I have a friend who backed out of Scientology way back when Hubbard was still alive. We go to lunch together quite often here at work. We have often commented about the great similarity & difficulty between breaking away from WT and from the Scientologists. I am not so sure that Scientology doesn't put the WTS to shame on a few grounds.
Anyway, this guy was one of the elite Sea Organization people back when Ron was still on his yacht running around out in the Atlantic islands to avoid the IRS. He tended the engines on this ship, which he described as a converted WW2 antisub patrol boat which they renamed the Apollo.
By his description, Hubbard was every bit as paranoid as the Judge and at the same time as whacked out on occultism and self delusion as Russell. So - check out a few parallels between what he made and the WTS:
* complete unquestioning belief in Godlike founders and rulers
* organization obsessed with publishing mass quantities of crazy literature
* organization ordered to buy these literature themselves to force best seller status
* organization obsessed with absolute control and brainwash of rank & file
* organization obsessed with money grubbing from rather modest membership
* organization obsessed with paranoia; everyone is out to get them because only they know the truth
* creepy self spying and shunning practices that would put the East German communists to shame
* belief system which hates conventional physchology, mainstream christianity, and normal governments
* belief system which has disturbing linkages to occult ideas
* original founder's carefully planned successors got hijacked immediately after death by a strongman from nowhere
* they got Tom Cruise, we got Michael Jackson...
etc... Scary, Huh?