How much does Scientology cost?

# Comment by hostile on February 16, 2008 8:34 pm

why does scientology charge such a large fee on the expenses of the church to the members when larger religions don’t charge manditory fees at all?

ANSWER:

First of all, this question is addressed on the website (scientologymyths.info/scientology/). But here are some additional facts. You can get through the Scientology system without paying a lot. Materials are not expensive and if you participate and help others you get helped in exchange. There are no mandatory fees at all. How much you invest in your salvation is totally up to you. Churches of Scientology however have to survive somehow, pay rent, water, power and so on. There are no secret reserves somewhere to fund this. Other religious organizations had hundreds or thousands of years to collect property or get huge donations from a much bigger number of parishioners. Scientology only exists since 54 years and despite of that most donations to the church go in worldwide social programs. Last but not least other religions have much less scriptures and do not train their parishioners at all in its usage. With no training facilities and just one book to teach there are not much expenses. I think such a comparison does not make much sense.

– Lou

10 Comments

  1. @Comment by anmn on February 22, 2008 8:28 pm

    “However, if we refer this back to the original question, you seem to be saying that money = commitment, so Scientology does cost a lot of money, but that is a good thing. Is this true?”

    You are comparing apples (Bible) with beans (Scientology Basics) and oranges (Scientology services) and put everything in one pot. It is a pity that you seem to feel a need to do that to make your point. You are posing another statement camouflaged as “question” and honestly I do not see any need to continue this one-sided discussion.

    – Lu

  2. >True, and what does one album (ca 60 minutes or less) cost? 10 bucks or more.
    >And what does a simple novel cost, to download on Kindle? 10 bucks.

    Right, mostly because the author, publisher, and distributor take their cuts. With these lectures, though, the author has passed (and professed to live humbly while alive), the publisher should want the materials available widely, and the distribution could incur nearly zero overhead.

    And what does a Bible cost? Nothing: http://christianity.about.com/od/practicaltools/ht/freebible.htm

    >Because I think that labor should be paid and products should require an exchange, for example money.

    Ah, now we’re in a different discussion. Like how I could play poker with play money, but it’s a different game when there are dollars behind each chip. You’re saying these lectures should cost money because then they’re more meaningful.

    However, if we refer this back to the original question, you seem to be saying that money = commitment, so Scientology does cost a lot of money, but that is a good thing. Is this true?

  3. @Comment by PB on February 22, 2008 7:51 pm

    “I would like to study scientology but don’t have the time. its seems other religions are easier because you just have to go to church occasionally and you are considered “in”. It sounds like scientology requires a bit more effort, and perhaps some cost, but I guess that is one way of measuring commitment.”

    Thanks! I finally feel that somebody here got it! Scientology only appears complicated if you don’t break it down in its individual parts (another Scientology principle..). I know a lot of Scientologists who are spending as only some hours on Sunday at their church. That is not ideal as there is a lot to study and to gain, but it is also not uncommon.

    – Lu

  4. “itunes and amazon seem to be doing very well distributing audio books.”

    True, and what does one album (ca 60 minutes or less) cost? 10 bucks or more.
    And what does a simple novel cost, to download on Kindle? 10 bucks.

    If the church decides not to give out materials for nothing I support that. Because I think that labor should be paid and products should require an exchange, for example money.

    – Lu

  5. It sounds great. I would like to study scientology but don’t have the time. its seems other religions are easier because you just have to go to church occasionally and you are considered “in”. It sounds like scientology requires a bit more effort, and perhaps some cost, but I guess that is one way of measuring commitment.

  6. >Your one dollar per CD is a price for home copying but does not include packaging, printing costs for transcripts, glossaries, rent, power, water, ink, machine maintenance, taxes etc.

    Actually, that cost is for a professional disc duplication service.
    http://www.discmakers.com/products/Bulk.asp 10,000 discs, $0.40 each. Burned, labeled, and delivered, with a seven-day lead time. Still well under $1 per disc with sleeves.
    http://www.discmakers.com/products/DigitalBook.asp 10,000 fancy 8-disc sets for under $8 each. Full custom art on discs and box.

    Sure, add a bit more for capital loans and shipping and handling to individual customers, but there’s no way a $10 cost per disc is justifiable based on the material costs.

    Or why not release the electronic materials on BitTorrent? All that costs is a little bandwidth from a Scientology server to seed the first batch – the downloaders take care of the rest of the load.

