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Best Twitter Reactions to Scientology’s Super Bowl Ad



Our readers knew that Scientology ad was coming during last night’s Super Bowl, but judging from the reaction at Twitter, most people were shocked when it showed up right after the first half.

We’ve run through thousands of the reactions that hit Twitter right after the ad aired, and we’ve pulled together some of the best. In general, Scientology’s attempt to burnish its image didn’t go over too well!

The ad was a 30-second version of the following 1-minute “Knowledge” spot…

The ad appeared at 8:01 PM Eastern, and this appears to be the first of thousands of Twitter reactions to it…


Some other typical early reactions…




Some realized that the ad wasn’t really very truthful…


Even the pros were stunned…


And these capture many of the reactions as people in New York and LA and the Bay Area and Dallas and a few other markets saw the spot…










Comedian Colin Quinn got into the Atlantic magazine spirit of things…








And finally, one of our favorites…


UPDATE: From the beginning of this process, when we noted several weeks ago that Scientology was telling its members that it had placed an ad in the Super Bowl, we questioned whether that was true. Advertising web sites that closely track who is buying the super-expensive ad time were not listing the church among those who had paid about $3.8 million for a thirty-second spot.

We got an answer to that question when the 30-second version of the “Knowledge” ad ran during the AFC Championship two weeks ago, but only in certain markets — it was not a national ad.

Scientology followed that same plan last night for the Super Bowl, also purchasing regional airtime to broadcast the ad just after the first half. We cautioned that buying local time may not have cost as much as the $3.8 million for a national spot.

Now, Jim Edwards over at the Business Insider confirms that this was a very clever way for the church to leverage its money. By purchasing local ad time in certain markets, Scientology gets some of the exposure of national Super Bowl ads but at a much lower cost. How much lower? Even Edwards doesn’t say, and we’re going to try to find out, but it may be orders of magnitude less. Unfortunately, the Daily Mail went charging ahead with bad information (as it has a tendency to do), so many people are under the impression that Scientology paid $8 million for a 60-second ad, and neither of those things is true.

UPDATE #2: Jefferson Hawkins weighs in, explaining that this ad buy was not about bringing in new members, but motivating Scientology’s big donors, who are constantly hit up for campaigns like this. And Hawkins would know. For years, he oversaw Scientology’s promotional campaigns during the last period it actually was expanding…

It’s all about schmoozing their big donors. You can bet that their fundraising for this was at maximum and their spending on this was the least they could get away with. What would be interesting would be the accounting of how much was taken in for this promotion versus what was actually spent. My guess is that they took in more than they spent and the balance went into their coffers. They literally don’t care whether or not this is effective in bringing new people into the fold, and I say this from years of experience dealing with them and trying to overcome their insular and greedy profit-based attitude (as I chronicled in my book). They don’t want new people. New people are expensive to recruit and indoctrinate — they lose money on it. Where they really make money is on milking the already indoctrinated for as much as they can get, over and over again. That’s where the profit is. So this is really a show for the big donors: “Look at the huge dissemination effort w e are making! Look how big and popular we are!” You can bet they won’t mention this “spot market strategy” to their heavy hitters.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 4, 2013 at 09:20


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  • Observer

    omg, cannot stop laughing at the “disappointing lack of goats.”

    This kind of response from the public would have been unthinkable even two years ago. See, Scientologists, how your “church” is KSW? What are Miscavige’s crimes? We know, but you aren’t allowed to find out–unless you take your free will back and start reading on the Internet.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      That one got me too. That was hilarious.

    • richelieu jr

      I saw the goat.. Watch it again in slo-mo…

  • HeatherGraceful

    I LOL’d @brettglass

    Great responses, and a lot of them indicate that people are AWARE. There’s some data in some of theme thar tweets!

    • Sherbet

      That’s exactly what I was thinking, Heather — that there are people who aren’t fooled into thinking scn is just some wacky but harmless celeb belief system.

  • Truthiwant

    Wow!!!! Really cool advert. I saw it, immediately signed up at the local Org and got a mortgage on my house.

    • dbloch7986

      You made the right choice.

    • Peace Theta

      Do you have a second mortgage yet? We can work with you to help make this happen. You CAN upgrade your status.

      • Truthiwant

        That’s really good to know. Feel free to harass me when you like.

  • John P.

    It’s really fun to search now because various cult-controlled accounts are throwing up any material they can get in order to try to drown out all the “entheta.” I don’t think it’s working; they’re outgunned at least 10 to 1 by negative comments.

    It’s also interesting that some of the recent comments are wondering why the cult is tax-exempt when they have enough money to run a super bowl ad.

    • sugarplumfairy
    • Sherbet

      John P, if you clicked on those tweets and were brought back to the ad, does that mean you are now counted as one of the 3.4 million new members every year? I’m serious. Is that how cos’s math and membership system works?

      • John P.

        I’m gonna speculate on the following. I believe the American Idol ad referred to “4.4 million people touched by Scientology every year” or something like that, which was not exactly the same thing as 4.4 million new members. So it would seem like they would lump a YouTube video view as one of the stats they rolled up into that 4.4 million number.

        Long-time staffers who know how the “stats” game works (cough… Chuck Beatty… cough…) could confirm that the stats that the cult publicizes these days bear no resemblance to the stats they used to trumpet in days of yore — they’re carefully designed to sound like useful stats but are usually based on ambiguous definitions. That’s how Miscavige avoids having to deal with his own culpability in the decline in the “real” stats. If he doesn’t like the current stats, he just redefines them to something that looks better and that’s not comparable to the old set of numbers. Kind of like the Soviet Union statistics about the annual grain harvests in the old days, which always went up even as grain purchases from the West soared.

        But the reality is that we could get to a state of “analysis paralysis” (an occupational hazard at Global Capitalism HQ) trying to tease apart where these numbers come from, and completely forget the big picture: they’re all pulled straight out of Danny Sherman’s ass at random when they’re needed for a Miscavige speech at some fund-raising event.

        • Sherbet

          “number of morons we were able to drag in off the sidewalk for a free personality test.” Love it!

        • FistOfXenu

          Considering the possible meanings for “touched”, “touched by Scientology” is quite funny for them to claim. Made crazy? Harrassed and fair gamed? Thrown in the hole? Another possibility, is that really 4.4 mill or is it the same 44 people that the Demented Midget has beaten 100,000 times?

        • sketto

          As for counting Scientologists, I doubt Miscavige bothers anymore to even have a bullshit reason for his numbers, such as page views or book purchases. They clearly are coming out his ass at this point. After all, if you’re in the business of regularly promoting foolish ideas like “trillions of years ago”, then do you really sweat the details about how you count anything?

        • ParticleMom

          It is much simpler than all that. They determine the number the exact same way they figure out the date of their past lives. When the needle floats, you have the number.

        • John P,

          The stats to look for,this coming Thursday, would be the international NNCF, “new names to central files” statistic.

          If the international NNCF stat doesn’t go up, then the superbowl ad didn’t have any effect on driving people into churches or missions internationally.

          And then if we had access to see the IAS regs, the salesmen and women who go for straight donations, we’d need to see their income breakdowns, as we call it, to see how much they pulled in from the gotbucks Scientologists, this last week, and in future weeks, using the superbowl ads as regging buttons.

          If there’s no up tick in the international NNCF statistic, in the coming weeks, then this ad was just a morale booster for the Scientologists, and a ploy for income, like Jeff says..

          Again, to me, the key statistics to see if the movement is truly growing, would be to see how many of the Class 4, Class 5, Class 6, Class 8, Class 9 and Class 12 new auditors the movement is making, in total, each category, yearly.

          New religion and religion scholars do try to gather statistics like the number of priest and nuns and monks or clergy that the various religions produce yearly, and that way see the health of the religion in terms of personnel.

          Scientology’s guts are their pseudo-therapy and exorcism processes that the members pay to receive.

          They require that the various Classed auditors be certified, and also put through internships, before being allowed to audit the paying members in the churches’ “Hubbard Guidance Centers” (the HGC is the sub part of a church, the department where the auditors meet up with the paying client members, to go into the small cubicle rooms and do the pseudo-therapy sessions, at hundreds to thousands of dollars per hour of pseudo-therapy).

          The amount of internal statistics kept, all along the way, driving the churches to produce certified auditors, and driving them to deliver “well done auditing hours” (meaning hours of auditing delivered unbotched with the client member happy with their sessions) is phenomenal.

          Most churches have a handful of certified auditors delivering well done auditing hours in their church’s HGC department.

          A whole nicely cleverly written description of the church staff members’ statistics that they live and die to keep trending upwards, would be a challenge to make interesting to read about.

          What is truly dismally shocking, is the total number of fully trained Class 4, Class 5, Class 6, Class 8, Class 9 and Class 12 auditors they do NOT make, each year.

          The church keeps detailed statistics, all broken down, showing each church’s and mission’s growth, or not, for decades.

          They obviously have no desire to let the details be public.

          The dismal statistics of failed growth, are grounds to remove Miscavige from his position.

          He’s blamed the two top councils for over two decades, with the lack of church growth, but Miscavige has done nothing to build he two top councils, and for that, Hubbard absolutely would have removed Miscavige from “power” decades ago.

          Miscavige’s greatest internal failing, is his failure to leave the top two councils in such a decimated state, for so long.

        • Jgg2012

          “4.4 million people touched by Scientology”. Yes, literally touched, ie handed a flyer or coupon, or tapped on the shoulder asked to try a stress test.

    • Ze Moo

      The common response of the ‘meet a scientologist’ tweets just points to sea arrgghhh twits using the provided script or some Mumbai ‘social engineering’ company following the provided script. Either response is just laughable.

      These local ads only covered 30-40 million viewers, what would have happened if the whole country saw it??

    • YouTube seems to have sterilized the list of additional videos that show up next to the ad. Only Scientology produced videos show up. Comments disabled, of course. That right there should be a sign to anyone considering a pretend life with the cult.

  • mirele

    Wonder if Davey is slap-happy this morning? Hoping those who service him are keeping him away from the #Scientology twitter feed.

    • John P.

      I don’t think Dave will be awake for a few more hours. I seem to recall various people in the know saying that he stays up until quite late and gets up at 10 or noon. Sort of like the work style of that other recently departed tiny tyrant, Kim Jong-Il. And I’m sure that he will be getting all sorts of reports showing just how many pro-cult Twitter items that the lame PR staff posted (10x more pro-Scientology Twitter posts than in the previous three months combined!!!!).

      • DeElizabethan

        I remember upon going back for this experience during those events, they wouldn’t even say “in the previous three…”. I was astonished like 10x, 5x What is this? Usually on a screen with just that after the course, levels, completions, etc. Completely left in the dark with blind faith, yuk, and don’t ask.

      • Hey, that’s my work style too! Maybe I should found a cult.

      • I think Dave was probably at a some public venue with some Scn Celeb types. Some big Superbowl party in an Uber upscale sports bar just ready to puff out his diminutive chest at the awed reaction of the assembled wogs. And then… Silence. Incredulity. Derisive laughter. Obscene retorts. And they slunk out the door, hiding their faces.

    • Sherbet

      Somehow, inside cos there will be enough spin put on the ad and its results, so that DM et al will celebrate it as a win rather than a big fat embarrassing fail.

      • BosonStark

        That’s a given. Take the newspapers linking to the ad on YouTube. That’ll be data for COS of all the people who are interested in Scientology brainwashyness. Members won’t give that a second thought.

        Most of the hits on Scientology’s main website come from people who just want to see how the nutty cult portrays and tries to sell itself. Over the years, I’ve gone there accidentally over a dozen times.

        But, like others, I think it is mainly a reminder for people to buy Wright’s book. They may think, “Isn’t there a book out about Tom Cruise’s cult of nuts — I should read that.”

    • FistOfXenu

      Yeah, he’s going to be “touching” a few people for $cientology today.

  • DeElizabethan

    LMAO! This is Fantabulus – thanks to all the good people out there for speaking up. Love you guys and gals!

  • Koondog

    Agree on that last one. Fuck, that is funny.

  • #lulz

  • sugarplumfairy

    Lol.. “best looking cult members ever..” and “so that’s what will smith’s money is paying for..”

    I think co$ just found a new scam.. Pay 7.8 million (or whatever) for a Super Bowl ad, but reg members for 10 times that amount..

    It’s the superpower building all over again..

    • The cult members may have been good looking, but so were the kids in Village of the Damned. The stare undoes any attractiveness.

      • FistOfXenu

        Nice catch! That girl looks like she could be one of those kids but until you said that I couldn’t remember what she made me think of

    • Ze Moo

      How much did CO$ pay for the 10 markets local ads?? My Buffalo NY friend did not see the CO$ ad. It may have been preempted by Time Warner cable, they often sell their own commercials and overwrite the local broadcast channels ad content. This makes broadcast and cable customers very difficult to count for advertising purposes. The usual local commercials I saw were for a heating/cooling/furnace repair company and an ambulance chasing law firm. I doubt that either 30 second spot cost more then $2,000.

      MIscavige may have spent less then $20,000 for all of the CO$ local ads. Ok, Los Angles cost more then Albany or Buffalo, but I would think that CO$ spent a total of less then $50,000 for the total Super Bowl media buy.

      I have been seeing the ad on popular CBS shows since New Years. I don’t know if they are national or local buys. Lets call that 10 spots (2 per week) at a max of 300k for a national buy. That gives a total of 3 million spent on all CO$ tv advertising since the start of the year. Not much for a cult with 1 billion in the bank. Let’s see how long this ‘medial blitz’ continues.

      • John P.

        I think your estimate of the costs of the Scientology ad buy during the Super Bowl is a bit low. You may be conflating two different things: an area-wide ad on the local network affiliate versus a highly localized cable spot. In the NYC “combined metropolitan statistical area” (22.1 million population), there would be little sense in a highly geographically dependent business such as a plumbing/heating company advertising in the whole of the region. Let’s say that the heating company serves Monmouth County NJ (population 600k). That’s less than 3% of the population of the area reached by WCBS, so 97% of their ad dollars are by definition wasted and thus a Super Bowl ad would be a gross waste of money. Cable can help businesses with a smaller trading area reach their relevant customers more efficiently, by broadcasting the ad relatively close to their actual trading area, rather than to the whole metro area.

        If you look at the local affiliate’s share of the nationwide advertising fee, the local affiliate in NYC would get approximately 7.1% (22.1 metropolitan region divided by 310 million US population) of the $3.8 million for a 30 second spot, or $270,000 (assuming the network doesn’t take a piece off the top, and assuming that total population is 100% correlated with viewing households). So an ad for a heating business in Monmouth County that is broadcast only to a small part of the total metropolitan area would cost around $7,330 (600k Monmouth County population/22,100k regional market). There’s probably an uplift for the cable company dividing up the area, risking some unsold inventory in other counties. So they maybe paid $10,000 or so for the ad in a highly specific market. But that’s for a micro-targeted ad, not for the whole regional market.

        In looking at the cult’s ad buys, it would seem doubtful that they could narrow their broadcast area within the markets they announced they’d hit to the granularity that cable would offer. In the LA media market, there are culties all over, including the West Side, the Valley, “Inland Empire” (the spiffy term for the wasteland that includes Hemet) and Orange County. Scientologists are probably fairly diffuse within the area. So I would suggest that the cult has to advertise in the entire metropolitan market in order to reach their audience of existing Scientologists.

        So I would suggest that the cult is probably reaching 20% of the US population by buying area-wide ads in the markets they identified (I didn’t take time to go back and add it up). I highly doubt that they can target their members so efficiently that they could save money by buying ads at the zip-code or city boundary level. So a one-minute spot in regional markets probably means that they paid $1.6 million to cover the target areas, if they got the inventory at list price. As I have said before, depending on when, exactly, the cult hatched this plan, they could have ended up spending substantially more on this inventory, because they would need to have outbid the company who already had the slot. That could easily double the expense. Thus, I’d suggest that a total ad buy of $4 million (2.5x the $1.6 million “raw” cost of hitting 20% of the US market with a one-minute Super Bowl spot) is more reasonable. It’s a discount off the cost of a nationwide spot, but I’m reasonably certain that the network would not have offered a slot to the cult, which is not one of their best customers, when the slots were sold at the Spring “upfront” sales back in May or June of last year.

        • Midwest Mom

          According to Media Bistro, the Top Ten TV markets for last night’s Super Bowl viewing were:

          1. Baltimore, Maryland
          2. New Orleans, Louisiana
          3. Washington, D.C.
          4. Norfolk, Virginia
          5. Dayton, Ohio
          6. Columbus, Ohio
          7. Indianapolis, Indiana
          8. Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia
          9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
          10. Jacksonville, Florida

  • I watched the Superbowl with a crowd. When the Scientology ad aired, you could have heard a pin drop. Then this guy right by me says to the girl he was with (I think she missed part of it) “they just aired an ad for Scientology, to which she replied, “no way!”

  • monkeyknickers

    Wait – Colin Quinn was being serious??

    I haven’t had coffee yet and my subtle sarcasm detector only functions after I main-line a pot of dark roast.

    • sugarplumfairy

      It said (promoted) after his comment.. Does that mean he was paid?

      • TonyOrtega

        I thought my comment on Quinn’s tweet made it pretty clear — he was riffing on the Atlantic magazine fiasco by claiming that his message was sponsored or promoted.

        • sugarplumfairy

          Forgive me.. I hate to blame it on Lawrence Wright, but I just finished the book and I’m almost sure the huge section on lrh thinned out my grey matter.. its either that or the blonde highlights I got this weekend..

          • DeElizabethan

            Sugar, I know what you mean! I lost some hair over that section, but by golly, it’s grown back. Always nice to have company.

      • No, he was imitating The Atlantic’s Scientology ad. A subtle joke.

    • Sherbet

      Wasn’t Quinn referring to the Atlantic ad, as in, he was paid to say what he did? He was joking.

      • monkeyknickers

        Thank god. I started to feel rheumy for a sec.

      • I thought that Quinn was trying to see if he could bait them into recruiting him as raw celebrity meat, not understanding what he meant by the “(promoted)” bit. He’s always been good with subtle humor.

  • BosonStark

    $3.4M was worth it because it worked and it helped people. Many people skipped the rest of the game and sought out their local Scientology Org for processing instead. Scientology membership expanded exponentially from millions to billions because of that single ad.

    • AnthonyKlinger

      yep that will be the inside scn spin; “with that one commercial scientology has touched the lives of billions of people world-wide”

    • And the proof of that: Shortly thereafter all those e-meters being plugged in in New Orleans overloaded the power grid and plunged the game into darkness!

  • Dean Blair

    The expensive Scientology ad was for the benefit of the people who are still in. They see it and then think that Scientology is expanding because it’s on National TV when in reality it is not expanding. It is shrinking and contracting.

    • Midwest Mom

      It wasn’t on national T.V., though. The ads were limited to a handful of local markets. πŸ˜‰

      • 1subgenius

        You get his point though, right?

        • Midwest Mom

          Yep! I sure do! I was only mentioning it, since it wasn’t seen by everyone who was watching the Super Bowl. πŸ™‚

    • 1subgenius

      The expensive Scientology ad was for the benefit of the people who are still in.

      Yes. Otherwise it would have aired everywhere.

  • Midwest Mom

    All of the Sci’s watching the Super Bowl, in the limited markets where their ad played, were probably giddy with excitement over it. I’ll bet they were high fiving each other, jumping up and down and fainting from their extreme joy of “clearing the planet”.

    New members will be swarming into orgs, with credit cards in hand a n y minute now……………..(yawn)………….
    yep, there are going to be swarms of them, ………………………….they’re probably caught in traffic, but they’ll be breaking down the doors……………..Scientology: “Winning” (ha ha for the rest of the world, the word is “Failing”), just by being Scientology!!

    • BosonStark

      Exactly. This ad was not done to attract raw meat, but to impress existing membership. It is to get them gloating and rejoicing, so they don’t notice Wright’s or Jenna’s book.

      • Observer

        That could be problematic, at least for public Scilons. Unless they’re cut off entirely from wog society the chances are increasing that they’ll run into someone who will ask them point-blank about the entheta in these books and won’t accept the lame “they’re just bitter defrocked apostates, come into an org and find out for yourself” answer.

        • Ze Moo

          Today’s scieno’s have to have the blinders on very tight to function in wog society. I think that is why so many drop out after a few ‘courses’. “Entheta” trumps ‘theta’ all the time. Not much of a belief system is it?

        • BosonStark

          Except for people who read Wright’s book, ex-members or those of us who follow it,I think the big difference will be an attitude change in the public and in the media that members will notice. While it was ALWAYS a little embarrassing for some members to tell wogs they are into this, if they were charming clams at all, they probably got a curious and sometimes receptive audience. Now they are going to get people with a more questioning and challenging attitude or who dismiss it as a scam all together.

          I don’t live where there’s an Org nearby, but if I were to run into a clam who wanted to sell me Scientology, I would just tell them that Hubbard claimed that you could get pneumonia if you found out about Xenu the Evil Galactic Overlord too soon. That is a lie, and there are many other lies.

          If they said “Xenu who?” because they are not near that level, I would tell them that the handwritten Xenu story, in Hubbard’s writing, is on the Web and that the cult charges you hundreds of thousands of dollars to work your way up to read the same thing in OTIII. Why wait when you can read it now?

          I would not bring up Sea Org slavery or Slappy’s violence, because they might not have a chance to experience that like they will Xenu. If the person didn’t seem to be a bird brain, I would then mention Wright’s book.

          Just being argumentative, without being specific about something SIMPLE they could look up, like Xenu, would just makes some clams feel like it is an opportunity to use their “tools” to block entheta.

    • Renee G

      They were not only giddy about it, they were marketing around it. Here in the South Bay, I noticed the Ideal Orgtards out in force this week. First came the stealth distribution of their “free movie” tickets, via the creepy smiley lady walking around on the street with a shopping bag, ambushing the passersby by thrusting these things into your hand before you realize what she is doing, then yesterday they had the stress test table out. This was festooned with 49ers colors– red tablecloth, gold emeters, and the creepily dressed people manning it and trying not to look uncomfortable as everyone ignored them. You know the look– cheap, dark polyester suits, white shirts, one dude was wearing a VEST. Hellooooo— this is South Bay— NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY dresses like that, people! NOTE TO SCIENTOLOGY: If you want to try and position yourself as a young, hip, edgy kind of religion, for Xenu’s sake– STOP DRESSING YOUR FOLKS LIKE DORKS.

  • Ze Moo

    My Buffalo NY source says he didn’t see the scieno ad. It might have been preempted by the local cable companies ad, but he didn’t see it. “disappointing lack of goats.” Maybe some pictures of Lron would solve the lack of ‘goatyness’?

    • Observer


    • TheNextMrsTomCruise

      You are pretty damn funny for a cow.

      • Chocolate Velvet

        Ze Moo is hilarious!

        Although I must admit, the avatar makes me think — mmm, grilled steak. πŸ™‚

        • Ze Moo

          CV, all bovines know that their finest hour is as ‘filet mignon’.

    • At least no tomatoes were tortured in the making of that ad.

    • FistOfXenu

      the lack of “goatee-ness” could’ve been fixed by showing a picture of JT sporting his chin-worm.

      • Ze Moo

        Some one called that JT look, ‘chin-pubes’. That and JT’s ‘chia hair’ give me a good laugh……

        • FistOfXenu

          How about “chin-Brazilian”?

          • Observer


            • FistOfXenu

              I like that one. Chinzillian but we might have to translate it initially for people that don’t know what we’re talking about.

            • Midwest Mom

              I must point out, that using the tern “Brazilian” with regard to hair, usually means full removal of hair by wax treatments, thus, no chin hairs would be present.

              How about chinny tails?

            • FistOfXenu

              I suspected it might be wrong but chinny tails isn’t pubic enough. I’m told a clearer description is “landing strip” but that could sound too macho like a reference to JT’s plane fetish. Anyway my partner also says “brazilian” can be okay sometimes but when she tries to explain why I get the urge to go to the kitchen for a beer. πŸ™‚

            • Midwest Mom

              Speedo tails? Thigh locks? Travolta locks? Revolting locks? Dreaded locks? don’t know if I’m much help with this, since I”m blushing a great deal already. Sorry!

