Scientology Is Bigger, Richer And Growing Faster Than You realised

tom cruise

Photo: Getty Images / Kevin Winter

Religion or multinational corporation? A look at how the business of Scientology adds up. With the marriage and then high profile divorce of known Scientologist Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, the profile — if not the following — of Scientology has become enormous. Also huge? The Church’s donations, real estate holdings, and licensing deals — making it one of the biggest moneymakers in the religious world. So where does it all come from? 

8 to 15 million — Scientology’s estimated global membership.

70 — number of Scientology buildings all over the world; the Church’s total assets and property holdings have more than doubled since 2004.

$25 million — estimated amount Tom Cruise has given to the Church to date.

1,084 — number of books published by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard; landed him in the Guinness World Records book for Most Published Works by a Single Author.

$500 — average hourly rate for spiritual counseling sessions (known as “auditing”) at a Scientology centre.

400% — amount Scientology claims to have expanded in the past decade; accounts for more than 10,000 Scientology churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations.

$500 million — Scientology’s estimated annual revenue from its many corporations, private donations, and real estate holdings all over the world.

$590,000 — amount Scientology paid lobbyist Greg Mitchell from 2005-2012 to appeal to Congress on a range of issues from religious freedom to 9/11 rescue workers.

12.5% — average percentage of fees and revenue sent from individual Scientology centres back to the Church’s management arm in Los Angeles.

1993 — year the Church won tax-exempt status; has not been required to file annual returns with the I.R.S. since.

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