As a non-U.S. citizen, who can I write to in the U.S. government about a corrupt organization?

  • I am a South African citizen and was involved in Scientology for some years. I have recently been watching Leah Remini's expos√© documentary series on Scientology and I would like to get the Church of Scientology investigated for tax fraud, abuse, etc.

    Though the Church of Scientology is an international organisation, the biggest aspects of it are based in the U.S. and I feel that to effect any change, these investigations need to start in the U.S.

    Therefore, I want to contact someone in the U.S. government that has the power to initiate said investigations, but I'm not sure who to contact.

    I thought that I could perhaps contact a representative in California or Florida (where the largest organisations of Scientology exist) but they don't represent me and therefore wouldn't take me seriously. Also, I need a U.S. zip code to contact them.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to who I could contact - a U.S. government representative - who might take me seriously in terms of what I have to say about Scientology?

    Keep in mind that plenty of people actually in the US will have watched the same documentary. If there were anything actionable, I'm relatively sure someone would have started that process. That said, if you have *personal* information that the general public doesn't, then that's a different story. Alternatively, you can start something locally. An adverse judgement in South Africa may seem small compared to a US-based investigation, but it's bad press and could potentially close the country to them.

    "Also, I need a U.S. zip code to contact them." You don't need anything other than their address, a stamp and your thoughts to put a letter in the mail.

    Glendower: I can call Congresspeople from the vasty deep. Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?

    Two points: 1) Are there US-based organizations with an effective strategy to litigate or lobby against Scientology? Consider joining (with time and money! not just likes and shares!) those organizations and adding your voice to their effort. They make your voice louder. 2) When contacting US government folks, remember that even constituents get form letters and talk to secretaries. The national leaders get a LOT of mail. Local leaders need to stay focused on local issues, a note from a foreign national for a complex issue might not be a priority to read and reply.

    As a note on sending mail to representatives: I worked in a congressional office for some time, the way that mail works is an intern goes through all the mail, then codifies it and uploads it into a system so the congressperson can see what issues people are writing about. So while the congressperson might not read your letter personally, if many people write in about "investigating scientology" then they would be inclined to address it.

    Haha, this is kinda ironic - we have enough corrupt organisations of our *own*... :)

    Have you yourself actually been harmed by illegal acts by Scientology? If so you should file charges with the government prosecutor or law enforcement agency in the area where the acts happened. If you have direct knowledge of specific acts, you can offer to give a statement to an already existing investigtion. But if you just want to tell the government that Scientology is doing illegal stuff, that's not useful information. It's been well-known for decades.

  • You can write to Senators from those states or you can write to the president or the State department.

    who might take me seriously in terms of what I have to say about Scientology?

    My experience writing representatives, as a voter registered in the party of the representative, is that they don't take me especially seriously. They generally send me a form letter that doesn't actually address what I said. So I wouldn't recommend having high hopes about that. I doubt they take non-citizens more seriously than they take citizens.

    The Internal Revenue Service has a tip line. If you know of something that they did that was actively fraudulent in how they filed their taxes, you could report that.

    You might consider contacting Leah Remini through the producers of the documentary. They are more inclined to look for negative information about Scientology than other people. As such, they may be more interested in your story than a politician would be. And they have a louder voice available to them than you do.

    I think the "if you know of something that they did that was actively fraudulent" is the most important part here. That's the one right way to handle this - a tip - but only if you have something concrete. If you just don't like them, there's no good government contact.

    +1 to contacting the IRS. They don't care whether or not you are a foreign national.

    *"They don't take me especially seriously"* seems like quite the understatement... do they even take you mildly seriously?

  • You are accusing Scientology of breaking the law. Law enforcement is the responsibility of police and courts. Normally you would hire a lawyer and sue them, but in this case you don't need to, because some laws such as tax fraud (and abuse in some cases) do not require a victim to sue, federal attorneys/prosecutors will do so in the name of the country.

    I would suggest you research which attorneys are responsible for investigating and suing tax evaders and giving them a tip. Make sure that tip is actionable and leads to evidence good enough to hold up in a court, not just "have you watched that documentation".

  • Representatives and Senators make laws. If you're accusing the Scientologists of breaking laws, what you'll want to look for is a prosecutor's office and/or police department in the relevant jurisdiction. You should be able to file a report with them regarding what has happened to you.

