Scientology’s secret riches revealed (AU)

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by Anonycat, Feb 22, 2015.

View Users: View Users
  1. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

    THE Church of Scientology netted close to $30 million from religious audits, book sales and donations in the two years following the launch of a major new base in Melbourne.

    The opening of the multi-million dollar facility in Ascot Vale at the start of 2011 also lead to a 35 per cent surge in people completing Scientology courses but interest has since tempered, financial records show.
    The rare insight into the finances­ of the highly secretive organisation came as it filed annual reports with the Australian Securities and Invest­ments­ Commission.

    The Church of Scientology Australia changed its corporate structure in 2011, prompting the need for it to file accounts.
    Despite the lucrative revenue stream — which included $4.3 million in donations and $2.9 million in interest paid on $28 million in cash investments — the local branch of the controversial religion is losing money across its Australian operations.

    Losses at the church grew from $136,375 in 2011 to $169,156 by December 2012. But the accounts contain a number of discrepancies with the 2011 accounts stating the church made a $91,000 profit.

    The 2012 accounts — filed in June last year and covering both years — do not provide an explanation for the change.
  2. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Australian scientology financial details, income 30 million revealed for ASIC!

    This is one interesting report! Talk about creative accounting.

  3. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

  4. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

  5. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Re: Australian scientology financial details, income 30 million revealed for ASIC!

    Is this supposed to be staff pay? 8.2 MILLION? In yer dreams.
  6. Outethicsofficer

    Outethicsofficer Silver Meritorious Patron

    Re: Australian scientology financial details, income 30 million revealed for ASIC!

    I doubt it would all be staff pay Sue! Some would go to that, other amounts to their lodgings, food, uniforms and other things that could be associated with 'Volunteer support'.

    $33,000,000 a year in income whilst not small is, I think, quite down on figures of many years ago...considering their 'unprecedented rate of expansion' :biggrin: in recent years.

    In the late 80s the AO alone had GI of anywhere between a few thousand and $250,000 in a week, a good week. I don't exactly recall the total for a year but it may have been near $5,000,000. And then donations for buildings were unheard of. In my opinion, the current scene is one of contraction in terms of income generated by means of services and delivery.
  7. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

    Re: Australian scientology financial details, income 30 million revealed for ASIC!

    Good to see you around, mate! :hattip:
  8. tetloj

    tetloj Silver Meritorious Patron

    Tony O has the source reports (by way of Bryan Seymour) and has said to expect an article on this in the morning. :happydance:
  9. tetloj

    tetloj Silver Meritorious Patron

    From Sydney Morning Herald article

    Code for the RPF? The Hole? Or simply, "out of the prying reach of you DBs"?
  10. imSPecial

    imSPecial Patron with Honors

    my first thought went to the corporate reorg also mentioned. with restructuring comes money movement. i bet its got as much to do with keeping the poor person out of the media's reach as keeping the poor person from knowing anything about the new structure.
  11. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Here's the Bunker must read article, including links to the full financial reports:

  12. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Re: Australian scientology financial details, income 30 million revealed for ASIC!

    Here's an answer from the Bunker article above:

  13. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    A looong comment. I hope this leads to a great discussion, this is juicy!

  14. Outethicsofficer

    Outethicsofficer Silver Meritorious Patron

    The longstanding Treasurer was Liz Kleitch, she's been out of the Sea Org about 2 years or so, routed out! That line by Virginia Stewart is BS!

    What Liz would know about the internals of the C of S as it relates to financials would fill a book.
  15. imSPecial

    imSPecial Patron with Honors

    i wonder if the affiliated organizations stuff he talks about are from things like someone being regged in another geographical zone, like south africa, to go do services in anzo, etc.
  16. Lohan2008

    Lohan2008 Gold Meritorious Patron

    Scientology Australia spills its guts

    For several years, one of Australia’s crusading senators, covered closely by one of the country’s most dogged television reporters, put pressure on the Church of Scientology to face more regulation with the creation of a national charities commission.

    That effort paid off yesterday in a big way when Scientology’s internal financial reports were revealed for the first time by the Australian press, providing a rare look at how the organization is faring in that country.

    We have those reports for you to go through, as well as some help understanding them from former Scientology spokesman (and native Australian) Mike Rinder.

    But first, we want to remind people how we got here, and why Australia, at least, is regulating Scientology in a way that certainly isn’t happening in the United States.

    Over a period from 2007 that lasted more than four years, television journalist Bryan Seymour pounded Scientology with investigative coverage which showed how lax Australian tax regulations were being used by the church to get around stricter regulations in places like the UK and elsewhere.

    A conversation with independent Senator Nick Xenophon led to the Adelaide lawmaker going public with his concerns about Scientology, and his support for a charities commission that would regulate non-profits like Scientology to make sure that they were providing some kind of public benefit.

    Less than two weeks later, on May 23, 2011, Scientology in Australia reorganized itself. It became a non-profit type known as a “company limited by guarantee.” By law, that meant that Scientology would have to open up its books, but to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and not to the newly formed charities commission.

