Scientology Uses "Secret" CraigsList Ads to Recruit New Members

Last Updated Feb 11, 2010 6:00 PM EST

The Church of Scientology is advertising "secretly" on CraigsList's activity partners section. A recent post from a miffed user in Phoenix complains:
All these ads (below) lead to Scientology, yet NOWHERE is it mentioned in ANY of these ads that they are from Scientology.
BNET opened up a couple of the ads and noted they feature the same number but different names, "Skye" and "Joan." A call to Skye/Joan was answered by a man who said, "Hello, Church of Scientology ..."

The ads use innocuous-sounding headlines such as "Evening classes" or "Group for spiritual people," and say things like:
If you love learning about life and gaining more wisdom, you'll love us ...
... If you are interested in what we do, what we have learned, or if you want to attend a free life improvement lecture given by us, call (602) 954-1417. Ask for Joan.
Here's one. And here's another.

Scientology last year launched a new advertising campaign, "Know Yourself -- Know Life," which gained some notoriety. The church is also suffering from the defection of some of its members into dissident groups, and attacks by an anti-Scientology group called "Anonymous." The CL commenter concludes:
Why would a church behave in a sneaky manner like this? Could it be that they know they are thought of as a cult by many, so they're ashamed or afraid to mention their own faith?

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