The role of the independent Charities Registration Board (“the Board”) is to maintain the integrity of the Charities Register through ensuring that entities on the Charities Register qualify for registration. A purpose is charitable if it advances a public benefit in a way that is analogous to cases that have previously been held to be charitable.
The Board makes its decisions based on the facts before it, applying the law including relevant case law, and maintaining consistency of approach with previous Board decisions.
The Board has carried out a full assessment of the eligibility of the TLF Charitable Trust (“the Trust”) for registration. In its decision dated 9 July 2018, the Board declined the Trust’s application. The Board considers that the Trust does not advance religion in charitable manner, or any other charitable purpose.
The Trust had submitted that it has charitable purposes to advance religion, education, and moral and spiritual improvement.
Advancement of religion
To advance religion in a charitable manner, an applicant must show a body of doctrines containing canons of conduct around which adherents are to structure their lives. The Board considers that the Trust has only provided vague information on the content of the Shoho teachings in its submissions and has not provided the details of any specific teachings. The Board considers for example that the Trust has not provided detail on any observances of sacraments, symbols, ceremonies and rituals or an ethical code of behavior.
Moral and spiritual improvement
The Board considers that the Trust has not provided sufficient information about its moral or spiritual system to show that the Shoho belief system is sufficiently structured, cogent or comprehensive to demonstrate it can improve the moral or spiritual welfare of the community in a way that is charitable.
The Board does not consider that the Trust’s Shoho teachings are sufficiently structured to assist the training of the mind or advance research, so as to advance education in the charitable sense. The Board considers that the Trust’s activities are not intended to present information on the Shoho teachings in an objective manner, for education to be advanced, but rather to promote particular points of view to the public.