Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization

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Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc.
Superpowerbldg.jpg
Scientology Building in Clearwater, Florida - operated by the Flag Service Organization
Formation 1981
Type Religious
Headquarters Clearwater, Florida, USA
President Lena Lind
Website fso.org

The Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, also known as Flag or FSO, is an American 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.[1] Within the worldwide network of Scientology corporations and entities, the FSO is officially referred to as the "spiritual headquarters" of the Church of Scientology. The organization is located in Clearwater, Florida.[2]

According to the official website of the Church of Scientology, "the Flag Service Organization (FSO) is a religious retreat which serves as the spiritual headquarters for Scientologists from all over the world. It is the hub of the Scientology worldwide community, a dynamic, multilingual organization and is the largest single Church of Scientology in the world with well over 1,000 staff members." Additionally, the FSO "delivers Dianetics and Scientology services from the very bottom of The Bridge to the top, as well as certain specialized auditing services only available here.[3]"

In a memorandum provided to the Internal Revenue Service, the Church of Scientology International explained the role and the functions of the FSO as follows:

"'Flag' in CSFSO's name originates from the Flag Service Organization's earliest ecclesiastical beginnings in 1967 aboard the Flag Ship Apollo and the name was maintained as tradition when the land-based organization was established. CSFSO ministers the highest levels of auditor training through Class XII and auditing through New OT VII. It serves as the spiritual headquarters for Scientologists from all over the world who travel there to participate in religious services. [...][4]"

In another 1993 memorandum by the Church of Scientology International, the following information was provided to the Internal Revenue Service with regards to FSO's personnel and its income:

"[...] CSFSO [...] ministers high levels of religious services to parishioners from around the world from facilities in Clearwater, Florida. This church has a staff of approximately 449 individuals and an annual budget of approximately $ 81.3 million, based on its annual disbursements for the most recent year for which financial statements are available. [...]"[5]

Corporate information[edit]

The FSO was incorporated in Florida on May 19, 1981.[6] On September 21, 1993 the following individuals held corporate positions at the organization: The Board of Trustees was composed of Sue Price, Pam Hubbert and Richard Reiss. The members of the Board of Directors at that time were Catherine Probst, Allen Hubbert and Debbie Cook. The corporation's President was Alicia Danilovich, its Secretary and Treasurer Catherine Probst.[citation needed] As of April 28, 2009, FSO's corporative officers were Lena Lind (President), Harvey Jacques (Director), Peter Mansell (Director), Glen Stilo (Secretary) and Barbara Meador (Treasurer & Director). FSO's registered agent is currently Robert V. Potter.[7]

On August 18, 1993, the FSO filed an application for tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.[citation needed] The Internal Revenue Service granted FSO's request for exemption through an official recognition letter on October 1, 1993.[8]

The Religious Technology Center (RTC) holds the trademarks and service marks of Scientology. As such, RTC entered an organizational covenant with the FSO on January 1, 1982, granting FSO the right to sell and deliver the "Advanced Technology" to its public members while guaranteeing weekly payments to the RTC of 6% of the monetary value of the "Advanced Technology"-services delivered by the FSO.[citation needed]

The Church of Scientology International (CSI) presents itself as the mother church of the Church of Scientology worldwide.[9] As such, it has the right to use and sub-license various Scientology trademarks and service marks. Consequently, CSI has entered a number of agreements with other subordinate organizations in the Scientology hierarchy, such as the FSO:

  • "License Agreement". This agreement from May 26, 1982 regulates the use of the service marks and trademarks by the FSO.[citation needed]
  • "Ecclesiastical Support Agreement". This agreement from January 1, 1992 acknowledges CSI's dominant role and control over all the functions and activities of the FSO and guarantees a steady, weekly payment of 12.5% of the organizations' net income towards CSI.[citation needed]
  • "Motion Picture Exhibition Agreement". It guarantees CSI the weekly payment of 11% of the revenue by the FSO for their use of Scientology training courses. It also forces the organizations to use certain equipment, such as tape recorders, which CSI provides.[citation needed]

Organizational Structure and Management[edit]

According to its 1993 application for tax exemption, the corporation "Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc." consisted at that time of the following four different sub-organizations or sub-entities:[citation needed]

"[...] 1. Flag Service Org. Flag Service Org ministers religious services to CSFSO's parishioners. This ecclesiastical body includes all of the auditors, case supervisors, course supervisors and other staff directly involved in ministering services, as well as executive and administrative staff that perform necessary support functions such as personnel, communications, ethics, treasury and finances, administration and dissemination. The highest ecclesiastical position in the Flag Service Org is its Captain, who, together with her deputies and other top executives form its executive council, the highest ecclesiastical body in the organization. Beneath the executive council is an advisory council, comprising the heads of each of the Flag Service Org's divisions. These two bodies, subject to ecclesiastical management advice and direction from senior ecclesiastical organizations [...], direct the day-to-day and week-to-week activities of the Flag Service Org."

"2. Flag Crew Org. The Flag Crew Org performs direct support functions for Flag Service Org and other ecclesiastical bodies within CSFSO. The Flag Crew Org maintains the buildings and property of CSFSO; maintains and operates the accommodations and food facilities of CSFSO's religious retreat; and berths, feeds and otherwise communally supports CSFSO's staff. The Flag Crew Org has its own captain, executive council and advisory council which direct its activities."

