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DECISION OF THE CHARITY COMMISSONERS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES MADE ON 17TH NOVEMBER 1999

Title: DECISION OF THE CHARITY COMMISSONERS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES MADE ON 17TH NOVEMBER 1999
Date: Wednesday, 17 November 1999
Publisher: UK Charity Commission
Main source: charity-commission.gov.uk

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2. Conclusion

The Commissioners having considered the full legal and factual case and supporting documents (including expert evidence) which had been put to them by CoS and having considered and reviewed the relevant law, taking into account the principles embodied in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the Commissioners concluded that CoS is not established as a charity and accordingly is not registrable as such. In so determining the Commissioners concluded as follows -:

CoS is not charitable as an organisation established for the advancement of religion because having regard to the relevant law and evidence:

(a) Scientology is not a religion for the purposes of English charity law. That religion for the purposes of charity law constitutes belief in a supreme being and worship of that being (section 6, pages 12 to 25). That it is accepted that Scientology believes in a supreme being (section 6, page 25). However, the core practices of Scientology, being auditing and training, do not constitute worship as they do not display the essential characteristic of reverence or veneration for a supreme being (section 6, pages 25 to 26).

(b) That even were CoS otherwise established for the advancement of religion, public benefit should not be presumed given the relative newness of Scientology and public and judicial concern expressed — ie the presumption of public benefit available to religious organisations as charities was rebutted (section 8, pages 40 to 43); and that

(c) Public benefit arising from the practice of Scientology and/or the purposes of CoS had not been established (section 8, pages 43 to 44 and pages 47 to 48).

CoS is not charitable as an organisation established to promote the moral or spiritual welfare or improvement of the community because having regard to the relevant law and evidence:

(a) The practice of Scientology and the purposes of CoS are not analogous to the legal authorities establishing the moral or spiritual welfare or improvement of the community as a charitable purpose (section 7, pages 26 to 29), and in taking a broader view of the authorities, would not be likely to achieve such a purpose (section 7, pages 30 to 37).

(b) That even were CoS otherwise established for the promotion of the moral or spiritual welfare or improvement of the community, public benefit arising out of the practice of Scientology and/or the purposes of CoS had not been established (section 8, pages 45 to 47 and page 49).

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