Monday, February 04, 2013

Scientology And Their $8M Super Bowl Commercial

When you hear about people spending every penny they have on courses they are coerced to take at Scientology centers or people going bankrupt after hard sales and told they really need to take another course to move one step up the never ending ladder they will never finish climbing, it really is disgusting to see Scientology spend $8M on a 60 second long Super Bowl commercial. Remember, this is an organization that is tax exempt. If you can find the scratch to pay $8M for the spot plus the cost of production, I don't think you should qualify as tax exempt. If you have that much money, then pay some taxes. I wonder how many calls they got last night or people stopping by today. People who will go bankrupt in the future or get suckered into joining SeaOrg or have their family taken from them. There are always so many commercials that are banned or not accepted and I really wish this had been one of them.

62 comments:

camembert said...

The Scientology commercial made me make a WTF face, however I recall the Mormon church advertising on TV a long long time ago.

Karen said...

I missed this commercial last night. Anyone want to give a synopsis (I can't watch it on my work computer).

KPeony said...

Gross

Sarah said...

Who are they paying off to retain church status?

Gayeld said...

If Twitter reactions are anything to judge by, there's not going to be a whole lot of new traffic at the idle morgues today. The general consensus is that the commercials were meant to impress the current victims with how well the "Church" is doing. I think they need a new dictionary.

For the most part, the commercial seems to have given most of the viewers the willies. #AmericaCatchingAClue

#Where'sShelley

smash said...

I still don't think they showed this in WA state, I didn't see it but will watch the SB again and try to find it.

prolixe said...

@Karen - DM has the workup with photos and the full text. Video is at the bottom (thankfully doesn't auto-start).

prolixe said...

Forgot to add - they only showed it in major markets (NY, LA, etc.), so if you live in Podunkville, like I apparently do, you wouldn't've seen it.

Darkmyst said...

I don't recall seeing this commercial. Are you sure it wasn't one that ran in one of you local affiliate's time slots?

Where's Shelly? said...

They did something shady with the D.O.J as I recall, some kind of blackmail to get tax exempt status. If you're advertising at the superbowl, you don't need tax exempt status and you're not a church! God doesn't need advertising. Not that I think they have anything to do with God. It seems more like a brainwashing belief system. God they're creepy! Where the hell is Shelly Miscavige? Locked up in a storage container in the desert? living in a tent in someone's backyard like the heads of COS were forced to do for penance? I can't wait for them to fall.They're on borrowed time as it is. The final nail will be when Tommy breaks free. People would respect him more if he was to completely come clean and just say, hey, I thought this was for me, but it's not. Worse things have happened.

Where's Shelly? said...

and using kids to look all innocent and non threatening? Ask Isabella and Connor Cruise how they treat their kids... and Nicole Kidman for that matter.

seaward said...

#StopUsingHashtags
#ThisIsntTwitter
#ApostrophesFuckUpTheLinkAnyway

camembert said...

#PreachIt

chopchop said...

LMAO seaward!

B. Profane said...

There it is. Relevant questions are:

--Why didn't they go for a full nationwide coverage Super Bowl ad buy? (Because of the controversy that would have ensued, of course.)

--Who sold them the "local" ad spots? According to reports they bought local time in, what, three or 4 of the top ten markets? Maybe more. New York, L.A. and SF Bay Area accounts for how many tens of millions?

--Who prevented them from a full-feed Super Bowl buy for those ads? Because they could have afforded it. CBS, presumably.

--Who owns and operates the local stations who sold the clams the 'Bowl ad time that allowed them to blanket, apparently, a very large sector of the American populace? Why, CBS!

The O&O stations aren't independent appendages of corporate mother. That's the point. They're allowed to be operated as if the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.

"Who are they paying off to retain church status?"

Who says they are? There have been mutterings that the DOJ under Holder has been building some kind of very large case against the clams. Maybe if the Reeps would back the fuck off of DOJ over gun-control enforcement they might actually file.

Where's Shelly? said...

#AmenSeward! lolz!!!!!

Karen said...

@prolixe, thank you!!

