I'd suspect it's regarded more as an obligation to get ahead and therefore not taken seriously by most, like joining any number of lodges with hokey initiations and rituals.
Then, there are probably the true believers. Tom Cruise was unusually close to the top guy, according to some written accounts. He no doubt got this impression from him, if true.
The world rolled out the red carpet for him, for decades. It doesn't anymore. Depending upon Cruise's level of stability, that could be taken to “mean” any number of things.
Normal churches only ask for at most a 10% tithe.
Scientology wants it all, or as close as they can get.
Apparently you haven’t read enough. Scientology is one down right scary, murdering cult that sucks people in and destroys their lives. It is NOTHING like joining a lodge.
Your ignorance allows you to minimize the actual danger that this group poses
scientology is nothing like joining a lodge. Generally lodges wont kill you - the mind (sometimes the body as well).