Does your religion pay you commissions? The Church of Scientology has paid commissions to its members for bringing in new business since it was founded in 1954. All Scientologists are Field Staff Members, or “FSM’s” as they are called, and are eligible to be paid commissions for monies paid by new members they recruit into Scientology. These new members are called “selectees.”
Field Staff Members are different than professional Sea Org salespeople called “registrars” and work at Scientology’s Orgs. FSM’s are non- Sea Org. FSM’s are public members of the Church of Scientology.
FSM’s must pay their own expenses incurred in selling Scientology goods and services. These expenses are deducted against their income on their tax returns. There is a class of professional Scientology FSM’s such as Michael Chan who work fulltime as FSM’s.
One of the typical hustles used by professional FSM’s is the promise that Scientologists will received a “special briefing” or even a “secret briefing” if they attend the FSM event.
FSM’s are also paid commissions on all subsequent courses for which their selectees pay. This is the same multilevel marketing commission system used by Amway and most MLM’s. The goal is for Scientologists to build a downline of selectees which earn them commissions. These commissions can, in turn, allow Scientologists with a downline to use commissions to pay for their >$500,000 trip up Scientology’s Bridge.
Scientology’s official membership organization, which is called the International Association of Scientologists or the IAS, also pays commissions to Scientologists who bring in donations from other people and groups.
The IAS is a legally separate corporation from the Church of Scientology International and exists solely to raise money that can be spent on anything so long as it falls under the extremely broad purpose to “Unite, advance, support and protect the Scientology religion in all parts of the world.”
This is an FSM Commission Slip which is filled out to collect IAS commissions. A similar is filled out to collect commissions from the Church of Scientology International. The Scientologist must report their Social Security Number as field commissions paid by tax-exempt Scientology corporations are treated as taxable income.
The Church of Scientology is a sales organization; there is no disputing this fact. The payment of commissions to FSM are treated as taxable income and therefore show the commercial nature of Scientology as a business.
Scientology is based upon weekly statistics and the number one statistic is gross income and not, say, converts made.
In a 1984 American court case, the Elmira Mission of Church of Scientology asked the New York State Tax Commission for a redetermination of its tax exempt status which had been revoked. The petition is interesting to read as it explains Scientology’s commission structure.
Categories: The Scientology Money Project