How are Churches of Scientology supported financially?
Churches of Scientology are financially supported by their members, just like every other church.
Some churches have a system of tithes, others require their members to pay for pew rentals, religious ceremonies and services. In the Church of Scientology, parishioners make donations for auditing and training they wish to receive. These contributions by Scientologists are the primary source of financial support for the Church and fund all the religious and social betterment activities the Church engages in. Scientologists are not required to tithe or make other donations.
Scientology does not have hundreds of years of accumulated wealth and property like other religions – it must make its way in the world according to the economics of today’s society. When one considers the cost of ministering even one hour of auditing, requiring extensively trained specialists, and the overhead costs of maintaining church premises, the necessity of donations become clear.
The Church selected the donation system as its primary funding because it is the most equitable method. Those who use the facilities of the church should be the ones who contribute most to its maintenance. Of course, no donation is expected from members who are at the church to participate in services other than auditing and training—listening to tape plays of L. Ron Hubbard’s lectures, reading scriptural works in the church library, meeting with fellow parishioners, receiving counseling from the Chaplain or attending Sunday services, sermons, weddings, christenings and funerals.
Scientologists’ donations keep the Church alive and functioning, fund its widespread social reform programs, make Scientology known to people who may otherwise never have the opportunity to avail themselves of it, and help to create a safe and pleasant environment for everyone.