The financial cost of Scientology depends upon how involved one plans to be. Some people buy nothing more than the book Dianetics. Others attend one or a couple classes at local churches. The Church of Scientology even offers some auditing services for free for those without monetary means who are willing to be audited by a minister-in-training. In these cases, Scientology is quite inexpensive.
Estimated Processing Costs to OT VIII
However, Scientologists who are interested in accomplishing the major goals of Scientology – to become Clear and develop their capabilities as Operating Thetans – should expect to be investing heavily in their spirituality. Costs can vary considerably depending upon the needs of the individual, but a rough estimate suggests you’ll be paying $128,000 to reach Clear, another $33,000 to reach OT III, and an additional $100,000 to $130,000 to reach OT VIII, which is the highest level currently available.
Cheaper Alternative Through Co-Auditing
An alternative is to train with a study partner to become an auditor and participate in co-auditing. That is to say, you audit each other until both of you reach Clear. This is much more time intensive, probably taking many years to complete, but the price tag is much lower at about $50,000 to reach Clear.
The Church's Response to Criticisms
While many, many critics balk at the price tag, the Church points out that education is expensive, and it all boils down to priorities. Attending a good, 4-year public college can easily run $40,000, while a private college can run more than $100,000 today. Many people simply aren’t that dedicated to their spirituality, but for those who are and find Scientology to be their path, the training and education are available. Critics also often suggest that people entering Scientology are not made aware of the costs involved, yet the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO), which trains auditors, today posts the costs on their website.