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Scientology’s 2020 Super Bowl ad is just like all the others: A mystery sandwich

It’s another mystery sandwich this year.

In a 1990s court case, Hana Whitfield testified that Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard had said in her presence, “To keep a person on the Scientology path, feed him a mystery sandwich.”

That’s exactly what Scientology’s Super Bowl ads are all about. You won’t learn a thing about what actually happens in a Scientology church, but you will get your inner pilgrim pandered to, grasshopper.

Since 2013, the church has bought local ad spots during the big game to show its slick ads, and this year will be no different. As in past years, we expect people in certain markets to 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…


Here’s this year’s entry, titled ‘It’s Time To Rediscover The Human Soul.’ This is a 1-minute version, but what actually airs will be only 30 seconds or less…


It’s time to rediscover the human soul.
Not the mystical, the metaphysical,
or the supernatural.
We’re talking about the source of your abilities.
Your motivation.
Your vitality.
The “thing” that makes “you,” YOU.
We’re offered a dream of convenience,
but what of self-fulfillment?
Peace of Mind?

No more speculating.
No more of “this” or “this,”
but THIS.
It’s time to find out for yourself.
To look.
To know.
It’s time

Same narrator as ever, same look, same word salad that adds up to nothing.

And 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. Seven 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 six more 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. As usual, we’ll be watching Twitter to see where the ad shows.

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?”…


2019’s ad, “Curiosity”…




Source Code

“Our problem at this time probably doesn’t have anything to do with making anybody better. Our problem, probably from here on out, is a problem of another hue and color. It is probably ‘Now having cracked the confounded thing, how do we keep this universe here?’ That’s probably a much more interesting problem.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 31, 1957


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The subject here is the Covert Hostility 1.1 tone level. Disregard of this data (on excuses of politics, religion or human rights) has destroyed the 2nd Dynamic in the USA and the world. Disregard of this data is causing American millenials to vote for Karl Marx’s candidate Bernie Sanders. Sanders’ agenda is for the creation of US Gulags for those stupid millenials in Alaska.”


Random Howdy

“My father didn’t even want to go to Korea. He considered himself a socialist and he had already served in WWII and he had this incredibly cush job as Chief Steward on a luxury liner The Lorlene that sailed from S.F to Hawaii, so when he got his draft notice he threw it in the trash. They came aboard the ship and arrested him, sent him to the stockade for a few months and asked him if he wanted to stay there for the next 10 years or go to Korea. He went to Korea, became a tank sergeant and won a Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart…and he killed a Chinese soldier with his bayonet. That’s the thing he really brought home.”


Start making your plans…

Head over to the convention website and meet us in St. Louis!


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

[Kelly Preston, Jason Dohring, and Anne Archer]

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] Former members of the Lisa McPherson Trust reflect on Tuesday’s ‘Aftermath’ episode
[TWO years ago] A mini-trove of early Scientology materials has some gems for us today
[THREE years ago] For 30 grand or so, Scientology will let you into its shrine to L. Ron Hubbard. Here’s a peek.
[FOUR years ago] Scientology attorney Bert Deixler writes a threat letter to Karen de la Carriere over TV show
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology’s elusive ‘Clears’ and ‘Operating Thetans’ — where have they been?
[SIX years ago] Leah Remini is still thumbing her nose at Scientology leader David Miscavige
[SEVEN years ago] Ursula Caberta Retiring: Her Thoughts On Fighting Scientology in Germany for 20 Years
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Sues Debbie Cook Over Her New Year’s Eve E-Mail


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,834 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,338 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,858 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 878 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 769 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,076 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,944 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,718 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,492 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,838 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,404 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,323 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,491 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,072 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,333 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,371 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,084 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,609 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,136 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,699 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,839 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,159 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,014 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,134 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,489 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,792 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,898 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,300 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,172 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,755 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,250 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,504 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,613 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 31, 2020 at 07:00

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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, 14 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


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