Skip to content

The End of Dissemination As We Know It

January 2, 2011

I love the Rose Parade – it is one of my New Year’s rituals. I grew up in Pasadena, and never missed the parade when I was a kid. My grandmother’s house was a block from the parade route, so going down to see the parade was a much-anticipated family treat.

Well, imagine my thrill when I saw this breathless e-mail from Theresa Bloch at the Pasadena Org, replete with OMGs and multiple exclamation points:

“OMG!!! EXCITING NEWS!!!! We have just gotten the word that one of the sponsors of this years Rose Parade is: THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY!!!!!! The IAS has funded the Church of Scientology as one of the sponsors of this year’s Rose Parade on KTLA!! KTLA is THE station that has the contract for the Rose Parade and then is nationally syndicated from there. (You know, when they say, “Brought to you by Honda and… THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY!”) And the new ads will play, of course! This is amazing!!!”

Amazing, sure.  Unfortunately, like much of the Church’s PR, it was a lie. Sorry, “acceptable truth.” If you look on the official Rose Parade website, you’ll find Honda, yes, but nary a mention of Scientology anywhere on the site.

Why? Because they didn’t sponsor the Rose Parade. They bought some ads on a local LA TV station, KTLA, the fourth-rated station in the city. And the ads didn’t actually run during the parade, as KTLA broadcasts it commercial-free. What their IAS ad dollars earned them was a fifteen-second blurb at the end: “A very happy New Year to our friends at the Auto Club, and Scientology, for taking part in today’s Rose Parade telecast.”

All too typical of the sort of overhyped waste that plagues Scientology’s advertising efforts.

Unfortunately, I had an up-close and personal view of David Miscavige’s advertising and marketing philosophy, as I worked for many years in the Church’s Central Marketing Unit – as detailed in the book Counterfeit Dreams.

In 1999, he became enamored with a book called The End of Marketing As We Know It by Sergio Zyman. The entire Base was required to read it. The book itself wasn’t bad. Zyman had been in charge of marketing at Coca-Cola and had presided over one of the biggest debacles in marketing history, “New Coke.” Zyman had, fortunately, learned from his mistakes and went on to a successful publishing and lecturing career. The point of his book was that too many marketers are focused on image – glossy ads and meaningless slogans – when they should be focused on sales and results. They should be focused on the consumer. The consumer didn’t want “New Coke,” and no matter how many ad dollars Coke threw at it, they could not make people want it.

Miscavige, however, took away an entirely different message from the book, almost the opposite of what Zyman was saying. He had everyone actually drink a can of Coke after they had finished reading the book, and then “have the cognition” that Coke was nothing, just a can of sugar water, and that one could sell anything with the right ads and marketing.  (This is typical, by the way, of Miscavige’s endless “study orders” at the Int Base. In lieu of any real staff training, he issues an endless parade of “study orders” which are supposed to result in you having the same cognition he had.  And you’d better have his cognition.)

So the answer to Scientology’s marketing, according to Miscavige, was big, broad, flossy image campaigns.

I already knew this didn’t work. And in fact, Hubbard himself knew it didn’t work, and had forbidden such ads in Policy. And whatever one might think of Hubbard, he was a pretty canny marketer. He said that if you put out an ad, sell a book. Never put out ads to just promote an “image” or sell a generality, “Scientology.”

What boomed Scientology in the late 1980s was book campaigns, not generalized image campaigns. And those campaigns were targeted to specific audiences, what they call “niche markets” today. They were not broadly blasted out to everyone. There was a lot of research into where and when those ads were placed. All that, of course, went out the window when Miscavige gained control over marketing, beginning with useless and wasteful “sports sponsorships.” I talk about all this marketing history in some detail in Counterfeit Dreams.

Well, nowadays, with Miscavige running the show, all they do is broad “image” campaigns and useless, wasteful “sponsorships” like the Rose Parade debacle.

How effective are their ads? Well, the utter failure of one of these ads was recently documented in this online study by HCD research. They showed one of the recent Scientology ads to a test audience and measured the results.

The ad begins with a trite montage of pleasant images, over which a narrator voice drones:

“It’s shiny cars, wistful eyes, and roast beef for dinner. It’s chaos and harmony and water balloon fights, and words you can’t take back. It’s tears of joy and pain, feelings you can’t explain. It’s questions and answers and I don’t knows. It’s the rise and fall of civilizations, stock markets and kids on trampolines. It’s finding true love and losing it, and finding it all over again. It’s music and sensation and touchdowns and chocolate. It’s spirituality and inspiration and money and traffic jams. It’s disaster and heroism and paper clips and knowing when to breathe. It’s flirting and tasting and curiosity. It’s fast and it’s slow. It’s rising and falling. It’s every moment and every hope, every dream, every piece of the cosmic puzzle…”

And on and on… the test audience is entranced, hypnotized with the endless warm fuzzy flow of words and images, the response scores are lazily drifting up and up… Then:

“It’s life, and it’s yours. Scientology: Know yourself, know life.”