  • Ms. B. Haven

    “Dare to think”

    Ya, I double dog dare ya to “think for yourself” and see if you can avoid a trip to the ethics officer. Heck, I would even dare you to politely decline to write a success story after finishing a course or auditing action and see what happens. Unfortunately the uninitiated won’t know that.

    Actually it was a beautiful ad from an aesthetics point of view, but that’s it. The whole tone of the ad was real world thru and thru. If anyone gets sucked in by it, there will be a massive dose of cognitive dissidence as soon as they walk thru the doors of any mission or org. Any mission or org I have been in most definitely does not ‘feel’ like that ad. Hopefully that will be enough of a red flag to prevent any further involvement. Hopefully.

    • “cognitive dissidence” best. misspell. ever.

      • FistOfXenu

        Thought it was just me. That deserves to be the name of an Anon Manifesto, and Ms B Haven deserves credit for coining it. πŸ˜‰

        • Ms. B. Haven

          one of those damn Freudian slippers…

          • Vision of all those anonymous slipper wearing cognitive dissidents clicking their heels together shouting “there’s no place for Ron, there’s no place for Ron”

            • FistOfXenu

              Exactly! And carrying signs with contrasting pairs of Ron statements or contrasting pairs of facts but usually accepted by $cienos in isolation from each other. Maybe even chanting them in unison like “Ron said A in __ but Ron said not-A in __”. Youtube vids just putting stuff side by side. People walking up to body-routers and saying “Ron said __ but then he also said not-__ which one is right?” and so on. and t shirts. Don’t forget t shirts. and the slippers! 1 fact on the right foot and the contradictory fact on the left foot.

              “We are Cognitive Dissidents. We are Dissonant. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

          • stillgrace

            “Cognitive dissidence” was not a Freudian slip. It was sheer awesomeness.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              yeah, this is a keeper fer sure!

          • Ok. I just have to riff on this….

          • John P.

            Freudian slippers? What does this have to do with footwear for psychiatrists? More specifically, this kind of footwear for psychiatrists:

            • stillgrace

              Oh no! I was so unprepared for that one! I want a pair!!

        • “cognitive dissidence”: it’s when your brain refuses to surrender to the scientology mindfuck.

    • dbloch7986

      Actually, I thought it was quite unimaginative and crude. None of the people in the video spoke. It was just a bunch of people staring at things or into the camera. Occasionally there was a smiling person. It honestly looked like a bunch of stock footage for corporate training videos.

      A much better commercial would have been a video of a volcanic eruption, followed by an atom bomb, followed by a shot of a bunch of souls stuck in the sky screaming and squirming. Then a JJ Abrams flare to darkness and “” in the middle of the screen.

      It might have tricked people into thinking it was a video game or something.

      • sugarplumfairy

        I still think that one chick with the big eyes is trying to hypnotize me..

        • Midwest Mom

          She’s hungry. She wants your food.

          • sugarplumfairy

            Lol.. I have an apple and cheese doodles for lunch.. she can have the apple..

            • dbloch7986

              LOL That would be funny if I didn’t gain all this extra weight after I left the Sea Org. It’s true, you start to miss food after a while πŸ™ lol

            • sugarplumfairy

              I wish we lived close.. I’d be your personal trainer.. Everybody tells me I remind them of Jillian, the evil exercise guru.. (personality-wise, anyway..)

            • dbloch7986

              That would be awesome. I am going to be getting a gym membership within the next couple of months. I’m trying to shift my budgets around so I can afford it.

            • Poison Ivy

              They trick is writing everything down that you eat & drink (and your exercise as well.) Doing the math and monitoring yourself. They’ve done studies and found the one consistent similarity between people who had lost over 50 pounds and kept it off for a year or more is writing everything down. It keeps you accountable. I use MyNet…recommended it to Mr. Poison Ivy who eschewed it at first but then listened to The Wife and promptly (well, over 7 months) lost 30 pounds.

            • Midwest Mom

              My tip requires having someone take a candid photo of you (when you don’t expect it) in a bathing suit (usually when you squinting and and have just slathered sun block all over yourself, so you look extra pasty) while you are getting up from your beach towel or chaise lounge. I guarantee that placing this on the refrigerator will motivate anyone to do crunches and will motivate you to stay away from bathing suit-unfriendly food and second helpings for a while!

            • “7 months” IS “promptly” for a real, sustainable weight loss. Crash weight losses are just about always regained, just about as quickly, often with an overshot to more weight than before.

            • Renee G

              There’s an app for that— My Fitness Pal. Awesone.

      • Throw in some Sea Org zombies and my kids would totally go for it.

        *holding arms out front* “Moooooney. Mooooney Give us your moooney.”

      • Or maybe they should have tried the spiel Tory Magoo reveals in her latest YouTube. They use this on high school students. Make it spooky ominous. Break it to them that the world will end in 2 years time. You don’t want to die. You don’t want your family to die. Who is doing something about this?

        Join Sea Org now and save the planet.

        Be all that you can be, that is.

        • dbloch7986

          That’s exactly what they used on me to get me to join the Sea Org.

          • I’m sorry. Were you a teenager? It sounds like they use it over and over again. It’s despicable.

            • dbloch7986

              Yeah I was 15

            • Snippy_X


    • Poison Ivy

      Agreed, Mrs. B. Haven. I thought it was very polished and – had it been for anything else other than Scientology – would’ve made a profound impression for whatever real brand it was touting. Thankfully, today we have The Google. And I’d wager that any iconoclastic young person watching would hit his or her google to find out what the ad wasn’t talking about. #Fail

  • It has been said before. Scientology can’t even buy good press anymore.

  • Daverator

    Scientology ad – “That knowledge is more than words on a page.”
    β€œIf it isn’t written it isn’t true.” – L. Ron Hubbard

    • 1subgenius

      Nice one.

    • β€œIf it isn’t written it isn’t true.” – L. Ron Hubbard
      And as someone pointed out on ESMB leads to the belief that if it is written it IS true.

      My favourite tweet which I mentioned last night; “Scientology; Because space aliens are causing your depression”.

    • richelieu jr

      I’d have to go with Hubbard on this one. He certainly knows a lot about things that aren’t true…

  • BosonStark

    That commercial was deeply thought provoking. What do football fans know? What does football mean anyway? It’s like fishing, except instead of waiting, waiting, waiting, you get butt numb watching steroid-enhanced men running back and forth, throwing an odd shaped ball about. It’s meaningless in terms of knowingness and thinkingness.

    Instead of watching this farce of a sport, couch potatoes could get off their fat asses and be working out, and tanning, preparing for an entire day spent at the local Org to have their mind and spirits blown out, so that they can have total control over mass, energy, space and time — all for less than the price of a seat on the 50 yard line.

    • Would it have helped the Niners win? ‘Cause then I might have to sign up.

      • FistOfXenu

        You believe in time travel AND lost causes? πŸ˜‰

        • *sigh*

          *face plant* Not really. *pout*

          • FistOfXenu

            There there, Gayle. They just had an off-night. Next year!

            • Damn tootin’! Next year our QB won’t still be wet behind the ears. And maybe even our defense will be invited to the game.

    • FistOfXenu

      the SB is to help develop eatingness, drinkingness, sittingness and beingness. The popularity of mindlessly occupying couches and sideline seats promotes passivityness and spendingness. The first two are important so the new raw meat have a reserve to live off when there’s a shortage of rice and beans. the rest of them just get people in the habit of sitting through the terminally boring rants by DM and the hours of talking to the soup cans with Class IX drongo attached to them.

  • The most embarrassing public bullshittery since Neville Chamberlain’s “Peace in our time”.

  • I am not sure if this has been overlooked or not. This ad was made in 2012, none of the fundraising for the SB ad campaign went to production. The cult is recycling old videos just like their ORG’s to scam their members form money. How truly pathetic.

  • scnethics

    There’s blood in the water, and they’re trying to clean it up with dynamite – doing more to spread our message, than their own.

  • DeElizabethan

    T’would be interesting Tony if you can see what percent of pro twits in the same time period occurred. Later wouldn’t count.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    I just had one of my supervisors tell me the following about a arrogant/problem employee:
    She doesn’t know enough yet to not know what she doesn’t know.

    This guy could go to work for Davey writing ad copy!

    • Oy. Sounds like he’s drinking from the same watercooler she is.

    • dagobarbz

      There is actually a psychology term for that, not knowing how much you don’t know. But I don’t remember what it is.

    • DeElizabethan

      That line was used on me from my old OSA friend when I resigned. I told him I knew more than he thought I knew and more than I needed to know for a decision.

      • Poison Ivy

        And look how right you are! πŸ™‚

    • dbloch7986

      Well that could have been said better, but I understand the sentiment.

    • moxonmoxoff

      or my personal favorite, from my dad to some whippersnapper: boy, i’ve forgotten more than you know.

      • Ziontologist

        I was just gonna say, BTN has probably forgotten more than this other person ever knew in the first place …

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Who is BTN?

          • sugarplumfairy

            I’ve forgotten..

          • Ziontologist

            Hi, BTN … Peek-a-boo, I see you!

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Oh yeah…this BTN person..that’s me….I had forgotten!

    • Unex Skcus

      Must be an ‘unknown unknown’…

  • Mary_McConnell

    My favorite is Scott Lowe’s : “Hey America…”

  • I missed the entire stupid bowl (and your online party) due to illness but was spending my day catching up on Downton Abbey episodes. Then I peek back at Tony’s site only to see a major spoiler in the plot given….argh. Thanks, Tony.

    • TheNextMrsTomCruise

      It is a tribute to Tony’s remarkable journalistic prowess that he can live blog the Super Bowl and Downton Abbey simultaneously without missing a beat.

    • moxonmoxoff

      hope you’re feeling better. i have the cheetoh flu today.

    • Midwest Mom

      Deck, I made my famous root beer floats. (Also, Bates looked pretty good in his prison thug duds on Downton Abbey). ;]

      • Poison Ivy

        Funny, in America, you don’t immediately get let out of prison when they discover a new hearsay witness.

        And have you noticed that Daisy is carrying a tray in almost every shot?

        That aside, Mr. Poison Ivy and myself LOVE our Downton. It’s such an addiction. It’s a soap opera, but such a lovely one. I tend to talk to the screen (and the characters a lot) when I’m watching. Like when Matthew was refusing his late fiancee’s dad’s money. I kept shouting “Get over yourself!” at him. This I don’ t do at many series.

        • Midwest Mom

          I admit to yelling at the screen when Sir Anthony hesitated in saying his vows to Lady Edith and then said that he couldn’t go through with the marriage, leaving her begging him to go through with it, but he still turned and walked down the aisle and then straight out of the chapel, leaving her in tears and filled with immense sadness. Poor Edith! Now she’s disgracing the family by (gulp) writing in the newspaper. How unladylike! It may be fine for the Churchills, but not Lord Grantham’s family!

          • DodoTheLaser


        • DodoTheLaser

          Darn, now I will have to check Downton out. Might be a good change from being obsessed with Homeland.

          • Midwest Mom

            I love Homeland, too! πŸ˜‰

            • DodoTheLaser

              Homeland is my therapy right now. Along with Lawrence Wright’s book.

              Somehow, they have a lot in common.

          • Poison Ivy

            Downton Abbey is sort of the opposite of Homeland…it is about the most basic, mundane things but because of the period (including the gorgeous production design) and the characters, it is addicting. Even though many plot points in Season 2 jumped the shark. It’s also set against the period of change when England began losing its empire and industrialization and economic realities made the former semi-feudal lives of the peerage untenable. It’s about nice rich people who just want to be able to keep their castle-like manors and their servants, dammit! (originally taken from the clergy by Henry VIII during the “English reformation” when he made himself head of the Church of England). And the goodly servants who just want to stay employed. Julian Fellowes loves his characters – and his audience (and is very nice to us.) Sad things DO happen but mostly things seem to work out for almost everyone you care about. Even though he hits us over the head with his theme about every ten minutes, “Times are changing, you can’t get in the way of progress.”

            • DodoTheLaser

              Thanky, Ivy.

