So I just watched this episode and my feelings are very much in line with all of yours. But I kept wondering, when Mike was talking about refunds vs. repayments, about the legality of that. I remember reading about a case, Hernandez v. Commissioner, from the late '80s, where the Supreme Court said that payments for packages of auditing were not tax-exempt because they were part of a quid pro quo and the parishioner wasn't really donating, they were buying services. A quick Google tells me that case was before Scientology regained its tax exempt status. I wonder if having been officially designated as a church by the IRS affected whether those payments would still today be considered part of a quid pro quo instead of a donation to a religious organization.
I think whether the IRS takes on Scientology is probably a more complicated question than simply "yeah, this looks shady, time to investigate." It would mean overturning policy, so I'm guessing they probably have to have something new. And I'm betting such a decision would have to come out of the main IRS leadership in DC, not one of the branches or one of the line employees. So it couldn't be just any random IRS employee watching. But man do I hope that some unlikely confluence of events comes together and the IRS actually does strip Scientology of its tax exempt status. Everything we've seen is just too fucked up to be allowed to continue.