Pow! The response rate dives like a shot duck, down and down and down, deep into the minus range. “Typically when a logo or advertiser name appears in an ad there’s a decline in interest and/or believability.” Says Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research. “However, I have never seen such a precipitous decline in curves as was seen when the Scientology identification was shown on the screen.” The overriding emotion they were left with? 34% – Skepticism.

So the ad is an unmitigated failure in changing anyone’s opinion about Scientology or creating a positive image. But do you think that will change the way the Church advertises? No way.

Because the truth is, Miscavige doesn’t care. He’s only interested in one response – the flow of cash into IAS coffers. There is only one audience he is aiming at with these ads – Scientologists.  They have only one purpose – to convince Scientologists that the Church is “running big public campaigns” and they should therefore contribute everything they have to the IAS.

Never mind that such ads are off-Policy. Never mind that they are filled with fatuous Danny Sherman drivel. Never mind that only a small fraction of their IAS donations goes into such “campaigns.” Never mind that the little that is actually done is an unmitigated failure. All that is just “entheta” that Scientologists will never look at, never see, never find out about. No, they’ll just listen to the Church’s brags and boasts and PR and lies.

And they’ll keep those donations rolling.

Or will they?

Advertisements
56 Comments
  1. January 3, 2011 12:28 am

    Jeff,

    I always thought of the Golden Arches of Tech as the “New Coke” of Scientology.

    Sure many of tried it and then said gimme back the ol Tech!!!!!

    Yet unlike Coke which had to appeal to the free market Davy could force the the “New” Tech down everyones throat using ethics.

    The lil’ fascist.

    Jeff did you read over on Marty’s blog that they are going to train some auditors with the good ol’ tech?

    Gimme soma dat Ol’time religion!!!!

    Anyway Jeff I love reading your articles because they are so insightful and have that special touch of irony 🙂

    And I wish you all the best for the New Year.

    As well as all the posters here.

    I’d comment on the post itself but you pretty much said it.

    Aside from being a Lil’ fascist the lil’ Moron who thinks he’s in charge is a Lil’ know best.

    However I don’t think he’ll be in charge for long if the following is broadly disseminated.

    I mean its Dissemination could be the end of “Scientology” as we’ve come to know it 🙂

    http://www.savescientology.com/

    Dave I suggest you get a real job before it’s too late.

    Again love what you’re doing Jeff and again Happy New Year!!!!!

    Ml

    Robin

  2. Margaret permalink
    January 3, 2011 12:53 am

    I actually like the ads. The guy who wrote and made them is a second generation Scientologist in his 20s, brought up in Scientology schools and then went to an LA film school (name is Taron Lexton, you can look him up on IMBD.com). He’s a good guy and definitely has an eye for filmmaking. I hope he’s gotten the memo on Miscavige.

    I’m not a marketeer and can’t really comment on the wisdom of “selling a book” to sell Scientology. It sure seemed to work in the 1980s with DMSMH. (Personally, I’ve always felt that that was the wrong book to market to try to sell Scientology. As core as many ideas in Dianetics are to Scientology, the “take away” message in that book doesn’t particularly strike me as spiritual or even very “Scientological”. It’s very focused on “prenatals”, materialism and “the other guy caused all your suffering” — all of which run contrary to the basic message of Scientology: spirituality and personal responsibility.)

    But anyway, aside from the choice of a book, it seems that marketing a website — these days — is the right move. I think the CoS’ problem is not so much their choice of marketing channels … it’s more their horrible PR caused by their incompetent and destructive leadership. You fix those, and the choice of marketing channel(s) is really a project for the experts in marketing.

    Jeff: If you were put back in charge of Church marketing (without Miscavige), what would you do?

    • Jeff permalink*
      January 3, 2011 1:03 am

      I’d refuse the appointment. I have a job and a life.

      • Martin permalink
        January 3, 2011 1:33 am

        Hey Jeff,

        Happy New Year! Keep up the excellent work- your efforts and those of others will surely bring about the final demise of the dead/dying Church this year – how poignant it should be the year of LRH’s 100th birth date.

        @Margaret; those Image Ads may look pretty but they would only work, if at all, in the context of a brand that was already familar and well liked by the public. A Coke Ad isn’t designed to get the viewer into the shops that day to buy another can, it’s designed to keep that brand in the public’s mind so that when they next go to the supermarket it will be Coke they buy, not Pepsi.

        Scientology isn’t a brand the public wants at all right now, so the glossy Ads are not only pointless, but as Jeff points out, self-defeating.

        I too had a senior in the 80s who would oft try to get staff to have certain cognitions.I believe he’s still at St Hill to this day. “You need to have some cognitions” he’d say. Well if I see him I’ll tell him I had the Mother of all cognitions last year – that the Church he works for is as squirrel as could be, and as dead as the porverbial dead parrot.

      • Margaret permalink
        January 3, 2011 2:30 am

        Martin wrote: “@Margaret; those Image Ads may look pretty but they would only work, if at all, in the context of a brand that was already familar and well liked by the public.”

        I agree that the CoS is trying to market over horrible PR. And that is the main problem, as I mentioned in my above article. However, building brand awareness of a product that no one ever heard of, gets done every day using “image ads”. So I’d disagree with you on that point. I think “image ads” can both create and perpetuate the sales of a product or service.

