‘Human sacrifice’ staged at Cern, home of the God Particle

Cern says that the ritual could undermine the actual science that goes on at the organisation

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 18 August 2016 10:15 BST
Fake ritual killing filmed at Cern

A human sacrifice has been staged in the grounds of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the home of the God Particle.

A video circulating online shows hooded figures apparently engaging in a ritual, staged under a huge statue of a Hindu deity, at the end of which a woman is stabbed.

But the footage appears to have been recorded as part of a prank by scientists at Europe’s top physics lab, which serves as the home of the Lagre Hadron Collider. The identity and motives of those behind the video hasn’t yet been discovered.

In the footage itself, multiple people are shown wearing long, flowing black robes – and one appears to have hiking boots on underneath. They are depicted walking around, before a woman moves onto the floor and is apparently stabbed.

As that happens, the person who is supposedly recording the video appears to react – firing out expletives and apparently running away, which causes the camera to move away from the scene before it is cut off.

The ceremony took place under the large states of the Hindu deity Shiva, which permanently stands at the complex. In both the video and real life, it is lit from below – which means that a huge shadow is cast across the building behind.

The Shiva statue was a “gift from India to celebrate its association with Cern”, according to the institution’s website.

“This deity was chosen by the Indian government because of a metaphor that was drawn between the cosmic dance of the Nataraj and the modern study of the ‘cosmic dance’ of subatomic particles,” the organisation says on a website unrelated to the prank. “India is one of CERN’s observer states, along with the USA, Russia and Japan.

A Cern spokesperson confirmed that the video had been filmed there, but said that it had been made without permission or knowledge. Cern said that it doesn’t “condone this type of spoof” because it can “give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work”.

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It’s far from the firs time that scientific work has been associated with the occult or the mystical. Because of the highly-specialised – and often terrifying – work that goes on at Cern, it has become a haven of speculation for conspiracy theorists and anxious people.

Many have suggested that the Large Hadron Collider could bring about a black hole in the Earth, or that something is going on there that would allow people to access new forms of power that would be wielded against the Earth. Others still have said that the work might open a portal to another dimension – an apparent extrapolation from the fact that the work going on there might allow scientists to test theories about the presence of other dimensions.

Others have claimed that Cern’s work is meant to prove that God doesn’t exist, another claim that the institution has been forced to rebut on its website.

“People from all over the world work together harmoniously at CERN, representing all regions, religions and cultures,” an FAQ page says. “CERN exists to understand the mystery of nature for the benefit of humankind.

“Scientists at CERN use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. Particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. This process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature."

The campus has a range of security measures, ensuring that everyone on the grounds is either an official scientist or a visitor – and those involved in the ceremony appear to have had their ID checked. Cern hasn’t said who took part in the prank, but the woman at least does appear to be identifiable in the footage.

Many of those people come from around the world to the site, to partake in scientific work or to speak with people who are doing so. A Cern spokesperson appeared to blame such people, saying that “some of them let their humour go too far”.

An article has been added to the FAQ page of Cern’s social media pages, which makes the same claim. In response to the question “I have seen a video of a strange ritual at CERN, is it real?” the page says that it isn’t.

“No, this video is a work of fiction. CERN fills up with visitors over summer, with users from across the world who come to CERN as part of their work, and some of whom occasionally let their sense of humour go too far, and that is what has happened on this occasion. CERN does not condone this kind of spoof.”

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