Ben Shapiro

 It turns out that liberals are right. For years now, the American government has established state religion. No, it's not evangelical Christianity. It's Scientology.
Because of a 1993 secret deal with the Internal Revenue Service, members of L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology are allowed to write off costly Scientologist "auditing" and "training" services as charitable gift deductions. Anyone who sends their child to religious school, however, is banned from writing off tuition.

 What exactly are Scientologists writing off? Thousands of dollars worth of pure baloney. As authors Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner detail in their fascinating book, "Hollywood, Interrupted," Scientology itself is a load of psychedelic babble, and an expensive load at that. It costs over $300,000 to reach the top levels of this cult. "Auditing" -- the service that the IRS allows Scientologists to write off -- is a method of purging "thetans."

 Breitbart and Ebner describe what thetans are: "Over 75 million years ago, in a universe far, far away, evil alien overlord Xenu captured all the rebel souls by calling them in for tax auditing and, after injecting them with a mixture of glycol and alcohol, they were transported in B-1 bombers to earth and flung into volcanoes. Then the volcanoes were exploded with neutron bombs. The souls of these immolated aliens, called body thetans (thetan is L. Ron's word for souls), now cling to us like nasty body lice, through reincarnation after reincarnation, and can only be removed through hours of auditing at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars."

 Once members have completely cleared themselves of thetans, they become all-powerful, according to Scientology: They "can now create life; they can create universes; they have cause over matter, energy, space and time; and they are free of the bonds of the physical -- functioning totally on the spiritual."

 So these devout science-fiction fans are being subsidized by the federal government. It's a good thing George Lucas hasn't set up a church -- yet. Meanwhile, Americans who pay thousands of dollars to teach their children Judeo-Christian morality are forced to pay taxes on their tuition dollars.

 This blatant injustice prompted orthodox Jewish accountant Michael Sklar and his wife, Marla, to file a lawsuit against the IRS, claiming that the Scientology deal establishes religion. "Our position is, if you allow them to deduct what they're paying for, their religious indoctrination, we should be able to get the same thing," Sklar told me.

Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro is an attorney, a writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He is editor-at-large of Breitbart and author of the best-selling book "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV."
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