          • Homeland was so-so. Downton Abbey is more soap-opera-y but pretty to look at.

            • DodoTheLaser

              “Homeland was so-so.”

              Really?! Any other TV suggestions?

      • I’ve watched all three seasons since I got sick on Friday night. I’m a fan of binge watching…..

        Downton Abbey is really a silly soap opera that weaves in interesting historical events. It’s sort of a Mad Men meets Gosford Park. Mad Lordshipmen.

        I love it but I’ve had many moments of “zomg….they just jumped the shark.”

    • aboutandout

      Hanging my head in shame, I downloaded Season 3 from itunes last weekend and watched it all (: I just couldn’t resist..

  • dwayners13

    It’s going to take much, much more than a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl to overcome the negative image that Scientology has earned over the years. The tweets that came after the ad spoke volumes in terms of how people view Scientology. The two main reactions seemed to be anger or sarcasm & if anything it will only cause more people to become aware of the realities of the church. While it will cause some people to become curious about Scientology, the last thing the church wants is people doing their own research, especially because it will most likely be done on the Internet. Before the web became as popular & available as it is now, the church had more control over the information, that’s not the case today. As we all know, if you do a search for Scientology, your going to get several options, however only a few will be favorable to the church & those will be from the church.
    The Internet has become the bane of Miscavige, simply because of the power it gives to individuals to spread the truth about the church. No longer can the church control the information the public has access to. Even the media is no longer afraid of the church & thus they are starting to reveal the realities of abuse, greed, disconnection & of course Xenu & the alien parasites.
    Unless the OT committee has some serious powers of time travel or things us wogs could not even conceive of, the gig is up for Davy boy & church.

    • I am in agreement with this. Well said.

    • In 1980, after 10 roller coaster years on staff, I walked (quietly) away from , anti social, SCN. (and my SCN sis is still disconnected for 33 years) Here’s my big thank you to all y’all for leaving with a shout (a voice). Awesome!

      • q-bird

        Oh Kimberly. My heart goes out to you & your sister.

        It kills me softly that this is what has been true for you.
        Your voice is heard here. You survive & so there is hope. Reconnection must be a possilility.

        Thank you for posting. <3

      • Poison Ivy

        Welcome Kimberly. Sorry about your sister…but look at how many others have found their way out! Have hope!

      • Midwest Mom

        Thanks for joining us here, Kimberly. I hope you continue to comment and give your feedback. πŸ™‚

    • richelieu jr

      ‘Bane of Miscavige’ is one of my favourite Irish lullabies.. McCartney’s version is excellent…

    • Poison Ivy

      Word. If Davey is waiting it out for this rash of “bad publicity” to blow over so they can go on pretending to be good spiritual samaritans again, it aint’ gonna work this time.

    • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

      We in RTC ask why Tony Ortega refused to post copies of the 54,917,683 tweets that were overwhelmingly positive in favor of Scientology.

      The fact is that Scientology is more than just a designer religion for rich movie stars; it is a religion for anyone with money.

      The fact is that emotionally disturbed rich people think differently and dare to be different because they don’t know any better. They think it is okay to drive their cars on the sidewalk, cheat on their taxes, lock their children in dark closets, or take a golf club out of the back seat lash out at complete strangers.

      That is the demographic we in the Church of Scientology want. We want emotionally disturbed rich people.

      The rest of you people can go join some wog R6 implant religion or jump off a bridge. We in the Church of Scientology really don’t care anymore and will soon stop pretending that we do.

      • DodoTheLaser

        I knew it! Thank you for your positive theta message, SIr!

        1. I was one of those 54,917,683 twitters, but like the rest of them, I forgot my twitter password, since I changed it from 8008 to something more wogish and less memorable.

        2. The disturbed rich people also have paintings of them placing their hand on their much younger pregnant wife’s exposed belly. (Sorry, John P and the rest of humanity).

        3. Jenna Miscavige’s book is coming out today. She says hi to her uncle.

        Much ARC, Dodo.

        • John P.

          The disturbed rich people also have paintings of them placing their hand on their much younger pregnant wife’s exposed belly. (Sorry, John P and the rest of humanity).

          We in Global Capitalism HQ take a certain amount of umbrage over the fact that you feel the need to apologize to us. We find terrible taste in expensive but tacky Elvis-on-black-velvet style portraiture of pregnant women at least as repulsive as you do. We must object to any characterization that implies that all rich people are beset with similarly awful taste. We abhor such things and work very hard to make sure that we are never affiliated with such garish displays.

          Sane and tasteful rich people hope to remain a breed apart from such nouveau riche as the Feshbachs. We at Global Captialism HQ work tirelessly to suffuse our lives with an aura of restrained, refined taste. Most assuredly, none of us would have such a painting in our homes. Heck, when we wish to do something as trifling as making changes to the interiors of our jets, we must submit the plans to a industry-wide “Aircraft Interior Review Board” (Air-B) before making them. This ensures that no one has heart-shaped beds with rhinestone-encrusted red velour headboards aboard. The consequences are severe, because only one client who sees such a tasteless monstrosity when we are ferrying them to the Super Bowl or some other playground of the idle rich, might be tempted to pull their assets, thinking we are investing as irresponsibly as we are living, and that we might be gouging them on the management fees we charge, which would threaten our very existence.

          In fact, you may recall an incident on the campaign trail last year where Ann Romney’s private jet developed a small electrical problem that triggered the smoke detectors, at which point Mitt considered putting in windows that opened. Air-B immediately swooned in horror, fearing justifiably that such windows (setting aside the fact that they were technically improbable, to say the least) would enable Ms. Romney to lean out of the plane and wave imperiously at “those people” below, the sort of behavior we work so assiduously to stamp out. When Air-B put out the memo, donations from the hedge fund community to the Romney campaign dried up virtually overnight. Recall that Romney held a substantial lead over the Obama campaign at the time he clinched the GOP nomination in donations from financial institutions, but shortly after the airplane incident, the picture changed completely.

          So if you were to understand just how hard we work to project an appropriate image of taste and class to the public, you would understand why we resist so vehemently being lumped in with “art collectors” such as the Feshbachs. Thus, no apology necessary. Thank you.

  • I totally managed to miss the commercial. Love the reactions, though. It’s nice to see that most of America recognizes them for what they are, even if the politicians are gutless.

  • dagobarbz

    This is funny. I come here and other places, read comments by people I know. This is a totally random collection of People I Don’t Know displaying their awareness that Scientology is Eeebil Cult.

    And this is funny because I am sure somewhere in business school there’s a rule about advertising once your reputation has dropped below a certain level of popularity with the general public. In short, Scientology sucks, people are aware that Scientology sucks, and now they are discussing it in context of the Super Bowl.

    Water coolers are leaking entheta today as people make fun of that ad in offices across the country. There should be a law that states that, at some point, advertising simply brings up all the crazy/weird/bad things your organization has gotten recent media coverage for. Call it Graham’s Law if there isn’t one, and join me in a hefty snicker at Scientology’s expense.

    We are winning this!

    • dbloch7986

      I don’t know about you, but I avoid discussing religion at work like the plague.

      • Observer

        I think this wouldn’t be so much a discussion about religion as a discussion about Scientology’s weird ad, with perhaps some marveling that Scn thinks they would appeal to people.

      • FistOfXenu

        No problem then db, $cientology isn’t a religion, it’s a criminal organization and a money-making scam. So go ahead and talk about $cientology all you want.

      • I avoid discussing religion, too—but $cientology is NOT a religion: It IS a FLAT OUT BUSINESS. “Think for yourselves” ARE YOU KIDDING ME DAVEY BOY? You are THE laughing stock of the world..and the hits just keeeeeeeeeeeep on comin πŸ™‚

      • dagobarbz

        Scientology doesn’t count as a religion. It’s more like Amway with thetans.

    • richelieu jr

      I imagine you are right at some level, but I do think there is a certain logic (not to mention a sort of amphetemine-fueled, all-in, chutzpah) in realizing the danger represented by Wright’s book and the surge of pubicity around Katie Holmes and the slew of book and reporting and saying “We’re not getting out word out, all eyes are on us for better of worse we’ll never get a bigger audience than this–” and then swinging for the fences…

      Will it work. 40 million people saw it and if 99.99% of them think it is utter bollocks, that still leaves quite a few 401ks to bleed dry…

      It is perhaps ill-advised and certainly risky as hell, but I don’t think it is utterly insane.

      • John P.

        Yes, if this were a recruitment drive, it would be a “swing for the fences” move. But how effective might it be? Audience was estimated at north of 110 million viewers, perhaps even 120 million. Let’s assume that their inquiry rate is 0.1% (1 in a thousand) who are motivated to go to the web site (for other than comic relief value). That would give 120,000 prospects that would go to the Web site to check out the cult. And let’s assume that 99% of that 120,000 drops out, either because they read bad stuff on the Internet or they just don’t think it’s all that interesting once they’ve read the marketing materials that the cult provides, which, after all, do everything possible to avoid giving you any details about what Scientologists actually do and what they believe.

        So now you’re down to 1,200 prospects. What percentage of people who are interested actually go into their local org to get a free personality test? Maybe 10% at most. After all, many of the Idle Orgs outside California are not exactly located in easy-to-reach places. Think: Florence, KY versus downtown Cincinnati. Think: Times Square, at least 90 minutes each way for people in the metropolitan area located outside Manhattan.

        Then how many of those 120 people who walk in the door actually sign up? Hard to tell, but I would bet that the “close rate” is less than 25%. So perhaps 30 of the original 120,000 prospective customers sign up for an actual Scientology course. Out of those, I’d be surprised if 10 actually get anywhere near the OT levels; others will be dropped because they’re not rich enough. That may be generous given Miscavige’s mismanagement, which seems to be geared towards preventing people from making any progress on “the Bridge.”

        The $4 million ad buy could thus conceivably net only about 10 really viable recruits. That’s $400k per recruit, which means they pay almost the same amount to acquire a new customer as they could expect in lifetime revenue for that customer. That is definitely not a winning proposition; it’s a formula for bankruptcy. Compare this to cell phone carriers, who spend between $300 and $500 to acquire a new customer (advertising, marketing, discounts, subsidies on phone purchase) but who make $3,000 or more over the two-year contract, and even more for the full customer lifetime for happy customers who stay beyond the minimum contract.

        • Ze Moo

          Karin Prouw or one of her predecessors admitted that only 5% of the people who start courses make it to Ot3. That translates to 1.5 customers paying 400k.

          Davey was preaching to the choir. I bet the ‘choir’ is still sharpening their knives……

        • richelieu jr

          Once again, my posts seem late; maybe I’m doing something wrong?.. Here goes!
          Your numbers seem pretty sensible, but I do think it isn’t always a good idea to imagine the Scilons (and esp Miscavige) doing an clear-eyed cost-benefit analysis, even a quick back-of-the-envelope one like you just threw down here..

          I have often thought there may be a big reason for Miscavige’s nearly suicidal mismanagement (not that Hubbard was any management genius, to be sure– and excluding his violence) and that is–

          He may really believe this shit– (More than the old man did, any way..)

          And if they truly believe that people are hungry for this stuff, and all you have to do is pitch it right.. Then that may be just the added edge to push them over into foolhardy risk…

          The stuff I read about how he micromanaged Battlefield Earth, all the time thinking he had a monster hit on his hands (before it failed and he put it all on Travolta’s, ahem, ‘tone scale’ problem, convinced me that he can get really removed from reality and start placing crazy, bets..

          Hubbard would never have done that because he knew, at least somewhere deep inside, that his kind risked hot tar, chicken feathers and the first rail out of town.. He’d need some quick’ get outta jail money’, etc… Miscavige could really lose the whole farm.. Not on this particular venture, but I smell desperation…

          I think you are clearly better at math than either Miscavige or I, John P.!

          • Tod

            When I started watching Scientology over 10 years ago, I figured in my cynical way that Miscavige is aware of the con and just in it for the money. In the last year, I have become convinced that he’s a true believer, because only a true believer could fuck up so badly.

          • N. Graham

            I think it’s possible that Wee Davey, having become indoctrinated at an early age in the religion (becoming reportedly a top auditor),and at least outwardly very committed, in his head has created his own version of the scriptures. In this version in Mr. D’s head he is the Jesus to L.Ron’s God. He is a “big person” with no peers and only a few other “big people” like TC to relate with.

