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Still, in a last-ditch effort to save face, the Los Angeles CID sought to persuade the Department of Justice to bring some kind — any kind — of prosecution to justify what it had done. Justice may be blind but it is rarely stupid, and Justice Department attorneys rebuked the unit and refused to support any prosecution or even further investigation.

Throughout this assault, the Church persisted in efforts to gain fair treatment from the IRS. Finally, in 1991, senior executives of church organizations met with IRS officials in Washington, DC. Once dialogue began, outside the purview and without the poisonous influence of the Los Angeles CID, the result was inevitable. Still, it was neither fast nor easy, for the IRS conducted a two-year examination of an intensity and depth without parallel in the history of exempt organizations.

IRS officials subjected Scientology churches to the most intensive scrutiny any organization ever faced — including a meticulous review of its operations and financial records, as well as a comprehensive review of every aspect of Church policy and practices at all levels, including the most senior echelons of its management.

The IRS review resulted in hundreds of detailed questions, requiring thousands of pages of narrative and many more thousands of pages of financial records. Six teams of between four and eight agents conducted a full-time review for periods of up to ten continuous weeks. And by the end of its examination, the IRS had reviewed more than one million pages of information concerning the Scientology religion.


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