"3. Flag Land Base. Flag Land Base is an ecclesiastical body within CSFSO that is senior to both the Flag Service Org and Flag Crew Org. Flag Land Base is composed of a number of executive CSFSO staff personnel responsible for the overall direction and coordination of CSFSO as a whole. This body is headed by the Commanding Officer Flag Land Base, who is the highest ecclesiastical official in CSFSO's hierarchy. Whereas the Captains of the Flag Service Org and Flag Crew Org are primarily concerned with the activities of their respective ecclesiastical organizations, the Commanding Officer Flag Land Base and his staff consider CSFSO's activities as a whole."

"4. Commodore's Messenger Org Clearwater (CMO CW). CMO CW oversees and ensures the implementation of programs that CSFSO receives from the Commodore's Messenger Org International, an ecclesiastical body within CSI. These programs can relate to all facets of CSFSO's activities from the conduct of religious services to the acquisition and renovation of buildings, and unusual or ongoing legal or financial matters. [...]"

Corporate Management

During the past years, CoSFSO Inc. was managed by the following corporate officers. The column "Year" of the following table refers to the date of the filing of the annual report for not-for-profit corporations with the Secretary of State for the State of Florida.

Year President Vice-President Directors
2009[10] Lena Lind - Harvey Jacques, Peter Mansell, Barbara Meador
2008[11] Mary Shaw - D. Cook, Harvey Jacques, Peter Mansell, B. Meador, K. True
2007[12] Mary Shaw - Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw, Kathy True
2006[13] Mary Shaw Mary Story Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
2005[14] Mary Voegeding Mary Story Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
2004[15] Mary Voegeding Mary Story Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
2003[16] Mary Voegeding Mary Story Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
2002[17] Mary Voegeding Mary Story, Tom DeVocht Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
2001[18] Mary Voegeding Mary Story, Tom DeVocht Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
2000[19] Mary Voegeding Mary Story Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
1999[20] Mary Voegeding Brian Anderson Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
1998[21] Mary Voegeding Brian Anderson Brian Anderson, Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
1997[22] Mary Voegeding Brian Anderson Brian Anderson, Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Ben Shaw
1996[23] Mary Voegeding Brian Anderson Brian Anderson, Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador
1995[24] Mary Voegeding Brian Anderson Brian Anderson, Debbie Cook, Barbara Meador, Mary Story
1993[citation needed] Alicia Danilovich - Debbie Cook, Allen Hubbert, Catherine Probst

In 1993, Catherine Probst held both the position of Treasurer and Secretary. During the years 1995 and 1996 Barbara Meador and Marsha Lovering held the positions of Treasurer and Secretary. In 1997 Glen Stilo replaced Lovering as Secretary, while Meador continued as Treasurer. Since then, these two positions remained unchanged.

Lisa McPherson Controversy[edit]

In 1995 Lisa McPherson died while in the care of the FSO. The FSO was indicted on two felony charges and found not guilty. Lisa's cause of death was changed from "undetermined" to "accident" in 2000. The civil suit brought against the CoS by Lisa's family was settled in 2004.[25]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Letter by the Internal Revenue Service to Flemming Paludan, Regional Director, Danish Tax-Office, Washington, D.C., USA, December 22nd, 1993
  2. ^ Information from the official website of the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, retrieved on April 7th, 2008 "Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization 210 South Fort Harrison Ave. Clearwater, Florida 33756 USA 727-445-4387"
  3. ^ Excerpts from the official website of the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, retrieved on April 7th, 2008
  4. ^ Description of the Church of Scientology Flag Service Org, Inc., Form 1023, Attached Statement, page 39 - 42, Los Angeles, California, August 18th, 1993
  5. ^ Summary Description of Churches of Scientology - RTC, CSI, CSFSSO, CSFSO, Other Churches, Missions, Field Ministers, CSI Prod. 11-4-93, Bate Stamp: 151396 - 151398, Ex. 1-3, Washington, DC, 1993
  6. ^ Filing Information - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on April 7th, 2008
  7. ^ Filing Information - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 17th, 2009
  8. ^ Recognition Letter for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc., Bate Stamp: 236340 - 236343, Washington, DC, October 1st, 1993
  9. ^ The Church of Scientology International/What is Scientology? - official website, retrieved on March 24th, 2008
  10. ^ Filing Information - April 28th, 2009 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 17th, 2009
  11. ^ Filing Information - April 24th, 2008 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  12. ^ Filing Information - April 17th, 2007 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  13. ^ Filing Information - April 30th, 2006 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  14. ^ Filing Information - April 28th, 2005 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  15. ^ Filing Information - April 15th, 2004 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  16. ^ Filing Information - March 26th, 2003 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  17. ^ Filing Information - April 22nd, 2002 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  18. ^ Filing Information - February 2nd, 2001 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  19. ^ Filing Information - May 4th, 2000 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  20. ^ Filing Information - March 4th, 1999 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  21. ^ Filing Information - May 15th, 1998 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  22. ^ Filing Information - August 1st, 1997 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  23. ^ Filing Information - March 28th, 1996 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  24. ^ Filing Information - May 31st, 1995 - Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, retrieved on June 7th, 2008
  25. ^ Tobin, Thomas C. (2000-02-23). "Church member's death now called accident". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 

External links[edit]