Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Cost of Scientology's "Total Freedom"

«Our job as Scientologists is to suck every dime we can from a person. We convince them that they are saving not just this world but the entire universe!» — a former scientologist, "'Management Seminar' Harrowing Experience", Cherokee County Herald
«... the solution is to charge whatever the traffic will bear ...» — L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL of 11 November 1969, "PROMOTION AND MOTIVATION"
«Your writing has a deep hypnotic effect on people and they are always pleased with what you write. Having a market is immaterial. You will make fortunes in writing.» — L. Ron Hubbard, "Admissions"
«It will be found that those who will pay more were the most able to begin with and have the greatest value to others. Their worth as persons is greater.» — L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 9 May 1965 "Auditing Fees"

Typical example: Caroline Letkeman's account statement: Flag Account Statement: over 70,000 USD in 18 months. (ref.)

Since Scientology's core scriptures are not disclosed upfront, members have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to learn that they are actually covered by clusters of "body thetans", which you must get rid off through expensive auditing. Related topic: Hard selling

Evening Standard (London, Oct. 2006): "Tom's aliens target City's 'planetary rulers'" by David Cohen

"Would you like to sign up for our dianetics and scientology courses?" an auditor asks me. How much? I ask. "Oh, that varies from person to person," she replies. Ballpark cost for a year, I persist.

"Twenty-thousand pounds," she says, without blinking. Now she's looking over my shoulder, like a captain standing on the bridge scanning the middle distance.

Presently she adds: "But that's just the beginning. I've been here for years.

Most people need far more auditing than that."

Operation Clambake: "The Cost of Scientology" (prices for 1994/1995.) (prices as of 2006 html'ized)

The current (conservative) total cost for the whole bridge to OT9 readiness is estimated at $365,000 - $380,000.

Auditing hours are calculated on the basis of an average case. It could cost a lot more. Read on for the full price breakdown.

Wittenburg Door (June 2002): "Scientology: Are we Clear on this?" by Bob Gersztyn

BEZAZIAN: In Scientology, you cannot do most of their stuff without paying a definite price. It's already pre-planned. It's very much like a business.

DOOR: So everything has a set price on it?

BEZAZIAN: It's a set price. There's no negotiation. They call it a donation. It's basically a service they're selling. They call it a religion so they don't have to pay taxes.

St. Petersburg Times (Oct. 1997): "In her final years, Scientologist spent $175,000" by Thomas C. Tobin

From 1991 until she died in December 1995, McPherson spent more than $175,000 on Scientology courses, counseling and causes, according to financial records. In three of those years, her donations to the church ranged from 29 percent to 55 percent of her income.
 She spent more than $57,000 on Scientology in the final year of her life, which ended after a 17-day stay at the church's downtown Clearwater retreat, the Fort Harrison Hotel.
 Since then, the investigation into her grim physical decline while in the care of Scientology staffers has produced a related tale about one parishioner's steep financial commitment to the Church of Scientology.
In the end, Lisa McPherson paid an even steeper price: her life.

Time (Jan. 1997): "Cult Control"

In October, Norway's Court of Appeals ordered the Church of Scientology to pay about $95,000 to former member Magne Berge, who had taken out hefty loans to pay for courses during five years with the Church. The Scientologists are seeking leave to appeal to Norway's Supreme Court.

Robert Kaufman (1972/1995): Inside Scientology/Dianetics - The High Cost of Infinity (prices for 1987.)

The total cost of these 25 items is $172,342, averaging $6,893.68 per item. Grades 0 through IV do not appear. They might be included in "12 1/2 hours Regular and Confessional Auditing."

The Forbidden Side of Scientology - Religious Hard-Sell

Registrars typically go through rigorous training that includes a series of "Registrar Drills" written by Hubbard. The drills are essentially sales closing techniques that would not be out of place if one were selling cars or home entertainment equipment. The Church Registrar learns how to "qualify a prospect," and "recognize the basic buyer types." Through repetitive drilling, the registrar acquires the skill to "control the conversation," "identify with the prospect," and "handle sales resistance." The Registrar is even encouraged to employ elaborate sales gimmicks such as the "tag team close," the "empathetic narrative close," and something Hubbard calls "the Buy Now gimmick."

Bob Penny (1991): Social Control in Scientology - Scientology Ethics

Sacrifice of non-Scientology values is the normal currency of status enhancement (or brownie points), as in I trashed my business to buy more Church services. One must produce a satisfactory list on paper of proofs of contribution to be eligible for certain services, and items such as the above are quite acceptable. I divorced my wife (or husband) because she (or he) wasn't helping me get up the Bridge was one I heard more than once.

