We figure it’s only going to pick up as the game itself nears. Earlier today, we weren’t certain which ad the church was going to use for its Sunday blitz, but then we received a leaked message from one of our tipsters indicating that it would be “Age of Answers,” a slick Apple Computer-like spot that Scientology posted to its YouTube channel in October, and that we described in November.
The ad is pretty and says essentially nothing, and we expect that when it appears at halftime during the Super Bowl, there’s going to be a fun reaction at Twitter. If you see the ad pop up in your market, let us know in the comments section.
So before we take a detailed look at the ad itself, let’s see what Scientology member Kathy Feshbach had to say about it in that leaked message we mentioned…
DEAR FLAG OTC MEMBERS,
The IAS funded Scientology – The Age of Answers video will play at half time during the Super Bowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The next day on Monday following the Super Bowl in USA TODAY – full-page ad – The Age of Answers – ensure you buy the paper!!!!
Also, on YOUTUBE – on Monday we will be on the front page for 24 hours straight!!!! People can watch The Age of Answers video, do OCA test or any of the on-line free courses!!!!!!
Thank you for all your donations to the IAS – keep them coming, we are changing the world together!!!!
And here’s the ad itself in its 1-minute length, but you might see a 30-second version air during the game…
Let’s take a look at some of those images…
And here’s the text of the ad…
(Voiceover) We live in an age of searching
To find solutions
To find ourselves
To find the truth
Now, imagine an age in which
The predictability of science
And the wisdom of religion
Welcome to the age of answers (End of voiceover)
(Titles) spiritual technology
Hopefully some curious folks will find this website after seeing the ad, and we’d like to answer what might be some questions occurring to them.
1. Is this for real? Yes, Scientology has advertised on television for many years, and actually did quite well recruiting new people in the 1980s with its famous “volcano” series of ads designed by its then head of marketing, Jefferson Hawkins. Beginning three years ago, Scientology leader David Miscavige went on a new ad-buying binge as his organization has faced numerous crises.
2. Why does this look like an Apple ad? Scientology has a dwindling membership, but Miscavige is sitting on a ton of money. So he buys the best advertising from top firms, just like Apple does.
3. I see a lot of young people — is this ad looking for college-age recruits? Miscavige and other Scientologists may think this is an effective recruiting tool for bringing in college kids, but young people who actually see these ads tend to mock them in social media. In the age of the Internet, Scientology is having a terrible time recruiting new members. These ads are really aimed at Miscavige and his biggest donors, the small number of very wealthy people who are keeping the organization afloat. It’s important to them to see Miscavige making this effort.
4. How much did this cost Scientology? Although 30-second spots in the Super Bowl cost something like $3.8 million each this year, Scientology tends to buy local advertising spots in numerous markets and not national ads. That makes the cost a lot lower, but they are also showing this ad in many other spots, in prime time, and all over the web. So Scientology is definitely spending millions, even if it didn’t pay the big bucks for a single national Super Bowl spot.
5. What do they mean by combining science and religion? When L. Ron Hubbard first came up with Dianetics and then Scientology, he said it was an exact science that would help you recover memories of your time in the womb (Dianetics) and even from past lives, some of them millions or billions of years ago on other planets (Scientology). He also claimed that reliving those memories and neutralizing their power to harm would erase all psychosomatic ills, which he considered to be just about everything making people sick. When the government got upset about his health claims, however, Hubbard sought the protection that comes with calling yourself a religion, and in 1953 he began creating “churches” of Scientology. Most longtime members will tell you they were interested in the exact science, and put up with the “religion” cloaking because they knew it was necessary to keep the organization tax exempt.
Let us know your thoughts about the various parts of this ad, and let’s see a good game!
UPDATE: TheHoleDoesNotExist has reported that she did see at least a brief version of the other ad we were talking about this morning, which extols Scientology’s “social betterment” programs. There’s no reason why both of them might not be playing around the country today. Here’s another look at that ad. Let us know which one plays in your area, and when…
UPDATE: Right on time — at the beginning of halftime — the Age of Answers ad showed up in these markets… LA, SF, Sacto, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Cincy, Denver, Minneapolis, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Washington DC, and Tampa. Some reactions…
Keeping with the trend wil Katy Perry sing about fatherhood, puppies, and Scientology? #SB49
— Justin Anfinsen (@JustinAnfinsen) February 2, 2015
— Jeff Greene (@PhotoJeff) February 2, 2015
"Imagine science and religion…connected" Hey #scientology, you accidentally put the "science" in your script instead of "massive bullshit"
— Sean (@ThePsion5) February 2, 2015
Scientology: brought to you by Lawsuits. #SuperBowlXLIX
— Derek Rishmawy (@DZRishmawy) February 2, 2015
Scientology got their own commercial lol no wonder John Travolta is there #NoDisrespectToJohnTravolta
— Bruhauly (@SPshirey) February 2, 2015
Scientology ad airs. Christianity fights back with a halftime show featuring Mega Aslan. Your move, Jews! #SuperBowl
— Bennett Webber (@BennettWebber) February 2, 2015
Whoever approved the scientology commercial, needs to be forced to join scientology.
— Paul Mau (@PaulMau) February 2, 2015
This halftime show is the real scientology ad
— cuillin (@notcuillin) February 2, 2015
WHOA. George Washington University Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski raised some eyebrows with his tweet celebrating L. Ron Hubbard as a product of the school. Actually, Hubbard dropped out in his sophomore year and never got a degree…
— Peter Konwerski (@GWPeterK) February 2, 2015
Posted by Tony Ortega on February 1, 2015 at 17:40
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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts