Revenues slump at the Church of Scientology
The Irish branch of the controversial Church of Scientology is being kept afloat with loans from abroad after seeing its revenues plummet over the last number of years.
According to new accounts filed for the organisation, the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin saw its revenue drop from about €73,000 in to just under €50,000 last year.
Both figures pale in comparison to the €603,000 of revenue during 2006.
The Church is now more than €173,000 in the red after booking a loss of €35,494 last year compared to a deficit of €16,800 in 2013. The organisation is being partially sustained by interest-free loans from members of the Church of Scientology around the world.
A spokesman for the church said: "Many Scientologists in Ireland have for some time been more and more involved in our various community activities, which bring a higher reward than money. These include drug education, criminal reform, moral reform and human rights education."
He also claimed the church's "weekly congregation at the mission" had increased by 25pc from 2013 to 2014, although did not provide further figures.
Regarding the loans from abroad, he said: "Scientologists across the globe have been kind enough to assist us in our mission, and this has been very welcome."
The directors of the church state that as there is no fixed repayment arrangements on the loans, they "will be repaid at the discretion of the directors when future cash resources permit, which in turn is dependent on generating future surpluses".
Despite the sharp fall in revenue, the directors for the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin expect "that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future."
The Church of Scientology was founded by the American science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard in the 1950s and has become one of the most controversial spiritual movements of the last century.
The secrecy surrounding some of the church's practices has led to criticism, with critics saying that some of the more controversial teachings, including the alleged belief that humans have lived on other planets in past lives, are not revealed until a member has reached the Upper Levels of the organisation and spent a lot of money doing so.
However, the church says that the intimate nature of spiritual counselling requires it to practice confidentially.
It claims to have around 10 million members around the world although these figures are disputed.
The church has several high profile celebrity members, including Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.