Behind the religious trappings, the Church of Scientology is run like a lean, no-nonsense business in which potential members are called "prospects," "raw meat" and "bodies in the shop."
Its governing financial policy, written by the late Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is simple and direct: "MAKE MONEY, MAKE MORE MONEY, MAKE OTHERS PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MONEY."
...The organization uses sophisticated sales tactics to sell a seemingly endless progression of expensive courses, each serving as a prerequisite for the next. Known collectively as "The Bridge," the courses promise salvation, higher intelligence, superhuman powers and even possible survival from nuclear fallout--for those who can pay.
Church tenets mandate that parishioners purchase Scientology goods and services under Hubbard's "doctrine of exchange." A person must learn to give, he said, as well as receive.
For its programs and books, the church charges "fixed donations" that range from $50 for an elementary course in improving communication skills to more than $13,000 for Hubbard's secret teachings on the origins of the universe and the genesis of mankind's ills.
The church currently is offering a "limited time only" deal on a select package of Hubbard courses, which represent a small portion of The Bridge. If bought individually, those courses would cost $55,455. The sale price: $33,399.50.
[ NB: prices for $cientology "courses" have increased since this was written ]
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