            • grundoon

              David Miscavige reputedly flunked out from his auditor internship when he assaulted a PC. He never qualified as even a Class IV auditor, nor does he get audited.

            • richelieu jr

              Sounds likely, N. Graham…

            • N. Graham

              You can call me N.

        • Poison Ivy

          Do you know for sure it’s 4 mill?

          • John P.

            I don’t know for sure. My logic is an educated guess of the sort we frequently have to make at Global Capitalism HQ based on the factors described above. There, the game is to be directionally correct and accurate within reasonable limits but to get there quickly.

            The list price of 20% of the viewing audience could have been about $1 million. But there are significant premiums for placement (i.e., first time-out, right after halftime, etc.), for late “spot market” buys of ad time (the $1 million would be based on rates for “upfront” buys), and other factors that meant that the cult probably doesn’t pay the “list” price of $1 million, but pays a premium. Outbids to get a spot previously allocated to someone else can easily be dramatically higher than the “list” price, not a 5% or 10% premium. With the usual lack of planning, it seems eminently reasonable to believe that they had to pay extra.

            The key data point to consider is this: Knopf’s press release announcing the January 17 publication date for Larry Wright’s book was issued on November 14th. With expectations already in the market for a record Super Bowl audience (which apparently was accurate), I’d have to believe that the cult was involved in outbids for at least some of the time slots. My belief that the cult hatched the Super Bowl plan only after knowing the exact date of publication of Wright’s book is bolstered by the fact that they used an existing ad, rather than a one-off ad created just for the Super Bowl as is customary. They undoubtedly did not have time to create a new ad for this campaign.

            Thus, while my confidence in $3 million or $4 million in ad costs is not absolute, I’m reasonably confident that that range is closer to the final cost for the air time than the $1 million list price.

            • Poison Ivy

              I’m still curious about the production costs & details. You say it’s an old ad – do we know how old & when it was first shown? It’s still a damn costly one.

        • Renee G

          Yes, the orgs are in out of the way places, but don’t forget, Mr. P., that they are not waiting for folks to come to the org, they are taking to the streets to try and suck them in that way. Here in South Bay, they are targeting college age and young Silicon Valley types. They regularly hang out at San Jose State, and around the downtown Starbucks in the capital of Silicon Valley. They don’t need the masses– one “whale” can fund quite a bit (a la Sky Dayton), and students aren’t as familiar with the craziness as old more experienced folk are. Also, a lot of the population here isn’t even from this country, and they aren’t as skeptical as us hard ass, cynical, media soaked native born Americans. The SciBots aren’t waiting for people to walk into the Org, they are coming to the public and trying to foist the stress tests on them in their native habitat. As I said before, it’s a good thing their goofy clothing marks them as cheeseballs from a mile away.

          My favorite sight is when the homeless cart people who hang out around down here come chat them up and ask about their shit, and just won’t go away. Now THAT’S entertainment. They aren’t giving THEM the “free movie tickets.”

          • John P.

            I would argue that LA & the Bay Area are somewhat unique cases that are exceptions to the rule that orgs are too few and far between for meaningful recruiting. If you are one of the 22.1 million people in the greater NY area, it’s a far different situation than California.

            There are three “orgs” in Santa Clara County (well, OK, Mountain View is in San Mateo County, but the org is only a stone’s throw from the border with Sunnyvale) so Scientology in San Jose is better positioned than almost anywhere else in the Scientology universe (except possibly LA) to have a nearby place for those recruits to go for classes once they have expressed interest. You’d never be able to set up a table at, say, Rutgers (a university roughly the size of San Jose State) because there’s no nearby cult facility — it’s two hours each way to get to the NYC org and about $25 in train fare (or $10 in tolls and $40 for parking if you drive). So they couldn’t make a lot of money from somebody that attends Rutgers, even if they have got them interested in coming in for a free movie. The NYC org might as well be in Denver if you’re in New Brunswick.

            From what I have heard, it seems like the presence of “body routers” on the street is also unusual for the cult these days. In all my years in Manhattan, I may have seen a Scientology street corner setup only once or twice.

            • Renee G

              Yes, you are correct that San Jose is indeed an unusual hotbed of clamminess. By my count, there are 14 (yes FOURTEEN) missions or orgs within an hour’s drive of me– up as far as Marin, south to Santa Cruz, and east to Berkeley. That doesn’t even include Sacramento, which has yet another Ideal Org. This area is oozing with aging, decrepit little missions (including John “Squirrelbuster” Allender’s mission here in SJ) whose desperate owners are forced to take to the streets seeking fresh meat just to stay alive and keep the lights on. As soon as these new folks become profitable, they are forced to turn them over to the hungry, never-satisfied Ideal Org, whom I imagine are competing with each other.

            • John P.

              I recall some of those missions. I’ve driven by the Palo Alto mission on El Camino right near Stanford a million times. And I’ve been past the one in Berkeley more than once as well. But given the overall shape of the mission network these days, I would be surprised if any of them are open more than a handful of hours per week, and their contribution to the “stats” is likely to be meaningless. I suspect the mission holders keep them open a few token hours per week simply so they don’t get declared as SP’s and disconnected from all their friends for letting them close.

              BTW, “This are is oozing with aging, decrepit little missions” is a great description!

            • villagedianne

              COS still frequently sets up “stress tests” in subway stations, especially Times Square.

        • richelieu jr

          Your numbers seem pretty sensible, but I do think it isn’t always a good idea to imagine the Scilons (and esp Miscavige) doing an clear-eyed cost-benefit analysis, even a quick back-of-the-envelope one like you just threw down here..

          I have often thought there may be a big reason for Miscavige’s nearly suicidal mismanagement (not that Hubbard was any management genius, to be sure– and excluding his violence) and that is–
          He may really believe this shit– More than the old man did, any way..
          And if they truly believe that people are hungry for this stuff, and all you have to do is pitch it right.. Then that may be just the added edge to push them over into foolhardy risk…
          The stuff I read about how he micromanaged Battlefield Earth, all the time thinking he had a monster hit on his hands (before it failed and he put it all on Travolta’s, ahem, ‘tone scale’ problem, convinced me that he can get really removed from reality and start placing crazy, bets..
          Hubbard would never have done that because he knew, at least somewhere deep inside, that his kind risked hot tar, chicken feathers and the first rail out of town.. He’d need some quick’ get outta jail money’, etc… Miscavige could really lose the whole farm.. Not on this particular venture, but I smell desperation…
          I think you are clearly better at math than either Miscavige or I, John P.!

  • Sidney18511

    The COS is like Baghdad Bob. As his country is flattened by bombs he insists that everything is hunky dory, A-OK, just dandy. A little advice to Baghdad Dave…….just because you say it doesn’t make it so.

  • dbloch7986

    Well Tony, if you were following my Facebook posts at all you know I am a Niner fan. I was totally let down by their performance. I mean if they had decided to show up immediately after the start of the second half (like they usually do), that 200 yard kick-off return might not have happened. You win some, you lose some. I started following the Niners at the beginning of the Alex Smith era, so I am just ecstatic that I can finally follow them past the 5th game of the season.

    We should pitch in to get you an ad spot on National TV, Tony. How long do you think it would take to raise enough money to get you a primetime ad spot?

    “Are you curious about Scientology? Are you wondering why Tom Cruise is such a weirdo? Do you think that Scientology had anything to do with the Superbowl power outage? Have you ever wondered if you can use Scientology to score free parking spots at the Superbowl? Find out the truth for yourself. Because if what you think is true is true for only you, then you suffer from disassociative delusions of the highest magnitude.

    Dedicated to exposing the truth about the Church of Scientology.”

    Shit I’ll even go on camera for free with a generic, anonymous testimonial for you. “Tony has good things to say and I enjoy reading his work. – D.B.” Or I can just spin around in something that looks like snow, even though it’s a sunny day. Or I can just stare into the camera. Or I can read a book or something.

    You can film me with a straight jacket on, being tied down and sedated (BTN2 will be doing both) and screaming like a maniac and say, “This is the end phenomena of Scientology. Is this what you want to happen to you?”

    But then you have to get a bad ass URL like “”. Because people have short attention spans and when things rhyme they remember them better.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I will get my Nurse Ratchet Uniform pressed.

    • >>You can film me with a straight jacket on, being tied down and sedated (BTN2 will be doing both) and screaming like a maniac and say,<<

      "Scientology werks fer me!"

      Yes, I was a "hooked on phonics" kid.

    • richelieu jr

      Sounds better than getting your Nurse Pressed Uniform Ratcheted, BtN2…

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Probably not to Derek! He is kinky that one.

        • dbloch7986

          Well I never…

          • richelieu jr

            Sure you did…

  • You see, this goes right back to what I was saying last night, that mainline Scientologists think that the only reason everyone isn’t a Scientologist is they simply haven’t heard of it yet, hence the strange advertising. Clearly, everyone has heard of it. Scientology is no obscure thing anymore, everybody knows what it is, and very few people want anything to do with it. Obnose, Scientologists, obnose!

    “Why are all these people saying such mean things about Scientology?”

    “Well, there are a lot of SPs out there. On top of that, they make everyone around them PTS.”

    “In other words, Scientology isn’t the problem, it’s everyone else?”

    “Right! But we’ve got to keep outflowing theta comm and eventually they’ll all come around. Have you seen the Ethics book? If you buy it right now you get a 20% discount!”

    “So you think it’s everyone else that’s suppressive, not the small group that Scientology is compared to the rest of the world? Didn’t Ron say it was the opposite, that only like 2 1/2% of people are suppressive and everyone else is generally ok?”

    “Yeah, but literacy rates have plummeted and suppression is at an all time high… and the psychs… drugging children!”

    “How is it possible that literacy rates have plummeted and suppression has gone up with all your social programs in place? Isn’t this what the ethics conditions formulas are all about? If your stats have crashed and suppression is up, isn’t somebody out-ethics? It seems to me that the rest of the world is probably ok, I think Ron would agree, and it’s far more likely that the Church has become a suppressive group and the rest of the world sees that.”

    *Flies out the bottom of the Tone Scale, runs off to fill out Knowledge Reports and Ethics Chits*

    Over and over, in any dispute between the public and the orgs, Ron repeatedly took the side of the public, and laid into the orgs for being out-ethics. Today would be no different, and actually Ron would be on the side of the Twitter natterers and ripping into the orgs just like I am.

    “It has been found that the whole reason for any lack of prosperity of an org is INTERNAL. The surrounding area of the public has very little to do with whether stats are up or down.”
    HCO PL 7 Mar. ’72R – The Establishment Officer
    (Management Series Vol. 2, p. 3)

    “The public stays away from orgs in droves which alter technology.”
    HCO Executive Letter 1 Sep. ’64
    (OEC Vol. 7, p. 1191)

    HCO PL 25 Sep. ’72 – Recovering Students and Pcs
    (OEC Vol. 4, p. 269)

    • Observer

      Wrong-o, Elron! I have no problem with being denied Dianetics and Scientology, although I guess that in order to be denied them I’d need to want them in the first place.

    • Sidney18511

      Louanne confirms that on her twitter.

      • Who is Louanne? What’s her twitter?

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Yeah, they keep poor ol Louanne tied to her keyboard pretty much 24/7/365.

    • MO Mom

      2 1/2 percent of the world’s population, based on Google 2011 numbers is 174,343,461 folks. Methinks that even outnumbers the tiny weasel’s inflated membership numbers…

      • The 2 1/2% is actually 2 1/2% of the 20%. So the world’s population, 20% of that would be PTS and out of that 20%, 2 1/2% would be SP.

        7,021,836,029 – world population

        20% = 1,404,367,205.8

        2 1/2% of that = 35,109,180.145

        Still quite a few people, for sure.

        • MO Mom

          There are reasons that I was not a math major…

  • Sidney18511

    I just Louannes twitter and in one post she says that the ad wasn’t ment to bring in new people but to spread information about cos that people might not know.

    • Midwest Mom

      That;s akin to Jerry Sandusky running ads about his kids charity now, to promote his work in “making a difference in children’s lives”.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Poor Louanne.
      Her lack of knowingness is showingness.

      • DeElizabethan

        That’s a show stopper!, Lol, nite now.

      • Poison Ivy

        Showingness! Love it!

    • DeElizabethan

      Oh, Thats funnieeeee!

    • sizzle8

      If that’s the case, then it’s completely against policy.

    • Observer

      I’m sure that is perfectly logical in LRH Land.

    • Hilarious! The ad doesn’t tell anyone, anything about Scientology period. Keep ’em rolling Louanne.

  • I’m sort of amused how it says that Scientology is for the rebels and free-thinkers. As for not labelling people, how come so many people bear the label of Suppressive Person or Potential Trouble Source? Scientology absolutely does not tolerate rebels or free-thinkers. There’s no room for anyone else’s thoughts except for those of The Hub.

    • richelieu jr

      You’re the kind of free-thinking, rebel who never takes anything at face value and thinks for themselves, that’s why Scientology is perfect for you—r being ground down and your thinking done by us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

    • “Free thinkers who care less about labels than the truth” REALLY? This Organization that LABELS their Ex-Members “SP” and those who remain “in” are NOT allowed to speak to we “SPs”? Care less about labels? Think for yourselves? BULLSHIT $CIENTOLOGY. You FAILED. Thank you Tony O! And ALL the SPs who DO think for themselves and don’t bow down to these thieves/wolves in sheep’s clothing. The world is onto you $cientology. Tick Tock … πŸ™‚ Tory/Magoo

  • sizzle8

    Miscavige’s decision to run a Super Bowl ad will just result in boosting the sales of Lawrence Wright’s book and Jenna Miscavige’s upcoming release.
    Thanks DM!

    • sketto

      True. Miscavige isn’t just an abusive coward; he’s a self-advertising abusive coward.

      • Poison Ivy

        He really is quite adept at taking really bad publicity and making it really, really horrible publicity.

      • FistOfXenu

        Is that anything like advertising that he’s a self-abusive coward?

  • 0tessa

    Dear Scientologists,
    Remember a policy letter about what the management (Sea Org) is doing with your money? Well, if you didn’t know it yet, here is where it went: approx. 3 million for a 60 second ad. Happy? Money down the drain …, your money!

    • I believe what you’re referring to is the article “What Your Donations Buy” from The Auditor #51 in 1970, rather than a policy letter.

  • mook

    I thankfully didn’t see this commercial… must not have aired in Chicago/Midwest (*phew*)

  • Last year, when Katie Holmes and her daughter escaped Tom Cruise, a bunch of gossip bloggers were speculating that Katie Holmes would bring down Scientology. I found that ridiculous, of course. Katie Holmes, outdo Paulette Cooper? I admired her for getting herself and her daughter away from the cult and its poster boy, but I knew she would not say anything about the cult or reveal much about her marriage. She has a daughter to think about, and a career (such as it is), and Cruise still has a lot of pull in Hollywood.

    However, public interest in Scientology since Katie Holmes so publicly escaped her husband has skyrocketed. Gossip bloggers used Google and found Tony’s blog and other sources on the cult. They then shared this information with their audiences. In another time (like when Tom Cruise dumped Nicole Kidman), Holmes divorcing Cruise wouldn’t have affected the cult much. But with all the information out there, and the high level of internet literacy these days, and our obnoxious celebrity culture, Katie Holmes unintentionally pointed a big blinking sign at Scientology. Her actions may have been the needed catalyst to get enough people to care.

    • The real lesson was that Katie’s divorce actions proves she is FAR more OT than Tom ever has been despite his status in Scientology.

      Canon in Scientology is that suppressives are not effective. Yet she totally blew Tom and Scientology out of the water.

      People cheered for her in real life far more than they ever cheered for Tom in his movies. That had to hurt.

    • I think the fact that Katie is very obviously not saying anything about the big pink elephant in the room also draws more attention to it. Everyone thinks that Katie must have had something big on Tom to get the divorce settled so obviously in her favor (she’s has her daughter and not SciLoon in sight) so quickly.

      The fact that she says nothing points flashing neon arrows at a non-disclosure agreement. The truth is she may have nothing on him (I totally don’t believe that,) but the longer she stays quiet the more people will infer from it.

      • richelieu jr

        Did you notice that Nicole ended up getting forced to make a public statement about ‘respecting her children’s religion’? That was no coincidence…

        I’m sure Tom waived the prospect of greater access to them at her because the the church needed help and Tom needed a bit of rehabilitation vis Γ  vis exes and Scientology…

    • Trustmeonthis

      As a matter of fact, that is exactly what those of us who were saying that meant by it. πŸ˜‰
      Katie has got to be the SP of the year for 2012! When that happened, it really turned a corner in media portrayal of $ci, and the plucky gossip bloggers were at the forefront. When bigger media saw that nothing was happening to them (except maybe getting some loony comments and a whole lot of pageviews) they waded in. I think you really can’t discount the effect of the gossip blogs on getting us where we are today in mainstream media. Who’d have thought gossip blogs would be useful?!

      • As a matter of fact, that is exactly what those of us who were saying that meant by it.

        Yep. I thought that had a better chance than other thing I saw people claiming, but still didn’t expect it to have anywhere near the impact it did. You were right.

        The thing I saw people claiming a lot that I side-eyed was this: Katie Holmes knew some Big Dark Secret about Miscavige/the cult and was going to blow it wide open because of that. Like, what other Big Dark Secret could there be beyond manslaughter, slave labor, sexual abuse, beatings, and on and on.

        • Poison Ivy

          He’s got all those secrets.

      • Delling

        Can’t we pool together a tiny sum of cash to make a little award ceremony: top 10 SPs of the 2012, this and last century. Maybe we could ask the Big Pharma sponsors (who pay for everything – riiight?) to pitch in πŸ™‚

        It would be really funny to send such an award to Katie – wonder if she’d appreciate it?

    • aboutandout

      What I liked the best was about 6 weeks before the divorce was announced Katie was all over NYC walking with Suri. The paps followed them every where and she built a rapport with them. It really cramped any CoS “fair gaming” crap when the divorce was announced. The minute the paps spotted anything unusual they were taking pictures and phoning the police….I loved it….the paps were her body guards.

  • Ze Moo
    • The Daily Mail publishes more untrue facts than true facts. Use at your own risk.

      • dbloch7986

        They always have such pretty pictures though.

        • What? Are you saying you don’t read it “for the articles?”

          • BuryTheNuts2

            That is what Penthouse is for.

        • I like that they’re referring to Suri as Katie Holmes’ daughter and now only throw TC in as an after thought.

      • The DM is a good yardstick to use as it is by far the biggest and most viewed “news source” on the internet…. this allows them to use more pics than anyone else too. I’m often at opposite to their ideology sometimes but I can’t fault their extensive coverage…. the fact that they have an axe to grind with scientology is a bonus.

  • AstroLadyBoy

    Oh it’s dirty work, but somebodies gotta watch Kirstie… (disclaimer: I only check her twitter when Scientology stuff is goin down lol.)

    First tweets this morning have me puzzled. (They’re unrelated to any twitter conversation on her feed.)

    (7.01) It’s HARD work to make urself sane. A spiritual quest is not a folly…it is the major undertaking of your life..your happiness depends on U.

    (7.03) If you want your life to change and you want people around you to change..lead the way…they may not follow, but YOU will find the way out.

    Two hours later she tweets CCHR crap.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      That is why deep down I kind of like Krustie.
      She has the same inconsistent personality disorders I do.

      • AstroLadyBoy

        That’s why I don’t attempt to parse her statements, just report. Who knows what’s going on in this woman’s mind!

    • Midwest Mom

      “It’s hard work to make yourself sane”? Why Kirstie, it sounds like you have problems, girl! Regularly scheduled visits to a psychiatrist and some prescription medication used to treat insanity disorders will help get you sane faster than the super power building can finished!

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Mom, Krustie dials down her brand of crazy with Scientology and Lemurs!
        You are just trying to get her all “big pharma” doped up so they can institutionalize and lobotomize her.

        OH, Good plan…
        Carry on.

        • Midwest Mom

          You mean to tell me she hasn’t already had a lobotomy? For realz? You are too funny!

      • FistOfXenu

        “It’s hard work to make yourself sane”

        Not if you’re in $cientology. Just face the exit and start walking and keep walking til the org is far behind you. Then start reading what $cientology is really like. Once you’re outside that’s easy because nobody censors what you can read.

        You can talk to people too. Anybody you want. funny isn’t it? $cientology’s supposed to make you able to communicate freely but actually you’ll be freer out here.

        It may take time but it works and it won’t cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.

  • Even if they spent thousands instead of millions, it was still a colossal waste of dough.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Oh I don’t know. I am pretty sure those ad’s are going beef up sales of books on Scientology.
      Just not the ones by LRH!

      • Indeed! lol

      • FistOfXenu

        Are you implying DM has run a new Operation Footbullet by buying commercial time for Lawrence Wright and John Sweeney? What’s he gonna do when he finds out his commercial is just in time for Jenna’s book and the edition of Atack’s book? Is there enough asthma medicine in the whole state for that?

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Yes, that sentence was structured as if I was implying that.
          Let me correct myself in that it should have been inferred.
          Another bang in the boot.

          • FistOfXenu

            Well I inferred it for sure. Plainly DM is such a Big Being he expects to win even if he helps his opposition.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    And the Twitter feed on Scientology continues.
    Lots of Marketing folks tweeting about how the Co$ managed to get the ad on in the first place. Re-tweeting articles and links all over.
    This is pretty funny. I would have thought it would have calmed down a bit more by now.

    Natter away people.

    Keep spreading the word.

  • Dean Fox

    At least the ads resulted in opportunities to discuss the church of scientology abuses to wider audiences. It’s great when the church pays to help us spread our message. πŸ™‚

  • Captain Howdy

    The Niners would have won except for the terrorist attack.

    • Poison Ivy

      Yet another conspiracy.

      • Poison Ivy

        Maybe the power outage was all the OT’s focusing their energy at once at the people who ridiculed their ad?

        • Captain Howdy


        • Ze Moo

          You can bet the CO$ will portray the power outage as caused by a cabal of pissed off OTeees. I’d rather they blamed power surge on the escape of Xenu, but truth in advertising doesn’t equate with ‘what is true for you’.

          While I dislike Baltimore for no apparent reason, but they do seem to have wanted the victory more then the 49’s. The win usually goes to the team with the largest, nastiest corn fed steroid injected beef critters and that was the 49’s. The Raven’s win just shows that ‘heart’ still plays a big part of the big game.

  • Couch_Incident

    I have this image of a public Scilon attending a Wog Super Bowl party and unexpectedly getting hit with a snickering half-sober discussion of Scn, Zenu, South Park, Travolta, Cruise, etc. Hopefully they were jarred by the experience enough to investigate all of the premises they’ve taken for granted. If not, I hope they’re still fuming today!

  • richelieu jr

    Tony– There is away to put Tweets in an article so that they still function and can be retweeted-

    I’d love to have passed on a few of these!

  • Truly a cherry on top regarding the ill advised Super Bowl ad is Michael K’s take on it: “Scientology: Does Your Church Have A Glory Hole In It?”

    And The Award For The Shittiest Super Bowl Commercial Goes To…

    Somewhere in between Taco Bell’s commercial titled “Madonna at the Club” and GoDaddy’s ad, which put the Bar in BARF, a 60-second commercial for the Church of Scientology aired in a bunch of cities including NYC and L.A. The Scientology bath house will have to cut costs by switching from barley-scented Wet lube to generic lube, because Radar says running their shitty commercial during the Super Bowl cost them around $8 million.

    As a bunch of stock footage of young people played, a voice over spewed out these stupid words that really mean nothing:

    β€œTo the curious, the inquisitive, the seekers of knowledge. To the ones who just want to know about life, about the universe, about yourself. Not cute questions, big questions, one’s that matter. To the rebels, the artists, the free thinkers and the innovators who care less about labels and more about truth. Who believe non-conformity’s more than a bumper sticker. That knowledge is more than words on a page. You’re young, you’re old, you’re powerful beyond measure and the fuel of that power is not magic or mysticism, but knowledge. The things you see, the things you feel, the things you know to be true. Sure, some will doubt you. Let them. Dare to think for yourself, to look for yourself, to make up your own mind. Because in the eternal debate for answers, the one thing that’s true is what’s true for you.”

    That part about “cute questions” was totally shade directed at Tommy Girl, because you know he’s raised his hand during meetings and asked, “Does my bubble butt bottom look cute in these Bugle Boy jeans?”

    And THIS is how those crazies are trying to recruit new members to brainwash? This is more like an ad for library membership or for pot brownies. If they really wanted to recruit new bitches, their commercial should’ve been nothing but shots of John Travolta and Tommy Girl dancing topless to a disco remix of the Close Encounters theme song as the bath house boys sucked the Thetans off of each other’s dicks in the background. The tagline should’ve been:

    Scientology: Does Your Church Have A Glory Hole In It?*

    * ignore the question if you’re Catholic

    • Poison Ivy

      Radar is touting the 8 million story, then? Well, with Radar I am not surprised. Actually I thought this would’ve made a great ad for jeans or an electronic gadget…or an online university.

      • moxonmoxoff

        Or a pharmaceutical product

        • Midwest Mom

          It sounds like a Viagra commercial.

          • moxonmoxoff

            right? there was a comment on people (or radar?) to the effect that the girl in the ad gave the commenter a stiffy. lol

  • Ziontologist

    Richard Lewis – “Scientology is still a thing?”
    Perfect. A great summation of the subject and it’s history. So much for the rebels and free thinkers.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    Good Lord, even Vanity Fair is now touting this dubious 8 million dollar ad story.

    • Poison Ivy

      Tsk tsk. Does that mean Vanity Fair is sourcing Daily News? Geez, how disappointing.

      • TonyOrtega

        The New York Daily News got things right. It was the Daily Mail that made mistakes, and that Vanity Fair and so many others are relying on.

        • Poison Ivy

          Oh yeah. Sorry. Big difference. On deadline w/lack of sleep influencing my declining brain. I could use some OT powers right about now.

          • Midwest Mom

            Have some O.J. instead. ;]

        • Brits often refer to it as the “Daily Fail”

    • DeElizabethan

      Good one! Was surprised with no comments.

    • DeElizabethan

      Good one, on that one too.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Looks like I am not the only one suffering from a Superbowl hangover. Always? refreshing to hear scientology treated with all the scorn derision and ridicule it so richly deserves.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    Some newer tweets:

    Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave

    Remember when Scientology was intimidating and if you said anything negative you would be threatened by attorneys and whatnot?

    Think different. Think Xenu.

    As weird as that ad was, I still think I’m more likely to join Scientology than to drink Budweiser Black Crown

    Next year, let’s get a Super Bowl ad where a clydesdale joins the Church of Scientology.

    No, but it does have an “oiliness table.” Google “scientology oiliness table” w/o quotes. I am not making this up.
    ^^^^ This one was JohnP.(snicker)

    • Poison Ivy

      “Next year, let’s get a Super Bowl ad where a clydesdale joins the Church of Scientology.” Spit out coffee.

      • Ze Moo

        Stevie Nicks ‘Landslide’ and the Clydesdale was the best commercial outside of the puppy bowl.

  • Jefferson Hawkins

    It’s all about schmoozing their big donors. You can bet that their fundraising for this was at maximum and their spending on this was the least they could get away with. What would be interesting would be the accounting of how much was taken in for this promotion versus what was actually spent. My guess is that they took in more than they spent and the balance went into their coffers. They literally don’t care whether or not this is effective in bringing new people into the fold, and I say this from years of experience dealing with them and trying to overcome their insular and greedy profit-based attitude (as I chronicled in my book). They don’t want new people. New people are expensive to recruit and indoctrinate — they lose money on it. Where they really make money is on milking the already indoctrinated for as much as they can get, over and over again. That’s where the profit is. So this is really a show for the big donors: “Look at the huge dissemination effort we are making! Look how big and popular we are!” You can bet they won’t mention this “spot market strategy” to their heavy hitters.

    • John P.

      Let’s say they spent $3 million on this. It’s hard to believe that with all the constant regging in recent years coupled with the decline in fortunes of many of the big donors due to the economy or other factors, that they’d be able to rustle up $5 million or more in relatively short order to make this pay off. Sure, it’s possible, but it’s perhaps less likely to be successful than it would have been a few years ago.

      Could you offer any perspective on the following slightly different scenario? I’ve been thinking that Miscavige is increasingly worried about his own job security, as evidenced by the almost hagiographic section on his amazing leadership of the “church” lo these many years included in virtually every press release and threatening letter to editors and publishers.

      I think the “American Idol” campaign last year was a response to the furor surrounding the Debbie Cook e-mail and the trial, trying to drown out those news reports and show that Mighty Miscavige is actually doing something about it. Same thing with this one — Miscavige is battling the “entheta” of Larry Wright’s now officially NYT best-selling book. So it’s more about him showing “decisive leadership” against “attacks on our religious freedom” than it is about running another successful scam. After all, this fund-raising opportunity is highly time-bounded — people aren’t going to be as willing to pay for a super bowl ad after the game is over. The Ideal Org, Super Power and book scams are all open ended — he can keep at each of those until revenues go down (i.e., that particular scam is all tapped out) and he moves on to something else.

      • Poison Ivy

        So you’re saying it was 3 million all-told; or 3-million for the buy alone? The production, post and mixing (including the stock footage which contrary to what one might think, is absolutely not cheap!) I’m really curious about the nuts and bolts of producing the ad (and who did it, whether or not they “borrowed” from Apple.)

        • John P.

          I’m focused on the ad buy alone. While I’m aware that stock footage is expensive, it would be hard to imagine that this ad cost as much as any of the other ads we saw last night. I seem to recall reading that scripted network TV typically costs $300k to $400k per minute (including costs of star talent), so if we assume that this ad costs about the same as a minute of scripted network fare, that doesn’t change the argument about the relatively low profits from an ad buy funding campaign much.

          • Poison Ivy

            You have to remember that, despite the fact that advertising has had to change in the internet/DVR age as much as anyone, commercials remain the “retail” of production, along with the big budget blockbuster that’s a guaranteed profit maker (franchise films.) I produced a handful of commercials during a weird period in my career and creatively it sucked (producer’s basic role is to keep the clients & agency away from the director, who is God) but it paid crazy well. Even on the commercials I did which were NOT big budget commercials; all were for local markets. Nevertheless, it was the only time in my career when I didn’t have to call up crew & have to negotiate a deal for their services. Like I said, it was all retail. “Tell me your rate and show up on Monday!” No haggling over location fees or number of Teamsters or post production packages; just pay the bill…because there was money to cover it. I have never experienced anything like that again…it was sort of bizarre. I know times have changed but rates are still high – I think with agency markups etc. a 30 second spot probably averages $350-$400k w/out celebrity talent. Make it a beer or car commercial and add talent or an A plus list director and you can tip the scale into seven figures – again, remember that’s for 30 seconds. 30-second commericals shoot for about the same amount of days – or more – than do hour television dramas.

            Your numbers for the cost of prime time hour drama are way too high. At least by my math that would come to more than $16,000,000 for a 42-minute drama…but the average cost of primetime per episodes is about $3-4 million; $2 million for cable drama. Including talent & above the line, though that may not include superstar element “breakage” (when network or studio steps in and covers an overage in the budget because they want an element that simply cannot be afforded). I imagine that would include situations like the “Friends” deal (when all six stars were making 1 mil an episode by the last season) and thus each 1/2 hour cost $10 million to produce. (Most sitcoms cost no more than $2 mil). With heavy hitting actors or extreme production challenges, I think hour-longs have gone up much higher – but that’s really, really rare. Remember if a series is a hit, the production costs are amortized over 13-26 episodes, which makes every episode much cheaper – sets are built and lights, etc. are never taken down; it’s easier to make bulk deals for things like locations, catering etc.; the cast & crew get into a rhythm. Of course pilots ALWAYS cost more – I think the LOST pilot was something like $10 million and Terra Nova even more. That is because there is so much riding on the pilot but also because you have to purchase everything as if it’s a one-of movie.

            I’d estimate the costs for the Scientology ad to be about $300,000 for production alone (agency fees I’m sure were high if they used one – I know they’d charge retail to be involved with CO$) then ad buys at $3 million, per your estimate. So the whole deal could conceivably have cost them close to $4 million.

    • Poison Ivy

      Jefferson, do you agree with me that this was not produced “in house”?

      • Ziontologist

        Not that the music was so great, but it still sounded kind of hip, compared to other Gold productions.

    • InTheNameOfXenu

      Looking from an outsider point of view, this 30 second ad wouldn’t entice me in the slightest to study Scientology much less join it. It’s a slick but custom-made ad made for, as you eloquently explained to the big donors. Also the few thousand Scientologists that are left will get a kick out of seeing an advert playing during the Super Bowl.

      Jeff, I know you don’t have a crystal ball, but how long do you think this cult has before it goes bust? I mean there is only so much money these big donors have. As the exodus continues, I think Miscavige has reached ‘peak oil’ in fleecing his followers for more money.

    • This is the best way to put it. It’s not about getting new people, it’s about appeasing and placating those already in.

    • DeElizabethan

      What you say is about what you know. It makes sense to me too. Keep the whales happy to support and give their every earned dollar to the church without knowing any details. They are believers and must keep them happy and controlled.

  • AstroLadyBoy

    The New York Daily News has a good writeup (including Tony quotes and Bunker link). They point out the inaccurate reporting of ad cost, make reference to Wright’s book, and reproduced Ron auditing a tomato (lol).
    Lots of comments claiming it’s no different to any other religion, sigh.

    • Poison Ivy

      We know who those commenters are…

    • SP ‘Onage

      The people claiming it’s no different than any other religion, obviously haven’t read about the RPF.

    • DeElizabethan

      Thanks, hooked!

  • Poison Ivy

    Oh, Daily Mail, Daily Mail. I guess what’s true for you is what’s true?

    Tony GREAT blog post. Thank you for giving us the Cliffs Notes. We don’t watch the Superbowl (not football people) and besides, it’s the best day of the year to go to the movies!!!!!! (Highly recommend “Warm Bodies.” A sweet Zombie movie…who knew? Had a sense of humor about itself, something Twilight could’ve used. (And something Scientology will never have…)

    As a media professional I have to say, the commercial was outstanding. (Unfortunately, what it was touting was as far from Scientology as you can get!! (I was particularly amused at the tech geek with the computer behind him – AS IF!!) If anyone (particularly wide-eyed, pretty twenty-somethings) has been living on an island and has no idea what Scientology is, this commercial would be quite effective. Fortunately from the tweets, I think the world is waking up quite well to what Scientology really is.

    Do you know the ad agency and production company that created it? (I’d love to know where it was edited and mixed as well…would be fun to get the inside story from the wogs who worked on it.) It looked as if it was market researched as well. I cannot believe it was made on the Golden Age Productions assembly line….way too polished for that. (not “slick” – Golden Age Productions have a lot of production value but they are “slick” and the style seem to be stuck in the ’90’s (“the age of the wipe”). A lot of real talent went into putting it together. I hope everyone was well-paid (for selling their souls.)

    • AstroLadyBoy

      PI, I really get the feeling it’s too little too late for CoS. People see it for what it is: (shiny) propaganda.

      • Poison Ivy

        Yes, definitely. I’m just interested in the behind the scenes stories, who put it together & how, etc. Just professional curiousity.

        • AstroLadyBoy

          Yeah, sorry to confuse you, I was responding to your point about the twitter reaction.
          Agree with you, I think it’s an outstanding ad.

          • AstroLadyBoy

            I’m very pleased with the timing. Co$ is keeping itself topical right on the eve of Jenna Hill’s book release. Yay! There’ll be many articles referring to Scientology having just spent 8 mill on a shiny new Superbowl ad. Yup rub that one into the public consciousness, just makes them look trashy and profligate. It’s unbecoming of a church to promote itself in fri*ggn superbowl ad!!

            • Poison Ivy

              The ad it turns out could not have been a better foot-bullet for the cult in the long-run…it’s living up to its reputation as a greedy lying money machine.

