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Witness tells of income of Scientology founder

Title: Witness tells of income of Scientology founder
Date: Tuesday, 2 April 1985
Publisher: The Oregonian (Portland)
Author: Fred Leeson
Main source: link (82 KiB)

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A former Scientologist who said he helped manage L. Ron Hubbard's bank accounts testified Monday that the Scientology founder collected income of $200,000 to $1 million per week during a six-month period in 1982.

Howard D. Schoemer, who left the Church of Scientology in December 1982, told a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury that the money was routed to Hubbard through Author Services Inc., a corporation that "supposedly had nothing to do with the church."

Schoemer said the income to Hubbard came from book royalties from Hubbard's Scientology writings as well as from Hubbard's science-fiction books which are not related to the church. Other income came from the use of copyrights and trademarks on Scientology material owned by Hubbard and from the purchase by the church of some of Hubbard's personal possessions for a church museum.

"Scientologists do not know this is happening," Schoemer said at one point.

Schoemer appeared as a witness on behalf of Julie Christofferson Titchbourne, a Portland woman who has accused Hubbard and two Scientology organizations of fraud arising from her involvement with Scientology during 1975 and 1976.

Titchbourne has alleged that Scientology officials represented to her that Hubbard received little money from sums paid for Scientology courses and books.

Schoemer, who said he became finance director of Author Services Inc. after it was formed in March 1982, said Hubbard's net worth rose from $10 million to $44 million during the six months Schoemer worked for the corporation. Schoemer said he prepared weekly financial statements for Hubbard and had a power of attorney to transfer funds in Hubbard's accounts among banks in Switzerland and Luxembourg and among American brokerage company accounts.

Schoemer said he frequently received messages back from Hubbard concerning the financial statements. He said Hubbard's code on the documents was an asterisk because Hubbard did not want other people to know of his involvement with the reports.

Hubbard's whereabouts has not been known since 1980.