With Tom Cruise having gone off the rails and Paul Haggis now a million dollar PR bust, it appears that the Church of Scientology has decided it’s time to put the “normal” back in volcano-based religion marketing.
L.A. point person Linda Wieland and others have been busy this month promoting a slick portion of the Church’s official website called “Meet a Scientologist“, where video profiles of 150 believers can be viewed. While infamous Team Dianetics NASCAR driver Kenton Gray is cued up at the top of the page to welcome visitors, there is not a single famous face among the 35 “Arts” profiles. These are everyday musicians, event planners, artists and F/X specialists.
“It wasn’t that I was incapable before,” states 37-year-old Assaff Rawner (pictured), an Israeli born, UK-based motion control camera robotics wizard whose technology is used on Hollywood blockbusters. “Scientology just made me more able to do what I want to do. What I’ve learnt is how to control the physical universe around me, so that I can make it do what I want. I’m Assaff, and I’m a Scientologist.”
Per the end tag line, the Scientology meet-and-greets are highly reminiscent of the “I’m a PC” campaign created for Microsoft by Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CPB). Still, the LRH brigade does have a decided advantage as it continues on with its October PR blitz: who among us really wants to risk finding out what happens when we try to “opt out” of a Church of Scientology e-mail blast?