"In his personal life, L. Ron was a con. By conning Jack Parsons that he was really good at magic, he managed to get Parsons’ girl and his boat. But, L. Ron saw something very useful in all of the mysticism of Crowley’s version of magic..
According to an interview with L. Ron Jr., LRH Sr. was very into the occult. He claimed that the true basis of Scientology was Satanism. However, this is a misrepresentation of Crowley’s works, which merely appealed to various belief systems to extract power. Crowley did this because so many people believe in Satan, that they actually lend power to his magic. Crowley talks about the form of the magic being unimportant, as long as the belief is there. It is clear that belief is the mystical prime unit in Crowley’s form of magic. [Underlined emphasis TMRs. This has been a regular message of this blog: abandon your beliefs and the power to control you is lessened.]
But L. Ron didn’t learn from Crowley. They never met. He learned from Jack Parsons. And Parson’s understanding of magic was amateur at best. But L. Ron caught on quickly. He realized that even if he didn’t believe in magic himself, other people’s beliefs strengthened his power. This is the satanic root of Scientology: using the power of others’ beliefs in order to power his organization."
-- Marc M. Arcab, a member of Anonymous, for GlossLip.com - which has been doing excellent reporting on Scientology.
You should go read the whole thing: it's fascinating stuff.