The Church of Scientology International (CSI) is the “Mother Church” of Scientology. As the official Mother Church, CSI makes this bold statement on one of its official websites:
The truth is that there are millions of individuals who participate in Scientology services and apply it to their lives.
In the very next sentence, CSI identifies the source for its claim that millions of individuals participate in Scientology:
This is according to the individual Churches that maintain the names of their parishioners and a record of their progress up the Scientology Bridge.
While all parishioners’ records are securely maintained at their local Church, the names and addresses of members of all Churches and Missions are provided to Church of Scientology International (CSI), which maintains the mailing list for Church magazines disseminated to all Scientologists. Our numbers come from this international list.
Parishioners’ records are not securely maintained and can be, in fact, culled by OSA to find dirt on Scientologists. Parishioners’ records can also be culled to help regges find “buttons” to raise more money. Laura Dieckman’s legal case has shown us that over 100 people have access to pc folders. And yet CSI claims that Parishioners’ records are securely maintained. Given that this statement is false, we must also treat with scrutiny CSI’s claim “that there are millions of individuals who participate in Scientology services and apply it to their lives.”
There are five glaringly obvious problems with CSI’s claim that millions of people are participating in Scientology:
1. Who are the people at the local Scientology churches sending the names of their members to CSI? The answer is that local staff members are sending the lists of names to CSI. This is a problem because CSI has a policy in which it declares that it does not stand behind any statements or claims made by staff members:
CSI’s claim that “there are millions of individuals who participate in Scientology services and apply it to their lives” is made by Scientology staff members and therefore CSI, per its own policy, takes no responsibility for this claim or any claims made by staff members. Absent verification by an independent third party audit, the staff members reporting millions of members must be assumed to be engaged in false reporting. I say this because there is no empirical evidence whatsoever that Scientology has millions of members — and we certainly can’t believe Scientology’s staff members given the fact that CSI itself refuses to stand behind statements made by its own staff members.
2. CSI designated the IAS as the official membership organization of Scientology. Therefore, only the IAS can make a true and accurate statement of membership numbers. However, the IAS is not a part of the Church of Scientology:
Applications to join the IAS are sent to the IAS. The Church of Scientology International told the IRS that it doesn’t even get a copy of IAS applications:
4. The Church of Scientology International told the IRS that the Church does not have access to IAS records:
The information requested regarding IAS receipts and expenditure is voluminous and not readily available to CSI or any other Scientology-related organization.
5. How can CSI possibly know how many Scientologists there are if it doesn’t know how many people have applied to the IAS for membership? The answer is that CSI has to rely on statements made by staff members. However, as we said, CSI doesn’t stand behind statements made by staff members.This is all more Scientology nonsense. And yet there it is on Scientology’s website: