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Scientology actually found the one guy who joined because of a Super Bowl ad

[Fabio, and the 2016 ad that got him]

In 2012, Scientology made a huge tactical mistake, suing a former Sea Org official named Debbie Cook. What was Cook’s crime? She had dared to send around an email to other Scientologists complaining about the direction leader David Miscavige was taking the church.

Cook’s attorney, the brilliant Ray Jeffrey, put Debbie on the witness stand at a temporary injunction hearing in a San Antonio courtroom, and after she spoke for a couple of hours about the horrors of the Sea Org, Scientology put up the white flag and paid Cook to end their own lawsuit. It was a legal bloodbath.

We’re bringing it up now because one of the things that Debbie Cook pointed out in her 2012 email was that Scientologists were forking over huge amounts of money, supposedly to “disseminate” Scientology to the public, and what did they have to show for it? Where were the advertising campaigns, the public outreach?

It was a criticism that apparently stung Miscavige deeply. Because a few months later, on February 3, 2013, Scientology debuted its first Super Bowl ad.

Top former executives told us there was no question in their minds that Miscavige’s bold move was directly related to Debbie Cook’s stinging criticism.


For the church, the ad was a huge success, gaining them not only a lot of views on the ad, but also substantial press.

And we have to point out, as we do every year, that the ads Scientology has put up at every Super Bowl since are not actually aired nationally. They are aired in select local markets only, and so Scientology does not pay the stupendous prices for ads in the Super Bowl broadcast itself, most recently topping out at $7 million for a 30-second spot during the 2022 game. (See all of Scientology’s Super Bowl ads, from 2013 to 2022, here.)

Scientology pays substantially less to appear in the few spots reserved during the broadcast for local advertisers, and in markets like Los Angeles, New York, and several others.

But Scientology is very aggressive about the ad placements in the weeks after the game, having it show up in prominent spots such as the Grammy Awards. There’s no doubt that Scientology does end up spending millions getting its ads aired.

And just as well known as Scientology is for its Super Bowl ads since 2013 is the reaction to them, which reaches annual heights of derision. Perhaps the most famous was Mr. Peanut’s reaction after the 2019 ad first played during the game.


In past years, we’ve had fun posting some of the other reactions from viewers bewildered to see that Scientology is advertising. As our readers know, those reactions can be brutal.

And we’ve explained to readers that Scientology’s actual audience for those ads are their own people, especially the wealthy donors that church leader Miscavige depends on to keep forking over the huge donations, year after year. The slick ads and the “mystery sandwich” they describe (the ads never actually describe what Scientology is) help give these donors the impression that Miscavige is doing what he can to bring new people into what is actually a dwindling membership.


We’ve said repeatedly over the years that we have serious doubts that the ads are actually bringing in any new people to the struggling organization.

But what’s this? In the new issue of Impact magazine there’s a full takeout on the ads, boasting about what a success they’ve been. And Scientology has actually tracked down the one guy who decided to join Scientology after seeing one of the ads!

Wow, this is good stuff. Here’s the story from the magazine…

Fabio Ferreira…had always sought answers to the bigger questions in life. As a college student, Fabio studied religion, philosophy and psychology — yet his questions remained unanswered. Fifteen years ago, he moved from Brazil to Northern California, where, as an electronics engineer and project manager, he worked on many innovative projects, including self-driving cars. But for all the excitement of creating cutting-edge products for Silicon Valley companies, he kept running headlong into problems he was ill-equipped to address. “I wanted to lead, but I didn’t work well with others, which led to many problems.” As he says, “I felt angry and sad.”

That began to change in February 2016. Fabio was at home watching the Super Bowl and saw an IAS-sponsored Scientology ad. He wanted to know more so he logged on to An article on the cause of aberration got his attention. “I thought, ‘This is it — the reactive mind — that’s what is messing up my life.’ I knew I needed to learn more about it.” Within a week, Fabio had toured the Stevens Creek Ideal Org and completed several Scientology introductory courses.

As he continued in Scientology, Fabio’s life dramatically improved — especially his ability to relate to others. “After Pro TRs and Upper Indoc TRs, my communication skills skyrocketed.” He continued taking courses and each one expanded his abilities. “The Dianetics Auditor Course gave me the auditor perspective. I began actively listening and really paying attention to what another person is saying.”

Fabio continues to take every opportunity to progress on the Bridge. Having trained and reached the state of Clear, he’s now on the path to OT. In the six years since he watched an IAS-sponsored Super Bowl ad, Fabio has transformed his life with Scientology. “I was isolated and detached before, I had no trust in others. Now I have excellent relationships across all dynamics.”