        I’ll respond more below …

      • Fidelio permalink
        January 3, 2011 12:08 pm

        Hahahahahahahahahahaha, LOL

        Oh, Jeff, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

        You are da man!!!! Hahahahahaha……

        LOVE!
        Fidelio

      • Karen#1 permalink
        January 6, 2011 4:01 am

        Jeff ~~

        Did you know that Academy Award winning Paul Haggis is colloborating with Pullitzer Prize winner Lawrence (Larry) Wright to write a book

        It will be called The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs.The Church of Scientology and will explore both founder L. Ron Hubbard’s life and Haggis’ personal investigation into Miscavige’s violence, the enslavement of “Sea Org” volunteers, and forced abortions for church workers, according to a catalog from Wright’s agent Andrew Wylie [pdf] that was pointed out to us by a tipster. Full text of the catalog copy is below.

        http://gawker.com/5725832/the-scientology-expose-weve-been-waiting-for

    • Jeff permalink*
      January 3, 2011 2:05 am

      I have nothing against Taron Lexton. He probably does have promise as a filmmaker. But he knows nothing about advertising or selling. The point is not whether or not one “likes” an ad. Sergio Zyman tells a fascinating story in his book about the famous “Mean Joe Greene” ad for Coke. Everyone loved the ad – the Coca-Cola executives, the distributors, even the public. But it did not sell Coke. So Zyman pulled it and developed a campaign that did sell Coke. That’s marketing. And you can argue that maybe selling a book isn’t the way to sell Scientology, and maybe DMSMH was the wrong book, maybe this and maybe that. All I can tell you is it worked. And that is the bottom line. Miscavige only cares that his IAS donors “like” the ad.

      • Margaret permalink
        January 3, 2011 2:40 am

        Jeff, I agree that the sales figures tell the story. I had asked my question above (on how you would handle marketing today), because of all of the changes in communications, most notably google.com, wikipedia, etc.

        I was just curious how you see those in relation to trying to “sell Scientology” today, in the event that Miscavige were taken out of the picture.

        Back when those DMSMH campaigns were running in the 80s, there was no internet. There were just the bookstores and libraries.

        It’s an impossible conundrum for today’s CoS, I think, because you have crazy leadership.

        But if the leadership were changed (and policies fixed), do you think it would be possible to ever “fix” the PR and marketing?

      • Valkov permalink
        January 4, 2011 10:12 pm

        Great post Jeff, and I’d like to focus this for a minute, on the other aspect of it – the IAS tie-in.

        IMO, the IAS is the #1 Suppressive organization in the world, by standard definitions of the term. The IAS has done more to undermine orgs and org staff and disaffect scientology public, than any other activity in the world. It’s main activity has been to impoverish the public thus making them(us) unable to buy traing and auditing services. Some IAS reges make 6-figure incomes and live in the best hotels, while SO staff work100-hour weeks and eat rice and beans
        The IAS is my personal hobby-horse whipping boy. I am still pissed at having been taken by them in their early years. I would like to see the equivalent of what happens when there is a “run on a bank”, with depositors withdrawing massive amounts of their money from it, it collapses.

        If each person who ever bought a membership and donated towards a status demanded an accounting, a return of their money, and
        reported their suspicions of fraud and malfeasance on the part of the IAS to state and federal government agencies, I believe it would be
        effective. Because that’s thousands of people. Anyone who has left the Co$ in the past couple of decades was probably an IAS member, if only on a yearly basis. Many were Lifetime members at $2,000 or $3,000 a pop.. Whether you paid in $300. or $300,000., demand an accounting, your money back, and report the IAS to government regulatory agencies.

        Also to the BBB. The Co$ does not like being reported to the BBB. And I believe most BBBs do have a section that tracks NPOs.
        Trying to handle things “internally” has just protected and helped perpetuate the corrupt system. We have been sending our
        “KRs” to the wrong place – they ought have been sent to external regulatory agencies for many years now

        Who has ever received an Annual Report
        from the IAS? I haven’t. Anyone, donor or not, is entitled to ask for and receive a disclosure report from the IAS detailing how much they
        have received in donations, and how they are spending it.

        I believe the IAS is the Co$’s big vulnerability. Here is some information about the disclosure requirements for NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations) in the USA. There are 3 links included for more information. The quote is from the introduction of one of the sites:

        “A surprising number of nonprofit organization administrators don’t realize that federal law requires most tax-exempt nonprofit
        organizations to allow public inspection of their recent federal annual information returns (e.g. IRS Form 990 and Form 990 Schedule A)
        and their application for tax-exempt status (e.g. IRS Form 1023 or 1024), along with nearly all associated material. Furthermore, the
        public access requirements have been significantly expanded, requiring that copies of these be provided upon request unless the
        organization makes these documents widely available. “Widely available” currently means publication of these documents on the World Wide
        Web in an acceptable format.

        The new rules promise a critical change in the accountability of public charities and other tax-exempt organizations to the U.S.
        tax-payers, who are ultimately supposed to benefit from the preferential tax treatment given to exempt organizations. Tax-exempt
        organizations will generally be required to make easily available to the public many details of their finances and operations that may
        not be included in their regular annual reports.

