"Now of course, the rationalist in me can't figure out how what he does is any different than the major "churches", except at least he admitted it's a game...how is paying for Scientology "training" any different from Catholic tithing, or the passing of the collection plate, or even sending your children to Sunday school? Oh yeah, more people do it, so it must be OK...oh, wait..."
The usual response is that those have more of a voluntary element. I mean, the implication is that if you don't give enough money God will torture you for eternity, but no-one actually comes out and says it.
Also, if the collection plate worked in exactly the same way as Scientology fees, you would have to spend hundreds of pounds before you were given a Bible. No, sorry, that's wrong; you would have to donate hundreds of pounds just to get the boring space-filling chapters about who begat whom. Thousands of pounds later you might be lucky enough to get the gospels (if you're considered "ready"). After several years and thousands of pounds you would eventually be given Genesis, and told that if you read it to anyone else they would commit suicide.
Of course, Christianity was exactly the same for centuries - the peasants weren't allowed to read the Bible and translating it into a language they could read was blasphemy. So really, long story short is that they are all as bad each other, religions are just bad in different ways at different stages of their development.