Sith, Scientology — what’s the difference?
Scientology describes itself as the world’s fastest growing religion, but in Australia it is going backwards.
Figures released to Lateline from the Australian Census show that in 2011, just 2,163 Australians called themselves Scientologists, a decrease of 13.7 per cent from the 2006 census.
In 2009, Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis told ABC’s Four Corners program there were “tens, if not hundreds of thousands” of Scientologists in Australia.
The Church of Scientology would not grant an interview to Lateline, but in a statement said: “The census figures are not an accurate reflection of the growing number of people visiting our churches and actively participating in Scientology both in Australia and internationally.”
Paul Schofield, who was a member of the Church for 29 years, before leaving in 2008, says Scientology has a history of fudging their figures.
“Scientology is totally obsessed with statistics. If your statistics are not going up you get punished, and they are probably the world’s most creative people with numbers when it comes to increases.”…
Australians who describe themselves as Jedis now number over 65,000, over 30 times higher than Scientology’s figures.