B. Profane said...

Did the ad run on a station that covers the Clearwater, FA area? Because if it did then maybe it was intended as a "shoring up" bit of agitprop for the clam faithful. But if it did not....

Unemployed in FOCO said...

I live in Colorado and saw it. Effing disgusting.

smash said...

CO is Tommie's favorite place to vacation. Lots of money in them there hills. :)

Christopher Cruz said...

Truth in advertising my ass.

KendraWM said...

The history of their status is interesting, they were initially granted tax exempt status in the 1960s only to have it revoked in the early 80s. The IRS argued they made a profit out of selling religion and Hubbard and his family diverted millions of dollars to their personal accounts.

In the early 1970s COS launched an Operation called Snow White, they broke into the IRS offices, bugged the place, hired private investigators to spy on agents. It was discovered and 10 people went to jail.

In 1993 they were at it again and set about following IRS workers, using intimidation tack ticks and filing over 24,000 lawsuits. It would have cost the IRS millions upon millions to defend the lawsuits and figured it was easier to just grant them the status.

This is a very simplified version of what went down, but it is a fascinating read if anyone is up for it.

Check out Operation Snow White and Fair Game Doctrine

Sherry said...

Whoa Kendra..Interesting insight. Thanks! Glad I missed the entire Super Bowl. And the massive posts kept closing down my phone. I wasn't even able to comment til it slowed down.

Sarah and Simone said...

The COS didn't spend 8 million. It was a regional ad.

"By purchasing local ad time in certain markets, Scientology gets some of the exposure of national Super Bowl ads but at a much lower cost."

(http://tonyortega.org/)

Rain said...

(No sea orgs were harmed in the filming of this commercial)

Agent**It said...

Jenna Miscavage's book comes out tomorrow. Where's Shelly?

B. Profane said...

Operation Snow White is very interesting. According to what is known in the open literature, the ranking of governmental and independent intelligence operations who have compromised US governmental operations are:

--KGB/MGB (By a mile, of course)
--Chinese intelligences services (although just for very specific targets, from what we know)
--Church of Scientology

(The Church of Mormon, from what is known...well, their presence in the FBI is massive, but they do not seem to have a concerted program to compromise or subvert US governmental institutions directly. They do have or have had a covert domestic operational capacity, but the intent seems to be institutional suppression of historical critics of their religious doctrine. Which is wrong, very wrong, but understandable in context.)

Agent**It said...

BProfane, bet Ravens, will be able to afford groceries:)

prolixe said...

When they talk about which markets were targeted, it really is that - targeting. Marketing is a lot like cooking spaghetti al-dente - throw it at the wall and see if it sticks.

They are basically using the "better than you" marketing model. If you ascribe to their "knowledge" (not magic or mysticism, let's not even talk about space cooties! heh, tx @Gayeld!), then you are "better."

The magic & mysticism dig is fascinating. Ripping at other religions while saying yours - the one that says we are gods created by aliens - is quite the show of hubris.

B. Profane said...

Hah! Oh Agent, I'm so glad. I felt so bad about those betting tips. They were right, I swear.

Now, back to the issue at hand, pilgrims. Please read up on Operation Snow White and VENONA, keeping in mind that the level of infiltration ascribed to the latter is substantially overblown), and ask yourselves who you should really fear as an American citizen?

B. Profane said...

(Totally not gonna go apeshit over yet another incorrect citation of the concept of "hubris" this time.)

prolixe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KendraWM said...

Completely OT, but did anyone watch The Americans on Wednesday night?

Mari said...

You can also google RCMP/Scientology Investigation.
Their HQ in TO had Mountie Crime Scene tape on the doors for years....
Don't think that helped recruitment.

musesx9 said...

So, a religious organization did something immoral? And, the government is so concerned with losing the lawsuit that they are willing to let go of millions of dollars in revenue because they don't want to "fight?"
That doesn't smell right. Remember, the IRS are the same ones that take on a ridiculous interest rate to those who are late. They have fines and take things away. I'm not buying it. They definitely have some incriminating evidence. They'd make more money if they did take their status away from them. NOT buying it.

