in the 1970's hubbard absolutely stated "Scientology is that branch of PSYCHOLOGY.." so what strings did he pull with the government to get away with this bullshit that scientology is a RELIGION now?
If you are just starting to look into Scientology, read the following two latest good books, I'd start with Janet's first:
"Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman
"The Church of Scientology: History of a New Religion" by Hugh Urban
Both if seriously studied, will give you the links and other books to further delve into.
In a nutshell, my answer would be America's leniency, our allowance of people to engage in activities of their choosing, there is a lot of Scientology auditing (pseudo-therapy) going on by Scientologists, enough so that those doing it, are not rising up in protest, otherwise the practice of Hubbard's auditing (pseudo-therapy) would cause public uproar and would be legislated against.
Scientology's just not that mentally damaging, my opinion. It's mind bending, and it suits mainly people who are inclined to believe in past lives, or who are suckered into Scientology for Hubbard's self help ideas that they find useful.
Hubbard was a prolific pulp fiction writer, and as such, he pretty much wrote his own history to suit self promoting his change from fiction to his "serious" Dianetics and Scientology created subjects.
He was a science fiction writer, pulp style.
He wrote the rules for Dianetics and Scientology, and the members follow the rules, and America's leniency I'd say is how he got away with it.
It's not for lack of journalists pointing up Hubbard's crass religion.
Here's a link to all the online free excellent past critical books, you can read for free.
I urge you to get and read Reitman's book, and then read Urban's book, that will summarize and bring someone almost up to date, on Scientology's saga.
The subjects Dianetics and Scientology are just 63 or so years old!
Link to online books to read on Scientology for free:
Today I run a toll free phone number giving people tailor made free advice how to get out of the Scientology movement. 866-XSEAORG