I wish Steven Hassan had had time to respond to that last question, and that he would have had time to explain that corporate Scientology was largely modeled after Communist Chinese style thought reform.
Does anyone believe, if it were not for the perks and privileges granted religions in the United States, that Scientology would have claimed to be a religion?
In places where having a religious identity is not advantageous, Scientology does not identify as a religion.
When Steven Hassan calls Scientology a mind control cult it is not a meaningless phrase.
Since the 1970s, a collection of mind control cults plus others with an interest in discrediting ideas, having to do with psychological manipulation and coercive persuasion, have been busy working to convince the public that these do not exist.
Scientology has benefited from this effort and was a major player in bringing it about.