How many members does Scientology have?
Since 1991 Scientology has been telling the world that they have 8 million members. The USA Today Scientology advertisement of August 2, 1991 claims this figure.
A survey by adherents.com lists Scientology as the 10th largest "religious group" in the United States, with an estimated 45,000 members. Another survey by adherents.com indicates that Scientology is the 20th largest "major religion of the world" with 750,000 members.
The adherents.com survey has become more meaningful now that Scientology has placed the above estimates in evidence in a court case. In Raul Lopez v. Church of Scientology Mission of Buenaventura, Scientology filed a declaration from Gerald L. Chaleff. Attached as exhibits are the above adherents.com survey results. Mr. Chaleff crows about the results that Scientology is the 10th largest religious body in the United States and the 20th largest in the world. He neglects to point out the more than 8-fold discrepancy between the adherents.com figures which he wants us to see and Scientology's 9-year claim of 8 million members.
If you view the adherents.com page it becomes clear that Scientology has a comparatively small membership, being for instance 1/20 the size of Judaism and only slightly larger than Rastifarianism.
Which is the official membership figure of Scientology now? 750,000 or 8 million?