Association of Professional Independent Scientologists (APIS) Constitution
Part 1 Name, Objectives and Purposes
The name of the association shall be:
Association of Professional Independent Scientologists
The acronym shall be APIS.
Objectives & Purposes
Preserve the exact technology and original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard for all mankind so it is available for future use.
Protect the exact technology and original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard so it is not altered, diluted or changed in anyway but remains exactly as Lafayette Ron Hubbard issued it.
Promote the exact technology and original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard so it may be known by all mankind.
Foster, promote and develop fellowship and mutual aid with the APIS members within the framework of the constitution.
Establish communication and understanding among the members of the APIS and members of other communities.
Promote and sponsor educational activities that alert and teach the general public about the exact technology and original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard.
Defend the Association of Professional Independent Scientologists from any attempt to inhibit its existence and expansion from any quarter or from any attempts to control or influence it to the detriment of the purposes outlined in the constitution.
Assist in the defence of any of its members in the event of any unwarranted legal process to the detriment of the member on the basis of the member(s) rightfully practicing the exact technology and original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard.
Mediate in any disputes between members when requested but such mediation subject to standard ethics and justice policies.
Part 2 Governance of the Association of Professional Independent Scientologists
a. The governance of APIS shall rest with its officers.
b. The President will manage the strategic goals of APIS. The President will resolve disputes, if any, among the officers of APIS. In order to ensure the smooth managerial operation of APIS, the President will have the authority to hire and fire officers, and will be responsible for resolving internal disputes within the APIS Organizing Structure.
c. The President will be responsible for appointing individuals to Committees, as he deems proper.
d. The President will be responsible for dispute resolution among Committee members with regard to APIS functions. The APIS junior officers will consist of between three and seven Vice-Presidents and a Treasurer. Junior officers will answer to the President.
f. Should any officer be found, through the B of I process, to have behaved to the detriment of and brought substantial disrepute to the APIS by way of a dishonest act or acts, they will be immediately removed from their position.
g. In cases of possible conflict of interest during the course of a Committee function or process, the affected Committee member will recuse himself from the functions of the Committee for the duration of that particular function or process.
h. Members will have no vote in the election of officers.
i. Any changes to the constitution can only be effected by putting the changes to the entire membership and will only be changed with the UNANIMOUS consent of all executives of the APIS including officers and the President.
j. No individual, group, organisation, business or church may attempt to take over or exercise control over the APIS through manipulation of members, memberships, officers or employees of the APIS. Any attempts so found will result in all the members, employees and/or officers who are members of that group, organisation, business or church instigating the take over or control, expelled from the APIS. That is the only reason for permanent expulsion from the APIS.
k. The officers and President will receive a yearly director's fee from the association of 20% split between the president and the officers equally, of the net income from membership fees and any other income in the event APIS accumulates funds over and above the running costs.
m. The Board of Investigation will function as a fact-finding body only. It will, when applicable, conduct investigations. The B of I will not have any authority to penalize or remove members. Upon the completion of an Investigation the Board will file a joint report with the appointed officers of the APIS who will decide on suitable rewards or penalties based upon the ethics policies of Lafayette Ron Hubbard. A decision of the officers may be appealed to the president for reconsideration. If the president denies the appeal, the decision of the officers will stand.
n. Should any member or members of the B of I be found to have behaved to the detriment of, or brought substantial disrepute to, the APIS by way of a dishonest act or acts, they will be immediately removed from their position.
o. In cases of possible conflict of interest during an investigation, the affected board member will recuse himself from the functions of the Investigating Board for the duration of the investigation.
p. In the eventuality the President is incapacitated temporarily the HCO Executive Secretary will hold from below the Post. If the incapacity is permanent or the President resigns then the officers shall chose a replacement who may be one of the officers or someone considered suitable by the officers.
Part 3. Membership Responsibilities
a. Accredited members are listed members that have applied for and been accepted as members of the association.
b. Membership accreditation is contingent on:
i) Full payment of the membership fee.
ii) That the member agrees to the purposes and constitution of the Association.
iii) That the member agrees to follow the Terms & Conditions of membership.
iv) That the member agrees they will not disparage the association, Lafayette Ron Hubbard or his technology and applied workable philosophy in any way.
v) That the member will not alter or change in anyway the technology or workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard and call the result Lafayette Ron Hubbard's technology & workable philosophy.
vi) That the member will not lie or falsify or give false testimony to the APIS with regard to his or her case and training level or affiliations.
vii) That the member is not a member of any group opposed to the APIS or any group attempting to disparage, unmock or destroy the APIS at the time of the prospective members application or during the tenure of membership.
c. Members may be individuals and groups or organizations.
d. Failure by any accredited member to pay the membership fee may result in temporary suspension of membership until such fee is paid. Non-payment for more than 6 months may result in revocation of membership.
e. The membership fee may not be increased by more than 5% per annum for current members. This restriction does not apply to new members applying for membership for the first time.
