By their members, just like every other church.
Some churches have a system of tithes. Others require members to pay for pew rentals, religious ceremonies and services. In the Church of Scientology, parishioners make donations for auditing or training they wish to receive. These contributions are the primary source of financial support for the Church and fund all Church-sponsored religious and social betterment activities. 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 auditors, not to mention overhead costs of maintaining Church premises, the necessity of donations becomes clear.
The Church selected the donation system as its primary method of funding because it is the most equitable. Those who most use Church facilities 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 a variety of other individual and congregational services which take place seven days a week—including participation in Group Processing, 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, weddings, christenings and funerals.
Scientologists’ donations keep the Church alive and functioning, fund its widespread social reform programs, make Scientology known to people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to avail themselves of it and help create a safe and pleasant environment for everyone.
What about those who cannot afford to make donations for services?
There is a Free Scientology Center in Churches of Scientology where those who cannot afford to donate may receive auditing without donation. There are also books and free public lectures, Sunday services and other religious gatherings for which there is no requested donation. Scientology books may be obtained at almost any local lending library. Scientology Volunteer Ministers are also on call 24/7, 365 days a year, to minister to those in need. Further, any member of the public may even participate in free online correspondence courses, which include all materials and technology contained in the Scientology Handbook.
Does the Church make any profits?
No. Scientology Churches are nonprofit organizations and all donations received are used exclusively in their ministries.
How much might a Scientologist donate before achieving the state of Clear?
The approximate amount of donation varies depending on which path one takes.
One way is to donate for auditing and participate in auditing services all the way to Clear. The preferred route, however, is to train as an auditor and co-audit with another Scientologist. The co-auditing route requires far less in donations and one gains tremendous satisfaction in helping another attain the state of Clear. As auditing costs much more for the Church to provide (necessitating several staff for each parishioner) donations are naturally higher. Training, then, is far more economical, which acts as an incentive for persons to train and then co-audit, without cost, to the state of Clear.
No matter the path one chooses, however, all who attain the state of Clear express the pricelessness of greater spiritual freedom.