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Mr Lafayette Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, claimed in a statement issued yesterday that he was owed the sum of $13 millions by the organisation, and had forgiven it. He had drawn no salary for years.
The statement was one of two from Mr Hubbard issued from Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex, the cult's headquarters. A spokesman said they were received late on Monday night from Tunisia, where Mr Hubbard is believed to be on his yacht. The statement added:
"Even my own income has been invoiced into Scientology organisations.
"I paid for all the research for 18 years, and it is not included at all. All the millions have been totalled up, and, aside from some cash loans, the balance has been forgiven.
"It is typical of these attacks on Scientology that truth is the other way. It is upsetting to make a 13-million-dollar gift and be hammered for it."
In the other statement, Mr Hubbard says Scientology brought millions of dollars into England "before Robinson slammed the door on students."
"Older practices take millions of dollars from the United Kingdom taxpayer. Medicine and mental groups are paid countless millions while Scientology makes money for the country. Even with medicine free, the people want to pay for Scientology. No wonder older practices are afraid. Authority belongs to those who are getting their job done."