f. Applicants who are auditors may apply to APIS to receive accreditation. Such accreditation when granted can be advertised with a special logo which the auditor may be entitled to display on his or her web site, letterhead or business card.
g. Sometimes the APIS may require that the applicant supply information and personal contact data (including, but not limited to, an address, telephone, etc.) to satisfy the APIS that the applicant is a classed auditor applying the exact technology & original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard, and is reachable by phone, fax, or e-mail.
h. If or any reason, an applicant is denied accreditation, said applicant will be allowed to re-apply for accreditation no earlier than 1 month from the date of the denial of its accreditation.
i. Upon receipt of accreditation, the member will be placed on the listed auditors section of APIS web site with the name, email address and any other contact information including the country and region operating as given for that purpose by the auditor for contact purposes.
j. Accredited members will have the following responsibilities:
1. Members will conduct their business operations in a manner consistent with the constitution of the APIS.
2. Not honesty alone, but the punctilio* of an honor the most sensitive should be the standard of behavior for accredited members with regard to their relations with the general public. The application of appropriate codes of conduct, such as the auditor's code for example, is the expected standard of professionalism of a member.
3. If applicable, members will abide by the APIS binding dispute resolution contract that they may willingly enter into with their clients.
4. Should the physical address, website address, or telephone number, or other important contact information of a member be changed, the member is obligated to notify APIS within 14 business days of the change.
k. Failure to comply with Part 3.j may, in the discretion of the APIS, result in suspension of the member with subsequent violations possibly resulting in cancellation of membership.
l. This constitution is a contract between the APIS members with each other and the APIS. Intentional failure to follow the objectives and purposes of the APIS constitution by any member may result in loss of membership until APIS is convinced that the individual or business will henceforward comply with the terms of APIS constitution in an ethical manner.
m. The B of I is in charge of investigating members under Part 3 (a) and bringing its findings to the APIS.
n. The final decision to revoke membership rests with the officers of the APIS. Revoked members will have to apply to APIS (and pay any applicable fees) if he desires, once again, to become a member.
o. Members will pay any and all membership fees when due. Failure to do so may result in suspension or loss of membership at the discretion of the APIS.
p. Membership will be split into Tiers
q. Membership Tiers are composed of:
Pcs & Students
Auditors. Any Class
r. The membership fee for each tier can be found here.
s. Members, when accredited will have a logo which may be posted on their website and/or letterhead to show they are a member of the APIS. Any logo so displayed on a site or email must have a link back to APIS at http://independent-scientologists-association.net
t. Any intentional, unauthorized use (or misuse) by a listed organization, group or member of the APIS of the APIS's logos, trademarks, intellectual property, or good name may result, after an investigation by the B of I of I a suspension of membership for a period of time not exceeding 6 months at the Presidents Discretion. Repeat violations may result in membership cancellation.
u. A member may resign from the APIS by giving notice in writing or by email and such resignation shall take effect from the time the resignation is received by the APIS. A member having resigned is not eligible to re-apply for membership for 3 months from the moment of acceptance of the resignation. No membership fees are refundable for resignation.
Part 4. Member Disputes and Mediation
a. When a member of the APIS has a bona fide dispute with another member, that member may petition the APIS to initiate a mediation process. Mediation may take place by e-mail, phone, or in person. If mediation is not successful, an affected member may apply to APIS for a binding arbitration process. Such arbitration, if approved, will be carried out by a Board of Investigation (B of I) as appointed by the officers of APIS and will be composed of selected members of the same or higher case and training level.
b. Upon a finding for either party by the B of I, the Committee will issue a ruling consistent with the findings of fact based upon the original ethics and justice writings of Lafayette Ron Hubbard. The decision of the B of I may be appealed to the President of the APIS within 10 business days for a re-hearing and re-consideration.
c. All parties must abide by the final ruling of the President. Failure to abide by the final decision of APIS by any party will result in either suspension of membership from the APIS for that party for a period not exceeding 6 months.
d. The APIS will not interfere in minor disputes among its members. The officers have full discretion in deciding which disputes are minor and whether or not to grant mediation or binding arbitration services.
e. This constitutional agreement among the members of the APIS will take force upon each member's signature and payment of proper consideration.
f. Financial statements of the APIS shall be disclosed to members once each year in March for the account of the preceding calendar year. Financial statements will not include the total available in the compensation fund.
g. APIS will not be responsible for any disputes or mediation or the results of any dispute or mediation or any other activity related to a dispute or mediation where APIS has not acted as mediator for or on behalf of any member or non member.
