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The Organisation of Scientology


The Church of Scientology is formed into an ecclesiastical structure which unifies and aligns a multitude of diverse religious activities, including not only ministering Scientology religious services and practices, but proselytization, ecclesiastical management, relay of communication, production of dissemination materials and many other functions. Thus the Scientology religious community is united both by common beliefs and practices and an organizational form uniquely suited to its religious mission.

At the lower levels of this hierarchy are individual field ministers, Scientology religious groups and Church missions involved in ministering beginning auditing and training. At the upper level are larger Church organizations that minister the advanced levels of auditing and training religious services.

Spanning all Churches is a system of international ecclesiastical management. From Church of Scientology International through a series of Continental Liaison Offices responsible for geographic zones, this management structure supports, coordinates and works to ensure that the spiritual philosophy and technologies of Dianetics and Scientology are available to anyone who wishes to receive them and that Scientology services are applied precisely as L. Ron Hubbard set forth.

Because Scientology scripture requires that its religious practices be ministered in an orthodox manner, the hierarchical structure helps ensure individual Churches receive the ecclesiastical support and guidance needed to do this. All Scientologists are thus assured of an orthodox religious observance in every Church around the world.

Each individual Church of Scientology is separately incorporated and is governed by its own board of directors. The officers and directors also form the ecclesiastical management of the Church and are fully responsible for providing services to their parishioners and their surrounding communities.


Class V Churches minister beginning and intermediate religious services and have the authority to train and ordain ministers. These Churches are so named because the highest level of training they provide is designated Class V (five) within the progression of Scientology religious services. Class V Organizations provide auditing through Clear.

Also called Central Organizations, these Churches are fully responsible for all Scientology activities in their respective zones and are much larger than field groups and missions. They are hubs for their community of Scientologists. They are places where Scientologists from all walks of life may gather to share common experiences. Scientologists attend their Churches to participate in auditing and training as well as Sunday services, weddings, funerals, and naming ceremonies, regular Friday evening graduations and the celebration of Scientology holidays.


Scientology missions reach out into their communities to bring new people into contact with Scientology and encourage their spiritual advancement through the higher levels of the religion. Missions minister basic Scientology religious services including the lower levels of auditing and introductory training.

Missions often are established in parts of the world that are new to Scientology, where they engage in missionary and dissemination activities on a broad scale. Scientology missions are located across the United States and from Russia to India, Canada to Chile and Ghana to Malaysia.


Scientology Missions International (SMI) is the mother church for all missions. SMI, with international headquarters in Los Angeles, California, provides guidance, help and direction for existing, new and forming missions through a global network of continental offices.


At the first level of the Scientology ecclesiastical hierarchy are the individual ministers of Scientology who do not serve on the staff of a Church or mission. These field ministers organize groups to provide introductory religious services to their families, friends and members of their communities. They provide religious services and minister to the spiritual needs of individuals. They are also involved in the myriad activities one traditionally associates with a community ministry such as marriage counseling and helping others overcome drug abuse and other problems.

Field auditors form Auditors Associations or Dianetics Counseling Groups as a means of expanding their activities to include organized lectures, seminars and other dissemination activities.


The International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors (I HELP) was created to provide assistance to auditors who minister religious services in the field and thus outside organized Churches.

The international headquarters for I HELP is located in Los Angeles, California. It provides planning, consultation and direction through broad campaigns designed to increase the popularity of field auditing and I HELP membership. It keeps the membership informed by distributing newsletters and promotional materials to continental I HELP Churches. I HELP International also consults with these Churches so they may better serve I HELP members in the field.


Each individual Church of Scientology is separately incorporated and governed by its own board of directors. The officers and directors also form the ecclesiastical management of the Church and are fully responsible for ministering services to their parishioners.

Church of Scientology International (CSI), the mother church of the Scientology religion, is headquartered in Los Angeles. CSI oversees the ecclesiastical activities of all Scientology Churches, organizations and groups throughout the world, and sees that individual Churches receive guidance in their ministries. CSI also provides the broad planning and direction needed to support the Church's international growth.


The number of staff varies from Church to Church. Small Churches may have a few dozen and large ones may number in the hundreds.


Field staff members are individual Scientologists who disseminate Scientology and help raise funds for the Church by providing basic Scientology books to interested friends, family members and acquaintances, and introducing other interested individuals to the Church. Field staff members are appointed by their nearest Scientology Church. Because they have had immense spiritual gains from Dianetics and Scientology, field staff members naturally want to share the technology with others.


