From what I have read, it costs quite a lot of money to participate in the Church of Scientology. Some Hollywood movie stars, most famously, Tom Cruise, it has been well-publicized, are members of this religion, which is often described as a cult. One definition of this is that the activities of the religion are secret, only open to select members, as opposed to having services that anyone may attend. Movie stars are rich and can afford to pay expensive membership fees. Some actors have gotten involved with Scientology, only to have become disillusioned and have terminated their involvement, or perhaps were rejected for raising questions that were deemed too uncomfortable. Some religious do not believe in a deity, a so-called Supreme Being.
When it comes to politics and ecnomics, some extremists are not following any semblance of empirical data. I would say that a reputable economist, concerned about democracy, such as Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, a native of Gary, a professor at Columbia, and a recepient of a Nobel Prize, does emphasis statistics in his research and in those theories and propositions that he puts forward. This is in contrast to those who wrongly believe that they can someone force the data to conform to their prejudgments and prejudices. This kind of approach is sometimes coupled with the constant imposition of articles written by someone else putting forward a certain viewpoint, and disagreeing with people who will never agree with what is being marketed.
The Pew Research Center has come out with a study which shows a small but significant decline in religious identification or "affliation" among Americans, including a decrease in the number of people who identify themselves as being Christians. There are different theories as to why this has occurred, although scholars are not very willing to predict the future of religious participation. I might speculate that our economy has changed so that unless someone is born into a wealthy family or wins the lottery, a person cannot earn an adequate income unless some post-secondary training or education is acquired. Going to college especially for 4 years is expensive, but with the right kind of background, results in higher lifetime earnings than if the education was not received. There is a disconnect between the limited educational background of many people and both the job market and a realistic understanding of many problems and issues. People with a limited educational background may follow a religion that does not necessarily worship a deity, but instead promotes greed and worship of the amighty dollar. They may experience material success, but are not concerned with morality and ethics as they do not believe in reality. Making things up has become more popular than in the past. Again, there are theories as to why Americans have to some extent become more supersticious and irrational. At the same time, this Pew study shows somewhat of a decline in religious affliation overall.
This religion without an interest in having a creator seems like it is especially convenient for people with wealth as a new-found way of manipulating the masses. Scapegoating is a common component of it.