B. Profane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prolixe said...

Gotcha, B - let's not keep any sunshine from shrinking these vampires!

In the classical context of the word, I definitely agree with you, but I think *in this context*, it's very appropriate. I imagine that the $cios would argue that the traditional context would apply to their honorable selves.

Gayeld said...

So, no more @whomever your addressing?

Agent**It said...

What they are examining is human trafficking (think Sea Org), justice dept/homeland security.

NapAssasin said...

Good article tips, excitied to see this organization slowly exposed for what it is. I'm sure there were a lot of WTF faces across the country. I went to a party two years ago & their house was right behind our Scientology center in STL. I did not stay long- the building literally loomed over the property with windows in direct line with the upper floors of the center. Plus someone died in the house and I was sad being there. Anyway, I've often wanted to visit the center just to check it out ( I love the historic building its in) but I'm too chickenshit.

dragon said...

I'm converted Yall. Im joining force. They have cookies.

timebob said...

Yes they have cookies, but those cookies cost $250,000 and you have to sign a billion year contract to get them.

Now who wants a cookie?

ethorne said...

What kind of cookies and how many do I get?

Drugstore Cowgirl said...

Yes it did

smash said...

LRon. Sold out his wife in operation Snow White and went into hiding. He was so afraid of having to answer for it and going to prison. He was a scared little boy who wanted to be worshiped. People like him flock to Scientology.

I still can't believe even though there are voice recordings of him saying "I will create a sci fi religion and make so much money!" (I am paraphrasing but it is out there). He was into some crazy black magik shit at the time. Loons!

dragon said...

Billion year contract? I can pass Chocolate cookie made out of their pastor sweat.
.
I'll take it..They will make me rich too right?

dragon said...

*cant

lazyday603 said...

I missed it but whatever it was it couldn't have been as obnoxious as that scratchy recording of Paul Harvey circa 1953 reciting his "God made a farmer" poem. What car company exec thought that was a good idea?

JSierra said...

Kendra not yet! But spoil away, I started watching it three or four times and haven't been able to finish yet.

I cannot wait for Scientology to self destruct, now THAT will be entertaining. Hopefully they bring Tommy boy down with them, he really creeps me out.

And I like cookies.

curlyhairslacker said...

@Kendra-yes I enjoyed it!

dbfreak said...

Loved it!

Bridget said...

It did.

Bridget said...

It did.

Chrissy Buns said...

Not to defend the crazies in that 'church', but EVERY church is tax exempt. I'm sure the Mormon's and the Catholic church make just as much money, if not more. I guess they aren't tacky enough to take out superbowl ads though...

Chrissy Buns said...

@smash, I think you're right, I didn't see it either.
And I don't think Scientology is a church, for the record :)

prolixe said...

@Chrissy - not every church is tax exempt. There's a fairly substantial amount of paperwork you have to fill get 501(c)3 status (IRS code for tax exemptions for religious organizations and charities).

Check out this Forbes article for some details - specifically how the IRS was against $cio being called a church and then suddenly changed course while still pursuing a criminal investigation of Kabbalah.

Chrissy Buns said...

I stand corrected! I will have to take a peaky-loo at that article!

prolixe said...

And yeah, that's the rub - $cio is neither a church nor a non-profit. $cio is the *opposite* of non-profit!!

B. Profane said...

The internal structures of the Clam-pire are so arcane that they practically beg for a RICO prosecution.

Veech said...

1. This commercial sounds like one of those online university commercials. Until the last frame.

2. If you haven't read/aren't reading "Going Clear" by Lawrence Wright, you REALLY need to. I'm halfway done and it's absolutely fascinating. I'm convinced the "church" is against psychiatry because the people in charge are certifiably sociopaths and this book is proof.

Agent**It said...

Jenna Miscavige is on the viee today (if you can tolerate that mess). She is promoting her book about her life in co$.

Miss Nomer said...

Have you seen our ginormous shiny and new Scientology building downtown. I don't even know when it got there... Gives me the skeeves.