        The federal annual information returns and application for tax-exempt status are not substitutes for an annual report or an accounting
        audit, as they were primarily devised only to aid the IRS in determining if an organization qualifies for tax exemption. Nevertheless,
        these documents serve as valuable resources for members of the public who wish to examine a nonprofit organization’s financial and
        operational activities, by demanding a relatively consistent structure to the presentation of certain critical information, and by
        instituting a legal requirement for accurate financial data that is publicly available. A fairly clear picture of an organization’s
        finances and operations should be rendered by its IRS returns and application for exempt status together with an annual report and the
        financial statements usually accompanying it.”

        OK, who has ever seen an Annual Report sent out by the IAS? Who has ever thought to ask for one? Non-profit organization accountability is
        specified by law.

        Investment organizations like TIAA-CREF or Credit Unions automatically send out annual information to their participants.
        Fundraising organizations for any cause are required to keep records and make them available to anyone who asks.

        You can do “due diligence’ on any organization you are even thinking about contributing to, even before you give them a cent.

        Have you ever seen an IAS Annual Statement? Do you know of anyone who has? Do you even know of anyone who asked for one? Were they
        provided with one by the IAS? What was the IAS response?

        Here are the top 3 Google results for “Disclosure requirements for NPOs”

        1. NPO Public Disclosure Regulations Site
        NPO Public Disclosure Site … Furthermore, the public access requirements have been significantly expanded, requiring that copies of these be provided upon …
        http://www.muridae.com/publicaccess/ – Cached – Similar

        2. FAQs About the Exempt Organization Public Disclosure Requirements
        Sep 10, 2010 … Charities & Non-Profits Topics … In general, what public disclosure requirements apply to tax-exempt organizations? …
        http://www.irs.gov/charities/article…=96430,00.html – Cached – Similar

        3. Exempt Organization Public Disclosure Requirements
        In general, exempt organizations must make available for public inspection certain annual returns and applications for exemption, and must provide copies of …
        http://www.nonprofitexpert.com/disclosure.htm – Cached – Similar

        I believe the cult management is very vulnerable through the IAS, and possibly the other “donation” programs, but the IAS is key. Because, it is the oldest and most likely to be provably a scam and a fraud. Probably 90% of the money the IAS has raised since 1984 has not been used for the programs they promised us they would use it for, and has inured to the benefit of DM.

        If every interested party (and that can be anyone, donor/member or not, as well as anyone who donated), were to demand annual reports
        going back to 1985 from the IAS, and also file complaints of even the suspicion of fraud, to governmental agencies, wouldn’t that have
        considerable impact? And possibly it’s own “viral” effect?

        News reports of an investigation into the IAS would unavoidably be seen by currently “in” staff and public.

      • Karen#1 permalink
        January 5, 2011 8:46 am

        I have had some direct communication with Sergio Zyman, I consider him a marketing genius.

        It is a fact that he turned down the “Church” of Scientology overtures to hire him as a marketing expert.

        Jack Trout and Al Ries of “Marketing Warfare” and “Positioning, the Battle for your Mind” fame also had a major falling out with the “Church.”
        At this point (Jeff will likely agree with me) no Madison Avenue PR company would do business with the “Church” of Scientology.

        It would be a huge minus and detriment to their stature and their repute.
        DM has made the PR of the “Church” MUD.

        Imagine a CHURCH calling in anonymous “TIPS” to Law enforcement to fabricate criminal acts as a revenge tactic to an SO Veteran who has left, or a Journalist, or an Author who is whistleblowing.

        How dirty does it get ?

        A “Church” that plays as dirty as the MOB.

        No wonder they are “Untouchable” by top Marketing Gurus and Marketing companies.

        Their dark side cannot be explained no matter what the PR puff piece and touting of good deeds does.

        I have seen and experienced their DARK side.

    • January 3, 2011 2:09 am

      Marg,

      The reason that DMSMH is promoted in the US is because we unfortunately *are* materialistic.

      Actually Ron covers this in an HCOPL (that I’m sure Jeff is familiar with) explaining why you promote Dianetics over Scientology to “raw public”.

      This is also covered in the HCOPL Books Make Booms where DMSMH is mentioned by the Ol’man a total of 50 xs.

      Also if you were around when Jeff put the pedal to the metal on Dianetics you wouldn’t question the validity of those points.

      Anyway, sure I’ll fight tooth and nail with the skeptics about the validity of psychic abilities and such having experienced them myself.

      However I’ll draw the line on promoting the Religious aspect of Scientology.

      It just gives the public the general impression in my opinion that it is just another theety wheatie New Age cult.

      Like these ads do.

      Sorry that’s my opinion.

      • Margaret permalink
        January 3, 2011 2:55 am

        RJ,

        Couple comments.

        Scientology is a “new age religion”. How theetie weetie, etc. it’s considered to be (or not) is the job of marketing, imho. Some might even consider LRH to be the “father of the new age” (he was talking new age ideas for nearly two decades before they caught on in the 60s and 70s).

        Books were the main means of “communicating ideas” during the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even most of the 90s.

