How can I become a Scientologist

The Scientology sect franchise system

Scientology's core business, the courses and trainings, flush money into the organization's coffers. Followers often have to pay high prices for their audits, therapy-like sessions. In addition, followers are pressured to donate to Scientology. Not infrequently they even get into financial problems. It is all the more important for Scientology to win over celebrities and wealthy people for the organization, who have more financial leeway and serve as multipliers. They are to be attracted, for example, via special “Welcome Centers”. According to many observers, the WISE trade association is the real cash cow of the organization. It is a franchise-like association of companies. They are bound by license agreements and use the management techniques of Scientology founder Hubbard. They also submit to certain rules, for example in disputes with other WISE member companies. WISE was founded at the end of the 1970s and, according to its own account, is to unite over 140,000 companies in 75 countries. They pay fees for their membership, staggered according to company size. Sometimes there is talk of a 15 percent share in sales.

In other cases - with companies that do not belong to the WISE association but are close to Scientology - the connection is more diffuse. Real estate investor, online marketing expert and tax coach Alex Fischer, for example, said in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche that being a Scientologist is something purely personal for him. Fischer, who has built up a fan base with several hundred thousand people on the Internet, has at least reached the seventh of eight currently practically achievable OT levels. OT stands for Operating Thetan. At the highest level, which can be achieved through audits and training, the Scientologists are said to have created a spiritual self that is no longer subject to the limitations of the physical universe. US actor Tom Cruise - one of Scientology's figureheads - is also said to be on the seventh OT level.