AP: The Church of Scientology is going through a difficult season
The Associated Press has released a well written piece titled “Defections, court fights test Scientology“.
The AP Religion Writer, mr. Eric Gorski touches on one of the perpetual lies told by the church – that there are at least 8 million scientologists world-wide:
“One major survey of American religion shows Scientology declining in the U.S., however. The estimated number of Americans who identify as Scientologists rose from 45,000 in 1990 to 55,000 in 2001, then plummeted to 25,000 in 2008, according to the American Religion Identification Survey.“.
Either there really are that few scientologists in the US, or there are thousands of scientologists too PTS to say so in an anonymous survey. Either way, it does not bode well for the church. The decline from 2001 to 2008 is significant and is seriously hard to “talk away” or blame the statistics. See sources here and here.
All the scientologists I have talked to know that 8, 10 or 12 million scientologists world-wide is a lie, unless you count people who would truthfully answer “No” to the question “Are you a scientologist?”.
As noted on this blog before, even the Scientology newspaper Freedom Magazine admits that only 9,523 Scientologists live in the Tampa Bay area – the very Mecca of Scientology. By this number, the church itself defines who they would count as a scientologist. It is however a far cry from the 94000 needed to satisfy the Tampa Bay quota for 8 million scientologists world-wide.
The church is not expanding – and I think the troubles and contraction will last for many a season. I only hope the tech will survive the bad PR generated by Tommy Davis and the church management.