How many, though, are aware that the Scientology is registered as a charity in New Zealand? This means that are tax exempt and people making donations to them, or tithing to them, can claim tax refunds. It also means that, through our taxes, we subsidise the activity of the Church of Scientology.
What charitable work do they do? You may well ask. They are registered under the advancement of religion sector. In their application for charitable status they list their main sector of charitable activity as “religious activities” and their main activity as providing “religious services and/or activities.”
Our tax legislation defines such activity as charitable for tax purposes. It also provides religious exemption from local body rates.
A lot of New Zealanders would probably be unhappy about this – if they knew! And this charitable status is also available to other religious cults which cause family disruptions and have been exposed as condoning child sexual abuse.