Atack: The forgotten history of disproving Scientology's status as a "religion" - 2016-10-08
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than three years he's been helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
I never really considered Scientology a religion. I accept that if others want to, they can, but I agree with Professor Hugh Urban: "If anything, Scientology is a self-conscious attempt to make a religion, that is, a concerted effort to use explicitly religious sorts of discourse to describe, defend, define and redefine itself." (The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion, p.211).
Initially, religious status was a way of avoiding any further lawsuits from the American Medical Association for practicing medicine without a license: In the US you can claim to cure cancer (as Hubbard did), as long as it is a religious claim.