How are Churches of Scientology supported financially?
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.