Donations ease deficit for Church of Scientology

The Times, UK/March 17, 2018

By Paul O’Donoghue

The Church of Scientology recorded a profit of nearly €40,000 at its Irish branch last year, just before it opened a large new centre in Dublin.

New accounts for the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin show that it recorded a surplus of just over €36,000 in the 12 months to the end of April 2017.

While this was down slightly from the profit of €48,000 it recorded during its previous financial year, it still helped the church eat into its retained deficit, which dropped to €116,000.

The church said that its income was sourced from donations. The directors said that there was no uncertainty as to whether the church would be able to meet its debts as they fall due.

“The directors of the company confirm that the company will continue to have their ongoing financial support to discharge of its future financial obligations,” the directors’ report stated.

The church’s relatively stable financial position marks a turnaround, as it had been recording losses up the end of its 2015 fiscal year.

By the end of April 2015 the company was almost €200,000 in the red and was being sustained by interest-free loans from members of the Church of Scientology around the world.

Its revenue of just under €50,000 during that year paled in comparison to the more than €600,000 of revenue it booked in 2006.

However, the church has become more active in Ireland recently and opened large new centre in Firhouse, Tallaght, last year.

The venue has several large meeting rooms and a designated place of worship that can hold more than 1,000 people.

Any financial impact of building the large centre was not acknowledged in the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin’s accounts. The group established a new company in June, the Church of Scientology & Community Centre of Dublin, which has yet to file accounts.

The opening of the new centre in Dublin was met with some scepticism, because the church has been called a cult by some critics. They claim that some of its teachings are not revealed until a member has reached the “upper levels” of the organisation and spent a lot of money doing so.

However, the group has said that the intimate nature of its practises requires confidentiality.

The church claims to have 10 million members around the world, although this figure is disputed. It has counted several high-profile celebrities among its supporters, including Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

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