Hypothetically, if someone formed an organization whose objective was dedicated to the annihilation of the human race, but did not permit violent acts from its members, would it in any way be precluded for tax exemption under 501(c)(3)?

I understand that any purpose that praises or calls for discrimination is ineligible for exemption; however, this does not apply as said hypothetical organization would be dedicated to the absolute destruction of all human beings without regard for race, age, gender or any other attribute.

If the sole purpose of the organization is to liberate humankind from the burden of their earthly existence, then it is beneficent in nature and is arguably in the interest of public needs.

Would tax exemption in this case be possible?

1 Answer 1


The organization has to be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes, which the IRS characterizes as

charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

This arguably characterizes a number of religious organization seeking advance "past mere mortal existence". It could qualify under various of the above listed purposes which can be characterized as "ending human suffering". The intent of the law (which informs the interpretation) seems to be about "positive effects for humanity". It would be an interesting test case to see if they would deny exempt status to an organization motivated by a hatred of humanity. The IRS does not get into evaluating the practical efficacy of a proffered plan to lessen the burdens of government, and it certainly doesn't certify religions. It does, however, distinguish fraudulent schemes from nutty ideas.

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