Scientology Churches are located all over the world and in virtually every major city, including: Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Washington, DC, London, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Mexico and Johannesburg.


The main activities of Scientology Churches and missions are ministering to their parishioners and providing them the religious services of their faith, including Scientology auditing and training, Sunday services, weddings, funerals, naming ceremonies as well as other such religious services.

Scientology Churches and missions help the individual become more able to help themselves and to help others. This is done by training and counseling.


Advanced Organization and Saint Hill, United Kingdom

Saint Hill Churches are the next level above Class V Churches.

The original Saint Hill Church is located in East Grinstead, Sussex, England, where Mr. Hubbard resided from 1959 to 1966. At Saint Hill, Mr. Hubbard made some of his most significant discoveries on the mind and spirit and regularly released these discoveries in daily lectures attended by advanced students of Scientology from around the world. Today, this body of Scientology scripture, known as the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, is the most extensive auditor training course in Scientology and comprises nearly 450 recorded lectures and other written materials. These Churches also minister some of the most advanced levels of auditing.

In addition to the Saint Hill Church in East Grinstead, these Churches stand in Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Sydney.

Scientology Advanced Organizations minister very advanced levels of auditing and training, providing training services through Class VIII and auditing through New OT V. Advanced Organizations are likewise located in East Grinstead, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Sydney. In East Grinstead, Copenhagen and Sydney the Saint Hill Organizations and Advanced Organizations are combined into one Church facility.

At an Advanced Organization, the individual recovers lost abilities and gains new insights into the nature of his own spirituality, his relationship to others, the material universe and the Eighth Dynamic. Thus it is not surprising to find that an atmosphere of spiritual discovery permeates these Churches. Those who come to an Advanced Organization have studied diligently to reach this point on the Bridge and ascending the OT levels is a significant step. It is here that individuals fully recover true certainty of their own spirituality and become confident of their ability to play and win the game of life-not only today but far into the future.


Advanced Organization Los Angeles, California

In Scientology, some upper levels of spiritual counseling require the parishioner's full-time participation for a period of several weeks in order for the person to achieve the full spiritual benefits of the religious service. Thus, the Church maintains religious retreats, away from everyday distractions. These retreats provide the ideal environment for advanced religious studies and spiritual counseling. While freedom from distraction is important during all counseling, it is vital at the most advanced levels.


Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida

Flag (the Flag Service Organization) is a religious retreat located in Clearwater, Florida. It serves as the spiritual headquarters and Mecca for Scientologists planetwide. Flag is the largest Church of Scientology in the world. Flag represents the hub of the greater Scientology worldwide community as a dynamic, multilingual organization. Flag not only ministers the most advanced levels of training available anywhere, but all advanced levels of auditing up to New OT VII.

The title "Flag" follows from the fact that from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, the highest ecclesiastical organizations were located at sea aboard a flotilla of ships. The 330-foot motor vessel Apollo served as Mr. Hubbard's home. Accordingly, it was then the most senior Scientology Church. It was known as the "Flagship" of the flotilla and called "Flag" for short.

At that time, special advanced auditing and training services were ministered only aboard Flag. However, as more and more Scientologists wished to participate in these services, the lack of sufficient space required a move to land. In 1975, the Flag Service Organization established itself in Clearwater, Florida, where it occupied the historic twelve-story city landmark Fort Harrison Hotel. Since then, Flag has continued to expand. Today it also occupies the Sandcastle which ministers advanced auditing, the Coachman Building which serves as a training center for thousands of Scientologists and many other supporting facilities.

Given Flag's growing international congregation, the last several years has seen continual construction to provide still more facilities for its parishioners. On January 1, 2008, the fully renovated 172,000-square-foot Oak Cove opened, providing both accommodations for visiting Scientologists and space for ministering Flag religious services.

On March 14, 2009, the ribbon was cut on the eleven-month, million-man-hour restoration of the 267,000-square-foot Fort Harrison. Providing accommodations and restaurants for Scientologists while receiving religious services, the historic property is also open to the public for charity events, tours and open houses.

Immediately following the Fort Harrison rededication, the final construction phase began on the 377,000-square-foot Flag Mecca building. When completed, the 22 separate course rooms will seat 1,800 parishioners, while the 300 Church counseling rooms will service 1,200 more every day.

Since its founding, Flag has expanded to more than 40 buildings totaling more than 2 million square feet, servicing an average of 2,700 Scientologists a week in all major languages.

Flag is also a hub of Scientology within its own community, sponsoring a variety of outreach activities to help those in need. Visiting Scientology artists and performers regularly hold public exhibitions and concerts to which local residents are always invited.

