The man, who asked to remain anonymous, was born into the religion.
He relocated from the USA to Scotland more than a decade ago and left the group five years ago. He said: "What made me finally walk away was when my mum was getting harangued for more and more money. She kept on giving more money when she was in dire straits financially." His mother was forced to "ex-communicate" her son. He also has concerns about the Drug-free World campaign and the Narconon programme.
"They want people to become Scientologists," he said. "Just below the surface the hope would be that if someone has gotten success from something that's tied to Scientology maybe now they'll be curious about Scientology."
He said: "At the Narconon ranch, from what I understand, they will say 'Look, you've had success with this. You're clean from drugs. Are there any other areas we can help you with?
"I would say that, yes, as a machine, they're trying to get you into Scientology through Drug-Free World and Narconon."
The former Scientologist also insisted the overarching strategy is to make money from followers.
He said: "The whole thing is designed to make money because, no matter how bad a situation my family was in they tried to push for more money."
He added: "Any planning and scheming is done from above. It's designed to catch people who are vulnerable, to get money out of people, to lure people in.
"The machine does not care about individuals' lives. I think it's sinister, but from above."