            • AstroLadyBoy

              Agreed! And meant to say news pieces on Jenna’s book will make reference to Sci’s ‘expensive and controversial’ superbowl ad. This ad will foot-bullet largely because it’s such a counterintuitive maneuver for a tax exempt church.

  • mook

    can we get IDs of the people in this commercial?

  • AstroLadyBoy

    Does anyone know if this is the first time a church has made a superbowl ad appearance?

    • DodoTheLaser

      They did last year for the first time, I think.

  • i-Betty

    You’re the best, Tony πŸ™‚

  • DodoTheLaser

    The “Fuck u Scientology dot org” twit is really sums it all up this year.

    Last year’s twit winner was just a humble – “What the actual FUCK. Was that really a commercial for Scientology?

    This proves that no money can buy respect. And Bill Maher is always a bonus. LOL

  • Midwest Mom

    Here’s the Mac ad from Apple. The Scientology ad seems to have copied this spot.

    • BuryTheNuts2


    • FistOfXenu

      Right, so who’s gonna write to Apple Inc and tell them those punk-asses at $cientology plagiarized one of their ads? Apple’s a company that could afford to sue them for enough money to reduce the Drunken Midget to a scotch-soaked wreck.

      • BuryTheNuts2
        • FistOfXenu

          So where’re Apple’s lawyers? I’d be really pissed to find out DM has another source of income to prop him up even after he bleeds $cientology dry.

          • BuryTheNuts2

            Well hopefully it was the talk of #1 Infinite Loop today around the water coolers.
            Maybe now that they (Co$) stuck it out there in the freaking Superbowl it will piss Apple off enough to call in the Legal Department.
            One can hope, since Apple is notoriously litigious….like another business we are aware of.

            • FistOfXenu

              Yep. They deserve each other. A real love match – love of lawsuits. And I think Apple’d give $cientology a beat down.

            • Renee G

              I was watching the SB with friends who work at Apple (and others who work at other Silicon Valley mainstays), and it didn’t seem to resonate that way. But everyone stopped to pay attention to the ad, since they know of my “obsession.” Hopefully they will take this back to the water cooler with them.

            • Poison Ivy

              Doesn’t strike me as remotely plaigiarized. Per the legal definition. Just cheaply ripped off.

        • DeElizabethan

          Thanks, you’re keeping me busy.

    • Not many people know but the original version uses Steve Jobs voice… Dreyfus was a ‘marketing’ decision… given the history of what’s happened with Apple his version is incredibly powerful to listen to.

    • SP ‘Onage

      Thanks for the link. First time viewing it.

      What I find odd, is a race of thetans who have been recording intergalactic history for several quadrillion years, couldn’t come up with their own original Ad.

      I mean, you’d think after 75 million years of past lives experience there must have been a better Ad in the galaxy other than Apple’s to copy from.

    • Bob

      MWM-Thanks for posting the Apple video. The fact that the church does not have an original thought and can’t “think for themselves” makes their commercial ludicrous. What would be great is to take the audio from the commercial and superimpose pictures of all the people who have been in the hole. Now that would be worth watching.

  • Observer

    Off-topic, but … it looks like LRH has already returned! Second pic on the left. (Another swipe from Karen on OCMB)

  • President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and David Miscavige – the striking similarities!

    Bare with me on this one…. surfing the net I came across this story:

    At first glance things seemed normal but on closer inspection it became apparent that the whole thing was fake and constructed to keep the president happy and to fool the rest of the world [check out the pilot in the cockpit pic]. The more I looked at it the more ridiculous it became to me [see the scion parallels?] … and the cheese eating grin Ahmadinejad gives is classic Miscavige at one of his bogus Org openings.

    For some reason all I could think of was the scion con game trying to fool their perceptions of a gullible world press with the real hidden intent of fooling their ‘whale’ [read uneducated Iranians] members.

  • This was on AOL news “Dishonorable mention: Pepsi Next. Scientology – For Turing People Off in the last 3 seconds.Airing a religion spot is difficult under the best of circumstances -– it’s football, and people don’t want to think about religion. The Scientology spot backfired because it was misleading; it was scoring about average right until the end when it became finally clear that this ad was about scientology … at which point the dials nose-dived. While the general consensus was this ad was out of place during a football game, it failed because folks felt they were tricked. The lesson? The last 3 seconds can indeed sink you.”

  • Peace Theta

    “They don’t want new people. New people are expensive to recruit and
    indoctrinate β€” they lose money on it. Where they really make money is on
    milking the already indoctrinated for as much as they can get, over and
    over again. That’s where the profit is.”

    Totally false. We love to indoctrinate and brainwash new people! Especially the insecure rich ones!

    • EnthralledObserver

      lol.. I was scammed yesterday. You CAN spell! :p

      • Peace Theta

        Totally. I’m a rocking speller.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I so owe you for that cognitive beat down you gave me! I still haven’t figured out how to phrase that question to save me from certain death and I refuse to cheat.
      I will probably be doodling questions on the back of envelopes for a month.

      • Peace Theta

        You ask either sphinx the same question (mandatory, since you don’t know which is the liar/truth teller).

        “What path would the other sphinx tell me to take?”

        And take the opposite.

    • Ze Moo

      While CO$ does seem to have changed the old Lron marketing plan, the local orgs and missions need the ‘new meat’ to pay the rent, electricity and water bills. The auditors want their cut of the pie, so they want to audit. I would think that the new meat pays its own way. Yeah, the locals have to share the money with corporate, but they have to pay the staff something. If you cut out the new meat, how can you replace all the people who leave CO$ every year? This killing off of the new meat is what is destroying the CO$ cash flow.

      Today, the CO$ is a 2 tier operation. The locals bring in whatever new meat they can find and after selling their part of the bridge to no where, they hand the client to the operations in Florida or LA or the Freewinds. All high level ‘training’ has to be done at one of those locations. Of course, the ‘client’ has to endure IAS ‘donation’ schemes and Xenu alone knows how many appeals to buy Super Bowl ads they have to endure.

      The divergence of needs between the locals and corporate is what is going kill CO$. You never screw the lowest level of a multi level marketing scam so much that it collapses.

  • badtigger

    Please tell me you all saw the ad for that ran on CBS in LA about 15 minutes ago.

    • Poison Ivy

      Clicked on the link. Now THAT ad was DEFINITELY produced by Golden Age Productions; it has their cheesy 1990’s History Channel-esque (“look ma, we’ve got an Avid!”) look. That ad itself – and its timeline – needs some serious FACT CHECKING!

      • badtigger

        The ad itself was the same as the intro clip on the website. I’m so glad I read “Going Clear” before I saw that…so chock full of lies it’s pretty amazing.

        • AstroLadyBoy

          Oh my god, just saw their utube vid What Is Scientology?
          526,000 views – 14 comments.
          Well I spose this is an improvement on their Knowledge ad encouraging us to be rebels and think for ourselves yet they disable the comments section.

    • AstroLadyBoy

      If you do click the link, consider using a proxy. The cult’s been known to collect IP addresses.

    • sugarplumfairy

      Badtigger, if you link to their propaganda, you’re helping improve their stats..

  • So: I’ve been looking at the suckiness that is Battlefield Earth / Mission Earth. Some people actually like BE, but ME is written when Hubbard’s brain was completely curdling into some kind of rancid cheese. I was curious to find if there were any people out there who liked ME, and found this exchange:

    Wile E: “In my early 20’s is when I became a voracious scifi/fantasy reader, unfortunately I did not know all the history of the various authors. I saw an advertisement for all the Mission Earth books and I had heard of Hubbard so I thought he was supposed to be good. Big mistake, I had ordered from Galaxy press one of Scientology’s fronts. First I just started getting more ads for sci fi books, then Hubbards other books, as I was not that impressed with the books I never ordered from them again, however they have since followed me through a few changes of address (one of which I never submitted a change of address to the post office) and they somehow also got my email address which I didn’t have when I ordered the books. I have no idea how they got it but it’s not random spam as it includes my name. I have blocked numerous domains that belong to Scientology and new ones keep showing up. I have never showed any interest in Scientology but I can’t get away from their crap. So, if you really want to read the books, don’t buy them, try to find them in a used bookstore and pay cash. I realize this sounds paranoid but I just don’t trust them.”

    obfusciatrist: “Oh, and be careful how you buy them. I suggest a purely anonymous purchase from used bookstores. Because the last time I decided to read them (maybe 2002 or so) I bought them on Amazon they still regularly recommend Dianetics to me.”

    Neko: “Man, you guys gotta learn to use your libraries.”

    Wile E: “Are you crazy?! They can still track you that way, they’ve probably hacked into all the library systems, not only would they know when you check out one of Hubbard’s books but they’d also know where you live. No, the safest thing is a used bookstore, pay cash, pass a powerful magnet over the book a few times to deactivate any tracking devices and wear a disguise. Also, don’t let anyone see you reading it.”

    • DodoTheLaser

      Well, holly shit. Sounds about right. I remember when I was on staff, they were using some tracking software they bought from some major company. They supposedly don’t use it anymore. i don’t believe it though.

    • sugarplumfairy

      Lol.. He’s prob one of those “8 million church members” we hear so much about..

    • Ze Moo

      Battlefield Earth qualifies as a ‘ripping yarn’. All the plot devices were ripped off other authors. That said, it was a long almost pleasant read. Unfortunately, the movie captured the spirit and main action of the book very well. Lron’s doesn’t develop his characters, they are always poorly fleshed out and his attempts to turn them into archetypes never succeed.

      I only read the first (1/10) book of Mission Earth. That series truly sucked. I could never understand why some people liked his writing, He was verbose for no good reason and his writing style was much like Edgar Rice Burrows or HP Lovecraft, without the purpose driven narrative. The verbosity comes from the penny a word paycheck he got. I think he was overpaid.

  • DodoTheLaser

    Jenna Miscavige’s book is out!

    • SP ‘Onage

      Reading it right now. What a beauty! Can’t wait to see her on The View, CBS This Morning, Inside Edition, Piers Morgan Tonight and Huff Post Live. Hopefully, Tony will give us the time and dates.

      • FistOfXenu

        ditto. And every time I turn the page I think how amazing it is that she got out and wrote it. Reading her account of signing the SO contract I had to stop reading awhile and take a walk. And now I’m just reading through and I can’t put it down.

        • SP ‘Onage

          Hey, do you know what that grate is on the cover of the book? I can’t figure it out? Is she in some type of cage? Sorry, if it seems like a dumb question.

  • 0tessa

    This ad is clearly a remake of the Apple ad from 1997, ‘Think different’.

  • EnthralledObserver

    How’s that lawsuit coming along…? I wanna see the contents of the church’s financial records, including how much the church collected for this particular advertising campaign versus how much they paid for the advertisement – and where the rest ended up!

  • sugarplumfairy

    NY Daily News comments on the ad..Sorry if somebody already posted this..

  • Still_On_Your_Side

    Jenna’s book arrived in my Kindle this morning. I wonder if David Miscavige is going to flood the internet with bad, dishonest reviews, like certain Chinese critics of Ping Fu’s Mao-Era memoirs, “Bend not Break,” have done. Those critics, apparently, have caused the ratings to plummet at Amazon due to bad reviews that don’t seem to be based on the book, instead they are personal attacks on the author, some very outrageous, ranging from ” she can’t speak Chinese” to “she was a member of the Red Guard.” Here’s a quote from the Daily Beast, “Both Ping and her publishers say they were caught off guard by the vitriol. ‘We’ve never had an experience like this before,’ says Adrian Zackheim, publisher and president of Portfolio, which released the book last month. ‘It’s not clear that any of the comments are based on an actual reading of the book itself, which is also a cause of some concern … The barrage of negative comments mostly seem to be based on the blog and Internet comments.'”

    It’s interesting that people who seem to support Mao’s cultural revolution that almost wiped out the intelligentsia and was the inspiration for the Khmer Rouge, use the same tactics as David Miscavige.

  • cannibalboy

    Jim Meskimen is at it again, folks. He’s rounding up his merry band of Scientologists to comment on Sunday’s Super Bowl ad. “Of course it’s appropriate,” Jim comments. Here’s the link: