How Larry Anderson Spent $150K on Scientology

He wants money back for services he never received
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2010 9:15 AM CST
Pedestrians walk past the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International, where police are conducting a crime scene investigation, Nov. 23, 2008, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
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(Newser) – Scientology has a longstanding reputation as an expensive religion—but now that Larry Anderson's story is out in the open, details are emerging about exactly where believers’ money goes. Here’s how Anderson—who now wants nearly $120,000 back from the church he’s leaving—spent some of the $150,000 he says he gave it, courtesy of the St. Petersburg Times. "Prepaying" for services seems to have allowed him to take tax write-offs, but it backfired when Scientology leaders claimed they were charitable donations.

  • Emotional "auditing" and course work: He put $100,000 on account at the Celebrity Centre, but only used about a third of the money.
  • Advanced-level courses: He put another $36,947 on account at the international spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, but never made his way high enough up the Scientology ladder to qualify for them.
  • Cruise ship courses: $11,440 went to an account on the Freewinds, the only place Scientology’s highest-level training is available—but he never made it that high.
  • L. Ron Hubbard’s 18-volume teachings set: The books, constantly re-released and updated, were pushed and re-pushed on parishioners at $3,000 a pop.
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