This is a business that was set up, according to the son of Scientology founder and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, to avoid taxes. Its counseling process can cost a participant as much as $400,000, and it now claims offices in 78 countries. It reported $74.3-million in revenue last year from its Clearwater facility alone and says it will spend $185-million during the next five years to acquire more properties worldwide. It is a business that, according to records filed with the IRS: owns a 440-foot, $15.2-million cruise ship; spent $8.5-million on lawyers in one year; invested $6-million in an ad campaign in USA Today; is spending $114-million to build an underground vault to house Hubbard's writings; and rewards its salespeople so handsomely that one Scientology fund-raiser earned $407,052 through commissions in 1991.
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