The key to understand the Scientology controversy is to realize that there are TWO Scientology.
Scientology 1 is a rather cogent, original, and far-reaching system.
Scientology 2 is a cultish trap, a network of us-vs-them concepts that actually prevents Scientology 1 of ever becoming potent.
The two Scientology are separate but closely inter-linked. One reason for this is because both come from the same source, namely, L. Ron Hubbard.
In effect, what Hubbard did was to "squirrel" his own tech. First he came up with something remarkable, then "added" things like "the only hope for humanity", and "SPs", that made it in effect impracticable in society.
Of course Scientologists do not usually see the other Scientology (Scientology 2), just Scientology 1, and if they do they dismiss its meaning.
Critics do the reverse, they focus on the Scientology 2 and don't really see Scientology 1. If they do, they will likewise dismiss its meaning.
Both are wrong and right at the same time. They just get a partial view of what is in fact a complex reality.
It's a little bit (though not quite) like the optical trick in the picture above.
People will either see a beautiful young girl or an old ugly woman. Usually, if they see the young girl, they will have a very hard time to see the old woman, and reversely. If they finally succeed to see the other face, they may not get to see the first face again...
Then take into account that mental illusions are considerably more difficult to see and get rid of than optical ones...