I was thinking about Debbie's claim of $1B held in reserve in IAS funds.
That much money would spin off $50M interest annually at a flat 5% without touching the principle, thus giving CoS a significant income stream forever -- or at least till some future century or year when inflation eroded the value.
In comparison to $50M annual interest, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) appears to run on an annual budget of around $199.8M (see http://www.cpmissions.net/2003/pdf/10-11ProoposedBudgetAnnualpage60.pdf) -- or 0.004 of what CoS likely gets just from interest (setting aside other sources of income).
Scientology has maybe around 78K adherents in the US as of around 2004 -- but the SBC in the same year had around 16.4M adherents (http://www.adherents.com/rel_USA.html#religions). That's around 210 Southern Baptists per Scientologist.
Now, the SBC says it gets about 16.46% of its budget from investments and interest (http://www.namb.net/annualreport/). 16.46% of $199.8M = $32,887,080. That's about 2/3 the interest/investment income of CoS even though it has 210 times as many members. What's wrong with this picture? (Such a slush fund could sure by a lot of "noisy investigations" of people like, say, Debbie Cook.)
My own opinion? Sadness that the human race puts so much in resources into religion in general. What could we do with education in areas like science? What kind of space exploration could we do? What would colonies on the moon, Mars, and say Titan look like? Our concrete work too often involves ways to kill one another or kill other living things. Our abstract work too often involves a weird confusion between reality and our desired beliefs in invisible, unprovable things that may not exist. However we got it, we have been bequeathed the ability to reason, and yet we abandon it when someone says we must not be "reason"-able.
Along with big dollar figures such as a billion or so dollars come much better investment opportunities than those with a few thousand, a few tens of thousands, or even a few million are privvy to. One billion dollars or so is enough to actually open a bank or start a credit card. For instance ... don't know if it is still happening ... but in 1994, it was possible to get a Rolling Stones Mastercard. No shit. The Rolling Stones actually had a piece of that operation. The target market was their fan base, since the card had their logo on it. I forget what bank they partnered with, but, no shit, it was a happening deal. I saw the Stones at the RoseBowl in October of that year, and people will filling out apps for Stones plastic, and at some table they were showing what the card was to look like.
Anyways ... if a bank has a billion in reserves, it can loan out 8 billion against that at a 10% reserve requirement. That is, 1 billion that they are holding in reserves against a 1 billion liability because they borrowed their reserves, otherwise they could loan out 9 billion instead of only 8 billion. Most usually, a depositor would get, these days, a few percent interest at most ... HOWEVER ... if you came to a bank with 1 billion dollars in hand, knowing that the bank would, if you simply deposited that cash loan out 8 billion at, say, an average of 10% interest, 10% interest on 8 billion dollars would be 800 million dollars, or an 80% return on investment. Therefore, nobody with a billion dollars just goes to a bank to simply deposit that. If they were looking for a real opportunity, they would seek to PARTNER with a bank. The moral of the story being that at that level, 1 billion+ in liquid assets, forget about a 5% return ... it would be all about at least doubling if not tripling that every 2 years. Miscavige is evil, not stupid, and would make sure that money was working both safe AND hard, if for no other reason than his own greed.
BTW, all of that is more reason to order my TV offer cult startup success kit and go out and startup a cult of your very own. There is big money in the cult industry!