Documents obtained by a government watchdog show that the originator of the “After School Satan Club” received speedy tax-exempt status while conservative groups were stuck in bureaucratic red tape under the Obama administration.
Treasury Department files obtained by Judicial Watch last week show Reason Alliance in Somerville, Mass., was given nonprofit status within 10 days of its application in October 2014. The group operates the Satanic Temple out of Washington state and planned an “After School Satan Club” initiative in 2016.
“While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes conservative groups wait years for tax-exempt status an ‘After School Satan Club’ launched to hinder Christian-based counterparts got its nonprofit ranking in just ten days,” Judicial Watch said in a statement released March 16. “The classification is offered to charitable, religious and educational organizations that operate as nonprofits. Under the Obama administration, IRS political appointees illegally targeted conservative groups, either making them wait up to seven years for tax-exempt status or denying their application altogether.”
The watchdog said that Reason Alliance’s application turned up after Freedom of Information Act Requests related to the IRS’s approval process.
“The fact that a satanic cult got [its application] granted in a week when it took conservative groups seven years to get approved should be pretty illustrative of a deeper problem here,” Brian Morgenstern, vice president of the Manhattan Republican Party, told Fox News on Monday.
Reason Alliance, which was started by directors Malcolm Jarry and Douglas Mesner, says that its mission is to “encourage reason and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, promote justice, and advocate pragmatic common sense.”
The group’s idea for “After School Satan Club” was billed as an alternative to an evangelical Christian group’s after-school program known as the Good News Club.
“If Good News Clubs would operate in churches rather than public schools, that need would disappear. But our point is that if you let one religion into the public schools, you have to let others, otherwise, it’s an establishment of religion,” the group told The Washington Post on July 30, 2016. “We’ve moved well beyond being a simple political ploy and into being a very sincere movement that seeks to separate religion from superstition.”
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