If We're Not a Cult, Should That Change?

Fucking_That_Chicken - [original thread]

Follow-up question: if we're not a cult, should that change? The IRS's criteria for recognition of a religion seem to be reasonably easy to meet, and there are at least a few things with associated expenses that we could plausibly put under the cult's name (like a forum server if we wanted to bail once the ultrajannies ban PCM).

From the IRS guidelines, we would want to meet as many as possible of:

  • a distinct legal existence
  • a recognized creed and form of worship
  • a definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
  • a formal code of doctrine and discipline
  • a distinct religious history
  • a membership not associated with any other church or denomination
  • ordained ministers ministering to its congregations
  • ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed studies
  • a literature of its own
  • established places of worship
  • regular congregations
  • regular religious services
  • Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young, and
  • schools for the preparation of its ministers.

A "distinct legal existence" is almost a given, and we could probably spin the existing rules and moderator structure as points #2-4 as that's just formalism. #5 would be a decent creative writing exercise but nothing ultimately unattainable ("...and Our Prophet wandered the silicon desert for forty days and forty nights fleeing persecution until ultimately he found the Promised Land of Sub'Stack"), for #6 we'd need at least a few people to swap out from filling in "Jedi" (though it is "a membership" and not "the entire membership" or even "a plurality of the total membership so I feel like just a few should cover us), for #7 and #8 we could just mail out a cassock to you after, say, five or ten AAQCs, and the rest is just more formalism.

The only thing which I think might be beyond us at present would be a "Sunday school for religious instruction of the young," but this is the Internet so surely someone here is pretending to be under 18.