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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-way-of-the-livingness-the-religion-of-the-soul-trust/the-way-of-the-livingness-the-religion-of-the-soul-trust-charity-commission-decision
The Commission considered an application by The Way of the Livingness, the Religion of the Soul Trust (the Trust) for registration as a charity. The Trust has the following objects:
- For the benefit of the public to advance The Way of the Livingness as a religion by encouraging and facilitating Soul-full religious practice by existing followers and adherents by means of: (a) living in full the principles of the Way of the Livingness (b) the provision and maintenance of buildings used for religious practice and for religious instruction (c) the conducting of religious ceremonies (d) to provide buildings open to the public for people to enter and benefit from personal soulful contemplation.
- For the benefit of the public to raise awareness and understanding of religious soul-full life by the development of the key principles relating to self love and energetic integrity thereby enhancing individuals understanding of themselves and the energetic world in which they live thus reducing illness and disease and restoring a harmonious vital life in unison with all as equal service minded members of society.
- For the benefit of the public to operate a universal educational programme to support these principles via lectures, workshops, discourses, books, tracts, films online education books, religious resource centres and libraries and through the living of the principles themselves as active examples within community life.
- For the benefit of the public to promote mediation, harmonious union and study thereby assisting men and women in the improving the quality of their performance and service in their chosen field by integrating these principles across all fields of work in harmony and in union with all.
- For the benefit of the public to assist and visit the sick and dying.
- For the benefit of the public to work for reconciliation, truth telling and harmonious union by the promotion of the understanding that by living in harmony with our surroundings we improve the environment for all.
- For the benefit of the public to develop the understanding of love and harmony as the true form of peace and human rights by the promotion of the understanding that all people are equal and that in union there is only love and harmony with one another.
- For the benefit of the public to organize the holding of long or short stay retreats where those who attend return to society to practice their way of love, harmonious interation [sic] and living.
On the evidence before it, the Commission concluded that the organisation is not established for exclusively charitable purposes and cannot be entered in the register of charities for the following reasons:
- The Way of the Livingness appears to be a form of theosophy which the court has decided is not a religion as charity law understands that term. Even if it were not a form of theosophy, the Commission is not satisfied that it falls within the definition of religion in charity law.
- The objects are set out individually and the second object (raising “awareness and understanding of religious soul-full life”) is not charitable.
- The dissolution clause in the Trust Deed may allow the Trust’s assets to be applied for non-charitable purposes.
- On the evidence before it the Commission concluded that public benefit had not been demonstrated.
In reaching its conclusion, the Commission confirmed that it is neither its role nor intention to judge the inherent worth of the Trust for the Way of the Livingness, but only to consider the narrower question of whether it met the test laid down in law for registration as a charity.