After watching this year’s “We Are Giants” Super Bowl ad, which he described as “amazing,” Fabio sent the link to a number of friends and family members. “I am a product of a Super Bowl ad. It changed my life, and I want that to happen to everyone out there searching for answers.”

Now, if you’re still not convinced that spending the millions to produce and air the Super Bowl ads isn’t good money spent, there’s also the new TV channel that Miscavige unveiled in 2018.

Sure, we’ve made fun of Scientology TV because, well, it’s unwatchable church propaganda repeated endlessly day after day.

Ah, but you would be wrong to think that this too doesn’t have its own success story, and a dog is involved!

One evening, Pam, a nurse from Los Angeles, was folding her laundry and watching a show on TV when her dog knocked the remote control off the ottoman. When it hit the floor, it switched to Channel 320, the Scientology Network. “They had some stuff on about public service and going to poorer countries to help, which was interesting. So, I started to watch it.” Soon she was viewing it all the time. The programs not only filled her in about the Church’s humanitarian campaigns, they also answered many questions she had about the mind and spirit. “There was something I was missing,” she says, and through the network, she began to find what she was looking for.

That was the height of the pandemic in the US. Like many other health care workers, Pam was putting in long hours and was under a lot of stress. “We were working pretty hard, we were tired — and we were sad,” says Pam. “But we were committed.”

One evening on her way home from the hospital Pam dialed Directory Assistance, asked for a Scientology Church and was put through to the Inglewood Ideal Org, which was just 15 minutes from her home. Although it was closed to the public due to COVID restrictions, Pam got her initial questions answered, bought the Fundamentals of Thought Extension Course and began her Scientology adventure.


The stress of the pandemic wasn’t the only thing Pam was looking for help with. Ten years earlier, her life had been turned upside down when her brother and mother died within six months of each other. The double loss was devastating. Although she had done all she could for them, she still suffered from pangs of guilt.

Pam completed several Extension Courses, purchased the complete Basics Books and Lectures materials and, when the Inglewood Org reopened, she received auditing. “It felt like a brick had lifted off my shoulders,” she says about the combination of auditing and courses. “I came to realize that you have to deal with stuff to get ride of it.” Pam has done just that. She no longer suffers from guilt, knows where to look for the answers and is working on big plans for a bright future.

(That’s so Scientology, happy to cash in on someone’s devastating losses.)

OK, well, this changes everything. Now we can see that the untold millions (all tax-free and subsidized by you, the taxpayer) that David Miscavige has spent on Super Bowl ads and his TV channel is all worth it if it brought Fabio and Pam into the fold.

Hip, hip, hooray!


Technology Cocktail

“When one has had an insufficient amount of admiration from sexual partners, the physical body, which depends mainly upon sex for its sensation and continuance to almost as great a degree as upon eating, will actually begin to change viewpoint to the other sex. Thus we find some older men becoming as women, some older women becoming as men. Thus we get the failure of the androgen and estrogen balances and the resultant decay of the body.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1953


Derek Lambert and Karen de la Carriere





We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

— The Underground Bunker Podcast

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— SPECIAL: Your Proprietor’s updates on the Danny Masterson trial

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10 [5] Oct 11: Day One [6] Oct 12: Day Two [7] Oct 13: Day Three [8] Oct 17: Day Four [9] Oct 18: Day Five [10] Oct 19: Day Six [11] Special interview with Chris Shelton, Oct 19 [12] Oct 20: Day Seven [13] Oct 21: Day Eight [14] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [15] Oct 24: Day Nine [16] Oct 25: Day Ten [17] Oct 27: Day Eleven [18] Oct 28: Day Twelve [19] Second week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [20] Halloween special [21] Nov 2: Day Thirteen [22] Nov 3: Day Fourteen [23] Nov 4: Day Fifteen [24] Third week in review [25] Nov 5, Saturday special [26] Nov 6, Sunday special [27] Nov 7, Day Sixteen [28] Lisa Marie Presley breaking news [29] Nov 8, Day Seventeen [30] Nov 9, Day Eighteen [31] Nov 10, Day Nineteen



