Now, don't get me wrong - Scientology is a really, really stupid religion - for God's sakes, it was founded by a man who said (something like)
"You don't get rich writing science fiction, if you want to get rich, you start a religion"For more on this quote, see here - to quote that page:
To summarize: we have nine witnesses: Neison Himmel, Sam Merwin, Sam Moskowitz, Theodore Sturgeon, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Harlan Ellison, and the three unnamed witnesses of Robert Vaughn Young. There is some confusion and doubt about one of them (Sam Moskowitz). Two are reported via Russel Miller: one is reported via Mike Jittlov: one reported in his autobiography; one reported in an affidavit; and one reported to me in person. The reports describe different events, meaning that Hubbard said it perhaps six times, in six different venues - definitely not just once. And the Church's official disclaimer is now reportedly a flat lie.It's a really, really stupid religion, it has some utterly ridiculous beliefs as part of its credo, and it does some pretty nasty things to people - but that's not my point here (there are other people far more qualified to comment on the stupidity and cupidity of Scientologists than I am. My point is that if you have laws which explicitly protect religious belief, then you're going to have to use them to protect "religions" like Scientology.
There's no evidence whatever that aliens flew to Earth in DC-8's, but then there's no evidence whatever that people can survive for three days in the belly of a whale, or that any of these things actually happened.
Taken at face value, almost all religious beliefs are ridiculous, and since religions don't demand any actual evidence for their beliefs, just about the only way to distinguish between a religion and a cult is that a religion has more members. This is something I've written about before, and I think it's quite important, and often missed by other people who write about this sort of thing. Once you start to officially recognise one form of unsupported nonsense, you're on a slippery slope to having to officially recognise whatever form of unsupported nonsense people happen to want to believe in tomorrow.