L. Ron Hubbard repackaged Scientology from occultism, and est/Forum was a repackaging of Scientology by Werner Erhard, but few Scientologists or estians ever see the connections, and both leaders seem to have gained little from their teachings. This is what the followers of Erhard found so unsettling; he was the great pop artist of spirituality, yet was unable to apply his insights to himself.
Mike and Donna Henderson, onetime Scientologists from Clearwater, were victims of this culture. OT 7 and OT 8 respectively, they were nearly bankrupted by their involvement with the church. Today they are two of a growing number of ex-Scientologists who predict that in these dark economic times, Scientology's "unvarnished demand for money", as Mike puts it, may lead to its demise.
Scientologists believe that most human problems can be traced to lingering spirits of an extraterrestrial people massacred by their ruler, Xenu, over 75 million years ago. These spirits attach themselves by “clusters” to individuals in the contemporary world, causing spiritual harm and negatively influencing the lives of their hosts.
Scientologists also believe that 75 million years ago, an evil galactic warlord ... an evil warlord by the name of Xenu dumped 13 trillion aliens from different planets into the Earth's volcanoes and then vaporized them with H-Bombs. And the radioactive souls of these these poor, vaporized alien creatures continue to enter into our bodies implanting engrams and false ideas about Christ and God and psychiatry, and that's why we have to purge ourselves of all of these engrams.
Scientologists are at war with a member of their own family - the outspoken niece of the church's powerful leader, David Miscavige. Jenna Hill Miscavige, 24, the daughter of David's older brother Ron, recently came out in support of Andrew Morton's "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography," and slammed the star for "supporting a religion that tears apart families, both in the media and monetarily." Since then, Jenna claims she's been subjected to harassment.david miscavige