The Church of Scientology’s 2018 multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad strategy can now be seen as the grandiose and abject failure it is. Essentially, Scientology wanted to accomplish two conflicting goals that cancelled each other out:
1. Scientology wanted to use the marketing angle of “Curious?” to drive traffic to Scientology’s websites and thereby raise awareness of what Scientology is according to Scientology itself.
2. At the same time it broadcast its Super Bowl ad, the next batch of attack videos by professional Scientology troll Marty Rathbun were released. A mere coincidence? Of course not. In these pompous and unconvincing propaganda videos, Rathbun attempts to discredit Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, Tony Ortega and Leah’s Emmy-winning show Scientology and the Aftermath. If anything, these videos show how far Marty has fallen from his once high estate:
In what was supposed to be, apparently, a masterstroke of Scientology PR genius, the Super Bowl ad campaign was intended to promote Scientology. Simultaneously, Marty Rathbun’s videos were to be used as a flanking maneuver to discredit Leah, Mike, and Tony. However, this strategy failed as Scientology still has its hate websites up on Marty Rathbun. Thus, on the one hand Scientology wants to use Rathbun as a credible source to discredit Leah, Mike, and Tony while simultaneously portraying Marty Rathbun as a violent psychopath, a perjurer, and a liar on its own websites.
THE SCHEMATIC OF SCIENTOLOGY FAILURE
Scientology is using Twitter where one can see this all being played out. Schematically, Scientology illogic looks like this:
Anyone who becomes curious about Scientology and uses Google to do research will quickly discover that Scientology leader David Miscavige is a violent psychopath who has physically assaulted numerous members of his staff. Likewise, anyone who does research will discover that Scientology has hate websites on Marty Rathbun describing him in the same terms as David Miscavige. Why Scientology spent millions of dollars on its Super Bowl ad campaign and failed to address this inherent and crippling contradiction speaks to David Miscavige’s typical overreaching behavior. No one out here in the real world was fooled.
IS THE PUBLIC REALLY THAT CURIOUS ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY?
Scientology is using Twitter to argue that people are “curious” about Scientology and are flocking to Scientology’s website as a result. However, as Scientology’s own graphic below shows, Scientology is paying .64-.78 USD per click to drive traffic to its website. The graphic also shows a Scientology spend of $383,000 for organic search and $14,700 for paid search thus far. Again, no one is fooled: Scientology has just publicly admitted that it has to pay millions of dollars for a Super Bowl ad and hundreds of thousands of dollars for clicks to get anyone to look at its websites.
Scientology’s Super Bowl ad and Marty’s attack videos are a pair of bookends that are supposed to boom Scientology while destroying its critics. Are you serious Scientology? That’s all you have? A paid Super Bowl ad, paid clicks, and Marty Rathbun? Good luck betting on this Trifecta of Fail.
As stated, the big problem is that Marty Rathbun has zero credibility according to Scientology itself. The Church of Scientology still has its hate websites up on Marty. As we have asked before: Which story are you sticking with Scientology? Is Marty a credible source or he is a violent psychopath, a liar, and a perjurer as you depict him on your own website? If Marty is a liar and a perjurer, then why should the public believe anything he says?
Scientology’s Freedom Magazine currently carries this article about Marty in which he is called a lunatic with a history of psychological problems:
However, on a different Freedom Magazine webpage, Freedom links to the lunatic Rathbun’s attack videos on Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and Tony Ortega and declares:
He’s [Marty Rathbun] recorded his knowledge of their plans, their unsavory traits, and their rank manipulation of show participants, in a 27-part video series on YouTube, “Leah Remini and Her Troublemakers.”
Having been an onscreen participant in both seasons of Leah’s show, I can tell you that the show is unrehearsed and unscripted. There is no manipulation of participants by Leah or anyone else on the set. What Marty Rathbun has said in this regard is a lie. I resent Marty lying about it, but given his disreputable behavior and the other lies he has told over the past several years I am not surprised.
Freedom Magazine repeats Rathbun’s lies about Leah’s show even as Freedom calls him a
violent psychopath, a liar, and a perjurer. Freedom even takes it one step further by linking to Rathbun’s YouTube video channel. Why would Freedom link to the videos of a man it has called a lunatic with a history of psychological problems? This question is rhetorical of course. The fact is that Freedom Magazine’s self-serving and transparent double standard is not acceptable in legitimate journalism. Freedom Magazine is nothing more than fake news, a mouthpiece for a Cult long known for its history of lying. Likewise, Rathbun’s videos are fake news. For example, Rathbun used a recent video to outrageously claim that Scientology was free from child abuse and sexual abuse. Valeska Paris tweeted about this:
From all appearances, Marty Rathbun is back to being David Miscavige’s “fixer” who is now the onscreen talent charged with attacking Scientology’s critics and former members.
DAVID MISCAVIGE’S SCHIZOPHRENIA
David Miscavige’s multi-million dollar 2018 Super Bowl ad campaign fails because it talks out of both sides of its mouth and is underpinned by Marty Rathbun. Marty is the weak link in the chain and yet Scientology needs him to help spin its web of lies, treachery and deceit.
That David Miscavige is capable of living a life of such hypocrisy, delusion, and unreality is nothing new. Indeed, “Captain” Miscavige — a man in a fake Navy uniform festooned with fake military medals — has claimed that infinity has a front porch and that Scientologists can travel faster than light.
Categories: The Scientology Money Project
Good article. There is, of course, no strategy. Miscavige and Scientology are fully on the defensive, doing whatever they can to perpetuate the increasingly permeable veneer of success that is essential to keeping the donations flowing from the shrinking flock.
Your findings about the ad budget are helpful. It’s hard to imagine how any normal business can survive such ineffective ad spend — $500,000 or so for click ads that probably generated a total of less than 5 new members.
And that leads to an interesting thought: let’s think of the lifetime revenue potential of the average Scientology customer. Assume that OT 8 costs $500,000 to get to, and that 20% of people in the cult long enough make it there (probably generous given how far short of the “10k on solo NOTs” campaign is from its goal), then you integrate back over that and get a lifetime customer revenue potential of something like $150,000. If you’re spending $100,000 to get each new member, you’re losing money on the people you bring in the door. No wonder Miscavige is spending all his time on existing customers… It pays him NOT to recruit more new members…
Lil’ Davey needs to word clear “Streisand Effect”… Great data, Jeffrey; the essence of your thesis is irrefutable.