This is my tldr for scientology.
Writers don't make much money unless you're wildly famous. L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer. He apparently was talking with some other science fiction writers and made the statement that in order to get rich you had to start your own religion. Which he did. Here in the US churches aren't taxed, so it's entirely tax free income.
I'd heard about scientology and was going to this small mom and pop science fiction bookstore regularly and asked them about it. They mentioned that there was a scientology center down the street. I went there and took their "personality evaluation." After you take it they grade you and show you a plot of where your answers are in relation to everyone else. In retrospect I realized that it was a total scam; if you answer it honestly your answers will be well below the median and so everyone looks like a loser. But at that moment I believed them and feeling bad about my evaluation fell for their pitch signed up for their first "course." The first course consisted of me sitting with my knees about an inch away from this guy across from me, with my eyes closed. I forgot how long we sat like that; a good while. That was it and I'd already paid the course fee. Afterwards I was thinking, wtf, I paid all that money to sit really close to someone? The next "course" was going to be the same thing but with my eyes open.
They told me that if I wasn't satisfied that I could get a refund. But while I was there I was rather creeped out by all of them. They look at you with this really intense stare with 100% continuous eye contact; very unnerving. I had a suspicion that I was going to have trouble getting my refund so I asked the husband and wife at the bookstore if they'd go with me and told them that I wanted them to stay with me at all times. When we were there the staff had me talk to the director to get my refund. She kept trying to get me to go into her office with her without the couple but I kept insisting that they had to come in with me. Over and over she kept trying. Eventually she gave up and wrote me a check for the refund. They're very big on mental domination and coercion.
A few years later I was living in a place and the guy who'd lived there previously had been involved with them. He kept getting these flyers from them for Scientology courses and learning materials. The prices were amazing. One of them, which you couldn't take until you'd taken lots of the other courses, was 6 hours at the Los Angeles scientology center; $6,000, and there was a 12 hour one for $12,000.
Back when I'd taken that "course" I told my boss at work and he told me about a girlfriend he'd had who had signed over power of attorney to them for all of her earnings, past, present, and future.
If you continue taking their courses you'll start doing these courses where they use what they call the e-meter, basically a crude lie detector. Their bogus theory is that we all have these "engrams" which are simply life experiences, some good, some bad, and there's the first bad one which is making you incomplete, unhappy, whatever. In these sessions with the e-meter they're trying to find this first bad engram. You're essentially telling them everything you've done and experienced, and they're writing it all down. None of us are angels so what they're really doing is getting all the dirt on you. They'll use this dirt later on to blackmail you if you try to pull out, or if you blow the whistle on them; there are many instances of this.
Back in the days before the web there were these discussion groups called usenet or netnews and there was one devoted to exposing the scientology scam. Reading the stories there would make me break out in a cold sweat.