    @PeterMortensen The Scientologists that the OP was asking about. I edited to clarify.

  • If you believe that the Church of Scientology has defrauded the United States federal government and have credible evidence then you can sue the Church of Scientology on behalf of the United States federal government. If you successfully litigate, you are entitled to 15-20% of recovered damages.

    The name of the US law providing for this is "False Claims Act". It is a "qui tam" law and many other nations have similar "qui tam" laws.

  • If you want to lodge a complaint against scientology, I recommend contacting California law enforcement and/or the office of the Attorney General of California.

    You can contact members of congress as well - they'll be able to put you in touch with the appropriate agency and cut through red tape, but you'll end up talking to law enforcement at the end. If you decide to do that, I recommend calling on the phone or visiting their office in person if possible. They get a lot of mail/email, but showing there in person or even calling on the phone is much more powerful and your case will get much more attention.

  • TL;DR: if you expect any meaningful results, there is nobody to write to, at all.

    Stealing the answer from @Bobson's comment (if he feels like making his comment into an answer, I'll delete this one):

    Consider the practicalities.

    USA has a highly litigous culture; and a very politicized and polarized one at that.

    Scientology is rather famous, high profile, and strongly associated Hollywood Elite who are usually thought of as left wing.

    Scientology as organization is reputed to be quite rich.

    The two factors above virtually guarantee that if there was some way to hurt Scientology legally, it would have already been explored in-depth, by either people seeking to take down Hollywood Leftists a peg or two, or lawyers seeking lawsuit profits (heck, we had people suing McDonalds for coffee being too hot, or manufacturers for not explicitly warning people not to do dumb things).

    While this doesn't prove that it's impossible, it does strongly suggest that virtually nothing you have to suggest would change the picture, otherwise it would have already come up and been done by those with strong motivation.

    This. Go do something better with your time. Like go to work and make some money so you can help people in need, instead of being angry about something you're entirely unlikely to change. (write your Senator? ... lulz)

    A rather pathetic edit. Your need to tie everything to some left wing conspiracy is troubling.

    @blip - you lefties are so paranoid, you see anti-left message anywhere my answer even mentions "left wing" as a fact. If you don't think that people associating Hollywood with left wing is an established fact, try some googling. As I told your friend Phillipp previously, if my answer is a hit on anyone, it's on the right wing (since, before it was edited out, I explicitly explained in it that Scientology isn't *actually* left wing; so anyone thinking that hurting Scientology hurts left wing is... misguided to put it gently).

    @user4012 not paranoid...but particular about context. And your answers nearly always try to tie a topic into some sort of left-wing conspiracy. Yes, Hollywood (at least actors) tend to be liberal. Yes, Scientology has brainwashed a few celebrities. No, that does in no way tie Scientology to the "Left Wing" in any shape or form other than in your own mind. You are making connections that aren't there for a reason that we can't understand other than that's just what you do. Nearly every time. The rest of your answer is trying to insinuate that that connection in your mind is evidence of...

    ...something? Anyways, the reason Scientology hasn't been 'taken down' is pretty much common knowledge...they have battled the IRS via massive amounts of litigation. And they won. It has nothing to do with Hollywood. And even if it did--that has nothing to do with left-or-right-wing politics.

    @blip - can you please make at least a token effort to read what's actually written? I very explicitly stated that Scientology itself is ***NOT*** Left wing. I said that it **has that image**, rightly or wrongly (and as far as i can tell, wrongly - they buy politicians on both sides, indiscriminately). But people rarely bother rejecting intuitively good conclusion even if it's a logical fallacy.

    @blip - the reason I mentioned left wing was a very specific factual statement - because people (wrongly, but it doesn't matter) DO associate it with left wing, if there was a way to attack it successfully, the right wing **would have already done so**. The fact that they have not done so is proof that there's no way to attack Scientology, or it would have already been done.

    As I said in now-deleted comments, if you bother reading carefully, the only ones who come off looking bad in my answer are right wing, who are committing the logical fallacy.

    @blip - In the context of this question, it is irrelevant what the reasons why nobody won against Scientology are. The only pertinent fact is that **nobody won, period**. Despite wanting to and trying to.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM