, it's not law yet, it's just a petition to put it on a ballot. It probably won't pass but let's try anyway. We might be surprised.

    M JeffT posted Tue, 01 May 2012 00:19:00 GMT(5/1/2012)

    Post 6086 of 7075
    Joined 6/4/2001

    Progressive = a tax system that weights the tax burden toward those that make more

    Regressive = a tax system that causes people at the lower end of the income spectrum to pay a higher percentage of their money

    A graduated income tax is set up such that high income people pay higher rates than those at the lower end. this is intended to adjust for the amount of disposable income available to members of the two groups. A sales tax hits poorer people heavily because they have to spend a higher precentage of their money just to stay alive. Sales taxes, cigarette taxes, alchohol taxes and lottery tickets all pull higher percentages of income from poor people than rich people. I would prefer to see something close to a flat tax, everybody pays say 15% of whatever they make with no, or very few; offsets, credits, deductions or other adjustments.

    To repeat my thoughts on all of this, I am opposed to ANY effort to have the government dictate what a person, or group of people, can say or think.

    mind blown posted Tue, 01 May 2012 02:19:00 GMT(5/1/2012)

    Post 495 of 1541
    Joined 3/29/2010

    This has NOTHING to do with freedoms. It has to do with intitutions/cults doing DAMAGE & HARM with out dated practices (inquisition, stoning, hanging, exil, blacks at the back of the bus) or mind bending brain washing & shunning, that harm modern society in the 21st Century and getting a free tax ride.

    ABibleStudent posted Tue, 01 May 2012 04:15:00 GMT(5/1/2012)

    Post 721 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010

    @ mind blown, I agree with you. The White House petition to protect Americans from dangerous cults is tilted to protect the rights of an individual more than an organization.

    @ JeffT

    JeffT - Progressive = a tax system that weights the tax burden toward those that make more

    Regressive = a tax system that causes people at the lower end of the income spectrum to pay a higher percentage of their money

    rnewman123 posted Wed, 02 May 2012 09:13:00 GMT(5/2/2012)

    Post 11 of 9
    Joined 4/19/2012

    Hi,

    I heard though the UK government is discussing charging tax for property transaction for any religeous groups.

    The Vatican is going mad about it so there maybe an angle that could be used...

    ABibleStudent posted Wed, 09 May 2012 20:36:00 GMT(5/9/2012)

    Post 781 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010

    Thanks a million to the 80 people who have signed the White House petition "Protecting Americans from Dangerous Cults: Modify USC Title 26 § 501 Tax Exemption Requirements.

    I want to thank Steven Unthank for encouraging me to use Facebook to promote the White House petition, and to thank ProdigalSon on JWN and Aida on JWSF for linking to the petition on their Facebook accounts. I want to thank everyone who has posted on this thread and the following two threads:

    Also, I specifically want to thank JWN members JeffT, Band on the Run, New Chapter, james_woods, and botchtowersociety for your comments on this and/or the aforementioned threads. I may not like what you wrote in your posts, but you are free to write your opinions and I would defend your right. You 5 more than anyone else gave me information that I used to create the questions in the FAQ section and the motivation to create a Facebook page.

    I published my first Facebook page today. The page is a work in progress and I would appreciate any comments about how to improve the message on the page. The page briefly describes the petition, where to go for additional information, and FAQ type questions to help people to overcome their objections to sign the petition. The link to the Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Protecting-Americans-from-Dangerous-Cults/264002310365016 .

    Even though it is unlikely that 25,000 people will sign this petition before May 26, 2012, I want to be prepared to do a better job of promoting a similar White House petition the following day.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,

    Robert

    mind blown posted Wed, 09 May 2012 22:51:00 GMT(5/9/2012)

    Post 506 of 1541
    Joined 3/29/2010

    I would think just as the case with Steven Unthank, though charges were not brough against the WTS, us emailing many of those officials as well as anythings else that was done, without question brought even more attention to religion and sexual abuse within. Because of this the UK is in the begining stages of reform.

    Band on the Run posted Wed, 09 May 2012 23:07:00 GMT(5/9/2012)

    Post 5128 of 9818
    Joined 12/18/2010

    What is the goal of the petition? Personal letters are more effective. Signing a petition is too easy. It shows minimal effort and interest. Unconst'l is unconst'l.

    ABibleStudent posted Mon, 14 May 2012 00:17:00 GMT(5/14/2012)

    Post 813 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010

    Tha nks a million to the 84 people , who have signed the White House petition at http://wh.gov/Er4 !! :wav:

    Unfortunately there are only 13 days left for 24,916 Americans to sign the petition before it will expire. Does anyone have ideas about how to inspire Americans to sign this petition?

    I realize that this petition does not have the same emotional and political appeal to politicians as same-sex marriage. I do feel that protecting Americans from dangerous cults is a more important issue than same-sex marriage, because same-sex marriages do not victimize anyone but dangerous cults do!!

    Currently, I am working on a Facebook page to promote the current White House petition as well as any follow on petition. Please visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Protecting-Americans-from-Dangerous-Cults/264002310365016 . Does anyone have comments to improve this Facebook page, as well as, Facebook members liking it?

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
    Robert

    ABibleStudent posted Mon, 14 May 2012 00:46:00 GMT(5/14/2012)

    Post 814 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010
    Band on the Run - What is the goal of the petition? Personal letters are more effective. Signing a petition is too easy. It shows minimal effort and interest. Unconst'l is unconst'l.
    Band on the Run posted Mon, 14 May 2012 04:56:00 GMT(5/14/2012)

    Post 5157 of 9818
    Joined 12/18/2010

    Robert lives in a fantasy land. The WT coerces no one in the legal sense of the word. Coercion would be force. There are countries in this world where freedom of religion does NOT exist. This petition is a travesty for all the activits in prison or otherwise persecuted for religous beliefs.

    This is some world where one pulls legal precedent out of one's hat. Stick your hand out and see which way the wind blows.

    Targeting any religion is unconst'l! If the Witnesses break criminal laws and do coerce, there are criminal statutes in every state and territory to deal with the criminality.

    Band on the Run posted Mon, 14 May 2012 04:56:00 GMT(5/14/2012)

    Post 5158 of 9818
    Joined 12/18/2010

    Robert lives in a fantasy land. The WT coerces no one in the legal sense of the word. Coercion would be force. There are countries in this world where freedom of religion does NOT exist. This petition is a travesty for all the activits in prison or otherwise persecuted for religous beliefs.

    This is some world where one pulls legal precedent out of one's hat. Stick your hand out and see which way the wind blows.

    Targeting any religion is unconst'l! If the Witnesses break criminal laws and do coerce, there are criminal statutes in every state and territory to deal with the criminality.

    ABibleStudent posted Mon, 14 May 2012 20:37:00 GMT(5/14/2012)

    Post 817 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010
    Band on the Run - Robert lives in a fantasy land. The WT coerces no one in the legal sense of the word. Coercion would be force. There are countries in this world where freedom of religion does NOT exist. This petition is a travesty for all the activits in prison or otherwise persecuted for religous beliefs.

    This is some world where one pulls legal precedent out of one's hat. Stick your hand out and see which way the wind blows.

    Targeting any religion is unconst'l! If the Witnesses break criminal laws and do coerce, there are criminal statutes in every state and territory to deal with the criminality.

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/coercion/

    Coercion - Coercion generally means to impose one's will on another by means of force or threats. Coercion may be accomplished through physical or psychological means. It may occur in a variety of contexts, such as unfair trade practices, which prohibits coercion to sell insurance in most states.

    Definitions vary by state and federal laws. For example, one state defines coercion as a crime when a person compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter has a legal right to abstain from engaging in, or to abstain from engaging in conduct in which he has a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will cause physical injury to a person or cause damage to property.

    M Dogpatch posted Mon, 14 May 2012 20:53:00 GMT(5/14/2012)

    Post 3759 of 3989
    Joined 12/26/2000

    All non-profits, with the exception of churches and religions, must spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year accounting the the government (U.S.). Believe me, I took my first class on forms 990-199 for Calif. years ago because my tax man (who is supposed to know non-profits) messed it up. And chanrged me $500. After the class, I did all my own returns and never got any notices from the IRS. For the next few years I did my own, but the formd got more complicate as time went on, and I hired a CPA to do them. Even HE made mistakes! The codes are changing every year, but not for religions.

    Few religions, except for the Catholic Church, reach out to non-members like Jesus did. They become corporations, and corporations will fight and claw and lie to survive. But, at least in Calif., they are weeding out phony non-profits. It is harder than ever to navigate the forms and account for every last dollar you spend. Much harder than a for-profit organization in most cases.

