Church of Scientology
Church of Scientology publicly classifies itself as a religion,
and some scholars consider it a new religious movement , but that
claim has been challenged for decades on the grounds that the Church
operates more like a for-profit business than a church. Overall, as
Stephen A. Kent ,
Scientology can be seen as a
"multi-faceted transnational corporation that has religion as only one
of its many components. Other components include political aspirations
, business ventures , cultural productions , pseudo-medical practices
, pseudo-psychiatric claims , and (among its most devoted members who
have joined the Sea Organization ), an alternative family structure."
Church of Scientology
Church of Scientology justifies that its financial activities
support its religious purpose, a position accepted by several
* 1 Business practices
L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard and
Scientology as a business
* 3 Professional auditors
* 4 Church of Scientology-owned properties
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 Further reading
* 8 External links
Several of the Church's practices resemble business operations,
including paying recruiters a cut of the money made from the people
they attract and the franchising network that results in large
revenues for the highest levels of the Church. Such activities
Scientology from other religious organizations. The Church
pays 10% commissions to recruiters, called Field Staff Members (FSMs),
on new recruits they bring in who take a course or receive counseling.
Church of Scientology
Church of Scientology franchises/missions , pay the
Church roughly 10% of their gross income. The Church charges for
auditing and other Church-related courses required for advancing
through the ranks of
Scientology . These programs can run to tens or
hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Bridge to Total Freedom consists of one half relating
to levels of higher states of spiritual existence, and the other half
the skills relating to helping another reach that level. Training is
described as "50% of the route"
Religious Technology Center maintains strict control over the use
Scientology symbols, icons, and names. It claims copyright and
trademark over the "
Scientology cross ," and its lawyers have
threatened lawsuits against individuals and organizations who have
published these protected images without permission in books and on
websites. Because of this, it is difficult for individual groups to
attempt to practice
Scientology publicly without any affiliation or
connection to the "official" Church of Scientology.
sued a number of individuals who attempted to set up their own
"auditing" practices, using copyright and trademark law to shut these
Writing in _Skeptic _ magazine,
Michael Shermer contrasted such
practices with mainstream religions: "Envision converting to Judaism
but having to pay for courses in order to hear the story of Abraham
and Isaac, Noah and the flood, or Moses and the Ten Commandments. Or
imagine joining the Catholic Church but not being told about the
crucifixion and the resurrection until you have reached Operating
Theological Level III, which can only be attained after many years and
tens of thousands of dollars in church-run courses."
The German government takes the view that
Scientology is a commercial
France , Ireland ,
Luxembourg , Philippines
Mexico remain unconvinced that
Scientology is a religion.
Other countries have recognised
Scientology as a religion. An
Australian Government Inquiry into Charities in 2001 found that the
1983 High Court case which found
Scientology to be a religion, and
also defined religion for the Constitution, used as the standard to
determine what organisations are charitable.
L. RON HUBBARD AND SCIENTOLOGY AS A BUSINESS
Critics have claimed that
L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard , the founder of the Church
of Scientology, decided to market the practice as a religion for
Harlan Ellison reported being present when the
idea for creating a new religion was first discussed: "Lester del Rey
then said half-jokingly, 'What you really ought to do is create a
religion because it will be tax-free,' and at that point everyone in
the room started chiming in with ideas for this new religion. So the
idea was a Gestalt that Ron caught on to and assimilated the details.
He then wrote it up as 'Dianetics: A New Science of the Mind' and sold
it to John W. Campbell, Jr., who published it in Astounding Science
Fiction in 1950." Hubbard had a different origin story and stated
Dianetics had been researched during the years 1945-50 and it was
initially presented as a science, however religious ideas were added
into the book Science of Survival published in 1951. After the
commercial failure of the
Dianetics Foundation and disputes over the
direction of the subject, Hubbard revisited the possibility of
classifying his philosophical teachings as a religion. In a 1953
letter, Hubbard wrote that "the religion angle" seemed to make sense
as "a matter of practical business".
