As an atheist, I think that all religions are scams. 

But I'm curious to know what you guys think is the limit between "religion" and "scam"?

Our government protects us from exploitation and abuse, and there is a lot of evidence that Scientology is exploiting and abusing its members financially and emotionall, so where does religion stop? When would the government be justified in dissolving the organization to protect against it's exploitation, if at all?

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I'll agree that it's safer to practice Christianity and Mormonism, but their metaphysical claims are just as nonsensical as Scientology and have just as little credible evidence.
I have a cousin who no longer resides in the U.S.; it was nearly impossible to get him out of a Mormon compound and he had to go through "psychological deprogramming", whatevertf that means. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience for him as a young man, and the marks are still resident in his brain.

Mormonism is dangerous in my estimation; likely equatable to this Scientology.
How so?
Mormon"ism" is dangerous, in the exact same manner as Scientology.

Make sure to check the references and external links, there is plenty of information to support the dangers they both present. I think JW is also included.
Perhaps the government could split the difference, as it were. If the financial piece can be found to be illegal, then going after them specifically on a legal basis could be feasible. For example, have all the religion you want, but you can't do X because it is definitively and demonstrably illegal. That would probably require the government to define a legal parameter, which is uncomfortable to do around religion.
Another possibility would be to look into the tax exempt status.
It would have to be done very carefully because there is a great risk of backlash and 'martyrdom' that would come from trying to do anything about it. Often you end up with, "If they say we can't do it, it must be great to do" (which I'm very guilty of at times) and end up encouraging it more.
Wow, it seems I've got nothing but contradictions, sorry.
I don't see any difference between Scientology and Christianity except that Christianity is a million times better at scamming people and swindling their money. So as long as Christianity is protected by the government, Scientology ought to be too.

If you follow the money you will see how much money Scientology has swindled compared to how much Christianity swindles not counting the 2000+ year advantage the Christianity has. I mean right this second. Shit, Focus on the Family alone probably swindles more per year than Scientology.
Yes, it's a very slippery slope for the government, and that's the problem. That's in fact what happened in France. The government attacked Scientology in that country, but they did not ban it, only sanctioned it. And you're right though, Christianity cons people out of much more money (for a much longer time in history). If Scientology can be ousted as a scam and exploitation, then Christianity and Islam and Judaism hardly have any ground left to stand on. But anytime the government makes any mention of these religions, uproar abounds.
Scientology has not swindled as many people out of their money as Christianity because most people are not and will never be stupid enough to believe in that crap.
So let me get this straight, you think that most people aren't stupid enough to believe that there is an evil alien overlord who lives in a galaxy far away, yet are stupid enough to believe in a supernatural deity which doesn't live in or by the natural laws of physics. Now I am not defending Scientology here, but the way I see it, Christianity is way way more ridiculous and harder to swallow than Scientology. At least Scientology doesn't violate the laws of physics (as much). The fact is that the only reason why we accept Christianity as "less ridiculous" is because it has been around much longer. But pound for pound, the ridiculousness of Christianity blows Scientology out of the water.
In every measurable way Christianity is worse than Scientology. The beliefs are more ridiculous and have less evidence. The organizations are larger, swindle more money, cost more lives, and are far more psychologically damaging. How can any rational person think that Scientology is in any way worse than Christianity. I think they are both nuts, but on the crazy scale of 1 to 10, Scientology gets a 7 and Christianity gets a 150.

The only reason why anyone could possible think Scientology was worse than Christianity is because Scientology is newer, less subtle, and hasn't taken hold in the majority of the American people and the world.
As long as we can take it away from all Churches too, I am with you. But I don't think Scientology should lose it if Churches are allowed to keep it. It is an all or nothing deal.
Why should Scientology be singled out? Do they scam more people? No. Do they swindle more money? No. Do they cause more death and psychological damage? No. Is it less popular because they are new and haven't perfected the scam yet? YES! That's it. Singling them out lets the big boys (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) off the hook and eliminates not only their competitor, but also their most obvious comparison. That is why it has to be all or nothing.




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