Part 5. Member/Client Dispute Resolution Process
a. Members may persuade their clients to agree to enter into the APIS binding dispute resolution ("BDR") contract. This option must be clearly stated on members' websites in order to exercise this option.
b. In the event of a dispute between a member of the APIS and its client who has agreed in advance to the APIS binding dispute resolution contract, either the member or client may contact the APIS and request an initiation of the dispute resolution process.
c. The B of I will gather the necessary facts, and render a judgment.
d. Because the dispute resolution is a valid contract between the member or listed business of APIS and its client, the parties must adhere to the final judgment of the APIS.
e. Should any member or listed business fail to adhere to a decision passed by the APIS, that member or listed business may, in the discretion of the APIS, suffer suspension of membership of a term not exceeding 6 months.
f. Because the use of dispute resolution is considerably more efficient than other legal remedies, the APIS recommends its use. Any member or listed business who wishes to enter into a contract with its clients to use the APIS's binding dispute resolution services may be called upon to pay an annual fee to the APIS (in addition to the regular membership fee). If the APIS is called upon to officiate under the binding dispute resolution contract, the member will be required to pay actual expenses commensurate with the requirements of the binding dispute resolution process, to be agreed to in advance. A separate fee will be charged for dispute resolution services if the listed business or member did not opt to pay an annual fee under this section.
g. Any member or listed business that enters into a binding dispute resolution agreement with their clients will automatically be deemed to have requested a binding dispute resolution process upon any complaint to the APIS from a client. This is beneficial because the alternative is an investigation for unfairness, fraud, or extremely poor customer service by the B of I rather than the initiation of the binding dispute resolution by APIS.
h. The Dispute Resolution Process can be found in more detail here.
Part 6 Covenant of Liberty
a. The APIS shall make no rule limiting the freedom of members to express their views. The unauthorized use of the APIS logo or its seals of status however, are not free expression, but theft of service.
b. Members remain free to protect themselves and their property by all means they find reasonable. The APIS claims the same liberty for itself and its property.
c. Officers of the APIS are not to extort special privileges from any member. When extortion of privilege is proven, the officer shall be expelled for not less than three years.
d. The privacy of members shall be maintained at all times by limiting the collection of information to such data for which just cause may be confirmed.
e. A B of I shall not investigate disputes unless an officer brings an indictment or a petition of presentment is brought by ten or more members or both parties in a dispute jointly request such a B of I.
f. Disputes once addressed and resolved by the investigating committee shall not be revisited, even if the committee resolves to take no action.
g. The freedom to remain silent shall be inviolate. No member may be compelled to testify against himself. However this will be noted in any B of I and may be taken into consideration when reporting the findings.
h. No ethics conditions shall be imposed without due process.
i. Private property shall remain inviolate. No member or listed business shall be compelled to relinquish any private property. Resigning members are entitled to a pro-rated refund of their paid dues, except that portion allocated to the compensation fund.
j. Disputes shall be resolved rapidly and publicly.
k. Members of the investigating board or committee partial to a dispute shall recuse themselves. If all board or committee members are recused, the president shall appoint three impartial members to form an ad hoc board or committee to investigate a specific dispute.
l. Disputants are to be informed of the nature and cause of the dispute, have opportunity to confront witnesses relevant to the dispute, and have assistance of counsel of their choice. Members with information relevant to a dispute are obliged to come forward with that information.
m. Penalties shall be limited to suspension of membership for a period of time not exceeding 6 months or outright cancellation of membership if so judged.
n. As the liberty of the member is considered essential to the spiritual well being of that member, no infringement of liberty shall be encouraged.
o. The powers of the APIS and its officers are limited to those powers indicated in this constitution.
Part 7 Compensation Fund
a. The APIS will establish the Compensation Fund to assist members of the APIS against any legal attack against the member applying their legal right to persue the exact technology & original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard.
b. 20% of all gross fees, payments for services and or good and donations etc. collected by the APIS will be secured in a separate Compensation Fund, managed by the Treasurer and officers of the APIS from the balance of receipts after all fees and expenses for the operation of APIS are fully paid.
c. Information about the balance in the Compensation Fund shall not be included along with the financial statements of the APIS, available yearly.
d. The APIS will, in its discretion, pay out funds from the Compensation Fund for the sole benefit of members in good standing subject to unwarranted legal attack on that member's right to practice the workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard only. Records of payments may be included in the financial annual report in March the following year but the total funds available in the Compensation Fund shall, at all times, remain confidential to the officers only.
e. The following person(s) are considered eligible for compensation at the discretion of APIS and may receive proceeds from the Compensation Fund at the discretion of the APIS:
1. Any person or business, who is a member in good standing of the APIS, who is subject to a legal attack by any group or company on the basis that the member is practicing their legal right to the exact technology and original workable philosophy of Lafayette Ron Hubbard. The amount paid and to whom will be at the discretion of the officers of the APIS.
2. Any person or business, who is a member, officer or employee in good standing with the APIS, who is subject to a wrongful dismissal or suspension as a result of an unjust B of I findings and application. Such compensation shall not exceed a yearly membership fee of the tier that member is accredited on.
The APIS will not consider the claims of a member where it is established the member has willfully infringed another's legally established copyright or trademark or where that member is making frivolous claims consisting of any of the following; rumour, untruths or lies, third party comments, critical remarks or comments regarding that activity for which they intend to make a claim.