I think it’s become a gestalt. While it may have been started cynically – nor not – it now simply exists and the individuals who are within its clutches simply don’t have the power to change it. I don’t think there is a super-villain at the top stroking his white cat; just group psychology at work. A self-perpetuating demon I think.
The thing I can't quite work out about Scientology is whether there is really anyone high up behind the scenes cackling away at what a bunch of gullible idiots they all are and counting the piles of cash, or whether the belief is genuinely engrained throughout the organisation.
Surely the longer it goes on, the more it moves towards the latter, and therefore the closer it becomes to being a legitimate religion.