The cult of scientology is actually a new age cult in disguise, in a kind of pseudo-sufi ‘esoteric’ vein, the reason it confusedly resonates with so many people.
Part of the problem for many new age groups in general is the failure to understand the spiritual language of the ancients, and the resulting confusion of terms and practices.
Strangely, in the unfolding of a new age the first of the lot was ironically the philosopher Schopenhauer who alone seems to have understand the core Upanishadic discourse, not via any direct reading but through his independent rediscovery of its core via his own study of Kant. The resulting formulation, despite the charge that its metaphysics of the ‘will’ presumes knowledge of the noumenal, gives a better version than the Upanishads themselves.
Schopenhauer even tried to reinvent the spiritual path toward enlightenment, naively wihout quite realizing what he was doing (negation of the will). The resemblance of his pessimism to the First Noble Truth is remarkable.But he could not quite reinvent meditative practice. Schopenhaur offered no hope for life under the ‘will in nature’.
It is a reminder that the words and ideas of ancient spiritual texts rarely produce understanding. When a figure like Schopenhauer stumbles on it again, the meaning is clearer.