Doctrine of Exchange
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2009)|
The Doctrine of Exchange is a central tenet of Scientology, which dictates that for spiritual well-being, "anytime a person receives something, he must pay something back" and balance "inflow" with "outflow". The Church of Scientology has presented this as the reason why some of its services, such as auditing, its central practice of Scientology, must never be given away, but must be paid for.
Quid pro quo transactions are prohibited in tax-exempt organizations, and the Church of Scientology has argued in its requests for tax exemption that Scientology courses must have fixed fees because of this religious doctrine.
Not all services fall under the Doctrine. The Church has identified some services as examples of services where "no donation is expected from members":
- Listening to lectures, whether from fellow parishioners or playing L. Ron Hubbard’s lectures on tape
- Reading Scientology scripture in the Church library
- Meeting with fellow parishioners
- Receiving counseling (but not auditing) from a Scientology chaplain
- Attending Sunday services, sermons, weddings, christenings or funerals
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