Flag is the spiritual Mecca of the Scientology religion. Although it concentrates on ministering the most advanced spiritual levels of Scientology, its services span the entirety of the Bridge. Every Scientologist aspires to come to Flag. And sooner or later, everyone does.


Flag Ship Service Organization, Caribbean

The motor vessel Freewinds? is a 440-foot ship based in the Caribbean. Its home port is Curacao. The ship, in turn, is the home of the Flag Ship Service Organization (FSSO), a religious retreat ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counseling in the Scientology religion.

The Freewinds provides a safe, aesthetic, distraction-free environment appropriate for ministration of this profoundly spiritual level of auditing. Thus, while the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater ministers the highest levels of training and auditing from the bottom of the Bridge to New OT VII, the most advanced OT level (New OT VIII) is exclusively entrusted to the FSSO.

To a Scientologist, boarding the Freewinds for New OT VIII is the pinnacle of a deeply spiritual journey. Years of training and auditing have brought him to this ultimate point. It is the most significant spiritual accomplishment of his lifetime and brings with it the full realization of his immortality.

The Freewinds is a very special place. It is the one place a Scientologist may go and be certain he will be able to devote himself entirely to his religious practice and in the company of people who share his religious commitment and outlook on life in general.

Other religious programs conducted aboard the Freewinds include religious conventions and seminars for staff and parishioners from Churches of Scientology world over, as well as specially arranged gatherings of Scientologists from a particular country or community for a tailored program of religious services.

Church Management


Church of Scientology International (CSI), the mother church of the Scientology religion, is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. CSI oversees the ecclesiastical activities of all Scientology Churches, organizations and groups world over and ensures that individual Churches receive guidance in their ministries. CSI also provides the broad planning and direction needed to support the Church's international growth.

Through CSI's ecclesiastical management activities, Scientology Churches receive guidance in applying the Scientology scripture both technically and administratively. In addition to providing planning, direction and general support to Churches in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, CSI also provides specialized programs for staff on Scientology Administrative Technology. This training is conducted at the International Training Organization at CSI's headquarters in Los Angeles.


Within the hierarchy of the Church of Scientology is a network of Continental Liaison Offices (CLOs) responsible for coordinating Scientology activities on regional and local levels. These offices serve to support the actions of local Churches, missions and groups in their respective areas and serve as a coordinating and rallying point for all Scientology activities associated with those Churches. They also see to the well-being of organizations and groups in their zones. In this way, the activities of Churches, missions, field auditors and other related groups integrate and ultimately result in spiritual advancement for all Scientologists in their continental region.

Ecclesiastical management liaison offices are maintained in Toronto for Canada; Copenhagen for Europe; New York City for the Eastern United States; Los Angeles for the Western United States; Sydney for Australia, New Zealand and Japan; Mexico City for Latin America; Johannesburg for South Africa and at Saint Hill Manor in Sussex, England, for the United Kingdom.


The Sea Organization is a religious order for the Scientology religion and is composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists-individuals who have committed their lives to the volunteer service of their religion. The Sea Organization is a fraternal religious order and is not incorporated. Members of the Sea Organization are therefore wholly responsible to the Church of Scientology to which they are assigned and are responsible, as are all other staff, to officers and directors of that Church.

The Sea Organization was established in 1967 and once operated from a number of ships. It was formed to assist L. Ron Hubbard with advanced research operations and supervise Church organizations around the world. The Sea Organization is entrusted to minister the advanced services of Scientology.

The Sea Organization retains its traditional name, although today the majority of its members are based on land. In keeping with the tradition of the order's inception, however, they still wear maritime-style uniforms and have ranks and ratings. The Sea Organization Motor Vessel Freewinds is entirely staffed by members of the Sea Organization. Utilizing the training materials developed by L. Ron Hubbard in the early days of the Sea Organization, the Freewinds has the best safety and service record of any ship in the Caribbean.

As volunteers and members of a religious order, Sea Organization members work long hours and live communally with housing, meals, uniforms, medical and dental care, transport and all expenses associated with their duties provided by the Church. They also receive an allowance to purchase personal items, as all of their other expenses are fully covered by the Church.

Sea Organization members participate in Scientology training and auditing during a portion of each day, but otherwise dedicate themselves to furthering the objectives of Scientology through their particular functions.

