When asked about the change in tone with the U.S. government, the Church of Scientology had a different interpretation of events.
“The Church of Scientology has never been at odds with the U.S. government, although the Church did have problems in the past with individuals in some government agencies, due mainly to the dissemination of false reports about Dianetics and Scientology,” said Karin Pouw, spokesperson for the Church of Scientology.
“Those problems are long past. Over the years, as we have proven those reports to be false, relations have improved,” said Pouw.
A 1997 New York Times piece about the matter labeled the decision by the U.S. government as “an invaluable public relations tool in Scientology’s worldwide campaign for acceptance as a mainstream religion.”
Pouw did acknowledge, however, the importance of receiving tax exempt status from the IRS.
“Certainly, the recognition by the Internal Revenue Service of our tax-exempt status in 1993 was an important milestone in the Church’s relationship with the government as it enabled us to devote more of our resources to helping people,” said Pouw.
At the event on Thursday, Miscavige said that the National Office was “designed to give back to a United States government that steadfastly guaranteed our religious rights—the very freedom that allows us to do what we are doing today.”
Burton’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.
Jackson Lee’s office also did not return The Daily Caller’s request for comment.