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Here’s Scientology’s 2021 Super Bowl ad: A pandemic-flavored ‘mystery sandwich’

 
So much has been different this year, but Scientology remains consistent and is serving up another mystery sandwich for the Super Bowl.

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. People in some markets see the ad during the long pre-game show and during the game itself, usually right after halftime and as the third quarter is about to begin. But it has appeared in other spots as well.

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Here’s this year’s entry, titled ‘Be More.’ This is a 2-minute version, but what actually airs during the game will be 30 seconds or less…

 

 

In the wake of the unimaginable
In the shadow of uncertainty
In the face of fear
It’s time
To rediscover
Your hope
Your purpose
Your passion
Your potential
You

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Because no matter what we may face
Nothing is stronger than the human spirit

 
It’s the same narrator as ever, the same look, the 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.

Speaking of going nuts. No reaction to a Scientology Super Bowl ad was more attention-getting than Mr. Peanut’s classic Twitter take two years ago…

 

 
Anyway, we expect a lot more incredulity tonight. You’d think people would be used to it by now. Eight 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.

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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 was seven more years of hilariously earnest TV ads that resulted 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 $5.5 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 if there is one this year.

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”…

 

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2016’s ad, “Who Am I”…

 

 
2017’s ad, “Your Full Potential”…

 

 
2018’s ad, “Curious?”…

 

 

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2019’s ad, “Curiosity”…

 

 
2020’s ad, “It’s Time To Rediscover The Human Soul”

 

 
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Evan Rachel Wood reads the Bunker?

Like us, you may have been stunned by the allegations that actress Evan Rachel Wood has revealed against Brian Warner, a/k/a Marilyn Manson, accusing him of grooming her as a teenager and then putting her through years of abuse. It takes a lot of bravery to stand up and speak out the way she has, and it looks like authorities are taking her seriously.

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At her Instagram account, she has been posting relevant documents, and she’s also posted a lengthy Instagram “story” with her allegations. About halfway through that story, she posted this screen:

 

 
We were stunned, because we recognized it instantly. It’s a passage from a story here at the Underground Bunker, and comes from Leah Remini’s missing chapter from ‘Troublemaker’ about Tom Cruise.

Leah generously gave us that material, which lays out how Cruise was not only aware of abuse in Scientology, but was complicit in it and even directed some of it. The chief example, which Evan Rachel Wood quoted, was Cruise and Scientology blackmailing his former publicist, Pat Kingsley, threatening to release negative information about her if she spoke out after Cruise fired her.

We’re glad that Wood noticed it and included it in her story. Wow.

 
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Source Code

“Evidently, it’s practically an affront not to be able to find out about something. Any time you want to go around wearing a bath towel with a Woolworth diamond on it and be a swami reading people’s minds, also take out a large insurance policy and get your burial arrangements straight. It’s probably why they hung Christ, if they did. That’s right. That’s right. If he was the Son of God, he should have been able to find out about all the orthodox malpractices. And he didn’t. And they hung him. They didn’t hung him. They crucified him. Common practice of the day. If he existed. It isn’t true that he led a good life, so they crucified him. You see, that wouldn’t be the right story. He should have found out about ’em and he didn’t, so you see they had to crucify him and that’s just about the way it would be. Now, if you go around telling everybody you can read their minds — I know this might get you lots of PCs for a little while — be sure at the same time that you go down to the Bide-a-Wee Cemetery and get yourself a nice quiet lot because probably you won’t have time a little while later. It’s very hard to buy a lot when you haven’t got a body to pull money out of the pockets of. But that’s about how it is, you see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 7, 1962

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

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“The rule that blown SO members may not work in orgs is now being fully enforced. This affects Durban and Asho. CS-1 should advise these and other orgs. Franchises employing them are instantly indebted $5000 to the SO for VIIIs and other sums for other training. One special permission exists for Chris Stevens on petition to work in Tech only in JBG org. SO members who do not return from leave are classified as blown. It is interesting that freeloader org and SO billings are paid when billed. It gives an avenue of conscience money. It is actually very cruel not to provide an avenue for redress of wrongs. But freeloader billings have to be billed regularly.” — The Commodore, February 7, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“Very seldom have I seen a couple ‘significance’ their way back to a sane 2D once it has broken down. No matter how many Dr. Phil shows are watched, Cosmopolitan magazines are pored over, or deep, endless analysis sessions of how nuts the other is with friends and family, it takes Scientology marriage counseling to as-is the mental masses and the crazy think embedded in them. Suddenly the ‘loved one’ that was being described in Satanical terms is now an angel who can do no wrong after the auditing.”

 
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Past is Prologue

2001: The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on Astra Woodcraft and her experiences in Scientology “Astra Woodcraft, apostate and defector, is the latest enemy of the Church of Scientology. Woodcraft, 22, never really joined this controversial psycho-spiritual movement, at least not as a free-thinking adult. Astra was born into it…Astra said her formal education stopped at age 9. Over the next few years, she was sent to a series of makeshift schools run by Scientologists. ‘There were no lessons, and hardly any books,’ she said. ‘Mostly, we just hung around.’ ‘We were only getting five or six hours a week,’ Astra said. When she was 14, young Woodcraft was recruited to follow her mother’s footsteps and join the Sea Organization. From age 14 to 19, she said, she was working from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., laboring for months without a day off, doing administrative work at the church world headquarter building in Hollywood. ‘Every week, you’re supposed to do more than the week before,’ she said. ‘You are in such a state of paranoia. All these kids are running around yelling at you. They’ll come up to you and yell, ‘What are you doing! Your statistics are down! What are your crimes?'”

 
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Random Howdy

“The 49ers sucked so bad I was forced to turn to punk rock and hard drugs for entertainment. It’s all John Brodie and Scientology’s fault.”

 

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Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Next conf to set prelim, March 24.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to March 2.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on February 4.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition for writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration. March 8: Status conference.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.

Concluded litigation:
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs.
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.

 
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SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

 
Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Scientology will try to force Jane Doe in Miami child abuse case into ‘religious arbitration’
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s social media effort tries so hard to distract you from what’s really going on
[THREE years ago] Scientology officials from around the globe called to Florida for news of ‘Scientology TV’
[FOUR years ago] Great moments in Scientology journalism: When Alex Mitchell blew the lid off ‘Babalon Working’
[FIVE years ago] Yes, that was a Scientology ad you saw during the Super Bowl. Here’s what’s in it.
[SIX years ago] An L. Ron Hubbard island fantasy: The Scientology daydream you haven’t heard
[SEVEN years ago] REPORT: Man was hired to keep Shelly Miscavige from escaping Scientology base near L.A.
[EIGHT years ago] Jenna Miscavige Hill Continues Her Media Blitz; More Scientology News in Thursday Roundup
[NINE years ago] 5 Biggest Lies in Scientology’s 2-Minute TV Ad
[TEN years ago] Scientology in The New Yorker: Lawrence Wright Buries L. Ron Hubbard For Good

 
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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 2,205 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,709 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,229 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,249 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,140 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,447 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,315 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,089 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,893 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,209 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,775 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,694 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,862 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,443 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,704 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,742 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,455 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,980 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 335 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,510 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,061 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,210 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,530 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,385 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,504 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,860 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,163 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,269 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,671 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,543 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,126 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,621 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,875 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,984 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on February 7, 2021 at 07:00

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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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, 15 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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