I had a friend that lived in Austin back in the 70s who did just that. He went to the (I hate to legitimize them by calling it a religion or church) I'll call it a campus, and checked into what all it was about. In Austin at one time, they had a big building right on the main drag across from the University of Texas to lure college students into their bogus religion. That tells you how much money they had at one time (and still do, if not more) as real estate across the street from a major university isn't cheap. So anyway, out of curiosity he visited for a while. He related to me and my friend it wasn't for him, so he tried to leave, and even back then he said he got a lot of harassment in trying to do so.
People from Scientology would come by and bother him about coming back just to visit some more. He never said why he left per se, but I imagine once they sprung on him the money angle to start buying into some of the books and all that, being a poor college student, he said, no way.
The lure for many was the promise of an eternity of spiritual enlightenment. Many young people from that era wanted to save the world or were searching for enlightenment and were among the first to fall victim to this cult. There are many layers of brainwashing going on - reincarnation and isolation from the outside world via the naming of a common enemy (in this case, psychiatry). The real deep, mostly little known story behind scientology is the intended genocide of all non-scientologists. L Ron Hubbard was really a psychotic malignant narcissist.
Another friend told me that there is a connection between Hubbard's thinking and the Eugenics Society (which inspired Hitler, btw) of the early 20th century. This has been whitewashed out of ALL American History textbooks. Read here: https://scientologymoneyproject.com/...y-is-genocide/
Since the death of Hubbard, it was taken over by one of his underlings, David Miscavage. He changed some of the aspects of scientology, and now it is an even bigger money making machine than ever. This past week I have been watching the special on the A & E network with Leah Remini on her dealings with leaving the cult. She was indoctrinated into it as a child. That's the sad part about it. Many are introduced to it at an early age before they really have any choice on the matter by their parents. Once that's done it's even harder to get out.
British documentary maker Louis Theroux made a movie on Scientology last year, it is typically light-touch but does expose their bizarre and controlling methods. It's an interesting and diverting watch if it ever pops up on your networks.
The newest episode to the Leah Remini series comes on Tuesday. They also rebroadcasted some of the other episodes this past Tuesday, so I got caught up. It was very interesting as to how some of the influence, cognitive dissonance, thought stopping, brainwashing, etc. went on. All very powerful and very real. Not only that but they scam the IRS for a tax exemption. For those who are interested, go here for a daily dose of what's behind the curtain of the most destructive cult in America, if not the world: http://tonyortega.org/