Positions in the Sea Organization are analogous to that of members of religious orders in other religions. They are at the forefront of spearheading the Church's massive social mission, including the world's largest nongovernmental drug education campaign, the largest human rights education campaign and many another global program that touches the lives of millions. Sea Organization members are acutely aware of the world in which they live, as their service is dedicated to helping Mankind. They do not live cloistered lives, but are very much a part of society.

Today, some five thousand members of the Sea Organization hold staff positions in upper-level Scientology Church organizations around the world, ensuring the religion is available to the millions of Scientology parishioners who live and work outside the Church.


The first Sea Organization members formulated a one-billion-year pledge to symbolize their eternal commitment to the religion and it is still signed by all members today. It is a symbolic document which, similar to vows of dedication in other faiths and orders, serves to signify an individual's eternal commitment to the goals, purposes and principles of the Scientology religion.


Religious Technology Center (RTC) is a nonprofit religious organization formed in 1982 to preserve, maintain and protect the Scientology religion and is a Church of the Scientology religion.

Religious Technology Center holds the ultimate ecclesiastical authority regarding the standard and pure application of L. Ron Hubbard's religious technologies. RTC is not part of the management structure of the Church and is not involved in its day-to-day affairs. RTC holds the Dianetics and Scientology trademarks and service marks, which Founder L. Ron Hubbard donated to RTC in 1982. Earlier, Mr. Hubbard himself oversaw the practice of the religion and registered as trade and service marks many of the religion's identifying words and symbols, such as "Dianetics" and "Scientology."

These registered marks provided a legal mechanism for ensuring that Scientology religious technologies are ministered in exact accordance with the scripture and not altered by misappropriation or improper use. They also provide a legal mechanism to prevent anyone from offering some altered or inauthentic version of Dianetics and Scientology and representing it as the real technology.

RTC grants the Church of Scientology International (CSI), the mother church of the Scientology religion, the right to use the trademarks and to license their use to all other Scientology Churches.

While CSI serves as the mother church and is responsible for the overall ecclesiastical management, dissemination, propagation and defense of the Scientology religion and the various Scientology Churches, Religious Technology Center serves as the ultimate protector of the religion. While each Scientology organization and, indeed, every Scientologist is expected to enforce the standard application of Scientology scripture, RTC is the final arbiter of orthodoxy.

Mr. David Miscavige is the Chairman of the Board, RTC.


Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) is a California nonprofit religious corporation formed in 1982 to preserve and archive the Scientology scripture and so ensure its availability for all future generations. It is a Church in the Scientology religion. CST also owns the copyrights to L. Ron Hubbard's works and licenses their use. After seeing that his family was cared for with modest bequests, Mr. Hubbard donated the bulk of his estate to the Scientology religion-not to any individuals. To this day, royalties from sales of Mr. Hubbard's books and lectures benefit the Church of Scientology and the Scientology religion.

CST is an autonomous Church of Scientology outside of the international Scientology ecclesiastical hierarchy. CST's specific duty, unique among Scientology Churches, is to create and maintain an archive of Scientology scripture for future generations. It is important to the Scientology religion that its scripture be preserved in perpetuity so future generations have the exact and unerring words of the scripture in their entirety.

In furtherance of this purpose, CST is responsible for the long-term preservation of L. Ron Hubbard's writings and lectures. While every religion has its archives, some quite extensive and dating back two thousand years, nothing approaches the level of technology used in the preservation of L. Ron Hubbard's works. Church of Spiritual Technology has preserved the writings and lectures of Dianetics and Scientology on more than 135 tons of archival books, stainless steel plates and nickel-plated records. These materials are, in turn, stored in 2,300 titanium capsules housed in calamity-proof vaults to ensure the timeless preservation and survival of the Scientology scripture.


By their members, just like every other church.

Some churches have a system of tithes. Others require members to pay for pew rentals, religious ceremonies and services. In the Church of Scientology, parishioners make donations for auditing or training they wish to receive. These contributions are the primary source of financial support for the Church and fund all Church-sponsored religious and social betterment activities. Scientologists are not required to tithe or make other donations.

Scientology does not have hundreds of years of accumulated wealth and property like other religions; it must make its way in the world according to the economics of today's society. When one considers the cost of ministering even one hour of auditing, requiring extensively trained auditors, not to mention overhead costs of maintaining Church premises, the necessity of donations becomes clear.

The Church selected the donation system as its primary method of funding because it is the most equitable. Those who most use Church facilities should be the ones who contribute most to its maintenance. Of course, no donation is expected from members who are at the Church to participate in a variety of other individual and congregational services which take place seven days a week-including participation in Group Processing, listening to tape plays of L. Ron Hubbard's lectures, reading scriptural works in the Church library, meeting with fellow parishioners, receiving counseling from the Chaplain or attending Sunday services, weddings, christenings and funerals.