Church of Scientology
Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C. had obtained
tax-exempt status in 1956 on the claim that it was "a corporation
organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes, no part of
the earnings of which inures to any individual". That status was
revoked in 1958, on the grounds (as argued by the U.S. Department of
Justice in subsequent proceedings) that the Church's "most extensive
and significant activities are directed towards the earnings of
substantial fees" and "the founder of the organisation L. Ron Hubbard
remains in complete control and receives substantial remuneration and
perquisites both from the taxpayer and a network of affiliates". The
findings of fact in the case included that Hubbard had personally
received over $108,000 ($600,000 in 2012 value) from the Church and
affiliates over a four-year period, over and above the percentage of
gross income (usually 10%) he received from Church-affiliated
organizations. In addition, the Church had paid for Hubbard's car and
for his personal residence,
Mary Sue Hubbard had made over $10,000
renting property to the Church, and while the $3,242 paid to Hubbard's
daughter Kay had been "generally designated as salary or wages", "the
record is devoid of any evidence showing services performed by Miss
Hubbard for ." The Court of Claims concluded "What emerges from these
facts is the inference that the Hubbard family was entitled to make
ready personal use of the corporate earnings." More recently the IRS
granted religious recognition and full tax deductibility to the Church
Scientology in the USA in 1993.
Take it cash in advance. Guarantee nothing. Make sure you stress its
spiritual slant and value. Steer clear of promising cures. AND DON'T
rush them into auditing. They'll beg for it soon enough. Actually do
this to be of service to man. Try to give it away. You'll find you
can't. Don't use this just because it's a 'preclear getter', it's a
lot more than that. It will put you in financial condition and get
your church going. — L. Ron Hubbard, _Ability_, September 1955,
According to the Church of Scientology, Field Auditors usually make a
significant amount of their income from 15% FSM (Field Staff Member)
Commissions. This is from referring their preclears to nearby (larger)
Class V orgs or to the Sea Orgs for advanced training and processing.
Here is an example: You send your preclear into a nearby org, and she
buys an Academy Training package for $8,000. You receive a 15%
commission on those services, which is payable when she arrives at the
Org to do them, ($1,200.00).
If you were to send 20 preclears a year into the org for similar
packages, you would have $24,000 in income just from selecting your
public to train.
Field Auditors also charge for auditing services, which the Church of
Scientology says can also generate significant income:
You can make a very good living with as few as 3 paying preclears a
week — though you will soon have many more. Just look at the chart
You audit two preclears for the IAS rate of $3,200* for a 12 1⁄2
hour intensive. You pay 10% to IHELP, which gives you 90%.
That's $5,760 income for 1 week.
You audit three preclears for the IAS rate of $3,200* for a
12 1⁄2 hour intensive. You pay 10% to IHELP, which gives you 90%.
That's $8,640 income for 1 week.
_*a 12 1⁄2 hr intensive at a Class V Org costs $4,000. With a 20%
IAS discount, it is $3,200._
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY-OWNED PROPERTIES
The church owns approximately 12 million square feet of property,
with Hollywood at the center, and twenty-six properties worth 400
Clearwater, Florida , is the church’s spiritual
headquarters, where the church possesses 68 parcels of land worth 168
million. Buildings in other countries are typically restored
architectural landmarks. The church also owns a 500-acre compound in
Southern California, a cruise ship called the
Freewinds and a 64,000
square-foot medieval-style castle and resort in South Africa.
The church also owns historic buildings, including the 1927 hotel
Château Élysée, remodeled as the Celebrity Center International,
the 1923 Christie Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard which is now the Church
Scientology Information Center, a community center in South L.A.,
(a 1930s art deco building), and the Braley building in Pasadena, now
a church, constructed in 1906 for Edgar Braley’s bicycle emporium.
In 2016, the church opened the
Scientology Media Productions,
previously the KCET studios. It was purchased from KCET in 2011 for 42
million dollars and preserved as a Los Angeles historic-cultural
monument. Although church spokesperson
Karin Pouw says that restoring
buildings of historical significance is a way that the church “gives
back to the community,” according to LA Weekly, former high-ranking
Scientology officials claim that profit is the main reason why the
studio was built, while the church maintains its tax-free status.
* World Institute of
Hubbard College of Administration International
Sterling Management Systems
* List of
Scientology status by country
* Symbols of
* ^ "What is Scientology?". Retrieved 2008-01-15.
* ^ Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (September 2003). "Scientology:
Religion or racket?" (PDF). _Marburg Journal of Religion_. 8 (1):
1–56. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
* ^ Kent, Stephen A. (July 1999). "
Scientology – Is this a
Religion?" (PDF). _Marburg Journal of Religion_. 4 (1): 1–23.
Retrieved March 3, 2013.
* ^ "the Federal Supreme Administrative Court decided that an
association does not maintain a commercial business operation, if it
offers services to its members in the realization of its idealistic
purpose" Mission Neue Bruecke Stuttgart vs State of Baden-Wuerttemberg
* ^ http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKVAT/2006/V19673.html
* ^ Behar, Richard (1991-05-06). "The Thriving Cult of Greed and
Power". _Time _.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Auditing as a Career". American Saint Hill
Organization, Church of Scientology. Archived from the original on
2006-08-18. Retrieved 2006-08-05.
