Sounds a lot like Scientology. which was started as a means to make money. People pay a lot of money to reach the "clear" state.
Scientology's a scam? Just ... damn.
Yes, as it happens I bought a pulp SF magazine when I was a teenager, and one of the letters to the editor was from L. Ron Hubbard, at that time a science fiction writer.
The going rate for the pulps was a penny a word. Hubbard wrote in to say that he had thought of a better way to make a living than that. He proposed to start a religion.
I think I still have a copy of that pulp magazine somewhere in my attic, but I disremember exactly which one it was.