That gets tricky. The problem with scientology being called a religion tends to be with governments and how they classify things for tax purposes, mainly as they don't want cults to benefit from such things. Scientology then has trouble as it meets some of the definitions of cult, though at the same time they have some very good lawyers and are not afraid to use them. Regarding not respecting other religions I can't really blame them. One of the reasons given for the decline of polytheism was economic -- you have 1000 people worshipping the god of the day, and 1000 for the god of the night and they present a less cohesive front than 1500 going in for some singular boss god. Knowing this and needing retention you kind of have to start otherising people. That said special treatment strikes me as odd. I was stateside once and the news was crying over how one church was going bankrupt. They then showed some pictures inside it. Fully gym, massive pool, cinemas, concert hall... basically one of the best leisure centres I have ever seen, and apparently this was a small one (it was fall smaller than what gets dubbed a mega church elsewhere there). I went past it a few weeks later and it was better than the news people had shown. Was not a tax bill which ultimately did them in, don't know if it was completely tax free but were that my house I would be paying more, but the bills for building it caught up with them.