But Geir Isene of Norway and Americans Mary Jo Leavitt and Sherry Katz recently announced they were leaving the church, citing strong disagreements with its management practices.
Such departures are rare among the church's elite group of OT VIIIs, who are held up as role models in Scientology. The three each told the St. Petersburg Times that they had spent decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach the church's spiritual pinnacle.
All three stressed their ongoing belief in Scientology and say they remain grateful for how it helped them. Yet they took to the Internet (an act strongly discouraged by church leaders, who decry public airing of problems) to share their reasons for leaving.
Has Scientology taken you for a ride today?
Personally, I think Scientology, as a religion, is the equivalent of Amway having a worldwide used car franchise, along with all of it's profit-driven salespeople, bait & switch schemes and continually changing fine print.
To the left, we have Ron Savelo, who can educate you on the smooth-riding theory that your brain is nothing more than a shock absorber (buy three, get one free).
And in the video below, we have a fine example of the insanity level one can achieve by reaching the upper echelon (OTVIII) of Scientology technology. (do not attempt, crazed driver on closed course)
Meet A Scientologist: George OT8
Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train