    Scientology’s annual financial reports for 2011 and 2012 were submitted to ASIC, and those were made public yesterday by the Australian press. We have both reports for you.

    We asked Seymour why he thought Scientology had changed its corporate structure, forcing it to divulge its financial health.

    “If the charities commission had not been set up, Scientology would not have re-incorporated and handed over their accounts,” Seymour says. “I’ve asked the charities commission to review the article published today and if they will launch an investigation into the unexplained losses and where Scientology’s money is going. Either way — Scientology will, for the first time in Australia, be scrutinised for what it really is: A business, operated as a cult, masquerading as a religion.”

    The Herald Sun and each reported that despite only 2,163 Scientologists in the country according to the most recent census, the organization took in $33.1 million in revenue over the two years, 2011 and 2012, but still managed to lose money each year — $136,375 in 2011, and $169,156 in 2012.

    Some of that revenue over two years was in the form of interest on Scientology’s investments, but $4.3 million was in donations, and $3.4 million in book sales. (Scientologists are under intense pressure to spend freely on both books and other materials, and to make large donations.)

    The Herald Sun points out that the opening of a new “Ideal Org” in Melbourne in 2011 appears to have resulted in a significant increase in “minor” course completions that year, but the next year that subsided. Mike Rinder noticed other interesting trends in the detailed reports. But he was also concerned by what he didn’t find in them.

    “This is really hard to sort out because they spun off Melbourne, according to their 2012 report, as of 1 October 2012,” Rinder explained to us in an email. “So, do these two years compare? I have no idea.”

    He was also concerned that some detailed breakdowns of revenue present in the 2011 report were missing in 2012.

    “The 2012 report doesn’t include the most interesting figures in the 2011 report, which are on page 12 — The total receipts for auditing and training, for book sales and straight donations. The total contributions from parishioners went down from $16.2 million in 2011 to $13.1 million in 2012 even though the fundraising for the ‘Sydney Ideal Org’ (which opened in 2014) was going ‘full blast,’ and the Melbourne Ideal Org was supposedly expanding out the roof,” he says.

    “But it is definitely true that these figures are for all churches in Australia, including the Advanced Org and the CLO. The other figures of interest are on page two of the 2012 report. Despite the new Ideal Org in Melbourne ‘parishioners completing major courses’ declined by 9 percent. After that drop, they only increased 5 percent in 2012 — in other words, they did not even recover to the level of 2010,” he adds.

    Seymour pointed out that Scientology did make an annual information report to the charities commission, and in it the organization claims that it has zero employees, but 500 volunteers.

    Scientology, in other words, is calling “volunteers” its org staff members, as well as its incredibly dedicated “Sea Org” workers, who sign billion-year contracts, work around the clock for pennies an hour, and may be separated from family for years at a time without a single day off a year.

    “The total volunteer allowances and volunteer welfare expenses for 2011 and 2012 for what Bryan says are ‘500 volunteers’ are $4,354,198 for 2011 and $3,827,144 for 2012,” Rinder points out. “Presumably this means there were fewer volunteers in 2012 than in 2011. But just calculating a ballpark figure, this means that the pay for all staff and living expenses for all Sea Org workers comes to $73,000 per week. If this is for 500 people, that’s $147 per person per week for pay, food, living, healthcare, uniforms etc. And some of those are not Sea Org, so the outlay is not covering their living expenses. So, at best, if there are no Sea Org, the average wage of all staff in Australia is $147/week. And if they are all Sea Org then they are spending $147/week for full time, 7 day a week labor that are obviously not receiving medical care and are living in squalor and eating rice and beans. The truth lies somewhere between the two.”

    The Herald Sun reported that Scientology Australia’s spokeswoman, Virginia Stewart, tried to make the stagnated numbers look like the result of massive expansion: “Operating losses can happen, especially during periods when the church is expanding its outreach activities, increasing its service facilities and community programs,” she said. “We have planning in progress for other locations of our churches in Australia and Asia.”

    If you haven’t read our story about Virginia Stewart and disconnection, please do.

    Our commenting community includes some top-notch experts on Scientology’s finances, including former financial executives who worked in the Sea Org, and we look forward to what you can glean from these reports
  17. Lohan2008

    Lohan2008 Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Scientology Australia spills its guts

    Can someone make sure that the financial reports are 'mirrored' so cult can't destroy the facts.
  18. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Some more fascinating comments:
  19. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

  20. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Re: Scientology Australia spills its guts

    The auditor of those reports is a scientologist and has been for some time.

    Gaetano Cammarata Prudential Partners Pty. Ltd. Industry: Accounting and Bookkeeping Service Companies

    Gaetano Cammarata
    easons for decision
    At all material times, and during the 2000 tax year, the Church of Scientology was also ..... On 14 March 2008, I Gaetano Antonio Cammarata, known as Tony ...