12 Surprising Ways Scientology Is Kind of Like the Church of Satan

Even though it’s been the subject of myriad documentaries, the Church of Scientology is a somewhat of a mystery to everyone who isn’t a member of the church. And despite the world’s view of Scientology being the chosen religion of many A-List celebrities, there are more similarities between Scientology and Satanism than you’d think. Not only was the creator of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, heavily influenced by Aleister Crowley, an early 20th-century occultist, but there are plenty of weird things Scientologists believe that Satanists also believe. Prepare to do battle with some of your body thetans, because you’re about to find out all the ways Scientology and the Church of Satan are the same.

On the surface, the similarities between Scientology and Satanism seem to be nothing more than superficial, but when you begin to learn about the creation of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard’s obsession with ancient occultists, you can see how the Church of Scientology and the Church of Satan are kind of similar. The easiest conclusion to draw from all this information is that both Satanism and Scientology were created as a way to get rubes to part with their money with the promise of bettering themselves through mystic gobbledygook and both mock religions (or philosophies) got way out of hand. Or maybe it’s all real. You be the judge. 

  • Secrecy Is Incredibly Important to Both of Them

    Secrecy Is Incredibly Important to Both of Them
    Photo: Internet Archive Book Images / flickr / No known copyright restrictions

    The Church of Scientology is known for maintaining an almost cartoonish level of secrecy about its operating budget, auditors, and pretty much everything else that goes on behind its blue-and-gold doors. The fear of Scientology is similar to that of the fear of the Church of Satan due to the fact that they aren't the biggest oversharers either. 

  • Celebrities Love Both Religions

    Celebrities Love Both Religions
    Photo: Tom Simpson / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Both Scientology and the Church of Satan have attracted a lot of big names to their gatherings in all the years they've been around. Admittedly, Scientology-inclined celebs like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Beck are a little bigger, but you can't beat card-carrying Satanists like Sammy Davis Jr., Jayne Mansfield, and Marilyn Manson. 

  • Both Are Tight-Lipped About Money

    Both Are Tight-Lipped About Money
    Photo: elycefeliz / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    One of the biggest questions about Scientology is, "What are they doing with all that money?" Because the church hasn't released a tax statement in about a decade, it's impossible to know where all the tithes they receive go, but by looking at the Celebrity Center and a few of their other spots in Los Angeles, it's pretty easy to figure it out. The Church of Satan never says what it does with its membership fees, either, and since there isn't a defacto headquarters to keep up, it seems odd that they would still collect money. 

  • They Both Have Cool Logos

    We can't stress enough how much it matters for your corporation/church/philosophy/band/whatever to have a good logo. A good logo is the difference between people hating you but considering you to be a Bond villain (very cool!), and people hating you and thinking that your Presidential campaign logo is having sex with itself (not cool!). Scientology's "double triangle with an S" logo is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it has shades of Crowleyian Satanism to boot. 

  • They Were Both Started by Artists Trying to Make a Transition

    They Were Both Started by Artists Trying to Make a Transition
    Photo: Public Domain / via Wikimedia Commons

    One of the biggest things that connects the Church of Satan to the Church of Scientology is that they were both started by guys who were down on their luck. Anton LaVey was famously a carnival barker who started the first version of his church in a nightclub with topless witches, similarly to how L. Ron Hubbard got burned out on his job as a freelance pulp writer and began seeking a better way to make a living. A famous Hubbard quote goes, "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."

  • The Self Is the Most Important Part of Both Religions

    It's no secret that Satanism is a religion about turning yourself into your own god and placing your well-being above all others. While Scientology isn't as selfish a philosophy as Satanism, it is about clearing yourself of all your perceived mental ickiness so you can ascend to a higher plane of existence.