The Controversy over A Piece of Blue Sky by Jon Atack
|«During the weekend of May 15-16, 1999, and at the
beginning of the next week, the controversy seemed to
gain critical mass. Various netizens began emailing
reporters and connections with the news that amazon.com,
which was already under a lot of scrutiny for being a
high-flying Internet IPO that had yet to turn a profit,
was banning books for no good reason. Certainly the
emails that amazon.com customer service flaks were
churning out were less than helpful. Words like "legal
issues" and, later, "libel issues" were being thrown
around by amazon.com representatives who responded to
netizen concerns via email. It was very apparent from
the different messages being sent out that amazon.com
really didn't know what to say when contacted by
Deana's Co$-IRS Agreement Analysis
|«Since I've got to read this entire thing anyway, I
thought I'd do an online analysis of what I read as I'm
doing it. I should note that I am not a tax attorney,
and so I'm looking for more mundane things to reach out
and bite me. So this analysis is cursory, and I look
forward to clarifications and explanations from
Unanswered questions about the agreement
|The following are some questions that I've come up
with about the IRS/Co$ tax decision. Granted, some of
these questions are fantasy questions, likely never to
be answered because of IRS confidentiality and suchlike.
Please feel free to add your own questions as well.
- How much did IRS originally estimate was the Co$
- Where did the $12.5 mil figure come from?
- How many lawsuits had been filed against IRS
(this is in the missing exhibits to the agreement)?
- How frequent is the use of a 906 agreement
(which settles *everything*)? It's believed that
this is very infrequently used.
- Has IRS made any moves to extend the
extraordinary tax provision it granted to Co$ for
"fixed donations" to other groups? Are there any
internal IRS documents discussing this? (I'd like to
see this because an estimate of the tax hit if they
let this donation get out would be enormous, I do
- Has the Church Tax Compliance Committee paid any
fines in violation of this agreement? If so, how
much were the fines, why were they levied and who
- Are there any figures out there as to how much
money individual Scientologists, as a group, were
able to deduct from their taxes as a result of this
- Was there any internal discussion at IRS about
the possibility that the deduction granted only to
Co$ could be a violation of the First Amendment
Establishment Clause? If so, can we get those
- Have there been any meetings of the CTCC and the
IRS since the inception of this agreement? If so,
where are the records and who were the participants
and what was discussed?
- What was the mechanism by which IRS notified Co$
of any lawsuits regarding this agreement? Did IRS
notify Co$ of any FOIA requests as well? If so, what
did they tell Co$?
- What is in the separate "Settlement Agreement"?
- Who were the five signatories for the church
organizations on the last page of the agreement?
- What is the implications for other religions
that charge fixed fees for donations?
- Did the Co$ dissolve WISE? If not, why not?
(It's my belief that they probably dissolved WISE
and reincorporated it, but the incorporation
documents would state it.) Or, as it was suggested
to me, it could indicate a later adjustment to the
- Have there been adjustments to this closing