Scientology’s WISE and CST withdrew over $13.7 mln from Russia in 8 years

TASS Russian News Agency | Sep 24, 2021 at 8:21 PM

MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. Two Scientology organizations, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises International (WISE Int.) and the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), also known as "L. Ron Hubbard Library," withdrew more than 1 bln rubles ($13.7 mln) from Russia over eight years, sources with law enforcement and regulatory agencies told TASS on Friday.

According to the sources, WISE Int. and the CST, as the governing bodies of the Church of Scientology International, disseminate the religious doctrine of Scientology's founder, American science fiction writer Ron Hubbard. Both of these organizations are registered in the United States as "California non-profit religious corporations." According to their charters, they were created exclusively for religious goals, as well as for the promotion and assistance in the development of the religious teachings of Ron Hubbard.

The sources told TASS, that in Russia, WISE Int. And CST hid their real legal status and acted in circumvention of the order established by the federal law of September 26, 1997 "On freedom of conscience and religious associations," which regulates the activities of foreign religious organizations in Russia.

"The corporations did it in order to conceal financial flows they received in Russia and transferred abroad: from 2012 to 2020, they transferred over 1 billion rubles through their own accounts," the sources say. Also, several billion rubles more were transferred from Russia directly to the accounts of American organizations in the form of donations, they add.

On Friday, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office recognized two American Scientology organizations, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises International and "L. Ron Hubbard Library", undesirable on Russian territory.

As the Prosecutor General's Office specified, the activities of these religious corporations threaten Russia's security. The information of the decision taken was sent to the Ministry of Justice to include in the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities are recognized as undesirable on Russian soil.