Promotion for Ron Hubbard's book

Source: Globe and Mail
Date: November 20, 1982

Scientologists spend $3 million for TV ads

The Church of Scientology is spending more than $3-million in the United States and Canada this year on television advertising to promote the book that forms the keystone of its religious message.

The group's first TV commercials have been broadcast 14 to 17 times a week on a Toronto television station since early November.

Earl Smith, spokesman for the Scientologists in Toronto, said about $26,000 has been spent to produce a 30-second Canadian commercial and buy time on CITY-TV for it and another Scientology commercial. "We're becoming more conscious of the ways one can disseminate information," Mr. Smith said yesterday. "Traditionally, the religious field has lagged behind. This is a trial. We're just trying it out." The current commercial, which will run until the end of the month in Toronto before the group evaluates its success, promotes Dianetics, a book written in 1950 by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. (The Church of Scientology is not registered as a church in Ontario and cannot legally perform marriages.) In the commercial, an announcer talks about how people can realize their full potential by following the science of the mind that Mr. Hubbard developed. The screen shows a translucent head with stars in the background, then a man in deep thought, other people also thinking, and the man shaking hands with the others. The final image is an erupting volcano with the Dianetics book zooming out of it.

In Canada, the commercials have run only in Toronto, but the U. S. Scientologists spent about $180,000 to produce four commercials that are now running in 37 cities. Air time cost about $3-million.

The Canadian Scientologists decided to produce their own Dianetics commercial because they thought the U.S. commercials were too direct for Canadians. In the U. S. commercials, rank-and-file Scientologists talk about how the Dianetics book solved their problems.

Another commercial, which ran on CITY-TV throughout October, promoted the Church of Scientology more openly. Produced in the United States, this commercial showed two well-known jazz musicians - one white and one black - who are Scientologists.

The musicians are shown playing at a concert and then shaking hands at centre stage while an audience applauds. The announcer intones: "People working together can accomplish great things." A title on the screen states that the message is sponsored by the Church of Scientology.

The campaign seems to be succeeding, Mr. Smith said. He said many people have come to the church's Toronto offices to request copies of Dianetics after seeing the commercials.

Meanwhile, the Scientologists are fighting a court petition in California in which Mr. Hubbard's eldest son says he believes Mr. Hubbard is either dead or mentally incompetent. The son, Ronald DeWolf, is asking the court to appoint him a trustee of his father's affairs to protect the estate's assets.

In court papers, Mr. DeWolf said the world-wide organization is being run by a 22-year-old with a Grade 9 education who has forged Mr. Hubbard's signature to obtain money from Mr. Hubbard's estate.

Mr. Smith said the allegations are completely false. He said Mr. Hubbard is still alive, but his location is being kept secret.

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