"Former Scientology church member Jefferson Hawkins, who once ran marketing for the organization and is best known for his 1980s TV ad that featured an exploding volcano, said the church's strategy when it comes to TV advertising is mostly reactive. "Their solution when negative stuff happens is to get high-profile ads out there..."
Mr. Hawkins, who has been a regular critic of the church since he left in 2005, believes the (recent Super Bowl) ads are vanity TV buys aimed more at retention than recruitment:
'From my experience, they don't have a real interest in getting new members," he said. "It costs money to train new members. There's no immediate profit. They are more interested in keeping current members and encouraging them to donate.'"