        That has now been vastly expanded, with wikipedia and google at our fingertips. I’m not saying that books are bad, but the current generation gets its “information” and “other peoples’ ideas” by and large from the Internet (and MTV).

        Books *made* booms. What makes them today?

      • January 3, 2011 5:17 am

        Ron is not the “father of the New Age” Marg.

        Sorry that position was already taken by Jung.

        However Mary Baker Eddy had ’em both beat.

        Though I’d say it was a toss up between her and Helena Blavatsky as the Mother of the “New Age”.

        Are you saying that Ron was wasting his time giving lectures to the students of the Professional Course and the Phoenix Lectures telling them that Scientology was a Religion in the oldest sense of the word?

        Besides that’s neither here nor there.

        Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health was a success when it was first released and was the same when Jeff worked the CMU Dianetics Program.

        By the numbers.

        What you are saying is purely theoretical.

      • Margaret permalink
        January 3, 2011 5:43 am

        p.s. I’m a former BSO (Bookstore Officer) from the mid-1980s. I’m very familiar with the references you mentioned. But I’ve (personally) never been comfortable with using DMSMH as the mainline book. In my view — even without Miscavige’s nuttiness — DMSMH quite often creates critics looking for that “perfect Clear” with “eidetic memory” and who “never gets a cold”. The book provides the basis for a lot of Scientology … but as a frontline marketing tool for Scientology, it has it’s drawbacks, imho.

      • January 3, 2011 9:04 am

        Marg,

        Sometimes the critics are so FOS.

        There’s no where in Bk I where Ron says Clears don’t get colds and he says “should have eidetic memory” plus a lot of other things a Clear should have as well in the Chapter on Clear.

        So what?

        The book wasn’t written for the critics.

        It was written for people who were interested in co-auditing Dianetics.

        Not to keep the critics happy.

      • Moving Forward permalink
        January 3, 2011 5:10 pm

        Hi Margaret, I find that Dianetics is still a good book for many new people. It’s how I was introduced, as well as MANY people I know. But agreed that it’s not for everyone, there are others books that would impinge for some people a more. For example, if you’re marketing to the ‘new age’ crowd, Dianetics might not be the book to go with.

        As for books having made booms and the question as to what will make them now, what with all of the changes in technology and communication, I still think it’s books — but making them widely available online! As per Jeff’s last article, the Church is embarrassingly behind when it comes to technology. I couldn’t believe we were being asked to sell cassettes in the 90’s and CDs were put out when they should have been starting to sell MP3s. They are missing a great opportunity to sell books and lectures digitally, but the expansion of Scientology is clearly not DM’s priority — money is.

  3. Louanne permalink
    January 3, 2011 1:46 am

    You are lying, as usual:

    • Jeff permalink*
      January 3, 2011 2:45 am

      Interesting that “Louanne,” whose e-mail starts with “cofs,” presents the KTLA promos as “proof” that the blog post is a “lie.” Yet that was exactly my point – all they got was KTLA promos. Thanks, Louanne, for proving my point.

      • Margaret permalink
        January 3, 2011 4:53 am

        Jeff,

        “Louanne” is one of the last remaining online holdouts defending DM. She moderates scientologymyths.info which of course glosses over or ignores the exposes’ of the last couple years and simply attacks Marty. I doubt she even read your entire article — she’s made an art out of not-is’ing what people are communicating.

        On the ads she posted, do you know if those brands are broadcast nationally along with the event? I’m not familiar with how syndication works in this case, but the other advertisers appear to be mostly national brands so I’m just curious if viewers of the parade on the east coast or midwest (i.e. anywhere outside of L.A. or California) see all the same advertisers.

      • Moving Forward permalink
        January 3, 2011 5:20 pm

        Actually, this video shows exactly what Jeff was saying. How about actually applying the comm formula, Louanne? I’ve been a Scientologist for 20 years and still am to this day. Scientology’s PR is the worst I have ever seen it and the Church is bungling on this over and over.

        The subject at hand is the dismal marketing of Scientology. A few 5 second mentions for how many thousands of dollars? This is terrible (and off-policy) marketing. It’s a serious waste of parishioner funds for vanity. It won’t drive people in and won’t improve Scientology’s awful PR. And the new ads? A marketing study showed that the reaction that most people were left with was ‘skepticism’. That should really bring people in.

    • lunamoth permalink
      January 3, 2011 3:23 am

      LOL Way to go, Luanne!!

      You MUST be a church member, judging by your amazing grasp of the most basic tech of ARC and your impressive use of logic AND your superlative communication skills! You are such a sterling
      example of all you represent. And I mean THAT sincerely.

      lunamoth

      • Fidelio permalink
        January 3, 2011 12:18 pm

        Luna,

        xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

        Happy New Year to you, too!

        Wonderful knee jerk from Louane supporting Jeff’s point so royally and promptly. She must have had “a prior read” on Jeff’s article….huh?

        Fidelio

  4. Louanne permalink
    January 3, 2011 1:47 am

    • Fidelio permalink
      January 3, 2011 12:22 pm

      Oh, Louanne,

      Happy New Year to you, too!

      Take care and don’t let put your lights out, too…

      Fidelio

      • Fidelio permalink
        January 3, 2011 12:49 pm

        …. and just another tip, Louane:

        Never mess with a marketing pro like Jeff – there is no way to win…. LOL

        Fidelio

    • January 3, 2011 11:07 pm

      Make sense to see Scientology up there with Honda, Burlington Coat Factory, McDonald, Farmer Insurance Group, Morongo Casino Resort & Span, etc., all for-profit entities.

  5. Aeolus permalink
    January 3, 2011 1:56 am

    In addition to the 5-second mention at the end of the parade, the church did have an ad that played during the pre-parade and again during the replay, which allows commercials. The gist of it was that to know life, you had to know the parts of life, and it showed warm and fuzzy images for each of the dynamics. I thought it was ironic that for the 7th dynamic, spirituality, the ad showed a group of meditating Buddhist monks.

    At the end was the same tag line, “Know Life. Know Yourself”, and if they had this ad tested I’m sure the response line looked like the Rock of Gilbralter, plummeting just like the one you showed above. So they have to know, this is not going to bring new people in the door.

    The fact that they were willing to pony up the bucks to advertise during the Rose Parade is probably a response to the conversation here on the blogs, where it’s been pointed out more than once that big promo campaigns are unveiled at the events but the money is never actually spent. The ad was aimed at the IAS donors, not the public.

    • January 3, 2011 9:10 am

      Aeolus,

      Don’t let Loser-anne throw ya.

      She ain’t nuttin’ but a troll.

      What you are doing is confusing the poor girl with facts.

      She exemplifies that Scientology has become a totally faith based religion under Miscavige.

    • brendon permalink
      January 4, 2011 3:16 pm

      It’s a brilliant tag line. They just got the spelling and punctuation wrong.

      Scientology:
      No life. No “yourself.”

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        January 5, 2011 3:01 am

        LOL!!

      • Karen#1 permalink
        January 5, 2011 9:48 am

        ++++ KNOW that if you connect with whistleblowers they will turn your family against you.

        ++++KNOW that if you post on DM’s crimes they will fabricate incredulous hate website on you on the Internet spinning tissue of lies.

        +++KNOW that this is a spiteful, vindictive, malicious CHURCH that engages in more hate web sites against those who left the CULT than any LA Gangs, Mexican Gangs, Russian Gangs and other nefarious groups. KNOW that Law Enforcement observes and sees this

        +++KNOW that before KNOWING Yourself, above all the CULT wants your money $$$$$$, your Children as SO slaves, your time, your labor, your commitment and BLIND LOYALTY to their insanities.

        +++++KNOW that they engage in unspeakable acts of CRUELTY in the RPF and on other Sea Org Bases under the cloaking of “Religion”.

        +++++KNOW that your LIFE can be made hell by a CULT hijacked by a despicable THUG who invented the “COB” title and has trashed the Religion to popularity below Radical Muslim and Atheism.

  6. lunamoth permalink
    January 3, 2011 2:21 am

    That dm is preaching to choir tells you two things: he has no idea of what the public wants and no hope/chance at being able to provide it, and he knows that the actual experience of being a scientologist (getting trained and audited) is no longer enough to keep people in the church. Scientologists now have to be sold that scientology really is all they thought it was because their actual expriences with it might convince them otherwise.

    My own observation about dm is that he will only spend the church’s money (which he apparently sees as his own) when he has to. He’ll spend members’ money like a drunken sailor, but when it comes to “his” money, he’s miserly. That he would put millions into buying commercial minutes (which he did at the start of the parade coverage on channel 5 in L.A.) means he thinks it’s going to buy him something. I’m sure that it will be announced proudly as a stat at many events to come. How many “millions” will he claim to have introduced to the concept of the 8 dynamics (which the commercial covered)? I don’t know, but I think a more accurate statistic would be for how many millions of people has the concept of the 8 dynamics now been poisoned by positioning it with the hated cult of scientology?

  7. aotc permalink
    January 3, 2011 11:21 am

    ‘Or will they?’

    Good question. People have been donating for ‘Ideal’ Orgs for over 5 years. With Scientologists having donated so much money, surely they are starting to notice the lack of booming Orgs and just how fuzzy the ‘proof’ of expansion really is at events.

    I believe Ideal Orgs will be the straw that breaks DM’s back. If you have near bankrupted yourself for the reward of massive expansion and all you see at events is another book plant opened, impure thoughts are gonna start popping into your mind.
    The ponzi scheme is being stretched to breaking point. Maybe 2011 will be the year it snaps.

  8. January 3, 2011 3:07 pm

    Re. Hubbard knew to “[n]ever put out ads to just promote an ‘image’ or sell a generality, ‘Scientology.’ ”

    Yet, that didn’t prevent him to write a directive telling Scientologists to present Hubbard as a “nuclear physicist,” a “civil engineer” who discovered the “first science to contain exact technology to routinely alleviate physical illnesses with completely predictable success.” (ref.: HCO Information Letter of 14 April 1961)

    And as per Hubbard, this deception “should be attractively letter-pressed on small individual sheets.”

    To me, it sounds like Hubbard didn’t really mind promoting a (false) image about himself/Scientology.

  9. Tony DePhillips permalink
    January 3, 2011 3:18 pm

    (which are supposed to result in you having the same cognition he had. And you’d better have his cognition.)
    ROTFLMAO!!! I an just see someone doing that study order and coming up with a diferent “cog” and mudcabbage blowing a gasket. Very funny unless you had to deal with that puny moron.

  10. Cool Observer permalink
    January 3, 2011 5:38 pm

    People watching this ad are skeptical, because the final slogan on the screen contains two typos. It should read “Scientology: No yourself. No life.”

    Kidding aside, many corporations counter negative PR with image campaigns, but they also have reason to believe that those campaigns actually accomplish something. In the wake of 9/11 polls revealed that Islam made Scientology look bad in comparison, and that was years before the rise of Anonymous.

    • brendon permalink
      January 4, 2011 3:17 pm

      ooops, I wrote the same thing before I scrolled down this far. you beat me to it CO!

      • Cool Observer permalink
        January 4, 2011 7:06 pm

        Ha! In your face! 😉

  11. January 3, 2011 6:43 pm

    I sooo wish the donators will wake up, and find some actual non-profit to support.
    n

    • earthmother permalink
      January 4, 2011 2:41 am

      Great post, Jeff!

      I was a bit freaked out early New Years day , seeing the ad for Scientology. I hoped that no one would be fooled into thinking that the “church” would really have THE answers for them.

      Nancy, there are so many groups that are deserving of support, and proving themselves as responsible organizations.

      If I may, here are two that are near and dear to my heart:
      Bat Conservation International. We are dependent on bats in so many ways. They help keep the insect population in check, and pollenate many plants. There are many bats experiencing a die off from ‘white nose syndrome’. Much like the honey bees, the cause, and therefore cure from this die off has not yet been found. We rely heavily on these creatures for our survival. Let’s do what we can to help them out!

      Sempervirens.org, a group that has been working toward creating a network of old growth Redwoods by buying up available lands in the Santa Cruz mountains and surrounding areas to protect and ensure the eco systems of the area for future generations of all life. (I get teary eyed when I talk about these groups, as they embody to me, the essence of what a group should do…empower and advance the goals of the group to the betterment of all.) I am a long time member of both groups. I am sure that many of you have groups that you feel partial to also. If not, Please! Look into these groups.

      As I watched the Rose Parade, a tradition for me for oh so many years, ( I am, after all, a native Pasadenian!!!) I hoped that anyone looking for answers to ‘Life’, found them anyplace other than Scientology.

      Thank you Jeff for all you do, and continue to do. I am so much stronger because of you. Because of finding your blog early last year, I am free of conflicting emotions, and am creating a life full of love, freedom and creativity for me and my family.

      Here is to a stellar 2011!!!

  12. No-Name permalink
    January 3, 2011 10:15 pm

    Wow, way to go with the study tech, Davey. Miscavige reads a book and gets it entirely backwards. Hilarious and kind of sad.

    Very good post, thank you for reminding me about that study. That drop off is amazing.

  13. jetero permalink
    January 3, 2011 10:50 pm

    Jeff,

    Great write up.

    I bet not one of you came in off some glossy mailer that said “Slay your Dragons”

    So, how did you find out about Scientology??

    Me: A flyer in my car door “Expand your consciousness with Scientology”. 1969 I think.

    I really got into Scientology in Seattle after the a bizarre experience in the LA org. Every crazy in the world was on lines there then. Seattle was run by a bunch of old ladies. Sorry Loretta where ever you may be. Edie is a suppressive now like all those horrible folks that created the orgs in the beginning.

    Marketing??? I passed out flyers with the Code of Honor in downtown Seattle.. with good success. We used to have beautiful girls go out an pick young men.. ha ha.. the comm course was packed. But at $15 what a deal.

    I brought 10 friends in for the Comm course at one time, freaking the staff out. At least 3 are still on lines.

    Then came the Sea Org.. Yes I bought the spiel.. but I really thought we were going to float out to thetaville .. Boy, was I surprise when I had to work. Hey no way.. life is easier on the outside. I said good bye, and stayed the important thing in Scientology (at lease then) “PUBLIC”.

    I get thousand of glossy crap that goes straight into the garbage as I pick up my mail at the Post Office..

    Scientology started local and should have stayed local.

    • January 4, 2011 2:13 am

      I agree Jetero,

      It was all “ex” bikers, biker babes, hippies, hippie chicks, revolutionary burn outs, mil especially spec ops, CIA , drug dealers, arms dealers, a few school marms ,the occasional FBI Informant and a few teenage misfits.

      I think I fit into the later category.

      There were probably one or two straight arrows in the mix somewhere I might not have noticed.

      For the most part for me Scientology was sex, drugs and rock & roll minus the drugs of course.

      Who needed ’em anyway.

      Going ext beat anything on the street.

      You could say Scientology appealed to a pretty eclectic crowd back then who knew how to party.

      Not anything like it is now.

      Most of the people who got in that I knew back then. Got in by either by reading a book, in most cases “Bk I” or were roped in by some fine looking babe for a Free Personality test.

      However I think the biggest promotional item was the TRs Course especially TR 0 to a major stable win which one grad told me “was better’n than acid man”.

      Or word of mouth.

      I don’t remember any glossy promo back then which for the most part had a neo-underground newspaper feel to it especially the ‘Freedom Mag’ which looked like it had been run off a Gestetner.

      Probably was.

      But no one cared back then…

      If the main reception looked like the entrance to a coffee house and the reg office still had beaded curtains and the auditing rooms had a post apocalyptic theme.

      In fact I can remember doing my HSDC internship in a room they called the “implant station”.

      Somebody had taped and spackled it but never bothered to paint it.

      But who cared since the PC usually kept their eyes closed during and after 7 giving the auditor opportunity to catch a few Zs and sleep off that hang over from the Bos’n’s party.

      But I digress…

      Anyway it wasn’t the slick advertising and the mushy feel good promo that got people in back then.

      It was the tech.

  14. Thalkirst permalink
    January 3, 2011 11:55 pm

    Jeff, have you seen the newest IAS Xmas brochure? It basically wants you to donate to the IAS on behalf of friends and family as an “Xmas gift”. They will even give you a gift card that you can give to the target person as a physical evidence of your contribution in their name.

    I think I know who came up with this bright idea, bypassing all the imcompetent SPs 🙂

  15. idle org permalink
    January 4, 2011 2:38 am

    Jeff,

    Luanne cannot possibly be as smart as you so please do take it easy on her. Afterall, she is in a cult, you know…

    🙂

  16. Another Ex permalink
    January 4, 2011 3:15 am

    Great post Jeff. Also I finished reading your book and it is very good.

    They are trying to fix their bad PR image and they think they can do it with ads or sponsorships. It reminds me a bit of the “Can We Ever Be Fiends” cassette which was supposed to appease an antagonistic person but probably makes them even more upset with the subject.

    Instead of coming clean, apologizing and stopping their abuses, they think that an ad filled with “warm, fuzzy” words is going to repair the damage. Not to mention that their own founder Ron Hubbard told them not to this kind of promotion.

  17. Scooter permalink
    January 4, 2011 3:45 am

    Love it, Jeff – I’ve had the same conclusion as you as to who the marketing is aimed at for quite a while now.

    Going to protests and seeing the orgs shut up tight, seeing the mindless drivel of “endless expansion” while all the staff/SO are obviously malnourished and even the well-off public wear the exact same clothes they wore ten years ago, hearing how “this year will be the year we boom the stats” – it’s all aimed internally.

    Even the attacks on critics and Anonymous are immense failures UNLESS you look at them as a sermon to the Faithful. Same goes for the behaviour of the cult in front of the Oz Senate Inquiry – it’s all designed to milk more money for DM’s schemes. Not to win any battles, or even friends. It’s just to prove how YOU should donate more and more and then even more so that “The Planet Can Be Saved.”

    And the foot-soldiers in that “war” stay starving in the trenches while the money keeps flowing to the “top.”

  18. John Doe permalink
    January 4, 2011 5:18 pm

    How ironic that things like shiny cars, roast beef for dinner, harmony, tears of joy, kids on trampolines, flirting, and finding true love are prohibited, or simply not likely to be experienced by those most dedicated of all scientologists, Sea Org members.

    • lunamoth permalink
      January 4, 2011 9:14 pm

      How ironic. And sad. And true.

      What a nut house that cult has become.

    • Valkov permalink
      January 4, 2011 10:20 pm

      John Doe, you are so right! Check out my post upstream about the IAS, which I just added as a comment to Jeff’s comment in this thread about Taron Lexton, the designer of the scientology TV ads……

      • John Doe permalink
        January 5, 2011 12:56 am

        Wow, you are thorough! Go Valkov! I agree, the IAS is probably the most detrimental influence against the church surviving, despite the money it takes in.

  19. January 5, 2011 8:22 pm

    Scientology ….a philosophy….together…with Honda…and ….McDonald,insurances and other companies…..????
    I just can’t believe it ! This a joke you’re making here.
    If LRH could see that he….
    My God how idiotic those people are becoming, but it seems with each new day they dream up something even more idiotic. It’s a waste of money and probably even creates a loss of income because people are disgusted about it.
    Ask yourself the question: “Is there any difference beetween the products of McDonald and Scientology ?

    LO

  20. martyrathbun09 permalink
    January 5, 2011 10:04 pm

    Thanks for imparting this insight. Apparently, to DM ‘image is everything’, and yet the more he attempts to do something about it the worse it gets.

    • Uncle Buck permalink
      January 6, 2011 1:13 am

      I seem to remember, at an event in the early 90’s, DM stating that he wanted an image identification for Scientology equal to that of BMW’s ” The Ultimate Driving Machine”.

  21. freespirit permalink
    January 5, 2011 10:27 pm

    Responding to Karen #1’s comments about how Marketing and Advertising execs stay away from them – I can confirm that the big boys do not want to do business with them. The Hill & Knowlton incident (the tacky Freedom magazine with its exagerrated “expose”) confirmed that these guys were just terribly weird, trying to play a game with the big boys that they could not play, and sorely lacking vision and real communication with their publics to be worthy of handling a significant marketing campaign. They have NO idea how badly they blew it.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: