Scientology Network TV Ads: More Precious Reactions!

Categories: Scientology

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Scientology's aggressive network TV ad campaign continued last night with another 2-minute commercial that aired on Fox's American Idol right after the New York Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC championship and earn a spot in the Super Bowl.

Poughkeepsie's Michael Farrell was one of the first to react, and we've collected dozens of additional tweets that popped up within a few minutes of last night's ad. They're a hoot!

If Scientology was looking to provoke a reaction, they got it. But is this the one they wanted? What we saw were a lot of young people either laughing or mocking the ad...


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Corey Smith's was one of the very few positive reactions to the ad we saw. But we're not sure his suggestion was the one Scientology was looking for...

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Whitney Swab was one of several who wondered what Scientology is all about. Hey, Whitney, try out our primer, "What is Scientology?"

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Melissa Bykofsky seems a bit confused about the nature of advertising, all of which, of course, is about belief systems...

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Well, you get the idea. It looks like the church is going to continue to spend big bucks to place its slick ad during prime advertising slots. The ad does its best to give the impression that Scientology is growing by leaps and bounds (4.4 million new people every year!), when it has been shown repeatedly that it invents numbers like that based on the amount of crappy junk mail it sends out to people. As we've shown previously, the actual number of active Scientologists around the world is probably no more than 40,000.

But then, judging by these tweets (we grabbed about half that showed up last night), even those folks not particularly familiar with Scientology seem to sense that the ad is pure propaganda.



Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [What is Scientology?] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology]
[Commenters of the Week] | [Thursday 2pm Stats!] | [Scientology vs. South Park]
[This Week Aboard the Apollo] | [Sunday Funnies]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]
[Paulette Cooper, Scientology's original and worst nightmare: a Thanksgiving tribute]

THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY

1. L. Ron Hubbard | 2. David Miscavige | 3. Marty Rathbun | 4. Tom Cruise | 5. Joe Childs and Tom Tobin | 6. Anonymous | 7. Mark Bunker | 8. Mike Rinder | 9. Jason Beghe | 10. Lisa McPherson | 11. Nick Xenophon | 12. Tommy Davis | 13. Janet Reitman | 14. Tory Christman | 15. Andreas Heldal-Lund | 16. Marc and Claire Headley | 17. Jefferson Hawkins | 18. Amy Scobee | 19. The Squirrel Busters | 20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone | 21. Kendrick Moxon | 22. Jamie DeWolf | 23. Ken Dandar | 24. Dave Touretzky | 25. Xenu

HELD ABOARD THE FREEWINDS: TALES OF THE SEA ORG

[Valeska Paris, held against her will from 1996 to 2007 on Scientology's cruise ship]
[Ramana Dienes-Browning, marriage at 16, sexual interrogation, life in the engine room]
[Melissa Paris, Valeska's sister: forced to marry at 16]

SCIENTOLOGY VS. SOUTH PARK: INVESTIGATION AS RETALIATION

[Scientology targeted South Park's Parker and Stone in an investigation]
[More documents in the South Park probe: instructions to send in a young mole]
[Scientology responds in typical fashion] | [Lloyd Kaufman confirms the probe]
[Mark Ebner also investigated after South Park involvement]
[Mark Chauppetta, private eye, explains what Scientology operatives look for]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

[Hey, Scientology Celebrity, Here's Your Media Training Checksheet!]
[Tom Cruise and X Factor's Stacy Francis singing together on the Freewinds]
[X Factor's Stacy Francis: Her first husband, Michael Sandlofer, answers abuse claims]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

["The Money Machine": another blockbuster St. Pete Times investigation]
[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology in Israel: Arson, attempted murder, paranoia -- and a visit by the Voice!]
[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology chillin' with hip hop!] | [The curious career of Scientology rapper Chill EB]
[Chill EB and me: the Voice interviews Scientology's in-house rapper]
[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Desperate Scientology fundraising caught on video]


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134 comments
Sam
Sam

Oh dear. Anyone get the idea Miscavige is trying to convince his best friend that he isn't really hoarding all of his precious 'donations'?Ha ha! Too late Gollum.  Even Tom Cruise isn't THAT dumb! 

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

This is to show members and outsiders that Scientology's not dead.

To me, it's just another sign of desperation.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman

Was this on more than one TV network?  Your post says Fox but some of the tweets mention ABC.

hgc
hgc

Epic stupid in this vintage ad from Scn -- Go to youtube, and watch dftaP5eLD0o

Caffeine
Caffeine

I saw this ad come up last week on Hulu while I was watching The Daily Show. I didn't think it would hit mainstream television waves, or rather, I didn't think that CoS would be so stupid as to do so.

redhead
redhead

What a crap commercial, as if you can find God and the Truth its a load of old bull

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Okay I have to comment on the "battle of the Marcotai's".  And Tony, if you have any suggestions for solutions, or just thoughts on this dilemma, please chime in.

One problem with using Disqus for comment threads is that anybody can steal anybody's identity...something which is not possible on message boards or other types of online communication forums.  But here, anybody can call themselves anything no matter how many people use that user-name.

And thus we have the battle of the Marcoati's - one who is a well-known Scilon-bot famous for his poor grammar and his strident if utterly ineffective efforts at dead-agenting VV, Tony and the rest of us CO$ critics, the other a more recent addition with FAR better English who is using Marcotai's name to  criticize the CO$.

Personally I would prefer the identity-theft to STOP.  Look, Marcotai has a right to spew his Scilon-speak, and at this point he's one of the few bots left who even have the cajones to show up here.  While I find him, and the shy-of-late Mark Miglio, to be pathetic loons, one can't deny the fascination in seeing what he has to say (not to mention the entertainment value).  That is lost if someone keeps pretending to be him.

Tony, are there any technical options to prevent this?  If not...would you at least come out and state your thoughts on it?  Perhaps a few words from you would dissuade the "fake" Marcotai from mucking up the comments with this game.  Hey, I want to hear what they BOTH have to say...but I don't want to have to keep guessing which one is which.

(By the way, in case anyone doesn't know...you CAN figure out which is which - just click on the avatar and you will see all of their prior comments.  One is obviously the original Marcotai - just look for the horrible language skills and clear evidence of cult brainwashing - while the other posts a lot of angry anti-Scn posts using reasonably correct grammar.)

Synthia Elizabeth Fagen
Synthia Elizabeth Fagen

Scientology is the laughing stock of the world. They're throwing money down a rat hole.

They, apparently, will never twig on the fact that the ONLY possible way for them to earn even a modicum of respect is to actually DO the things that they say they do, but don't.

They think they can just throw up some slick ads and the world will suddenly be in awe? The reason people are disgusted with these ads is not only because they are pure BS but because they are an insult to people's intelligence.

How stupid do they think people are?

The real truth is that these ads are not meant to be for the American Idol audience. They are meant for the suckers who are still inside the cult. That's all.

Consider these ads the constructed walls around the Truman Show. That is all they are and nothing more.

Frolix8
Frolix8

<rant> One thing in particular burns me about the Scientology ads: My church, the United Church of Christ, tried to run ads on the major national broadcast networks during events like this or just on a regular night. We weren't allowed. I remember CBS, among others, finding the ads to be too controversial. In them we told fold we were accepting of anybody on their journey: the poor, LGBT, the elderly, parents, kids, and families of all configurations. You probably already guessed. It was the LGBT thing which threw our commercials of the broadcast networks. Though they would take some for their cable clones. AND, Scientology which is controversial because of their vicious actions gets a free pass on major network broadcasts. Scientology harms folk. It abhors LGBT. It isn't keen on the poor, though it is keen on keeping ya poor, the elderly don't last (no medical help), and families of any confirguration are there to be destroyed. </rant>

Marcotai
Marcotai

Village Voice Founder’s Son Criticizes Company for Advertisements That Others Can Use for Sex Trafficking of Minors, Joins Groundswell Campaign

John Mailer, son of Norman Mailer, joins 80,000 supporters of campaign on Change.org to ban sex ads that may feature minors on Village Voice-owned Backpage DOT comThat campaign has more than 80,000 supporters not just few dozens of anti-Scientology Ortega's supporter against SCN ads.

Jgg
Jgg

  Yeah, 4.4 million new members, but not a single perfect clear.

Smythe
Smythe

The scientology criminal enterprise is employing demographic targets for recruitment.  Late teens to late 20 year olds are major AI viewers.  Desperate cult is desperate.  The upside is that scientology is spending millions of dollars on those ads, which they will receive far less in return, if any.  

Marcotai
Marcotai

Legislative Bill Targets Village Voice Child Trafficking Ads!full article at: villagevoicepimps DOT com

MrElronious
MrElronious

if you have not seen this you should -  "The De-Evolution Of A Devoted Scientologist" on YouTube it is very sad. One guy films his friend mental breakdown from $cientology. If you think the frist half of the video is disturbing wait tell the end.

however, being the watchers you are you've probably seen iti hope Tony can put it up here for everyone to see

Marcotai
Marcotai

"One of the Legislative Solutions to Remedy the Village Voice Child Prostitution Ad Business"

Full article at villagevoice DOT com

Marcotai
Marcotai

it's very interesting that Tony Ortega is only posting biased hate-mongers's comments about SCN ads. Many of them are used to post comments in here as well. LOLYou may ask why, this bigoted editor is spending almost 24 hours a day to attack a religion.Please google: Village Voice pimps. 

Marcotai
Marcotai

Yeah... Village vice's sex's commercials are much better.At least they give a sense of for "us" to exist.LOL

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

Holy shit balls - Marty is now raising money for the Debbie Cook defense fund .

sizzle8
sizzle8

Any minute now...

"Those comments are just confusion blowing off.  If we repeat the ads enough times, the wogs will love us.Love,Marcotai"

Robert Robinson
Robert Robinson

I knew I was right.  The younger generation is smart.

Hartley Patterson
Hartley Patterson

Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a Merchant of Chaos and Suppressive Person whose outlets attack bona fide religions worldwide. Why is the Church giving him money?

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

Not only does the emperor not have any clothes, but now he's standing in the middle of a freezing storm, and his winkie is shrinking.

TheGuest
TheGuest

Interesting article And a nod and link to Village Voice about this new scientology ad.

It's from marketingreligion dot net and asks Why Now?  Gives 2 possibles:  "Inside Scientology" book and  Debbie Cook's email first noted on Village Voice (w/link)

Also mentioned brief view message they got from ad was:  Hey, we scientology is Big (I paraphrase). 

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Some OT Hubbard was. Never saw this internet thing coming, lol

sketto
sketto

Well, this is the one major asset that Scientology has in this war - money. If Miscavige decides to spend some of that billion he has in his sock drawer, he can certainly make a splash. Amusingly though, he's trying to correct his problems with the strategy that is exactly what has finally started to thwart the cult - awareness, attention, investigation. That's what advertising will get you, Davey.

The more he advertises, the more people will look into it. And frankly, even the Indies know that you don't want to investigate Scientology and Hubbard too much. They much prefer just the superficial stuff - auditing and the undefined "tech" - and ignoring the dark heart of the matter.

Mimi The Great
Mimi The Great

I only wish I had paid more attention to the commercials and less time watching and cheering for teams that would eventually lose. Lesson learned.

Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein

Sigh. I don't watch any of the programs they've been advertising on, but after this morning's Tony bump, I made myself go to YouTube and watch the "What is Scientology" 2 minute commercial. I worked in promotion when I was on Flag—I was trained in Scientology's ways of promoting things—and their new commercial is simply off source (ie—it doesn't do what the old man says it should do). Mister Jefferson Hawkins, do you agree?

1) All Scientology promotion is supposed to offer people something to buy, if only a book. Nope, didn't do that. (HCO POLICY LETTER OF 21 JANUARY 1965 REVISED 5 APRIL 1965VITAL DATA ON PROMOTION)

2) All ads MUST include 7 points: "1. What is it? 2. How valuable is it? 3. What does it do? 4. How easy is it to do it? 5. How costly is it? 6. How do you acquire it? 7. Where do you get it from?" HCO POLICY LETTER OF 10 FEBRUARY 1965, AD AND BOOK POLICIES TEXT OF ADS — Did you see those seven points in that commercial? I sure didn't.

The next two points are from the same policy letter:

3) "Only books may be advertised. Processing, training and services may not be advertised."

4) "No invitation to visit the org or see a Scientologist may be placed in any ad."

5) In 1964, there were no TV ads so all the policy was written about print ads. Here's one that they forgot to apply to electronic media: "Mail volume is important, quite aside from what the envelopes contain. As soon as "quality vs quantity" arguments start, it shows somebody is being uninformed." HCO POLICY LETTER OF 7 MARCH 1964 DIRECTOR OF ENROLMENT THE LETTER REGISTRAR ADMINISTRATION — Personally, I found the commercial confusing. It's glitzy form didn't compensate for its message which I read as "Look how great we are."

Done now—I have to go do some of my own writing so I can make some deadlines.

xo

Kate

PS — Dear OSA person assigned to reading this blog. Are you getting the picture of just how wildly off-source DM is taking your religion? 

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I am so glad I don't watch American Idol. Last time I watched the "What Is $cientology" Ad, I busted my gut laughing.

LOL at the above tweets, I love it!

$cientology's 4.4 million lies are finally catching up to them. Hey, Miscaviage and Cruise, where's Shelly Miscaviage?

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

At this point... the COS is going to have to find someone who has never heard of Scientology...

I know of three tribes deep in the Amazon Jungle that have never experienced modern day civilization... Davey might want to Jet down there to solicit them for membership... I am positive they do not know "What is Scientology"...Perhaps he can negotiate a swap.... bananas, mango's and leeches for OT Abilities.

scnethics
scnethics

Pinch me, I'm dreaming!  This ad campaign is a major strategic error.

It brings the subject up among the general public, giving the 52% who have a completely negative view of the church a chance to spread their knowledge with people still out of the loop.

And for the members, whom I think it's really directed at, I think it will have the opposite of the intended effect. Is there anything more suspicious than running a conspicuous ad campaign right on the tail of the Debbie Cook email?  Even with one eye open and only a few brain cells clicking, some will see right through that.

Best of all, there's no good direction to go from here.  No exit strategy will get them out of this blind alley.  Stopping the ads and continuing them both present problems.  Love it!!!

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

The best part is that lots of these folks will google it and see just how bad it really is. I think it has real potential to recruit more Anonymous than Clams.

mommy
mommy

Flo Barnett cut both wrists, shot herself in the chest three times, then committed suicide by shooting herself in the right temple. Scientology suicide. And the tyrant (David Miscavig's mother in law). She was getting ready to turn him in. Shortly after, David's wife, Shelly disappeared. Then the president, Heber Jentszch, disappeared. Scientology attorney, Keven Moxon's daughter was found dead in the boiler room at scientologist prison camp in Gliman Springs. Ruled an accident. This is what happened to leaders of this cults family members. There are hundreds more who have just disappeared and the FBI won't do a Damn thing about it because the cult victims have been forced to disconnect from family, giving the cult free reign to do what they want with the rest of the bodies.

Enturbulator391
Enturbulator391

Do you guys in the USA have any regulation of advertising like we do over here in the Mother country?? In the UK we have the ASA who will step in when advertisers lie!!

AnonMomAnon
AnonMomAnon

I love when the cult wastes their money.  More please.

NCSP
NCSP

American False Idol.

California
California

Please notice that it was FOX NETWORK that carried and paid for this nonsense.  

The Super Bowl 2012 is going to be carried by NBC.  Perhaps this is the time for real Anons and others concerned about this flurry of Scientology nonsensical ads to contact NBC and let them what people think about Scientology using the Super Bowl to disseminate their belief system.

WWP Anon
WWP Anon

4 million new members a year? What, they count body thetans now?

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

This warms my cold little heart.  Scientology is its own bad PR machine.  I wonder how Jeff Hawkins would have countered any of this if he were still running the cult's marketing.

I'm glad the majority think Scientology is bullshit (because it is bullshit).  Now, how do we get the Ronbots (both in and out of the cult) to see how the 'tech' was designed to strip you of your critical thinking skills?

Tony, I was hoping for more of a bombshell this morning.  I'm getting to expect great downstat with my morning coffee.

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

In another day and time, Geritol was the sponsor for the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. We now have a new version of the amateur hour and a new snake oil for the sponsor.

Scientia
Scientia

If these ads really are meant for churchies then DM clearly doesn't think much of his flock. Call me a snob (I am), but a beauty pageant, a football game and American flippin' Idol? Really?! What's next, Days of our Lives? No wonder DMbots are braindead, what with all the shit they're watching.

Bradley Greenwood
Bradley Greenwood

I am so glad I don't watch reality or "talent" TV shows. After watching my 'Niners lose, I would have hemorrhaged if I'd scene "Slappy" Miscavidge" trying to make people forget how evil they are. Whoever authorized this is waaaay out of touch with reality; they ought to be laying low now. This must have been kinda like watching someone thrashing in water before they sink and drown. I am sorry so many people were exposed to the "oiliness" of this futile effort.

Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack
Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

Scientology Theme Song...

He we come......Walkin' down the street....Get the funniest looks from......Everyone we MEEEET!!!

Hey, Hey,We're the Scientologists!!!!!!!

mjm
mjm

since 'Idol' producer Nigel Lythgoe and JLo are both shills for the cult, I'm not surprised that the ads are airing during 'American Idol' (this season might be it's last I'm hearing. Thank God!)

MissCabbage
MissCabbage

American Idol must be desperate for sponsors.

TheGuest
TheGuest

Wow!  I'm like, my space is huge, and I'm feeling so calm.  David Miscavige, exalted (suited snake)  leader of scientology, promoting L Ron Hubbard's (mental) books and scriptures (ASI garbage spam) on major network during American Idol.

Must have cost millions of $$.  I sure hope David Miscavige (short insane dictator), head of Scientology, spends billions more.  I can't wait for the next IAS or Super Power or any Scientology (demented scamming cult) Event (coerced money extractor) so I can pay much more monies for this terrific promotional idea.  Look at all the exploding comments! 

Xenu
Xenu

Normally, David Miscavige would surely follow this ad campaign up by telling scilons that it had brought in 7 million new members.  But he can't, because that would be making Debbie Cook right.

Excuse me a moment while I laugh my head off.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

I know that this display of advertising might is supposed to show those inside how great and wonderful and growing the Co$ is (and how big Miscavige's penis is), but if I were one of the many, many members who had been browbeaten and berated into giving more (and more and more) money, my reaction would not have been "Hey, look how cool...we're growing and getting the word out and clearing the planet."  My response would have been...."Hmmm...maybe those millions of dollars could have been spent on actually disseminating [this bullshit] rather than just advertising that we exist.  Then again, I'm not trapped in their cult-mind-control-cognitive-dissonance-nightmare.

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