    The book costs I can accept. But it’s possible to reduce the distribution costs of the lectures to near zero. So why not do it? Isn’t it in the interests of the Church of Scientology to distribute these basic materials as widely as possible?

    Further, why not distribute electronic copies of the books? Again, the necessary files already exist, and distribution costs would be near zero.

    Who’s making money off of these lectures? Aren’t they already recorded, and unchangeable? Isn’t the translation project, the largest in history, complete? Are there no Scientologist translators or narrators who would volunteer their time?

    >I understand that there are people who are used to listen to ripped MP3s or pirated DVDs but no publishing house would support this. Give-aways on one side would increase prices in another sector, unless the publisher wants to commit financial suicide and go broke. Simple economics.

    itunes and amazon seem to be doing very well distributing audio books.

    Why can’t the Church of Scientology be the publisher, and distribute them for free as above? Why would that drive them broke?

  7. @Comment by anmn on February 22, 2008 7:07 am

    Yes, these materials are the “Basics”, i.e. what every Scientologist will study sooner or later. It takes a bit to study all of it so each book or lecture series is sold separately as well, is made available in the library of each church, and “Basics” packages have been donated to ten thousands of public libraries in 15 languages. There are donation drives ongoing since last summer to get more of these materials in public libraries (the price to donate a package is even lower).

    There is nothing to justify about the price. The full package has about 300 books and CDs. Most of the CDs have more than one hour playing time. Each one comes with a printed complete transcript and glossary. Honestly, the price is extremely low compared to what you normally pay for hardcover books and CDs in any bookstore in the world, even if you buy them as Ebooks or download albums. They do not even charge shipping for this mass of material.

    Your one dollar per CD is a price for home copying but does not include packaging, printing costs for transcripts, glossaries, rent, power, water, ink, machine maintenance, taxes etc. Sorry if this sounds like a promotion speech but I want to make sure you have all the information.

    I understand that there are people who are used to listen to ripped MP3s or pirated DVDs but no publishing house would support this. Give-aways on one side would increase prices in another sector, unless the publisher wants to commit financial suicide and go broke. Simple economics. And Scientology publishing houses have the mandate to disseminate the Scientology religion worldwide and supply the needed materials. Any money made by this goes back into producing more materials, paying translators, narrators, sound studio equipment etc. They produce all these books and lectures in 15 languages and most of the books in more than 50 languages.

    – Lu

  8. The web page at http://bpi.goldenageofknowledge.net/video/basicsvideo.html offers a “Basics Books and Lectures Package” at a discounted rate of $3,500. It says these materials are “the foundation on which the Bridge to Freedom is built.” That certainly implies that these materials are required to begin your path as a Scientologist. Is this true? If so, is there any way to receive these materials for free?

    I recognize that the package includes 298 items, but 280 of those are half-hour audio lectures, requiring less than half of one audio CD, which can be mass-produced for well under a dollar. Or, if turned into mp3 files for use on a computer, one CD could contain 25 or more lectures. What is the justification for charging approximately $10 per lecture?

  9. Thanks for the questions. There are no fixed donations for going through the training and practice program in Scientology. Everyone can choose the route he wants and there are plenty of them. Whoever tells you something else is lying.

    “what do you get out of this anyway?”
    “Is there a top ..?”

    You are asking for my personal opinion, so this is what this is.

    There is a “top” but Scientology is not about making career but about spiritual improvement, getting happier and more stable in life and about achieving the goals one sets. Scientology has a route for that called The Bridge. It is described in the “Definitions” section of the website. I would not be a Scientologist if it would require me to pay money for nothing. I am a Scientologist because it helped me become more stable, more efficient and happier in life. Any principle in Scientology I tried worked as described. So it’s kind of hard to shake my trust in what is called the “Scientology technology”. Because it works and that might drive some “Big Players” nuts.

    – Lu

    Note: I prefer personal questions on email: scientologymyths(at)yahoo.com .

  10. “There are no mandatory fees at all.”
    Just fixed donations that need to be payed if you want to reach the next level to get to…..what do you get out of this anyway? Seriously, I have not seen anything about reaching the top or what happens. Is there a top, or is it just endless levels, each requiring more money, never achieving your goal?

    And what does money have to do with the afterlife anyway?


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