Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Xenu’s ghost! This year’s Scientology Super Bowl ad looks a lot like the others

Here it is, tonight’s Super Bowl ad from the Church of Scientology, “Curiosity,” which will be airing in certain local markets around the country tonight.

This year’s ad reverts to form after last year’s ad, “Curious?”, was something of a departure.

This year’s spot is the usual slick mix of images and narration having nothing to do with Scientology — L. Ron Hubbard himself said that the way to sell Scientology was to offer the public a “mystery sandwich,” something to get them curious enough to buy a book or take a class.

Increasingly, it’s been harder for Scientology to convince people to do that, but Scientology leader David Miscavige still spends big money for annual promotions, culminating in tonight’s big game.


Since 2013, the church has bought local ad spots during the Super Bowl to show its slick ads, and this year will be no different. As in past years, we expect people in certain markets will see the ad during the long pre-game show. During the game itself, it usually shows up right after halftime and as the third quarter is about to begin, but it could show up in other spots as well…


It’s a force more powerful than armies
It has vanquished ignorance and intolerance
And expanded our horizons
It has driven the greatest minds in history
To take us further
To understanding the simple truths that bind us all

It’s always fun to see the reactions when people unfamiliar with the idea of David Miscavige’s PR aspirations suddenly realize they’ve seen a Scientology ad on their television, and they take to Twitter to have the mother of all freakouts.

It never fails. Each year, we see viewers go completely nuts over the idea that Scientology has paid to run a short pitch on their TV screens.

You’d think they’d be used to it by now. Six years ago, for 2013’s Super Bowl, Scientology advertised during the game for the first time. Why then? Well, we agreed with Mike Rinder that it was probably a direct result of Debbie Cook asking, in court testimony in 2012, about the money that Scientologists were supposedly paying for publicity campaigns.


Cook was a top former church official and the questions she raised in a famous New Year’s 2012 email led directly to a large exodus of people leaving the church — and no doubt made Miscavige sit up and take notice. She seemed to have a good point: Scientologists are under intense pressure to fork over huge amounts of money that they are told will be used to “disseminate” Scientology to the larger public. But what did they have to show for it? Where were the TV ads or other means of getting the word out? Only a few months after Cook made that complaint, Scientology aired its first ever Super Bowl ad.

And fortunately for us, the result has been five years of hilariously earnest TV ads that result in endless mocking on social media each year.

Again, for the press who makes this mistake every year, this is not a national ad spot that, this year, costs advertisers more than $5 million for a 30-second commercial. Scientology instead buys local advertising spots in select markets during the game. One expert told us they figure it costs the church about $1 million to do it that way, and Miscavige tends to target only markets where he has an “Ideal Org” opened. As usual, we’ll be watching Twitter to see where the ad shows.

And once again, in case you’ve missed them, here are the ads for the previous Super Bowls…

2013’s ad, “Knowledge”…


2014’s ad, “Scientology Spiritual Technology”…


2015’s ad, “Age of Answers”…


2016’s ad, “Who Am I”…


2017’s ad, “Your Full Potential”…


2018’s ad, “Curious?”…



Start making your plans!


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] What L. Ron Hubbard said about religion — before Scientology became a ‘church’
[TWO years ago] Leah Remini books the Bill Maher show, gets swung at by Giovanni Ribisi
[THREE years ago] Ray Jeffrey fends off Scientology’s attempt to get him in hot water with the California Bar
[FOUR years ago] When Richard Nixon ordered the Secret Service to investigate Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Monique Rathbun tries to slap down Scientology’s ‘anti-SLAPP’ motion in court today
[SIX years ago] Super Sunday Funnies: Live-Blogging Scientology’s Super Bowl Ad!
[SEVEN years ago] Debbie Cook denied: Scientology’s restraining order remains in place until Thursday hearing


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,349 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,480 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,982 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,462 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 525 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 413 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,720 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,588 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,362 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,136 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,482 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,048 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,968 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,135 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,716 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,976 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,016 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,728 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,254 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,343 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,483 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,803 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,659 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,778 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,134 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,436 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,542 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,945 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,816 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,399 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,894 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,148 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,257 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 3, 2019 at 09:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email