Time (1991): "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" by Richard Behar

By all appearances, Noah Lottick of Kingston, Pa., had been a normal, happy 24-year-old who was looking for his place in the world. On the day last June when his parents drove to New York City to obtain his body, they were nearly catatonic with grief.

This young Russian-studies scholar had jumped from a 10th-floor window of the Milford Plaza Hotel and bounced off the hood of a stretch limousine. When the police arrived, his fingers were still clutching $171 in cash, virtually the only money he hadn't turned over to the Church of Scientology, the self-help "philosophy" group he had discovered just seven months earlier. [...]

Harriet Baker learned the hard way about Scientology's business of selling religion. When Baker, 73, lost her husband to cancer, a Scientologist turned up at her Los Angeles home peddling a $1,300 auditing package to cure her grief. Some $15,000 later, the Scientologists discovered that her house was debt free. They arranged a $45,000 mortgage, which they pressured her to tap for more auditing until Baker's children helped their mother snap out of her daze. Last June, Baker demanded a $27,000 refund for unused services, prompting two cult members to show up at her door unannounced with an E-meter to interrogate her. Baker never got the money and, financially strapped, was forced to sell her house in September. [...]

Over five months, the Gearys say, they spent $130,000 for services, plus $50,000 for "gold-embossed, investment-grade" books signed by Hubbard. Geary contends that Scientologists not only called his bank to increase his credit card limit but also forged his signature on a $20,000 loan application.

Affidavit of Maria Pia Gardini (19 January 2001, part 1)

36. After I sold my condo, I went to Amsouth bank to get some money.  When I came out of the bank two officers from Scientology Special Properties in Los Angeles were waiting for me.  They wanted money to help put LRH materials into titanium so it could be preserved for eternity.  They asked me to come to the top floor of the Fort Harrison to see the new special properties.  I just wanted to go to Italy, now.  I had my ticket in my pocket.  I still had to empty my condo and get out.  I asked them to leave me be.  I told them to leave me alone or I would die here in America.  But they said, "Let's go" and escorted me to the Fort Harrison where they badgered me for the money.  Again, I lost my will and just wrote them a check.  I gave them $25,000 from the condo sale.

Affidavit of Maria Pia Gardini (19 January 2001, part 1)

41. In early 1995, I called Debbie Cook. I told her that now I needed help from her. I was an OT VIII class IX auditor who had given over one million dollars to Scientology. I never spoke to Debbie. Never once would she come on the phone to speak to me.

Affidavit of Martin Ottmann (19 April 1996)

Until December 1989 I received the further auditing steps: "Interiorisation Rundown", "Objectives Rundown", "Scientology Drug Rundown" and the "Clear Certainty Rundown" (CCRD). After I had finished the CCRD I was told that I was not clear. Until that time I had spent approximately 20,000 $ for Scientology auditing and books. After the Munich org had recognized that I couldn’t make up more money to buy my next auditing steps, they lost their interest in my person. At that time I believed that I had lived thousands of "lifetimes" before and that I actually came from outer space to earth, 3,876 years ago.

In March 1990 I got contacted by a staff member of the Stuttgart org, Alfred Löw, who wanted me to get back "on lines". He persuaded me to do the "Mini-money-Course" (MMC) in order to solve my financial problems. Besides the MMC I bought the "Basic Study Manual" and the "Student Hat". Instead of solving it my financial situation started to get really bad. In May 1990 I took another credit from another bank and spent about money for the "L-Rundowns" (another auditing step) at the "Flag Service Organization" (FSO) and for membership-donations to the "International Association of Scientologists" (IAS). Until July 1990 I had spent approximately 50,000 $ for Scientology and had 40,000 $ worth of debts. At that time a recruitment-mission from the Flag Service Organization came to Stuttgart, who were supposed to hire Scientologists for the "Sea Org", the elite organization of Scientology. Susanne Reich, "Dissemination Establishment Officer" of the FSO, and Daniela Petretto, "Flag Personnel Procurement Officer" of the "Continental Liaison Office Europe", pushed me to overcome "all barriers" in order to get to the FSO by the End of August. That meant that I had to quit my job, to give my landlord a notice and last but not least "handle" my financial obligations. Susanne had the clever idea to get my parents pay my debts. She trained me to make my mother pay me the money. After several tries, the coaching of Susanne was finally successful. My mother paid off all my bank-credits and even a bounced cheque for the FSO, worth of 7,000 $.


... The company belonged to Peter Mousiol, who had paid around 1,500,000 $ into Scientology and who had to leave the Sea Org in Clearwater due to his debts. ...

Forbes (1986): "The prophet and profits of Scientology" by Richard Behar

Howard Rower, a successful New York real estate developer who ran a Manhattan "mission" until 1983. "And if you have money, you're fawned all over until you don't have any money."

Penthouse (1983): "Inside The Church of Scientology: An Exclusive Interview with L. Ron Hubbard, Jr."

Hubbard Jr: It cost as much as a person had. He had to stay in the organization, getting audited higher and higher, until he paid us as much as he had. People would sell their house, their car, convert their stocks and securities into cash, and turn it all over to Scientology.

Wikipedia: Scientology as a business

Scientology pays members commissions on new recruits they bring in, so Scientology members routinely try to "sell" Scientology to others.[1] In addition, Scientology franchises, or missions, pay the church roughly 10% of their gross income.[2] Charges for auditing and other Church-related courses run to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars[3] Scientology maintains strict control over the use of its symbols, icons, and names. It claims copyright and trademark over its "Scientology cross," and its lawyers have threatened lawsuits against individuals and organizations who have published the image in books and on Web sites.

Declaration of Jonathan Caven-Atack (9 April 1995)

28. On one occasion, between June and August 1982, I spent thirteen hours being given a sales interview by Scientologist Peter Buttery at my apartment in East Grinstead. In the same year, I was visited by the same Scientology salesman who had brought Scientologist money-lender Lee Lawrence with him. They attempted to persuade me to borrow £7,000. The assertion was made that after "upper level" Scientology counselling it would be easy for me to recoup the money and pay back the loan and the 30 percent per annum interest. Lawrence's loan applications had to be approved by Scientology [JCA-65].
 29. Scientology sales staff, or "registrars", rapidly form a picture of an individual's assets and borrowing capacity. I have dealt with many individuals whose financial security was undermined by their involvement with Scientology.

Los Angeles Times (1990): "Church Markets Its Gospel with High-Pressure Sales" by Joel Sappell and Robert W. Welkos

The church currently is offering a "limited time only" deal on a select package of Hubbard courses, which represent a small portion of The Bridge. If bought individually, those courses would cost $55,455. The sale price: $33,399.50.

As a promotional flyer for the discount observes, "YOU SAVE $22,055.50."

To complete Hubbard's progression of courses, a Scientologist could conceivably spend a lifetime and more than $400,000. Although few if any have doled out that much, the high cost of enlightenment in Scientology has left many deeply in debt to family, friends and banks.

Ask former church member Marie Culloden of Manhattan Beach, who describes herself as a "recovering Scientologist."

"I'm trying to recover my mortgaged home," says Culloden, who spent 20 years in Scientology and obtained three mortgages totaling more than $80,000 to buy courses.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, Australia, 1995): "Inside the cult"

After a handful of courses, my future worth to the church was to be determined. I was sent to the head of the mission to have my finances assessed. I said I had very little money left but hinted I would have access to an inheritance in a few weeks.

The mission head suddenly was interested. He persisted with suggesting ways I could get the money as soon as possible, so I could get started with future courses. One costing 2000 was deemed best for me. I was lucky though and ended up paying only half of another course which cost only about 100. It has been well documented by the media that other people who have become involved with the Church of Scientology have not been so fortunate.

Carlton Television: "Inside the cult"

«John Buchanan, a Scottish landscape gardener working in Germany, was recruited by the Munich org 3 years ago, accrued huge debts to several Munich banks to buy courses and materials, and committed suicide in May 1994 to escape his debts. His mother quoted a letter claiming he would be re-incarnated and come back to Scotland Closing shot of his headstone "He did return to Scotland."»

Scientology Costs a Mint!

Registrars typically go through rigorous training that includes a series of "Registrar Drills" written by Hubbard. The drills are essentially sales closing techniques that would not be out of place if one were selling cars or home entertainment equipment. The Church Registrar learns how to "qualify a prospect," and "recognize the basic buyer types." Through repetitive drilling, the registrar acquires the skill to "control the conversation," "identify with the prospect," and "handle sales resistance." The Registrar is even encouraged to employ elaborate sales gimmicks such as the "tag team close," the "empathetic narrative close," and something Hubbard calls "the Buy Now gimmick."

Skeptico (Aug. 2005): "Got a spare $ half million? Join Scientology"

COOPER: Michael, you say you've spent, what? How much money?
 PATTINSON: Approximately half-a-million dollars.

Affidavit of Michael Leonard Tilse (19 April 2003)

I hereby demand full and complete refund and repayment of the One hundred ninety four thousand one hundred fifty dollars and nine cents in cash, value of stocks, value of labor, credit card charges, personal checks or other valuable consideration that I have donated to, given to, or been charged by the Church or any of its affiliated organizations including the International Association of Scientologists or associated organizations in this continuous fraud and swindle since 1975.


The Church is to deliver to me the full amount of USD $194,150.09 by Cashiers check or by deposit of this money into an account of my choosing by 2:00pm, 1 May 2003.

Affidavit of Edmond Hattaway (26 February 2001)

20. The only problem was MY NEW LIFE. I was stressed out, burned out and under EXTREME financial duress from the creditors who had loaned me money to buy my super OT abilities! I fell 6 months behind on my mortgage(s), my office rent, my equipment lease and my van. Over the next two years I accumulated over $30,000 in back taxes. We were drowning in debt. Even with all my super-duper OT ability (NOT!) I was incapable of producing at my previous level!

Affidavit of Andre Tabayoyon (5 March 1994) (Selected excerpt, it's worth to read the whole document.)

47. I saw these same techniques used on persons who had not violated any Scientology laws or requirements. The techniques were used to compel persons to go up the Scientology Bridge to total freedom. Advancing up the Bridge requires attending courses and auditing or processing. Both the courses and auditing becomes more expensive the further up the Bridge a Scientologist goes. So, these thought reform techniques are callously employed to generate ever increasing sums of income for Scientology. [...]

134. I was also directed by L. Ron Hubbard to go to a bank in Zurich, Switzerland, withdraw $14 million and to return with it to Lisbon, Portugal. Two other Sea Org members went on this mission with me. When we went to the bank, they brought the money out in a cart and we sat there and counted it three times. We then put it in a suit case, got a taxi cab, then an air flight and handed the money over as ordered. We were then debriefed.

135. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit D is a copy of & letter dated December 6, 1989 signed by Captain Marc Yeager concerning the American Express credit card fraud being carried out within the church of Scientology.

Affidavit of Susan Simmel (August 1989)

Meanwhile, the prices of SCN had skyrocketed putting the cost of our services well in excess of $100,000 each; an unattainable goal. We knew we could never afford this as those prices increased each month. We complained that the prices were too high, and thus called into the Org for a "roll-back" which was designed to trace down rumors. Not being able to afford our freedom basically meant that we were unable, no good, and would never amount to anything. This was a devastating realization. I began to think the SCN was not for the good of mankind as the average person's income was even less than mine. People could not have spiritual freedom if they did not have a bottomless checkbook. This all made no sense.

Toronto Globe and Mail (1974): "Probe of religious sect’s practices sought by ex-members" by John Marshall

Voicing regret that she lacked the insight and courage to quit before, she says she induced Calgarians to spend more than $200,000 on Scientology, half of it for advanced courses in Los Angeles. It costs anywhere from $50 to $500 an hour for these therapy like sessions. ...

... Nearly all the Calgary members, she said, had to borrow to keep up their payments, and Mrs. Levett induced four to mortgage their homes to get the cash.

Italian OT 8 Speaks out

Between the services and accommodation, I had by now spent nearly 100,000 dollars, but the road to go back to "solo" auditing was still very long. It was 1998, and I had run out of all my resources by now. At this point, I decided to give up. I had spent all my money, hope and energy, and it was a big failure for me.

Santa Barbara Independent (1993): "Church of Scientology Big Loser in S.B. Case"

According to Bright, the NOTs counseling was a big money-maker for Scientology and Mayo was offering it out of his center for far less than the Church of Scientology. And according to a former Scientology church official, Hubbard gave the order that Mayo and his new church "be squashed like a cockroach."

Affidavit of Scott Yeager (date unknown)

I spent over 20,000 dollars with very few results. I spent the bulk of the money ($14,000) signing up for the Dianetic Clear Special Intensive through OT 3. OT 1 through OT 3 were never delivered because the money was used up at a rate of $300 per hour trying to fix past incorrect auditing through lengthy "Correction Lists", "Repairs", and yes, even repairing the faulty repairs called "Reviews."

Ariane Jackson: "OT8 denounces Scientology"

My ex-husband was involved for 14 years, attained "OT7, Cause over Life", gave his fortune of several million dollars to Scientology and died at the age of 59, within days of being audited at Flag!

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