Your point about defining the subject is a good one. For me it constitutes a methodical approach to the general subject of spirituality with a focus of practicing and extending the methods & principles originally laid out in the book DMSMH. This does not assume or require "faith" or "belief" in any individual or teaching. Instead the focus is on the study of a variety of principles & techniques (many though not all originating in Hubbard's writiings) with the intention of applying for the spiritual benefit of self & others.
I'm not a proponent of the "religion" angle. I do maintain the subject has value with regard to spirituality. The culture I live in does not generally recognize the distinction, particularly as regards laws & customs.
And as I've now repeatedly said, I find it less than honest, and indeed troubling, when Freezoners and Independent Scientologists consistently and conveniently define as being outside the religion of Scientology anything that is morally reprehensible or objectionable.
Well I don't speak for other scientologists. Individuals have different views on what constitutes the subject of scientology (as distinct from the church) just as they have different understandings of what constitutes christianity or other religions.
If you are "troubled" by this, then perhaps you are still too accepting of LRH's & the Co$'s monopolistic view of their own control of the subject of scientology. They like to maintain that anything they don't approve of is not scientology. Doesn't make it so.
With regard to religion, the situation is very much: it's true if it's true for you.
Mark A. Baker