An interesting article from Andrew Bolt’s blog of 14th May 2013….
Note: It begs the question: Is the same thing happening in Australia?
To quote from the Bolt post:
Astonishing. The US Internal Revenue Service singled out conservative political groups for treatment, demonstrating how easily Big Government can be turned against critics of the politicians who promote it:
…the IRS began targeting “Tea Party or similar organizations” in March 2010. That was when the Cincinnati-based IRS unit responsible for overseeing the applications for tax exempt status starting using the phrases “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12? to search for applications warranting greater scrutiny.
During this first phase, 10 Tea Party cases were identified. By April of 2010, 18 Tea Party organizations were targeted, including three that had already been approved for tax-exempt status.
By June 2011, the unit had flagged over 100 Tea Party-related applications and the criteria used to scrutinize organizations had grown considerably, flagging not just “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in group names, but also groups that were working on issues like “government debt,” “taxes” and even organizations making statements that “criticize how the country is being run.”
The report, done by the Inspector General for the IRS, also shows that senior IRS officials in Washington was aware of what was going on as early as August 4, 2011 when, according to the report, the IRS chief counsel held a meeting with the IRS’s Rulings and Agreements unit “so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.”
The Richmond Tea Party was one of the groups who received an intrusive and onerous demand for details of all who’d backed it:
Big Gov Rounds Up Its Critics Example
Hand over the names. You do trust Big Government with them, don’t you?
In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” in a post on the Obama campaign’s website.
The post… singled out VanderSloot for being a “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”
Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited…
Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to “audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers…”
There was a time when Australians could be comforted by the thought that what happens in the US won’t happen here for another 20 years….
In this information technology age it happens much faster!
It appears that what happened to Agape is eerily similar:
Within just a few days of the first publicity:
- Sensationalist, fear mongering media interviews with supposedly wronged people
- Police raids (illegal) of private homes and other premises
- So-called unscrupulous activities in a church
- Tax office maliciously withdrawing charity status, then auditing, assessing and prosecuting, even bankrupting
- Tax office audits all Agape church goers (finds nothing wrong)
- Local government withdrawing charity exemptions of rates
- Tax office hides truth from court and knowingly uses flawed information to have assets frozen
- State government withdrawing charity exemptions for water rates & land tax
The parallels are interesting…