Yes, despite what some people were clearly meant to believe, jobs are about the only thing being sacrificed at CERN recently. After a strange video depicting what was meant to look like a human sacrifice on its Geneva campus went viral, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) launched an official investigation to get to the bottom of it.
And while the video was quickly determined to be a prank – no doubt to mess with all those who think that CERN is evil and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a “tool of the devil” – it has raised concerns about security on CERN campuses, not to mention the questionable senses of humor of some of its staff!
The video, which began circulating earlier this week, featured some disturbing imagery. Within the main square of CERN’s Geneva campus – which is home to the LHC- several figures appear to be reenacting an occult ceremony. They are seen wearing black cloaks and performing rites in front of a statue of the Hindu deity Shiva – which is on permanent display at the complex.
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The scene climaxes with the staged stabbing of a woman, and then ends with the one filming the scene (who appears to be recording everything from a hidden location) uttering some expletives and running off. In response, the European Organization for Nuclear Research issued a statement, claiming they would be investigating.
They also stressed that they considered this to be an “internal matter”. So while the Geneva police were aware of the incident, they will not be formally involved in the investigation. In response to a request for comment from the Agency France-Presse (AFP), a CERN spokewoman replied via email:
“These scenes were filmed on our premises but without official permission or knowledge. CERN does not condone this type of spoof, which can give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work.”
According to this same spokeswoman, the people conducting the reenactment were likely staff. While they are not able to confirm the identities of those in the video, CERN’s security measures require that those working on their premises, of have access to their facilities, have official IDs.
“CERN IDs are checked systematically at each entry to the CERN site whether it is night or day,” she said. “CERN welcomes every year thousands of scientific users from all over the world and sometimes some of them let their humor go too far. This is what happened on this occasion.”
The statue used for the prank was none other than the Nataraja – a depicition of Shiva as the cosmic dancer – which is on permanent display at CERN. The statue was a gift issued by the Indian government in 2004 to celebrate the country’s long-standing relationship with the research facility.
Needless to say, there’s likely to be some hell to pay once the prankster’s are identified. While the prank does seem to have a sense of irony to it – as if its specifically mocking tho conspiracy theorists who think evil things go on there – the last thing CERN wants is negative publicity, or people conducting pranks that involve sacred artwork!
If you haven’t seen the footage, be sure to check out this snippet from NewsBeatSocial below:
Further Reading: The Gaurdian