Issues

While IRS Made Conservative Groups Wait, Satanic Club Granted Tax-Exempt Status in 10 Days

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The Internal Revenue Service made Tea Party and conservative groups wait years for tax-exempt status, but granted exempt status to an "After School Satan Club" in just 10 days, according to the watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Charitable, religious, and educational organizations can receive tax-exempt status if they follow IRS guidelines for nonprofits. The IRS for years prevented some conservative groups from obtaining this status, targeting them using key words such as "tea-party" and "patriot." Many of these groups had to wait up to seven years to receive tax-exempt status, while others were denied.

"In the meantime, leftist groups like the Satan club got fast tracked," Judicial Watch said. "The Satanic cult applied for tax-exempt status on October 21, 2014, and received it on October 31, 2014."

The nonprofit Reason Alliance was behind the after-school club. It operates in Washington State as the Satanic Temple of Seattle.

"Children ages 5-12 will develop basic critical reasoning, character qualities, problem solving and creative expression, according to the Satanic Temple filings included in the documents," Judicial Watch explains. "The club logo is a pencil with devil's horns."

A number of secular or atheist groups, including the Reason Alliance, refer to themselves as "satanist" in order to shock religious communities. The group's website states it is committed to "secular, humanistic values" and opposes tax exemption for religious organizations.

No one signed up for the satanic club in the two weeks after its creation. The IRS still allowed this group to operate as a nonprofit in taxpayer-funded elementary schools, the watchdog group noted.