Adherents of Scientology are primarily Hollywood celebrities, lawyers, and women who want to penetrate Tom Cruise.
Scientology drama is all too common, and most of it is extremely amusing. For instance, to advance in the faith to OT level III to learn the tale of Xenu, the galactic tyrant who stacked hundreds of billions of his frozen citizens on planes that looked like DC8's with rocket engines, and hauled them over to Earth to be thrown into volcanoes for at least 100 years before blowing them up with hydrogen bombs and brainwashing them with a "three-D, super colossal motion picture" for 36 days.
The traumatised thetans subsequently clustered around human bodies, in effect acting as invisible spiritual parasites that can only be removed using advanced Scientology techniques. The cost of reaching OT III is only $360,000. Central to the belief is in alien past lives, such as being "decieved into a love affair with a robot decked out as a beautiful red-haired girl", being run over by a Martian bishop driving a steamroller, being transformed into an intergalactic walrus which perished after falling out of a flying saucer and being "a very happy being who strayed to the planet Nostra 23,064,000,000 years ago". All of this was on Wikipedia, so it is guaranteed the absolute truth.
If you are completely and fully suckered in, you can join an elite sector of Scientologists, the Sea Org, which stands for "Sea Organization". This arm of the "Church" was dreamed up by Hubbard in the mid-60's because he was a) really drunk/doped out of his mind most of the time, and b) because he felt butthurt by the real U.S. Navy, who refused to give him ill-gotten glory and fame, so he made a toy navy of some real piece of shit ships. If you're a good enough and devout enough Scientologist, when you join the Sea Org, you must sign a contract that binds you to the Scientology religion, the Sea Org and L. Ron Hubbard for a billion years, pledging to "come back" in all your reincarnations to serve him for that time. In exchange you get some really nifty things... You get about $16 a week in pay, your personal I.D. taken from you and locked away so you can't jump ship, you get to do demeaning and degrading physical labour and give the Church tacit permission to put you in the "RPF" (Rehabilitation Project Force) which is a punishment gulag that will make you beg, whine and plead like a little bitch for that degrading regular labour back. You may even find yourself locked in a ship's chain locker if at sea, or in the basement of the Ft. Harrison Hotel with all that healthy asbestos. The RPF makes Gitmo Bay look like Club Med. In an interesting side note, while the crew of the Sea Org were sweating and toiling at sea on the Apollo, Hubbard's Sea Org flagship, Hubbard himself surrounded himself with nubile, blonde 13 year old girls in hot pants and halter tops that he dubbed the "Commodore's Messenger Organization" or "CMO". He did this because running Scientology is serious fucking business. Sadly for him, he was also impotent.
Most agree that it is batshit insane, and Battlefield Earth was as good a movie as getting jackhammered in the urethra for 3 hours. Scientology is, however, a very important part of society; it is one of the main sources in the Western world for the lulz.
Basically its a falsetto 'religion' in which eternal happiness is attained by donating all of your money to the leaders.
Founded by L. Ron Hubbard as a way to scheme money and make a fast buck off his books. One of the 'holiest' days in this religion is Hubbard's birthday.
Because most celebrites such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta are too stupid to realize it, they belong to this group.
This area of the galaxy was once ruled by an alien warlord named Xenu. 65 million years ago his empire was overpopulated horribly, so to combat the overpopulation he had trillions of citizens called in for psychiatric evalutations and tax audits, where they were given paralytic drugs, loaded onto space planes, and flown to Planet Teegeeack. Once on this planet, their bodies were stacked in huge piles around volcanoes, while atom bombs were dropped into these volcanos, instantly killing trillions of galactic citizens.
To keep these people from reincarnating in the rest of the galaxy, Xenu set up a special trap. Powerful force-fields kept their souls (called "Thetans" in Scientology jargon) from escaping, and these thetans were then shown special holographic movies about the various lies they are supposed to believe, with characters like Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha. Over time, these thetans began to believe Xenu's lies about false gods, and began to reincarnate on Teegeeack (but the thetans called this world "Earth"). When intelligent life appeared on Teegeeack, thousands or millions of "Thetans" cling to every native soul (er, "thetan") and fill it's head with nonsensical thoughs and irrational beliefs.
The key idea of Scientology is to avoid tax officials and psychiatrists at all costs, while paying the church a large amount of money for special "counseling" (called "auditing" in their jargon) to help you reach a special enlightened state called "Clear" where you telepathically communicate with these "thetans" clinging to you and force them out of your body, and rid yourself of evil Xenu's influence.
(By the way, most Scientologists don't know this, like the Mystery Cults of the Greco-Roman world, Scientology doles it's doctrine out in tiny doses to it's new recruits, and tells the public next to nothing about what it believes. You don't hear that whole story until you reach a special rank in their group called "OT3" for "Operating Thetan 3". Their doctrine holds that if this got out, the Thetans in people would revolt at hearing the truth and people would get sick and die possibly just by hearing this story, which of course leads people who aren't Scientologists who hear this story to tell it to others and watch them not die or get ill from it.)
Scientology is like some creepy science fiction movie, but it's all really happening. They have "Churches of $cientology" set up everywhere, they have an army, and endorsements from celebrities like Tom Cruise, Nancy Cartwright, Chick Corea, and John Travolta. It's a seriously dangerous thing to get involved in, and I reccomend this website to anyone considering joining: www.xenu.net