A great question from a reader on my article about the $200 membership fee of the Church of Satan, asked what these membership fees were being spent on. The question had my nose twitching, the inner Sherlock Holmes was manifesting within me. So off digging I went for the accounts of COS.
Tax status of the Church of Satan
COS pays tax as per its policy that all “churches” should pay tax in the USA on their income as published in their document Pentagonal Revisionism: A Five-Point Program by Anton LaVey.
“2. Strict taxation of all churches
If churches were taxed for all their income and property, they’d crumble overnight of their own obsolescence, and the National Debt would be wiped out as quickly. The productive, the creative, the resourceful should be subsidized. So long as the useless and incompetent are getting paid, they should be heavily taxed.”
Members are encouraged to make donations to COS but their donations are not tax deductible. Membership fees go through a business name called Hell’s Kitchen Productions, which is not to be confused with an international film company of the same name. The administrative office of COS is in New York. The business is not incorporated thus is a trading name in the legal sense of Mr X York trading as Hell’s Kitchen Productions. For the purposes of taxation the person or partnership who trades as Hells Kitchen Productions are the ones who are taxed and must file tax returns for the business.
COS trades through a New York based PO Box. It is only possible to reveal the address behind the PO Box with a court order. An easier way to find out the real business address is to do some cross referencing. Wikipedia reveals the COS headquarters was moved to Hells Kitchen in Manhattan, New York, hence the name “Hells Kitchen Productions.” A look at the bio of the administrative head of COS Peter Gilmore reveals he is also based in Hells Kitchen.
Cross referencing Peter H Gilmore with that of his wife Margaret Nadramia (known on COS as Peggy Nadramia) on White Pages for New York reveals his address. Google reveals pictures of the address which is an apartment based above a parade of shops. On appearances the area Peter Gilmore lives in is grubby and suggests COS is not making him rich. Information suggests that the COS income is going to Gilmore and/or his wife, who are the ones who will be paying tax on it to the IRS.
As a Satanist I respect the privacy of the individual, thus I won’t publish the address of Gilmore and his wife, nor any other personal information relating to them. However, in the matter of the Church of Satan, if I find any information on income and expenditure I am going to publish based on public interest. Firstly, the Church of Satan claims to represent all Satanists in the media, in so doing it forfeits privacy just as any lobbyist or politician will do. Second, the COS is soliciting membership fees, donations and other services from Satanists around the world, and they are entitled to know what their donations and membership fees is being spent on. I am only interested in the Hells Kitchen Productions income and expenditure, not any unrelated income an individual such as Gilmore may be earning such as his composing.
If I succeed, I shall publish some juicy figures relating to the Church of Satan accounts in a future blog post.