HOW MUCH DO SCIENTOLOGISTS DONATE THE CHURCH AND WHAT IS DONE WITH THE MONEY?
Unlike other faiths no weekly donations are required, nor are there tithes. Churches of Scientology hold weekly congregational services, for which no donation is required or requested. These are analogous to congregational services of other faiths and in addition to Sunday Services, they further include Friday night graduations, as well as Church ceremonies — weddings and memorial services. Additionally, large events are held during all major Scientology holidays – six dates a year – by senior Scientology officials, which are attended by approximately 5-10,000 and videos for replay in all Churches across the world. No donations are requested.
As for contributions — the Church’s membership organization, which provides the primary support of international Scientology expansion and its social programs is called the International Association of Scientologists (lAS). Donations to the lAS are just that — donations to forward Church programs around the world, and are disrelated to an individual’s participation in Scientology services of auditing and training. Rather, these are the funds that provide for opening of new churches and implementation of social programs in underprivileged cities and countries of Earth. Annual membership dues to the lAS are $450. Lifetime membership dues are $3,000. There are additionally Sponsors and Patrons of the Association who provide substantial contributions beyond membership.
These contributions have, in recent years, provided funding for new Churches in major cities, including New York, Madrid, Hamburg and London. In addition, they have funded the International Centers for Narconon, Applied Scholastics, as well as a global Volunteer Minister Cavalcade — responsive to emergency relief from New York (9/11), to most recently, the Southeast Asia tsunami disaster and the cyclone in Innisfail.
Another way Scientologists support their religion is through contributions by individual members to their local Churches. In addition to general donations — akin to any Church including their own building funds, sponsorship of missions and missionaries, there are requested donations for participation in auditing (spiritual counselling) and training.
The Church encourages all members to train as Scientology auditors. Auditor training enables Scientologists to work with other Scientologists and audit each other. And while such auditing is supervised by Church staff, no donation is requested.
Training is done through levels of courses, from beginning to advanced. The majority of courses on average run 1-2 months at 40 hours per week, under supervision, and average $2,000.
Scientologists may also participate in auditing without training. The donations range from $100 for introductory auditing, to $2,000 for an intensive course of auditing of 25 hours. The donations requested are obviously higher than training as each parishioner is counseled one-on-one, in addition to other support staff required to provide this service.
Scientologists also purchase Mr. Hubbard’s books and lectures, obtainable in every Church’s bookstore. As you are aware, there are hundreds of books that comprise the written works of Dianetics and Scientology, in addition to approximately 3,000 recorded lectures by Mr. Hubbard. These sell in the tens of millions per year. Their cost is comparable to any book -- e.g., hardback at $25.00, or lectures on CD for $12.50. These are very popular, and not only with Church members; in fact, in the last 10 years, the combined sales of Mr. Hubbard’s books have doubled from 115 million to 230 million.
The average contribution per Scientologist in Australia is an estimated $1,000 per year.