In its current incarnation Scientology really reflects more of being a cult, then a religion. In that when you join you sign over your assets to them, relinquishing all your worldly possessions. The basic belief of Scientology is that experience, in this or in previous lives, is recorded in the brain as a series of "engrams." These engrams are revived and reinforced by recurring similar situations and always cause inappropriate and self-defeating behavior. One's goal of Scientology is to "process" or clear these engrams and become more self-determining. By erasing these accretions from one's present and past lives, one releases the essential, spiritual self or soul called the "thetan." Do some research, check it out!