Tom Cruise, rich Hollywood star and true believer
With all due respect, Scientology is a crazy, crackpot religion. Even if we get past the street corner hustle of people pimping charlatan L. Ron Hubbard's mystical gibberish, or the high-level Hollywood lunacy of Tom Cruise, we're left with a silly pseudo-religion that is virtually impossible to believe without Manchurian Candidate-style brainwashing. Of course, they will provide that sort of thing for a handsome fee. You, too, can be a zombie for El Ron.
L. Ron Hubbard, celebrated salesman of serpent unguents
Once in a while the secrets get out. During the 1986 trial of Lawrence Wollersheim v. the Church of Scientology of California, a judge decided during pretrial motions certain documents should be put in a file that was open to the public. 1,500 Scientologists flooded the court clerk's office to keep other people from requesting them, but the L.A, Times got a copy. The Times reported the documents showed that upper-echelon Scientologists, after paying for many pricey rituals for "the secrets," are taught that humans contain the souls of aliens banished to Earth 75 million years ago by a galactic overlord named Xenu.
I just saved you a fortune.
Lawrence Wollersheim had defected from Scientology after serving eleven years and paying about $50,000, and claimed that the expensive rituals had driven him to the brink of suicide. Wollersheim claimed that after he left Scientology in 1979 the organization retaliated by destroying his business and attempting to destroy him. The jury believed him, and awarded him $30,000. The trouble was collecting.
Former members say that today the typical Scientologist must spend several years and about $100,000 in "auditing" (something similar to a lie detector test, where an auditor can read the patient) before they find out on OT III that they are filled with alien souls that must be removed by further, even more expensive auditing. It's gonna cost you to find out these secrets.
"At OT III," says Wollersheim, "you find out that you’re really thousands of individual beings struggling for control of your body. Aliens left over from space wars that are giving you cancer or making you crazy or making you impotent. The reason for every bad thing in your life is these alien beings,” Wollersheim says. “I went psychotic on OT III. I lost a sense of who I was.”
Wollersheim has gotten a small portion of the money, but "a lot of it has gone to lawyers, it’s going to litigation, it’s going to taxes. I’m working a 40-hour job. It was never about the money."
Tom Cruise Scientology video the "church" tried to suppress
Research from "Scientology's Crushing Defeat" in the Village Voice, June 24, 2008