* ^ Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (1990-06-24). "The Man In
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times _. p. A41:4. Retrieved 2006-06-06.
* ^ Cooper, Paulette _Scandal of Scientology_, Chapter 19, Tower
Publications, NYC, 1971
L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard OEC Vol 4 page 411
* ^ "Chilling Effects Clearinghouse Database". Chilling Effects
Clearinghouse. Archived from the original on 2011-07-03. Retrieved
* ^ _A_ _B_ Kennedy, Dominic (2007-06-23). "\'Church\' that yearns
for respectability -
Scientology is trying to transform its image from
that of a shadowy cult". _
The Times _. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Shermer, Michael (2011). "Is
Scientology a Cult?".
_Skeptic_. 17 (1).
* ^ _Understanding the German View of Scientology_ Archived
2006-08-13 at the
Wayback Machine . German Embassy, Washington, D.C.
* ^ http://www.cdi.gov.au/report/cdi_chap20.htm
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Reitman, Janet (5 July 2011). _Inside Scientology:
The Story of America\'s Most Secretive Religion_. Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-618-88302-8 . Retrieved 20 December 2012.
* ^ Hugh B. Urban (21 August 2011). _The Church of Scientology: A
History of a New Religion_. Princeton University Press. p. 217. ISBN
978-0-691-14608-9 . Retrieved 16 January 2013.
* ^ Rich, Leigh E. (2012). "Book Review. The Church of Scientology:
A History of a New Religion". _Journal of Bioethical Inquiry_.
* ^ Shermer, Michael (Nov 2011). "The Real Science behind
Scientology". _Scientific American_. 305 (5). Retrieved 16 January
2013. So did its founder, writer L. Ron Hubbard, just make it all
up--as legend has it--to create a religion that was more lucrative
than producing science fiction? Instead of printing the legend as
fact, I recently interviewed the acclaimed science-fiction author
Harlan Ellison, who told me he was at the birth of Scientology. At a
meeting in New York City of a sci-fi writers' group called the Hydra
Club, Hubbard was complaining to L. Sprague de Camp and the others
about writing for a penny a word. "
Lester del Rey then said
half-jokingly, 'What you really ought to do is create a religion
because it will be tax-free,' and at that point everyone in the room
started chiming in with ideas for this new religion. So the idea was a
Gestalt that Ron caught on to and assimilated the details. He then
wrote it up as 'Dianetics: A New Science of the Mind' and sold it to
John W. Campbell, Jr., who published it in Astounding Science Fiction
* ^ "The Story of
Dianetics and Scientology" lecture 18 October
1958 by L. Ron Hubbard: And by 1938, I thought I had a common
denominator to all life....So when I got out of the war...I collected
my treasury checks and that was what financed the first of the
research from which we benefit now. It's very funny but that was what
financed it. I went right down in the middle of Hollywood, I rented an
office, got ahold of a nurse, wrapped a towel around my head and
became a Swami. And I said – oddly enough, I gave nobody my name, I
didn't say what I was doing, and by 1947, I had achieved clearing."
* ^ Sir John Foster, K.B.E., Q.C., M.P. (December 1971). "Enquiry
into the Practice and Effects of Scientology" (PDF). Her Majesty's
Stationery Office, London. Retrieved 2007-08-02. CS1 maint: Multiple
names: authors list (link )
* ^ _Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology_, Report
by Sir John Foster, K.B.E., Q.C., M.P., Published by Her Majesty's
Stationery Office, London December 1971. Cited at
* ^ Behar, Richard (1986-10-27). "The prophet and profits of
Forbes 400 _.
Forbes . Altogether, FORBES can total up
at least $200 million gathered in Hubbard's name through 1982. There
may well have been much more.
* ^ http://www.whatisscientology.org/html/Part12/Chp37/pg0681.html
* ^ Wright, Lawrence (2013). _Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood,
and the Prison of Belief_. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN
9780385350273 . access-date= requires url= (help )
* ^ Reitman, Janet (2011). _Inside Scientology: The Story of
America's Most Secretive Religion_. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN
9780547549231 . access-date= requires url= (help )
* Smith, L. Christopher (December 2008). "Scientology\'s Money
Trail: Celebrities! Tax shelters! Bart Simpson! A glimpse into the
finances of the secretive church". _Condé Nast Portfolio_. 2008
Condé Nast Inc. Retrieved 2008-11-19.