    Churches? Just look at what Scientology gets away with. Why? Some consider it blackmail.

    But why are RELIGIONS exempt from form 990s? Because of the non-willingness of the govt. to touch them (political reasons, mostly). All you have to do is petition that religions/churches have to abide by the same law as other non-profits. Believe me, it would shut down most of them!

    I have, in the last 30 years, seen millions of dollars bilked out of churches because the tax/accounting person was crooked and took MILLIONS over a period of years on the side. They get mentioned in the newspapers. But often the churches are reluctant to prosecute them. (A load of reasons why.)

    Believe me, it's not educational non-profits, especially in Cali, but the churches, who can do damn well anything they please.

    "Yes, I think I want a new yacht so I can visit Tuvalu and start a new church." RIGHT.

    I come from a background of a seed/church planting megachurch (3000 members) that is legit (Hope Chapel... technically a Foursquare Church). They have started dozens of churches. Years ago a female accountant had been caught bilking them out of like a million bucks, maybe a little less. NO ONE KNEW.

    Why?

    No accountability to others. That's why I post my 990s on my site and on GreatNonProfits.org as well (actually THEY get them from the govt. and then make YOU upload them, too!) It's unfair, but a necessary evil. You miss reporting for three years in a row, you lost your exemption and must refile.

    ALWAYS, before you donate to a non-profit, EVEN ONE YOU KNOW WELL, check out their status with the IRS. Many have been removed recently, some whom you are familiar with, and they are doing great harm to their own selves, let alone others. If they lose their tax status, and you have donated $10,000 to them over 2-3 years, you will have to pay taxes on that donation. You have just been RIPPED OFF.

    It has to stop... but I doubt it will happen soon. We are not Europe, who is a little more jaded towards phony religions.

    Randy

    Band on the Run posted Tue, 15 May 2012 02:45:00 GMT(5/15/2012)

    Post 5167 of 9818
    Joined 12/18/2010

    I cited a slew of U S Supreme Court cases, provided historical analysis, philosophical overtones from the European experience, and current trends by the Supreme Court. My recitation of cases, such as Lemon/Agostini, Hein v. Freedom From Religion, McCreary and Van Orden were scoffed at by you. I was severely ridiculed for listing them b/c you cannot refute my points. To be accurate, they are not points but well-estabished law.

    See any American lawyer for a consultation and you will hear what I wrote. I dare you.

    My expertise was mocked. YOu have no legal training and misread cases. I have repeated that my perception of the contours of the Establishment Clause was mistaken. I only learned what I did by using it as subject for a writing sample. I chose E C law b/c it is so complicated at the fringes. The core is easy. You are very mistaken factually. Rather than address my concerns for a single second, you chose to attack me b/c I am a lawyer. Shades of the Wt and dumbing down.

    I can understand why you believe the way you do. Civics instruction in this country is very bad. Reread the threads and attack my content. You would rather attack me. I studied accounting in law school for one course. The accounting dimensions and an overreaching government governed by mob rule would ruin the United States of America. You persist in your wrong views. I don't know how you passed a single history course in school. Every Supreme Court justices agrees with my statements. Even Scalia and Thomas. Can't you admit that you have zero expertise in law or accounting? People share your sentiments that the JWs are a cult. You have no power to ban them on behalf of all Americans.

    Again, for the n th time, any religion that breaks a criminal law of universal applicability with no legislative intent to target a particular religion, can be prosecuted. I even reported cases to back up this assertion.

    I have vast cases, law review articles, Supreme Court justices, the very latest EC cases to back up my argument. The law is different from what you thought. This is no evil or even a judgment on you. I cannot do accounting, brain surgery, mountain climbing, the list is endless. No one can know everything today.

    ABibleStudent posted Tue, 15 May 2012 04:48:00 GMT(5/15/2012)

    Post 820 of 2870
    Joined 8/5/2010
    Band on the Run - I cited a slew of U S Supreme Court cases, provided historical analysis, philosophical overtones from the European experience, and current trends by the Supreme Court. My recitation of cases, such as Lemon/Agostini, Hein v. Freedom From Religion, McCreary and Van Orden were scoffed at by you. I was severely ridiculed for listing them b/c you cannot refute my points. To be accurate, they are not points but well-estabished law.

    See any American lawyer for a consultation and you will hear what I wrote. I dare you.

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