A reader wrote to us the other day to express his surprise at the fact that, while watching ITV1 recently, he had seen a highly-polished advert for the Church of Scientology (he also informed us that he'd filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Agency).

It pretty much goes without saying that the notorious cult doesn't get the best press these days, in the UK or elsewhere (see this recent post for more on that), so can we take this ad as a sign that Scientology is mounting a fightback? This was the first I'd heard of a TV ad, but travelling round London lately I've been seeing quite a few adverts for the Church on the tube.

Anyway, you can take a look at the TV piece below. It's certainly an interesting approach they're trying (and it's the same in the tube ads I just mentioned), calling on "the curious", "the inquisitive", the "free thinkers" to dare to think for themselves by checking out Scientology and learning about "life" and "the universe".

Once you've seen the video, you can learn more about the free thinking that goes on within Scientology from my interview with Marc Headley, a former believer and employee who escaped from the Church's high-security California compound in 2005.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCGBAPagTZU