(CN) – The Foundation of Human Understanding, a group that promotes mind over matter and spiritual health known as psychocatalysis through radio and Internet broadcasts, is not a church for tax purposes, the Court of Federal Claims ruled.
Although the foundation has a distinct religious history, its own literature, a set of ordained ministers and a place of worship in Oregon, the court said it failed to show that it has a regular congregation or holds regular religious services – key elements of a church.
“The extent to which [the foundation] brings people together to worship is incidental to its main function, which consists of a dissemination of its religious message through radio and Internet broadcasts, coupled with written publications,” Judge Hewitt noted.
The group was founded by Roy Masters, who adheres to primarily Judeo-Christian beliefs. He hosts a radio show called “Advice Line” on his son’s Talk Radio Network, which syndicates shows featuring conservative personalities such as Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham and Tammy Bruce.
The foundation argued that these shows, broadcast on more than 130 stations and over the Internet, constitute a religious service.
The claims court didn’t buy it.
The broadcasts “lack critical associational aspects characteristic of religious services,” Judge Hewitt wrote, “and are therefore instead properly regarded simply as broadcasting and publishing services insufficient to qualify a religious organization for church status.”