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Here’s the 2023 Scientology Super Bowl ad, this year’s ‘mystery sandwich’

Right at midnight on February 12, the day that the Super Bowl will take place, Scientology revealed its ad for the big game this year. And once again, it’s a mystery sandwich.

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.


Here’s this year’s entry, titled ‘Live Again.’ This is a 1.5-minute version, but what actually airs during the game will be 30 seconds or less…



If you think that all is lost
That every dream has faded
Think again
It’s there, within you
Something that can never die
The power to rise
To create
To live
Because nothing is more powerful

Than you

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 four years ago…


Anyway, we expect a lot more incredulity tonight. You’d think people would be used to it by now. Ten 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 was nine 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 $7 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”…



2016’s ad, “Who Am I”…


2017’s ad, “Your Full Potential”…


2018’s ad, “Curious?”…


2019’s ad, “Curiosity”…



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


2021’s ad, “Be More”


2022’s ad, “We are Giants”




Technology Cocktail

“In 1950 I said that the subject would go as well as it worked. I have no reason to alter that view. I have concentrated, therefore, on the skills and methods of training better auditors rather than upon stacks of legal papers. Many people in the field would have us believe that the legal papers were important. They would have us believe that the levels of service offered by the organizations were important, even more important than the progress of the science itself. These people may have their opinion; however, my belief uttered in 1950 is the one which has won.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1956



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

“I have a bit of a news bulletin, has nothing to do with the mental health empire that Mr. Kennedy is trying to create in the United States at 1.6 billion dollars, that isn’t news. The Federal government, of course, always has wanted the right to incarcerate any citizen for-without trial, and of course, immediately they get their Legislation passed, why, they’ll be able to do that. In other words, they’ll be able to incarcerate any citizen without commission-permission from his family, without a medical consultation and without a trial, and will be able to move him at any time without the consultation with the family or a hearing or a trial, and do anything to him they wish, such as electric shocks and prefrontal lobotomies. And of course that makes a very interesting political empire, and Mr. Kennedy is trying to create just that empire right this minute. So I think that’s very interesting.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 12, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“D/G US Bob Thomas informs us Org personnel are safe and secure in the California Earthquake. We telexed back expressing our concern and appreciation.” — The Commodore, February 12, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone


“I completed the original LRH bridge through OT7, then completed the new bridge, NOTS and OT8 but wanted more. I started researching and found the CBR bridge. I looked at what LRH had done and left and determined that LRH had completed the Power Change ethics condition and assigned Scientology tech to CBR and/or David Mayo. The CBR bridge was completed sometime after that. I read all the CBR materials including Excalibur (which I did not run as I had finished solo Nots) and the OT levels through OT40. I ran all the processes that read up to OT17 which is a far as I was interested in running. I had rather substantial gains, increases in awareness, increases in understanding and a decrease in my reaction time. This is not a question as to whether this is really LRH tech, I am not interested in that discussion. So if the gains are there to be had, do some still believe it is incorrect to run the processes?”


Past is Prologue

2001: The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on February 12th 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. Recruited at age 14 into the movement’s elite ‘Sea Organization,’ Woodcraft describes a brave new world of authoritarianism, greed and spiritual manipulation. Two generations of her family have been torn apart by Scientology. Holding her 2-year-old daughter, Kate, in her arms, Woodcraft vows that there will be no fourth generation in her clan. ‘I don’t want her to have any connection to Scientology,’ said Woodcraft. All cults have problems with apostates, insiders who leave the fold and denounce their former faith. But the Church of Scientology plays hardball with defectors, investigators and others seen as church enemies. ‘They are very hard on apostates,’ said Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara and the author of a recent scholarly study on the Church of Scientology. ‘Scientology is something people feel very, very strongly about,’ said Jeff Quiros, a church spokesman in San Francisco. ‘It’s not a go-to-church-on-Sunday kind of religion. It’s an intense religion. If people get in your way, they need to be dealt with one way or another.’ Two ways the church deals with critics are lawsuits, its own undercover investigations and public denunciations of those attacking the church. ‘Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way,’ Hubbard once advised his troops. ‘Start feeding lurid blood, sex crime, actual evidence on the attack to the press.'”


Random Howdy

“If only we could take a ride in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine to pre-1970 and that magical time before the 100 percent scientifically correct TECH turned into incomprehensible DRECK. The gods are cruel.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Retrial scheduled, jury selection begins March 29. Next pretrial hearing: Feb 16.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Next pretrial hearing Feb 13.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next status conference Feb 13.

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 November 17 to argue the arbitration motions, awaiting ruling.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: March 15, 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 February 7.
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] Chill EB? Joy Villa? Kuba Ka? All hail the next Scientology celebrity superstar: Wicked Witch!
[TWO years ago] Danny Masterson accusers signal they’ll go to higher court to fight ‘religious arbitration’
[THREE years ago] The skateboard hero & the anti-Semite: Insider report from Scientology’s bizarre celeb event
[FOUR years ago] ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ shelved two episodes, delayed one in season three
[FIVE years ago] How Scientology gamed Google to increase the effectiveness of its Super Bowl ad
[SIX years ago] Welcome to your Scientology nightmare, people of Clearwater, Florida
[SEVEN years ago] SCIENTOLOGY’S SPACE MAN: The newest defector from church management opens up
[EIGHT years ago] Fact-checking Danny Masterson’s remarkable Paper interview about Scientology
[NINE years ago] This is Scientology today: Oregon 10-year-old celebrated for donating $100,000
[TEN years ago] Scientology Does Star Wars: That’s No Moon, It’s a Fundraiser!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Fresh Meat in the Windy City!


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 2,938 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,443 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,993 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,983 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,874 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,178 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,049 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,154 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,631 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,943 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,509 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,428 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,596 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,177 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,438 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,475 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,190 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,754 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,069 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,244 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,795 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,926 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,264 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,119 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,238 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,594 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,897 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,003 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,401 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,277 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,860 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,355 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,609 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,718 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 12, 2023 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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