Scientologists' donations keep the Church alive and functioning, fund its widespread social reform programs, make Scientology known to people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to avail themselves of it and help create a safe and pleasant environment for everyone.


There is a Free Scientology Center in Churches of Scientology where those who cannot afford to donate may receive auditing without donation. There are also books and free public lectures, Sunday services and other religious gatherings for which there is no requested donation. Scientology books may be obtained at almost any local lending library. Scientology Volunteer Ministers are also on call 24/7, 365 days a year, to minister to those in need. Further, any member of the public may even participate in free online correspondence courses, which include all materials and technology contained in the Scientology Handbook.


No. Scientology Churches are nonprofit organizations and all donations received are used exclusively in their ministries.


The approximate amount of donation varies depending on which path one takes. One way is to donate for auditing and participate in auditing services all the way to Clear. The preferred route, however, is to train as an auditor and co-audit with another Scientologist. The co-auditing route requires far less in donations and one gains tremendous satisfaction in helping another attain the state of Clear. As auditing costs much more for the Church to provide (necessitating several staff for each parishioner) donations are naturally higher. Training, then, is far more economical, which acts as an incentive for persons to train and then co-audit, without cost, to the state of Clear. No matter the path one chooses, however, all who attain the state of Clear express the pricelessness of greater spiritual freedom.


The battle with the Internal Revenue Service was finally and favorably resolved on October 1, 1993. On that day the IRS issued letters recognizing the Church of Scientology International and its related Churches and organizations-all 150 of them-as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

This recognition marked the end of a forty-year conflict between the Church and the IRS. It followed a two-year examination of unprecedented scope and depth, encompassing all the Church of Scientology's worldwide activities. It culminated with the issuance by the IRS of ruling letters recognizing the tax-exempt religious and charitable status of the Church of Scientology International, the mother church of the Scientology religion, and 150 affiliated Churches, missions and social betterment organizations.

The IRS rulings established that:

  1. The Churches of Scientology and their related charitable and educational institutions are operated exclusively for recognized religious and charitable purposes.
  2. The Churches of Scientology and their related charitable and educational institutions operate for the benefit of the public interest rather than the interests of private individuals.
  3. No part of the net earnings of these Churches of Scientology and their related charitable and educational institutions inures to the benefit of any individual or noncharitable entity.
  4. No part of the activities of the Churches of Scientology involve participation in any campaign for public office.
  5. The purposes of these organizations do not violate fundamental public policy. The IRS also determined that the Churches of Scientology qualify as a church under criteria which requires the existence of an established religious doctrine, religious literature and religious history, the qualification and ordination of ministers, and a religious community of believers.

The applications, supporting materials and IRS questions and correspondence for the 1993 exemption rulings are available for public inspection and have been available since the exemption rulings were issued on October 1, 1993. These documents occupy more than fourteen linear feet and in fact represent the largest administrative record of any exemption applicant.


The International Association of Scientologists (IAS) is an unincorporated membership organization open to all Scientologists from all nations.

The IAS was formed in 1984 at a time when the religious freedom of Scientologists was imperiled. Delegates from Scientology Churches world over assembled at Saint Hill Manor (L. Ron Hubbard's home from 1959 to 1966) in recognition of the need to unite all Scientologists as an international body.

To confirm their dedication toward the Aims of Scientology, those first IAS delegates formulated and signed The Pledge to Mankind. The purpose of the IAS is: "To unite, advance, support and protect the Scientology religion and Scientologists in all parts of the world so as to achieve the Aims of Scientology as originated by L. Ron Hubbard."

The IAS was formed to guarantee that Scientologists will always be free to practice their religion and assists Churches of Scientology and Scientologists subjected to religious persecution. The IAS works further to guarantee religious freedom for all.

Today, Scientology is expanding at an ever-increasing rate and the time for defense alone has long since passed. Accordingly, the IAS now funds grants to sponsor campaigns that are truly reshaping the destiny of Earth. IAS members seek out fissures in the social fabric that have traditionally brought on the collapse of civilizations and inject solutions based on L. Ron Hubbard's works. Donations from IAS members have funded grants to establish international facilities for secular social betterment utilizing Mr. Hubbard's discoveries, including:

IAS grants have funded new Church facilities in Harlem, Inglewood, California, Johannesburg, New York, Madrid, Hamburg, London, Rome, Washington, DC, Brussels and elsewhere.

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