>> True Information: This information is false. Wright fails to note that the co-author of the original survey that employed the low estimated figures of Scientology membership has distanced himself from those estimates. In 2011, Dr. Barry Kosmin of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, one of the two authors of the ARIS study, himself said that the extrapolated statistics are subject to a wide margin of error when it comes to new and smaller religions and advised reporters of this caveat. He specifically emphasized the large margin of error in the sampling for Scientology and said, “There may be many more Scientologists than the actual numbers indicate.” Consequently, he removed any reference to Scientology from his study.
The survey relied on a small sampling of people, with results then extrapolated to estimate a national total. The more evenly spread throughout the population a religion is—a characteristic of older and much larger religions—the more accurate the national extrapolation. For newer, smaller religions, however, which tend toward regional concentrations, the figures would have been inaccurate due to the limits of the methodology. By way of example, a survey conducted in Clearwater, Florida, and then extrapolated nationwide would suggest that one in every five Americans is a Scientologist. That obviously is not the case. Likewise, a survey conducted in a city with a very small percentage of Scientologists would give a falsely low perception when extrapolated nationally.
The truth is that there are millions of individuals who participate in Scientology services and apply it to their lives. This is according to the individual Churches that maintain the names of their parishioners and a record of their progress up the Scientology Bridge.
While all parishioners’ records are securely maintained at their local Church, the names and addresses of members of all Churches and Missions are provided to Church of Scientology International (CSI), which maintains the mailing list for Church magazines disseminated to all Scientologists. Our numbers come from this international list.
The bottom line is the Church is experiencing its greatest growth ever. In terms of size, the Church has doubled since 2005. The new Church buildings during this period are just one example of this growth which is manifest. One can view all of the new Ideal Churches that have opened on the Scientology website www.scientology.org/newchurches.