Scientology is how the desperate and paranoid and world-weary find meaning.
I had the Neoconservatives in mind, although other versions of insanity also apply. The difference between crazies in asylums and crazies out of asylums is the systematic nature of a belief system. To speak meaningless words is “crazy” and to speak words consistent with some belief system is “sane”. However, the only thing a belief system requires to be “legitimate” is followers. What defines “sane” versus “insane” then is merely the amount of followers a belief system has – those called insane are often following “their own morality”.
So if one systematizes a belief system and follows it logically, he’s “sane” and if noone understands his belief system he’s “insane”.
We call scientology “crazy” but if they gain enough followers they’ll become mainstream and won’t be called crazy anymore. It’s difficult to say just how much of religion and philosophy is insane – noone judges that. After a certain period of time all religions and philosophies become justified and accepted.
Look at religions and philosophies to see this. The most accepted religions are the oldest and have the most followers – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. No new religion is taken seriously unless it gains a large following, and since it can’t gain a large following without being taken seriously all new religions require a demagogue cult-leader figure to provide the charisma and people-gathering. All old religions also had these figures – they are called prophets or messiahs. Religions use humans to bring the “word of God”, philosophies use humans to bring the “word of reason”.