Source Code

“Let’s start back a little further, where you will find quite a few PCs. And that is the Marcab, or the Big Dipper area of this particular galaxy, which received the immigration from another galaxy into this galaxy, and which set up a society which kept going for a very, very long time — a society which is something on the order of about 208,000 years back on the track. Now, that period rather ended and ceased and desisted for that particular society somewhere about 10,000 years ago. So you see, that is a long, rough society. Well now, oddly enough, people went out of that society as thetans and came back into it again. So you get that society, the Marcab society, punctuated with lives spent in completely unidentified, Lord-knows-where planets. And you get such odd things, you know, as fish people. You know? Well, where did they come from? Who are they?” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 27, 1959


Avast, Ye Mateys

“MISUNDERSTOOD NIXON: Imagine my surprise and hilarity to find that President Nixon is pursuing current economic policies because of a misunderstood word…The word ‘inflation’ is being used in a mis-defined definition by the Administration. All this Wage-Price freeze that Nixon has been putting on is because he thinks the word ‘inflation’ is caused by and means ‘prices increasing.’ He and his beer hall buddies publicly state that ‘the rate of increase in prices is synonymous with the rate of inflation.’ Therefore, all one has to do is freeze wages and one will cure inflation…Looking over this literature I see that when I studied economics at Princeton University I came to some conclusions which were so obvious to me that I thought they were a part of the textbooks…Anyway, the economic trouble we are handling and our hard work to survive and remain viable is being made necessary because of a misunderstood word.” — The Commodore, November 27, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I have found that all my primary relationships are relationships of long duration with people I have known from many different times and places in not only this universe but also the universe outside this one… The 2D universe of the Spiritual Family… and the universes and dimensions beyond.”



Past is Prologue

2000: Graham Berry reported that Scientology has won a effort to find sanctions against him as non-dischargable in bankruptcy court. “The cult has spent at least three times the value of their aggregate claim amount (est. $300,000.00) to obtain a ruling that the Pattinson case Rule 11 sanctions order is non-dischargable in bankruptcy. This was the Moxon v. Berry adversary proceeding within the Berry bankruptcy proceeding. It is a hollow victory for the clams because they have fair gamed me out of employment. The judge denied our cross Rule 11 motions and my request that he refer the entire record in this and the underlying and related cases to the FBI and US Attorney. However, the judge did state that the FBI had an office in the bankruptcy courts ‘and I encourage you to take the matter over there.’ The judge also stated that he did not want the Moxon v. Berry case in his court room any longer. An observer thought the judge looked as though he was scared of them. As our litigation starts drawing to a close, with all of the proof of Scientology’s 1991 litigation misrepresentations to the IRS exposed, I can now move on to my volunteer work in the information dissemination and criminal investigation area.”


Random Howdy

“In ‘Road To Xenu’ Margery Wakefield recounts sitting around in the Sea Org cafeteria watching Star Trek and they were laughing because the wogs didn’t realize that the stuff on the screen was the writer’s suppressed whole track memories. Hubbard said somewhere that science fiction, if not all fiction, was whole track memories unbeknownst to its authors.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial began October 11 in Los Angeles.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Arraigned on August 29.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 28.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filed amended complaint on August 2. Hearing scheduled November 17 to argue the arbitration motions.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place at least through December 13.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Case settled ahead of scheduled Dec 6 trial.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



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.


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.


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

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. 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?


[ONE year ago] In Scientology the ‘executive’ bossing you around is likely to be half your age
[TWO years ago] Superhuman Scientology OT 8 makes news for being unable to control matter, space, and time
[THREE years ago] The rapey Danny Masterson movie clip someone doesn’t want you to see
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini starts third season with bombshell Scientology escape story
[FIVE years ago] Don’t give short shrift to one of Scientology’s most defining qualities – its arrogance
[SIX years ago] What you’ll find on the menu at the clinic run by a physician who’s also a Scientologist
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology wants to force a drug rehab center on Maryland: Here’s the local county’s response
[EIGHT years ago] An iconic Scientology building in Hollywood is in pre-foreclosure, and what that portends
[NINE years ago] Vivian Kubrick Surfaces in the Oddest Possible Way: At an Alex Jones Rally
[TEN years ago] Stephen Kent’s New Article on Scientology’s War With Psychiatry
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Service: Mind Control and Your Open Thread


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 2,861 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,366 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,916 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,906 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,797 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,102 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,972 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,077 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,550 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,866 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,432 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,351 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,519 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,099 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,361 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,397 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,112 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,677 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 992 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,167 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,718 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,849 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,187 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,042 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,161 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,517 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,820 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,926 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,324 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,200 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,783 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,278 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,532 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,641 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 27, 2022 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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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